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March 20, 2003 - Image 21

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10B - The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazine - Thursday, March 20, 2003

The Michigan Daily - Weekend Magazin

SNUBBED
Continued from Page 6B
4) "Leon: The Professional"
French film genius Luc Besson's
finest work, known in America as
"The Professional," combines a
scary but enigmatic Jean Reno and a
young but scarily talented Natalie
Portman in a powerful love story that
includes some of the most poetic
action ever filmed. Superb acting
and a badass contract killer provide
the intrigue, and flawless editing
compounded by beautiful, Sergio
Leone-styled cinematography frame
one of the most underrated accom-
plishments in the past 50 years. Not
to mention the payback that culmi-
nates the film is simply amazing.
3) "The Searchers"
Just one of the films considered
part of what has become the canoni-
cal text of film studies, "The
Searchers" is the Western often con-
sidered legendary John Ford's finest
film. At the height of his auteur lega-
cy, Ford crafted this often-reworked
epic tale of a search for someone who
doesn't want to be found. Subversive
by context and powerful in content,

this film is foremost considered the
height of American studio Western
production, and is even considered
the best by some of the most promi-
nent filmmakers from Orson Welles
to Steven Spielberg. Disgracefully,
Ford's epic tale including fabulous
acting and beatific frontier imagery
was not nominated for a single
Academy Award. Unbelievably, the
incomparable "Touch of Evil" and
the visually stunning "Paths of
Glory" were two other films com-
pletely shut out by the Academy.
2) "2001: A Space Odyssey"
Left out of a category full of films
that most people in contemporary
society have never heard of (other
than the often-referenced "Funny
Girl"), the mythical Stanley
Kubrick's artful direction is rife with
probably the most philosophical,
multi-layered storylines in film histo-
ry. Not only is the potent theme
unforgettable, but also the cine-
matography and special effects -
unbelievable for 1968 - have made
this an additional part of the film
bible. Kubrick himself is just one of
the many prolific figures who never
received a statuette in the category he

most deserved. A master of banality,
his images are eternally referenced
and forever revered.
1) Every Film (other than
"Rebecca") Directed by Alfred
Hitchcock
Yes, the "Master of Suspense," the
man who made screechy violins and
showers terrifying, the director who
put the camera where others had
never dared go, the person who may
be considered the modern
Shakespeare as his works are more
remade, rehashed and attempted to
copy by almost all current filmmak-
ers; Alfred Hitchcock's films, other
than "Rebecca" (due to the pull and
power of legendary producer David
0. Selznick), were never even nomi-
nated for the Best Picture at the
Academy Awards! Not "Psycho," not
"Rear Window," not "Vertigo," not
"North by Northwest" and not
"Notorious" (to name a few) donned
the nomination tag.
Hitchcock's films forever changed
the course of cinema. They included a
level of psychoanalysis and new tech-
niques that forged entirely new
ground. Hitchcock himself, though
nominated numerous times, never

Scorsese will finally get
T IRECRhis due Sunday

received the Best Director award. If
ever there were an Academy misstep,
the conundrum involved in denying
more than one of the greatest films
and possibly the greatest director
would be it.
Certainly many more films, too
many to list, have been excluded in
the ceremonies, but this group was

undeniably robbed by the Academy.
Referring to these films alone, it
must be said that while the Academy
has certainly done a great service to
some of the great films, it has left
out more than its share of deserving
titles and people.
If you think the best films of this
year have been snubbed, don't fret ...
they're in good company.

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-HE ENIGMA OF ELGAR
Mark Wigglesworth, conductor
Nathalie Stutzmann, mezzo-soprano
HAYDN Symphony No. 1
GLESWoRTH MAHIER Kindertotenlieder
WEBERN Passacaglia
Feridas Sposor: ELGAR Enigma Variations
DAIMLExRCHRY'sLER British conductor Mark Wigglesworth returns
., 1 . -4 . r- - , ..- - -

This year's nominees for Best
Director include two previous nomi-
nees and three newcomers, and even
though the winner has yet to be
announced, the verdict is already in
on who will walk home with the gold-
en statue this Sunday night.
The frontrunner for the Best Direc-
tor trophy is undoubtedly Martin
Scorsese, whose "Gangs of New
York" is nominated for 10 Academy
Awards this year, including Best Pic-
ture. Scorsese has been nominated
three times previously in this category
for "Raging Bull" (1980), "The Last
Temptation of Christ" ('1988) and
"Goodfellas" (1990). The Queens-
born Scorsese was snubbed each time,
and many critics feel the innovative
director is long overdue. Unfortunate-
ly, Scorsese was nominated this year
for the wrong reasons. Many feel his
nomination is more of a lifetime
achievement award than a celebration
of "Gangs of New York." His latest
film polarized audiences and critics;
some called it a masterpiece and oth-
ers called it a sprawling mess of an
epic. Having already taken home a
Golden Globe this year for "Gangs," a
matching Oscar is sure to follow.
Roman Polanski, perhaps the most
talked-about nominee in any category
of the 75th annual Academy Awards,
is nominated for his work on the
Holocaust film "The Pianist." This is
the third nomination for Polanski,
who was previously acknowledged for
his work on "Tess" (1980) and "Chi-

natown" (1974). Despite his recent
nomination, Polanski will not be in
the Kodak Theater this Sunday, as he
is not legally allowed to enter the
United States following accusations
that he committed statutory rape of a
13-year-old girl in 1977. Following
the rape charge, the controversial
director fled the country and has not
returned in more than a quarter-centu-
ry and authorities have warned the
filmmaker that he will be jailed if he
tries to set foot on
American soil.
Stephen Daldry,
director of "The.
Hours," is the long-
shot in this year's
race for the Best
Director trophy.
Daldry made hisn
mark in 2000 with
the surprise hit
"Billy Elliot," his
second feature
film. While
Daldry's work is
adequate, his direc-
torial style is over-
shadowed by the brilliant
performances of his three leading
ladies and Academy voters are likely
to reward the actresses of "The
Hours" before the director.
While "Chicago" is bound to take
home the Best Picture trophy, direc-
tor Rob Marshall is unlikely to take
home an Oscar for himself. The first-
time director has fierce competition
and the Academy generally favors
the veteran filmmakers. There is
always the rare exception, as noted in

1999 when fellow theater director
Sam Mendes won for the grossly
overrated "American Beauty" in his
film directorial debut.
Spanish filmmaker Pedro Almod-
6var is up for his first Academy
Award for the critically-acclaimed
international arthouse film "Talk to
Her." The nomination came as a sur-
prise to many as foreign directors
are often overlooked. "Talk to Her"
is a visual treat thanks to Almod6-
var's creative
genius, but the
Academy rarely
rewards such
unconventional
films.
One glaring
ommission from
the nominees this
year is Peter Jack-
son, who was
expected to be
nominated for the
second install-
ment of "The
Lord of the
Rings" trilogy,
"The Two Towers." Jackson was nom-
inated last year for "The Fellowship
of the Ring," but the Academy seems
to believe that because the trilogy was
filmed all at once the sequel isn't
deserving of the nominations the first
installment received (notice the
absence of "The Two Towers" from
the makeup and muscial score cate-
gories). Although Jackson's absence is
a travesty, the Oscar would have gone
to Scorsese regardless of who the
other nominees were.

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