Awards Archive for February, 2006

On Ebert & Crash

You know, Roger may be pushing it to call a Crash win likely… and I got the vibe that the film is going to come up a little short of beating Brokeback Mountain on Sunday night… but it is far, far, far from crazy.
Crash is not a longshot to upset Brokeback. My guess – and that is all it can ever be – is that the two films will end up within single digits of one another in the voting. So I see it as a matter of a few hundred votes one way or the other. You BBM obsessives should be more than a little nervous.
The only wide open category in the Top Eight is Supporting Actor, though some people are pushing the idea of upsets in the two Actress categories.
And at the end of the night, let’s not all be shocked at the same time if Memoirs of a Geisha ends up with the second or third highest Oscar total.


1 Week to Go

When the Academy shortened the awards season two years ago, they had the right idea.
Tthe simple idea that the season was going on way too long was dead on. And this year, with the Oscars pushed later by almost two weeks, the only real response has to be, “Can you make it much, much shorter next year?”
And the Rest…


And news on another Oscar nommed short doc…

DreamWorks and Parkes/MacDonald Prods. have acquired the rights to
Oscar-nominated documentary “The Life of Kevin Carter: Casualty of the Bang
Bang Club.”The producers will use the film and tap the research of director
Dan Krauss for a feature about the Pulitzer Prize-winning photog. Carter
dodged bullets to capture images of famine and violence in the waning days
of apartheid.Walter Parkes and Laurie MacDonald, who’ll produce, closed the
rights deal with Krauss just before his docu drew its Oscar nom. Doc had
several suitors as the role of Carter has the potential to attract a big
male star.Exec Alisa Tager brought the project to Parkes, who got the upper
hand partly because Krauss’ Berkeley film professor shot part of Parkes’ own
docu, “The California Reich.” Krauss, whose docu will air on HBO, will be
exec producer.South African-born Carter grew up loathing apartheid, and
through photography found an outlet to show its impact to the world. He
became famous when his photo of a starving Sudanese child stalked by a
vulture won the Pulitzer Prize. When he described waiting for 20 minutes for
the starving child and vulture to fit perfectly in his frame, critics called
him a vulture for not interceding. Carter committed suicide at 33.”Beyond
dramatizing a courageous life at a historic turning point, we hope to
explore why Kevin ended things the way that he did; in some ways, that photo
both made him and destroyed him,” Parkes said. “Even though his work brought
international attention to the struggles in South Africa and the Sudan, the
end of Kevin’s life was dominated by the controversy surrounding one
picture, and his decision to document rather than intercede. His story is
particularly relevant now, as we’ve become a world hooked on visual
information. As the violent reactions to the publishing of the cartoons in
Denmark last week suggest, the power of the image has never been more


Remember, Remember The Sixth Of August

It is easy to give short shrift to the short doc category at the Oscars, but after seeing all but one of the short docs that are nominated, I have a pretty distinct favorite.
Steven Okazaki


Lions Gate To The (Mira)Max

One other note from the ACE awards for the best editing of the year…
In the midst of a fairly long live show, all of a sudden the Oscar nominee for Best Song from Crash appeared and sang her song.
The first thoght was that the move could turn off people. But show people are like no people I know and there was honest enthusiastic applause at the end of the performance and a room full of possible late Academy voters. every vote counts. And with virtually every major name in London at BAFTA, this was the only show of Oscar connectivity at the show. So you have to say… another smart, Miramax-aggressive-like move by Lions Gate.
I should emphasize, since people get hysterical, that this may all lead to little visable effect on March 5. But assuming this has not become a tight race is its own unique kind of self-delusion.



Let’s try to put aside – for a monent – my issues, perceived or real, with Brokeback Mountain.
How fucked up were the BAFTA awards?
Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Wererabbit was better than The Constant Gardener, Pride & Prejudice, and Tristam Shandy?
Speaking of Pride & Prejudice, how is it possible that it beat both Tsotsi and Shooting Dogs for the Alexander Korda Award? (“Box office” seems to be thw likely answer.)
Jake Gyllenhaal winning was not too much of a surprise, given that George Clooney and Crash both were set up by circumstance to split. I do, however, consider the Thandie Newton win a shock, at the expense of Michelle Williams and Catherine Keener.
I am perfectly comfy with Brokeback Mountain winning Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay


What Race Is There Anyway?

I didn’t post this before, but the Gurus o’ Gold live on…
Is there a race worth following now that nominations are in?


Good Release, And Good Luck

Dear Colleagues;
I just wanted to let you know that Warner Independent Pictures


There's Got To Be A Morning After…

It’s 2:15am… I’ve burned through 5 hours of American Idol audition episodes on Tivo… The Gurus o’ Gold were kind enough to make best guesses in every category, which meant laying out 24 categories… I got pissed off, pissed on, and pissed around for a day of near-singular focus…
Tomorrow, it’s on to the Santa Barbara Film Festival, next week The Floating Film Festival, followed by The Oscars, SXSW and The Bermuda International Film Festival. I know it sounds like fun… and it will be… but I am tired just thiking about it.
After a long day of mishegas, it occures to me that I am thrilled for Street Fight‘s Marshall Curry, nominated for his film film… thrilled for Rachel Weisz, who is s kind, funny, smart, interested participant, now 5 1/2 months pregnant, glowing, and ready for the next level… thrilled for Terrence Howard, who has matured in the heat of the season and whose next steps will be fascinating… thrilled for William Hurt, who will hopefully parlay this into the second act of his career that could be legendary… thrilled for Team Capote, who are really the biggest underdogs in a season of underdogs… thrilled for Hany Abu-Asad, who always has a smile and a good word for everyone – not to mention as assload of talent – as he makes his awards journey… thrilled for Amy Adams, who has a long, lovely future ahead of her and the chance to be a female Rip Torn cycling through all kinds of characters and three full acts of an acting life…
There are many things I am not so thrilled about… but I want to go to sleep with a smile on my face.


Quote Unquotesee all »

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima

“They’re still talking about the ‘cathedral of cinema,’ the ‘communal experience,’ blah blah. The experiences I’ve had recently in the theatre have not been good. There’s commercials, noise, cellphones. I was watching Colette at the Varsity, and halfway through red flashes came up at the bottom of the frame. A woman came out and said, ‘We’re going to have to reboot, so take fifteen minutes and come back.’ Then they rebooted it from the beginning, and she had to ask the audience to tell her how far to go. You tell me, is that a great experience? I generally don’t watch movies in a cinema at all. Netflix is the future. It’s the present. But the whole paradigm of a series, binge-watching, it’s quite different. My first reaction is that it’s more novelistic, because if you have an eight-hour season, you can get into complex, intricate things. You can let it breathe and the audience expectations are such that they will let you, where before they wouldn’t have the patience. I think only the surface has been touched with experimenting with that.”
~ David Cronenberg