Monthly Archives: February 2020

The Best Picture Project – Parasite, dir. by Bong Joon Ho (2019)

The Official Poster of Parasite.Directed by Bong Joon-Ho

Screenplay by Bong Joon-Ho, story by Bong Joon Ho and Han Jin-won

Starring Song Kang Ho, Lee Sun-Kyun, Cho Yeo-jeong, Choi Woo-shik, Park So-dam, Lee Jung-eun and Jang Hye-jin

The Oscars sure are an eclectic bunch.[1]   Usually when you describe somebody eclectic it refers to their tastes, specifically to mean varied tastes.  That they like serious drama as much as they like camp.   That they like arty films as much as they like populist films.  That they like John Wayne as much as they like the anti-John Wayne.[2]  Basically, it’s meant to say a person who likes both sweet and savory.

But when applied to the Oscars, the meaning should be more along the lines of having a lack of taste.  Or, rather, a lack of knowing what taste they have.  After all, some years the Best Picture goes to an artier film like Moonlight.  Other years it’s deadly serious films like Spotlight or 12 Years a Salve.  Then in other years still, middle-brow junk masquerading as high art wins the big prize, like Crash and Green Book.[3]  It’s all just so…erratic. Continue reading

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52 Before 62 — #45 The Vikings (1958)

Vikings moviep.jpgDirected by Richard Fleischer

Screenplay by Calder Wilingham and Dale Wasserman, based upon the novel by Edwin Marshall

Starring Kirk Douglas, Tony Curtis, Ernest Borgnine, James Donald, Frank Thring, and Janet Leigh

When Kirk Douglas died a couple weeks ago it was almost literally the final expiration of old-style Hollywood stardom.  That’s what happens, I guess, when you live to 103 — whether you like it or not, your death is literally the end of something.

Douglas made his name in films from the late-1940’s onward, just before the ‘method’ style of acting came into vogue and the traditional notions of who could be, and who could not be, a movie star gave way to a system dominated more by unique faces and character actors.  In other words, the age when guys with a sense of stylization to their acting stopped winning Oscars — see e.g. Laurence Olivier — and guys with a touch of naturalism started winning.  Guys like Ernest Borgnine. Continue reading

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Oscar Ballot 2019

Oscar StatuettesWell, it’s that time of year again for the Oscars, my loyal readers.  That one event we wait for all year.  Like Christmas – second Christmas.  Only without any gifts and double the disappointment.  And while I’m a bit late to turning my ballot in, timeliness means nothing.  It’s not like the Academy actually registers my vote for anything anyway, so who cares if I get my picks out now, or next year.[1]  Still, in the spirit of adding to the discourse and nothing more, here’s my Oscar picks for 2019[2]:

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