Movie Monster So White, Part II

All right, guys. I’m pumped. The nominees for Best Picture crushed it this year, despite the color-blindness of the Academy—which isn’t the kind of color-blindness that the late, great “Stephen Colbert” used to compliment himself for back in the Colbert Report days. (Here’s a thought: There are so many good choices, why not widen the field to 2009 levels, as a means of increasing its diversity?) I’ll start where I left off, and dive right in.

And the nominees for the Academy Award for Best Picture of 2015 are . . .
Continue reading “Movie Monster So White, Part II”


Movie Monster So White

The greatest threat to movies has always been real life. I’m not talking about cultural trends for once, I’m speaking of my own personal calendar. My tendency is to read at internet pace, but not write at it. And, though some of the clickbait and bias-greasing gallimaufry I read can make that feel smugly like a badge of honor, the tendency can be a tragic flaw, or at least a private shame, when the nominees have not only been good material to write about, but have been—well—good movies.


I’m going to drop a bombshell here. Of the seven Best Picture contenders I’ve seen, there hasn’t been a single one I didn’t like. I missed Brooklyn, but it was by no means a conscientious objection; at a time when Hollywood is working so hard to use old schmaltz to tug new heartstrings—e.g., L.G.B.T., handicapped, wolf-boy, etc.—it’s almost refreshing to see a “prestige” love story in which the wedge between lovers is that one’s Italian-American and the other Irish. Faith and begorra, they’re both good Catholics!

Continue reading “Movie Monster So White”

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

A close encounter with some vintage Spielberg, back when he warmed the cockles of my heart rather than compelled my hand to rise for the Pledge of Allegiance. Plus a stab at how he and Lucas took over the industry with an alien invasion. Courtesy of Brattle Theatre Film Notes.

Both Lucas and Spielberg are drawing on different expressions of faith . . . But evangelizing to audiences whose self-image was pulverized by collective failures to do good in this world (whether those failures were wars to contain communism or social movements to promote equality), which in turn translated into serious doubts about rewards in the next, isn’t exactly preaching to the choir. This is where Pop Art kicks in . . .

You can read the full piece here.

H/T to Comfortably Smug.