Friday, February 15, 2008


They’re back!

The awards inspired by Paul Clark’s little guinea pig Muriel are ready to go with their 2007 incarnation. The 2007 Muriel Awards are Paul’s attempt, with the help of 20 or so far-flung Web-based critics/fanatics (myself included), to take one last look at the crowning achievements in cinema for the past year. Each category was voted on by all the participants by submitting five entries (ranking optional), and Paul is unveiling each category’s winner, as well as the top five vote-getters. But that's not all-- Paul provides a complete tally of everyone’s votes for each category and a short essay by one of the voters about the big winner. I’ll be checking in on the Muriel award-winning Best Picture of 2007 as well as a couple of other categories near the end of the awards ceremony, which extends through February 29. That oughta give everyone who is still jonesing for some end-of-the-year trophy action something to gum over in the fading light of the Oscars.

The fun has already started over at Paul’s site, Silly Hats Only, and he hasn’t even got to the 2007 portion of the Muriels yet! The awards for Best 10th Anniversary (1997) Film (involves roller skates and a penis ex machina), Best 25th Anniversary Film (1982) (involves origami and narration the star deliberately sabotaged—at least in one version), and Best 50th Anniversary Film (involves a sports fatality and the plague) are already posted for your enjoyment. And the first award for 2007 movies is coming next, so don’t miss out!


bill said...

I will check out the Muriel Awards. Also: Hello, Dennis.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Hi, Bill! You're so compliant! Still reeling from the new design? :)

bill said...

Indeed I am. I keep thinking to myself, "What the?? I don't remember Clint Eastwood having a baseball glove in those movies!! What the heck??"

Say, did you ever get your own copy of "Flicker"? I'm going to keep badgering you about that until you read it, you know.

Dennis Cozzalio said...

Oh, yeah! I thought I told you about this. I had borrowed it from the library and after about 15 pages I returned it.

I then immediately put it on my Christmas list, and fortunately my wife came through. I am a pathologically slow reader-- I read just fine when given the opportunity, but I just don't have many of those to actually sit down and devote myself. Also, I fall asleep too easily. That said, I'm about 100 pages in and I'm loving it. I'm only to the point where we're discovering more about Max Castle through that strange avant-garde filmmaker that weasels his way onto the schedule of the Classic. And I'm throughly enjoying the narrator's relationship with Clare, who is quite obviously a stand-in for you-know-who. It's a lot of fun, and God knows, I could be still reading it this time next year. I really know how to make a good time last!

bill said...

Yeah, you told me about asking for it for Christmas, but I didn't know if you'd received it. Glad you did!

I don't re-read a lot of books, especially long ones, but I am considering reading that one again some day. It's very rich. Plus, it's the kind of horror I vastly prefer these days, but I can't say what I mean or why I prefer it until you're done. So I guess in about a year, you'll have that explanation to look forward to.

I wonder if anybody will ever really make "Flicker" into a movie. That would sure be something, all right.

Anonymous said...

I don't want the thread to be taken over by "Flicker" discussion -- Dennis devoted a post to the book some time ago -- but I only just got around to reading it. I hadn't realized it's been republished in an expanded form, with a note that Darren Aronofsky had optioned the film rights. I picked up a library copy and am just under 50 pages into it.

But the timing compels me to post a question about the book I submitted just yesterday to Washington Post Film Critic Desson Thomson's online chat. If Joel Siegel recommended it, you know the book has got to be worth reading:

ArtMovieLover, Va.: Desson, have you ever read, or heard of, a book by Theodore Roszak titled, "Flicker"? It was published in 1991. I heard of it only recently via Dennis Cozzalio's blog (Sergio Leone and the Infield Fly Rule, for anyone interested), and googling the title leads me to the delicious detail that Darren Aronofsky has optioned the book, although there are no immediate plans to film it.

I'm only 50 pages into it, but I think I like the book. It revels in the film culture of the 1960s and 70s, with a prominent female critic who is clearly modeled on Pauline Kael. The back-and-forth film talk takes me back to my college days, although those conversations in the late 1980s and early 1990s were never quite as heady as the foreign-film-dominated discussion from the period covered in "Flicker." Still, it's a rush to read the author's references to French films, Bazin's criticism, montage and other film-student stuff.

I'm not sure where the book is going. It seems to be a horror book, or so I think I've heard. I can't fully recommend it, having read only a few pages, but I'm enjoying it so far.

So, again: Have you read it?

Desson Thomson: Yes yes yes. I have read it. It is great. I had forgotten all about this. Glad you are reading it and thanks for reminding me. Yes it's totally about Kael. The great Joel Siegel of City Paper who passed away and was one of my greatest friends - and the best film critic that ever worked in this town - recommended this to me.

bill said...

I think it's more or less impossible to be a genuine film buff and not love "Flicker". It was written for us.