Dedications: My four late friends Rory, Stan, Bryan, Jeff - shine on you crazy diamonds, they would have blogged too. Then theres Garry from Brisbane, Franco in Milan, Mike now in S.F. / my '60s-'80s gang: Ned & Joseph in Ireland; in England: Frank, Des, Guy, Clive, Joe & Joe, Ian, Ivan, Nick, David, Les, Stewart, the 3 Michaels / Catriona, Sally, Monica, Jean, Ella, Anne, Candie / and now: Daryl in N.Y., Jerry, John, Colin, Martin and Donal.

Friday, 22 February 2013


Its Oscars weekend and the hype is increasing - even the quality papers get in on the act with their "who should win - who will win" nominations, and among the more popular rags all the speculation on who will wear what on the red carpet, and who got it right and who got it wrong .... It is all hype of course, as this extract from attests:

The Oscars are nothing more than 1). a marketing device to generate box-office revenue and, once TV got into the act, advertising revenue; and 2). an ego trip and potential future negotiating tool for the winners and the people who campaign successfully for the awards (e.g. Weinstein).
What's comical is that on some level many of the best in the business know it's all bullshit (I'm thinking of people like Streep, Day-Lewis, Spielberg), but they still have that craving for collecting the status symbols.
The oscars in recent years have become blatantly campaign driven by irritating PR firms and hungry stars looking for a career boost. It's become obnoxious and a major turn off.

It was ever so, ever since the first days of the Oscars when they were an industry trade event, and they still seemed important when I was young in the '50s - then of course they became a major tv and fashion event, driven by all the PR people. But now it seems anybody can win an Oscar and can you even remember who won a year or two ago? In the '50s and '60s and '70s it was fascinating seeing the nominations and who won, now less so when every Hollywood personage gets their turn, and any actor who directs a film is a shoo-in (Costner, Beatty, Redford etc) and who's turn is it this year, viz: Billy Wilder cleaned up in 1960 with THE APARTMENT as his SOME LIKE IT HOT had been swamped by BEN-HUR the previous year).
The man who has not been nominated this year is Jean-Louis Trintignant, that major French actor, now retired. His return in Haneke's AMOUR has turned out to be the arthouse sleeper and crossover hit of the year [and my film of the year, as per recent post], his co-star Emmanuele Riva is gaining momentum as Best Actress. It is a shame Trintignant was not also nominated, but maybe for the best, as a French actor won last year - for the now rather insubstantial THE ARTIST - another French actor, no matter how deserving, would hardly get the votes this year ...and an English actor (Colin Firth) won the previous year, so expect the Best Actor to return to America tomorrow (Daniel Day Lewis may not be technically American, but LINCOLN certainly is!) - but I don't want to sound too mean-spirited about the whole Oscar circus, lets enjoy the show and the fashion parade, and who turns up .... then thankfully the Award Season is over for another year.
As Terence Stamp said last week, Trintignant was so beautiful when he was young - we liked him in AND GOD CREATED WOMAN with Bardot in the '50s, and he has been working ever since - like Belmondo and Delon and Ronet and Sorel .... Here are some of the moments we like here (and I still have several of his with Romy Schneider to watch and review...), among his other successes in that long career are Rohmer's MY NIGHT WITH MAUD, Truffaut's FINALLY SUNDAY, THAT NIGHT IN VARENNES, COMPARTIMENT TUEURS, Jeanne Moreau's MATA HARI in '63, and that A MAN AND A WOMAN, 20 YEARS LATER...

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