Category: Keram



Am I reading this correctly?  There are ten films nominated for best picture, including two that are science fiction and three that are primarily computer generated animation?  It seems that there was, despite many naysayers, a huge crop of excellent material this year.  Tarantino finally grew up, Cameron doubled his own world record for box office receipts, Sandra Bullock got nominated for an Oscar, and so did Mo’nique.

This is nothing like the year that saw “There Will Be Blood” and “No Country for Old Men”, “Michael Clayton” and “In the Valley of Elah” brightening everyone’s hearts – no this year we have a truly eclectic range of styles, genres, approaches, tones and morals.  For the first time in years, it is almost too much to absorb.  But I am sure that will get easier as we countdown.

Let’s just hope Taylor Swift doesn’t show up, or she will snag the prize for Best Picture, prompting Jim Cameron to run up onto the stage, wielding a bottle of Hennessy and shouting that his ex wife was robbed and that the audience should now applaud for themselves.

I also wanted to share a list of my favorite films of the 2000’s or in easier terms – the past decade – that I created at the extraordinarily overdue site http://www.theauteurs.com

Here is the list of my favorite films of the past decade.

And without further ado, here is the list, from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, of

Nominees for the 2010 Academy Awards:

Best picture

“Avatar”
“The Blind Side”
“District 9”
“An Education”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Precious”
“A Serious Man”
“Up”
“Up in the Air”

Best actor

Jeff Bridges, “Crazy Heart”
George Clooney, “Up in the Air”
Colin Firth, “A Single Man”
Morgan Freeman, “Invictus”
Jeremy Renner, “The Hurt Locker”

Best actress

Sandra Bullock, “The Blind Side”
Helen Mirren, “The Last Station”
Carey Mulligan, “An Education”
Gabourey Sidibe, “Precious”
Meryl Streep, “Julie & Julia”

Best supporting actor

Matt Damon, “Invictus”
Woody Harrelson, “The Messenger”
Christopher Plummer, “The Last Station”
Stanley Tucci, “The Lovely Bones”
Christoph Waltz, “Inglourious Basterds”

Best supporting actress

Penelope Cruz, “Nine”
Vera Farmiga, “Up in the Air”
Maggie Gyllenhaal, “Crazy Heart”
Anna Kendrick, “Up in the Air”
Mo’Nique, “Precious”

Best director

James Cameron, “Avatar”
Kathryn Bigelow, “The Hurt Locker”
Quentin Tarantino, “Inglourious Basterds”
Lee Daniels, “Precious”
Jason Reitman, “Up in the Air”

Best foreign-language film

“Ajami,” Israel
“El Secreto de Sus Ojos,” Argentina
“The Milk of Sorrow,” Peru
“Un Prophete,” France
“The White Ribbon,” Germany

Best adapted screenplay

Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell, “District 9”
Nick Hornby, “An Education”
Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche, “In the Loop”
Geoffrey Fletcher, “Precious”
Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner, “Up in the Air”

Best original screenplay

Mark Boal, “The Hurt Locker”
Quentin Tarantino, “Inglourious Basterds”
Alessandro Camon and Oren Moverman, “The Messenger”
Joel Coen & Ethan Coen, “A Serious Man”
Bob Peterson, Pete Docter and Tom McCarthy, “Up”

Best animated feature film

“Coraline”
“Fantastic Mr. Fox”
“The Princess and the Frog”
“The Secret of Kells”
“Up”

Best art direction

“Avatar”
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
“Nine” “Sherlock Holmes”
“The Young Victoria”

Best cinematography

“Avatar”
“Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“The White Ribbon”

Best sound mixing

“Avatar”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Star Trek”
“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”

Best sound editing

“Avatar”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Star Trek”
“Up”

Best original score

“Avatar,” James Horner
“Fantastic Mr. Fox,” Alexandre Desplat
“The Hurt Locker,” Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
“Sherlock Holmes,” Hans Zimmer
“Up,” Michael Giacchino

Best original song

“Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog,” Randy Newman
“Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog,” Randy Newman
“Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36,” Reinhardt Wagner and Frank Thomas
“Take It All” from “Nine,” Maury Yeston
“The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart,” Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Best costume design

“Bright Star”
“Coco Before Chanel”
“The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus”
“Nine”
“The Young Victoria”

Best documentary feature

“Burma VJ”
“The Cove”
“Food, Inc.”
“The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers”
“Which Way Home”

Best documentary short

“China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province”
“The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner”
“The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant”
“Music by Prudence”
“Rabbit a la Berlin”

Best film editing

“Avatar”
“District 9”
“The Hurt Locker”
“Inglourious Basterds”
“Precious”

Best makeup

“Il Divo”
“Star Trek”
“The Young Victoria”

