Sunday, February 08, 2009

And the award goes to...

It seems fortuitous that on the day I've set aside for the BAFTA's (don't get excited I'm just watching it on TV like everybody else - the days of being shoved into a pen on a red carpet and shouting myself hoarse trying to get a celebrity to look my way for a photo are thankfully long past) this blog should get an award from "Premio Dardos".

'What's that?' I hear you ask (I had to ask it too!). Well let me quote from Steve's blog (Steve was the guy who nominated me) The Last Picture Show:

"The Dardos Award is given for recognition of cultural, ethical, literary, and personal values transmitted in the form of creative and original writing. These stamps were created with the intention of promoting fraternization between bloggers, a way of showing affection and gratitude for work that adds value to the Web."

It seems rather odd to win this award in the year I've done least blogging. I was proficient (at least with my shiny disc reviews) until February last year when I decided there was a 'gap in the market' for a VIDEO review of weekly shiny disc releases. Too many people are jumping on the video bandwagon (when actually the information would be quicker to impart and more useful in simple, written form) but I genuinely think film/DVD/Blu-Ray reviews can be done better via the video medium (if only to include clips and give a genuine flavour of the product being reviewed) and here in the UK fans are not being catered for at all by the main broadcasters.

Of course if I'd known work would get so manic, and the hurdles would be so large, I'd probably have abandoned the whole idea, but with work drying up on March 6th I'm cautiously optimistic that will formally launch its weekly Blu-Ray Review show at the end of March.

Anyway.... If this blog entry reads like it's being rushed - it is. This year, instead of waiting for a DVD release after the gongs have all been given out I've tried to see all the oscar-nominated/BAFTA-nominated awards BEFORE the ceremonies, even though that's meant far more trips to the local cinema than I'd normally indulge in. Today is BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television) Awards day of course. For what it's worth I'd like to see Danny Boyle win 'Best Director' for Slumdog Millionaire, Milk walk away with 'Best Film' (it was emotionally the most engaging - Slumdog was too ridiculous a fairy tale with cartoon charicature 'evil' grown-ups and silly question coincidences meaning it failed to totally win my heart) and most of the acting awards too, with the possible exception of 'Best Supporting Actor' which Heath Ledger deserves for The Dark Knight, not because he's dead but because if you can't see the genius present in such diverse performances as The Brothers Grimm, Brokeback Mountain and The Dark Knight then your eyes must be closed! Alas, one nominated film Gomorrah remains to be seen (which thanks to having to work Saturday I only discovered had been delivered - on Blu-Ray - last night) and with just a few hours left until the BAFTA's start broadcasting I'm cutting it a bit fine!

However, to complete my 'award recipient' obligations, here are the 'five best blogs' I subscribe to in my RSS feed. I follow these guys religiously, and nominate each of them for a 'Dardos Award':

Brian Sibley: The Blog

Not strictly-speaking film-related, but a mish-mash of the many subjects that Brian's interested in. He's a huge film buff of course, and regularly appears on shiny disc as the 'talking head' film expert, especially where Disney, Tolkien, C S Lewis or Wallace and Gromit are concerned, as well as having been a broadcaster at the BBC for many years and a brilliant author too. His latest blog entry has a beautifully written and insightful review of the new Disney 3D CGI film Bolt on it - so go check it out. I feel very blessed that Brian is a mate and I get the chance to discuss movies with him regularly (although I'm sure his partner David gets bored to death as we compare notes), but his dedication to his blog, always updated daily, never fails to impress me and is what causes me to make my first award.


is not so much a blog as a film site. Run by Richard, up in Scotland, its my main news source and although Richard and I have had lots of disagreements (I think we just like different things!) his hard work and passion are always evident. He's actually down in London to blog about the BAFTA's today, and his dedication (he has a full-time job and filmstalker is just a hobby) never fails to impress me. He runs a great site and loves talking to his readers.

