Thursday, January 25, 2007

I still haven't seen "Babel" with supporting actress nominee Rinko Kikuchi. The Oscar buzz is

"Will the long-overlooked Martin Scorsese finally win his Oscar this year? The nominations bring us a reprise of yet another faceoff between two great veteran directors, Clint Eastwood, who gets better as the years go by, whose "Letters From Iwo Jima" was nominated for best picture, director and original screenplay, and Scorsese, whose "The Departed" was nominated for best picture, director and adapted screenplay." --Roger Ebert

"Little Miss Sunshine" would fall apart like a house of cards without Alan Arkin's outstanding performance. Otherwise, it's not Oscar-worthy. I doubt I'll see Eastwood's latest. There's an element of what he does that reminds me of Ron Howard's films. I don't need everything tied up like a neat little package for me and I know life is sad. Eastwood is too literal-minded for me. He's not making magic or myth. Scorsese does this routinely. In fact I think he subconsciously has attempted the blockbuster against his better judgment a time or two (think "Casino," blech). By the way, I love Cate Blanchett.

David Lynch will be downtown tomorrow pushing his new book and I'll probably head down to catch a glimpse of him. My favorite directors, tho, will always be Fellini, Truffaut, Godard, Kurosawa, and yes, George Lucas. I remember when I saw "Star Wars" for the first time and walked out into the parking lot afterward--it made me look up at the sky and really think differently for a moment about the possibilities. There hasn't been too many films that have made me really step back for a minute in awe. "Citizen Kane" grew on me slowly, but it is the most amazing film America has produced I think. "The Wizard of Oz" is legendary for its mythmaking iconography. Did I mention that I love Cate Blanchett? "Rebel Without a Cause" is a case study in teenage isolation. There's a unique quality to James Dean's performance because he isn't really acting. I think Sofia Coppola may be the director to watch in the near future. "Lost in Translation" is eminently watchable. And now that Woody Allen is MIA, who's going to define our particular brand of American neurosis? The Coen brothers have taken shots at it, but some of their attempts, although hilarious, (Lebowski, Raising Arizona) are a bit like cartoons on a certain level. Hands down, the worst director is still Paul Verhoeven...I'm still chuckling that someone had the idea to put out a "V.I.P. Edition" of "Showgirls."

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