Saturday, March 13, 2010

Oscar Washup

Oscar 2010 – Last words
“There was no joy for the Australian nominees…The closest thing to a win for an Australian, was an Austrian, Christoph Waltz, claiming best supporting actor for playing a scheming Nazi in Inglourious Basterds.” Gary Maddox in the Sydney Morning Herald reporting, from deep in the bowels of Pyrmont, on the Oscar ceremony. For a rather more droll, Brit-take-the-piss report try here

The SMH is one of those papers with a schizoid view of the Oscars. Its writers relentlessly rubbish them while its editors are no doubt happy to publish endless column inches about them. Even by the end of the week, commentator David Dale couldn't resist further notes: “The biggest winner The Hurt Locker (weekly box office up 12% - ed) will go on to even bigger earnings. Precious probably wont be assisted by its wins. A low-budget tale of squalor and child abuse sounds too much like a typical Australian film to attract Australian audiences.” That squelch was in The Tribal Mind, SMH 13-14 March…Meanwhile writer Louis Nowra, making a new reputation for himself these days as Demolition Man after recent jobs on David Williamson, Bob Ellis and Germaine Greer in various intellectual publications, surfaced again to remind everyone of his brush with Kathryn Bigelow fame, by reminding the SMH gossip columnist that he “wrote the screenplay” for Bigelow’s K-19:The Widowmaker. Nowra’s other claims about the film were that he never saw it, that Harrison Ford got paid a million a day for 20 days work and the film broke even at the box office. Louis added what he called “a little known Hollywood fact. No movie that has ever featured a submarine has ever lost money.” Not sure if all those things are true. Any assistance with information about box office flops featuring submarines would be welcome…. Louis has had other brushes with Hollywood, most notably with the Weinsteins in their Miramax period when his play Cosi was adapted into a movie in 1996 directed by Mark Joffe. At the time, Louis apparently acquiesced quietly, as far as is publicly known, when a happy ending was substituted for the play’s downbeat finale.

I saw The Hurt Locker yesterday. Mmmmmmixed feelings. I suspect its not as good as Generation Kill, the seven hour mini-series made for HBO by the creators of The Wire, of which I've only watched one ep thus far. Very gruelling but covers similar stuff, right down to the wrestling and fighting in the barracks. ...and the lead guy in The Hurt Locker is a psychopath who spends much time placing not just himself but his mates in danger. For that he gots socked once and has an angry speech of ten seconds duration delivered at him by the wounded buddy. but filmed with great skill in the I'm going to make you feel you're there style. Yet again its a film for the political moment that pinches the prize.