2020 Oscars

9 great movies

A mid-range Oscar night, not as bad as some, not as good as others. Martin Scorsese got blanked, again. Happy that Parasite won big, even though I haven’t yet seen the film, because the director/writer, Bong Joon-ho, looked so joyful. I bet that was a good drinking party afterwords. It might still be going on actually! 

The Nation:

Parasite, the astonishing Korean film about the yawning gap between rich and poor in one of the most advanced economies in the world, made history Sunday night by sweeping the top Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best International Feature. Bong Joon-ho, its innovative director, also took the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay (with Han Jin-won).

“I’m very ready to drink tonight, until the next morning,” Bong declared in true Korean fashion after accepting his first award of the night for his screenplay. South Koreans are exuberant consumers of alcohol, a habit that makes for raucous social interactions but also reflects the anxieties and stress of a country divided by class and split along national lines.

But on this occasion, Bong’s desire to crack open a beer—or, more likely, a bottle of soju—was a cry of unmistakable joy. “We never write to represent our country, but this is very personal to South Korea,” he said while accepting his award for best screenplay.

The awards capped a remarkable night for Bong, who is now the leading light of the century-old Korean film industry. And it was a triumph for the incredible cast of actors—led by the beloved Song Kang-ho—who transformed Bong’s story of class conflict in high-tech South Korea into a remarkable window into the human condition in the 21st century.


(click here to continue reading The ‘Parasite’ Oscar Sweep Is a Triumph for South Korean Culture | The Nation.)

Also enjoyed Brad Pitt’s dig at the show-trial in the Trump Impeachment saga…


During his speech, Pitt also got political, calling out the Trump impeachment trial for blocking the testimony of former national security adviser John Bolton.

“They told me I only have 45 seconds up here, which is 45 seconds more than the Senate gave John Bolton this week,” he said on stage. “I’m thinking maybe Quentin does a movie about it — in the end, the adults do the right thing.”


(click here to continue reading Brad Pitt Wins Oscar, Calls Out Trump Impeachment Trial – Variety.)

Don’t understand why Eminem performed a song that was a hit like 20 years ago, but  ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ 

USA Today:

The rapper, 47, surprised by turning up at the awards show at Los Angeles’ Dolby Theatre on Sunday to perform his track “Lose Yourself” – earning a slew of reactions from celebs in the audience and fans watching at home.

The 2002 track was featured in the film “8 Mile” and won an Oscar for best original song the following year. Eminem skipped the awards show and missed out on performing it at the time.

On Twitter, he partially quoted the lyrics of the song following the head-turning performance that left some fans wondering why he was on the Oscars stage.

“Look, if you had another shot, another opportunity… Thanks for having me @TheAcademy. Sorry it took me 18 years to get here,” he tweeted with a video clip of Barbra Streisand presenting the award years ago.


(click here to continue reading Oscars 2020: Eminem ‘Lose Yourself’ performance shocks, confuses.)

I’ll tell you what’s funny (to me)

Truth and Mister Rogers

Truth and Mister Rogers

Earlier today…

To quote the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (one of my favorite online resources): “Almost every major figure in the history of philosophy has proposed a theory, but after 2,500 years of discussion there has been little consensus about what constitutes humor.”…Considering what we know about MacFarlane’s politics – he’s a liberal, an Obama donor, a supporter of LGBT rights, etc. — it’s unlikely that he actually intended to come off as a sexist boor who was belittling women. Indeed, it’s possible he intended quite the opposite – but as any grad student in literary theory could tell you, artistic intention isn’t that important. His shtick was fundamentally confusing: What kind of comedy was the boob song – juvenile and sexist mockery, or institutional parody? Or both at once? And who was its intended target? Worst of all, the confusion evidently struck many viewers, especially women, as profoundly unfunny.

