Sunday, February 28, 2016

365 True Things: 336/Movies

Tonight are the Academy Awards. I know three people there: one, Dave ☛, is behind the scenes, ensuring that the videos run flawlessly for the twenty-seventh year in a row; and our friends Brian and Melissa ☟. He is a sound engineer for Sony Pictures, and a member of the academy; plus, his niece's husband was up for an award for best original screenplay for Inside Out. (I'm stealing photos they posted on FB.)

The first time I paid any real attention to the Oscars was in 1969, when Franco Zeffirelli's Romeo and Juliet was up for best picture. A good friend was madly in love with that movie and sure it would win. Oh, the disappointment—even heartache—when it didn't. What did? Oliver! A musical, for pity's sake. Which I saw later that year in a tiny theater in Munich.

Over the years I've sometimes watched the Oscars, but not regularly, and in recent years not at all. I am, however, always interested the next day to learn what won. Even though best picture amounts to little more than a (political) popularity contest. And the academy itself? Ninety-one percent white; 76 percent male. It's a rigged system. (Never mind the riggedness of getting a movie made in the first place.)

Nevertheless, I generally try to see the nominated movies and talent. This year I've only seen four: The Martian, Spotlight, The Big Short, and Mad Max: Fury Road. Enjoyed them all. I have no interest in seeing The Revenant (even if it wins) or Bridge of Spies (I am simply not a Spielberg fan). I would like to see Room and Brooklyn, but I guess that'll have to be on my home screen. I saw three of the animated features as well.

Last year I saw five of the eight best picture nominees; in 2014, eight of the nine . . . it looks like the last year I saw all of the movies in that category was 2007—back in the good old days when there were only five nominees. Apparently I have some catching up to do.

Or maybe I'll just do a better job this year of getting out to see movies as they arrive on the big screen. It's one of my pleasures, Academy Awards or no.

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