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The Oscars
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 11:09 pm    Post subject: The Dishearteningly Safe 2017 Oscars Reply with quote


The New Yorker
The Dishearteningly Safe 2017 Oscars
By Richard Brody
Feb. 27, 2017, 03:01 A.M.

The little mishap at the end—when “La La Land” was briefly crowned
Best Picture, before the mistake was caught and “Moonlight” received
the award—was a welcome touch of spontaneity in an Oscars ceremony so
dishearteningly competent and mega-managed that even the calculated
improvisation of bringing in tourists for an Oscars surprise party offered
the nauseous wheedling of a game show. No slam on Jimmy Kimmel, who stayed
alert to the action, but he always seemed to be well within the game plan,
and never got anywhere near the show’s limits. The Oscars have long been
on their best behavior, tamped down and buttoned up, and everyone wonders
why the viewership is down. It’s not because the highest-grossing movies
don’t get nominations; it’s because the Oscars ceremony brings the
world’s brightest stars together and doesn’t let them do a damn thing.
It’s as if, instead of the Kentucky Derby, viewers were urged to enjoy
the spectacle of thoroughbreds harnessed as dray horses.

It’s unfortunate that the spectacular mistake at the end of the evening
momentarily upstaged the movie that won, “Moonlight,” one of the best Best
Pictures ever, an award that reflects its own glory on the Academy—but the
slipup has as little actual effect on the film’s victory as the Chicago Daily
Tribune’s mistaken headline did on Harry S. Truman’s Presidency. I’m
delighted that “Moonlight” won, though astonished that Damien Chazelle won
Best Director over Barry Jenkins. But I am, above all, surprised that, in a
time of outrage, so many of the speeches were business as usual.

Kimmel’s monologue hit some forceful, comedic political notes, as in his
greeting of Isabelle Huppert (“I’m glad Homeland Security let you in”)
and, especially, in his extended riff on the “highly overrated Meryl
Streep,” which he followed up by asking her, “Nice dress, by the way—is
that an Ivanka?” But, upon hearing the monologue, I also wondered whether,
instead of setting the tone for the evening, Kimmel wasn’t defusing
it—whether he wasn’t letting off the collective steam in the hope and
expectation that the rest of the evening would prove lukewarm. And that’s,
for the most part, what happened.

The prepared statement by Best Foreign Language Film winner Asghar Farhadi,
delivered by the Iranian-American engineer Anousheh Ansari, was a forceful
denunciation of “the inhumane law that bans entry of immigrants to the
U.S.,” and of the enmity that could serve as “a deceitful justification for
aggression and war.” Gael García Bernal spoke out against the planned wall
on the border with Mexico, and Ezra Edelman, who directed the Best Documentary
Feature, “O.J.: Made in America,” spoke of “victims of police violence,
police brutality, racially motivated violence, and criminal injustice.” Barry
Jenkins spoke sublimely of the Academy and the A.C.L.U. together; Tarell Alvin
McCraney spoke of “two boys from Liberty City, up here on this stage
representing 305”; and Viola Davis’s passionate speech paid pointed tribute
to the political implications of the dramatic art that can “exhume those
bodies, exhume those stories.”

Kimmel even goaded the President on Twitter, with the screen of a cell phone
projected high above him, but, by and large, the evening was one of
professional graciousness and stifled outrage. While the new Administration has
been going lower than anyone could have imagined, Hollywood went suavely and
glamorously high. A strange spectre haunted the evening—the fear that
Hollywood could actually become a conspicuous target of the regime.

One of the great peculiarities of the movie system is that liberal Hollywood
provides the entertainment for blue and red viewers alike. Fox News may spew
propaganda for the Republican Party and other right-wing politicos, but many of
the movies that Fox, as a studio, distributes are as liberal as any—“Hidden
Figures,” for instance—and Fox Searchlight released “The Birth of a
Nation” and “A United Kingdom.” There isn’t a cinematic Breitbart that
has made any significant inroads in the business. And that’s the way
Hollywood doubtless wants to keep it; the evening’s caution appeared designed
to suppress calls for boycotts, to dispel anyone’s urge to launch an
alternative Conserva-wood.

Far be it from me to advise anyone on how to express his or her political
indignation. The best thing that the best artists of the time, such as Jenkins
and Kenneth Lonergan—who won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay, for
“Manchester by the Sea”—can do is to go on making movies. The very nature
of public life—for that matter, of social life—is not saying everything
that’s on one’s mind. The gracious falsehoods of which the Oscars speeches
of other years are built appear to repress mainly personal passions and
enmities. This year, even as seen on TV, the theatre felt supercharged with
just and righteous anger that seemed ready to burst forth in mighty
thunderbolts of apt invective. I can readily understand why they remained
largely undischarged. But it’s worth recalling what Freud said about
mistakes—that they conceal unexpressed and repressed desires. This year’s
Oscars concluded with the most spectacular Freudian slip in its history.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:27 am    Post subject: When Hollywood screws up, it turns out better... Reply with quote

So true , lately this annual gathering of the Hollywood film industry is so politically correct that I wonder if they truly can judge the artistic value of a film. Luckily it was not always like this and they have recognized great filmmakers like , Coppola ,Spielberg, Hitchcock, Ford. Now, I won't judge the two films, "Moonlight" and "La La Land . as I did not see them .