I’ll tell you what’s funny (to me)

Oscars 2010

A few top-of-mind thoughts re: the 2010 Oscars

  • What the frak was Sean Penn babbling about? Said something like, “I’m not a member of the Academy, and don’t agree on the best actress nominations.” So vague as to be incomprehensible, why bother? And if he is not a member of the Academy, why was he chosen to present one of the most prestigious awards? (Best Actress)
  • Cringeworthy interpretative dance number involving jazz hands and break dancing to Oscar scores, especially the Hurt Locker theme. 95% of the Best Score nominations are instantly forgettable anyway, but why not show film clips for context instead of Up With People, or whatever that was?
  • Elinor Burkett interrupting Roger Ross Williams after he won Best Documentary Short for Music by Prudence, there’s a lawsuit between the two, why was she allowed to speak and not the actual winner?
  • Horror film montage was a waste of time. What exactly qualified a film as being a horror film? Marathon Man was included, for instance, by what measure is that film in the horror genre? Such a random montage without meaning or depth.
  • Sycophantic introduction of Best Actor and Best Actress by some other Hollywood luminary. A few were heartfelt, but most triggered rolled eyes in my viewing audience.
  • Did Kathryn Bigelow win Best Director because she was a woman? or because she was the best director? Seriously, why was her gender hyped so much? Am glad that Avatar didn’t win1 but did The Hurt Locker win on merit or on quota?
  • Why a closeup of some random African American each time Precious won an award? Morgan Freeman and Samuel Jackson had absolutely nothing to do with Precious, why look for their expression?
  • Sandra Bollock’s The Blind Side, which I have not seen, appears to be a little racially skeezy, plus is about football. I doubt I’ll ever sit through it, should I? Her acceptance speech was ok though.
  • Jeff Bridges, on the other hand, should have thought a bit about his speech because it was a mess. I’m happy he finally won an Oscar, and Crazy Heart looks interesting, so it goes. I mean, groovy, man.

Whatever, I watch the damn things every year, despite how frequently lame both the winners and the ceremony are.

youTubery of Sean Penn announcing something or other: httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ztfG_ltWwNw

A few other points from various other, more astute critics:

Hamish Hamilton making the wrong choice at virtually every turn.

He gave us long shots when we needed something more intimate (for instance, when all the John Hughes movie alums first came on stage at the end of the Hughes tribute), random and confused edits, terrible choices on who to cut to in the audience (anytime “Precious” won, we of course had to see every notable African-American person in attendance, and after spending half the show cutting randomly to a surly George Clooney, nobody could bother when Sandra Bullock told a joke at his expense in her acceptance speech), etc., etc. After everyone screamed bloody murder about the framing of last year’s In Memoriam segment, which focused more on Queen Latifah than the images of the movie people who died, what excuse was there to make the exact same mistake for the first few entries in this year’s montage? (Unless you were squinting, you may not have even realized Patrick Swayze led things off.) And after giving us shot after shot after shot of former spouses/collaborators Kathryn Bigelow and James Cameron every time one of “The Hurt Locker” or “Avatar” won, how in the world did Hamilton fail to show us their interaction when Bigelow beat Cameron for Best Director?

[Click to continue reading What’s Alan Watching?: Oscars 2010: Can’t anybody here make a good TV show?]

Salon explains the on-stage feud re Music by Prudence, and interviews both sides:

[Elinor Burkett] claims she found the movie’s story, that she brought it to you.

[Roger Ross] WILLIAMS: No, not at all. The truth is that she saw the band perform [in Zimbabwe], and told me about that, and then I opened up a dialogue with the [King George VI School & Centre for Children with Physical Disabilities] school and went on my own – which you would’ve heard about in my speech — and spent $6,000 going to Africa shooting myself. And when people expressed interest in the film, I asked her to come on board. And then I regretted that decision. Then she sued.

[Click to continue reading The story behind Oscar’s “Kanye moment” – Oscar Nominations, Academy Awards 2010 – Salon.com]

  1. even though I’ll probably eventually see it. Though maybe not, I’ve still never seen Titanic, Cameron’s other blockbuster smash []