It's another Thursday, and so that means it's time for Wandering Through the Shelves' Thursday Movie Picks! This weeks theme was a very open one with so many options that I almost felt like I needed to give it a theme on top of a theme to shrink my pool a little bit or give these some connective tissue. So, here's what I came up with.
The theme of the week is:
So, this is a pretty big pool of choices, as I mentioned, so I wanted to tighten the guidelines a bit, so I decided to chose a film from each category (one Animated Film winner, one Foreign Language Film winner and one Best Picture winner) and I chose three films that I feel are either lesser known (like, "I've never heard of that one") or semi-forgotten (like, "I didn't realize that won") or taken for granted (like, "I can't believe that beat...").
So here goes nothing.
|An American in Paris|
We'll start with the one taken for granted. Back in 1951, a little film starring Gene Kelly swept in and won the Best Picture Oscar right under the nose of some really hotbed films that have gained a lot of respect from passionate cinephiles over the years; namely 'A Streetcar Named Desire' and 'A Place in the Sun'. It doesn't help that the film Kelly is most famous for was famously snubbed a Best Picture nomination the following year, 'Singin' in the Rain'. For many, 'An American in Paris' is seen as a lite winner among a stronger lineup and the wrong Kelly film to have won the gold, but regardless of the fact that I prefer 'A Streetcar Named Desire', one can't deny that 'An American in Paris' is such a languid and beautiful film, one that combines music, dance and storytelling in a fascinating and articulate way. It's a very deserving Oscar winner and one that I wish more would give the credit it is due.
|Closely Watched Trains|
When someone thinks of the year 1967, a lot of films come to mind. 1967 is a pretty notable year for film and the Oscars in general, and so there are a bounty of films that come to mind. I'm betting that 'Closely Watched Trains' isn't one of them. It's a shame, because this beautifully composed film from Jiri Menzel actually won the Foreign Film Oscar, and it's a brilliant film to boot! Sexuality in film and especially with regards to adolescent exploration of sexual innocence was a big thing in the 60's, and this beautiful film manages to explore it while carrying on a very politically charged sub-plot that is wholly engaging and powerfully composed. Check this under 'films we never heard of that rightfully won the Oscar'.
And lastly, the forgotten one. When you think of Pixar and their many Oscar winning titles, we often think of 'Wall*E' or 'Up' or 'The Incredibles' or 'Toy Story 3'. You wanna know something funny? 'Finding Nemo' is probably my favorite Pixar film, outside of maybe 'Toy Story 3', and yet even I forgot that this won the Oscar for Animated Film. It's such a brilliant film though, so beautifully shot (those colors) and such a beautiful tale of a father's love for his son, that it's a shame it's often forgotten about. UGH, I just love this movie.