Monthly Archives: February 2008

This is OSCAR! He is 80!

Dear Grandpa,

How are you? Enjoying yourself being polished and showered in gold? Has the cold weather been good to you? I’m sure you can handle the weather, considering how much you like to show up in your birthday suit all the time.

Bad weather aside, I can only be amazed at your endurance in surviving assassination attempts, wars, and so many historical events throughout decades. You’ve always managed to show up with a dignified pride, not at once giving a hint of aging. Guess your stark and everlasting beauty is what makes people admiring you go crazy and rush off to have their natural handsomeness Botoxed. You’ve never said “no” for all those maddening antics.

But this year, the time when you are supposed to be celebrated with a big bang, you’ve shown signs of, I’m not sure how I put it, lack of self-confidence? Suddenly you’re not sure if you’re able to throw a big bash again, the way you’ve always done for the past eight decades?

Grandpa, I know how your heart is undergoing major surgery right now, and at any given moment, the outcome may determine your well-being. But no matter what the results may be, they can tell you one thing: you are not going to die. You will be forever celebrated, cheered, and championed.

After all, there’s no reason of backing off from celebration.

Look at how your admirers behave for the past year.

Remember how once you favor literature adaptation? It comes back in a very graceful manner this year. Watching it makes me feel like having an Atonement of all the bad sins in bad films I’ve watched in a year.

And remember the epic scale of Giant or any dramatic films in 1950s? Look no further than Paul Thomas Anderson’s majestic There Will Be Blood, Grandpa.

I bet you can also recall the heydays of paranoia drama, the way The China Syndrome or … And Justice For All were built. Michael Clayton does it with an equally impressive result, Grandpa, and I’m sure you will marvel about the film’s director, Tony Gilroy, considering that the film is his directorial debut.

And Grandpa, maybe it is the time you reward one of your overlooked hopefuls, the Coen brothers, as they bring their most intense work to date, i.e. No Country for Old Men. It may not be your cup of tea, but if you could look beyond the film’s bleak look, you will see nothing but brilliance of filmmaking, Grandpa.

Your cute little grandchildren, Juno, sneaks in, because she (yes, Grandpa, we’ve got a film with first-name leading lady character as its title!) and her acerbic wits will tell you that smartness is still highly regarded in the present world of mindless films.

Beyond those five, you have every reason to be proud of your future aspirants.

You thought action is dead? Paul Greengrass and his The Bourne Ultimatum inject a dose of unbelievable energy to restore our faith in the genre.
You thought animation merely circles around kidlet’s fantasy? Persepolis challenges my perception towards what happened in Iran during Islamic Revolution in 1978, and Ratatouille cements Brad Bird’s status as a pioneer (aka a brat with a brain) of animated flick. Oh, Grandpa, don’t get me heartbroken again with curiosity of how The Simpsons Movie fails to crack in. Too brash?
Never mind. At least you can also be proud of how Tim Burton never loses his magic in Sweeney Todd and his barbaric yet menacing acts, and both 3:10 to Yuma and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford generate excitement to root for Western all over again.

See, Grandpa, how you should be proud of cinematic achievement in 2007?

Thus, Grandpa, this major surgery at your heart, at your core of living, is something I’m sure you can pass off easily. You’ve survived bigger events than this, and you will live on.

So will film.



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Posted by on 02/06/2008 in English, Film