Tuesday, January 27, 2004

Oscar nominations are out. A few random notes:

* City of God was Brazil's Best Foreign Film entry in 2002. It did not get a nomination that year. Several foreign films have been nominated (or won) for BFF in one year and then picked up major nominations in the next, including works by Truffaut, Fellini, and Bergman.

* Right this minute, the most talented member of the extended Coppola clan is...the beleaguered Sofia. Now maybe people will shut up about the movie that wasn't her fault anyway. If she wins, I believe the Coppolas become the second three-generation Oscarwinning family, after the Hustons. In any case, they are probably the most-awarded extended family. In addition to Sofia:

Deceased patriarch Carmine won for the Godfather 2 score,

Francis Ford won for the Godfather films, as well as for the Patton screenplay,

Sister Talia Shire was nominated for Rocky and GF2,

Nephew Nic Cage won for Leaving Las Vegas,

Nothing yet for Jason Schwartzman (Talia's kid), but then there are awards and nominations for assorted ex-spouses David Shire and Spike Jonze.

*I was happy to see Twilight Samurai get a BFF nomination. I saw it at last year's Chicago Film Festival, and I hope it gets a wider release in '04.

*nice to see Errol Morris finally get some love in the Best Documentary category, and I was pleased that the whacked-out Triplets of Belleville got not only a Best Animated nomination, but a Best Song nod as well.

*Sad to see the Best Animated category didn't have enough eligible films (16) to qualify for a full five nominees. Surely 16 animated films throughout the world were made in 2003. With Disney shuttering its hand-drawn animation studio, I fear this is headed for premature extinction.

*Robbed: Scarlett Johansson. ROTK: Whatever. A friend once noted that Best Picture was really Best Project Management, so yeah, what the hell, ROTK it is.

Also, the Razzie nominations are out (and poke around to check out their snazzy new site design). These are getting as safe and predictable as the Emmys. Three parts Hyped Bombs (Gigli, Cat in the Hat). Two parts Good Actors in Questionable Projects (both "worst supporting" categories), one part Publicity Hogs Who Must Now Pay (Kutcher, Bennifer), and a dash of Pile On For Past Sins (Stallone in Spy Kids 3-D). Mix well, serve cold. I'm unimpressed.

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Fun with spam

Dwight, Victoria, and Brian have all blogged about the goofy names in their recent spam. I hadn't had any, and was beginning to feel unloved, until at last some amazing and no-doubt-reputable offers came to me from the likes of:

Yakutsk P. Libs

Quizzing H. Meddlers

Unrolling S. Maxwell

Transcendentalism O. Milch

Pariah L. Joe

I feel better now.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

JPII: a Gibson dupe?

Earlier this winter, the Pope saw a copy of The Passion of the Christ, and reportedly said "it is as it was"

evil hack Peggy Noonan made a big to-do about the quote, but now it turns out the pontiff may not have made this comment at all.

I've been convinced that the alleged controversy over TPOTC was wholly manufactured by Gibson and the film's backers, from the initial screenings only for religious groups and conservative columnists (Noonan included), to the "possibly stolen" (read: leaked by the producers) early screenplay draft (read: probably never even close to what got shot) which drew criticism for being possibly anti-Semitic. The only advance buzz on it I have any respect for is that coming out of Aint it Cool News's annual Butt-Numb-A-Thon, as those viewers are interested in seeing good movies, regardless of religious stripe.

So, if the Vatican denial turns out to be true, we have an interesting situation where Gibson & co. are lying to get butts in the seats for their religious movie. How Christian, Mel.

The Ann B. Davis trash tournament is held annually over MLK weekend in Ann Arbor. For the first time in several years, I skipped it this time around. Instead I hung out most of the weekend at the curling club during our international men's bonspiel, eating and drinking a lot. I won a bottle of Argentinian wine in a raffle. I also got to sub in a game for a team from Ilderton, Ontario. We got killed, but I didn't embarrass myself. That was the main reason I had decided to skip ABD, and I had thought it was a shaky one, but then some other late-breaking events made sticking around more important. On Saturday Nancy was in town with a brief window of availability, so we got to hang out with her and Sue, and exchange belated Christmas gifts. Kirsti was godmother at Karlo's baptism on Sunday.

So that's what I did. I haven't seen any ABD results yet, so I don't know what I may have missed.

Friday, January 16, 2004

dontcha love it when

...self-described "gummint is bad" libertarians who get their panties all in a bunch at the thought of tax dollars going to artists, or putting something in a low-income kid's stomach before school, now get all hard over space programs?

...networks that previously aired Super Bowl anti-drug ads riddled with mistruths now say issue ads are inappropriate for such a telecast?

I know I do. Good times, people.

Thursday, January 8, 2004

just basking in the brilliance

El Armadillo Azul has the best idea I've seen in a long time (scroll to #7).

Tuesday, January 6, 2004

What's all this about Britney marrying Pete Rose?


I continue to gather my thoughts about the year in film, and will have more to say about all that in the future.

But for now, 2003:

Best CD: Electric Version, New Pornographers

Runners-up: Welcome Interstate Managers,Fountains of Wayne, Elephant, White Stripes.

Best Game: Domaine

Best Book Read (not necessarily new): Well, it sure as hell wasn't Moby-Dick. Probably Good Omens or Everything is Illuminated. I am also glad I gave Speaker for the Dead another chance after giving up just one page in a few years back.

Best TV: It had to be the horror...the horror...of watching Corey Feldman sing on The Surreal Life