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Author Topic: Crash worst film ever to win best picture?
josh
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posted 07 March 2006 08:24 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:

Some are calling it a “Crash-lash.”

Since Paul Haggis’s film about race relations won the best-picture Oscar over front-runner Brokeback Mountain, reaction has been swift and vitriolic.

. . . .

“This is the worst best picture winner since The Greatest Show on Earth in 1952. It may be worse than that. Greatest Show was a dull, bloated romance set against the backdrop of a three-ring circus but at least it didn’t pretend to be important. Crash thinks it’s important. Crash thinks it’s saying something bold about racism in America.”

. . . .

“Last night’s choice for best picture of the year was very hard for me to accept. Crash is not a film even worth seeing. It is so over the top with its dialogue and caricatures passing off as characters that it amazes me people could get drawn into such conjecture.”

. . . .

“It was the L.A. self-portrait thing. It got people where they lived. Voters had a visceral reaction to the film,” said Johnson, pointing out that a character in the film is returning home from an awards ceremony when he’s pulled over by police.

Pop-culture watcher Murray Pomerance, who teaches at Ryerson University in Toronto, suggested the public is angry because “Crash is not an incredible film.”

“It’s a competent film. But politically and intellectually it’s full of holes ... The script was underwhelming,” said Pomerance, the author of several film-related books.


http://lfpress.ca/newsstand/Today/2006/03/07/1477109.html


From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 07 March 2006 08:30 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
A blogger at The Nation weighed in to like effect:

Crash: Worst Movie of the Year

quote:
As a film studies major I've been trained to sit through any cinematic experience -- from Andy Warhol's 8-hour long Empire (yes, 8 consecutive hours of the Empire State Building in real time) to Derek Jarman's Blue (an hour plus of an unchanging blue screen dramatizing Jarman's AIDS-related blindness) -- and never abandon ship (incidentally I loved both films). It took all this training and more to endure this year's Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Crash, which I saw this summer in, alas, its entirety. I've already written about how I'm not a huge fan of Brokeback Mountain, the other Oscar contender, but it's definitely a better film than Crash, which I would have walked out on had it not been for my stalwart companions.

From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 07 March 2006 08:44 PM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Well, I liked it!
From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
'lance
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posted 07 March 2006 08:48 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Haven't seen it, myself, so I'm not siding with either the critics or the defenders of the picture.

But often these debates are interesting, and sometimes more entertaining, to observers, than the pictures themselves. Blue Velvet, I recall, was a movie that seemed to make people take sides. In fact I can remember people getting into near-violent arguments about it.

[ 07 March 2006: Message edited by: 'lance ]


From: that enchanted place on the top of the Forest | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
retread
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posted 07 March 2006 10:21 PM      Profile for retread     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The most interesting part of the debate is the pretence that there's some universal standard that movies can be judged by ... "A is better than B is better than C" etc. In the end it always means "I like A better than B better than C".

Got to admit that I thought all of this years Oscar finalists were technically competent bores that I'd never want to watch a second time. Maybe the Academy thought the same and just rolled a dice to determine the winner?


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Sineed
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posted 07 March 2006 10:44 PM      Profile for Sineed     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The criticisms of Crash seemed to focus on its politics rather than its quality as a movie. This attitude was summarized nicely by one blogger:
quote:
In the end, the film paints racism as a postmodern malaise where conflict happens because we don't touch each other except when we crash. That's bullshit. Racism is structural and institutional more than it is personal and sentimental.
Or how about Adam Felber's blog:
quote:
Best Picture: “Crash”
This surprised a lot of people who thought that the Best Picture award should go to a really great movie, but the Academy was right on. Before I saw “Crash,” I wasn’t sure that racism was necessarily a bad thing. “Crash” changed my mind. Racism is bad. People should be nice to people, and they shouldn’t judge them based on their race, or bad things can happen. Now you know.

[ 07 March 2006: Message edited by: Sineed ]


From: # 668 - neighbour of the beast | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Section 49
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posted 07 March 2006 11:57 PM      Profile for Section 49     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This site offers a list of some Best Picture winners that were perhaps undeserving of the award. Interestingly, it also lists some of the films that were arguably robbed.

Looking at the list, I'd have to say that Crash is at least a better film than Titanic (1997), Shakespeare in Love (1998), and Gladiator (2000), and so not the worst film ever to win best picture.

[ 07 March 2006: Message edited by: Section 49 ]


From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cartman
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posted 08 March 2006 12:05 AM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Haven't seen it, myself, so I'm not siding with either the critics or the defenders of the picture.
Well, all I can say to the unduly harsh movie experts here at babble is that this movie clearly won an award for a reason. Personally, I store it in my DVD collection alongside such moving and dramatic films as Pauly Shore's "Bio-Dome", Kelly Clarkson's "From Justin to Kelly", "Glitter" and "Friday 13th (part 24): Jason vs the Neo-Conservative Zombies in the Really Bad Aftermath of Peak Oil". In case you haven't noticed, I think this movie really sucked and I wasn't even expecting much. Tell ya what, I stepped in a puddle today that was deeper than the plot of THIS movie...on the fourth floor of an enclosed parkade! The writers thought that if they scrambled the plot a little with a few flashbacks, they could totally blow the minds of their incredibly sharp viewers. Whatever, the only people that didn't predict the end of this movie thought that there would only be six killings in the movie "Seven". They were the same people who complained to HBO about possible gay themes in "Queer as Folk". I have it on good authority that these people thought Brad Pitt's "Snatch" was a porno flick.

Tell ya what. Send me your address and I will GIVE you my Crash DVD. I will even include the shipping. I'm off to watch "3 Ninjas: High Noon at Mega Mountain. I hear it is pretty good.

All apologies for my subtle sarcasm.


From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
deBeauxOs
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posted 08 March 2006 12:25 AM      Profile for deBeauxOs     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
posted by Cartman: ... All apologies for my subtle sarcasm.
But say, do tell us - did you really, really hate it or are you just angry that Brokeback Mountain did not win?

I enjoyed it when it came out and found it quite moving. It is quite evocative of Robert Altman's work - which some people do not like at all, but that I have found for the most part, an effective way of story-telling, when approaching complex themes.

But really - this film is not worse than Forrest Gump, Ordinary People or Braveheart!

[ 08 March 2006: Message edited by: deBeauxOs ]


From: missing in action | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 08 March 2006 12:49 AM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
For those who don't know what they are, or simply missed them, this year's Razzles made some interesting awards. What got my attention was the description of the decrepitude, as it were.

quote:
Dirty Love clings to the gutter like a rat in garbage,” said New York Times
film critic Stephen Holden in his review. ...
Worst actor went to Rob Schneider for Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo and
Canadian Hayden Christensen grabbed worst supporting actor in his role as
Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Christensen was ridiculed for playing “Darth Vader as a Back Street Boy gone bad.”

