Thursday, 26 February 2009

Martenitsa


First of all, I wanna tell you about a Bulgarian tradition, which is a very nice one and I love it. Every year (on the 1st of March) people give each other martenitsa. It's a small piece of adornment, made of white and red yarn and people are wearing it from the 1st of March until the 22nd of March (when the Spring arrives). There is another option, which I like more and it's to wear it until you see a swallow in the sky. The martenitsa, in Bulgarian - мартеница, is a very nice thing to give, because this way you wish the person you give it to luck and a good health in the upcoming year and it symbolizes the beginning of a new life.

Of course there is a legend, which explains this tradition and we all learn it in school. Here's the legend, taken from wikipedia:


Khan Kubrat's (632–665) five sons went hunting accompanied by their sister Huba. When they reached the Danube river they saw a silver stag. Mesmerized, the men did not dare shoot at it. The stag crossed over to the opposite bank of the river showing them a ford.

A bird flew bringing them bad tidings. Their father, the founder of Old Great Bulgaria was on his deathbed. In his last hours Kubrat's last will was to tell his offspring—Bayan, Kotrag, Asparukh, Kuber and Altsek—not to sever the still tenuous link between the different Bulgarian tribes. His sons vowed to defend Bulgaria.

Soon after their father’s death, the Khazars invaded the land. The Khazar's Khan Ashina conquered the capital Phanagoria. Huba, Kubrat's daughter, was captured by Ashina. Hoping to give her brothers a chance to freedom, Huba attempted suicide but was stopped by the guards.

Her brothers kept their vows in different ways. Bayan stayed with his sister and recognized the supremacy of the Khazars. Kotrag went northwards, to the River Volga, while Asparukh, Kuber and Altsek went south to search for a new land without oppressors.

The brothers who left secretly arranged with Huba and Bayan to send word by a golden thread tied to the leg of a dove if they were able to find a free land. One day a falcon sent by Asparukh flew into Huba's room and she and Bayan quickly made plans to escape. Just as they were looking for a place to cross the Danube River, Khazar pursuers spotted them and rushed toward them. Trying to find a ford, Huba let the falcon free. She tied a white thread to its leg and handed it to her brother. Just as the bird was about to take off, an enemy arrow pierced Bayan and his blood stained the white thread.

While Huba and Bayan managed to reach the newly discovered land by Asparukh (present-day Bulgaria), they were both mortally wounded. Asparukh rushed to the side of his dying brother and sister but he could not save them. After their death he tore the pieces of white-and-red blood stained yarn and adorned his soldiers with them.

Staying home & watching films

I've got a cold and I'm staying home a third day now and I started to actually enjoy not having to attend my acting classes every day and instead I just watch movie after movie and it's real fun.
Yesterday I watched a film I've never really heard of before. It's written and directed by Cameron Crowe and I'm not his biggest fan in the universe. But this one - which is his debut film - is the kind of a film that I just started watching with no expectations at all and then it worked for me. It's called Say Anything and stars a very young John Cusack. After watching the film, which is really very romantic and very funny and very touching, I did some research on the net and I was surprised to learn that it's a film, which got an enormous reaction at the time it premiered. I wonder why there is no DVD edition of it out there or maybe I just ignored it, but the film's worth the watch.

It tells the story of Lloyd Dobler, who is the regular guy - an absolutely mediocre student, kind of shy and unsecure, who on his high school graduation asks out the school valedictorian (wow, a new word! lol!), who is headed to England after the summer to study on a prestigious fellowship and even though everybody thinks they're a ridiculous match, things just work for them. Anyway, the story is not only about that, but about family, love, vocation and much more. And even though it's a very intelligent romantic comedy, it's all about the acting, which is very natural and unforced (and I love that in acting!) & the great romantic story. I've never ever liked John Cusack that much, but here he's amazing, very charming and just a guy everyone could have a crush on - absolutely unpretentious and giving and devoted and very funny, very clumsy. And very romantic. And I just like the idea that the film fools with cliches. Lloyd isn't the guy who will find what he wants to do with his life after falling for this great young woman. He just loves her, but realizes that while she's special, he just isn't. But it isn't a problem and it isn't something the film is focusing on. It's about finding love and about being in love and not caring about if you two are a perfect match in the eyes of your family or friends (just because everybody thinks that Lloyd and Diane aren't, because he's totally out of her league)...there are some really great scenes and and the film is very simple and very natural and connects... as always Cameron Crowe creates some very nice dialogue and some charming characters... and it's just the unpretentious little movie that somehow becomes a little great movie.... everything clicks perfectly.... and this one not only made me laugh and entertained me. I even cried at the end and I don't know why. Maybe because I have a cold... :-)

