This week got off to a good start. We went to a screening of ACT OF VALOR and were blown away! This film is really something refreshingly new. It has elements of every war movie you’ve ever seen however, the directors, Mike McCoy and Scott Waugh, have constructed a suspenseful and touching story out of the very real, working parts of international espionage and military actions. All the action sequences were shot during real training maneuvers and they used real life, active duty Navy Seals to enact the storyline. They were clearly not ‘actors’ but they gave credible performances that infused the film with a fresh, natural immediacy. It’s difficult to imagine how this film will be received outside the lower 48, but from here, it met its own challenge of solid storytelling with an innovative approach to film making.
At last, the award season is over and there is a general sigh of relief and exhaustion. Its easy to be cynical about The Academy Awards. Maintaining such a venerable Institution in the entertainment business is bound to elicit groans and ridicule from a naturally critical audience. There will always be the shock of which pictures they choose to nominate and who actually wins. It is a political, insider game and everybody knows it, but because it is entertainment, its seen as an innocent enough parody of our times. Safe, hackneyed and star-struck, the Oscars both reflect and absorb the aspirations of millions to achieve excellence in what they do, and for that it can’t, or shouldn’t really be faulted.
I just don’t understand why THE ARTIST won for Best Musical Score. Practically the whole second half of the film was just lifted, note for note, from Bernard Herrmann’s score for Alfred Hitchcock’s VERTIGO. Kim Novak, Hitch’s inscrutable blond star of VERTIGO, one of his most perfect films, blasted the producers of THE ARTIST writing, “This film could and should have been able to stand on its own without depending upon Bernard Herrmann’s score… to provide it more drama.” and calling “shame” upon them for its appropriation. The director, Michel Hazanavicius, issued a mild, soft-spoken response to her accusation, for whatever that was worth, but the score didn’t deserve the attention such an award affords when there was far better, more deserving original work to choose from, for example Alberto Iglesias s flawless score for TINKER, TAILOR, SOLDIER, SPY.
With the end of the award season, we move from a dry period of new film releases at the opening of the year, into the monsoon season leading up to the summer blockbusters. With an average of 500 films released out of Hollywood each year, that puts us already behind schedule. Easily half of them are hardly worth watching, granted, but that still leaves a lot of movies to fit into the schedule.
In addition to ACT OF VALOR, this week we had MIRROR, MIRROR, the new retelling
of Snow White with Julia Roberts, Lily Collins and Armie Hammer, which was just what it set out to be, a fairytale for kids that their parents could bare to sit through, and THE HUNGER GAMES, which, due to a reporting embargo I can’t say anything about except, perhaps, THE HUNGER GAMES, enough said!
This weekend is the Los Angeles Turkish Film Festival, which is being featured at the venerable Hollywood movie palace, Grauman’s Egyptian Theatre. More on that later….
..oh! did I mention THE HUNGER GAMES?
That’s it for now, every day brings a new adventure so ’till then, See ya’,
salam alikum!, iyi aksamlar!
kkurman on photographs installed at Attun… Zada Clarke on photographs installed at Attun… kkurman on Robert Armstrong and Sylvia By… kkurman on Egypt’s Lost Dynasty… Mike Grover on Egypt’s Lost Dynasty…