Sunday, February 26, 2012

Molo's Official Oscar Prediction and Musings

Shit, the Oscars are tonight.  And even though I'm in middle-of-nowhere Wyoming, I'll probably watch 'em.  Or at least part of them.  I mean we should all be excite Billy Crystal is back, right?  Does anyone under 30 even have any idea who Billy Crystal is?  When was his last movie?  1997?   Well, no matter. 

So this year, the best film I saw, hands down, was Drive.  And it seems to have been shut out from the Awards. (except for Sound editing...whatevs)  What a bunch of crap!  Should have gotten nominations for picture, for actor (Gosling) and definitely for supporting actor in Albert Brooks. 

Not nominating Brooks for supporting role was the biggest snub this year, hands down.  But the Academy rarely picks the best films for it's awards, so really, this is just par for the course.  At least they did nominate Tree of Life, which was probably my second fav movie from this year.  

Of course I hardly saw a damn thing, so take this all with a big lump of salt, m'kay?  As always, I'm only looking at the categories that folks give a damn about. 

Best Picture:  The Artist, Hugo, Tree of Life, The Help (sigh), Moneyball, Midnight in Paris (i couldn't stand the first 20 minutes) , The Descendants, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (rolls eyes), and War Horse (barf).  

The Aritst will win because critics love it, it references hollywood history, and is a romp - it is deserving.  Tree of Life should win and I'm not just saying that because is the only nominated film I have seen; Malick's films are full of wonder and life, and this is no exception.  Of course Drive was the best film last year. 

Best Director:  The Artist - Michael Hazansomething , Tree of Life - Malick, Hugo - Scorsese, The Descendants - Alexander Payne, Midnight in Paris - Woody Allen. 

Tough call this year, I don't think they will feel obligated to give Scorsese or Allen any make-up Oscars (like a make-up call in sports, when Scorsese won for The Departed, it was a kind of make-up/lifetime achievement pick for getting slighted for so many great films in the past).  Malick is the most deserving of an Oscar, but he's been such a rogue for so long, it's hard to imagine them giving him the statue.  So I'm going with the new guy Micheal Hazanavicius. 

Best Actress :  Glen Close (Albert Nobbs), Viola Davis (the Help), Rooney Mara (dragon tattoo), Meryl Streep (the Iron Lady), and Michelle Williams (My Week with Marilyn). 

I haven't seen any of these films.  But I think the Academy will go with....Glen Close.  I'd go with Michelle Williams, but that's because I have a crush on her.

Best Actor:  Clooney (the descendants), Damien Bichir (A better Life), Brad Pitt (moneyball), Gary Oldman (tinker tailor sailor spy), and Jean Dujardin (The Artist)

Clooney's going to win.  Although Gary Oldman has a shot.  Again, I haven't seen any of these movies.  You all are probably wondering if I saw anything last year, and why do I think I deserve to comment on films if I don't hardly see any?  Well screw you!  This is my blog, I'll do what I want.  And Clooney will win.  Everyone loves him and they love Hawaii.  Unlike Brad Pitt and baseball, which everyone hates.  They wont give it to an actor with no actual lines and probably not enough people saw A Better Life to give it to Bichir.

Best Supporting Actress:  Berenice Bejo (the Artist), Jessica Chastain (the Help), Melissa McCarthy (Bridesmaids), Janet McTear (Albert Nobbs), and Octavia Spencer (the Help)

Well, the 2 ladies from The Help will cancel each other out.  It's like choosing DWade and Lebron for MVP - the both plan on the same team, so they steal each others votes (although Lebron is a shoe in this year).  Again, probably not for the silent film...i have no idea about Janet McTear....but I'm going with the most unlikely choice -  Melissa McCarthy - who saved the very overrated Bridesmaids (really , is a film that is pretty much just based on potty humor and cliches all that deserving of all the success?  Yes, yes, it's great to see a group of women making the vulgar jokes for a change, but the jokes were all the same - it was the same low brow humor, that's all.  Any who, McCarthy saved that movie for me.)

Best Supporting Actor:  Albert Brooks for Drive!  Oh wait, he wasn't nominated.  We do have Kenneth Branaugh (my week with marilyn), Max von Sydow (Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close), Nick Nolte (warrior),Jonah Hill, no less (moneyball), and Christopher Plummer (beginners)

This is the most fun group of nominations, despite the lack of Albert Brooks.  Jonah Hill?  No kidding?  He has been fantastic in most everything he's done, especially Superbad, so I guess I'm not surprised....then we've got Max von Sydow himself, the legendary von Sydow.  I can quote his entire scene form Conan the Barbarian....but I digress....and Nick Nolte for one of the most over-the-top, hammy Nick Cage-esq roles I have ever seen, in the highly underrated film Warrior.  At one point his character gets way drunk and is reciting lines from Moby Dick at the top of his lungs as he listens to it on tape in his bathrobe...fantastic stuff.  I hope they give it to him.  But I think they'll give it to Christopher Plummer, who was excellent in Beginners.

