Fantasy Academy Awards Ceremony

Okay, so this is a little indulgent.  But I can’t help but think that all this Academy Award talk in which I have been engaging can be diverting in this quest from casual movie watching to competency in film.  What I would like to do is bring back the discussion from contemporary films and set our sights backwards again, towards the vast world of cinema that encompasses over a hundred years of art and culture.  So, I’ve decided to go back and set up my own hypothetical awards ceremony, complete with honorary awards and imaginary glamor.  Imagine a red carpet with Miley Cyrus in her fishnet leggings and Audrey Hepburn in her black Givenchy dress; Jared Leto’s long hair followed by Humphrey Bogart in unbelted wool jackets.  The notion is enchanting, sure.  Those basketball or football video games that I like to play often have a “fantasy draft” setting or a pick-up game kind of setting were you can do the most absurd things: you can have LeBron James play against Oscar Robertson, or have the Detroit duo of Isaiah Thomas and Bill Laimbeer take on Michael Jordan and Dennis Rodman.  Why not do something like that for movies?  I consider this “fantasy academy” a well-earned journey into the indulgent imagination of my own self.  It is time to let all those worlds, the world of John Huston, the world of Federico Fellini, the world of Robert Bresson, the world of Martin Scorsese, and the world of Christopher Nolan, all come together in the ultimate exposition of glamor, art, competition, and class.  And considering the fact that my lists of the greatest directors and movies and acting performances are buried so deep in this blog, I feel like a resurrection of these lists in some new form is not an altogether bad idea, especially considering the fact that I just posted a page which, in essence, restated all the principles and theories that this blog has laid out thus far.  As long as I’m in the “reviewing” mode, I might as well review those earlier lists by having a little fun; having my own awards ceremony in my head.

The nominees are listed in alphabetical order.  There are 10 nominees for each category.  The winners are in bold.  I have hyperlinked all but one of the nominees to clips online (most of which can be found on YouTube) for your viewing pleasure. Continue reading

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City Lights (1931)

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In my review of Modern Times, I said that it was part of Charlie Chaplin’s “Big 3” along with The Gold Rush and City Lights.  Since I have already reviewed The Gold Rush as well—and, in that review, admitted that I had great desire to tarry in Chaplin’s world for a little while—I would like to now provide a review of Chaplin’s best picture, City Lights. Continue reading

Battleship Potemkin (1925)*

*And supplementary lecture on the nature of silent film.

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This blog is due for another silent film, and the one that I have selected is Battleship Potemkin (or, in Russian, Bronenosyets Potyomkin).  As was recently posted, Potemkin stands at number 2 on my list of the “Most Important Films of All Time.”  These are films selected strictly for aesthetic and technical innovation, with the qualification that said innovation produced radical change in the popular movie landscape, and not due to story or tertiary film elements along the lines of score, acting, or literary devices—save for those situations when one of those tertiary elements brought forth radical change (Wizard of Oz, for example).  These were, quite simply, decided upon the film itself.  Not the film as in “the movie,” but film as in the film, the literal celluloid collection.  Embracing film as a singular art medium is a necessary facet to understanding silent films, and is unfortunately lost in much of what we consider quality film criticism today. Continue reading

The Greatest Directors of All Time

Please read this list in conjunction with my chapter on Auteur Theory.  The list attempts to reconcile a given director’s overall oeuvre, cinematic contributions (to theory and culture), and my personal taste.  In some cases, I considered popularity; there is something to say about a directors ability to garner an audience.  You will see that a good number of usual favorites do not make the cut in this list.  That is because a lot of these, unfortunately, don’t live up to my standard. Continue reading