4:37 pm - Saturday, Feb. 04, 2006
Sat 2/4/06 (10:49 a.m.)
I was going to write a big thing about the Academy Awards, then realized I really don’t have that much to say, so I’m going to limit myself to just the “Best Picture” nominees, and the main thing I “came away with” from each movie.
With Brokeback, I was very struck by Heath Ledger’s performance. It reminded me of the power of restraint in acting. A lot of actors–this actor included--are partial to flashy, emotionally explosive roles. And while, as an audience member, I enjoy that sort of thing when it’s done well, I think I’m more affected, more emotionally involved, when I’m watching a character who’s doing everything they can to hold it together, when everything inside them wants to explode. That tension is very compelling (His character says, “If you can’t fix it, you have to stand it”. But, sadly, he couldn’t “fix it” or “stand it”. And hence, the tragedy).
Initially, what I came away from Capote so impressed with was how Truman Capote went to Kansas, in 1961 (Or thereabouts), where he might as well have been a man from Mars, and got everything he needed from everyone he needed to get it from.
But what stayed with me was how his pursuit of this great story, ultimately his greatest work, ruined him.
It left me wondering what would happen to me if I got exactly what I wanted as a performer/artist, particularly if I had to turn myself inside-out to get it.
I just saw Crash again, thanks to that dvd “screener” I got in the mail (And I was one of the SAG people who voted for it for “Best Ensemble”).
Of all the “Best Pictures” nominees, I think Crash probably received the most mixed reviews. And I understand that–the L.A. in Crash is not the L.A. I’ve experienced, by and large, in my time here (“My” L.A. is more isolated, while at the same time, much less overtly racist)–but that said, it got me thinking; about my first days here in L.A., and my own fearful, angry, racist feelings when suddenly finding myself in situations where I was the “minority” (And two scenes in the movie–You’ll know the ones I’m talking about if you’ve seen it-were as powerful as anything I saw all year long. Forget shedding “a single, manly tear”; it was all I could do not to start sobbing in the theater).
4.Good Night And Good Luck
I've felt tremendously discouraged over the state of the US during the reign of the Republicans (More so than I ever let on in here). And one of the things I've been most discouraged about has been how the media's just rolled over and played dead, if not actually provided "aid and comfort" to the bad guys, as crimes have been commited and rights have been trampled on, courtesy of our own government.
So Good Night And Good Luck was basically like watching West Wing in the early years--I found myself watching Murrow and his people and thinking wistfully, "Why don't we have anyone like that anymore...?".
Cause we sure do need them.
For some reason, I've been very resistant to seeing Munich. I think partly it was because I read an article online (I'd link to it if I could remember where it was...), saying that, from what anyone knows, it didn't really go down like it goes down in the movie.
And Howard--a coworker at the theater--saw it and pronounced it "nihilistic". And that didn't sound like something I was up for just now.
But I'm glad I saw it (On Thursday). It was more even-handed than I would have expected, and makes about as potent a case for the futility of violence as anything I've seen this year (Including A History Of Violence).
And what do you know--Speaking of movies, it's time for me to head to work...
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