Thursday, January 14, 2016

Film and Me

Now Playing:  John Williams - The Scavenger (Star Wars: The Force Awakens OST)

I was writing something else here--about the movies I saw and loved in 2015--then I heard the news: Alan Rickman passed away. This week officially sucks. . . .

I actually don't have all that much to say. I've seen a good chunk of his movies (including Christmas classic Die Hard), but for the most part, he's just been my Professor Snape, as he was for a million other people. It's always strange to hear such news about people who've influenced us and entertained us so much. I guess you never expect it. But he lived a good life and, by all accounts, he was a good man too. I hope he died peacefully.

It's kind of a weird movie morning. I got hit by the Alan Rickman news first, and then immediately I heard about the Oscar nominations. (And how predominantly white they are. Wtf, Academy. Get your shit together).

When I heard the nominations, it dawned on me that I didn't go to the theater all that often last year. Or the year before that. Why is that, I wonder? Am I distancing myself from the film industry? Am I just really cheap and lazy and don't feel like trekking to a movie theater?

Probably the latter. I think I'm a lot more careful about the movies I pick to see in theaters now. I go for the visual spectacle, and/or to support filmmakers and stories that deserve all the attention and admiration.

Last year, out of the movies I saw in theaters, my favorites ended up being predominantly sci-fi with somewhat feminist undertones. (I know! What a shock. I'm just so unpredictable like that).

Those being:

Mad Max: Fury Road 
My current favorite film of all time.
Also, I just love this poster.


and Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

And weirdly...all three got Oscar nominations.

Granted, most are categories people would have expected. Of course Force Awakens got it for visual effects, for best score, that kind of thing. I do fully expect all three to duke it out in the technical achievements, and I am honestly not sure who I hope wins.

However, Fury Road actually got a nomination for best picture and best director. And Ex-Machina got it for best original screenplay.

I hope, I dream, but I doubt they'll win. They absolutely deserve to win, but just like I have my quirks, so does the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. They almost never give genre fiction the recognition it deserves. (They also, as evidenced by the nominations, seldom believe in recognizing actors of color. Just. . .wow.)

Although a part of me does hope Fury Road wins for best film editing.

Being a film editor had been my dream for a long time. I loved editing so much I learned and read about it all I could when I was in my pre-teen and early adolescent years. I don't know if I was ever great at it, but I did enjoy it a lot. Eventually I decided I wasn't fully capable of diving my attention between two artistic mediums and coming out triumphant in both. Therefore, I focused on writing, letting my film editing skills resurface every now and then for school projects and not much else.

But I still have a deep love and appreciation for film editing, and the one in Fury Road is just spectacular.

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"Science and science fiction have done a kind of dance over the last century... The scientists make a finding. It inspires science fiction writers to write about it, and a host of young people read the science fiction and are excited, and inspired to become scientists...which they do, which then feeds again into another generation of science fiction and science..."
- Carl Sagan, in his message to future explorers of Mars.