Sunday, 22 February 2009

My Oscar night thoughts

The night of the Oscars is over. For the 81st time. And for the 81st time the Academy made lots of absurd choices, I think. First of all, Slumdog Millionaire swept the Oscars, winning eight awards out of ten nominations (and actually only losing the sound editing award, since it had two song nominees and one of them won). Well, I can't say it was a bad film, but it just didn't deserve sweeping. It was actually the most emotionally rewarding of the nominees and that's why it won. Last year they rewarded some dark, violent films and this year they needed a change - a lighter mood, even though Slumdog Millionaire is a film about the misery and the society people are living in as well, but it's a film full of hope, which I think made it into the small sensation it is. But still, I don't think the film deserved most of its awards - definitely not the original score and original song awards. I wanted Thomas Newman to win the Oscar for composing WALL-E and co-writing the nominated song from the film, but the Slumdog hysteria was just too big to ignore. And no matter how touching the film is, I don't think its screenplay was actually quite deserving of winning best adapted screenplay - the film just didn't have much real character development and there were some holes in the narrative as well. But I don't want to be too critical, because I actually enjoyed the film and I think that it was the best film they could actually choose out of the five they nominated.

Anyway, I just didn't care - even remotely - for most of the winners. Sean Penn won the best actor Oscar for playing gay activist Harvey Milk in Gus Van Sant's Milk, defeating the actual favorite Mickey Rourke (for his surprisingly touching performance in The Wrestler - a film you should give a chance!). Sean - no matter what a great actor he is - already won an (undeserved) Oscar a few years ago and this time he was up against two actors in superior performances. Not only Rourke, but Frank Langella as well, but Langella does mostly stage and his performance just scared voters, I think. Anyway, then Milk won original screenplay for gay writer Dustin Lance Black, whom I wrote about a month ago. I have read his script for Milk and while I really enjoyed it and I think it was a complex and intelligent script (he did some fine research), I still don't think he deserved to win. Not for the actual script. He won because voters wanted to acknowledge the film and because of all the gay marriage ban stuff in the USA. I myself am impressed by the personality of Harvey Milk and his fight for equal rights (I just watched the documentary about his life, which I think is far more impressive.) But I just wanted Martin McDonagh to win the Oscar for In Bruges, which - hands down! - was my favorite film of the year and my favorite, favorite script. It was just witty, quirky, funny, absurd, hilarous, well structured! Everything a great original screenplay should be! And WALL-E! Don't blame me for liking an animation! Don't be prejudiced! Just go and watch WALL-E! It'll make you realize that a great script isn't just the words. It's about creating a story and there are many, many ways to create a story! Then there is Kate Winslet's Oscar! Some people think she was due. I don't. To me Meryl Streep and Mellisa Leo and Anne Hathaway deserved it more. And to me Kate Winslet will remain a look-at-me-I'm-acting type of a performer. This woman should learn what subtlety is. It's something which make your performance real and not full or yourself as an actor!
Anyway, there was another major upset and that was in the foreign language film category, where Japan beat the front-runners (it was considered the least likely victor, actually!) and won the Oscar. By the way, Heath Ledger won for best supporting actor and I'm still confused about the presentation. Hollywood stars just didn't feel comfortable and they felt guilty, for some reason. And Penelope Cruz for supporting actress - while a classy choice, because her performance is definitely very good - simply wasn't the most deserving nominee. But with the Oscars it's always about politics. Meryl should soon win her third! Really!

And about the show - they really tried to make it differently this year, but it didn't work fully. I liked some of the presentations - the acting categories were presented by five past winners of the same category (which cared for many standing ovations).

The best actor presenters (for example) were Robert De Niro, Anthony Hopkins, Michael Douglas, Ben Kingsley and Adrien Brody, while the best actress Oscar was presented by Sophia Lorren, Shirley MacLaine, Nicole Kidman, Halle Berry and last year's winner Marion Cotillard.
But I really don't get the original song presentations - they made a tribute to great musical songs, but didn't actually allow the nominees for best song to perform their whole songs (instead they put them in a three minutes medley, which was kind of absurd!). And actually the story thing didn't work that well.

But that's it. Until next year. I hope for a better show and for classier choices.

P.S. By the way, Dustin Lance Black had a very beautiful speech about gay rights. Not too political and very inspiring. I'll upload it once it's on youtube.

