Friday, February 19, 2010

Years with Rohmer

 Rohmer fresh out of the box, circa 2003

I found Rohmer inside our old shoe cabinet, gathering dust for what seemed like years. It didn’t take me too long to find it and when I did, I was instantly hit by a wave of nostalgia. People, here’s my trusty pair of sneakers for six years. Now, he's just a raggedy old thing.

When I was younger, I had this romantic thing going with movies and had developed a penchant for naming shoes after my favorite filmmakers. This pair I named after Eric Rohmer, the French New Wave director. Rohmer is a pair of black Shooter ’78 LOs I bought with my very first paycheck. Not counting the leather shoes I wore all throughout college and some rubber shoes my parents bought for me, Rohmer is technically my Shoe Number 001.

I bought Rohmer on a day in August 2003. I will not forget the first time I caught a glimpse of him from a shop window-- it was like a scene from a religious movie. (Cue ray of light shining through dark clouds! Cue the hallelujah chorus!) It was love at first sight.

I thought he was absolutely neat. The shoes fit perfectly and they were light on my feet. I could sleep in them at night and jump straight into my day the next morning. Rohmer also blends well with the anti-trend personality I was trying to adopt in my early twenties. He looked like something worn by someone who doesn’t give a damn.

Thus began my six-year love affair with Rohmer.

We were inseparable. He was my shoe of choice for road trips and mountain treks. We went out dancing on Saturday nights and jogging on Sunday mornings. I can remember the countless times some gum got stuck on his sole and I had to put him in the freezer overnight so I could remove it. He got stepped on, spat on and vomited upon. Rohmer was a warrior.

By the fourth year, Rohmer had shown signs of wear and tear. I loved him all the more for it. I thought the raggedness gave him more attitude. He was also an attention-grabber and a conversation-starter. A friend of mine once asked if I have plans of replacing Rohmer any time soon and I said, “No way! These are my comfort shoes!”

I ate my words when Rohmer started exploding at the seams and my little toe began to say hello at the soles. He used to be a classic, easy-going low- top with a lightly cushioned footbed. Now, his soles were almost onion-skin and beyond a Mr. Quickie-fix. By then I knew one thing was inevitable: Rohmer had to be replaced.

Just two months ago, the real Eric Rohmer died at the ripe age of 89. It gave me the urge to look for my old pair and just wax nostalgic. True, I’ve had several shoes after Rohmer—Godard, Von Trier, Kurosawa. My current favorite is called Scorsese. Getting a new pair of shoes is easy. But they don’t quite have the feel of Rohmer. And I don’t think there is a pair in the world that can look as nice as that old ragged thing.

This is my official contest entry for the "Red Shoes Story Contest". Catch the movie when it hit screens on March 10, 2010. For details about the movie click here.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Oscar Nominations Out!

"Avatar"! "Inglorious Basterds"! "Up in the Air"! "The Hurt Locker"!

The 2010 Oscar nominations lineup has got to be one of the most satisfying we've seen in years! The expansion to ten nominees for Best Picture seemed to have done the Academy some good with a shortlist that includes critical successes (Avatar, The Hurt Locker), indie fare (Up In The Air) and public favorites (The Blindside, District 9). Why, we even have an animated film nominated for Best Picture (Up), the first one since "The Lion King" back in 1994.

The full list of the nominees were announced by Academy Award- nominated actress Anne Hathaway and Academy Awards president Tom Sherak at the Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in Beverly Hills on February 2, 2010 at 8:30 am EST.

The 82nd Oscar Awards night will be held at the Kodak Theatre on March 7, 2010 and will be hosted by comedians Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin.

Best Picture
* “Avatar” James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
* “The Blind Side” Nominees to be determined
* “District 9” Peter Jackson and Carolynne Cunningham, Producers
* “An Education” Finola Dwyer and Amanda Posey, Producers
* “The Hurt Locker” Nominees to be determined
* “Inglourious Basterds” Lawrence Bender, Producer
* “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels, Sarah Siegel-Magness and Gary Magness, Producers
* “A Serious Man” Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, Producers
* “Up” Jonas Rivera, Producer
* “Up in the Air” Daniel Dubiecki, Ivan Reitman and Jason Reitman, Producers

Actor in a Leading Role
* Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”
* George Clooney in “Up in the Air”
* Colin Firth in “A Single Man”
* Morgan Freeman in “Invictus”
* Jeremy Renner in “The Hurt Locker”

Actor in a Supporting Role
* Matt Damon in “Invictus”
* Woody Harrelson in “The Messenger”
* Christopher Plummer in “The Last Station”
* Stanley Tucci in “The Lovely Bones”
* Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

Actress in a Leading Role
* Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”
* Helen Mirren in “The Last Station”
* Carey Mulligan in “An Education”
* Gabourey Sidibe in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”
* Meryl Streep in “Julie & Julia”

Actress in a Supporting Role
* Penélope Cruz in “Nine”
* Vera Farmiga in “Up in the Air”
* Maggie Gyllenhaal in “Crazy Heart”
* Anna Kendrick in “Up in the Air”
* Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

Animated Feature Film
* “Coraline” Henry Selick
* “Fantastic Mr. Fox” Wes Anderson
* “The Princess and the Frog” John Musker and Ron Clements
* “The Secret of Kells” Tomm Moore
* “Up” Pete Docter

