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Okri
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Postby Okri » Tue Jan 05, 2010 12:21 am

From Mike D'angelo: Has anyone yet observed that the last time the NYFCC, LAFCA and NSFC agreed on Best Picture (LA CONFIDENTIAL), a Cameron film won the Oscar?

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Eric
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Postby Eric » Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:57 pm

Hot.

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Postby ITALIANO » Mon Jan 04, 2010 4:25 pm

Let's face it, it's mutual.

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Postby Eric » Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:11 pm

ITALIANO wrote:Wrong again, Eric. Next time maybe.

I know you love me. Stop fronting.

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Postby FilmFan720 » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:50 am

Big Magilla wrote:But after Marie Antoinette is Coppola still considered an "important" director?

To those of us who consider it her best film, I would say it does.
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Postby Damien » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:49 am

Big Magilla wrote:But after Marie Antoinette is Coppola still considered an "important" director?

I only considered her important after Marie Antoinette.
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Postby Big Magilla » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:22 am

I have to run, but just a quick note before I go.

When I said that Wanda, The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation were not terribly important I was speaking in terms of their awards potential though I would agree The Virgin Suicides was an important film in terms of content.

Very few people in 1970 even heard of Wanda let alone considered Babara Loden for a Best Director award.

I had recalled Sophia Coppola winning an MTV award for The Virgin Suicides but nothing else. A quick check of the IMDb. finds she was nominated for Best Director by the Las Vegas Film Critics, but nothing from the myriad other critics organizations active in 2000/2001.

I suppose Lost in Translation could be considered important in terms of awards as it did net Coppola numerous awards, though more, including her Oscar, for writing than directing.

But after Marie Antoinette is Coppola still considered an "important" director?




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Postby ITALIANO » Mon Jan 04, 2010 11:09 am

Eric wrote:Were not The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation dramatic American films? What about Wanda?

Wrong again, Eric. Next time maybe.

Of the movies mentioned in these last posts, the one which, by Hollywood standards, qualifies most as an "important, dramatic movie" is Children of a Lesser God; but as serious as Marlee Matlin's problems were, it didn't have the ambitions, the "contemporary politics" factor, and, I think, the budget, that The Hurt Locker has.

The Virgin Suicides?! A good movie, but it doesnt have anything to do with what I meant.

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Postby Mister Tee » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:49 am

Big Magilla wrote:
Eric wrote:Were not The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation dramatic American films? What about Wanda?

Dramatic, yes. Important, not so much.

Well, we disagree there. I'd call The Virgin Suicides as "important" as, not to mention better than, The Hurt Locker.

As far as the film vis a vis feelings about Iraq, I would say it does benefit from putting the audience strictly inside the heads of iits protagonists, which spares anyone the need to analyze feelings about the war and its justification/lack thereof. It's often said that, in the theatre of war, all geopolitical goals are lost as combatants reduce their horizon to simply protecting their buddies. By choosing this perspective, the film allows both pro- and anti- forces to view it in the same, apolitical way. (It's a variation on the Patton formula -- a film largely praised for allowing hawks to think Patton was a genius and doves to consider him a madman) It's a justifiable approach, though not especially insightful.

BJ, as far as comaprisons to Greengrass/United 93...I thought United 93 was a unique film, in that we all brought so much personal emotional baggage into the theatre that the film's stand-back tone was the only appropriate one (a view underlined when I saw what a mawkish TV movie Oliver Stone made of the tragedy). I didn't think Hurt Locker had as much underpinning, and, in fact, for me a number of the scenes seemed basically combat-film cliches, even if artfully presented. At which point I should add: the award I don't so much resent is Bigelow as best director; I admired her work fine. I just don't think the film's content adds up to much.

And as far as the sweep...my recollection is that Good Fellas, LA Confidential and god knows Schindler's List -- the previous three sweepers -- were so hugely acclaimed that I never doubted they were the front-runners for the critics' prizes (Good Fellas in an overall poor year, LA and Schindler in years widely considered strong vintages). But it's my impression (one I think Metacritic or its ilk would back up) that several other films this year were reviewed on roughly the same scale as Hurt Locker, certainly including Up in the Air and Fantastic Mr. Fox (with A Serious Man having more mixed reviews overall but pockets of real enthusiasm, like A History of Violence had) . It surprises me that one of the old-line critics' groups (even throw in Boston, the closest in cred to the pre-80s groups) didn't pick something else just for the hell of it -- NSFC used to pride itself on just such mixing it up. Put it this way: I'd say Saving Private Ryan, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Sideways and Brokeback Mountain were equally broad critics' favorites, yet none of them pulled off the sweep. It's hard for me to understand why something like Hurt Locker was able to do it.

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Postby kaytodd » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:36 am

I would not call The Hurt Locker a "bore" by any means, but Damien's notes below on this thread sums up my feelings about the film. A string of (IMO very well done and gripping) set pieces but with no narrative and with nothing at all to say about the Iraq war or about the lives of ordinary soldiers. But I guess this film is not about the Iraq war. It is about a group of soldiers with a specialized job to do and how this affects them. I was on the edge of my seat during almost the entire film so I have to give Bigelow credit.

Seeing how the precursors have been going, the most acceptable realistic ending to me would be Up In The Air getting the BP and Adapted Screenplay Oscars and Bigelow getting Director. My own personal favorites of 2009 (Sin Nombre, Lorna's Silence, 500 Days Of Summer, District 9, The Informant!) haven't made much noise at any of the precursors. Several well regarded films have not opened down here yet. I suppose Avatar could win both BP and Director but I do not see that happening. Too many flesh and blood actors voting.




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Postby Big Magilla » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:24 am

Eric wrote:Were not The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation dramatic American films? What about Wanda?

Dramatic, yes. Important, not so much.

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Postby Eric » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:03 am

Were not The Virgin Suicides and Lost in Translation dramatic American films? What about Wanda?

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Postby The Original BJ » Mon Jan 04, 2010 10:01 am

Damien, I believe I posted a lengthy commentary on The Hurt Locker in its review thread. Not that I think it would persuade anybody -- I actually thought, literally while watching the film, that this wouldn't appeal to the anti-Paul Greengrass crowd. (Which is why I'm a lot more surprised it wasn't as much to Mister Tee's liking.) All I can say is, the filmmaking gripped me by the throat and never let go, and I thought it was as technically impressive as it was fascinating.

And, unlike Magilla, I think it's not because everything else came up short. When I saw The Hurt Locker, I thought it would probably be among my top films of the year, and even though this wasn't a banner year, I think it would be a worthy top choice in many years. Though I've been disappointed in a number of the year-end entries, there are a handful of '09 films I think are very good, and some others I have a lot of admiration for even if I don't love them...which is a lot more than I can say for last year.

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Postby ITALIANO » Mon Jan 04, 2010 9:52 am

Big Magilla wrote:She's very much one of "the guys" which opens up a whole different can of worms.

Exactly.

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Postby Big Magilla » Mon Jan 04, 2010 8:10 am

I wouldn't classify District 9 as an American film. It had American backing, but it was it was filmed in South Africa and New Zealand.

The director, Neill Blomkamp, has an extensive background in American TV but returned to his native Johannesburg to make the film with a local cast.

I wouldn't call The Hurt Locker the first important film to be directed by an American woman. Lynne Littman's Testament and Randa Haines' Children of a Lesser God were considered "important" in their day. Some would consider Barbra Streisand's Yentl and The Prince of Tides important as well, I suppose. But they were all films focused on women. What's different about Bigelow is that she directs high adrenaline films with strong male protagonists. She's very much one of "the guys" which opens up a whole different can of worms.


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