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Subject: Re: a rant.....

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Date Posted: 23:40:44 03/12/07 Mon
In reply to: Ang 's message, "a rant....." on 12:52:25 03/11/07 Sun

Your point is well taken, Ang, but I think you're missing my point. I believe that it's through popular films that all the great innovations in film have been made. It's extroidinarily rare that grounbreaking films come out of the "establishment." Movies are rare among the arts in that regard, and movie audiences are a rare breed, highly intelligent and picky. They know a good thing when they see it, and will always support anything that's new and original. I don't believe it's "dumbing down" to recognize and celebrate popular tastes in films; indeed, I would even contend the audience is more often than not far ahead of the Academy in their appreciation of films.
Most of the great directors and producers of innovative films have been populists: Alfred Hitchcock, Walt Disney, John Ford and John Houston, just to name a few. And quite frankly, I feel that, at least since the eighties, the Academy has come to prefer stodgy, by-the-numbers movies like "Ordinary People," "Terms of Endearment," "Chariots of Fire," "Driving Miss Daisy," etc. Some of these were better than others but they were all safe and mediocre TV-style fare. Even if you go back to 1969, when "Easy Rider" was a hugely popular film, and certainly the most innovative of its time, it only got a tiny number of nominations and didn't win any of them. More recently, the Academy chose a "safe" movie like "Crash" over what was certainly the most innovative film of that year, "Brokeback Mountain." So I believe the Academy has been set in its ways and largely out-of-touch with innovation since at least the seventies if not sooner. To me, it's not anywhere near the level of Cannes yet, and it may take a younger generation to take over before it gets back to the prestige it had in the fifties.

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[> [> [> Subject: I see what you're saying Conrad. But still, Brokeback Mountain was nominated and did win Academy Awards, just not best picture. I did misunderstand, I though that you were referring to movies like Snakes On A Plane, or some romantic comedy with the obligatory Drew Barrymore role as being ignored by the Oscars even though they often do well at the box office. Phew... glad that's not what you meant! To add to your observation, as someone who disagrees wholly with a two party system in this country and who hates to have the views of others drilled into me, I tend to notice a trend toward nominating films with a liberal bias, films that make statements. It is fine to make a statement, but I sometimes feel like films are nominated more to get the political word out than they are for cinematography, writing or direction.

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Date Posted: 10:39:09 03/13/07 Tue

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