Art Direction
* “Avatar” Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair
* “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Art Direction: Dave Warren and Anastasia Masaro; Set Decoration: Caroline Smith
* “Nine” Art Direction: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
* “Sherlock Holmes” Art Direction: Sarah Greenwood; Set Decoration: Katie Spencer
* “The Young Victoria” Art Direction: Patrice Vermette; Set Decoration: Maggie Gray

* “Avatar” Mauro Fiore
* “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” Bruno Delbonnel
* “The Hurt Locker” Barry Ackroyd
* “Inglourious Basterds” Robert Richardson
* “The White Ribbon” Christian Berger

Costume Design
* “Bright Star” Janet Patterson
* “Coco before Chanel” Catherine Leterrier
* “The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus” Monique Prudhomme
* “Nine” Colleen Atwood
* “The Young Victoria” Sandy Powell

* “Avatar” James Cameron
* “The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow
* “Inglourious Basterds” Quentin Tarantino
* “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Lee Daniels
* “Up in the Air” Jason Reitman

Documentary (Feature)
* “Burma VJ” Anders Østergaard and Lise Lense-Møller
* “The Cove” Nominees to be determined
* “Food, Inc.” Robert Kenner and Elise Pearlstein
* “The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers” Judith Ehrlich and Rick Goldsmith
* “Which Way Home” Rebecca Cammisa

Documentary (Short Subject)
* “China’s Unnatural Disaster: The Tears of Sichuan Province” Jon Alpert and Matthew O’Neill
* “The Last Campaign of Governor Booth Gardner” Daniel Junge and Henry Ansbacher
* “The Last Truck: Closing of a GM Plant” Steven Bognar and Julia Reichert
* “Music by Prudence” Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett
* “Rabbit à la Berlin” Bartek Konopka and Anna Wydra

Film Editing
* “Avatar” Stephen Rivkin, John Refoua and James Cameron
* “District 9” Julian Clarke
* “The Hurt Locker” Bob Murawski and Chris Innis
* “Inglourious Basterds” Sally Menke
* “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Joe Klotz

Foreign Language Film
* “Ajami” Israel
* “El Secreto de Sus Ojos” Argentina
* “The Milk of Sorrow” Peru
* “Un Prophète” France
* “The White Ribbon” Germany

* “Il Divo” Aldo Signoretti and Vittorio Sodano
* “Star Trek” Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow
* “The Young Victoria” Jon Henry Gordon and Jenny Shircore

Music (Original Score)
* “Avatar” James Horner
* “Fantastic Mr. Fox” Alexandre Desplat
* “The Hurt Locker” Marco Beltrami and Buck Sanders
* “Sherlock Holmes” Hans Zimmer
* “Up” Michael Giacchino

Music (Original Song)
* “Almost There” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
* “Down in New Orleans” from “The Princess and the Frog” Music and Lyric by Randy Newman
* “Loin de Paname” from “Paris 36” Music by Reinhardt Wagner Lyric by Frank Thomas
* “Take It All” from “Nine” Music and Lyric by Maury Yeston
* “The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart” Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

Short Film (Animated)
* “French Roast” Fabrice O. Joubert
* “Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty” Nicky Phelan and Darragh O’Connell
* “The Lady and the Reaper (La Dama y la Muerte)” Javier Recio Gracia
* “Logorama” Nicolas Schmerkin
* “A Matter of Loaf and Death” Nick Park

Short Film (Live Action)
* “The Door” Juanita Wilson and James Flynn
* “Instead of Abracadabra” Patrik Eklund and Mathias Fjellström
* “Kavi” Gregg Helvey
* “Miracle Fish” Luke Doolan and Drew Bailey
* “The New Tenants” Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

Sound Editing
* “Avatar” Christopher Boyes and Gwendolyn Yates Whittle
* “The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson
* “Inglourious Basterds” Wylie Stateman
* “Star Trek” Mark Stoeckinger and Alan Rankin
* “Up” Michael Silvers and Tom Myers

Sound Mixing
* “Avatar” Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, Andy Nelson and Tony Johnson
* “The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett
* “Inglourious Basterds” Michael Minkler, Tony Lamberti and Mark Ulano
* “Star Trek” Anna Behlmer, Andy Nelson and Peter J. Devlin
* “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers and Geoffrey Patterson

Visual Effects
* “Avatar” Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones
* “District 9” Dan Kaufman, Peter Muyzers, Robert Habros and Matt Aitken
* “Star Trek” Roger Guyett, Russell Earl, Paul Kavanagh and Burt Dalton

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
* “District 9” Written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
* “An Education” Screenplay by Nick Hornby
* “In the Loop” Screenplay by Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci, Tony Roche
* “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher
* “Up in the Air” Screenplay by Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner

Writing (Original Screenplay)
* “The Hurt Locker” Written by Mark Boal
* “Inglourious Basterds” Written by Quentin Tarantino
* “The Messenger” Written by Alessandro Camon & Oren Moverman
* “A Serious Man” Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
* “Up” Screenplay by Bob Peterson, Pete Docter, Story by Pete Docter, Bob Peterson, Tom McCarthy
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