The Award Season

Jerry Lewis

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!

Oscar Hopes

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.

aboscar

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.

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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.

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18 thoughts on “The Award Season

  1. Jonathan Lapper says:

    I finally saw Cloverfield last month and thought it was terrific. Definitely one of the better movies I saw for 2008. I’ve only seen about ten movies from last year so placing it in my top ten means nothing but I thought it was an excellent film and should have received a lot more notice than it got.

  2. cinebeats says:

    Glad you enjoyed it Jonathan! I’m baffled by the negative critical response that Cloverfield got in the US. Then again… I often find myself at odds with professional film critics who get paid to share their opinions with the masses.

  3. Flickhead says:

    What is Twitter? Is this the new Facebook? I still can’t figure out Facebook… it won’t let me in although I made up a password… that was a job and a half, because it said my initial password as “weak”… so I had to screw around for about fifteen minutes until I came up with something completely off the wall and incapable of being memorized… and then it still wouldn’t let me in, so I have no idea what Facebook is or why I need it… is Facebook the new MySpace? I still can’t figure out how to use MySpace… or why I’d want to… although there are juicy, incriminating photos of a relative on her MySpace page… seems the poor girl has a bit of a drinking problem… do people still have AOL profiles, or is that SO last decade?

  4. cinebeats says:

    Maya – Thanks for stopping by! Maybe “shove” would be more appropriate? 😉

    Flickhead – Twitter is a new net fad designed to strip away more of your free time and make money for advertisers. People use it to post brief random text blurbs that are easier to read than lengthy blog posts. You can use your cellphone to post “twits” (didn’t that word used to be an insult in the ’80s?) or post them directly online. I’ve managed to avoid Facebook myself so I can’t help you there. As for Myspace, I go there about once a month and I find the place a real pain to navigate. I know absolutely nothing about AOL profiles. My 1st computer was a gift from my old boss who owned the comic book shop that I worked at in the ’90s and he was also a computer science major who had some personal vendetta against AOL. He helped me get online without AOL so I never experienced the “You’ve Got Mail” phenomenon.

  5. Flickhead says:

    Yeah, Kimberly, I can’t keep up with most of that stuff.

    One interesting thing about AOL: a few months ago they deleted customer webpages without advance notice… no warning, no communication, nothing… just one day: poof — gone. This affected everyone who used the webspace provided with AOL accounts. No explanations, no apologies, and no chance of anyone retrieving those webpages. So, if someone didn’t save what they had online, it was gone forever.

    From 1997 through 2004, my main website was hosted by AOL. When I changed over to Comcast in ’04, there were several webpages that I forgot about, or was too lazy to transfer. They’re all gone now. Most of it was dross, but I had started “The Barbet Schroeder Project” which had the same format as my Claude Chabrol Project. All of the Barbet Schroeder pages were zapped.

  6. cinebeats says:

    I am starting to enjoy the easy to use and quick to update Twitter so I recommend it. As a matter of fact, I’ve decided to “Live Twit” the Oscars tonight, which should be interesting. Off the cuff comments are always fun to read, even though I’ll undoubtedly put my foot in my mouth and end up offending someone after I’ve had a few glasses of wine. By the way, I just discovered that “twits” are actually called “tweets.” I guess using an unflattering ’80s slang term like “twits” wasn’t very practical.

    That AOL story is tragic! The same thing happened to myself and other Geocities web users when Yahoo bought them out. I had my Alain Delon Tribute website hosted with Geocities and when Yahoo took over they switched over everyone’s password, etc. and it made it nearly impossible for thousands of users to access their accounts and files so many long-standing websites just vanished.

    Have you tried finding your Schroeder pages using the Wayback Machine? They store online records of all the websites ever created and I’ve used them a lot in the past year to find my old files and revisit old websites I used to frequent. It’s a very cool tool!

