Monday, February 26, 2007


Favorite moment in this year's Oscars: Martin Scorsese finally winning and getting his statuette from Francis Ford Coppola, Steven Spielberg and George Lucas. The four most important living American directors on one stage--that was unforgettable. Too bad Robert Altman died this year; he deserved to be in that line-up... And Ennio Morricone being honored with a special Oscar, that too was long overdue. He had, as of last count, scored 528 films--everything from Leone's "A Fistful of Dollars" to De Palma's "The Untouchables," Malick's "Days of Heaven," Pasolini's "Salo," Bertolucci's "La Luna," Pontecorvo's "The Battle of Algiers." The man's talent is, in a word, protean. The first time I had heard of Mr. Morricone's name was when I saw "The Mission" in high school. Extraordinary film (where is director Roland Joffe now?), sublime soundtrack. I just had to find out the name of the guy who composed "Ave Maria Guarani" and "On Earth As It Is in Heaven." He also wrote the score for "Cinema Paradiso"--music that "stirred longing into its sweetness and thereby bound it together," wrote the New Yorker's Anthony Lane. Five Academy nominations, and he gets an honorary one. Mr. Morricone deserves better. (A blow-by-blow account of the Oscars here.)

The Philippine Star's Edna Vida-Froilan raves about PETA's "Belong Puti," the directorial comeback of Nonon Padilla. "A darn good show that must not be missed," she says. "Fantastic... A mad but truthful concoction of human foibles." Amen! The show is on its last weekend this March 3-4. Gogogo. (My own review next week.)


beektur said...

Scorsese won for the wrong reason: sentiment over excellence. He deserved an Oscar for Taxi Driver, The Last Temptation of Christ, even for Kundun, Aviator or Gangs of New York. But not Departed. This is another Academy debacle, similar to giving Judi Dench an Oscar for for 4 minute appearance on Shakespeare in Love because they Academy failed to recognize her talent on Mrs. Brown the previous year. I've stopped watching the Oscars six years ago.

But in a way, recognizing Departed as the best picture is very telling of the current state of Hollywood. How many of the viewers knew that it was based on a Hong Kong film, which is far grittier and compelling because it was raw and unadulterated by star glitter? With Spielberg et al up on the stage, recognizing a movie based on an Asian film, Hollywoood in a way confirmed what has been an undiscussed fact: great cinema lies beyond the confines of Hollywood. Hey, hadn't Coppola and Lucas been paying tribute to Kurosawa all this time? And what about Allen's copycats of Bergman? The real talents with original visions and unwavering convictions: the Malicks, Altmans, Lees (Ang and Spike), Cronebnbergs all work outside the monstrous movie milling machine that is Hollywood.

snglguy said...

My earliest recollection of Morricone's work was the now classic theme song from "The Good, The Bad and the Ugly".

Dennis said...

I agree with you that seeing the three directors onstage even before announcing the Best Director awardee was already a moment of pure theater. That they handed it to Scorsese does not diminish the fact that the guy deserves an oscar. Unfortunately, those who vote rely on other reasons other than simply choosing the best for any year; it also includes such reasons as sentiment, and just having been able to see the film or a screener of it. The Departed may probably be considered among the least expected winners, and the last reason may be why it actually won over Babel or Little Miss Sunshine even.

Gibbs, the last I heard about Roland Joffe is that Victor Ordonez was in negotiation with him for a film version of "With Hearts Aflame."

Anonymous said...

hi mr dennis marasigan what is the address of your blog?

Gypsy said...

Like you, my first time to hear of Morricone's work was in "The Mission." Fantastic film, made even more by his music.

Anonymous said...

Hi. Not to sound like a stalker or anything, but I found your blog and thought I'd ask if still sell foreign DVDs. I bought a copy of Goodbye Lenin! from you a couple of years ago.

wendell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
wendell said...

Who can ever forget:

Gwyneth Paltrow (Shakespeare in Love) winning over Cate Blanchett (Elizabeth)

Susan Sarandon winning for Dead Man Walking instead of her nominations for Atlantic City (1981), Thelma and Louise (1991), Lorenzo's Oil (1992) and The Client (1994)

Geraldine Page winning for The Trip to Bountiful (1985), her 8th nomination, instead of her peformances in Hondo (1953), Summer and Smoke (1961), Sweet Bird of Youtj (1962), You're a Big Boy Now (1966), Pete'n'Tillie (1972), The Pope of Greenwich Village (1984).

Julie Andrews winning for Mary Poppins (1964) instead of The Sound of Music (1965)

Jessica Lange winning 1982 Best Supporting Actress award for Tootsie instead of exceptional performance in and nomination that year for FRANCES

Meryll Streep deserved to win not in 1982 (Sophie's Choice) but for any of the following: French Lt.'s Woman (1981), Silkwood (1984), Out of Africa (1985), Cryin the Dark (1989), Postcards from the Edge (1991), Bridges from Madison County (1996), The Hours (2003)

Nicole Kidman did not deserve her Oscar in 2003 for The Hours. She deserved it earlier in To die for (1996) or Moulin Rouge (2002).

The list goes on.

Dennis said...

More to add to the list:
Al Pacino winning for Scent of a Woman; Paul Newman for A Color of Money.


gibbs cadiz said...

yes, BEEKTUR, mrs. brown--ang galing ni dame judi dun! :)

yes, SNGLGUY, that one, too. :)

ey DENNIS, truthfully, i'm happy that 'the departed' won over 'babel.' :)

ey, GYPYSY, yep, what a movie! i'm sure you also recall that scene with jeremy irons scaling the falls. :)

hi ANONYMOUS, no more. most arthouse and foreign titles are now widely available at makati square and everywhere else. you may want to check out these places. :)

WENDELL, galing! i have to disagree, though, on meryl streep's oscar for sophie's choice. i think that's really her finest performance. every time i watch it i see something new! :)

that's right, DENNIS, al pacino in scent of a woman! :)

cathy_bythesea said...

I want that CD Gibbs :) I love Ennio Morricone!

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