Filmish presents a graphic non fiction look at the history and impact of film over the last 100 years. Lots of film fans are reluctant to read books about film and the history of film by critics and academics which can turn film viewing into a boring academic exercise that is essentially just opinion anyway. Do you really believe Citizen Kane is the best movie ever made? Do you care? When you know that its really a choice between Casablanca and Lawrence of Arabia (or secretly – Star Wars: Episode IV)?
I enjoyed the book because it of the art work and the opinions. Ross has divided into chapters describing how film influences or uses the eye, time, voice and language and ideology and technology. It is not academic but raises many questions and challenges the reader to think about their own experience of watching a movie. For those who are inspired to look more deeply into the literature around film, the author quotes many of the more notable critics and writers and provides a superb bibliography. Reading the book will definitely change how you watch movies without wrecking the experience for you. Highly recommended.
The 2016 Oscar Awards Show was one of the best of recent years. Clearly it took some controversy to get them to kick it into a higher gear. Chris Rock has received some great plaudits for his hosting and this was well deserved. He managed to skate a careful line but made the point about strongly about the lack of diversity without insulting anyone. My favourite segments were Chris Rock’s interview with people outside a movie theatre in Compton where no one seemed aware of the white Oscar nominated films. The contrast was very funny and pointed. The other highlight was Louis CK introducing the nominees and winner of the Short Documentary. Also this was won by a Pakistani/Canadian director whose film about honour killing may have actually changed the policies around punishing honour killers in Pakistan. Makes the whole thing more meaningful when the Academy gives attention to an important film and makes a difference.
As for the awards themselves overall it was very good. I was disappointed that Amy won best documentary but otherwise I was pretty happy with the outcome. I loved the surprises like Spotlight taking Best Picture and Ex Machina took Best Visual Effects in the face of Mad Max taking all the other technical awards. All in all a good year, a pretty good show, and it deserved a better audience.