Monday, February 23, 2009

Oh this is so sad

Every year, round about now I write a posting about the Oscars as there is usually something of interest in them; in return, every year I am roundly abused by many of our readers who do not consider such events worthy of discussion. Then again, those readers abuse me for so many things that it really does not matter what the particular excuse is.

So here it is, folks: the ritual Oscar posting but this year with a difference. There is nothing to say. Which is very sad for those of us (well, me) who love film and like looking at pretty clothes on attractive people.

I am very glad that Kate Winslet won the Best Actress award because I think she deserved it. I went to see "The Reader" and reviewed it for the New Culture Forum. I remain ambivalent about the film but not about Winslet's performance: it was excellent.

I was particularly pleased because I have been reading pompous articles about the need for British actors to adopt the American obsession with the Method, which produced such luminaries of the screen as Marilyn Monroe and Marlon Brando, neither of whom could act but both were undoubted stars who hogged the screen. If they do not, said pompous articles, British actors, even as good as Kate Winslet will fall behind in the Oscars stakes. Well, yah-boo and sucks to them.

I am quite pleased that "Slumdog Millionaire", by the sound of it (have not seen it yet but fully intend to) an unpretentious film, has won all those awards.

I am not all that impressed by Gordon Brown, former Chancellor of the Exchequer, now Prime Minister trying to bask in reflected glory. This has nothing to do with him or any other politician and to proclaim that the British film industry, such as it is, leads the world is the height of stupidity. But then, what would one expect?

Others I am less bothered by, though I hear good things about "Milk", so I may well overcome my visceral dislike of Sean Penn and go to a screening. But really, I could not put the general flatness of the whole business better than Andrew Klavan, writer, blogger and script-writer, has done. Sad but true.

So, I think, this evening I shall go to the National Film Theatre. On offer are a French film of 1946 with a young Yves Montand or a heavy-going German film of 1933. Decisions, decisions.

UPDATE: It was decided for me. "Les portes de la nuit" had sold out so it was heavy Germanic symbolism. "The Testament of Dr Mabuse" was the last film Fritz Lang made in Germany before he went into exile and it was banned in his homeland. Goodness knows why - I should have thought it showed quite clearly that the country needed a benign Leader. It is not a film for the fainthearted, some of whom giggled hyserically behind me but it does put many things into perspective, not least Hollywood's great gift to Mr Lang - a really tough editor.