Monday, February 26, 2007

79th Oscars

Yesterday's excitement knocked my Oscar blog back by a day. But it can't wait too long. Oscar Night is my second favorite night after Christmas Eve.

My husband had to work so I started taping things from the red carpet, the Barbara Walters special and the main event. Luckily he got home in time for the Big Three at the end - Best Actor, Best Director and Best Picture. Luckily, because just as Martin Scorsese approached the podium at long last, the tape ran out.

I'd been distracted during the first half because I was tidying up the living room, knowing the technician would arrive the next day to hook us up to the Internet. And I knew I was taping it, so I could catch up on it later. But by the second half I was laying on the couch, my heated Magic Bag on my neck, two blankets over me and my dog curled into my feet at the other end. I was just in time for the gorgeous montage of foreign film - it filled me with the joy that brought me to study filmmaking in the first place.

I absolutely love the film scores of Ennio Morricone, who received a special Oscar and gave such a stirring and heartfelt speech. I was struck by how much affection and respect Clint Eastwood has for Morricone. I loved how easy it was to get the emotional tone of the Italian speech, even before Eastwood's translation. But I was grateful to hear what the composer had actually said, because his words were poetic and filled with generosity.

The genuine love and comradeship between Francis Ford Coppola, George Lucas and Steven Spielberg as they presented the directing award to their decades-long friend Martin Scorsese was the highlight of the broadcast for me. Those four filmmakers have been so influential to my generation, and sometimes people can forget that they started into the biz as friends who shared the same passion. The fact that they have remained friends for over thirty years and have retained their passion for film is a very beautiful thing.

No matter how faithfully the viewing audience has followed someone's career, there is always the private world that only that actor's or director's intimate relationships can fathom. Yet we sometimes catch a glimpse of that inner sanctum, and last night I felt that I'd seen it with that presentation of the Best Director Oscar.

'Film is a collaberative effort' they always say, but revealing to the world that one's life is Film, and that one succeeds only because of collaborating with the best, that illustrates the sort of life that I consider well-lived. Humble acknowledgement of joint effort even in the face of personal mastery - that's my ideal filmmaker. Something to emmulate. Now, to get back to that short subject I've been working on...


Unknown said...

I really enjoy reading your postings on films because I can feel your love and passion for them.

And welcome to the wired world.

Anonymous said...

You might already know about this; from a post by Morrissey on his website back in september:
For the immediate future I am excited to be asked by Morricone (yes, Morricone) to sing and supply words for one of his musical pieces with a view to presenting this song at Carnegie Hall. Joy, joy, joy

Kelly Boyce said...

I wish I had taped the Oscars. My favorite awards are always the screenplays. I like to close my eyes and picture my name being called. And cinematography. That always takes my breath away.

Julia Phillips Smith said...

Hey Alan!

Thanks for the link to Morrissey's site. I immediately looked for my mixed Smiths tape to listen to while I blogged, but I couldn't find it. I had to make do with my Strangeways Here We Come CD.

Annie Mac - I'm glad you enjoy feeling the vibe when I get going about film. Don't quote me on this, but I think there may be more...much more...when it comes to that subject.

Kelly - I can see your face in the audience now! Waiting quietly before the winner's name is announced. "And the Oscar goes to..." Oh yes, I can see it all! Because I can see me a few seats over from you. I promise I'll wait patiently to congratulate you while Christian Bale pops over to give his regards.