"...clings to the gutter like a rat in garbage." < snerk > The reviews had more artistic merit than the films. That's where artists like David Bowie are wrong. A good critic is an artist in their own right.

the razzies 2006 results

quote:
* Worst Picture: Dirty Love
* Worst Actor: Rob Schneider (Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo)
* Worst Actress: Jenny McCarthy (Dirty Love)
* Worst Supporting Actor: Hayden Christensen (Star Wars III)
* Worst Supporting Actress: Paris Hilton (House Of Whacks)
* Worst Screen Couple: Will Ferrell and Nicole Kidman (Bewitched)
* Worst Remake Or Sequel: Son Of The Mask
* Worst Screenplay: Dirty Love (Jenny McCarthy)
* Worst Director: John Asher (Dirty Love)
* Most Tiresome Tabloid Targets: (new category, saluting the celebs we're all sick and tired of!) Tom Cruise, Katie Holmes (together also known as Tomkat), Oprah Winfrey's couch, The Eiffel Tower, and "Tom's Baby". ®

[ 08 March 2006: Message edited by: N.Beltov ]


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
glacier76
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posted 08 March 2006 02:00 AM      Profile for glacier76     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Looking at the list, I'd have to say that Crash is at least a better film than Titanic (1997), Shakespeare in Love (1998), and Gladiator (2000), and so not the worst film ever to win best picture.

At least Titanic, SIL and Gladiator had strong box office, strong critical notices, and won several precursor awards.

Crash had none of this.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Albireo
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posted 08 March 2006 02:16 AM      Profile for Albireo     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I haven't even seen Crash, but it has to be better than Titanic.

Haiku about the last hour of Titanic

Much rushing water.
Gotta go to the bathroom.
Can't contain large Coke.


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Hephaestion
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posted 08 March 2006 02:27 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The last scene in Titanic that you never got to see...


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TheStudent
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posted 08 March 2006 03:15 AM      Profile for TheStudent        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Good to see the number of people who agree with me that Crash was the worst picture by far to be nominated for antyhing at the Oscars this year. I went to see that movie and it was an unadulterated piece of crap. The characters were shallow and unidimensional and I didn't care about their pathetic little lives. The only actor in the movie that I thought did a decent job was actually Ryan Phillippe. And yes, I am also bitter that Brokeback Mountain didn't win, but I am angrier because Crash did win. Honestly. Any of the other nominated movies would have been a better choice. Capote was excellent, as was Good Night and Good Luck. The Academy has clearly lost its collective mind.
From: Re-instate Audra Now! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
$1000 Wedding
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posted 08 March 2006 05:15 AM      Profile for $1000 Wedding        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
That someone can be awarded Best Director and not also win best picture is a freakish outcome. How can one win without the other? It's happened before. "Shakespeare in Love" won Best Picture while Spielberg won for Best Director of "Saving Private Ryan". I think Spielberg is a grotesquely overrated director who spends far too much money on his films, but that's another thread. I think he campaigned so hard that year he spoiled and skewed the voting.

But, "Crash" is far worse a picture than "Saving Ryan". It didn't wiin anywhere near the critical acclaim of Brokeback. I thought it was a pretty superficial story populated by shallow characters with neat and tidy racist attitudes to suit the plot. And it was far too neatly concluded. But, it's LA and like Larry McMurty said it beat his film Brokeback because the Academy is filled with LA residents with more empathy for LA than Wyoming. Crash is the LA, Hollywood elites' sanitized and simple expose of their racial problems. But, it tries too hard to be controversial and ends up looking contrived.

Oh well. No one said voting was fair, but I didn't think it would be that unfair.


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Thrasymachus
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posted 08 March 2006 08:21 AM      Profile for Thrasymachus     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
What I 've noticed about people who didn't like Crash is that they didn't realize that the movie has less to do with racism than it does with redemption and empathy. Regardless, I am glad that a movie won based on its perceived quality. Clearly, Crash did not have big Hollywood money behind it, was released early and it still managed to win. That's very refreshing to me.

The fact that this movie is generating such postive and negative responses and is clearly challenging people simply demonstrates to me that this movie is a very effective piece of art.


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Boom Boom
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posted 08 March 2006 08:30 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The first time I saw Crash I though 'holy cow! this thing is brutal". Then I saw it a second time (on TMN.ca) and I could be more thoughtful about it. Yes, it was still brutal, but it made me think, we don't have to be this way.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 08 March 2006 09:44 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:

Looking at the list, I'd have to say that Crash is at least a better film than Titanic (1997), Shakespeare in Love (1998), and Gladiator (2000), and so not the worst film ever to win best picture.

I wasn't wild about the other two, but in no way shape or form is Crash better than Shakespeare in Love. The latter was a great look into the artistic process and the audience's reaction to Romeo and Juliet in the film is quite moving. it was well-deserving of the award.

I agree that Forrest Gump is a film that had no business winning best picture. It was as light and superficial as that feather that kept floating around. But I would still consider it a better film than Crash.


From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
Cartman
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posted 08 March 2006 09:57 AM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by deBeauxOs:
But say, do tell us - did you really, really hate it or are you just angry that Brokeback Mountain did not win?
[ 08 March 2006: Message edited by: deBeauxOs ]

I have not even watched Brokeback yet so I am not sure if it is any good. I just thought Crash was terrible. At best, I figured it to be a B movie. Then, people I knew were talking about it being so deep and complex. I cried at the end though...after I thought about the money I wasted on this piece of crap. Perhaps this is more indicative of the state of movies than anything else. Sean Connery has said something to the effect that any idiot can create a movie these days and I think he may be correct.

From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Michelle
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posted 08 March 2006 09:58 AM      Profile for Michelle   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
* Worst Supporting Actress: Paris Hilton (House Of Whacks)

Oh man. I don't think I even want to know what that film was about. Sounds like a porn title!


From: I've got a fever, and the only prescription is more cowbell. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cartman
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posted 08 March 2006 10:00 AM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Michelle:

Oh man. I don't think I even want to know what that film was about. Sounds like a porn title!



snerk

From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Section 49
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posted 08 March 2006 10:14 AM      Profile for Section 49     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Not that I have encyclopaedic of Ms Hilton's oeuvre, but isn't the title to that movie "House of Wax"?

Or am I just missing the joke?


From: Toronto | Registered: Oct 2002  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 08 March 2006 11:09 AM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
As a film studies major I've been trained to sit through any cinematic experience -- from Andy Warhol's 8-hour long Empire (yes, 8 consecutive hours of the Empire State Building in real time) to Derek Jarman's Blue (an hour plus of an unchanging blue screen dramatizing Jarman's AIDS-related blindness) -- and never abandon ship (incidentally I loved both films). It took all this training and more to endure this year's Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Crash, which I saw this summer in, alas, its entirety. I've already written about how I'm not a huge fan of Brokeback Mountain, the other Oscar contender, but it's definitely a better film than Crash, which I would have walked out on had it not been for my stalwart companions.

