some days, thankfully, i can forget that there ever where oscars. other days, like yesterday, i end up watching part of the hurt locker. and then i start wondering . . . have any good movies ever won best picture? turns out we (or rather the academy) have only called them best picture for only the last 42 years. from 44 to 68 is was known as best motion picture (as opposed, i guess, to ex-motion pictures); before that (41 to 43), outstanding motion picture; from 29/30 to 40, outstanding production; and from 27/28 to 29/29, outstanding picture. so let’s forget about best picture awards, they’re all a waste (except maybe annie hall, silence of the lambs and rocky (even though rocky 4 is better)). during the best motion picture period, we find some gems. specifically, west side story, marty and, of course, all about eve.
but who cares about awards anyway? they’re just marketing gimmicks.
back to the hurt locker. in the beginning, perspectives change rapidly. each of these perspective change (the long-shot of the bomb defusing squad, the close-up of the soldiers, the viewpoint peeking around the corner to view the action of the street, the long-shot of the rubble, etc) implies a camera filming the perspective. but there are no cameras in the shots except for the camera mounted on the bomb-defusing robot. so: cut to pov of the bomb-defusing robot. at this point i realized how i would have loved this movie: if, instead of focusing on actual human soldiers, the film followed the view-point of robotic soldiers. this, of course wouldn’t need to be limited to bomb-defusing robots but could also include remote piloted drones. the best part is the camera used to record the footage would already be physically linked to the robot-soldiers. the movie gets better. it turns out the taliban, as a way of combating all these robot-soldiers, starts training terrorist monkeys. which audio-visual recording devices attached to both the robot-soldiers and the monkey-terrorists, humans can now sit back and watch the televised battle.
this training of monkeys reminds me of this early silent film titled the anarchist and his dog. in this classic, an anarchists makes a grenade to get back at some reactionary for thwarting his attempts to pick up this woman. he throws the grenade near the target, but his dog ends up retrieving the grenade for him. you can guess how the movie ends.