Monday, 22 February 2010

The Sunday Salon (on a Monday)


This is because I was working yesterday and too exhausted to blog about anything by the time I came home. :P

I've been in work all day today too but feel guilty towards most of you guys who I'm subscribed to because I lagged behind in checking out your blogs this week and, as a result, came home to 1000+ unread posts on my Google Reader and promptly marked them all as 'Read'.

I'm a devoted follower to most of you, though, so will be checking out the posts I missed the next time you blog. :)


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Today's Sunday Salon is mostly about film! (Don't worry - there's a bit about books at the end! Scroll down if you can't stand the film talk.)

Ta-Da!

Yeah, most of you who have followed me for a while now (and I do love you) will know that this blog isn't just a book blog. I also post about my bigger passion in life - films.

Now, books and films do tend to fight it out over what holds my attention more and where my heart belongs.

I love books. I'm a devoted reader.

But films are my passion. Films are what I'm obsessed with, what I can quote at the drop of a hat, and what I can talk about for hours and hours without getting bored (though the same usually can't be said for the person I'm talking about them too.)

That being said, as a film buff, I can honestly say that I HATE THE OSCARS.

The award season is the vainest, stupidest part of the year for film. All these films that sneak in and get a limited release at the end of the year (to a private audience featuring mostly film critics) are hailed as the greatest thing to hit our screens since celluloid was invented.

I just hate it.

One of the main things I really dislike is that the majority of these films are specifically made for Oscar consideration.

Just like a lot of summer blockbusters are made to pull the audiences in with their dazzling sfx and explosions, these films are always centred around one individual's - usually the underdog - struggle to overcome something fierce in life. They use the epically lame and dramatic music to bring a tear to your eye before you realise that this is Hollywood real, not real real.

When did this kind of thing start happening?

I first really noticed it when The Curious Case of Benjamin Button was released last year. This is based on a book by F. Scott Fitzgerald but was being advertised as the biggest vanity project I'd ever seen.

Constant moving images of soft lensed 'beautiful-looking' Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett, falling in love, were displayed on TV Screens, Billboards, around the internet. Why couldn't this have been released in the summer if it was such an epic tale? Because it wouldn't have had a chance for consideration.

I still haven't watched it, but I've heard that it was quite the disappointment. I'll get around to it, eventually.

My point to this whole Oscar rant is that every year for the past couple of years, I've boycotted the award season. I refuse to watch actors being paraded around like prize ponies, claiming that 'their art' is important. (But clearly not as important as your vintage Chanel shoes, right?)

But then this year, I realised that, as a film buff, I'm missing out on films that might actually have a good reason to be considered.

One of my favourite films of the past couple of years is Juno.

It's so witty and clever and has such a good story - You'd be a fool not to miss it.

But this film garnered its awards too. If I hadn't seen it before the award season started, I might have completely missed it.

This was a small independent film written by a first-time writer and no huge superstars. But it had an incredible story and such a great script.

No-one ever thought this would be in line with some of the bigger Oscar contenders. But it was!

That just goes to show that sometimes the academy use their brain and actually think outside of the box of dozens of films that are being shoved down their throats for consideration during the last couple of weeks of each year.

So ... (Yes, I DO have a point!)

I have decided that this year, being the film geek I am, I am going to set myself a challenge watch every film that has been nominated for the BEST MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR award this year! That way, rather than bitching about the films nominated, I can make a proper decision based on my own opinion of whether or not these are deserving of such an Oh-so-grand accolade.

Woot!

The list is as follows:

1) Avatar (2009)
2) The Blind Side (2009)
3) District 9 (2009)
4) An Education (2009)
5) The Hurt Locker (2009)
6) Inglourious Basterds (2009)
7) Precious (2009)
8) A Serious Man (2009)
9) Up (2009)
10) Up in the Air (2009)

So far, I've seen one of them. I went to see Avatar with my dad the other week. The review will be up soon.

