Potpourri, Serious and Not

Rick’s Journal   (MY FILM CAREER)

JOTTINGS FROM Sunday evening, March 2

–  It’s way past my bedtime, and they’re still singing songs.  I thought we had decided to do away with singing the songs.I would rather have learned more about the awards to Lansbury, Cardinale (and she came!) and others.

–  If it has to be funny  —  and I still do not understand why the presentation of
achievement awards has to be funny — I prefer Ellen DeGeneres’ sense of fun to the
mean-spirited humor of recent hosts. She is not particularly inventive and is somewhat repetitive; but she makes the evening about other people, not about herself’.  She doesn’t make ugly personal comments about nominees;  she doesn’t talk and sing about contenders’ body parts; and she doesn’t ridicule the films the awards are asking us to take seriously as achievements. Jamie Foxx and Bill Murray took care of a lot of that, and we can be grateful that they weren’t on long.

–  We still have presenters who need to learn that it’s not about them.  Apparently so does the Academy since most of the behavior of these embarrassing presenters appears to be scripted  —   and badly read by stars who can’t be troubled to learn half a dozen lines. Best presenter: Christoph Waltz by a mile. Real class there.

– Other presenters with style: Benedict Cumberbatch and Jennifer Garner; Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emma Watson; Angelina Joilie; Matthew McConaughey; and Brad Pitt.

The Wizard of Oz deserves better, and so did Liza, Lorna and Joey. And for “Over the Rainbow,” the tits were a mistake.

– Bette Midler was really fine.

SIDELIGHT:  Manohla Dargis, A.O.Scott and Stephen Holden of the New York Times once again offered their own opinions in eight categories on a page titled “Academy Ballots of Our Own.”  I was interested to find that in the category of supporting actor all three listed James Franco in Spring Breakers (with Mr. Scott listing him for This Is the End as well).

*     *     *     *     *

Touki Bouki
Djibril Diop Mambéty
(restored by Martin Scorsese)
with Magaye Niang as Mory
Mareme Niang as Anta

                      “…is it that finally being able to leave means you no longer have to?”
Eric Grode (New York Times 12/8/13)

Mory and Anta scheme with blithe amorality to gather enough money for passage out of their Senegalese homeland to the Mecca that, for them, is Paris.  The film is colorful (literally and figuratively), amusing, hilarious and tender.  The acting of the principals is outstanding with the two Niangas being deliciously funny as they join a large, important parade where they are taken by some of the crowd to be celebrities.  Their royal hand waving is as good as it gets.

*     *     *     *     *


To all my readers who can make it to Cleveland:  John Ewing is showing Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder at the Cleveland Cinematheque on Thursday and Saturday, March 13 & 15.  At both showings the film will be introduced by Kurtiss Hare, writer, blogger and film programmer ( The Nightlight, Akron Film + Pixel).

Thursday – 6:45 P.M.

Saturday – 9:45 P.M.


See you at the movies,

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