Monday, August 4, 2008

Oscarvations: Mission Statement

Like it or not, Hollywood has been the largest, most important force in the world of films. Not necessarily the location itself, nor the studios or the filmmakers stationed there. The closest thing to what Hollywood is now is what NASA once was. It has become an idea, an idea that drives both filmmakers and film viewers, an idea that says "there are frontiers on the silver screen, and we want you to discover them."

...Wow, sorry, got a little sappy, don't know what came over me. Anyway, the crowning jewel of the Hollywood system is the Academy Awards, beginning in 1928. Once you get beyond the politics and the showbiz, the Awards are like little time capsules, a glimpse into what movies where watched and who was making them back in the day. Perhaps, by observing the Academy Awards in order, we can observe the growing and ever-changing state of the Hollywood system.

So, that's what I'm going to do. I'm going to watch every possible movie nominated for an Oscar, and record my observations. These aren't all going to be simple movie reviews. I'll focus mostly on the things these films were nominated. For example, when I get to The Bourne Ultimatum, I'm most likely not going to focus on the story or the acting, but for the things it was nominated for, the editing and sound. This should hopefully give us a good idea as to WHAT and WHO was valued in film making during these times.

Now, I should point out that, for these early years, a lot of the films are unavailable in any format. Whenever this is the case, I'll do the best I can to make it up. For example, for the 1st Academy Awards, two of the films George Barnes was nominated for for cinematography, The Devil Dancer and The Magic Flame, no longer exist, so instead, I'll focus on other films the Barnes worked on at the time to give us an idea on what we missed. Or maybe I'll come up with a better idea and do that. We'll see.

So, Oscarvations will ultimately be a collection of my thoughts as I work my way through these films. Some of the reviews will be long, some will be short. Some may be played straight, some may be offbeat, and some may not even talk about the movie at all. I'll I know is, I got 80 years of movies to watch, and many more coming, so I better get at it.

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