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April 2018
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Aerden [userpic]
New Music and Med. Stuff

Music: I ordered Sami Yusuf's Al-Muallim album, and it arrived today. Sami Yusuf is a British Muslim whose parents came from Azerbaijan.. I'm listening to the album now and enjoying it a lot. It's the Muslim version of Christian rock. Very nice! I plan to buy his second album, My Umma, next month.

It's interesting to listen to because he doesn't try to match English syllabic emphasis with the way the music flows--for example, "HE led-us-to the straight PATH," which would normally be "He LED us to the STRAIGHT path," or something like that. Essentially, he uses the Middle Eastern rhythms and simply puts English words with them, regardless of where thir vocal emphasis falls. Sometimes this scans well, and other times it clashes a bit to my ears, though the way he sings, he makes it work.

Medical: I went to my urologist's office today and discovered that he didn't need to perform a cystoscopy on me because the IVP was clear enough for him. I apparently have a large stone in the upper part of the left kidney and a smaller one in the lower part, apparently with smaller stones scattered about. Joy. What he wants to do at this point is see how well the infections can be controlled with antibiotics for three months before proceeding with discussions about removing the stones, since I'm not in pain from them as long as my infections are controlled.

Well, at least I don't have to worry about any possibly expensive procedures in the next month or so, though my insurance would cover most of the cost.

Art: For anyone in Houston who is familiar with Scurlock Tower--They've moved the awesome portrait of Ed and Minnie Scurlock! It used to hang in a corner of the basement, under good lighting that brought out the reds in the painting and away from other lights. Now it's on the crosswalk level, in crappy lighting, with glare from nearby light fixtures reflected in the glass, and it's all dim now. That sucks! It's such a lovely portrait, and now it looks terrible!

I want to rescue it, hang it the way it ought to be hung, to bring out its loveliness. Ed and Minnie look like normal, friendly people in this painting, not like 'society people who are sitting for a portrait.' Or at least they do when all the colors aren't dimmed. Grrr.

Supper: I smell spaghetti sauce. It is calling to me. Bye!


Bold: Have seen it.
Regular: Have not seen it.
Italics: Would like to see it.
Strikeout: Do not wish to see it.

2006: Crash (2004)
2005: Million Dollar Baby (2004)
2004: Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The (2003)
2003: Chicago (2002)
2002: Beautiful Mind, A (2001)
2001: Gladiator (2000)
2000: American Beauty (1999)
1999: Shakespeare in Love (1998)
1998: Titanic (1997)
1997: English Patient, The (1996)
1996: Braveheart (1995)
1995: Forrest Gump (1994)
1994: Schindler's List (1993)
1993: Unforgiven (1992)
1992: Silence of the Lambs, The (1991) (on TV)
1991: Dances with Wolves (1990)
1990: Driving Miss Daisy (1989)
1989: Rain Man (1988)
1988: Last Emperor, The (1987)
1987: Platoon (1986)
1986: Out of Africa (1985)
1985: Amadeus (1984)
1984: Terms of Endearment (1983)
1983: Gandhi (1982)
1982: Chariots of Fire (1981)
1981: Ordinary People (1980)
1980: Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)
1979: Deer Hunter, The (1978)
1978: Annie Hall (1977)
1977: Rocky (1976)
1976: One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975)
1975: Godfather: Part II, The (1974)
1974: Sting, The (1973)
1973: Godfather, The (1972)
1972: French Connection, The (1971)
1971: Patton (1970)
1970: Midnight Cowboy (1969)
1969: Oliver! (1968)
1968: In the Heat of the Night (1967)
1967: Man for All Seasons, A (1966)
1966: Sound of Music, The (1965)
1965: My Fair Lady (1964)
1964: Tom Jones (1963)
1963: Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
1962: West Side Story (1961)
1961: Apartment, The (1960)
1960: Ben-Hur (1959)
1959: Gigi (1958)
1958: Bridge on the River Kwai, The (1957)
1957: Around the World in Eighty Days (1956)
1956: Marty (1955)
1955: On the Waterfront (1954)
1954: From Here to Eternity (1953)
1953: Greatest Show on Earth, The (1952)
1952: American in Paris, An (1951)
1951: All About Eve (1950)
1950: All the King's Men (1949)
1949: Hamlet (1948)
1948: Gentleman's Agreement (1947)
1947: Best Years of Our Lives, The (1946)
1946: Lost Weekend, The (1945)
1945: Going My Way (1944)
1944: Casablanca (1942)
1943: Mrs. Miniver (1942)
1942: How Green Was My Valley (1941)
1941: Rebecca (1940)
1940: Gone with the Wind (1939)
1939: You Can't Take It with You (1938)
1938: Life of Emile Zola, The (1937)
1937: Great Ziegfeld, The (1936)
1936: Mutiny on the Bounty (1935)
1935: It Happened One Night (1934)
1934: Cavalcade (1933)
1932: Grand Hotel (1932)
1931: Cimarron (1931)
1930: All's Quiet on the Western Front (1930)
1930: Broadway Melody, The (1929)
1929: Wings (1927)


