I could not be happier with the Oscars this time around, for various reasons that will be highlighted in this particular post, but let me start by mentioning the movies I have actually seen:
- The Iron Lady
- The Artist
…and that’s really it. Well, I have seen a lot more movies, but those are the ones that immediately spring to my mind and let me just say how ecstatic I am at all the awards won by The Artist and Hugo! I wasn’t even half way through The Artist and it’d become one of my favorite movies, so when Jean Dujardin won Best Actor and the movie itself got Best Picture, I had to stand up in my living room and clap.
There’s something so beautiful about watching a modern-day silent film about silent films. It’s a kind of nostalgia which is ridiculous, considering I was born decidedly detached from the era of silent films, but it nonetheless manages to elicit a constant stream of tears for the last 30 minutes of the movie. I fell in love with George Valentin even though he said nothing but two words through the course of the film, and that too right in the end. I think that, in itself, shows a lot about the whole silent film industry – that you can have the same amount of love for a character, that you can extract that same adoration and awe at the brilliance of film regardless of the lack of 3D.
I’m not going to whine about how the sanctity of film has been ruined by technological advancement because, who am I kidding, I fawned over the cinematographic mastery that was shown in Hugo and even Avatar, much to my shame.
Film, in general, is incredible. Motion pictures, the entire idea of motion pictures, has revolutionized the world and it doesn’t matter how ludicrous the cinematographic technology might get because, damn it, it’ll NEVER take away from the magic of cinema. Since its conception, the film industry has acted as an escape for people, and it will continue to do so no matter what kind of technology is being used; that’s true for everything else, for the advent of e-books, to the new generation of TV shows that are looked down upon by “the 90s kids,” to even the fashion worn by pop stars today.
The world will advance, whether you like it or not, so you can either be like The Artist and pay tribute to history, to what was the beginning of an industry, while recognizing that industries change and evolve and that’s good – or you can bitterly cling to the past and ruin your present like George Valentin nearly did.
We all need a bit of Peppy Miller in us. By rejecting Peppy, we reject our own future, and as much as I love history, I love the prospect of the future more.
(…clearly, I liked The Artist a lot.)
On another, extremely delighted note, congratulations to Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy for her Oscar for Saving Face! You’ve done your country proud.
And your outfit was incredible.
So an overall satisfactory Academy Awards. Now, to get to watching all the movies I’ve missed out on!