Monday, March 8, 2010

International Women's Day and The Power of Film

I'm thrilled for Kathryn Bigelow, the first female director to win an Academy Award (for "The Hurt Locker"). She's only one of five female directors in the Academy's 82-year his-story to be nominated. I love what she said last night during her acceptance speech: "I would not be standing here if it wasn't for Mark Boal, who risked his life for the words on the page and wrote such a courageous screenplay that I was fortunate to have an extraordinary cast bring that screenplay to life." One classy lady, especially to give credence and kudos to the screenwriter, which is not often the case. Jane Campion and Sofia Coppola have also been nominated for Best Director. A far cry from the early days of film, where the only role behind the scenes females once played were secretaries to the studio executives. Incidentally, these women edited all the films back then! Who had the power, eh?

I do find it interesting, though, what Tom Hanks said about the last time ten films were nominated in 1942 when "Casablanca" won: America was at war.

Photo of Kathryn Bigelow came from here.

I also loved the genius of "Avatar", and I agree with much of what the writer of this article from TIME has to say regarding why it didn't garner the expected BIG awards.

Actors Sam Worthington, left, and Zoe Saldana as Jake and Neytiri in Avatar
20th Century Fox / WETA / Reuters

The voters of the Academy and what and who they represent are perhaps not able to acknowledge a film like "Avatar" at this time. Nonetheless this film permeated the ethers of the planet, and no doubt beyond. It has left its mark imprinted upon our imaginations, and it has blazed a trail for others with a similar theme of BEAUTY, VISION and COMPASSION. Let us hope so. Film is such a powerful medium for inspiration and understanding, especially in this time of gargantuan global transition.

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