A few things that slipped by while we were at the festival or doing our civic duty and waiting around in a windowless room to be called to be put on a jury:
The list of films contending for the Best Foreign Language Film OscarÂ® was announced: 63 countries submitted a film, a new record thanks to the participation of Azerbaijan and Ireland. We’ve always found the Best Foreign Language Film OscarÂ® to be the second most reliably frustrating OscarÂ® category after that of Best Documentary Feature OscarÂ®, but this year’s list is both solid and strikingly sparse on films that the average moviegoer will have even had a chance to have heard of â€” "The Orphanage," "Persepolis" and "The Counterfeiters" are, of the few titles with distributors, the only ones likely to receive a release in more than a handful of theaters.
It’s hard out there for an international film, sure, but we’re also curious as to why this year’s sleeper darling "Once" wasn’t Ireland’s submission â€” was it DQ’d for some reason? It would seem a shoo-in to win, and one we wouldn’t have grumbled about. Except for our unexplainable hallucination of subtitles onto "Once" for… Czech and non-use of Gaelic, we suppose. We’re tired and apparently going crazy â€” "Kings," is, incidentally, mostly in Gaelic, and "Once"’s best Oscar hopes probably are in the song category. Also, it’s only October, and we’re in trouble if the year’s films are already blurring into one massive (but apparently subtitled) megafilm.
David Lynch is in Israel promoting transcendental meditation as a path to inner and outer peace, reports the AP. Such is the power of his filmmaking that when he met with Israeli President Shimon Peres, Peres did not slap his own forehead and say "Oh, meditation is the answer! If only we’d been told earlier, we could have avoided all of the unrest caused by centuries of religious, political and cultural conflict!"
"Cinema’s death date was 31 September 1983, when the remote-control
zapper was introduced to the living room, because now cinema has to be
interactive, multi-media art," he told a director’s masterclass.
It should be noted that September has 30 days.
We’ve always liked Greenaway’s argument that cinema is being held back by its ties to literature and straightforward narration, something he did return to in this latest rant, adding that "Cinema is wasted on cinema â€“ most cinema is bedtime stories for adults." Related: A mere month and a half ago, Ridley Scott at the Venice Film Festival announced that "I think movies are getting dumber, actually. Where it used to be 50/50, now it’s 3% good, 97% stupid." (Via the Guardian.) Oh, memories, misty watercolor memories…