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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Oscar Nominations and Guess What Didn't Get a Nod?

Big movie fan I am, I had to check out the Oscar nominations this morning. Without going over a lot of it, I just want to point out that my movie-going instincts were right. Waiting for Superman did not get a nomination for Best Documentary. Beyond the presentation of its POV, it just wasn't a well-organized film.

(And hey, a local girl got nominated for best adapted screenplay AND best picture - Winter's Bone.)

4 comments:

h2o girl said...

Winter's Bone was one of the best movies I've seen in a long time.

seattle citizen said...

Sorry to post off-topic, but LEV Blog has a notice about an upcoming KUOW "Conversation" on the state budget, they want people to call in. Thursday at noon. Here's the scoop from LEV (and thank you, LEV, for spreading this word. We need participation)There's also a Conversation survey (go to LEV blog to take survey):

"This Thursday, while students are having lunch in school, we urge you to speak up for kids on public radio.

The Conversation on KUOW 94.9 FM has scheduled a live, public discussion at noon on Thursday, January 27th about our state’s budget problems. They want to hear how you balanced the state budget using our State Budget Calculator.

Listen in and then call the show’s hotline at 206-543-KUOW or 800-289-KUOW to tell them how you would balance the budget.

So between now and Thursday…

■Try to make the tough choices to balance our state’s $4.6 billion budget shortfall with our State Budget Calculator;
■Then, fill out KUOW’s short survey about the budget calculator; and
■Mark your calendars to call in to The Conversation on KUOW 94.9 FM at noon on Thursday, January 27th.
Critical funding for public education is at stake this legislative session. Our kids are depending on us to speak up for them!"

Eric M said...

Here's nice piece about a scene for "Waiting for Superman":
http://cityroom.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/11/02/in-waiting-for-superman-a-scene-isnt-what-it-seems/?ref=sharon_otterman

In ‘Waiting for Superman,’ a Scene Isn’t What It Seems

One of the many affecting scenes in the documentary “Waiting for Superman” shows a mother on a personal tour of a high-performing Harlem charter school she wants her son to attend. She looks with perceptible longing at baskets of books and welcoming classrooms, and says “Wow” when told how children struggling with reading, like her first grader, Francisco, receive tutoring.

In short, the scene was staged, and this mother already knew her son hadn't won the lottery.

Documentary filmakers do this kind of thing all the time, but there's something particularly cruel about this particular episode.

The same cruelness in holding a lottery for poor people's kids and filming as a spectacle to manipulate the public.

On the other hand, I was watching some of Deadwood last weekend, which Davis Guggenheim also did, and that was pretty entertaining. Although cruelty-filled. Guy has an eye for cruelty.

You could even argue that "An Inconvenient Truth" is also cruelty-based, in that it requires us to like and listen to Al Gore, the guy who gave away a perfectly good Presidency to W.

wseadawg said...

On the opposite end of the Spectrum, of course, is Race to Nowhere, which should be mandatory viewing for any parent, particularly in this day and age, as we continue to heap the responsibility upon our children at younger and younger ages, burdening them with digging us out of the hole we've put ourselves in due to greed, stupidity, gluttony, and irresponsibility.

Are we really a "failing nation" of kids? Or are other nations finally catching up, surpassing, and excelling as the world turns and they get their day in the sun?

If anything has ruined the future for our kids, it isn't the better educated Chinese or East Indians. Its the ridiculous trade policies that have led our strongest corporations, including Google, Microsoft, Apple, HP, and IBM, to offshore manufacturing and sharing of intellectual property with nations who quickly reverse-engineer and make our ideas their own, providing manufacturing jobs for their own citizens and their own companies, at our collective expense.

Frankly, we've seen nothing but institutional and intellectual treason by off-shoring companies, inadequate trade policies, NAFTA, etc. which do nothing to protect our jobs at home, but only serve to put our working class, middle class, and white collar workers on par with those in countries that earn a good living of 15k per year.

Until we get real and protect the jobs and people in this nation, what's the point of hand-wringing over education, etc? We are pushing our kids into the abyss in school, while promising them absolutely nothing in return. Life-long debt as a cost of going to college. Pay-as-you-go services for walking through state parks. CRAPPY USELESS MATH CURRICULUM (Could Wall Street be behind this? Those who don't understand compound interest are doomed to pay it, after all. Hmmm...)

Okay, I'm ranting. But we have got to stop telling our kids that YOU MUST SAVE THIS COUNTRY THAT WE'VE DONE EVERYTHING WE CAN TO RAPE, PILLAGE, SELL-OUT, AND PUSH DOWN THE GARBAGE DISPOSAL all in the name of profit! And now YOU, our children, must educate the sh#$ out of yourselves so you can engineer and innovate your way out of the morass of strings and toxins we dropped you into!

If I were a kid in todays world, I'd tell us all to go F@#$ ourselves! We made this mess. We should clean it up. Not them. Who would look at us and say, "I want to be like them" in the future? I sure as hell wouldn't.

My kids are so far ahead of where I was at their age, in and out of school, I cannot possibly demand more of them. To lament that they might be "23rd" or so in the world in math scores, largely based on shady scoring by foreign countries and our own, is, to me, a complete waste of time. While we struggle to understand "Everyday and Discovery Math," which is horrible, it seems pretty clear to me that it benefits some folks, somewhere, to perpetuate the myth of the crisis that our kids aren't "competitive enough" in the world. Hogwash.

I still say all this "crisis" talk is nothing but excuses to shirk the responsibility from those who put us in this hole, and to line the pockets of the cavalcade of "solution providers."

Something is very rotten in Denmark.

OT, but I feel better now.