A night and a big party is behind us. The painting “CODA” by Sian Heder was honored with three statuettes: for Best Film, for an adapted screenplay and a supporting role for Troy Kotsur. The largest number of sculptures, including portraits and editing, went to the creators of Dune, Denis Villeneuve. The guest of RMF24 Radio was Janusz Vrobloski, a film critic, interviewed by Bogdan Zalowski.
Could Hollywood, in the face of the war in Ukraine, rise to the challenge? Was it a party worth the tragic time it happened? how do you think? How do you control it?
No party is worthy of what is happening in the world, especially in such tragic moments as in Ukraine. It will never reflect the tragedy of a nation that kills. They have tried. I think they did everything they could on the Hollywood show. That is, they showed their solidarity with Ukraine. There was a minute’s silence, and there was an indication that we were with Ukraine and it was through the mouth of Francis Ford Coppola, who wanted to see it. However, of course, you can have doubts and questions about whether such a fun party is the right event at this time.
Do you have a doubt when you see such a commitment of stars to Ukraine? I’m talking about actors like Sean Penn or Mila Kunis.
Do I have any doubts? I do not have. I have deep respect for these most engaged people, and their actions underscore the tragedy of the Ukrainian nation. I think this is the time to appeal and tell people how bad the world is. I think the same thing happened during World War II. Some answered, others did not, but the show must go on.
Cinema is always political. Movies are political, even ones that are not political by definition – that’s what they are, they fit the context.
Cinema, just like art in general, is certainly viewed in terms of context, and even if it is not intentionally directed against an event or person, it is perceived in this context. This was also the case this year, and the context is very broad. Not only the war in Ukraine, but also the issue of diversity, respect for minorities, the treatment of women in Hollywood, and in show business in general. It all left an impact on this party and was also visible.
exactly. Can films like Dune, for example, be treated as political films in this context? How do you control it?
Of course it certainly is. The more “dunes” are always tried to match the times in which they are displayed. This is a global work, it is a work about war, about one country attacking another, only in space, and we live on Earth, so it is a metaphor and such a metaphor can be adapted to any situation, it is clear that this is not a movie about a specific historical moment, but in Its universal and psychological layer tells about something that affects most people.
I care about it, politicians often use this type of cinematography for political purposes. We remember the famous “Star Wars” of Ronald Reagan.
It happened later, but of course the film art is the most popular, the most mass-produced, and everything that happens there is also adaptable to the world of politics. It’s great as an example, because everyone understands it and suffices to say it, just like here – the title of the movie and everyone knows what’s going on.
That’s right – “Star Wars”. Lord is a film critic. I would like to know your personal opinion. How would you rate the films, actors, and creators of this year – including those who received awards? Does it fit your choice and arrangement?
Choosing the main movie, the best movie of the year, was not my choice. This is the movie “CODA”, it is an entertaining and ambitious movie.
Due to the fact that it is a remake, every remake is known to be questionable because it feeds on something original that was created before. Here we are dealing with a re-adjustment of the film “Understanding Each Other Without Words” by Eric Lartigau. French made this film in 2014, so in this sense it is a secondary film, because it only adapts the same story to American conditions. But it’s a good movie, it’s touching, about love, about family, about entering adulthood, about hard choices.
As I hear in your voice, it’s a good movie, but it’s not the best movie?
True. You hear well, and unfortunately I agree with many critics who think it wasn’t the best movie. In my opinion, this Academy choice was based on escaping from reality, that is, escaping from Ukraine, from heavy films, from more serious topics, because life and reality bring terrible facts and events at the moment, so we do not want to watch it. At least, that’s what the on-screen choices indicate. We want solace, we want tears of passion and simple feelings.
What if you decide to whom Oscar will go?
I will give Belfast for the best movie. A film that, through the metaphor of war, also powerfully influences emotions and says powerful things about the behavior of ordinary citizens when they are bombed.
So if it’s a metaphor, is it Belfast rather than the dunes?
Well, the metaphor handled in this way appeals to me the most in this case. Dune is too abstract an event to take seriously, but it’s a good mass culture movie. On the other hand, Belfast is a serious statement to author cinema and that’s why I’m going to honor this movie.
Mr. Janusz, I can’t help but ask about our ‘dress’, do you regret it?
Of course I’m sorry about that. It’s a beautiful film and also fits the main Oscar trend of variety, in this case paying attention to the condition and use of short people by others. It would be a perfect fit for this year’s trend.
Why didn’t he get an Oscar? I heard it’s a rumor, which is why he didn’t get an Oscar, because there is no happy ending.
You can spread these rumors, but you have to stick to the facts, i.e. the movie did not win an Oscar. Why didn’t it happen? Well, that’s what the voters decided, the people who watched this movie and decided that another movie was better.
Thank you very much for that comment, for this conversation. Film critic from Polityka Weekly, Mr. Janusz Wróblewski was a guest on RMF24 Radio.
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