OSCAR NIGHT

The Oscars are just a few hours away and I'm really excited. I love the Oscars. It's a big show (over 3 hours, sometimes 4) and the winners usually aren't the most deserving ones, but sometimes the Academy just picks the right one. I'm really impressed with this year's original screenplay nominees, with Martin MacDonagh, who wrote and directed my favorite film of last year In Bruges being a surprising nominee and Mellisa Leo being up for best actress for Frozen River or the screenplay nod for Happy-Go-Lucky (which I love) or the nomination for Heath Ledger. I already wrote an entry about how impressed I was with Heath Ledger's performance in Brokeback Mountain three years ago, when I was just starting studying drama performance. Anyway, I think that his (inevitable) Oscar win for The Dark Knight is both a reward for a great actor, who had much promise. Anyway, it comes too late. I can't blame the Academy for rewarding Philip Seymour Hoffman, who's a great actor and was due for some recognition, but I can blame them for honoring him only because he was one of them and because Heath is considered too young for a best actor win. (I'm no fan of his work in Capote, which was all about mannerism. Boring.) Anyway, it's kind of ironic that he'll get his Oscar for a hero movie and the Academy is snobbish enough to never nominate summer hero movies. (They suck big time most of the time, so nobody can blame them about that.)

Anyway, I'm prepared for my big Oscar night. First of all, I'll have my Oscar party and we'll watch A Place in the Sun (from 1951, with a favorite of mine - Monty Clift) and of course, Brokeback Mountain, which Pro 7 will air tonight just before the Oscars.

And then, from 3 a.m. - live on Pro 7 - the 81st Annual Academy Awards. Hugh Jackman is hosting. And I hope there will be some surprises. I'm predicting a major upset - Viola Davis for supporting actress. And Mickey Rourke for best actor. Wow, he blew me away in The Wrestler. He really did. Enjoy the show!

My party starts in an hour, so I should be going. Have a nice Oscars! Wow! There's no business like show business and no night like Oscar night!

Monday, 16 February 2009

Hitchcock's I Confess

On the 13th I finally had the chance to catch up with Alfred Hitchcock's I Confess (1953). Some friends and I had this movie night and we did watch three of Hitchcock's films & I did fill some of the holes, left from the film class, which I attended as an elective module in my acting education.

I remember talking (in the class) about the New Wave filmmakers (in French: The Nouvelle Vogue) of the late 50's and 60's. We watched most of the films by Truffaut and Godard (most of which I really didn't develop any enthusiasm about). And on Friday night, just before we started watching I Confess, I checked a short article about the film on the Internet andI was mildly surprised to learn that this particular film has been a huge favorite amongst the French New Wave filmmakers. Now, having seen the film, it doesn't surprise me at all. The film does have some of the New Wave storytelling trademarks (including the visualized flashback segments) even though it's filmed in the early 50's. Anyway, what lacks here is Mr. Hitchcock himself! He appears at the beginning of the film, of course!, but his aggressive cinematic style, which I love, isn't there. And the story didn't make me to hold my breath even for a second. The 'mystery' is solved in the first five minutes of the film and I didn't even expect a plot twist to happen along the way. Obviously the filmmakers wanted the film to work as a metaphor: the guilt, the belief, the fear, the sanctity of confession and a priest who is determined to remain silent even if this could ruin his life were all working for the martyrdom theme to appear throughout the film. But the film didn't work as a metaphor, because its goals and themes were presented in a too obvious way. And of course, Otto's words to the priest in the final scene of the movie were just meant to explain it to anybody who didn't get that. Is there such a person after all?! Another problem for the film to work were the way characters were created. About the actors: I understand why Vladimir isn't a fan of Monty Clift's performance, but what I think is that he's terribly miscast. First of all, he isn't Hitch's type of an actor. Just take a look at the actors Hitch really did some miracles with: they are all macho types, whose performances are dependent on their masculine, casual charm. And they're really cinematic actors, who handle the performances in the most direct possible way, while Monty Clift is a stage actor, a Method actor and I don't think he found the director he needed in Alfred Hitchcock. And I can tell you that an actor really needs a director, who understands his way of handling the role to make it work. Talking from my experience, I know that directors usually have the goals list for the actor: what he's expected to achieve within a certain scene, the passages, the emotion swift etc etc. But I don't see it here. I think Clift worked on his own through the whole film, since everything Hitchcock obviously wanted was a calm and reserved priest, who represents all the qualities people expect from such a person. And I'm really terribly disappointed that Hitchcock didn't use one of Clift's best qualities as an actor - that to represent inner turmoil while acting cool in a certain scene. This could have been the case in the scene right after the verdict is read and Clift's on his way out from the court room and facing all the faces of people, who show their hatred toward him. Anyway, Hitchcock still wanted the calm priest - the representation of the ideal. And he structured the performance that way. It confused me, because to me Hitchcock offered up the possibility of creating a believable main character in order for the film to work as a metaphor. But the story itself didn't have the metaphor, which leads to the film (and especially the performance of Clift) to feel empty. You may think: Yeah, here's the actor blaming the director, but that's not true. I'm just confused and I can't even talk about the film the way I talk about other films, because I don't understand it really. Clift does everything he's expected to do. He adopts all the gestures, the calm, quiet voice, the friendly appearance, but despite of that, he never breaths as the character. And I think it's Hitchcock's fault. He just compromised the film for me.

