Saturday, February 26, 2011

About That Awards Show...

The Oscars are Sunday, as you may have heard, and everyone wants to know what will win. Although this year has more of my favorites than ever nominated, and the Academy has awarded some of my favorite films of past years recently (The Hurt Locker, No Country for Old Men, There Will Be Blood), my care level for this year’s Oscars are at an all time low.

This is not to say I won’t watch them, because I certainly do. But now that it is almost March, I am anticipating the releases of Uncle Boonmee, Certified Copy, and Meek’s Cutoff than focusing on last year’s films. Sure there are people that will only watch “Oscar” movies, and I’m glad The Hurt Locker found an audience because of its unbelievable win that I still find perplexing. However, the self-congratulatory atmosphere is almost unbearable, and the awards themselves are almost pointless.

I’ve always enjoyed the awards given at the Cannes film festival, mainly because they are willing to give ties, extra awards, and make a statement for the hell of it. The Romanian film 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days beat No Country for Old Men in 2007. Both are excellent films, but the Cannes jury made an important statement by stating that Romanian cinema had truly made an impact on the world.

I don’t think the Oscars have ever made a statement as much simply accept a consensus. Sure, it made for one really great book once, but otherwise, the Oscars are an afterthought on the year. They play like nostalgia, a revisiting of some of our favorites, as well as some films we despise. Below you can find my choices for who will win, who I would like to win, and who should have been nominated. I’ll provide links to my reviews of each of the films when I have them. I’m skipping the short categories—I didn’t see them, and I'm sure they are worth checking out, but I haven't had time.

If you want real awards coverage, I suggest checking out Kris Tapley and Guy Lodge on InContention.Com—They do a great job, and at least pretend to care a hell of a lot more than I do.

Click on through for predictions...

Saturday, February 19, 2011

We Are What We Are: Hungry for Power, and Literally Too

We Are What We Are
Written and Directed by: Jorge Michel Grau
Starring: Francisco Barreiro, Alan Chavez, Paulina Gaitan, and Carmen Beato
Director of Photography: Santiago Sanchez, Editor: Rodrigo Rios, Production Designer: Alejandro Garcia, Original music: Enrico Chapela
Rated: Unrated, but plenty of cannibal-related gore

    Horror films often come with allegories. The creatures that inhabit the screen space that we could never imagine our often representations of our own cultural fears. We see Frankenstein and think about the danger of man. Zombies represent capitalist drive to desire more and more and simply consume everything. But what do cannibals mean?
    I’m not sure that Jorge Michel Grau’s We Are What We Are, a refreshing if not entirely pleasant diversion of a film, has an answer for that. In fact, the cannibalism element that sits at the center of this film itself is a hook into the story of a family power struggle. And yet, the reason the film is fun to watch is also its Achilles heel—Mr. Grau is so irreverent and comical in his direction thatWe Are What We Are feels like a midnight movie in the making. 

Click to Read On...