Saturday, February 21, 2015

All About Oscar

I don't want to speculate why so few black actors and directors were nominated for Oscars this year (Oops!  Correction: No black actors and directors were nominated this year!), but I will say that  I agree with all the nominations for Birdman and Boyhood.  Those were pretty good movies, and I particularly enjoyed Michael Keaton and Zach Galifanakis in the former movie.  And come on, you have to give a lot of credit to Richard Linklater for keeping everything together over twelve years to make Boyhood, which is easily the most innovative piece of real-time storytelling I've ever seen.
And Selma, which is up for Best Picture?  Yeah, about that . . . Ava DuVernay may be a great director, but all of the buzz seems to have been diverted elsewhere - mostly to Clint Eastwood's American Sniper.  At the turn of  the year, some cinema sophisticates assumed that we'd have a movie that would make Americans confront one of the most basic and most timely political controversies in the country: namely, the right to vote.  But American Sniper came along and instead and made us all re-argue the Iraq War.  So, while we Yanks keep tussling over a war that everyone should recognize as unjust, a movie illuminating an injustice at home continues to be ignored.  And given how the Republican tsunami swept away a lot of resistance to its racist agenda, that's fine with a lot of people who profit from black disenfranchisement.
Besides, the Selma march took place in 1965.  Anything that happened that long ago is considered ancient history.  So imagine what Americans know about actual antiquity.

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