I don’t really remember exactly when I “discovered” Scorsese, so to speak. One would think that I would immediately know the first Scorsese movie I saw, but I honestly can’t say. My only explanation is that since that initial viewing, whatever it was, Scorsese’s films have captivated me in a way no other filmmaker’s resume has. After recently seeing Shutter Island, my love of Scorsese has once again been vindicated. He’s truly one of the greatest living filmmakers of all time. Arguably, he is the greatest living filmmaker. To me, it’s no argument.
Starring: Willem Dafoe, Charlotte Gainsbourg
Director: Lars von Trier
Screenwriter: Lars von Trier
I tend to be the kind of person who likes to judge a piece of art (and remember: bad art is still art) without taking into account the artist himself. A work should be able to stand apart from its creator. Lars von Trier is a filmmaker that I’ve found makes that an extremely hard rule to follow. Antichrist is a film in which von Trier makes damn sure you know he’s the filmmaker, and the presumptuousness of such a thing makes the film difficult to swallow. The film has been plagued by controversy. People at Toronto and Cannes walked out of screenings. I, like I believe most people who pick up this film will do, watched it “to see what all the fuss is about.” I wish I had read more about it beforehand.
Shutter Island 
Note: There are inevitably going to be some spoilers in reviewing and discussing this film. It’s impossible. I’d rather just review it honestly than try not to reveal its secrets. If you haven’t seen the movie, don’t read this review (unless you’re a masochist and like spoilers). You have been warned.
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert 
Starring: Hugo Weaving, Terence Stamp, Guy Pearce
Director: Stephan Elliott
Screenwriter: Stephan Elliott
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert is gay, in both definitions of the word, and that’s precisely what makes its charm almost irresistible. It’s a fun romp through the desert of Australia. It has a kinetic energy that almost never lets up, and it has characters that are as unpredictable and eccentric as its costumes (for which it won an Oscar). One thing that makes it as enjoyable as it is are the three leads, all typically “macho” men, or at least actors who play roles associated with more masculine character traits: Hugo Weaving, Terence Stamp and Guy Pearce. The fact that they play three musical drag queens is something that starts out seeming like a gimmick, and as the film progresses, becoming a more and more pleasing choice.
District 9 
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Jason Cope, David James, Mandla Gaduka
Director: Neill Blomkamp
Screenwriter: Neill Blomkamp, Terri Tatchell
The best science fiction utilizes itself as a catalyst to discuss issues and ideas that are relevant to the world we live in. It’s not about lasers and stars, spaceships and warp drives – although it can include some, or all, of these things – it’s about worldly ideas expressed through otherworldly circumstances. District 9, although not one of the best science fiction films, aspires to this brand of sci-fi. Most of the film takes a thoughtful and realist look at not only the idea of extra-terrestrials coming to planet Earth, but also makes itself into a commentary on the apartheid government in South Africa. The director, Neill Blomkamp, doesn’t even make this an allusion, but an outright statement, setting the film in Johannesburg.
So it’s taken me long enough, but they’re finally here! My official Oscar Predictions. They’re only in the major categories: Best Picture, Animated Picture, Director, Acting Awards and Writing Awards. I feel I have the knowledge and information to properly predict those. The other awards… Not so much. I could try, but frankly, I’m going to be lazy for the moment and just focus on the major ones. Maybe before the official Oscar telecast I’ll make predictions in other areas. Anyway, I hope you enjoy. Remember, if you want to see these predictions later, just check out the page at the top labeled “The Oscars.” That will take you right there. Or just click here.
As many probably noticed, I haven’t been updating as frequently. I’m back at school now. Second week almost over. It’s just been extremely hectic. I haven’t even had time to write about my reaction to the Oscar nominees. Which stinks. I have some stuff I’d like to say about it. I’ve also been battling some kind of stomach flu or something. I don’t know. But I’ve been sick the past couple days. I guess what I mean is, I’m working slowly on getting some stuff together. Let me just give some idea of what’s to come soon concerning reviews…
District 9 -I wanted to get a review of it out earlier, but I didn’t, and I should have. I’ve started working on it, so expect that sometime soon.
The Apartment – I have a review in my head that just needs to get written down. Furthermore, it’s one of the reviews that was done over at 1001 Movies Club.
This Saturday, the 1001 Movies Club will be publishing reviews of The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert. I’m working on writing one for that as well.
I just recently saw Dr. Strangelove again, and after discussing it in my class feel more confident about reviewing it, so I’m going to take a stab at that.
Where The Wild Things Are – I finally finished it… Thoughts are still swirling in my head, but expect a review sometime in the next couple weeks.
Nanook of the North – I’m going to be seeing this on Thursday, and I expect that we’ll be discussing it in class as well. I don’t know if I will write a review, but perhaps. We’ll see. It’s a possibility.
There are others as well, but those are the ones I’m mulling about getting around to publishing. So expect them. There’s a screening of Inglourious Basterds this Friday as well, and though I’ve seen it before, seeing it again will probably solidify my thoughts, so I wouldn’t count out a review of that, either.
Also, for those interested, check out the letter Roger Ebert published on his site. You can read it here. I’d publish it on my blog here, but frankly, since Ebert was gracious enough to publish it, you can go there to read it. But feel free to comment on it here if you so desire.