Best animated short film

“French Roast”
“Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty”
“The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)”
“Logorama”
“A Matter of Loaf and Death”

Best live-action short film

“The Door”
“Instead of Abracadabra”
“Kavi”
“Miracle Fish”
“The New Tenants”

Best visual effects

“Avatar”
“District 9”
“Star Trek”

Earlier in the day, in response to Derek Sivers’ (founder of CDBaby.com) post I wrote:

“Lordy knows new models must begin to emerge – the existing climate for musicians, as vastly interesting as it may be, as de-centralized as it may be, is actually rather disheartening when it comes to the heavy task of producing an audiophile grade recording. At least the old bottleneck created a filter, the new era of the tastemaker will take some time to develop gravity and in the interim “indie musician” is a hard to thing to still consider a career path. But we persist, don’t we, because the irrepressible urge is there, and so is opportunity and a vast landscape for innovation.”

Dick M. replied:

“Keram – some real contrasts there… I don’t feel like my music has ever been a “career path”… ergo, my music is lumped in the “amateur” category (which is all right with me, because as you indicated, we persist because we MUST). To me, “indie” means it’s NOT a career, because if it IS, it necessitates compromise and time spent in pursuit of $$$… NOT saying there’s anything WRONG with that, just that if it’s for $$$, I don’t believe it’s “independent”.”

To which I countered:

“No dispute that the contrasts are there, Dick. But independent does not have to mean “amateur” or “unmonetizable” or “of no commercial value.” I have made thousands of dollars licensing songs independently to films and TV for over 15 years. The heartache is that when a proper album, that is a sequenced, mastered, carefully thought out collection of works (an album) is made available, there is a dwindling marketplace or even respect for the format. Short of spamming your friends on Facebook or Twitter, the general public has less and less interest in investing in the works of the artist, but rather, flipping, rifling through the latest. I am speaking of the new majority. I should confess that I am saying this as framed by the fact that the “middlemen” continue to find many ways to monetize the musicians’ output – be they the club owners who begrudgingly share the door after the first 50 people, or the repackaging music portals like Lala, last.fm, Amie St or countless others..”

Dick M.
Keram, you’re right “on” here… I haven’t made any significant $$$ with my music, but that’s probably ‘coz the “right” money guy (the one with the coke spoon shoved up both nostrils) hasn’t happened across it. WOULD I “take” $$$ for licensing fees? u BET! Would it compromise my integrity? Not one IOTA.

I think it’s just that when I first hooked up with the Internet (’88, ’89), our “ethic” was that it should cost NOTHING for the player… strange how as the technology has gotten so much better for sharing, it costs so much more just to get connectivity…

I’m 63 now, so I’m not too worried about whether or not I get a “lucky hit” on licensing, downloads or any other aspect of “selling” my music… I just play & record because I (still) CAN!”

Keram
:
“Again, I completely empathize with your urge to make music Dick. I also think that Artistshare is a great idea for creating a central HQ for organizing the effort of promoting.

I am in favor of anything that actually creates a focus – ironic for someone like me who is so interested in perpetuating heterogeneity in the culture, perhaps. But I don’t think they are mutually exclusive.

I loved mp3.com back when it was about print on demand CD for indie artists. Then Universal bought it and killed it quickly. My little brain can’t parse all the numbers, but there is something to learn in that.

As far as the dude with the coke spoon – going the way of the Dodo.  May he rest in pieces.”

Earlier in the day:

DJ AM found dead in NYC apartment
FB response: thing is, death is so fucking final. Believe what you need concerning the beyond; if it brings you solace, peace of mind, then God bless. But the ride is short. Music makes it so much easier. I need more of it in my life and less of the frenetic gossipy nature of the new paradigm. Apologies if this is heavy, but have lost some people, too young, this week. Have lost so many before. Too young. Followed by what. More status updates. Live goddamit. Live.

My favorite Sufi proverb says “Die before ye die, that you shall live” – recognize your mortality and revel in it.

Moreover, music is a mystical, unquantifiable gift. I am tired of posturing behind the coolness of what. It is miraculous. Lend it your energy, because it comes from something beyond what we understand.  And it needs your help.”

p2pnet news » Blog Archive » Dick Cheney new RIAA president
@ConstantChange

Tweet: No. I don’t believe it. I don’t, as a musician or music lover want to be sent to a gulag. I categorically reject the very possibility of this eventuality.

It’s hard to believe, but it is written in an online magazine format so it MUST be true.

For good measure, a moment of solace in the form of a song, video added, from my friend at Monty Python Eric Idle:

Fuck You FCC


This blog will return to reason and matters of the soul and the beauty of culture after these messages.