Answering Questions Asked Through Google XV

I think in this week’s AQATG, I will need your help! Amazing, isn’t it?

The question: “what are some artsy movies?”

First, we should define artsy in this context. Personally, I have a pretty broad definition of art and films usually pass it. But I think it’s clear that artsy doesn’t mean art in general but a special kind of movie, defined by the following criteria:

  • Independent/unknown studios
  • Usually not Hollywood or US-American
  • Underlying message that can only be extracted after hours and hours of interpretation or not at all (meaning, the movies are deep); often those messages are political/sociocritical
  • No humour! Humour and depth cannot be combined.
  • Unknown actors or famous actors who practically worked for free
  • Small budget
  • Characters, not special effects
  • Usually it’s seen as a quality measurement – an artsy movie is perceived as a good movie more often than not (probably because some just aren’t understandable)

I think that’s mostly it. Of course, not always all criteria apply. I think, whether a movie is artsy or not is basically determined by your intuition.

Now, to list a few movies that fit this description… I’ll start here, but I’ll be happy about any addition you have to make in the comment section.

I can’t think of anything else right now. So, my invitation stands: do add to the list in the comment section. I will do the same thing, if inspiration hits me.

I was there

Finally, finally I saw I’m Not There. And I loved it. It was as good as I expected, funny and with a love for details that was just a-fucking-mazing.

I don’t know a lot about Bob Dylan, so it’s hard for me to judge whether the film is an accurate portray of him. But I felt like I got to know someone – whether or not that someone is really Bob Dylan, I can’t say. But it doesn’t matter anyway (at least to me).

Todd Haynes really has a thing for very good musician bio-pics (and if you still haven’t seen Velvet Goldmine it’s high time!). And he knows who to give the responsibility for the casting (for Velvet Goldmine it was Susie Figgis and for I’m Not There Laura Rosenthal). Do I really need to reiterate the perfect cast? Probably not, but I’m going to anyway :). Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin [Watch out for that little guy, he’s absolutely wonderful!], Charlotte Gainsbourg, Richard Gere, Bruce Greenwood, Heath Ledger, Julianne Moore and Ben Whishaw. And Kris Kristofferson has a very nice narrating voice.

I adored the small jokes that were just standing around – the appearance of the Beatles, the zoo and the poet (Ben Whishaw) is called Arthur Rimbaud, for krissakes.

And I need to get the soundtrack.

There are only two things I can critisise about the film:
1. It was a bit confusing (which I don’t mind when I’m in the right mood – leaves room for discussion).
2. There wasn’t nearly enough Christian Bale and he became a Born-Again-Christian (but that’s only a real criticism if you are a HUGE fan of CB – like me – and an atheist with an aversion against anything even remotely like a dogmatic doctrine – like me)

Golden Globes – Condensed Version

I thought I’d write about the Golden Globe Winners but I guess I can’t really do that because I haven’t seen most of the films. Then I thought, what the heck, I’m sick at home, I have nothing to do in my Eureka-breaks, I’ll write about it anyway. I’ll just leave out the movies I haven’t seen.

Best Motion Picture – Drama

Winner: Atonement
Nominees: Eastern Promises, Atonement

Between the two, it was really hard to decide. Both were extremely good – intelligent, well acted and convincing. Maybe you’ve got to give a little more credit to Atonement, because it’s not only a very good movie but one of the best literary adaptions these last years.

Therefore: decision authorised.

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Not this year.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama

Winner: –
Nominees: James McAvoy (Atonement), Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)

Both guys are good actors, but in this case, I’d give Viggo Mortensen the lead because he fit the role better. In Atonement (the book), Robbie is this incredible, breath taking, I-just-look-at-girls-and-they-faint-and-I’m-intelligent-enough-to-get-them-on-their-feet-again-type of guy. James McAvoy, for all his qualities, just doesn’t look the part. Viggo Mortensen on the other hand, is just the right mixture of sleazebag and tough guy for this role.

Therefore: seeing, as they decided for someone else entirely, no comment on the decision.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama

Winner: –
Nominees: Keira Knightley (Atonement), my shame for still not having seen Elizabeth: The Golden Age

Keira Knightley is a good actress. Personally, I don’t understand why everybody took to her like that and I don’t find her that attractive (but I could say the same thing about Scarlett Johansson, maybe I’m just old-fashioned and don’t understand the beauty ideal right now), but she is not a bad actress. But right now my shame for not having seen Elizabeth: The Golden Age outweighs everything, so I guess it’s my personal winner.

Therefore: I hope Away from Her still makes it to the movies here.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Not this year. (I still want to see all of the nominees.)

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy

Winner: –
Nominees: Amy Adams (Enchanted)

Enchanted was cute, it was really nice and sometimes actually laugh-out-loud-funny. Going so far and giving it an Golden Globe … I’m not sure it deserves that. Well, maybe the chipmunk. And Amy Adams’ enchanted (for a lack of better words) facial expression was just perfect.

Therefore: Only about a month until Sweeney Todd…

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Not this year.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture

Winner: –
Nominees: Saoirse Ronan (Atonement)

This is getting tedious, I haven’t seen almost any movies… and I thought I went to the cinema often… Well. Obviously not often enough. And in the wrong country. Saoirse Ronan was good in Atonement. As about every single thing in this movie was.

Therefore: I’m so looking forward to seeing I’m Not There.

Best Director – Motion Picture / Best Screenplay – Motion Picture

Winner: –
Nominees: Joe Wright (Atonement) / Christopher Hampton (Atonement)

Again, this was just a perfect movie. Thank you, Mr. Wright and thank you, Mr. McEwan and Mr. Hampton.

Therefore: Now where did I put Le Scaphandre et le Papillon? I know, I borrowed that book from my mom about 3 years ago.

Best Original Song – Motion Picture

Winner: –
Nominees: That’s How You Know (Enchanted)

I don’t think the song is that great, but the situation in the movie is really funny. One of the best scenes in the whole film. Still, the song is just a run of the mill pop song.

Therefore: Decision, not to decide for it, authorised.

Best Original Score – Motion Picture

Winner: Dario Marianelli (Atonement)
Nominees: Dario Marianelli (Atonement), Howard Shore (Eastern Promises)

Another Atonement vs. Eastern Promises situation. Both of these movies didn’t have a soundtrack I wanted to listen to right away (as was the case with Se, Jie for example) but the music didn’t bother me, either. I guess it’s okay that Howard Shore didn’t get another award and Dario Marianelli got his first. Although, personally, I wouldn’t have nominated either film.

Therefore: Decision, from these nominees, authorised.

Best Animated Film

Winner: –
Nominees: The Simpsons Movie

Wow, time just flew by… I wanted to see Ratatouille and I wanted to see Bee Movie. I’m afraid, it’s too late now for the cinema. Guess, I have to wait for the DVDs (or do I?). The Simpsons Movie was great, in any case. But I’m just a sucker for Simpsons…

Therefore: Can’t write now (am entangled in some internet research).

Best Foreign Language Film

Winner: –
Nominees: Se, Jie (Lust, Caution)

Se, Jie was just wonderful. Sad and beautiful. And obviously very dangerous, as K. pointed out. It would have deserved all Golden Globes, not getting any was a big lapse.

Therefore: Decision NOT authorised.

I won’t get into the TV stuff, being nowhere near any country that shows these films and series, it doesn’t make much sense.