2009 is shaping up to be an unusual year and for the past couple of months I’ve been on a roller coaster ride that shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. Between job losses, car accidents, births, deaths, watching my neighborhood disintegrate due to the crumbling economy and doing battle with some mysterious illness, I haven’t had much free time for blogging. With Cinebeats 3 year anniversary on the horizon, I’m also reevaluating how I blog and you can expect some changes here in the coming weeks and hopefully a few more updates. Please stay tuned! And now for a few thoughts on the current Award Season…
I’ve been Dardosed!
I want to say a big THANK YOU to all the bloggers who recently rewarded Cinebeats with the Premio Dardos Award! Those bloggers include Jonathan at Cinema Styles, Walrus at Film Walrus Reviews, Kate at Love Train for the Tenebrous Empire, Howard and Kevin at Destructible Man, Brian at Bubblegum Aesthetics and last but certainly not least, Colin, Jesse and Michael at Popcorn and Sticky Floors. If I’ve managed to forgot anyone, please let me know. Many of these fine folks wrote really nice things about Cinebeats and I’m super grateful for their kind words of support. I really can’t thank them all enough!
So what is the Premio Dardos Award? According to my fellow bloggers: “The Dardos Award is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web.”
While I find the “recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing” a little odd, I do truly appreciate “the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web” that this award represents. Unfortunately I think that every blogger I know has received this award already, so I don’t know of anyone off-hand that I can pass it on to. Instead, I highly recommend just visiting the fellow bloggers linked above who were kind enough to share their Dardos Award with Cinebeats. They’re all worthy recipients and I promise that you’ll discover some fine film writing and a few surprises when you visit their blogs. I’m proud to share my Dardos Award with them all!
Like a lot of movie geeks, I look forward to the Oscars every year, even when I hate every movie that the Academy has nominated for a gold statue. The pomp, circumstance, movie montages and occasional unguarded moments of the stars and filmmakers keep me glued to the television. For the past two years I’ve written a little bit about the Oscars during the Award seaason so I didn’t want to let this year’s ceremony pass by without some mention of it. Frankly, I’ve been fairly annoyed by all the negative stuff I’ve been reading about this year’s nominees. Critic after critic has come out and announced this year to be one of the worst Academy Award races in years or even decades. Really? What rock have these critics been living under for the past 20-25 years? Where were these people when the Academy handed out Best Picture statues to Chicago in 2003? Shakespeare in Love in 1999? Forrest Gump in 1994? Dances with Wolves in 1990? and Driving Miss Daisy in 1989? Just to name a few Oscar winning films that I wish I could forget. I could go on and on, but I won’t. I will say that I’ve always been disappointed with most of the Academy’s choices, but to call 2008 the worst Oscar year in decades is just ludicrous to me.
I’m very happy to see that three modern director’s I admire – Danny Boyle, Gus Van Sant and David Fincher – were nominated for Best Director this year. None of them has ever won an Oscar, which is just plain bizarre when you look at the history of who has been gifted with this award in the past. And while I don’t personally have much desire to see The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and I happen to prefer Van Sant’s recent “Death Trilogy” to Milk, I am rooting for Danny Boyle’s heartfelt Bollywood homage to take home the gold on Sunday. How can any self-respecting film fan not get some enjoyment from a movie that includes a scene where a young Bollywood fan crawls through shit – literally and figuratively – to get Amitabh Bachchan‘s autograph? I feel sorry for anyone who can’t appreciate that spectacular movie moment. Slumdog Millionaire is not Boyle’s best film. That would be Shallow Grave, Trainspotting or 28 Day’s Later. I even enjoyed Boyle’s vastly under appreciated Sunshine more than Slumdog, but I do think Danny Boyle’s made some of the best and most influential British films of the last 20 years and I’m happy that he’s finally being noticed by the Academy. Slumdog Millionaire is a movie with no big-name Hollywood stars that was destined to go straight to DVD, but it managed to escape that fate and become an Oscar contender. Cheers to you, Mr. Boyle! May you and your cast and crew go home with a truckload of Oscar gold on Sunday night.
And like every year, I’m also eager to see some Hollywood legends get their long awaited moments in the sun. I really hope Mickey Rourke walks away with the Best Actor award this year even if I haven’t had the opportunity to see The Wrestler yet. I was also happy to discover that Jerry Lewis will be given this year’s Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award. I’ve been fond of Jerry Lewis since I was a kid. Movies like The Nutty Professor, Artists and Models, The Bellboy and Cinderfella always got watched in my home whenever they played on television and I spent a lot of hours trying to mimic Jerry’s goofy expressions in my bathroom mirror. The adults around me and the other kids my age thought I was crazy for liking Jerry Lewis. It wasn’t until someone mentioned that “the French also like Jerry Lewis” that I finally felt like I wasn’t alone in my admiration for the funny man and his movies. Speaking of the French….
Cloverfield Gets Its Due
I was starting to think that I was the only person in the world who considered Cloverfield to be one of the best movies released in 2008, but I was wrong. The nice folks over at Bright Lights After Dark informed me that the respected French critics at Cashiers du Cinema agreed with me and placed Cloverfield on their “10 Best Films of 2008” list, so kudos to them! Unfortunately you’ll have to pay money if you want to read about all their selections this year, but you can find more info about subscriptions at the Cashiers website.
Lastly, I thought I’d let anyone who might be interested in my random movie related babble that I recently signed up to Twitter after I received a few invites from other users. If you’re really bored you can find me there under “user name” Cinebeats.