or so ago when I read the flurry of articles and other items condemning "Avatar" and Hollywood in general for
unleashing a plague of paganism on the world, I kind of dismissed it with a
laugh. But considering the number of movies that could be construed as pagan or
animistic or Wiccan or whatever that have been released since then and which
are in the works I kind of think they might have a point, though it's probably
not the point they intended.
Now that Health Care reform has passed (or has it?),
many Republicans are convinced that President Obama is indeed the Antichrist.
Even Glenn Beck, who had identified James Cameron back in 2007 (with Cameron recently counterclaiming that Beck was "a fucking asshole") as the Great Beast
666, has recanted
If the movie wasn't so good, I'd say it was becoming numbingly predictable. "The Hurt Locker" won the Chlotrudis Society's Best Picture Award last night, and though I wasn't disappointed, I must say that I would not have been saddened had "Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans" had beaten it out. It was nominated for several awards by Chlotrudis but won nothing! It was "The Color Purple" of Chlotrudis nominees.
It's won the Golden Globe, the Oscar, even the Boston Society of Film Critics Best Picture and Best Director Awards. But can Kathryn Bigelow and "The Hurt Locker" win the really big prize or, like so many aspirants before them, choke out at the very end like the 2007 New England Patriots? I'm referring, of course, to the Chlotrudis Awards, which take place this Sunday at 5 p.
I was watching NECN News this morning and
noticed on the crawl something about the Iranian government releasing some activists
and "a filmmaker" in celebration of the Iranian New Year. Could it have been
Checking out the story on-line, it turns out
the lucky filmmaker was Mohammad Rasoulof, who was arrested on March 1 along
with Panahi and 14 other people (including Panahi's wife) who have since been
So much for the Oscars. I'd just like to add that the
winners were in a sense a vindication, once again, of the film critics
societies that initially brought them to the attention of everybody. Take for
example the organization of which I'm a proud member, the Boston Society of
Film Critics: 8 of the 13 comparable awards (there is no Best Newcomer or
Ensemble Cast in the Academy Awards) given by the BSFC went on to win Oscars.
I'm not sure what this entails, but I will be participating in it along with fellow critics Brett Michel, Tom Meek and the ever elusive YH. Rumor has it that Boris will make an appearance. And you, too! You can respond in real time with gloating insults every time one of my predictions goes bust! It starts Sunday at 8 p.
Their timing might not be the greatest, starting a week or so
after the heartbreaking loss of the US
hockey team to Canada at the
Vancouver Olympics, but the New Films from Québec series
at the Museum of Fine Arts warrants your consideration.
Who knew that a vibrant foreign language film industry lay just a couple of
hundred miles to the north? One that combines the best features of Hollywood and European
Here's one reason why organized religion bugs me. Here you have one of cinema's most
spiritual filmmakers, Jafar Panahi, whose films "Crimson Gold"
or "The Circle" could easily have made the Arts & Faith people's top 100 list, and he's
"detained" by the tyrannical forces of a so-called theocratic government, one
which, in principle, is supposed to uphold the enlightened teachings of Islam
but instead uses religion as an excuse to enforce a regime of intolerance,
injustice, greed and ignorance.
Like many lapsed Catholics, I look for transcendence in other
places, especially ones that haven't burnt heretics. That's one reason I love
film: when done right, it achieves immanence, conjures up epiphanies,
touches on the numinous, and vindicates the spirit more than any other art form (okay, except maybe
for some music and an occasional cryptic crossword puzzle).