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What jingoistic claptrap. The pro-war movie beat the anti-war movie and you all applaud like David beat Goliath. And up is down and down is up.


E.C Henry

I LOVE the Oscars. Every year I watch them, eyes rivited to the TV set. I want to work with so many of those people up there; the best of the best.

I'm glad Katherine Bigelow won. Moment of a lifetime for her. True, I'm not the biggest fan of "The Hurt Locker," but everyone deserves a moment of triumph.

Best part of the night continues to be when fellow piers of the nominees for best lead actor and actress laud the nominees. I don't know why I like that so much, but I find it moving. Glad to see they kept it.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA


Rob: First time in my life I've ever been called "jingoistic," but I hear where you're coming from.

Ironically, my subtext (which evidently didn't come across) was that I'm usually critical of such "isn't it great to live in our great democracy?" shows, but that for once, I felt in accord with the sentiment.

Still, I don't see how one can argue that a low-budget, relatively little-seen movie about an unpopular subject is the Goliath that beat out a history-making billion-dollar juggernaut (David). Down is still down and up is still up on that score, no matter what your politics are.

Further: Thanks for the link, which is a thought-provoking read.

Personally, I don't see LOCKER as flawless, but I do like the idea of a war story that's about defusing bombs (i.e. protecting the lives of soldiers), as opposed to being about "let's kick ass and destroy the other guys." Which AVATAR, by the way, spent an inordinate amount of screen time on (Oh, it's awful, all that big evil technology blowing things up! Now let's watch more things get blown up more spectacularly, due to the wonders of technology!).

I enjoyed AVATAR and support its (simplistic but effective) green message, but it's "anti-war" in the same way that so many violent movies are "against violence."

EC: I also liked the moments where peers appreciated peers. Thought Bullock's speech was especially gracious in that respect.

Judith Lewis

There's nothing pro-war about Hurt Locker. The film assiduously stuck to the men who diffuse bombs -- as opposed to killing people -- for a reason. If you don't want to look at the lives of those people, that's fine, but at no point does the film take a position on the war. It does take a position on suffering, violence, what war does to a person's spirit and ability to live in the world after war (cross-reference Richard Thompson's "How Will I Ever Be Simple Again" -- hardly a pro-war song).

Being against the war is different than being against the warriors themselves -- most of them painfully young men and women who are doing what we (yes, we -- we're all responsible) asked them to do. Watching Hurt Locker reminded me about a speech I heard at the Bioneers conference by Edward Tick ( Our warriors have stories to tell. If we want to end war, we ought to be listening. Bigelow's movie gives us one chance to do that.


re: "communally watching a live show in real time has become, outside of sports on TV, an odd, almost retro event"

American Idol? - Mark

Frank  Conniff

Okay, Billy, maybe for you, "...When Barbra Streisand introduced Kathryn Bigelow's win with, 'Well, the time has come,' it was hard to be a cynic," but moments later, when the band started playing "I Am Woman," I found that being a cynic came quite easily.


Judith: What you said. And thanks for the link!

Maestro: Damn, you got me. But I should answer - Like I said: sports on TV.

Frank: They played what?! I was too busy being all PC-choked up and all to hear (or smell) the bad taste.

Judith Lewis

I agree "I Am Woman" was totally weird.


Rob is right![[[thumbs up]]]
Here's the thing: America's 'heros' could be considered other people's 'terrorists' since America is/has been the aggressors in both the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. For me the better film is definately AVATAR... but then I'm not American(neither is James Cameron by birth, incidentally).

But I have a question, why do people like to applaud people on the basis of being the first from of a 'group' rather than if the actual work warrants the applause? (It reminds me of the year when a corrupt, unqualified and unintelligent woman became the first female prime minister of Jamaica- fortunately it didn't last very long).
Her film, Miss Bigalow's, was only championed because of people's jealousy of James Cameron's success and the fact that she's his ex wife; another year and I doubt 'the hurt locker' would've even be on the radar.


