Monday, March 01, 2004

The writing bug has bit once again.

Deadlines for the Siglo and Alamat anthologies are just around the corner, and fortunately the desire to write has come. I’m beginning to break the habit of putting thoughts on paper in linear fashion. Get some of the beginning, some of the middle, and some of the end in place, then string them together before tweaking.

I’d like to get these two scripts done over the next two weeks, so that I could deal with the other stuff in my mental in-box. The month has just begun, and I’m shocked as to how time just whizzed by. But a glass filled midway could either be half full or half empty, so it’d be best to condition myself into looking at the bright side. There’s still around 300 days left in 2004. Lots of time.

That, of course, till I get paranoid again.

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It should come as no surprise that Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King swept the recent Oscars, tying with Titanic and Ben Hur with 11 statuettes. That’s seven whole years of Jackson’s life, for chrissakes! Give credit where credit is due.

Sean Penn’s triumph was, to me, the surprise win of the event, if only because the Academy has been fidgety about Penn’s shameless “bad boy” reputation. But having been robbed numerous times of the award with better performances (my opinion) in Dead Man Walking, I Am Sam, and (for supporting actor) Carlito’s Way, Penn’s case is another example where you can’t keep the carrot away too long.

Same goes for Renee Zellweger, who’s supporting actress win seems to have been built up from Nurse Betty, Bridget Jones’ Diary, and Chicago. She truly shined in Cold Mountain, though her feisty role more often upstaged the more quiet portrayals of Law and Kidman.

While I’m happy for Charlize Theron, I’m wondering what an Oscar would do for her career. Heck, it didn’t do much for Hilary Swank or Frances McDormand, judging from their follow-up films, if you’re talking critical and commerical batting averages. Kim Basinger’s supporting actress trophy hasn’t made a bigger dent in her filmography since L.A. Confidential. And Theron’s box office statistics aren’t impressive to begin with.

Dean asked me what I thought of Annie Lennox’s win for her LOTR song, and I answered, “Hey, if Eminem could do it, anybody can.” But seriously, the rapper’s Lose Yourself is a great song with inspiring lyrics. (I have it on mp3.) It just makes me recall Barbra Streisand’s hint of disbelief, if not sophisticated surprise, when she read the name during last year’s ceremonies. Which goes to prove that despite the gazillion award-giving bodies in the US film industry, the Oscars still gives the most people something to talk about.

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Speaking of films, my cousin who works in a call center told me that a lot of US callers have been asking about the showtimes of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ. Well, this controversial subtitled R-rated zero-star power $30 million dollar film (a small film by Hollywood standards), crucified the box office by posting a mammoth US$117 million in last week's Friday-to-Sunday frame, surprising industry analysts. This is the seventh biggest opening in US box office history.

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