I haven't seen Crash, so I'm rather ambivalent on the whole thing. The Oscars is largely a stroke-fest anyway, where Hollywood congratulates itself for existing. Nonetheless, I'm going to go out on a limb and predict this: I probably wouldn't like the same films as the critic quoted above.

The only oscar nominated films I even saw last year were Good Night and Good Luck and Walk the Line. I liked them both, probably because they were far different an experience than watching the Empire State Building in real time for eight hours straight.


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 08 March 2006 11:26 AM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Briguy:
I haven't seen Crash, so I'm rather ambivalent on the whole thing. The Oscars is largely a stroke-fest anyway, where Hollywood congratulates itself for existing.

You see, when I don't like an Oscar win (still think History of Violence should've gotten a nod for something like director) I say this . When I like the win I still say it - but I say it with less vitrol and anger that Hollywood causes awesome indie films to be buried (anyone really watch Peter Jackson's old stuff in his pre-LotR filmography? I have...it is AWESOME).


From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Erstwhile
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posted 08 March 2006 11:36 AM      Profile for Erstwhile     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Thrasymachus:
What I 've noticed about people who didn't like Crash is that they didn't realize that the movie has less to do with racism than it does with redemption and empathy. Regardless, I am glad that a movie won based on its perceived quality. Clearly, Crash did not have big Hollywood money behind it, was released early and it still managed to win. That's very refreshing to me.

Well said. I wouldn't have picked Crash for Best Picture, but I very much enjoyed it. And I felt it was more about the personalities involved than it was about racism as such.


From: Deepest Darkest Saskabush | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 08 March 2006 11:57 AM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Thrasymachus:
Clearly, Crash did not have big Hollywood money behind it, was released early and it still managed to win. That's very refreshing to me.



quote:

By sending about 110,000 "Crash" DVDs to SAG's full membership, Lionsgate made sure that all of the guild's members had an opportunity to watch the film at home. This was the first time anyone had ever sent DVDs of an Oscar contender to the full SAG membership. Because this marketing technique worked so well, other distributors are likely to adopt the same approach next year. It's worth noting, however, that the reason Lionsgate was comfortable doing this was that "Crash" had opened in cinemas last May and had gone into DVD in September. The DVDs sent to SAG members didn't need to be specially watermarked or encrypted because awards season piracy wasn't something Lionsgate was worrying about at that point.

. . . .

"Crash" had an additional advantage with SAG and other union members because it was shot in the Los Angeles area. Unlike "Brokeback," which filmed in Canada, "Crash" provided jobs for actors and other L.A. based workers, who are increasingly frustrated by "runaway" productions that travel to far-flung locations where cheaper costs and tax deals are increasingly helping producers stretch their budgets.


http://tinyurl.com/jl4hb


From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
F.
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posted 08 March 2006 12:06 PM      Profile for F.     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Blue Velvet, I recall, was a movie that seemed to make people take sides

As an aside, Roger Ebert's televised review of Blue Velvet was little more than a misguided tirade against David Lynch for subjecting Isabella Rossellini to what Ebert characterized as "abuse." Siskel's bewildered response to Ebert was that Ms. Rossellini was alive and healthy in Europe and probably sleeping rather well at night knowing she had participated in a daring, masterful picture.

Years later, Lynch proudly displayed on the publicity material for Lost Highway the "two thumbs down" review given by the same reviewers.


From: here | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
glacier76
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posted 08 March 2006 12:12 PM      Profile for glacier76     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The fact that this movie is generating such postive and negative responses and is clearly challenging people simply demonstrates to me that this movie is a very effective piece of art.

All five films nominated this year had people loving/hating it. Crash is hardly unique. You didn't hear one negative review of Brokeback?


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 08 March 2006 12:17 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Blue Velvet? Ugh. I couldn't watch it, I tried, but for whatever reason, it turned me off. I watched a film called "Muholland Drive" that was also quite dark (and very, very weird) but I found it more watchable than Blue Velvet. Quite a bit of nudity, as I recall.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
MartinArendt
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posted 08 March 2006 12:18 PM      Profile for MartinArendt     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Section 49:
Not that I have encyclopaedic of Ms Hilton's oeuvre, but isn't the title to that movie "House of Wax"?

Or am I just missing the joke?


You are correct about the real title of the movie. This is also the first (and probably the last) time the words "Hilton" and "oeuvre" have been put together in the same sentence.

I heard Crash was alright. Really, I think the Oscars are silly, but I think it's not necessarily a bad thing that movies that deal with social issues, however clumsily, are getting some kind of recognition. They're smaller pictures, and they're a bit taboo, and that's not so bad. Maybe it's a sign of Hollywood pushing for more critical or thoughtful films (particularly given the crap they've been churning out recently!).

Maybe not. I would hope that it might indicate a change in the way people are thinking about movies.


From: Toronto | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
deBeauxOs
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posted 08 March 2006 12:28 PM      Profile for deBeauxOs     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
posted by Hephaestion: The last scene in Titanic that you never got to see...
And that is because they don't show boners in mainstream films.

From: missing in action | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged
retread
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posted 08 March 2006 12:49 PM      Profile for retread     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Funny, I liked "Gladiator" (though I hated "Titanic" and disliked "Shakespeare in Love" - and didn't like "Return of the King" either, though I thought the first LoTR movie was pretty good). I definitely prefered "Crash" to "Titanic", so in my opinion "Crash" is far from the worst every film to win best picture, even among recent winners.

But all the nominees were pretty mediocre this time around, at least on first viewing ... the kind of shows you'd watch in bits and pieces if you saw them on TV while waiting for something better to come on.


From: flatlands | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 08 March 2006 01:18 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I loved Gladiator, Titanic (first time, anyway - began to dislike it after the third showing), and really loved Shakespeare in Love. I still think Crash is hard to sit through, but I think it's well made. I doubt very much I'll ever love it. I like most of the Oscar winners made since I started watching movies. I especially like anything made with Kate or Audrey Hepburn, Bogart, and Bergman, and anything directed by Hitchcock. I still haven't seen the best of Orson Welles - his stuff doesn't seem to be on TV much.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Cartman
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posted 08 March 2006 02:56 PM      Profile for Cartman        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by deBeauxOs:
And that is because they don't show boners in mainstream films.