And of course, the other problem is that everything in this film is obvious. There's nothing left for the viewer to figure out, which could have made it a more interesting watch for me. Anne Baxter has a really ungrateful character to play: her Ruth is a character, which is written and directed in the most obvious way: she's in love, she's willing to do everything to defend the man she loves. But all her appearance is in her words. We just don't see anything else. We don't see action, we don't see some real, unexplaine emotion. She talks and talks and she declares what her character desires and thinks and there's no inner story attached here. Karl Malden, on the other hand, has a more interesting part to play and I think he delivers an interesting performance: he's the sole actor, who really was given a tricky part and executes it gracefully. He's the inspector, who likes the priest and despite of that, he feels obligated to persecute him because of his suspicions. The one scene from the film, which I really liked and which I think has this irony in it, is the scene, in which the priest arrives to the inspector's office and the inspector (who believed that the priest just flew) offered to buy him a lunch.

But anyway, I just hate it when people want to find meaning in something, which doesn't have a meaning. The themes of the martyrdom, which everybody is talking about, is represented in the film, but in an obvious way, which for me ruined the experience itself and which stopped the filmmakers from creating a believable story and interesting characters. And film is all about that.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Friday movie night

I feel a bit swallowed up in February, which is actually a nice thing. I love the short days, the snow and the cold weather. And of course, February and March are the months of the film festivals and all the films I've been waiting for premiering. The Oscars are just a week away and I think I'm going to have a few friends over to watch the show's live telecast. I'm back to college and working on a play and I don't have that much time as I did. Anyway, it's Friday night and instead to go clubbing, a few friends and I will gather home to watch movies all night long. It's a tradition that needs to be upheld actually, so it's going to be a Hitchcock night - with Spellbound, Rear Window and I Confess being the three films to watch. I'm actually a big Hitchcock freak and I think I had an entry, in which I mentioned that. Vertigo is my absolutely favorite Hitchcock film. I caught up with most of his films in a Hitchcock marathon a TV channel had last year, but I've never seen these three films. So I'll comment on them tomorrow!

I gotta go now. Have a nice Freaky Friday folks!

P.S. And by the way, it's rather a coincidence we choose Friday the 13th to watch Hitchcock's movies! Way to go!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Kevin Spacey does impersonations

I've always liked impersonations. I love Tina Fey doing it on Saturday Night Live (I've never seen the show, since it never aired here, but I've seen some clips on youtube!) and I think that Jim Carrey does a good Jack Nicholson, but I've come across this video of Kevin Spacey doing impersonations of lots of film legends - including Katharine Hepburn, Al Pacino, Jack Lemmon, Clint Eastwood, Christopher Walken and Marlon Brando. Actually, I'm not that impressed with his Hepburn. He just doesn't get her mannerism and tries doing her voice only, which I think he fails at. But Walken, Brando and Pacino are great, especially Marlon Brando. He just enjoys it. And it's all which matters. I myself enjoy impersonating a professor of mine, who's one of the most unlikable animals on Earth - and according to a few friends, I'm good at doing her. :-) But anyway, Spacey is a skilled impersonator & I would like to see more of him doing it.

Watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bKKDKAKNH-k

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Short films & Hattie McDaniel clip

Well, I love short films. If I get into a filmmaking programme, I'd love to do some. They're always tricky, because it's really hard to tell an intriguing story in five minutes. Some filmmakers succeed and it's always fun to watch short films. And I'm really glad that the Academy presents Oscars in the short film categories, because this way younger and unexperienced filmmakers could be rewarded (even student films) & it could be a golden opportunity to be noticed.

