Monday, March 08, 2010

And Proud We Are of All of Them

Oscar open-thread.  My quick thoughts:  Happy that Jeff Bridges won.  Happy that Hurt Locker dominated, especially with Bigelow's history-making win.  I'm glad the Academy learned from the travesty that was the Best Picture Oscar for Titanic (up against LA Confidential, Good Will Hunting, As Good As It Gets, and The Full Monty), and snubbed Avatar.

Anyway, floor is yours.

UPDATE:  Some military folk are griping about The Hurt Locker winning because, among other things, it glorifies a character who would normally be disciplined, rather than rewarded for his recklessness.  This strikes me as a truly bizarre criticism.  Ever since the history of the medium, there has been a great divide between what's on the screen and what's in real life.  I think we can all agree that law school was neither The Paper Chase nor Legally Blond.  Even sticking with the genre, I can watch A Few Good Men, The Hunt for Red October, Patton, etc. for ever, yet they all have very lengthy literary licenses with the subject matters they portray.  Unless we're talking about documentaries, there's little relevance of accuracy of subject-matter to the craft of film-making.  To go back several decades, the film The Grand Illusion portrays an almost romantic image of WWI--completely divorced from the reality of war.  But it is a cinematic masterpiece.   In short, I can appreciate the gripes about the accuracy of a subject-matter, but I think they are misplaced when directed against Kathryn Bigelow's and the rest of the cast and crew's achievement with the film.  

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Blogger ibz said...

Thoughts about Logorama from anyone who saw it? It had me thinking about fair use in the trademark context. Anyone know whether they got licenses for any of the logos they used? The use of Ronald McDonald (which I feel confident they did NOT get permission for) strikes me as almost certainly fair use just because it's so strikingly transformative; most of the other uses seem closer to the line -- but then also they seemed like instances where the trademark owners might have been willing to grant a license.

BTW Logorama was unquestionably the best of the lot in the animated short category. I'm glad it won.

3/08/2010 2:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What was up with that look Samuel L. Jackson made at the end of of Mo'Nique's speech?

3/08/2010 3:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I feel that Tarantino should have gotten best original screenplay. Hurt locker was a great movie, visually stunning and emotionally acute, but I doubt anyone walked out of the theater and said "wow, phenomenal writing." In contrast, I thought Basterds could be nominated for the opening scene alone. Truly epic dialogue.

3/08/2010 4:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


In the trademark context, I seem to remember the fair use test is not about whether the use is transformative. Further, on a policy note, market failure analysis does not seem to be appropriate for trademark law because in theory trademarks are not granted as property rights. Instead, trademarks are granted as source identifiers and to prevent consumer confusion.

3/08/2010 4:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Samuel L. Jackson rolling his eyes at Mo'Nique's speech was my favorite moment of the night.

3/08/2010 4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a lot of people interpret Jackson as putting down Mo'nique, but my read was that he was reacting to the fact that she took on the controversy directly and that there might be blowback. it was a look like, "whoa, that acceptance speech is going to generate some heat."

3/08/2010 4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought it was more, "Wow, she's being unnecessarily confrontational."

3/08/2010 5:01 PM  
Blogger ibz said...

@4:02 -- Yeah; I didn't mean to suggest the potential for market failure should drive the analysis, though I now see how my comment could read that way. And I have no real idea about trademark fair use, except that I do recall it's quite different from copyright fair use. Anyhow I am still curious how the studio's lawyers dealt with this movie.

3/08/2010 8:50 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

Responding to the update, did those people even see the movie? The last thing it does is "glorify" its central character. Remember the scene when his two squadmates seriously consider killing him before he gets them killed? And how it doesn't really seem like than bad an idea? Remember how the WHOLE MOVIE is about how this guy is irrevocably damaged the war, to the poin that he can't even hold his child anymore?

There is nothing I hate more than criticisms that actually agree with the central theme of the movie. Of course he should have been disciplined. We all get that! At ease, soldier.

3/09/2010 1:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do not believe they got licensing for any mark.
Beyond parody, trademark fair use includes a form call nominative, in which you are using a mark to refer to the mark or the original product that the mark identifies instead of using it as a source identifier for your own unrelated product. E.g., saying "I have a Coke" when you actually do have a Coke, rather than some concoction you cooked up in your basement.

3/09/2010 3:25 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

@3:14, fair enough, but that's not what Armen suggested.

I think the movie must have at least some connection to reality, considering that the screenplay was written by a guy who was embedded with a unit of bomb techs. In fact, he's being sued by someone he encountered who claims he is the basis for Renner's character. Can't be THAT unrealistic if this guy could make out such a complaint, right?

3/09/2010 4:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


A sample quote from a friend in the Army re Hurt Locker winning Best Picture:

"I find it hilarious: we were laughing at how horrible a B-list movie it was when we saw the boot-leg version in Iraq last Spring before it was released....then it got great reviews....and now it won Best Picture...."

The most positive review I've heard:

"The only way to watch that movie is with the sound off and making up your own dialogue."

3/09/2010 7:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do people always miss the U in "IngloUrious Basterds" - I keep seeing this everywhere.

3/10/2010 3:42 PM  

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