APOLOGY, PLUS POTPOURRI

APOLOGY

I  apologize to my readers for failure  to post as announced on April 12.  My computer was unexpectedly in the shop.

FAREWELL TO OSCAR 2012

This will be my last word on the 2012 Academy Awards.

          “WHY AFFLECK AND BIGELOW WERE SNUBBED”
                     -from the cover of Entertainment Weekly 1/25/-2/1/13

Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz are two of my lifelong favorite American films.  I have viewed both of them countless times and am ready to watch them again every day.  I am happy that Gone with the Wind won an Academy Award as best picture of the year.  The only way that could happen was for The Wizard of Oz not to win.  It never occurred to me that The Wizard of Oz had been snubbed.  And I don’t think it was.

Today films and actors and directors are never overlooked, never missed because with only five nominees allowed, some good work is bound every year to be ignored.  They are snubbed.  The word is one hundred percent pejorative, nay, negative.  Using the word claims that voters, in collusion, sought to insult a director, an actor or a film.  This is nonsense.

Let’s stop it.  At least, let’s stop buying into it.

          “THE YEAR OF THE SNUB”
               -subtitle of Rolling Stone’s article
                 on Academy Awards 2/28/13

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CONTRAST

Contrast the scene at the ball in the latest Anna Karenina with the scene at the first ball in A Royal Affair.  In Anna the fast concept, the speeded motion distances us from the characters we should be caring about.  In the film from Denmark the slow motion, camera placement and editing draw us into characters.  All these years after Fred and Ginger, couples are still making love while dancing.   And A Royal Affair is incomparably sexier than Anna Karenina.  Seek it out.   It is delicately colored, artfully lighted and beautiful to behold.  The performances, especially of the three principals, are outstanding.

I am indebted to my collaborator BKG and my friend/reader HM for the ideas behind this blog.

Anna Karenina                                                           A Royal Affair
Joe Wright                                                                 Nicolaj Arcel
2012                                                                          2012

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HOW LONG IS A SCENE?  HOW LONG IS A SHOT?

Rachel Dodes, writing about Amour in the Wall Street Journal describes a six-minute shot in Haneke’s film.  She reports that John Belton of Rutgers University has established that the average shot in an American film today  is about two seconds long.  He compares this with an average shot of 27.9 seconds in films of the early fifties.

Accompanying this most interesting brief article are stills from five famous long takes from past films (Dodes includes long tracking shots).  Sadly she omits Hitchcock’s Under Capricorn.  Rachel Dodes, “Lingering Shots in an Age of Quick Cuts,”  Wall Street Journal, 2/22/13.

Amour
Michael Haneke
2012

NEXT FRIDAY POST April 26

See you at the movies,
Rick

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