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Cashless Society

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  1. Never mind, I'm stupid. There's actually a 70% correlation between Picture and Director. To be fair, outside of a niche group of film lovers, most people thought this was a bad movie upon release. But the argument against Marvel isn't that it's about superheroes, but rather that instead of being an artistic expression, it's an assembly line product. That's the difference between them. People still go crazy over The Dark Knight right? I think the exhaustion is part of the reason it resonated so much with certain audiences, particularly with Gen-Z. Depends on how one defines "Original". Throughout the previous year, a lot of people where talking about Top Gun: Maverick as if it was somehow an "original" movie. I'm pretty sure it will. Any movie that comes out early in the year, gets constantly talked about throughout the year and receives a best picture nomination pretty much stands the test of time. Taxi Driver, Get Out, Silence of the Lambs. I'm not sure it will change what gets awards anytime soon. Look at the other big win of the night, a movie that fits many characteristics of Oscar Bait. There's a high probability that it could have won more awards if Netflix had been campaigning for it from the beginning.
  2. Apparently, editing used to be the best predictor until round about the new millennium.
  3. No it's not. As a matter of fact, approximately half the best picture winners have also won best director.
  4. My personal picks if I was a member of AMPAS: Picture: EEAAO, Tar, Elvis, Women Talking, Avatar: The Way of Water, The Banshees of Inisherin, The Fabelmans, Top Gun: Maverick, Triangle of Sadness, All Quiet on the Western Front Director: Daniels (Runner-up: Todd Field) Actress: Cate Blanchett (Runner-up: Michelle Yeoh) Actor: Colin Farrell (Runner-up: Paul Mescal) Supporting Actress: Kerry Condon (Runner-up: Hong Chau) Supporting Actor: Ke Huy Quan (Runner-up: Brendan Gleeson) Adapted Screenplay: Abstain, none of these nominees are worthy. Original Screenplay: EEAAO (Runner-up: Tar) International Feature: Argentina, 1985 Song: Lift Me Up (Runner-up: This is a Life) Animated Feature: Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio (Runner-up: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On) Editing: Elvis (Runner-up: Tar) Cinematography: Abstain, none of these nominees are worthy. Visual Effects: Avatar: The Way of Water Production Design: Elvis (Runner-up: Avatar: The Way of Water) Costume Design: EEAAO (Runner-up: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) Makeup & Hairstyling: The Batman (Runner-up: Black Panther: Wakanda Forever) Sound: The Batman (Avatar: The Way of Water) Original Score: The Fabelmans (Runner-up: The Banshees of Inisherin)
  5. There's also some issues in that campaigning rules may have been violated, and whether or not academy members would have been publicly campaigning for a performer from a minority group. Here's a video that breaks down the issue.
  6. I see what you're saying, but I wouldn't say it's "pretentious hack" category. Rather that, similar to M. Night, having too much success early in his career has now left him in a state of "can I still live up to this reputation?" phase. Where now he’s overdoing it. M. Night got over this hurdle after the Will and Jaden vehicle that crashed and burned and no one in Hollywood was willing to finance his films any longer. I wonder what it would take for Aronofsky to get over his hurdle.
  7. It makes more sense if you ignore the narration and think of the story as an extended imagination from someone reading the minutes from Whishaw's notebook. Apparently, the novel is written in report form from those minutes, hence the more erudite language (and the ironic title). In my opinion, the contrast in stylised dialect and the more realistic approach to conversation (i.e. people interrupting each other, the sudden changes in topics, etc.) where why the performances where really off as Polley couldn't combine them in a cohesive way. I think it will be, solely due to film critics and pop culture commentariats will continue to mention it, especially whenever culture war issues are brought up. Pretty much one of the worst approaches to awarding a film, why not just give it to the best regardless of how many other awards it probably will end up winning?