Here are some shorts I enjoyed: the first one (Faith d'hiver) I watched last year and it really, really shocked me. (I believe that it's an Oscar-nominated short film.) Even though I don't think it's great cinema (even though it has some really very interesting shots), it's pretty much about the plot twist, which works quite well. Right now I'm watching the five nominated animated shorts nominated this year and there's a Russian flick, which is really touching. By the way, last year my sister took me to see Alexander Petrov's The Old Man and the Sea and I really, really loved it. Go see it if you get the chance! It's really beautiful & very moody.


Watch FAITH D'HIVER here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGmy6xGo4Nw

And yesterday, just rushing through youtube, I found a really nice video of Hattie McDaniel becoming the first woman of colour to win an Oscar - for supporting actress in Gone With the Wind.


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Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Jimmy Dean & Heath Ledger & Monty Clift
















You know the obsession with James Dean. Or Jimmy Dean - as they call him in the Robert Altman movie I just watched. (It's an old film with Cher and Kathy Bates and is called Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean.) It's something really weird. The strange thing is that he's so unlike most of the young big stars now - watching his films I just can't stop thinking that he had a great gift for acting and it's real sad that his career and his life were cut short. Most people in my acting class (and even my professors) think that it's his early & tragic death, which made him a legend. But I don't think it's really a relevant explanation. It's rather this raw style of acting, which is so natural and so unlike everything at the time. And it's the fact that he wasn't the big macho guy most actors were or pretended to be. Just watch an old movie. They're all big, raw, unemotional guys. And Jimmy Dean is all about this natural gift of honesty in acting, which is what great acting is all about, I think. If I think of a nowadays actor, who I could compare Jimmy Dean to, it's Heath Ledger. And again - not because of his tragic death, but because of his great gift. When I watched Brokeback Mountain two years ago, I was really blown away by his performance. It was in the year when I started studying theatre acting & I felt that I'd like to give a performance like that. I didn't like Jake Gyllenhaal's performance, but Heath was really the soul of the film. It was exactly a performance the way Jimmy Dean would have played it - natural and unforced. And of course - both were incredibly good-looking guys, but in a mysterious way, which helped their acting a lot. These guys just didn't fit the Hollywood stereotype even though they had everything they needed to succeed. But anyway, thinking about other Hollywood actors like that, I can't stop thinking of Monty Clift. Up until a year ago, I didn't even know who he is. I have seen classic movies on TCM, but never ever something he was in. And then we watched A Place in the Sun in class and it was a really great experience. He's a reallyt sensitive actor. And I did some research and read a lot about his life. His sexuality was probably the reason for him feeling uncomfortable and never finding his place. It's sad that such a tragic personal life actually helped him create some great roles. Check these guys' film roles. Really impressive. And sad.

Monday, 2 February 2009

Some more poetry

It's from the second class we had in English. And it's what I wrote. The subject was depression. I was still reading Sylvia Plath, so it was no problem relating to it. I wrote that:

I'm down. Memories can't be erazed.
I just remember the coldness of the knife.
It touched my skin. My teeth were in pain.
Being felt like if in vain.

And I don't think, and I just am,
I'm down... and sinking, grabbing my pain.
And choking it. Let it taste my grief!
I just feel like a damned creature, like a sinking thief!

Give me the razor. I would fain
to put an end to every grain -
the grain of pain, I see its sails.
The ship is sinking. Saving fails.

And I'm just lying on the floor,
around is water, seaweed & reck.
My wet flesh simply forgets what life is.
And my brain just stops with a picture
erazed in it -
for eternity.

Eternal frame.
Eternal non-life.
Eternal pain - not physical, not psychical.
Just a memory of pain.


The influence is there.


Anyway, this one last day has been really stormy. I think I'm losing somebody who started to mean something more to me & it doesn't feel great. Anyway, I believe we'll have a shot - if not right now, still a month or two later. Or a year. I know it.

Poetry

OK. I promised schnoogen to post some poetry. Anyway, I've never considered myself a poet and I don't really have any ambitions at all. I just had to write some stuff for my acting class with a visiting English professor & he recommended for everybody to choose two pieces - one by poet (I choose Sylvia Plath, whom I love! I love the film as well - may be the one who loves it!) and one, that's something personal. I wrote two. I didn't like them actually, so I wrote another one for the second session. Its subject was supposed to be "Emptiness", so I think I at least accomplished that. Anyway, reading Sylvia Plath has too much an influence. And I still think that it works better as a visual thing rather than poetry. I'm no poet.

