Sunday, May 25, 2008

My Deepest Thanks

After an inexcusably long absence, I have finally found the time to publish a new post. Many of you have been wondering what's been keeping me from the keyboard, and for good reason. The straightest answer I can give is that I have simply been tied up with other tasks. When last I left you, the 80th Academy Awards were just hours away and boy, did I strike out on my scorecard. Of the 24 categories recognized, I only guessed 13 winners correctly. As the old saying goes, you can't win 'em all.

Needless to say, quite a lot has happened in the world of movies while I've been away. Two weeks after the Oscars, Anthony Minghella suffered an untimely death following surgery. Within the next week, Paul Scofield and Richard Widmark succumbed after fighting long illnesses. Then in early April, the world said goodbye to an icon.

On a happier note, the Marvel Comics adaptation Iron Man opened to rave reviews (and a record-smashing opening) in mid-April. As of today, the movie is $40 million shy of hitting the half-million dollar mark and is the highest grossing film of far. This brings me to the long-awaited fourth installment of the Indiana Jones series. The reviews I have read since the picture screened at Cannes last week have been mixed, but the general consensus is that the action is non-stop from opening shot to closing credits. I'm seeing the film tomorrow with my family and will be sure to post my own review. Say what you will about Harrison Ford being too old to take on the title role one last time (Charles Bronson made action films well into his 70s, for crying out loud); I'm just glad to see Spielberg in popcorn mode again.

By now, I'm sure you're wondering about the new LAMMY icon that seems to have snuck onto the right side of the screen. A few weeks ago, the voting body who chooses the best of the blogs known as the Large Association of Movie Blogs (LAMBs, for short) got together and selected the crème de la crème of this collective. To my surprise and delight, I was voted the recipient of this year's J.D. Salinger Award. According to the description on the main LAMB site, this is a special award reserved for the blogger who doesn't publish often...but when s/he does, the results are worth the wait. I take that as a high compliment, especially since I not only admire Salinger as a writer, but my dear friend and undergraduate mentor once compared my writing style to his. In any event, I extend my fellow LAMBs my deepest thanks for this great honor.

Stay tuned for an upcoming wrap-up of the 61st Cannes Film Festival, which will include a few distant contenders for the 81st Academy Awards and a gritty exposé of Steven Soderbergh's four-and-a-half-hour cinematic valentine to the butcher of Cuba himself, Ernesto "Che" Guevara. Stick around, folks. You won't be waiting as long for my return this time, I promise you.

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