Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Uruguay Must Choose: "Leo's Room" or "The Useful Life"?

Keeping up with the foreign film Oscar submission announcements is a sisyphean task. Uruguay hasn't announced yet but I'm hearing from an inside source that three different groups of voters weigh in and the field has been narrowed to two films: Leo's Room, a gay drama about coming out, and The Useful Life which is about a film programmer and a dying theater. MUBI calls it "distinctly ungeeky in its cinephilia." Sounds intriguing.

Can you feel the excitement? Soon we'll have our complete list of 60+ subtitled Oscar hopefuls which most of us will never have the opportunity to see... at least not unless we hunt them down over the next couple of years but by then there's two whole new batches of foreign films to track down and you forget all about the ones from two years back*. Wheeeeeeee. (see what I mean about sisyphean? I think the only solution is to look up new film titles on Netflix and click "save" and be surprised 1 to 11 years later when they arrive at your doorstep having made it to DVD and worked their way up your queue)

I'm guessing this is why most cinephiles have one or two particularly countries or regions they specialize in / obsess over. How else to stay on top of world cinema? It's the land of the specialist and I am, alas, but a very scattered generalist.

*at least that's my problem. Distribution moves slowly and my brain moves quickly darting away from one movie to the next, and is long gone by the time a movie opens in one or two theaters two years after its festival premiere. (sigh)

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