Hmmm, pretty interesting seeing all the Oscar winners set out like that. Looking at it i have to say that of recent decades the 00s is, to me, by far the weakest set of winners (especially compared to the 90s which, again to me, seems the strongest). Very much a style over substance decade, especially when i think of the other films that the winners were up against. Give me Braveheart and Unforgiven over Crash and Beautiful Mind any day!

Personally, voted-for awards just don't do it for me, especially as not everyone gets a vote (no one asked me!) and the shortlist is often dubious. I just don't see how a handful of people can so arbitrarily decide what that year's 'best film' is. For example look at the Top Ten (US) grossing films released 2005:

380,262,555 Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith (2005)
288,060,759 Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005)
287,153,504 The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)
234,280,354 War of the Worlds (2005)
216,326,425 King Kong (2005)
209,218,368 Wedding Crashers (2005)
206,456,431 Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
205,343,774 Batman Begins (2005)
193,136,719 Madagascar (2005)
186,336,103 Mr. & Mrs. Smith (2005)

How many of those were even in the shortlist? And, frankly, why weren't they? Just cos a 50yr old film exec in his suit and fancy office didn't find 'Madagascar' funny, doesn't mean that it wasn't, or that its not a better film than Crash. I can look beyond the headline grabbing 'controversial' tale of Brokeback to see just another romance story, but i though Mr & Mrs Smith was great, it did exactly what it said on the tin and was bloody refreshingly fun.

Make the awards commitee a fair and equal cross-section of society (age, ethicity, family demographic, income etc) and then, only then, do i think that the Oscars will really reflect actual film-goers and cease to be this wierd internal hollywood only thing that it seems to have become.

Give me the MTV Movie awards any day (awards for real people!).

Rant over :)

I have to admit, I was stunned that Brokeback Mountain didn't win--not because I was rooting for it, but because Hollywood is usually so predictable in its attitudes and always so seemingly convinced that what they think is the only acceptable way to think.

I actually thought the Best Picture Oscar for 'A Beautiful Mind' was well-deserved, and it infuriated me that Russell Crowe was passed over for the Best Actor award that year. Playing John Nash was one of the most difficult acting portrayals I have ever seen anyone do. It was far more difficult than playing Maximus in 'Gladiator' was. Anybody could have played Maximus. Only a very few could have played Nash as well as Crowe did. That role took blood, sweat, and tears.

I totally agree with you about the MTV Movie Awards. It's definitely good to have a place where real people can vote on the movies they like, not the ones Hollywood says they should like.


I watched the first half an hour of Beautiful Mind and just found it a little dull, not my cup of tea at all. However i also get that his performance was excellent. In my opinion his acting got the film its Oscar instead of one for himself as should have happened.

Can you honestly tell me that BM was a better film than LOTR1? Not a bloody chance i say.

If i remember right, and google confirms, Denzel Washington got the Best Actor oscar that year as, if you recall, 2002 was the politically correct 'black year' at the Oscars. His performance in Training Day was very good, don't get me wrong, but i honestly don't believe it had all that much to do with his getting the Oscar.

Theo--Yeah, I felt that way at the time, too. I'd have believed they were being honest if only Halle Berry or only Denzel Washington had gotten the Oscar, but both of them...That looked way too politicall7 correct for me.

Besides, I think the first black person to win an Oscar should have been Whoopi Goldberg for The Color Purple or maybe Sidney Poitier. And I definitely think Samuel L. Jackson deserved one for Unbreakable. I was more impressed with that performance than I was with Denzel's in Training Day.