The Oscars are finally coming and well, I don't think there's a lot of excitement happening. Let's be honest, the lack of really surprising and eclectic nominees don't make it very much fun. No Drive, no Melancholia, no We Need to Talk About Kevin, no Shame just makes it dull. I just hope there's some live Oscar-chat thing happening that I can attend with the rest of the blogosphere.
The one thing that might prevent me from attending is the fact that I've been dealing with Internet connection issues for the past few weeks. After having to get a new router from AT&T (scumbags) and learning that I'm on an outdated system for hi-speed wireless Internet (as I'm now connected to Ethernet). It's been a downer-of-sorts for me as I'm unable to download films that I want to see and such that I can't find on DVD, TV, or anywhere. Even films that aren't playing at my local theater that I want to see as I'm trying to find screeners. Fortunately, I've been spending a lot of time just writing and working to just to have something to do as I'm currently starting work on the next essays for my Auteurs and Favorite Film series.
Speaking of the latter, what happened to the essay on Secretary? Long story short, I fucked up. I spent more than a month writing the damn thing and just as I felt it was in near completion. I looked at it and I didn't like what I was writing. I admit to over-writing and writing very long pieces. With that essay, it went way over what I've expected as I felt there was too much about the film's plot and analysis that got over-explained. It got to the point where it wasn't going anywhere as I'm abandoning it till later in the year. That's when I chose to move forward and do the essay on Chungking Express which surprisingly took about a week to do.
That shocked me as I learned what to do and what not to do. I don't have to explain too many things and don't have to reveal a lot about plot points. I just go with the flow and see what I can do. I guess reading all of those essays on those Criterion Collection DVDs have helped me out. I've found an angle where I can write about a film and simplify what I want to say without being overly-pretentious and drawn-out. This new approach is something I'm going to do with my essay on Elvis Costello's Imperial Bedroom which I will still write for next month as well as Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
The Auteurs essays are an entirely different beast where I can take my time on each film but also try to find various projects these directors have done outside of the medium. They usually take a few weeks to a month for me to do depending on the filmmaker and the films that person has made. As I'm going to do the Coen Brothers for March, there's only three films I haven't reviewed from them. Intolerable Cruelty is a film I've seen but don't really remember as I'm going to revisit it while The Hudsucker Proxy and The Ladykillers are the only ones I haven't seen. Everything else is pretty much covered as I will hope to have it late in March. Well, that is all for what's going on in my two blogs.
There's a lot that's going around in the blogosphere that I've been happy to read. First is James @ Cinema Sights who has been watching a couple of films by Vincent Gallo in Bufallo '66 (love that film) and The Brown Bunny (it was OK but I want my money back after discovering that Gallo's cock was a fake).
There's a couple of great reviews of Lynne Ramsay's We Need to Talk About Kevin that I think people should read. One from Courtney @ Big Thoughts from a Small Mind and Ryan @ The Matinee.
Dan @ Dan the Man's Movie Reviews presents his Top 10 Films of 2011 which is actually impressive.
Bonjour @ Bonjour Tristesse has been watching a few Dario Argento films that has me interested in the Italian horror filmmaker as it includes a great review of The Bird with the Crystal Plumage. I'm not familiar with Argento's work other than his contributions to Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in the West as well as the films that starred his daughter Asia. Where should I start with Argento?
Andy @ Andy Buckle's Film Emporium has a great piece on an amazing scene in the Coen Brothers' A Serious Man which I think is one of their best films.
Stevee @ Cinematic Paradox has this great conversation with Jodie Foster's The Beaver pondering what worked and what didn't as it's a fun read.
Jessica @ The Velvet Cafe finally sees a film I'm waiting to see in Yorgos Lanthimos' Alps and... I guess I'll have to wait when it comes on the TV.
Corey @ justAtad is doing a 50 book pledge as he reads the much lauded Peter Biskind book Easy Riders, Raging Bulls about New Hollywood. I don't recommend that book at all since I felt it didn't tell more about the movies of that period. I also don't recommend watching the documentary of the same name. Watch A Decade Under the Influence by Richard LaGravenese and Ted Demme.
Sati @ cinematic corner has divulged the secrets of Darren Aronofsky's Black Swan which is making want to revisit the film over and over again.
David @ Taste of Cinema has listed his 10 Favorite Romance Films which is fun to see and who can argue with these choices?
Alex of And So it Begins... gives a great tribute to the late, great Ben Gazzara who will be missed.
Finally, there's a couple of reviews of a film I refuse to see for Oscar season in Stephen Daldry's Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close as Phil @ Phil on Film & John @ John Likes Movies reveals more reasons not to see and confirm my belief that Stephen Daldry is among one of the worst filmmakers working today.
Well, that is it for now. Expect for me to hash out my old Coen Brothers reviews (in revised and re-edited forms) in the coming weeks as well as watch some 2011 and 2010 films that I've been needing to catch up on. I will close this piece with a video that I think is very adorable and I showed it to my mother who loves it. If any of you doesn't think this video is cool, I will fight you.
And Depeche Mode is awesome!