Kamis, 19 Februari 2015

Thursday Movie Picks #32: Oscar Winning Movies (Best Picture/Best Animated Fim/Best Foreign Fim)

"And the oscar goes to..."
I am not a fan of Oscars.  I never really care about them.  I never forgive them for giving Oscar to Cher instead of Glenn Close in 1988.  Heck, they give Best Picture nomination for "The Theory of Everything" instead of "Interstellar".  Really, Oscar?  But there were some days where The Academy gave the Oscar to the right people.   The most memorable one is when "Shakespeare in Love" was the winner of Best Picture in 1999.  Just kidding, I still realize that some of my favorite films are the winners of Oscar and I'm grateful of that.

Enough for the hate rant chat, this week Thursday Movie Picks (that is hosted by Wandering Through The Shelves) is Oscar Winning Movies.  Not just any Oscar Winning Movies, but from Best Picture, Best Animated Film, and Best Foreign Film.  The movies from this list aren't considered the best from me, but they are my personal favorite.  If anybody interested to be a part of this series, you can click here.

Best Picture: The Sound of Music (Robert Wise, 1965)

Initially, I picked "Titanic" for this category. But another blog had listed me before I did, so I took "The Sound of Music" as the replacement.

As a seven-year-old kid, I didn't like this film.  I felt that it was too long.  But as I matured a little, I enjoyed the songs, the story, the choreography, and the scenery of Alpen and Austria.  I love this film so much that at some point in my life, I remembered all the song's lyrics and their order.  

I still feel that 174 minutes is too long for a film's duration.  I don't like the second part of this film because it's not as exciting as the first part and it's too dramatic for my liking.  But without the second part, the viewers would be left hanging without knowing the fate of Maria and Captain von Trapp.  Although I don't really like the second part, it isn't really bad.  We can see how the situation changes in Austria after it's occupied by Hitler and the dilemma of the von Trapps.  I also can not think any scene in the first part that deserves to be cut.  In the end of the day, I understand why The Sound of Music needs 174 minutes to entertain some of us.

Best Animated Film: WALL-E (Andrew Stanton, 2008)

What will you get if you mix comedy, romance, dystopia, post-apocalypse, and sci-fi together?  You get the most loveable robot and one of the best works from Disney-Pixar!

I must admit that Wall-E doesn't have many symbolism like Miyazaki's films.  But WALL-E is a very heartwarming film that contains a little homage and social message. The captains are fatter by the predecessor from time to time.  The personality of Captain B. McCrea is also an indication that most of the captains are not really in charge because the work is handled by an auto system.  Some people in Axiom don't even realize the beauty of outer space.  In short, the excessive use of technology can blind us from knowledge, health, and simple things that are actually beautiful.  I'm not saying that we should lessen innovation, but we have to be careful so that technology isn't the one who controls us.

There are two kinds of "ignorance" that represented in WALL-E.  First, WALL-E's attitude and infatuation for EVE remind me of a little child.  WALL-E doesn't have pride, great scientific knowledge, and power.  WALL-E only does what is considered as good by him and the people he care.  And although EVE can be hostile and impatient toward WALL-E, WALL-E still follows EVE because simply his infatuation or love for EVE.  While it gives an innocent to WALL-E for this film, there's a high chance this kind of ignorance will only bring devastation in real life.     

Second, people in Axiom don't give a fuck about outer space, knowledge, where they belong, and most importantly, where they came from.  Heck, they don't even know they have swimming pool!  They only care for...their super chairs.  But I understand why ignorance is a bliss for some people.  It will be quite depressing to know that your 'home' is ruined for good and nobody cares.  Being knowledgeable either makes you a tortured genius or a disappointed idealist.  But if a lot of those axiom people are knowledgeable, I think they can save earth even before EVE brings the plant.    

Wow, I just realize that it's quite long, haha.

Best Foreign Film: The Virgin Spring (Ingmar Bergman, 1960)

When I looked the list of Best of Foreign Films winners and nominees, I was surprised that none of Kieslowski's Three Colors Trilogy, Wong Kar Wai's films and Park Chan Wook's Vengeance Trilogy got nominated for Best Foreign Film! But the most annoying for me is no nomination for "The Seventh Seal".  I don't know about you, but I never heard of "The Barbarian Invasions" and "Burnt by the Sun".  Once again, really, Oscar?

While I really like this film, I never truly understand the meaning and the symbolism in this film.  According to wikipedia, there's an aspect of nihilism in this film.  The nihilism is expressed by the apathetic (or is it sociopath?) attitude from the herdsmen.  They show no remorse after they rape and rob an innocent girl.  