Okay, let's just whip through a few other picks and be done with this nonsense:

Best Animated:  Rango
Best Cinematography:  Tree of Life - hands down.
Art Direction:  The Artist
Costumes:  The Artist
Screenplay (adapted):  Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Screenplay (original):  A Separation
 and then there's more but I'm spent.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Day # 10 at Jentel

We are a week and a half into this residency at Jentel.  It has been fantastic so far, fantastic and productive.  Highlights would include visiting Kings Saddlery + Museum, seeing a country jam session at the Occidental Hotel, and visiting the rival residency program, Ucross, just 10 miles down the country highway. It's been snowy, crazy windy, icy, sunny, melty, rainy, cold and kind of warm at times.  Other than the aforementioned places visited, the residents and I have gone into to town just twice for provisions and such - pretty much we spend our time in the studios working hard, with the occasional break for meals and bullshitting around the fire.  Oh yes, and I did watch Blade one night too.  (Hey Dad, I also watched a bit of that golf tourney last Sunday with Phil and Haas and some other crazy guy going to a playoff?  Did you see that finish, it was insane!)  

I shall spare you in depth musings on how this residency, this place, has changed my work... for now.  What's evident is that the time, the freedom, the stress-free environment has allowed me to really delve into some things, some ideas, that I simply had not the time, energy and means to at my home studio.  Wouldn't it be wonderful to live such an existence indefinitely?  

Any who, here's some pics:  

 This is what going for a walk along the road looks like. 

 Where's my gun when I need it? 

 snowy overcast day at Jentel - this is a view of the house we are staying at

 Buffalo, Wyoming.  Not a one horse town.  If you ever travel I-90 through this area, stop in Buffalo and visit the Occidental Hotel.  The historic western photos in the lobby are worth it alone. 
outside the bar at the Occidental

 The stars...oh the stars.  One forgets...

 one view of the living room/kitchen of this massive residence we are all living at. The decor...the decor...
is something to behold.  I really can't even describe it. 
The residents and I went over to an art opening at the gallery at Ucross, the nearby residency.  They have quite a set up over there too - a very nice gallery space and several buildings spread across the ranch.  I didn't explore it too much, but if you are looking for artist residencies to apply for, Jentel and Ucross should be high on your list. 

Oh, and have been making some art:   

 several small gouache and ink works on paper

Monday, February 20, 2012

Day #6 at Jentel

A few more images from Jentel: 

now now did that rock end up on that rock? 

 looking out my studio's exterior doors
 quick snapshot of a piece I dd, loosely based on the drive out here.  Ink, gouache and pencil on paper

  A couple other snapshots (way too dark of images - the paper is white  to give you an idea of how dark these images are) of some other new drawings i've been poking at...

Still very much paying around with materials and getting settled in here, more to come  

Friday, February 17, 2012

Day #3 at Jentel Artist Residency

So here I am at the Jentel artist residency in middle-of-nowhere Wyoming.  (That really narrows it down, right?)  Well it's near the western town of Sheridan (Buffalo Bill has ties to this place) and relatively close to the Battle of Little Big Horn, etc.  Essentially just to the East of the Bighorn Mountains.  North Central Wyoming.  Cowboy country.  Beautiful, empty landscape.  Rolling hills, ravines...high country.  Lots of snow and wind, and tons of sun this time of year. 

Nestled off a county road is this amazing artist residency I'm at for 4 weeks, Jentel (see above for website) and I'm planning on blogging about it right here to keep y'all up to date on what I'm up to.  There are a few things you should know, though, the main one that while this place is much like the real world for artists (6 stranger artists living together for the first time), and I should say artists and writers, there are 2 writers amongst our 6, I won't be gossiping about my fellow residents or anything like that.  I likely wont' even be sharing their names, to respect privacy and all....

What happens at Jentel, stays at Jentel.

That being said, what I will be doing, is mostly giving y'all a visual blog of the landscape, the residency, perhaps the surrounding culture, and whatever else pertains to this adventure.  Oh and I'm making art here, so expect some of that too! 

Speaking of local culture, for those of you on facebook, did you see my album of the public art of Sheridan?  Check it out, they have sooooooo many sculptures in that small town it's insane. 

Drove about 950 miles from Seattle to Jentel.  This is my driving face

sometimes I'm looking at this

 other times I'm looking at this

 This must be the place!