Archive for April 9, 2011

The Oscar Quest: Best Director – 1951

1951 is one of those years where — you can’t understand why they chose the way they did. Sure The American in Paris is an enjoyable movie, but, is it a Best Picture winner? That’s the main question we have for this year. Fortunately I don’t have to answer it now, I only have to deal with Best Director.

Best Actor 1951 was Humphrey Bogart for The African Queen. Kind of a makeup Oscar, kind of a career achievement Oscar. Also kept Brando from winning one. We’ll get to that. Best Actress was Vivien Leigh for A Streetcar Named Desire. Best Supporting Actor was Karl Malden, also for Streetcar, and Best Supporting Actress was Kim Hunter, also for Streetcar. I guess four people winning for the same film would have been a bit much. Especially when they weren’t going to award it Best Picture.


And the nominees are…

John Huston, The African Queen

Elia Kazan, A Streetcar Named Desire

Vincente Minnelli, An American in Paris

George Stevens, A Place in the Sun

William Wyler, Detective Story (more…)

In Honor of Sidney Lumet

I’m not one for tributes. People feel some need to heap praise upon the dead, and I think it’s just the dumbest thing. Why not do it when they’re alive? This is a deep-seeded thing with me. I don’t attend funerals, I think they’re one of the worst ideas the human race has come up with. Sending flowers, acting all solemn — what a waste of time. And don’t get me started on cemeteries.

If you love someone, do it while they’re alive. And then when they’re dead, go, “Wasn’t he awesome?” and think about just how awesome they were. Try not to do it the three days after they die, because that’s when it’s trendy. Don’t fall in line like the rest of them. Besides, they write their obituaries months, even years in advance. That’s why, I’m calling it now — as someone who’s written his own college recommendation letter, I will be the one to write my own obituary and eulogy (because I know, despite me wishes, people will hold a service anyway. Because they yes you to death, but once you’re dead, they do what they want anyway). Don’t be the one to heap tribute like everyone else.

So, all this is leading back to — I hate writing tributes to the dead. I just don’t do it. Like wishing people happy birthday or feeling the need to make small talk when there’s nothing to talk about. It’s not me, and I leave it to those who do that sort of thing. Elizabeth Taylor just died. I didn’t mention a word of it. Because everyone else did. Her death meant a lot to me, the same way Marlon Brando’s did, Gregory Peck’s did, and a number of other people who meant a lot to me by just being who they were and being alive. (more…)

Pic of the Day: “The only arithmetic he ever got was hearing the referee count up to ten.”

On the Waterfront - 50