Saturday, March 04, 2006

brokeback oscars

last summer i decided to plug a few the holes on my reading list and spent the better part of july reading annie proulx’s fiction. at the tail end of a collection of her short fiction i read the now infamous brokeback mountain. even as predictable as the story was on the written page, it is even easier to divine what will happen tomorrow night during hollywood’s annual self-pleasuring celebration. as much as i like the movies, this years nominees, especially in the best picture category, leave much to be desired. i thoroughly expect a brokeback mountain sweep as a bird finger to the right wing from the hollywood left. but even if brokeback does not perform as well america’s hottest two young cowpokes in the west, lets look at what else is offered. crash, good night and good luck, capote, and munich. a film about the perceived innate racism that is THE backdrop of american life; a bit of propaganda presented by hollywood’s resident golden boy wonder and revisionist historian george clooney, the story of a homosexual author, and a movie about terrorism that bends over backward to humanize the terrorists by attempting to draw parallels between those who killed innocent israeli olympians to those who sought retribution. anyway you slice it - the academy is poised and ready to tell conservatives, "we’re number one." in short - it was a poor year for hollywood and low box-office returns point to how out of touch hollywood remains with the red states (see indeed, without the chronicles of narnia and harry potter and the goblet of fire, the purses would be even emptier. how soon has tinsel town forgotten the overwhelming success of movies like passion of the christ, the incredibles, and finding nemo. for my nickle here are a few movies i saw this year that i thoroughly enjoyed. i must confess that few are actually available to be seen at the box office and may have been released prior to this year and do not qualify for academy recognition.
my left eye sees ghosts - a very adorably touching asian film that sort of crosses shawn of the dead with amelie and the sixth sense.
old boys - another asian offering dealing with mystery, intrigue such that hollywood is afraid to broach these days. certainly more thought provoking about the nature of humanity that any of the current best picture nominees.
dirty filthy love - how does one maintain a relationship with ocd and tourette’s syndrome? a very graphic but novel approach to amazing grace.
off the map - so I’m a sucker for sam elliot. i also like field of dreams and the postman.
chrystal - another brutal billy bob thornton film that carries the theme of grace to the extreme.


Steve Bezner said...

Hold on there, Tex!!!!

I'm with you most of the way on this post, but I had a totally different take on "Munich." Joy and I saw the movie and I took it much more as a commentary on the cycle of violence and retribution rather than terrorism.

The Palestinians killed; the Israelis kill. There will soon be retaliation; and the cycle will continue ad infinitum.

Maybe I missed it, but I thought that "Munich" was alright.

e. l. wood said...

i'm certainly there with the whole cycle of violence theme. i thought the movie was enjoyable. i'm mean it is ancient - beowulf, eye for an eye, dr stangelove, et al. the problem i have is leveling the playing field by humanizing those who retaliate and, in so doing, also highlighting the humanity of the other side. i'm probably the one in error here, but i have a very difficult time showing any compassion for the initial aggressors.

Steve Bezner said...

Sure...if the Palestinians are the initial aggressors...

Cole said...

What I liked about Capote was that the film didn't try to redeem him...he was a selfish bastard, and at the end, he was a selfish bastard.

Except, maybe it did redeem him by the epilogue: after In Cold Blood, he never wrote again. Does that give him a conscience? Hmmm....