Tag Archives: Academy Awards

Oscar week – Part Deaux

No, not that Oscar.

The 83rd Academy Awards Ceremony is this Sunday evening, live from Tinsletown. Historically there is usually a bit of pre-Oscar buzz surrounding circumstances in the main categories. Things seem to be quiet on the Oscar front..

That is until you get to a category most award viewers care little, if any, about. Yes, I’m talking about the Best Documentary Feature. As it happens something extraordinary has occurred in this group of nominees. I have actually seen one of the nominated films.

Exit Through the Gift Shop is a documentary filmed by an eccentric French shop keeper and amateur film maker as he attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, the highly secretive and elusive London street artist. The film is as much about the cameraman, Thierry “Terry” Guetta (aka Mr. Brainwash), the wild and crazy Frenchman who joined Banksy on many of his outdoor art campaigns.

For those of you with Hulu+, you can see Exit Through the Gift Shop, in its entirety. Consider this my recommendation.

So how has this rather benign documentary become so controversial for the powers to be over at the Academy offices? According to Media Bistro, a campaign of support for Banksy, in the form of drive-by street art, has been popping up all over Los Angeles for several weeks now. Academy Awards officials have officially declared that the artist known as Banksy will not be allowed entrance into the Awards show. Too bad — so sad.

I wonder if he will be allowed to paint the Red Carpet.

More about this story at: The Guardian.UK


I love movies. Actually a better way to say that is I love GOOD movies. I even love the occasional BAD movie, if it has a brilliant cast or achieves CULT status (U Turn and Napoleon Dynamite come to mind)

It’s that time of the year where the best of the best is selected by the Academy of Motion Pictures to receive the Oscar statue. This year the best picture field has been widened from five to ten.

Here are the nominations for Best Picture:
Avatar – Like that’s any real surprise
Up – Best animation in ages
The Blind Side – Bullock as a Blond… hubba-hubba
Inglourious Basterds – Brad Pitt and Quentin Tarentino
District 9 – Aliens living in South Africa
Up in the Air – Clooney being Clooney
Precious – Urban social disaster meets Mariah Carey
The Hurt Locker – The Bomb Squad goes Boom
A Serious Man – The Coen Bros… serious? really??
An Education – Low budget, high brow

This is the first year the Academy has offered up ten nominations for best picture. Let’s call it the “Dark Night” factor, since the Heath Ledger/Joker portrayal last year was passed up in favor of movies that hardly anyone saw, or cared about.

The only movie I have seen on this list is “UP,” which is my new favorite animation, displacing The Incredibles and Finding Nemo. If you haven’t seen it, do yourself a favor and rent/buy it.  It’s got more poignant moments per film time than any previous work, including Beauty and the Beast.  Hell, even the Beast would tear up over this one.

I may be the last man in America to have not seen AVATAR, but I am going to remedy that tonight.  It’s a must see in digital 3D, which means if I don’t drag my happy-ass to the theater soon, I might miss it, and James Cameron would not like that.

This is not a venue for me to pick winners or losers, considering I haven’t seen most of the selections.  I’m sure the Academy will pick the best… or the one that made the most money… or the one that most people have seen… or the one that nobody has seen.  And if anyone on the Academy happens to be reading this, consider it my resume for membership.  I can pick movies I haven’t seen as much as the next guy.

Arnold Schwarzenegger at the 1998 Academy Awards
My friend James Cameron and I made three films together – True Lies, The Terminator and Terminator 2. Of course, that was during his early, low-budget, art-house period.