For me, The Virgin Spring only shows that we live in a fucked up world with fucked up people.  All knowledge, belief, principle, moral, and conscience become meaningless in the face of strong rage and strong desire.  There are two innocent people in this film, Karin and the youngest herd.  Karin is the victim of strong desire (greed and lust) while the youngest herd is the victim of strong rage and desire (to revenge).  Both are simply in the wrong time, in the wrong place, and with the wrong people.

If you still say that we are the one who determines our fate and all those shits, watch this film.

Other favorite films that I can not leave: 
Through a Glass Darkly (Ingmar Bergman, 1961) Best Foreign Film  
Silence of the Lambs (Jonathan Demme, 1991) Best Picture
Annie Hall (Woody Allen, 1977) Best Picture
Life is Beautiful (Roberto Benigni, 1997) Best Foreign Film
Titanic (James Cameron, 1997) Best Picture
Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001) Best Animated Feature
Ratatouille (Brad Bird, 2007) Best Animated Feature

17 komentar:

  1. Well, I only watched WALL-E from your top 3, but I saw almost all from your honorable mentions. WALL-E is a complicated love story wrapped in a dystopian robot comedy and Pixar's imagination, I really wonder whether Pixar's next features---Inside Out---can make the same thing.
    Cheers for you!

  2. It is odd that Red wasn't nominated for Foreign film, but it was nominated for Director, Screenplay and Cinematography, so there's that!

    Love the range in these picks, by the way. Welcome to the fun :-D

    1. Wow, I just know that. Indeed, it's very odd, but I guess the juries of Academy Award are surrounded by oddness.

      Thanks for coming here! :)

    2. The deal with RED was that it was submitted by Switzerland, but disqualified by the Academy - as sometimes happens with foreign co-productions or cases where a film may have been filmed in one country/language but the director is of another nationality (in this case, Kieslowski was Polish). It's a somewhat confounding rule, but that's the Academy!

      And for what it's worth, The Barbarian Invasions is really, really good.

    3. I'm not sure about this, but it could be possible that countries can only submit one film, so maybe some films were not nominated because they were not even submitted by the respective countries because they chose to submit something else instead.

  3. I just watched The Sound of Music again this week for another blog that's going to be doing an article on it where people select their choice of best shot from the film and explain why. It's a highly entertaining film but I agree it is on the long side but visually a knockout. I think it's a good illustration of different perceptions of watching a film and how the audience can aid in the experience. I saw this originally as a kid in a packed theatre during its initial run. The audience was completely enraptured by it and it seemed to fly by because of everyone's involvement in the film but now rewatching at home alone it does hit patches where you think "okay let's move this sucker along". Never been to one of the Sing-Along Sound of Music events but I've talked to a few who have and they've all said it's a hoot and refreshes the film for them.

    The Virgin Spring is on my list to see but I know it's extremely downbeat so it keeps moving back. I've been working on becoming more familiar with Ingmar Bergman over the last year, I'm variable on what I've seen so far..loved Wild Strawberries but the others, Cries & Whispers, Autumn Sonata, The Seventh Seal among them, I've appreciated the acting in but would say I admired Bergman's technique more than really enjoyed them so I'm reluctant to jump into something by him that seems so brutal.

    I'm not an animation fan so Wall-E is something I'll probably never see.

    1. I haven't watched Cries and Whispers, and Autumn Sonata is on top of my watchlist. I never really understand some of Bergman's works, but I really admire them. So far, the only film I dislike is Persona. I also think people give too much credit for that film.


  4. Forrest Gump won Best Picture instead of Pulp Fiction is the worst decision by Oscar

  5. Love The Sound of Music. The only scene that I've ever wanted to cut was "The Lonely Goatherd" number. It serves absolutely no purpose and takes you out of the story. Also adore WALL-E. So beautiful.

    1. I think Wall-E is the best work from Disney-Pixar....so far.
      i'm agree that it serves no purpoae, but I enjoy the song, haha. I would only lessen the duration of that scene.

  6. Haven't seen any of these movies, but I know that The Virgin Spring heavily influenced Wes Craven notorious 1971 shocker The Last House on the Left.

    I have seen Cries and Whisper, a film just as shocking as this sounds. Mark Kermode (an English film critic) called it the original Antichrist.

    1. Haven't watched The last house on the left and Cries ans Whisper :(

  7. Wall-E is a beautiful movie from Pixar. Great pick!

  8. The Sound of Music is in my blind spot list this year, looking forward to watching it! Wall-E is my favorite Pixar movie, it was a wonderful movie.