Thursday, January 26, 2012

Does Oscar Care About Impartiality?

BBC News is reporting that parents of 2 of the boys murdered in West Memphis in 1993 are upset that Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory is in the running for an Academy Award. The first film in 1996 raised doubts about the case, and it and subsequent films have garnered celebrity support for the release of the West Memphis 3.

The parents who believe that the West Memphis 3 murdered their sons are understandably upset, but must the film be impartial in order to be considered or to win the Oscar for Best Documentary Feature? In documenting the experiences of the West Memphis 3, is the film-maker allowed to express a point of view? Is there such a thing as an impartial documentary, or does putting scenes together into cause and effect relationships inevitably create a point of view?

For the complete story from BBC, click here.

February's Movie

February's Movie is The Last Circus (Balade triste de trompeta). It is directed by Álex de la Iglesia and stars Carlos Areces, Antonio de la Terre, and Caroline Bang.

Please be aware that this movie is rated R for brutal violence throughout, some strong sexual content, nudity, and language. The movie is available both as a DVD and streaming through Netflix and is available on Amazon Instant Video.

Our meeting will be at 7:00 pm, February 15, 2012 at McAlisters on Morrell Rd. We are casual so feel free to have dinner or dessert while we discuss the movie.

We did briefly discuss moving February's meeting to another location, but I have not heard anything else about that. If there is a change, I will post it here as soon as I know about it.

January Movie Recap

It has been a couple of weeks since we talked about Hereafter. I thought I would give everyone a last chance to share any thoughts about this movie, which may have come to mind after the discussion ended. I thought we had a good discussion and covered a lot of territory in only about 35 minutes of back and forth. 

Two points particularly struck me. First, Clint Eastwood doesn’t fully develop any of the main characters. He sets them in motion as an emotional type. The story isn’t about the sequence of events or specific characters, but about how each of these emotional types react to the events. I have been thinking about other Eastwood movies since we met, and I have been considering whether this is truly a pattern on his part.

Secondly, we had a question about whether the movie promoted the idea of Fate vs. Randomness in life. The idea that was put forward that these characters defined by their emotions are more likely to respond in predictable ways. I don’t want to recap the entire discussion, but I like the idea of Likelihood rather than either Fate or Randomness. Likelihood seems to be a more elegant answer.

Of course you may think I am completely off my rocker. Please, leave any of your last minute observations as comments.