Blowing My Thought Wad

is always a good read, from a writer who knows his stuff and knows good quality when he sees it (although I'm struggling to forgive him for his dissing of The Dark Knight and over-enthusiasm for Wall-E which I thought was fundamentally flawed in structure, pacing and story-telling :-P). Blogger 'Good Dog' at least makes me feel I'm not totally alone in thinking that the Americans are the only ones producing good drama these days and that Doctor Who and Torchwood are for the most part an infantile embarrassment to our notion that we Brits can produce good drama. Of course it helps that at times he's almost as cantankerous as me ;-)

Reel Fanatic

is another great read, from a passionate film buff. I don't know how the writer, based in the States, manages to hold down a full-time job, and still post a daily critique of film and television news and events, but he does a fantastic job of it, and unfailingly responds to any and every comment made too. A real class act! Add it to your daily RSS feed checks!

The Last Picture Show

This one's a very recent discovery, and looks like a bit of mutual back-slapping on my part since the author, Steve Langton, nominated my blog for an award. Truth is Steve's love of film shines through his every post, and I also enjoy following him on Twitter. Steve's based in Derby, not far from where I attended university (Loughborough) and shares my love of great punk bands that I saw perform live at many venues in the area in the late 1970's. The fact that he has such great taste in films as well is a bit of a bonus.

That's it. Gotta go. The Gomorrah Blu-Ray is calling.


Reel Fanatic said...

Wow ... not sure how to respond to such high praise, but the sad fact truth about how I manage to hold down a full-time and at the same time follow this stuff so passionately is that it consumes far too big a portion of my time ... And I'm certainly with you on "Milk," though I loved "Slumdog" - as silly as it is - too ... I'd be thrilled to see "Milk" win the Best Picture Oscar, but I have a feeling the "Slumdog" train can't be stopped at this point, and that would be just fine with me too

Steve Langton said...

Cheers, Ian. Greatly appreciated. I'll be sure to check out the other blogs in your awards. Keep up the good work on your own blog. Some quality posts, and no mistake. Hell, nearly time for the BAFTAS. Enjoy!

Brian Sibley said...

OMG! I'd just like just thank my Mother, Father, Great Aunt Matilda, Hamlet the Hamster (who was my childhood companion and confident), Miss Becket my primary school teacher, Father O'Flynn and the Boys of St Patrick's Choir Summer Camp 1956, my chiropractor and the manager of the local Co-op... *sob*

Seriously, thank Ian! Honoured!

Ian said...

LOL Brian! I was half expecting someone at the BAFTA's tonight to thank their petrol attendant or local shop assistant.

I thought the BBC coverage was poor, especially the red carpet stuff broadcast on BBC3 which showed what a cattle market the whole thing has become, as people elbowed their way past each other and the interviewer had to keep shouting "..from the BBC" in the hope that would make them stop and talk. As for the ceremony itself... the award for best editing goes to - well, certainly not to the BBC who repeated the same Terry Gilliam clips twice in succession and then crudely cropped his speech to finish in time for the news.

And talking of the news ... did you see their summary "headline" item about the BAFTA's which started by showing a clip from "Revolutionary Road" (DiCaprio and Winslett on the beach) telling viewers it was from "The Reader". Quality!

Filmstalker said...

Many thanks for the kind words Ian, the BAFTA's were great fun and I blogged as much as I could while the sleet and rain fell on my fingers and laptop! You can still see everything that was live blogged on the site.

Disagreements? That's what it's all about, I love a debate whether I'm proved right or wrong! If we all agreed all the time there would be no comments and no discussion, just people agreeing all the time.

You know what? We might just agree though. Slumdog won too much, yes it was a great film, but Best Director and Best Film? Then Milk getting completely missed out, with hardly a fair showing for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button?

The BAFTA's have to remain an awards ceremony that awards great films, that's what I've always thought of them as. Not an awards ceremony for the glitz and glamour.

However this year I think they've lept onto the fact that a British film is doing so well internationally, regardless of what is actually better.

The Red Carpet was crazy. One of the problems was that the low-listers were walking up and then crowding round the real stars and hiding them from the real audience.

There wasn't someone helping the celebs find the fans, rather they were being paraded back and forth in front of the television cameras.

There were many issues, which I'll write about later when I've collected my thoughts a bit more.

Thanks again Ian.