  7. Spencer says:

    Did you not enjoy “Chicago” or did you just disagree with the award that year? I personally felt that it was the strongest contender for best picture that year. Even though “Lord of The Rings” was a nominee as well, I just feel that with all of the hype that picture received prior to the awards, it lost it’s charm. This year is the same with “The Dark Knight.” If Heath Ledger did not pass away before the movie was released, or even at all, this picture would not have had a chance.

  8. cinebeats says:

    I seriously disliked Chicago. I honestly couldn’t even sit through it all, but I tried. I really tried. The Gangs of New York was another Best Picture nominee that I could barely watch all the way through.

    If I had to choose one best picture from the nominees that year it would have been The Pianist, but it’s not one of my favorite Polanski films.

  9. Film Walrus says:

    I’m happy to hear nice things being said about Sunshine and Cloverfield. Sometimes I think I’m too much of an SF nerd to be objective, but the genre has seen some great sleeper hits in recent memory and mainstream critics remain unmoved.

  10. cinebeats says:

    I completely agree with you, Walrus! At least the French critics at Cashiers are noticing.

    Sunshine was easily one of the best films released in 2007 (at least in my opinion) and I was really surprised by the bashing it got from critics. Many others just ignored it and it got very little attention even from popular American genre publications that typically cover horror and science fiction films, which seems utterly strange to me.

    And thanks a lot for sharing your Dardos Ward with me! I truly appreciate it. 🙂

  11. Neil says:

    I like the Twitter thing, although I mostly have enjoyed using the Twittery function on Facebook, which as a personal “networking tool” I think kicks ass over MySpace, which seems to have never come up with a very useful purpose for people who aren’t bands.

    I seem to have a growing number of interesting people on Twitter, though, so I may have to start actually using my account.

  12. Glyn says:

    I totally agree, Sunshine was very underrated, stunning and intelligent sci-fi. I think Slumdog has just captured the mood of the moment and has been rewarded for it, but I think Danny Boyle would be worthy of an oscar for most of his films!

    As for Jerry Lewis, I’ve always prefered his films with Dean Martin like You’re Never Too Young. Have you ever seen The Day The Clown Cried? It’s Lewis’ tragi-comedy set in a concentration camp and very rarely screened. I’m intrigued.

    And unfortunately I couldn’t sit through Cloverfield – it brought on my motion sickness!

    Three years late, but loving your blog by the way 🙂

  13. Neil says:

    For the record, when I first got my Dardo, I thought for 2 seconds that I might get away with awarding you, but then I remembered that stupid Lapper already had.

    Stupid Lapper!

    Then every day I’d start to build something like a list, two more would get one from someone else.

    Then I gave up.

    But then…

    Uh… Yeah.

    Did my story have a point?

    Oh, yeah. Stupid Lapper!

  14. Lenny says:

    SUNSHINE was two-thirds of a very good film. The last third, in which it turns into a mad slasher on a spaceship flick, is what cheapened it.

  15. cinebeats says:

    Neil – I’ve managed to avoid Facebook, but I’m enjoying Twitter and I think it can be a useful tool to communicate quick bits of information. When I blog, I tend to write lengthy wordy posts so it’s especially handy for me.

    And many thanks for considering me for the Dardos! 🙂

    Glyn – I’m glad you’re enjoying the blog and it’s nice to see some positive thoughts about Sunshine. It’s slowly gaining an audience, which is great, but I still don’t understand why it was basically universally dismissed in 2007. I haven’t had the opportunity to see The Day The Clown Cried, but you’ve got me curious about it!

    Larry – I had some of my own problems with the ending, but on a whole, I think it’s a rich film with a lot of layers that has much to offer potential viewers who are willing to give it a look. Compared to other recent sci-fi films that received critical praise such as Serenity, the Matrix movies, etc. I thought it was a real gem.

  16. Keith says:

    Hey Kimberly. I was generally satisfied with the Oscar winners. There would have been a few changes, such as I wanted Mickey Rourke for Best Actor. I was glad to see Jerry Lewis receive that award. It was great seeing him up there. Cheers!

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