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The coolest game in town is the Oscars game. One can try to be as snobbish as they want, and maybe even succeed, but the Oscars - at a specific time of the year - are inevitably "all the cinema in the world". Obviously, we forbid ourselves the Pavlovian conditioned reflex of attributing this concentration to the mere economic power of the US film industry. It would be simplistic, and would not account for its perennial power of rearrangement and transformation. More so than in the past, cinema and Hollywood are attempting – consciously – to actively participate in the transformations of the collective imagination and the conversations that arise from it. The awards that the Daniels' film won, whatever you think of it, are indicative of a quantum-sized leap forward in ambition. In other words: everything, and all at once. And fast. That one can twist their mouth and nose is part of the game. That one can complain about the exclusion of other titles is legitimate. With these awards A24 – who came to Locarno last year with the sumptuous Medusa Deluxe in Piazza Grande – confirms itself as an inescapable protagonist of independent cinema. A kind of cinema that cannot be reduced to formulas; outside the box, like the Daniels who, before the Oscar triumph, cut their teeth by making some of the most brilliant music videos ever produced. Hollywood wanted to give a strong sign of discontinuity (even if the maliciously inclined can insinuate that a lot of conformism is hidden in this choice...). The absence of female directors is still lamented, while the industry of big names and numbers, the one that takes the audience to the cinema and allows theatrical exhibition to survive (from Tom Cruise to James Cameron) is – predictably – relegated to the minor awards. This is also part of the game.
Giona A. Nazzaro