From: Bring back Audra!!!!! | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged
Catchfire
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posted 08 March 2006 08:31 PM      Profile for Catchfire   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Man, Crash isn't "challenging," it doesn't "make you think"; it positions itself as a film that demands contemplation and then gives you marionnettes. It's about racism like a Bulldozer is about highway repair. People aren't mad at Crash like they were mad at In the Heat of the Night; that is, because it provoked feelings of repressed guilt, or presented a racist history in which we are all complicit. They're mad because Crash lies. It says it's going to make you think about real issues, intolerance, racism and redemption; and then it screws you. It gives you shallow archetypes and pretends to avoid easy answers while serving them up buffet style. Sandra Bullock and Brendan Fraser are earning accolades only because they do not suck as much as they always do. A character who is racist but also has a sick father is not "complex," he's racist. Racism does not only surface when a "good-guy" white cop shoots an innocent black criminal. It also happens when I wonder if the smell on the métro is coming from the Arab man next to me.

Like most people, and most of the bloggers/linked critics have said, this movie is not "art" it's tripe trying to pass for art, and that's why the ire. That's why the outrage. Crash is a lying piece of shit.


From: On the heather | Registered: Apr 2003  |  IP: Logged
Crippled_Newsie
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posted 08 March 2006 08:54 PM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
There have been worse: I wanted to throw my Coke at the screen during Terms of Fucking Endearment.
From: It's all about the thumpa thumpa. | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 08 March 2006 08:59 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Different strokes for different folks? I liked "Terms of Endearment". It's been on TV a few times. Jack Nicholson and Shirley MacLaine were perfect. It won an Oscar and did well at the box office and in TV land, so there are others out there who liked it as well.
From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
$1000 Wedding
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posted 09 March 2006 12:01 AM      Profile for $1000 Wedding        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Right on, Catchfire- you hit Crash head on. It's just stirring controversy for controversy's sake and then trying to make us believe the message is meaningful. And, yeah, acting standards are so low these days that actors and actresses only have to do a few scenes of real acting in an indie movie for less than their usual $20 million fee they get in amusement park-type films like Spiderman in order to be called great actors. So an ensemble film like Crash gives all these actors the chance to do some real acting while not bearing the pressure of carrying an entire film.

There better be a good reason why Brokeback won best director while not best picture. I don't see that reason with Crash.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
retread
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posted 09 March 2006 12:46 AM      Profile for retread     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by $1000 Wedding:
There better be a good reason why Brokeback won best director while not best picture. I don't see that reason with Crash.

How about this: it's a movie award, not the 100m dash ... winners are subjective? But I agree, Crash wasn't a very good movie. It's just that none of the other nominees were either


From: flatlands | Registered: Jul 2005  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 09 March 2006 01:00 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Catchfire:
Crash is a lying piece of shit.

But how did you really feel about it?


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
glacier76
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posted 09 March 2006 01:12 AM      Profile for glacier76     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
That's why the outrage. Crash is a lying piece of shit.

That's not why there's outrage. "Mediocre" movies (or movies people don't like) win Oscars all the time. The outrage is why Brokeback lost.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
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posted 09 March 2006 01:14 AM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
The very idea that anyone would actually be "outraged" by bad art winning Best Anything at the Oscars. I mean, really. Why choose such trivial options in which to invest one's deepest emotions? The irony is that such trivial and melodramatic sensibilities are no better than those of "Crash". They both want to be seen as more rigorous than they really are.
From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
arborman
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posted 09 March 2006 01:29 AM      Profile for arborman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by F.:

Years later, Lynch proudly displayed on the publicity material for Lost Highway the "two thumbs down" review given by the same reviewers.


Oh, Lost Highway. Saw it twice, beginning to end. What was it about anyways?


From: I'm a solipsist - isn't everyone? | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
jas
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posted 09 March 2006 01:31 AM      Profile for jas     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I got the feeling the Academy Awards this year was trying hard to shake stuff up, and make itself more exciting, more relevant ("second lowest ratings since..."?). Maybe upsetting everyone's expectations about Best Picture and giving it to an indie film was part of that. The Oscars always confuse me, though. I never quite understand what their criteria are from year to year (1999, 2005 most recent cases in point).

I loved Jon Stewart's mock smear ad campaign for Best Actress, but I missed most of it! I wonder if they showed Judi Dench when that one finished. I hope she thought it was funny. I agree with one of the other posters that Stewart probably got the most laughs from the at-home audience.


From: the world we want | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged
glacier76
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posted 09 March 2006 01:42 AM      Profile for glacier76     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
All nominated films, except Munich, were "indie" films.
From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
$1000 Wedding
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posted 09 March 2006 02:49 AM      Profile for $1000 Wedding        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Of course, I don't expect the Oscars to be awarded on the same basis as a 100m dash. The only objective measurement in the Oscars is the counting of the votes. I can accept that one of the reasons Crash won was that the story was based in LA. Each voter is only human and biased. I suppose the big PR campaign behind Crash made a difference, but others campaign, too.

The irony of Munich is that it was not just the only studio film up there. It's budget was bigger than all the other indie films combined. And not all of that money goes on the screen. Spielberg's fee must be $20 mio- way more than the other actors in the film. Then, there's the entourage and infrastructure that Spielberg demands. He sucks up so much money that could be used by other indie films; he's a drag on funding films.

A friend of mine was working with Dreamworks on a Spielberg/Nicole Kidman project is tentatively being planned for shooting in Cambodia. They were talking about literally building a dedicated hotel/resort complete with rec facilities and pool to accommodate the A-listers and crew.

I am happy the indie films showed the studios there's more to movies than global marketing projections.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
TheStudent
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posted 09 March 2006 04:05 AM      Profile for TheStudent        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
It's great that an indie film did win, but did they have to give the Oscar to the worst of the indie films nominated?
From: Re-instate Audra Now! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Clog-boy
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posted 09 March 2006 08:12 AM      Profile for Clog-boy   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Haven't heard or read much about the Palestinian/Dutch movie "Paradise Now"
If I'm not mistaken, it was also nominated for an Oscar, but got pretty much to no attention at all.
Maybe the content is too senstive, since it's about 2 Palestinians who are contemplating a bus-bombing, I dunno...

[ 09 March 2006: Message edited by: Clog-boy ]


From: Arnhem, The Netherlands | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged
glacier76
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posted 09 March 2006 11:03 AM      Profile for glacier76     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
I can accept that one of the reasons Crash won was that the story was based in LA.

What other films set in LA have won Best Picture?


