Oscar Nominations

January 30, 2005
There were no big surprises in the Oscar nominations this week. I’ve been saying for the last month that The Aviator will take Best Picture, and now it’s the official front-runner. Not that it deserves to win that Oscar–I could name five better films this year without even stretching my mind (Hotel Rwanda, Million Dollar Baby, Ray, Spiderman II, Badasss, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind–oops; that was six). But I’m not really upset about it. The Aviator was fun to watch, it was the sort of movie that Hollywood loves to honor, and it’s about time Scorsese won. Funny how he had to come down a peg from his best work to finally be a serious Oscar contender. Still, The Aviator was better than Gangs of New York.

So, on to this week’s footnotes. Or, to be more precise, footnote:

San Francisco Independent Film Festival
The Seventh Annual San Francisco Independent Film Festival opens its two-week, four-venue run Thursday night at the Castro. Actually, Thursday night is the only night it will be at the Castro. From there it moves to the Roxie and the Woman’s Building. The last two nights it will also screen films at the Mama Buzz Cafe in Oakland.

I haven’t seen any of the announced films (that’s sort of the point of a film festival, isn’t it?), so I can’t give any real recommendations. But here are some films that, based on their description, sparked my curiosity:

  • Raiders of the Lost Ark: The Adaptation. Three teenagers made a shot-by-shot, no-budget recreation of one of the best-loved action movies of all time.

  • Made in Secret: The Story of the East Van Porn Collective. This documentary follows a group of amateur Vancouver pornographers motivated by their dislike of conventional porn.

  • 24 Hours on Craigslist. Another documentary. I think the name says it all.

  • Blackball. This British comedy puts a flashy, sexy, professional-style athlete into what must be the least flashy, sexy, or professional sport of all, lawn bowling,. It’s directed by Mel Smith (The Tall Guy, Bean). I’ve already got plans to see this one, so I’ll let you know what I think of it.