I'm quite excited about this, actually. How many people actually sit and watch the Oscars (I won't actually be watching them this year :P but you get what I mean) having watched all of the nominees?

So my question to you, lovely readers, is:

Have you seen any of the films up for consideration this year? What did you think of them? And which one do you think will win?


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ON THE SUBJECT OF BOOKS . . .

So, I noticed yesterday that I have 49 subscribers. I don't know how many of you still bother to read this blog but that is amazing.

I can't believe people actually want to read the crap I write. :P

So, as a treat to you to show you how grateful I am to you for putting up with me, when my subscriber list hits 50, I'm going to be putting on a mini sort of competition thing to celebrate my vanity. It's really that I'm going to give a couple of you a treat to show you how much I love yous.

It'll probably be a while. We still have to wait for that 50th subscriber but watch this space . . .

Have a good week. x x x  

15 comments:

Amanda said...

You have 49 FOLLOWERS, not subscribers! You can't forget all of us who subscribe by RSS and not by the Google Friending thing. Infact, according to my RSS feed, you have at least 67 subscribers. That doesn't include anyone else subscribing through other feeds that I don't get. Usually a blog will have at least two feeds. Just so you know. :D

ps - 67 is my favorite number, woo-hoo!

pps - I never bother with the Oscars. I don't see the point. I don't even know who's nominated or not...

Magenta said...

Fascinating. Books and movies are my top 2 passions as well, only I like reading just that tiny bit more. Still, I highly appreciate a good film.

I've actually sat through the entire Oscars for the past couple years. Enjoyed them too (though they do tend to go on and on, don't they? =P). I like rooting for the movies I've seen and believe deserve the awards, as well as learning about movies that are apparently of high acclaim.

The only movie I've seen on the nominations list is UP. That was awesome!!! ^_^ I obviously hope it will win. Of course, it does have Avatar to contend with... I can't believe I haven't seen it yet. >,< The Blind Side looks pretty good too.

49 followers, huh? Lucky! ^_^ You haven't even been blogging for a full year! I have, and I only have about 15 followers. Obviously you write a good blog. I've got my eye on you. ^_~

Melody said...

I never bother with the Oscars either. And I watch what I like, period. ;)

Re. your question, I think Avatar has a great chance of winning since it has received a lot of good reviews around the world. I've to admit it was really good, even though I watched it in 2D version.

PS: You should know I love reading your blog, Ceri! :D

Ryan G said...

I love the Oscars and I watch every year, I think it's my gay gene kicking it. I can't help but love the pagentry of it all. I've only seen two of the movie and really liked them both. The Hurt Locker is fantastic and Precious made me cry at least 3 times.

Michelle said...

I hate the Oscars too and usually refuse to watch them. I think every year, the Academy does pick one or two movies that are worthy...and then the popular film wins the big prize anyway.

I had to laugh at your comment on The Curious Case of Benjamin Button because we literally just finished watching it. Having never read the short story, I have no way to compare it to the original, but it was about an hour too long IMO. Seeing a young Brad Pitt again is never a bad thing, even if it is just a bit too fake.

Congratulations on all of your followers! You definitely deserve them all. I love reading your blog, and I know others do too!

Jenny said...

I always watch the Oscars because I like admiring pretty dresses. I've only seen Up and District 9 out of all the nominees for Best Picture this year - I don't know if Up's the best film but I'd love to see an animated film win it.

gnoegnoe said...

LOL I posted my Sunday Salon on Monday too AND it was mostly about film!

I LOVE the Oscar season... Wait! Do readon! ;) It's not for reasons you might expect.

One of our national newspapers organizes an 'Oscar Weekend' each year when the Academy Awards are held. On 1 day you can watch 5 nominated movies... It's fun!