This day is dying in its red fire agony.
With smoking lips, with hungry eyes.
For more. No peace, no need at all.
The day is dying. The lips are cracked.
The eyes are yelling. In a bloody, wasted silhouette of time.
An empty room in a full-size house.
Pissed voices in awkward silenced arms.

Watch this one!

Most people will never appreaciate the beauty and charm of animation & it's a sad thing. I remember watching Persepolis, which I love, last year and thinking that this one simply should stop all the prejudiced talk about animation being inferior to live action films, but it won't stop. No matter what filmmakers do and sometimes they do some really beautiful things - like Persepolis or Richard Linklater's Waking Life. And I love fun animation, too. Ratatouille was funny and entertaining and well written.

And then there are the shorts that never get much attention, but I've found this small piece of animation - called Father and Daughter - and it kind of touched me. It's a very short film (about 6 minutes excluding the end titles) and it has no dialogue. It's just minimalistic animation & music. And it tells a story, which I personally could relate to. Maybe it just speaks to me, but I cry every time I see it.

Watch it!

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The Host and Me

Hosting the Oscars is actually a tricky thing. Every year people start talking about how wonderful it would be to have Billy Crystal back, but I wasn't around when he used to host the Oscars in the beginning of the 90's, so I just watched the 2003 Oscars, which is the last edition of the Oscars he hosted. Hollywood obviously adores his style - it's all about making the audience relaxe and forget about the awards for a moment & he has these crazy best picture nominees' songs. Judging from youtube videos, he had some really witty songs in the 90's. And of course, I love him becoming digitally part of the actual Oscar nominated films in these little movie segments, which are aired over ths how. But Crystal simply ain't my favorite. I don't get Chris Rock either. I think that his humour just feels like way too arrogant for my taste. And Ellen was quite fun, but I don't think she used the time she had. She's really something of a TV host and the TV format fits her loose style. She just wants people to relax and just have something of a conversation with them, not just popping killer jokes. Anyway, my favorite seems to be the one most people don't get and that's Jon Stewart. I used to watch his The Daily Show With Jon Stewart (the CNN World edition) and I simply love his way to make people feel kind of uncomfortable and that's really what I loved when he hosted. For him it's easy, because he isn't part of Hollywood and critisizing is real fun, even though the audience just doesn't respond to his jokes the way an outside would. And does. I do.

Jon hosted last year and I think that he did a good job, even though I wanted him to focus more on politics. It was an election year and it could have been fun. But anyway, I loved the Vanity Fair Oscar party joke. The Vanity Fair Oscar party is just the absurd of Oscar season: a magazine gathering all the stars to congratulate themselves once again in the weeks before the Oscars telecast. That year the party was cancelled in support of the writers on strike. Of course, the strike ended, Jon Stewart welcomed the guests of the 80th Oscars to the "make up sex" and then said:

There is still some collateral damage left from the strike - emotionally, economically, but probably worst of all the cancellation of the legendar Vanity Fair Oscar party. They said they did out of respect for the writers. Oh, you know another way you could show respect for the writers. Maybe one day invite some of them to the Vanity Fair Oscar party!

That was great. And the audience enjoyed it immensely, even though I'm sure some felt kind of offended. And that's the problem with Jon Stewart. His jokes are stinging Hollywood's ego and it's a problem for them, because he exposes them on Oscar night. That's why they prefer having him talk about politics. And of course, he had a nice part about the election. (And of course, the Diablo Cody joke, which was kind of really predictable, but still fun - "Diablo Cody used to be an exotic dancer and now she's an Oscar-nominated screenwriter. I hope you enjoy the pay cut." It was kind of expected having Stewart tell a joke about a screenwriter and Diablo was the screenwriter sensation of the year. And she was a blogger, actually. ;-) Anyway, I'm no huge fan of her film, so that's all I'm saying about her.)

And then the very best joke (to me) was the one, which mixed the reality of film and politics. It was quite fun and kind of it has been there all around, which is iconic.

Now about Hugh Jackman. I've never been to one of his Broadway musicals, even though I've seen parts of them on youtube. And I think that he's going to be an entertaining host - pretty much using his tools (dancing, singing) and it won't be about the jokes, but about entertainment, which could be good for a change. We'll see. On Feb. 22nd.

That's it for now.


Here's a part of Billy's songs segments. The gay dream thing at the end is funny. ;-)


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