  8. Finally got around to watching Drunken Angel, the first collaboration between Kurosawa and Mifune. Exciting to see Kurosawa still working out some his visual style and also venting out some of his frustration during the occupation period. Mifune's performance was great, and I would have loved to see him in a suave James Bond type role. All Quiet on the Western Front, and I was rather disappointed in the film. A lot of the scenes were very perfunctory and had almost no emotional impact on me, so when key moments occurred, it felt meaningless and somewhat manipulative. It also felt as if the film was manufactured to win awards by utilising Hollywood style filmmaking in what is supposed to be an antiwar film and was only helped by the story not providing an opportunity for elaborate grandiose scenes. I would recommend giving Come and See a watch for those who haven't seen it, as it actually succeeds where this fails. Living was a good watch, although completely unnecessary if you've already seen the original masterpiece. The Whale was pretty much the most try-hard movie of the awards season, which I suspect is why it got such a limited number of nominations. Fraser and Hong Chau deliver performances that rise way above the lacklustre material they were given to work with. Sadie Sink on the other, lacks the experience of the former two and looked really terrible, it's one of those characters where defenders will claim "she's a teenager, that's how they behave" as a way to excuse such terrible writing. And the final scene was one of the most comical things I've seen in a while. I almost fell off the couch at how pompous the whole thing played out. I wonder if the editor turned to look at Aronofsky and dared to ask him, "are there really no better takes of this scene?" Aftersun was the best of the bunch I saw. It's like the type of movie Sofia Coppola tried to make with Somewhere, but it actually succeeds. I loved that there was no need for the dad to do a monologue about depression and dissatisfaction with life, instead it's all just shown visually and with Paul Mescal's subdued yet brilliant performance. Oddly enough, some of the visual style reminded me a lot of Spring Breakers.
  9. Are you sure, I heard that Apple is trying to screen this at Cannes for the Palm D'or, hence the May premiere. Scorsese's movies usually release late in the year, Oct-Dec.
  10. You've gotta think that Mbappe is kinda pissed at his team makes right now.
  11. I'm yet to see Drunken Angel. I always thought it was that film that finally got him carte blanche as he follows it up with Stray Dog and then Rashomon.
  12. The Soong Sisters starring Michelle Yeoh, Maggie Cheung and Vivian Wu, about the real life sisters who greatly influenced the direction of China during the 1900's. It was a very interesting look into another part of history I know nothing about, but a feature film runtime could not do justice to the breadth of the time period covered which made the overall film feel undercooked. The Flowers of War by Zhang Yimou, pretty solid effort from Zhang taking place in WWII, even though he sacrificed the visual flair he's known for in favour of Spielbergian sentimentality á la Empire of the Sun. Oliver Stone's JFK, honestly if I didn't know any better I would say this film is what inspired Qanon and all other related conspiracy theories. As for the film itself, almost everything about is expertly crafted (direction, editing, cinematography, score) but man is Kevin Costner one of the most boring actors ever put to screen, how the hell did he convince enough people that he could be a Hollywood leading man? Despite all that though, I feel as though the film would be better served as a documentary rather than narrative film. Bullet Train, well this was a huge disappointment. If anyone asks why mid-budget movies aren't getting made anymore, this should be the go to answer. Literally, the same quality as a Hollywood adaptation of a beloved anime from the 20th Century. Ikiru, there's really not much I can say about a Kurosawa masterpiece that hasn't already been said in a more eloquent way than I ever could, but everybody needs to see this film before they die, just once at least. The Road Home, another film by Zhang although this time it's a romance genre film, presumably taking place during the cultural revolution. It's his first collaboration with Zhang Ziyi, where she plays a farm girl who falls in love with a teacher who has come from the city. As cheesy as it sounds, it's a simple yet well-done film with beautiful imagery and heartwarming score. I give it a definite recommend, especially if you've seen Zhang's films with Li Gong. Next up, I'll be watching what this year's slate of awards bait has to offer. Hopefully, it's not as dreadful as last year's batch. Now why would you carelessly give out such a spoiler? In fairness, one could argue that OWS is Kurosawa's best film during his pre-Mifune era.
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