I was recently talking with a friend about which decade produced the most interesting, challenging, innovative and artistic film work. I feel that the two that gave the world the most were between 1938 and 1948 and, if you ask me — the most
interesting decade of film making, 1968 thru 1978. As a kid I would watch the Academy Awards with such devotion. And, looking back at many of the films that were nominated and honored in the 70’s — the nominators had balls and seemed to care about cinema. As I grew up and, now, as I am approaching the big 40 — just 2 years away!!! — I have come to loathe the OSCARS. The thing that amuses me about myself is that I can still feel my annoyance when I see what they have nominated and what they have ignored.

Now the following are just my opinions. Art is totally subjective and what each of us looks for in art is different. Actually, there are number of folks who refuse to accept film as art. And, to be honest, when I take a look at what is playing in the US movie theatres most of the time — I would understand their objection. However, it is art. It is quite possibly the most collabrotive of all art forms.

For the past 6 to 7 years, the most interesting and multi-layered film work has come from Asia. The emerging strength as a world power, the many cultural and societal struggles are reflected in much of the work being produced in those countries. At this time, it is my opinion that Korea has been producing some of the most entertaining and challenging work going. Far too many to mention, but OLDBOY may be the most unique and entertaining film to come our way since PULP FICTION.

France is emerging from the slumber of the 80’s and much of the 90’s with some fine filmmaking. The fact that SWIMMING POOL, FAT GIRL, UNDER THE SAND and THE PIANO TEACHER have all been ignored by the Academy is just offensive to me.

And, a look at American and British cinema of late has been a bit dismal — but there have been some amazing films. It is my opinion that the most powerful and brave performance provided by an actress for 2004 was Anne Reid in the equally brilliant film, THE MOTHER. THE ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND was probably the most inventive and powerful film produced by an American cinema since Gus Van Sant’s ELEPHANT. …another great film ignored. It should be noted, however, that the genius behind the camera is from France! America was just lucky enough to have him make his feature film debut in our country. And, for the first time that I am aware, Jim Carrey actually gave an honest and touching performance. The other film that blew me away this year was the low budget comedy, NAPOLEON DYNAMITE. A really great film.

Several years ago when the OSCARS ignored FIGHT CLUB, a brilliant satire working on so many levels! I decided that I just simply was not going to pay attention to them anymore. However, every year I cringe and take a look at what Hollywood feels is the best that cinema has to offer. This year, to see that it feels that COLLATERAL, A VERY LONG ENGAGEMENT, THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA and LEMONY SNICKET’S A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS deserve to be mentioned in any category is sad to me.

…and now “they” are re-making WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY. …the original is far from perfect and filled with flaws, but the sweet balance of evil/love provided by Gene Wilder’s performance will never be bested. Particularly when it is Johnny Depp who looks like a drag queen in a suit. And, don’t even get me going on anyone other than the child actress in the 1971 origninal film playing Veruca Salt! The very idea hurts my heart!

At least Kate Winslet and SIDEWAYS got a couple of nods. I seriously doubt that they will “win” — but I guess you never know.

To use a word that my pal, Jen, likes to use to register her annoyance/disgust — bleh!

January 25, 2005. Uncategorized.


  1. There and Back Again replied:

    I would agree with you about “Willy Wonka..” it’s really a senseless remake. Sure Roald Dahl didn’t like the film, but he was really one sick puppy in his own right, Gene Wilder’s performance holds up really well, despite the test of time. For the period in which it was made, Wonka still packs a punch. Besides, the Oompa Loompa’s are scary as little green men.

    As for the Oscar’s, well, 2004 was not a banner year, was it?!

  2. Jon replied:

    After watching Billy crystal’s painfully bad job as host last year, I’ve pretty much given up on them as well. i did think The Triplets of Belleville deserved what it got, but Cold Mountain realy wasn’t that great, or even good. And The Lord of the Rings was an amazing series, but they got EVERYTHING!!

    I doubt I’ll even watch this year.

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