Friday, January 06, 2006

External Readings

Articles of note in regards to the awards season film mix:

Cinemarati Awards.
I am one of their 23 members. We've begun to countdown our consensus awards.

Opinionated Lesbian on Capote
Eleanor really loves the little film that could Capote --really loves to post about it she does. But the linked article has an interesting aside on Syriana and Good Night, and Good Luck making the read more Oscarific.

Asim on Brokeback
The minority opinion (discounting the other minority opinion of looney jesus freak gay-haters), which Asim shares, seems to be that we don't need this film to tell us about gay. In other words in certain evolved circles people are taking general homophobic stupidity out on this film for stating the incredibly obvious. The catch? The incredibly obvious is not so obvious at all --just look at the way the heterosexual masses freaked out about gay marriage and made every effort to block hospital visitation, medical insurance access, and anything else resembling standard basic civil rights for their fellow Americans. All because they love people of the same gender. America has a loooooong way to go in understanding very very obvious things about homosexuals: i.e. they are people who deserve to live their lives just like heterosexuals. And one more thing to Asim: All screen romantic epics treat the duet at the center as a sacred mythic union ~It's nothing to criticize about this particular film. Ever seen The Way We Were?

Joel's Film Epidemic on Crash
Very funny review. I wish I hated this movie. It's so fun to make fun of. Why don't I hate it? I'm not sure. It's usually the type of thing I hate. I'll make a deal with you... I'll start hating it if it suddenly becomes a threat to Brokeback Mountain's Best Picture win.

Tim Robey on Match Point
He tells me I'd hate it too if I were British. I will never know. Though it wasn't in my top ten, I was so excited watching it to see Woody Allen really caring about a film he was making again. I felt he was invested...and I just love my Woody Allen.

Auteur Lust on King Kong
Javier recognizes the abundant flaws of the Jackson epic. But damn if he doesn't love the big ape anyway. baby, love is strange.

ModFab on Gene Shalits Brokeback Thrashing
One of the internet's best blogs (period --any category) tells it like it t-i-s when it comes to that hateful mustached homophobe. GLAAD rakes the Today Show over the coals as well. Oh, and Jake Gyllenhaal. If you're still preying on men --come and get it. Corrupt me!


Javier Aldabalde said...

Thank you for the shout out! And yes, I don't think perfection necessarily equals to greatness. "Kong" is awesome in a deliberately imperfect way :)

Anonymous said...

You'll have to stand in line for Jake, Nathaniel! :)

adam k. said...

Hmm... interesting bit on Brokeback... I actually am of a different minority opinion in that I truly admire the film and its themes, and its depiction of the gay love story, and I think it has some truly great elements, but... I just don't think it's a "great" film. Maybe my expectations were just too high, and I was too overly familiar? But I just didn't see the greatness when I saw it (I'll see it again though for sure). I felt that it lacked energy and was kind of sterile and inert in the way that The Hours and M&B and other acclaimed oscary things have been. The story grabbed me, but the storytelling didn't so much. The acting was great (especially Ledger, no disappointment there), the music was great, good writing... but I actually feel like the missteps were in the direction. I just didn't "feel" it. But all the national critics' groups AND all the major awards-giving bodies AND Nathaniel can't be wrong, can they? Can they?

Seriously, Nat, if you could give more written analysis of why you yourself loved Brokeback so much, I'd really appreciate it. I want to love this movie as much as you and the rest of the world do.

Anonymous said...

Many of the reviews about Brokeback Mountain seem to suggest that it's more the fact that THIS film was made NOW. Nathaniel's comments on asim's comments seem appropriate (and I'd like to take this opportunity to pat Canada on the back once again - gay marriage past w/ nary a whisper. It was great) though.

adam k. said...

Well my gripes are different from asim's gripes. I am just wondering if all the Best Pic awards and such are about the actual film, or because of the political relevence and timing and ambition of the film. Because I can't really get behind the sweep, as much as I want to. I am hoping Nathaniel will rescue me from my ambivalence, because I always love his favorite films, and this was NOT the film that was supposed to break that streak. Sigh.


i would really suggest seeing it a second time. For me it crystallized the many great choices they made. and the performances are --across the board-- just great. But mostly I'm responding to the grandeur --The epic and intimate simultaneously. I guess I was aching for a really big romantic epic. They're so rare.

Obviously i don't always like gay films... often hate them actually, so it's not about it being gay. I just think it's great. Top notch everything production values wise, fused with this very restrained almost bottled up feeling --just like Ennis himself. It has a simplicity too that's rare and beautiful.

I thought I conveyed why i loved it in my review...

adam k. said...

I guess specifically, I was wondering about whether you thought the choices to be restrained, etc. were really right. I think what you read as a "bottled up feeling, just like Ennis" I read as a crippling lack of vitality. I just felt like the film had no real point of view, I guess. It was as if Ang just said "OK, let's just film it" when that maybe wasn't always the best choice.

It sort of reminded me of M$B in tone, at times, which is why I'm surprised that you dug it so much. Some dissenting reviews have said that the earnestness and sparseness were at times kind of laughable, and I almost have to agree. Particularly in the latter half. I loved the beginning. And I loved the second love scene in the tent, with the gentle whispering, that was totally hot/perfect/beautiful.

I know I set myself up for disaster with how obsessed with it I let myself get. I'd read the story, watched the trailer repeatedly, listened to the soundtrack, etc, so I was constantly thinking "oh, so there's that music cue" etc. which detracted from the experience, I'm sure. The last time this happened with an adaptation was The Hours, with which I was similarly obsessed, and which also gave me that "huh?" feeling upon viewing it.

Anyway, the soundtrack grew on me a lot after I let it settle, so maybe the film will, too. I am definitely seeing it again. And I'm trying to give it all the benefit of the doubt. But I'm just not feeling it.

Compared to stuff like Heavenly Creatures, Thelma & Louise, Tootsie, Dancer in the Dark, Cabaret, West Side Story, etc. (i.e. my favorites) this one's just like "eh, whatever, just a movie." I know it's not fair to compare it to those, but I just can't help it.

I do agree however that Ledger was fabulous. Also the music is beautiful. No argument there.

Nick M. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nick M. said...

The Capote love from this particular critic is baffling to me. I don't dislike the film, but one of its flaws is that it marginaliozes Catherine Keener's Harper Lee (and, basically, all of the supporting characters are sacrificed to spotlight Hoffman's portrayal of narcissism). Plus, she ultimately is the one cinematic victim is forced to play the obvious game of "let's-beat-the-subtext-through."

Also, I find the "opinionated lesbian's" approach to critiquing to be rather mypoic. Sure, I agree that Patricia Clarkson's subplot in "Good Night, and Good Luck" was the weakest aspect of the film (the Keenster AND My Patty being subordinated in acclaimed films within the same year -- say it isn't so!). Within her review, however, she seems to have simply counted the amount of lines given to each female actress and gauged her reaction based upon how high that number count is.

I'd hate to find out what she thinks of the female-driven mediocrity that is "North Country."

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