Jammin: Sorry - I'm getting unreasonably over-heated re: this topic, but - I don't think it had anything to do with "jealousy." My being moved by this movie had nothing to do with Bigelow's relationship to Cameron. You seem to be reacting to everything else but the movie itself. And how sexist is it, to wholly perceive this situation on the basis of gender roles?!

Have you seen HURT LOCKER? Do you think her direction was weak? Unskilled? It was a brilliant piece of moviemaking, whether Bigelow was a woman, man, or dolphin. I'm tired of this backlash being framed as a LOCKER v. AVATAR issue (there were 8 other films nominated, after all). I stand behind my acknowledgment of Bigelow's achievement as a job well done, on its own terms.


You said it so well, mernitman. The Hurt Locker was hardly pro-war and the choice between the movies was not about the Exes or the sexes. I adored Avatar--sat long after it ended and wanted to return to that world. Hurt Locker didn't grab me in that way, despite my nearly having a stroke (literally--blood pressure a way up) in the first few scenes. But A. wandered out of control, while H.L. was tight and brilliantly directed. Think we could look at the writing...and see the difference.


I wrote a long reply but it may elicit a more heated response than is warranted or than I'd even intended to draw.

Anyways she won but 'feh'; I'm not impressed. Life goes on...

Judith Duncan

I've been a fan of Kathryn Bigelow since I saw ,'Point Break'.I know most people write it off,but I grew up in the surfing community and knew how real those guys were.Surfing,sky diving and a whole lotta good looking men shooting each other.Now that's action and I was really chuffed to think that a woman directed it.Also I think only a woman would know how good Keanu Reeves would look in the rain in a tight blue t-shirt.I've been lucky enough to get my hands on the screenplay of ,'The Hurt Locker'and it's incredible,the film has only just started here in Aust,I'll be seeing it this week.I love that she won the Oscar.You're right Billy,all the right things happened this time.

Christian H

Wow, heated in here. What's that about Billy's one of the nicer, thoughtful people on the Internet.

I didn't get to see it yet but the trailers looked excellent. And we are talking about the person who made Near Dark. I saw it recently and it definitely held up.

I didn't feel that Avatar was "complex" enough to win. Best Picture is the amalgam of everything. Best Director is nearly as they will make or break the film.

Admittedly I just read a good part of Precious and no way should that have won.

I believe it was Kathryn who said judge me as a film maker not a female film maker.

Lesley Jordan

Why is it that, on a SCREENWRITING blog, you fail to mention the first African American to win for screenwriting while you focus on a woman winning Best Director?


Patty: "Look at the writing" (that would be Mark Boal's) - What a thought.

Jammin: It does go on. Thank goodness.

Judith: POINT BREAK! Be curious to see it again.

Christian: Yeah, the heat is on. We live in interesting times.

Lesley: I'm sorry for the oversight. To answer your question, I failed to mention Fletcher because I was primarily fixated on Bigelow and LOCKER when I posted Sunday night (so much so, that I didn't even mention Oscar winner Mark Boal; I thought about it, but his win didn't seem relevant to my post). Not to have mentioned the historic aspect of Fletcher's award was myopic of me.

You should be gratified to see that because this is in good part a SCREENWRITING blog, as you say, I always list the screenwriter, not the director, in my "Films Seen Recently" sidebar (note Mr. Fletcher's name, which has been there all week). But since you bring it up:

Living the RomCom is not solely a SCREENWRITING blog. I write about many other things here (check the banner at the top for details), including FICTION and the WRITING LIFE and MUSIC and MOVIES IN GENERAL and GENDER RELATIONS and my PERSONAL LIFE, so if on occasion, my posts are not entirely focused on SCREENWRITING... that's my prerogative. Can we still be friends?

Lesley Jordan

Yes, we can still be friends. I was just (really) surprised at the oversight.

I still love your blog and your book Writing the Romantic Comedy.


Thank you, Lesley - Onward and upward with the arts!

moncler netherland

Liked you on Facebook, too. =)

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