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
folker
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posted 09 March 2006 11:16 AM      Profile for folker     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Million Dollar Baby was set in LA.
From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Willowdale Wizard
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posted 09 March 2006 11:25 AM      Profile for Willowdale Wizard   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
so was chinatown, but those two are the exceptions that prove a rule that most best picture winners are not films set in LA.

it might be a factor that "brokeback" was a western. only two westerns have been nominated for best picture since 1970.

quote:
Although by the end of the 20th century, there were eleven Westerns nominated for Best Picture, only three have won the highest honor - Cimarron (1930/31), Dances With Wolves (1990), and Unforgiven (1992). There have only been eight nominated Westerns (in addition to the winners): In Old Arizona (1928/29), Stagecoach (1939), The Ox-Bow Incident (1943), High Noon (1952), Shane (1953), Giant (1956), How the West Was Won (1963), and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969).

From: england (hometown of toronto) | Registered: Jan 2003  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
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posted 09 March 2006 11:33 AM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
He sucks up so much money that could be used by other indie films; he's a drag on funding films.
That's sounds like the idea that if you don't eat your beans then someone will starve in Ethiopia. If you're going to assert a direct equivalence between Spielberg's studio budgets and a lack of financing options for non-studio, Indie films, it would be helpful to supply a little evidence.

From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Crippled_Newsie
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posted 09 March 2006 11:55 AM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by bittersweet:
That's sounds like the idea that if you don't eat your beans then someone will starve in Ethiopia.

Every time Spielberg makes a movie, God kills a kitten.


From: It's all about the thumpa thumpa. | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 09 March 2006 12:04 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I thought that was every second time Spielburg makes a film, as his track record for brilliance/suckiness seems to hover around 50%.

Remember this: Ang Lee also directed The Incredible Hulk. Studio obligation, or poor judgement?


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Crippled_Newsie
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posted 09 March 2006 12:18 PM      Profile for Crippled_Newsie     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Briguy:
Remember this: Ang Lee also directed The Incredible Hulk. Studio obligation, or poor judgement?

Balloon payment on the mortgage.


From: It's all about the thumpa thumpa. | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
ronb
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posted 09 March 2006 12:34 PM      Profile for ronb     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I thought Incredible Hulk was a very honourable failure. In terms of technical achievement, it was every bit as groundbreaking as Brokeback. It was a a breakthrough in film grammar that I am already seeing copied all over the place. And Nick Nolte was a hoot.
From: gone | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Jimmy Brogan
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posted 09 March 2006 12:56 PM      Profile for Jimmy Brogan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Lee's Hulk rocked. It wasn't the Hulk movie I'd have made - far too serious and dark - but I thought Lee pulled it off nicely. Without any hint of exaggeration I'd say it was about a billion times more entertaining than the insipid BBM.

[ 09 March 2006: Message edited by: Jimmy Brogan ]


From: The right choice - Iggy Thumbscrews for Liberal leader | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Papal Bull
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posted 09 March 2006 01:12 PM      Profile for Papal Bull   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by arborman:

Oh, Lost Highway. Saw it twice, beginning to end. What was it about anyways?


Pissing off people that like good movies and breasts.


From: Vatican's best darned ranch | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged
josh
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posted 09 March 2006 01:19 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:

so was chinatown, but those two are the exceptions that prove a rule that most best picture winners are not films set in LA.


Chinatown didn't win best picture. Godfather II won that year.

From: the twilight zone between the U.S. and Canada | Registered: Aug 2002  |  IP: Logged
F.
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posted 09 March 2006 02:36 PM      Profile for F.     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Oh, Lost Highway. Saw it twice, beginning to end. What was it about anyways?

More literal-minded commentators describe the second half of Lost Highway as a fantasy enacted by the protagonist of the first half of the film: Bill Pullman kills his wife, then spends his time in prison in a delusional state imagining a life for himself where events may have worked out better. The fantasy-Pullman played by Balthazar Getty is younger, hipper, sexually verile. Being a David Lynch film, of course, means that the fantasy breaks down into tragedy as well.

Lynch himself generally does not comment on the meaning of his films.


From: here | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged
Briguy
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posted 09 March 2006 02:53 PM      Profile for Briguy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jimmy Brogan:
Lee's Hulk rocked. It wasn't the Hulk movie I'd have made - far too serious and dark - but I thought Lee pulled it off nicely. Without any hint of exaggeration I'd say it was about a billion times more entertaining than the insipid BBM.

[ 09 March 2006: Message edited by: Jimmy Brogan ]


His insistance on using "comic book frames" annoyed the bejeezus out of me. The bad guys (and bad doggies) were just silly. I'm sure Ang Lee did a much better job on the film than many could have, but he wasn't working with much to begin with. Especially compared to the stories behind Crouching Tiger, Brokeback Mountain, or The Ice Storm. He has done other stinkers, too, like The Hire: Chosen, which one commentator called "the best BMW commercial ever made!".


From: No one is arguing that we should run the space program based on Physics 101. | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
glacier76
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posted 09 March 2006 09:39 PM      Profile for glacier76     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by folker:
Million Dollar Baby was set in LA.

Which beat out another movie set in LA, The Aviator--a movie that should've been much closer to the Academy given its subject matter. Million Dollar Baby could've been set anywhere.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
$1000 Wedding
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posted 09 March 2006 11:44 PM      Profile for $1000 Wedding        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Let's not forget "LA Confidential", "Sunset Blvd", "Shampoo", which are Hollywood insiders' looks at Hollywood. Hollywood is narcisstic and any movie that directly feeds that is appreciated.

What do you mean there's no evidence that Spielberg and his ilk represent a huge opportunity cost to indie films? The evidence is all around you if you care to surf the net. Studio revenues are down; go read Peter Bart's insightful article in Variety. Studios are so fixated on big budget tent pole movie franchises they are unable and incapable of developing indie films. The problem is they'd rather bank on and manage one, US$200 mio movie than ten, $20 mio movies. Bart says that unfortunately, you also need mid priced production movies to make up a slate of annual releases. You can't rely on heavyweights like LOTHR every year because they infrequently occur. So everytime a big studio commits to Spielberg's latest project they are foregoing indie projects.

Increasingly making films, especially studio driven blockbusters isn't about selling seats in cinemas; it's about DVD sell thrus, cable rights, video games, Coke and McDonalds campaigns. In fact, the cinema release is largely considered a marketing expense rather than a profitable exercise. This year's Academy Awards epitomized their state of affairs. Within the viewing public, critics and Academy members there are movies they consider "real", artistic movies in the traditional sense of story telling; then there are movies that are the equivalent of amusement park rides.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
glacier76
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posted 10 March 2006 01:19 AM      Profile for glacier76     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Let's not forget "LA Confidential", "Sunset Blvd", "Shampoo", which are Hollywood insiders' looks at Hollywood. Hollywood is narcisstic and any movie that directly feeds that is appreciated.

None of them won Best Picture.


