Sunday, February 22, 2009
Death During The Oscars
Doesn't it seem appropriate, for most of the day on the Drudge Report, that an image of a man with a death skull on his sweatshirt is what the world sees as it anticipates the Academy Awards?
Whereas The Dark Knight was easily 2008's most successful and popular film, you will only see Heath Ledger surviving the late year surge of reflective critical praise for Slumdog Millionaire, in the wake of the Mumbai attacks. As the happy beat of Bollywood is celebrated during the Oscars, few in the television audience will ponder how blindness is delivered to one child in the movie or suicide is depicted there either.
The man holding the card of a decapitated head wins. Ledger will be given the "Best Supporting Actor" award.
Movies mask or mirror the madness of the realities of the world. And we live in a time in which the news swirling around us is full of death, needless to say. Have you noticed the script unfolding for future films?
On February 10, 2009, a 5-year-old boy was beheaded in Virginia Beach, Virginia (well-known for Edgar Cayce, of course).
Joseph Hagerman III, a 33-year-old (of course) Virginia Beach resident, was charged with murdering his 5-year-old son Joshua in the family's home on Sugar Creek Drive. Police spokeswoman Margie Long said the state medical examiner had ruled the cause of death was decapitation.
Hagerman also faces felonious assault charges stemming from the wounds his wife suffered while attempting to protect their son. After the attack, Hagerman waited outside the residence for police to arrive.
Meanwhile, police in Louisiana report a man died after he fell off a Mardi Gras parade float and it hit him, last night, February 21, 2009. It happened after a parade in the Cajun town of Carencro (CARE-en-crow), about 130 miles west of New Orleans.
Lafayette (of course) Parish Sheriff's Lt. Craig Stansbury says the 23-year-old (of course) was hit as the float drove away from the parade route. Police didn't release his name because they hadn't notified his family.
Crowds in cities and towns across Louisiana are jamming parade routes this weekend as part of celebrations leading up to Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday, just before Ash Wednesday ushers in Lent.
There is more but you get the picture. Or, perhaps, you'll watch the movie.
Thanks to Ben Fairhall, Todd Campbell, Richard Hendricks, SMiles, Chris Knowles, and William Thuther for various pieces of the puzzle, and Matt Drudge too.
Oscar Update: Febuary 23, 2009
"But my liveliest interest is not so much in things, as in relations of things. I have spent much time thinking about the alleged pseudo-relations that are called coincidences. What if some of them should not be coincidence?" ~ Charles Fort
Heath Ledger did win the Oscar for "Best Supporting Actor."
The Oscar's tribute footage of all who had died in the last year ran by rather quickly and wasn't exactly too visual or visible. Here's the complete list.
Bud Stone (executive)
Ollie Johnston (animator)
J. Paul Huntsman (sound)
Charles H. Joffe (producer)
Kon Ichikawa (director)
Charles H. Schneer (producer)
Abby Mann (screenwriter)
David Watkin (director of photography)
Robert Mulligan (director)
Claude Berri (director)
Maila Nurmi (Vampira)
Leonard Rosenman (composer)
Manny Farber (film critic)
Jules Dassin (director)
John Michael Hayes (screenwriter)
Warren Cowan (publicist)
Joseph M. Caracciolo (producer)
Stan Winston (special effects)
Ned Tanen (producer, executive)
Anthony Minghella (director, producer)
Some people commenting online at lists or forums, while not surprised to see Eyes Wide Shut actor Sydney Pollack in the tribute tape, were shocked to note Maila Nurmi (Vampira) there.
But the entire program had several subtle twilight themes. There was a covert vampire subtheme, as well as Masonic and 007 ("James Bond") ones. Hugh Jackman, the show's host, has played "Van Helsing," and Twilight actor Robert Pattinson presented an award. Also, Frost/Nixon's Frank Langella, who figured in various audience-interactive skits, is, along with Christopher Lee and Richard Roxburgh, one of the few actors to play both "Dracula" and "Sherlock Holmes." (Robert Downey, Jr., plays "Sherlock Holmes" next.)
There were 007s abounding. Daniel Craig (current 007, 2006-) was a live host, for design and fashion, and dressed elegantly in his "James Bond" role. Pierce Brosnan (007, 1995-2001) was visible on several clips, and Sean Connery (007, 1962-1983) was on tape, in the review of past "Best Supporting Actor" winners (he won for The Untouchables, 1987).
One measures a circle, beginning anywhere, said old Charlie Fort.
There was lots happening, symbolically, of course, but I was struck, near the end, in the midst of the montage of "Best Pictures" from 2008 mixed in with clips from "Best Pictures" from the past, right there was the little girl in the red dress from Schindler's List, as the ultimate bow to twilight language. The moment seemed so reflective of Don't Look Now (and In Bruges too), especially since Steven Spielberg was in charge of that final segment.
Mondo Cane...it's a dog's world.
See also Chris Knowles' running "live" commentary that was written during the Oscars, and the over 200 comments at his blog, which are well-worth reading. Knowles has much to say about his mild obsession with red dresses seen throughout the night. Not like there's anything wrong with that. :-)