Even better: both last year and the year before (2008) I saw my BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR in this weekend! (respectively Waltz With Bashir and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford). These have become all-time favs as well. And yes, I watched Juno in this context too ;) So I'm very much looking forward to the weekend of the Oscars each year! But only for this reason. Ah, I only have to wait 11 more days... :)

As you might have concluded by now: I think you have gotten yourself a great challenge ;)

Now, about your question... (sorry for the delay LOL): I only saw Inglourious Bastards. Myself, I wouldn't have nominated it for an award. It was fun in a farce sort of way. But as a movie buff you definitely SHOULD see it because it is actually a film about movies!

I haven't seen any of the rest of your list. Yet. I will have in two weeks ;) Except for Avatar, because I have absolutely no mind whatsoever to go see it. I saw the trailer twice (bleeh) and I'll only go if someone pays me a small fortune to do so ;)

Enjoy your project!

Here's the list of movies I watched in 2009.

gnoegnoe said...

LOL I posted my Sunday Salon on Monday too AND it was mostly about film!

I LOVE the Oscar season... Wait! Do readon! ;) It's not for reasons you might expect.

One of our national newspapers organizes an 'Oscar Weekend' each year when the Academy Awards are held. On 1 day you can watch 5 nominated movies... It's fun!

Even better: both last year and the year before (2008) I saw my BEST MOVIE OF THE YEAR in this weekend! (respectively Waltz With Bashir and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford). These have become all-time favs as well. And yes, I watched Juno in this context too ;) So I'm very much looking forward to the weekend of the Oscars each year! But only for this reason. Ah, I only have to wait 11 more days... :)

As you might have concluded by now: I think you have gotten yourself a great challenge ;)

Now, about your question... (sorry for the delay LOL): I only saw Inglourious Bastards. Myself, I wouldn't have nominated it for an award. It was fun in a farce sort of way. But as a movie buff you definitely SHOULD see it because it is actually a film about movies!

I haven't seen any of the rest of your list. Yet. I will have in two weeks ;) Except for Avatar, because I have absolutely no mind whatsoever to go see it. I saw the trailer twice (bleeh) and I'll only go if someone pays me a small fortune to do so ;)

Enjoy your project!

Here's the list of movies I watched in 2009.

gnoegnoe said...

Oops, sorry for the hick-up -- do delete!

Nina said...

I heard so many negative things about The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but still i am curious! :)
Juno I have seen, but didn't found that nice. I just thought it was okay. And about Precious, I really want to read the book first to see the movie.

Daniel Grosvenor said...

Avatar was basically just Pocahontas re-enacted by Smurfs, with some highly overrated 3D effects if you paid an extra £2. It was visually effective, but otherwise nothing special.

District 9 was absolutely bloody fantastic and a brilliant and unexpected success. While I haven't seen the others, I doubt Inglourious was Tarantino's best work. Up is meant to be rather sweet, but the film with the most critical acclaim in that list has to be The Hurt Locker.

Violet said...

I don't follow the Oscars at all except to see which actor and actress won and which film got the best award. I also watch the foreign film category. But in the papers or the highlights.

I like watching Indian film Awards more :)

I have watched the first and 9th movie on your list and liked them both. My husband is a fan of Inglorious.

and yes, I LOVED Juno, I think it's a brilliant movie.

Charlie said...

I haven't been reading your blog long but I subscribed because of the fact that what you write is thought-provoking, and that's definitely been shown again today.

I'm currently writing a long essay on an Indian film and have approached the Oscars in it for the same reason you've spoken of, that some films are made and you know they had the awards in mind. It's a pity that some films are made for that reason and not to provide entertainment.

I'm not bothered by what wins, they need to listen to the public more. I like that it brings attention to little-known films but a critic panel needs support from the public in order to choose because popularity is a major part of success.

readerbuzz said...

It's a happy feeling to think that others are reading and thinking about the things we write!

naida said...

Yes, alot of films that I have never even heard of win the Oscar. And they are only released in limited theaters. I do enjoy watching the Oscars though.

I saw The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and enjoyed it. It wasnt one of my fav films though. I havent seen Juno yet, I want to.
I've heard Avatar was great. I havent seen any on the list.
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