From: Vancouver | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Jesse Hoffman
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posted 10 March 2006 01:57 AM      Profile for Jesse Hoffman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I dislike most films that win Best Picture at the Oscars, but Crash sets a new goddamn precedent. It's the worst winner since Braveheart, at the very least. Predicated on a false understanding of racism, the film pulls out every narrative and dramatic technique in the book to make us understand how important, insightful and complex it is. It's like one of those plays you write in Grade 7, when the teacher says 'hey kids, write a play that shows racism in everyday life!'.

Sure the intention may be nice, but the execution is so bad, and the characters are so uniformly charicaturized that the point is entirely lost. Apart from being a poorly made, inconsistently acted film, it's almost offensive because it's so ridiculous that it trivializes the important issues it presumes to address. I would also call some of the characterizations arguably racist, such as the shrill, screaming Asian woman, or the reactionary Muslim who tries to misguidedly murder the wrong man when his shop is broken into because he is from another culture and misinterprets everything (aw, look at the silly Muslim who thought it was a miracle when his bullet didn't kill the little girl he accidently shot, because he doesn't speak english, and doesn't understand that it was blank. how cute).

Honestly, this movie might have been relevant twenty years ago, but I don't think racism was every what this movie thinks it is. But, you know, that doesn't stop smug white liberals from patting themselves on the back for 'not being like the awful racists in that Crash movie'! No doubt that's what the Academy was thinking too, because on artistic and thematic grounds, this movie is a failure.

Just sayin'.


From: Peterborough, Ontario | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 10 March 2006 02:19 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Jesse Hoffman:
I would also call some of the characterizations arguably racist, such as the shrill, screaming Asian woman, or the reactionary Muslim who tries to misguidedly murder the wrong man when his shop is broken into because he is from another culture and misinterprets everything (aw, look at the silly Muslim who thought it was a miracle when his bullet didn't kill the little girl he accidently shot, because he doesn't speak english, and doesn't understand that it was blank. how cute).

You know, stereotyping and prejudice are strange things. They involve generalized assumptions, rarely founded in reality, which belittle and ultimately dehumanize their objects.

Having said that: Why do you call the Iranian shopkeeper a "Muslim"? Was he described as a "Muslim" in the movie? Maybe, but I don't remember that. I remember the gun store owner characterizing him as an "Arab" in another example of stereotyping belittlement.

Maybe "Crash" is more subtle than it appears. It brings out feelings we didn't know we had.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
bittersweet
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posted 10 March 2006 02:22 AM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
So everytime a big studio commits to Spielberg's latest project they are foregoing indie projects.
So the money for indies must come from studios? Indies are getting funded, no matter what Spielberg's doing. (MGM put up most of the financing for "Capote"). This year's Best Pic noms had Spielberg's latest aligned with four successful indies. So again, what is the evidence that Spielberg is a drag on funding for indies?

I notice that if you'd taken your own advice and actually "surfed the net", then you'd have realized, probably in under a minute, that your examples of "Hollywood insider" movies weren't Best Pic winners. Sadly, they weren't appreciated by Hollywood quite as much as the theory required.

[ 10 March 2006: Message edited by: bittersweet ]


From: land of the midnight lotus | Registered: Apr 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 10 March 2006 04:49 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
In a tangentially-related matter, the hand-wringing over this "snub" of BBM has not ceased. Apparently, the so-called "Ultimate Brokeback Forum" has taken steps to show their displeasure with the Academy:

quote:
In an unprecedented show of support for Brokeback Mountain, a website discussion board has spearheaded a campaign to collect donations from around the world to place ads in trade and national publications in support of the movie. In the first 48 hours, the group raised nearly $16,000 from over 400 contributors, and a team of volunteers designed a full page color ad to run in the March 10 Daily Variety.

The ad campaign was started by members at the Ultimate Brokeback Forum as a positive way to deal with their emotions surrounding Brokeback Mountain¹s loss for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Instead of responding in anger, members wanted to find a way to thank the cast and crew of the film and to find a way to highlight Brokeback Mountain¹s unprecedented string of Best Picture wins.

The disparate group quickly decided to start an ad campaign, and soon word spread to other sites, and donations started to pour in from around the world. ³I think most fans of the film were stunned by the Best Picture surprise, which raised the question of how and why the Academy could have been so out of sync with virtually every other organization that awarded Best Picture honors," site organizer Dave Cullen said in explaining why so many diverse people worldwide were donating to the campaign.


It goes on...

I have heard that Variety stopped selling Friday's issue at noon on thursday because it was sold out due to the ad, for whatever that's worth. If you simply *must* see the ad, you can view it by clicking here. (Good thing volunteers "designed" that ad; I'd hate to have to pay anyone for that!)

Now, admittedly, I haven't seen the movie yet (either BBM *or* Crash), but I find the whole thing rather bemusing. I mean, what is this ad campaign supposed to accomplish? And further, what if all these people threw their support behind a cause that, in the greater scheme of things, actually mattered? Something like, oh, I dunno... suing "Exodus International" into bankruptcy, or something. Hey, a boy can dream...

From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 10 March 2006 05:07 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by Jesse Hoffman:
I dislike most films that win Best Picture at the Oscars, but Crash sets a new goddamn precedent. It's the worst winner since Braveheart, at the very least.

I hate fucking Braveheart. I liked Crash many times over by comparsion.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
unionist
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posted 10 March 2006 10:41 AM      Profile for unionist     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Boom Boom:

I hate fucking Braveheart. I liked Crash many times over by comparsion.

Ah, at last, an opinion after my own taste. While I thought Crash was the sort of thing that seems more controversial in the redneck U.S. than an enlightened country like Canada (I had the same impression of Fahrenheit 9-11), it was watchable.

Braveheart, by contrast, was an insult to the intelligence.


From: Vote QS! | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged
Boom Boom
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posted 10 March 2006 10:48 AM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by unionist:
Braveheart, by contrast, was an insult to the intelligence.

Right on.


From: Make the rich pay! | Registered: Dec 2004  |  IP: Logged
Jimmy Brogan
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posted 10 March 2006 11:03 AM      Profile for Jimmy Brogan   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Wow. A convergence of disparate tastes centering on a loathing of Braveheart.

It was truly awful.


From: The right choice - Iggy Thumbscrews for Liberal leader | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Hephaestion
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posted 10 March 2006 11:20 AM      Profile for Hephaestion   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
to Jimmy --

re: Braveheart... ah, but the HAIR! Mel had his HAIR! Mel had his hair done every DAY!

(It made him look taller... )

What an obvious hint that Mel Gibson has a tiny dick. (You heard the speculation here first.) Okay. Maybe you didn't. Maybe it's all over the 'net with photographic proof. Or maybe not. Whatever...


From: goodbye... :-( | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged
Jesse Hoffman
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posted 10 March 2006 11:47 AM      Profile for Jesse Hoffman     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by unionist:

You know, stereotyping and prejudice are strange things. They involve generalized assumptions, rarely founded in reality, which belittle and ultimately dehumanize their objects.

