Friday, May 7, 2010

Who should win the Special Oscar in 2011?

I've predicted the choices for the past few years: Robert Altman, Sidney Lumet, Ennio Morricone, Roger Corman, Lauren Bacall, Jerry Lewis and Gordon Willis. I'm starting to wonder if someone in the Academy reads my blog! If so, and even if not, I offer my ideal choices for Special Oscars this coming awards year:

(1) Frederick Wiseman, director/producer of masterful documentaries Titicut Follies, High School, Basic Training, Primate, Welfare, Meat, Racetrack, Central Park, Near Death, Blind, Zoo, High School II, Public Housing (ABOVE), Domestic Violence (1 and 2), and State Legislature, among many others

(2) James Ivory, director of A Room With A View, Shakespeare Wallah, The Remains of the Day (ABOVE), Maurice, Roseland, The Bostonians, A Soldier's Daughter Never Cries, The White Countess, Howards' End, The Europeans, Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, and Bombay Talkie.

(3) Max Von Sydow, star of The Seventh Seal, Hour of the Wolf (ABOVE), The Greatest Story Ever Told (as Jesus), The Exorcist (in the title role) The Virgin Spring, Hannah and Her Sisters, The Emigrants, The New Land, Through a Glass Darkly, Flash Gordon (as Ming the Merciless), Hawaii, Winter Light, Awakenings, Hamsun, Pelle The Conqueror, What Dreams May Come, Robin Hood and Shutter Island.

(4) Liv Ullmann, star of Persona, Shame, Hour of the Wolf, The Passion of Anna, The Emigrants, The New Land, Face to Face (ABOVE), Autumn Sonata, The Magic Flute, A Bridge Too Far, Mindwalk, Saraband, Zandy's Bride and Scenes From a Marriage. Director of Faithless.

(5) Albert Maysles, co-director of Showman, Salesman (ABOVE), Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens, Running Fence, Christo's Valley Curtain, Cristo in Paris, What's Happening! The Beatles in the U.S.A., as well as a cinematographer on the above, plus Monterey Pop, When We Were Kings, and Primary.

(6) Albert Finney, star of Tom Jones, Two For The Road, Murder on the Orient Express, Gumshoe, Shoot The Moon, Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, Under the Volcano, The Dresser, Erin Brockovich, Before the Devil Knows You're Dead, Wolfen, Annie, The Browning Version, and Miller's Crossing (ABOVE).

(and now we get into personal territory):

(7) David Lynch (a perenial, since he'll never get a real Oscar)

(8) Kyle Cooper, for revitalizing the title credits design industry with works from Se7en, Road Trip, The New World, and hundreds more titles.

(9) Burt Reynolds, star of Deliverance (ABOVE), White Lightning, Gator, Boogie Nights, Smokey and the Bandit, Starting Over, Sharkey's Machine, The End, The Longest Yard, Hooper, Semi-Tough, Best Friends, WW and the Dixie Dancekings and Citizen Ruth.

(10) Jean Luc Godard (just to see if he'd show up)

And I add Doris Day on as an afterthought; she's not my fave, but Burt's not everyone's cuppa tea, neither. For Thalberg (the producer's award) I'd pick Lawrence Bender, John Lasseter, David Puttnam or The Weinbergs. For Hersholt: Angelina Jolie? I there much humanitarianism in Hollywood these days?

Sunday, May 2, 2010

REVIEW: OUT OF SYNC (Gelderblom, 2010)

Peet Gelderblom is the immensely talented writer/artist behind the movie-loving comic Directorama, in which cinema's greatest dead film directors still call the shots in Heaven. And now, very much alive, of course, Gelderblom is himself venturing into filmmaking. His debut effort is a short called Out of Sync, and here's my review.

It’s the shapes, the rigid color palette, the horizontal lines battling with the verticals, the close-ups wrestling with the long views (with birds sizzling precisely along a flowered horizon at one point), and it’s the disconnect between the sound and image in the first half of Peet Gelderblom’s too-short Out of Sync--these are the facets that rivet us most. Then there’s the wide cloudy eyes of an upset wife, staring boldly at us upon the piece’s outset, as the husband absent-mindedly goes about his normal day--they upset us too (upon which we have Franz Schubert overcome by jerky dance muzik, following a heard argument that‘s woefully never detailed).

The haziness of a weekday morning is palpable, and the gentle tans of the woman’s cosmos clash with the gunky greys of the man’s. A shave and no goodbye and the story marches on. A startling peer at an arriving stud, beautifully captured in hilarious slo-mo: he’s popping buttons and spitting out his gum in sexual confidence. And then…then…then we get it. And, as the camera whizzes brilliantly…then, eventually, the movie is deflated a bit by some surprising sentiment that isn't sufficiently worked up to. A promising exercise for a promising new director, yes. But I wish Out of Sync were longer, more complicated and nuanced, and unconcerned with audience satisfaction. However, I sympathize with the situation that Gelderblom and his characters are in. And, for its brief running time, the film’s quite lovely, with more-than-notable art direction and cinematography. I want to see more, though. And it’s a fine feeling.

You can see Out of Sync HERE on Peet Gelderblom's official site!