When Hollywood screws up, somehow it turns out better than when America does.
“Moonlight” wasn’t supposed to win the 89th Academy Awards’ best picture Oscar, and was actually told that it didn’t at Sunday night’s ceremony.

But then we were told that it did. And in a politically poisonous season following two years’ worth of perceived academy racism, the poetic little film about the gay black kid prevailed. Prevailed against racism and homophobia, if you like. Prevailed against the academy’s traditional inability to appreciate the most artistically accomplished of its best picture nominees, to be sure. Prevailed against whatever caused the initial mistake.

Whatever. It was all kind of glorious in its sweet, screw-up humanity.

I’m guessing some on the “Politically Correct”-shouting-and-hating end of the spectrum are hatching their conspiracy theories while I write this. But while it might just be me, what I expected to be the most politicized Oscar show of them all didn’t seem all that unusually partisan, preachy or screechy. I mean, blue ACLU ribbons? Host Jimmy Kimmel tweeting at Donald Trump? Don’t hit too hard, people.

The awards themselves, however, spoke somewhat more eloquently to the embattled values of inclusion and diversity most of liberal Hollywood holds dear. Not only did the all-black film take the top prize, but after two straight years of #OscarsSoWhite, both supporting acting awards went to African Americans at the top of their games, “Fences’” Viola Davis and “Moonlight’s” Mahershala Ali. White folks still nailed the top performing prizes — nobody ever accused Hollywood of practicing what it preaches — but, and I’m not being all that sarcastic here, there’s also something kind of inclusive about handing performing Oscars to a good actress like Emma Stone who can’t sing or dance that well and to, well, an Affleck.
“Moonlight’s” adapted screenplay-winning writers certainly said what needed to be said, as their beautiful movie, which would have won more than three awards if the Oscars were really about art, so poetically did.

I guess not giving every dang statue they could to “La La Land” and spreading the wealth — sometimes to a fault — among 10-plus different feature films was also a nice example of diversity.

A night-topping six prizes out of 14 nominations, including director for the youngest-ever winner Damien Chazelle, seem about right for that very artfully done, very Hollywood-pandering, not entirely escapist musical. We’ve all got bigger things on our minds right now, but “La La” proved that “mindless” and “entertainment” need not always go together like Fred and Ginger. And talk about gracious losers; sometimes movie people really do set an example for the world.

Bringing the real hidden figure and true NASA hero Katherine Johnson onstage was certainly predictable, but was so for all the most positive reasons. The feature documentary winner that followed, “O.J.: Made in America,” was of course another inspiring choice, socially speaking. That it was essentially a long-form television production hints that maybe the theatrical-bound academy is grudgingly acknowledging that the barriers that guard movies from other forms of filmed storytelling are crumbling as surely as our quaint notions of the Constitution.

Most any of the documentary short subject nominees would’ve been politically correct, but winner “The White Helmets” — some of the participants of which got caught in the Muslim ban — sent the strongest message. Hopefully it was received in spite of the category’s modest nature.

There was foreign language film Oscar-winning director, Asghar Farhadi’s, letter read from the stage as to why he wouldn’t come to our Muslim-banning country’s showbiz self-love fest. The “Zootopia” animated feature winners said yay for tolerance, but they would have any other year, wouldn’t they?

Kimmel bringing those unsuspecting tour bus riders into the Dolby was either a nice act of populism or kind of condescending, probably both. Still, that couple from Chicago made it the most fun moment of the night.

Some of the awards had that kind of “what were they intending?” vibe too. While the statuettes that went to “Suicide Squad” and “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” may or may not have been deserved in their respective makeup and costume categories, they felt like Oscar saying, “Yes, this thing is so inclusive now, even bad movies get prizes.”

And with two Oscars going to “Hacksaw Ridge,” is Mel Gibson a sure thing to direct that “Suicide Squad” sequel now? And win still more Oscars! I joke, sorta, but if Hollywood is this forgiving, Trump might still have a chance at a future Emmy.

In the end, that progressive and faux Kimmel nemesis Matt Damon got dissed more than Trump on Sunday night. So I guess all those conservatives who boycotted watching the lefty Oscars missed out on all the fun.

And yeah, it was fun. Candy, cookies and doughnuts. Embarrassing yet exhilarating finish. What Hollywood does best, and that was fine in these disheartening times.

Next year, though, I expect the Oscars to really let ’em have it.
Roule, tambour d'Arcole!!
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 14, 2017 12:50 am    Post subject: La La Land Reply with quote

I saw it in a neighborhood theater and all I can say is that it was heavy with boredom. sleep
Music Un champ de blé prenait racine Sous la coiffe de Bécassine Music Georges Brassens song https://youtu.be/uBGU0GXoYAI Music
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