As a hunch, "Avatar" lost because it felt too cheery (or cheer-worthy), was too exuberant, when Hollywood was in the mood to salute those who kept things delimited, neutered (more broken, less affect), and controlled. We voted in Obama, not Hillary (though we found a way to give her kudos), and he's going to be around for more than a short while. (Does Bigelow smoke? Did Cameron quit a long time ago? I wonder.)
I would hope with these Oscars that many of us are realizing how predictable we want things to be right now. For awhile yet, we can still pretend we're really into change/progress by handing out crowns to yet another who's never known election, or maybe switch to handing out buckets of them at a time, rather just to one path-breaking singular, but at some point it will become obvious to us that we're for some reason terrified of moving on. I guess we figure we'll "deal" with this moment when we get to it, but for now and the short-term: what would it be like if all in one year the best picture, best director, best actor/actress were all female/black? What kind of a charge of affirmation would be get from THAT? -- enough to carry us on? How about along with HALF indie-selections? -- or would that leave us too little room for next time?
At the end of the day, the movie that has stayed with me, is Star Trek. True for anyone else?
Yes, Star Trek is sticking with me. As a Trekkie, I was worried it would suck big time, but it won me over with its humor and its affection for the characters.
I haven't seen Avatar, but it looks like the usual bloated overkill to me. I am afraid it will strain my nerves to watch it.(Presumptuous Insect, response to post)
Richard Brody shared a link.Moderator · November 20 at 3:38pm I'm obsessed with Bringing Up Baby, which is on TCM at 6 PM (ET). It's the first film by Howard Hawks that I ever saw, and it opened up several universes to me, cinematic and otherwise. Here's the story. I was seventeen or eighteen; I had never heard of Hawks until I read Godard's enthusiastic mention of him in one of the early critical pieces in "Godard on Godard"—he called Hawks "the greatest American artist," and this piqued my curiosity. So, the next time I was in town (I… I was out of town at college for the most part), I went to see the first Hawks film playing in a revival house, which turned out to be "Bringing Up Baby." I certainly laughed a lot (and, at a few bits, uncontrollably), but that's not all there was to it. I had never read Freud, but I had heard of Freud, and when I saw "Bringing Up Baby," its realm of symbolism made instant sense; it was obviou…
A Polish zoologist and his wife maintain a zoo which is utopia, realized. The people who work there are blissfully satisfied and happy. The caged animals aren't distraught but rather, very satisfied. These animals have been very well attended to, and have developed so healthily for it that they almost seem proud to display what is distinctively excellent about them for viewers to enjoy. But there is a shadow coming--Nazis! The Nazis literally blow apart much of this happy configuration. Many of the animals die. But the zookeeper's wife is a prize any Nazi officer would covet, and the Nazi's chief zoologist is interested in claiming her for his own. So if there can be some pretence that would allow for her and her husband to keep their zoo in piece rather than be destroyed for war supplies, he's willing to concede it.
The zookeeper and his wife want to try and use their zoo to house as many Jews as they can. They approach the stately quarters of Hitler's zoologist …