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On this year's Oscar winner

The Hurt Locker - about a U.S. Army demolitions team posted in Iraq - is such a male movie, it could only have been directed by a woman. Sort of like how it took a German director to make the most American movie of all time, Independence Day.

R: The Hurt Locker explores behaviors, like the fine line between violence and respect, and the need to establish who's in charge, that girls don't do and that boys take for granted. Women who watched the movie probably thought, "This is an incredibly male movie" -- men who watched it probably thought, "This movie touches something deep inside of me that I am incapable of articulating."

S: So you don't think that it was women who voted it Picture of the Year?

R: No, I don't think it was women who were like, "This is a great movie" XD.

I thought the movie's most effective parts were the wrestling match (the sudden switch from clowning around to deadly seriousness was weird), the "new" DVD boy who replaced the old one after [spoiler] (did his handlers think the soldier and audience wouldn't notice???), and the sniper scene (even I can recognize a good comradely moment when I see one).

I also really liked the scene where Sargent James returns to the base after his poorly-thought-out vigilante moment, and is cuffed and searched by panicked soldiers who can't tell he's one of theirs.

Many of the movie's other points either weren't commented on (including the weirdness of male socialization - this is allllll in the direction, the script takes it for granted), or were over commented on (people who are good at war are often psychopaths who can't live in the real world - boy was this hammered in). In short, whathisface probably didn't deserve to win "Best Script", the script was kind of generic XD.

What else. The film's soundtrack was interesting: it's used to create tension, whether or not the danger "pans out." I thought this was a pretty good rebuttal to films whose soundtracks completely clue in the audience re what's going to happen next, even when the characters themselves have no idea. And then unlike the other kind of movie that uses music to create tension not "justified" by events (horror movies), there's no musical release written in for the moment when the characters realize there's no danger after all, phew. Instead there's just a gradual fading away of the music (tension), until it is gone - but there's been no explicit release, so you can still can't relax. Very nice effect, AND it saves money 'cos you don't have to pay the composer to write for more than one mood XD.

The other side of this is that there's a lot of silence in the movie, which makes it a "boring" movie if its themes don't happen to personally speak to you, because there is no music to create emotional engagement. In other words, why did this movie receive two "best sound" awards! "Star Trek" should have won the sound mixing award and "Sherlock Holmes" should have won the sound editing award. At least Academy members can still tell the difference between visuals they were moved by and technically skilled visuals, and gave the "cinematography" award to Avatar.

Speaking of the Oscars, it was cute when Jeremy Renner, the film's lead, stopped Kathryn Bigelow on her way to the stage to accept "Best Director". And then when he went offstage to retrieve her between "Best Director" and "Best Movie" -- while everyone else expected Hurt Locker to win, she apparently didn't. He looked kind of like a schoolkid going to get his favorite teacher. ^^ She's tall! Taller than all three of the actors who played soldiers.

I also thought the actor group hug during the team acceptance speech was cute. The three of them looked super excited to be there, and super chummy (as maybe they would be, after such an intense shooting schedule). (And it's a noticeable thing that as the movie goes on, the cast seems to shrink to just them, as if filmmakers had used up their extras budget by the end of the second scene.)

On whole I think it's a nice accomplishment, but the only awards I agree with are Best Director (definitely), and Best Movie (maybe).


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 11th, 2010 01:37 am (UTC)
I never got to see it and I really want to! I think it's because I imagine Katherine Bigelow to be one of the women who tell stories about men precisely because she's interested in the intricacies of male behaviour and socialization, like Minekura Kazuya and Ono Natsume and, uh, me. XD;
Mar. 11th, 2010 05:04 am (UTC)
XD. You'd like the movie, then. I spend a lot of time wondering how they'd managed to make it with like, no budget. (Apparently the producer was BANNED from the Oscars for sending around an email that went, Don't vote for the 500 million dollar movie, vote for us. That was "negative campaigning".)
Mar. 11th, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
I agree, I liked the directing a lot in this film. the heavy-handedness about s-some aspects of the film nearly ruined it for me as a movie, but i thought she made a lot of good/cool choices as a director.

funnily i was telling my brother that what i thought was best about the film was how stressed out it made you, and he retorted that he was not stressed at all because he was too busy hating the main character and wondering why he could do everything including out-snipe british snipers kfjlgksdfg

too many war games or what :D;;;; i couldn't argue with that.

not sure it would have been my choice for best movie but am super glad it beat out avatar anyway lol
Mar. 11th, 2010 04:38 pm (UTC)
But the British guys were mercenaries without any formal training! And it wasn't the main character who out-sniped them, it was Sanborn, the black guy who was in intelligence for eight years... I shouldn't argue this, should I. XD; I didn't think the main character was overpowered because he seemed to be lacking something as a HUMAN BEING, and what are mad war-making skillz compared to that? But then, I am not a boy.

Haven't seen Avatar, so I can't comment. But, maybe.
Mar. 12th, 2010 03:17 am (UTC)
But the shrinking-cast assumes that they shot the film chronologically? I thought they usually didn't, so it might be a conscious decision?
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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