Having said that: Why do you call the Iranian shopkeeper a "Muslim"? Was he described as a "Muslim" in the movie? Maybe, but I don't remember that. I remember the gun store owner characterizing him as an "Arab" in another example of stereotyping belittlement.

Maybe "Crash" is more subtle than it appears. It brings out feelings we didn't know we had.



Thanks for offering a reading into my 'racist' subconscious, I really appreciate it.

Maybe it's that I was already so put out by the experience (getting bludgeoned over the head with RACISM for two hours is exhausting), but I guess that's my bad as viewer -- I thought I heard it establish him as a Muslim, but maybe I'm wrong. So he's Persian -- that doesn't make me object to the treatment of his character any less.


From: Peterborough, Ontario | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged
F.
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posted 10 March 2006 12:08 PM      Profile for F.     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Hollywood is narcisstic and any movie that directly feeds that is appreciated.

Strange, then, that it was the harmless Popeye that exiled Altman to the wilderness while the acerbic The Player and Short Cuts saw him welcomed back to Hollywood with open arms.

Always an exception to every rule.

[ 10 March 2006: Message edited by: F. ]


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'lance
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posted 10 March 2006 12:42 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Strange, then, that it was the harmless Popeye that exiled Altman to the wilderness while the acerbic The Player and Short Cuts saw him welcomed back to Hollywood with open arms.

I didn't see Short Cuts, but as for The Player, it's maybe not all that surprising. Movies on the theme of Hollywood-is-phony-and-soul-detroying-etc.-etc.-etc. are a well-established part of the Hollywood tradition. Sunset Boulevard and All About Eve are the oldest classic examples I can think of right now (I know All About Eve was nominally about the theatre, but it's not too much of a stretch to read it as a Hollywood parable), but there must be dozens of others.

On the one hand it's very easy -- because obvious and familiar -- but on the other hand almost impossible to satirize Hollywood. Blob-like, it just expands fractionally to incorporate the "satire."


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F.
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posted 10 March 2006 01:52 PM      Profile for F.     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
You make a good point, and I would add Lynch's Mulholland Drive to your list.

It should be remembered, however, that Billy Wilder suffered a lot of hostility when Sunset Blvd. was first released. One Hollywood studio producer was quoted as demanding that Wilder be run out of town for daring to mock both the vanity and decadence of old Hollywood and the vapid amorality of new Hollywood. Production of the film was undertaken using a false name for fear of censorship if the project's intentions were revealed.

It was only much later that the film became as appreciated as it is now.

Edited to add exact quotes:

'Louis B. Mayer, though, was not enthralled. When Wilder approached him [after the film's hollywood screening], he screamed: "You bastard! You have disgraced the industry that made you and fed you! You should be tarred and feathered and run out of Hollywood!" Wilder's response: "Fuck you."'

'Actress Mae Murray, a contemporary of Swanson's, was offended by the film and commented "None of us floozies was that nuts."'

[ 10 March 2006: Message edited by: F. ]


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jas
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posted 10 March 2006 01:53 PM      Profile for jas     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by glacier76:
All nominated films, except Munich, were "indie" films.

I didn't know this. I had just heard Crash described as an indie film. But then can you really call something that is ultimately backed by Sony or Warner (Capote and GNGL) an 'independent' production? What does 'independent' mean in a major studio context? Thanks.


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'lance
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posted 10 March 2006 02:24 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by F.:
You make a good point, and I would add Lynch's Mulholland Drive to your list.

It should be remembered, however, that Billy Wilder suffered a lot of hostility when Sunset Blvd. was first released. One Hollywood studio producer was quoted as demanding that Wilder be run out of town for daring to mock both the vanity and decadence of old Hollywood and the vapid amorality of new Hollywood.

It was only much later that the film became as appreciated as it is now.


That's true too, I'd forgotten. Didn't he have serious trouble casting that movie, or at least convincing his chosen cast to play their roles, once they'd grasped what they were supposed to be?

I don't know the history of All About Eve in detail either, but I wonder if Mankiewicz chose to tell a story about the theatre, rather than Hollywood, exactly to avoid that kind of reaction.


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kimmy
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posted 10 March 2006 03:00 PM      Profile for kimmy     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Topic: Crash worst film ever to win best picture?

Couldn't be. Not while Woodie Allen has gold trophies in his garage...

I also have to wonder how much of the anger directed at Crash is because of genuine artistic opinions and how much is because Brokeback's loss was perceived as a slight to the whole gay community?

I also suspect that had Brokeback won, fans of other movies would be crying that it only got the award because of its politics.


It's been kind of a crappy couple of years for movies. None of the "serious" movies achieved exceptional box-office success, and none of the movies that have achieved exceptional box-office success have the sort of "serious" credentials that the Awards people look for. And that's probably why ratings for this year's awards were so low. I don't believe that any Best Picture" nominees since "Return of the King" have really clicked with the ticket-buying public at large, and as a result I don't think very many people have even cared what awards have been handed out lately.


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bittersweet
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posted 10 March 2006 03:19 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
'lance: Louis B. Meyer in the lobby after the preview of "Sunset Boulevard": "This Billy Wilder should be sent back to Germany! He bites the hand that feeds him!" Wilder overheard and replied "I am Mr. Wilder, and why don't you go fuck yourself!"
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het heru
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posted 10 March 2006 03:34 PM      Profile for het heru     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Frankly, I thought it was the better film of the two. (And if I hadn't scratched it out because I assumed they were going to give the Oscar to Brokeback, I would have won the damned Oscar party betting pot.)

Crash was a seriously flawed film, but Brokeback was actually kind of boring. You know how it's going to end about 10 mins into the movie, and then you spend the rest of it looking at gorgeous scenery waiting for it to unfold.

Neither of them were the best movie I saw last year. Actually, none of the five nominees were, and that's just the way the Academy Awards are.


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Maggot
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posted 10 March 2006 03:38 PM      Profile for Maggot   Author's Homepage        Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I think Paul Haggis is perhaps the most emotionally false person working in film. Hated Crash almost as much as Million Dollar Baby, which, not coinidentally, Haggis also wrote.

Crash was emotionally manipulative garbage. Yuck.


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F.
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posted 10 March 2006 03:43 PM      Profile for F.     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Didn't he have serious trouble casting that movie, or at least convincing his chosen cast to play their roles, once they'd grasped what they were supposed to be?

The role of Norma Desmond was first offered to Mae West, who was not interested, then to Pola Negri, whose Polish accent was found to be too big an obstacle to overcome. Wilder pitched the role to Mary Pickford, but apparently realized part way through their conversation that America's Sweetheart was mortified by the subject matter. Gloria Swanson was then contacted for a screen test at the suggestion of a colleague. Her response to the idea of being tested was, "What the hell do you have to test me for? You want to see if I'm alive, do you? Or do you doubt that I can act?"

The role of Joe Gillis was first offered to Montgomery Clift, who declined because he didn't feel he could convincingly romance a woman twice his age.

William Holden was apparently chosen from a list of actors endentured to the studio. Swanson voiced concern than Holden's features didn't sufficiently accentuate the difference in their characters' ages, yet she refused to wear make-up that would make her appear older, instead insisting that they should try to make Holden look younger.

Buster Keaton, on the other hand, was enthusiastic about the project from the beginning, despite being referred to in the script as a member of "the waxworks."

Erich Von Stroheim was also attached to the project from the beginning.


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'lance
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posted 10 March 2006 03:51 PM      Profile for 'lance     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Does Keaton actually have any lines, or does he just let that mournful face do the talking?

(But of course! He never had even title-card lines in his movies -- so far as I remember -- so why should he speak here?)

And I wonder what Cecil B. DeMille thought of the whole enterprise.

Edit:

Curious trivia: in Argentina, the run time was five minutes longer than elsewhere.

Maybe projectionists there just had trouble, initially, because film reels rotate in the opposite direction in the Southern Hemisphere.

[ 10 March 2006: Message edited by: 'lance ]


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F.
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posted 10 March 2006 04:05 PM      Profile for F.     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Apparently Wilder offered DeMille the following agreement: DeMille will refrain from commenting on the direction of Sunset Blvd. and Wilder will refrain from commenting on the direction of Samson & Delilah. DeMille agreed, and added that Wilder will pay him $10,000. Later, when Wilder found that he required additional shots of DeMille, DeMille happily agreed. And charged another $10,000.

Keaton has no spoken lines in the film. Is there a scriptwriter who could write lines as magnificent as those facial expressions? Even Samuel Beckett refrained from writing lines for Keaton when he used him in his Film.


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bittersweet
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posted 10 March 2006 05:17 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
The role of Joe Gillis was first offered to Montgomery Clift, who declined because he didn't feel he could convincingly romance a woman twice his age.
According to Wilder, he declined because he'd just had an affair with an older woman in New York - Libby Holman - and didn't want his first Hollywood lead, about a man kept by a rich older woman, to mirror his own life and cause gossip. No doubt he knew how to play the part!

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Makwa
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posted 10 March 2006 05:31 PM      Profile for Makwa   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Crippled_Newsie:
Every time Spielberg makes a movie, God kills a kitten.
Snerk!

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Boom Boom
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posted 10 March 2006 08:14 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Originally posted by F.:
You make a good point, and I would add Lynch's Mulholland Drive to your list.

I mentioned Mulholland Drive earlier. What the heck was it about? I remember the nudity, but still haven't the foggiest notion what Lynch was trying to do with this film. Who the heck was the Cowboy?


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josh
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posted 10 March 2006 08:19 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I had the same question over three years ago in this thread:

http://www.rabble.ca/babble/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=20&t=000394&p=


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Boom Boom
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posted 10 March 2006 08:22 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Thanks! Will read through it, hopefully gain some insight.
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josh
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posted 10 March 2006 08:25 PM      Profile for josh     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
This sort of "explains" it:

http://dir.salon.com/ent/movies/feature/2001/10/23/mulholland_drive_analysis/index.html


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siren
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posted 10 March 2006 08:40 PM      Profile for siren     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Just a quickie post to remove sidescroll from TAT.
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Boom Boom
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posted 10 March 2006 09:03 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Yup. Read most of the Salon stuff.
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simonvallee
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posted 11 March 2006 03:06 PM      Profile for simonvallee   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I just watched Crash on the TV and I found it rather good. Not my kind of movie but got to give credit where credit is due. I think the message is more than just about racism, it's about a society in which a great diversity of cultures live but where they mostly keep to themselves and when they interact with one another (or rather when they are forced to), they do so under the bias of prejudice due to ignorance. Racism in the movie isn't only one-way, all suffer from it and all have it to a certain extent.

BTW, the comments I've received from people who have watched Brokeback Mountain were more along the lines of "boring as hell" than anything else.

Anyway, Serenity should have won that Oscar and that's my final word.


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Boom Boom
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posted 11 March 2006 03:18 PM      Profile for Boom Boom     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
I posted this on the (now closed) Oscars thread:

Bluntly speaking?

Crash plays with our stereotypes and looks racism straight in the face and says, "Hold on a minute…" It really shows how ridiculous the assumptions we make about people based on their skin color, or socio-economical status truly is. It's a must see (and frankly, should be mandatory viewing) for everyone. Crash is an extremely honest, moving, enlightened film that doesn't lecture, or pretty up things, or for that matter lay blame. It just speaks the truth we all really need to come to understand, accept and start to acknowledge, while still being, at its heart, a very entertaining film.

- snip -

Crash is masterful film making. It is an emotionally a strong film - and a very important film. Its theme of the just-below-the-surface fears and misunderstandings - whether we are willing to admit it or not - show how we're all heading towards a "crash." That is unless we stop, listen and respect one another. Enjoy


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bittersweet
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posted 13 March 2006 01:15 PM      Profile for bittersweet     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post  Reply With Quote 
Whoa. Annie Proulx rides into the sunset with a fistful of sour grapes. Some valid points - Crash was indeed pablum - but she sure sinks low in making them.

Notice how "Hoffmann" is (mis)spelled. In the Guardian, it isn't broken up by a line-ending. So, is it a typo or a Proulx drive-by?

Quote:

"Blood on the red carpet"

...rumour has it that Lions Gate inundated the academy voters with DVD copies of Trash - excuse me - Crash a few weeks before the ballot deadline. Next year we can look to the awards for controversial themes on the punishment of adulterers with a branding iron in the shape of the letter A, runaway slaves, and the debate over free silver.

...

The prize, as expected, went to Philip Seymour Hoff-man for his brilliant portrayal of Capote, but in the months preceding the awards thing, there has been little discussion of acting styles and various approaches to character development by this year's nominees. Hollywood loves mimicry, the conversion of a film actor into the spittin' image of a once-living celeb. But which takes more skill, acting a person who strolled the boulevard a few decades ago and who left behind tapes, film, photographs, voice recordings and friends with strong memories, or the construction of characters from imagination and a few cold words on the page? I don't know. The subject never comes up. Cheers to David Strathairn, Joaquin Phoenix and Hoffman, but what about actors who start in the dark?

...

When Jack Nicholson said best picture went to Crash, there was a gasp of shock, and then applause from many - the choice was a hit with the home team since the film is set in Los Angeles. It was a safe pick of "controversial film" for the heffalumps.

...

For those who call this little piece a Sour Grapes Rant, play it as it lays.


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