Thursday, January 31, 2008

At what cost?

The past week The Seattle Times has run a series on the University of Washington's 2000, Rose Bowl winning, football team. Some of these team members included a rapist, a attempted murderer and a man who repeatedly beat his wife. I don't want to delve too much into the articles because they are something that everyone should read for themselves because they are truly fascinating articles. I wouldn't be surprised if they got a Pulitzer nomination (if not win).

But what these articles also did besides spurn lots of anger and frustration towards the UW, the football players, the King County prosecutors, the media and everyone else in Seattle during the time, it got people talking. And it has led to the discussion of course of how much more important is athletics to other activities and school.

A recent debate that two friends had the other night has stuck with me ever since I heard it. And what has really got me was the use of the word "commitment." I have no doubt in my mind that being a student-athlete is difficult and that athletes are committed to their sport. I know that being an athlete does not stop at the end of the game or practice and that at any moment, if you mess up, someone is ready there to take over your spot. That is a lot of pressure.

But don't tell me that an athlete is more committed to their sport than I or others were/are committed to the newspaper. For three years the newspaper was my life. I missed birthdays, meals, hours (and hours) of sleep, classes, going to movies, concerts and all sorts of other things that you do with friends. I pulled all-nighters to make sure that the paper got published at time. Articles came home with me, I dreamt about layout nights! I prepared over the summer the upcoming year. I got into fights with friends over the newspaper. Please don't tell me I am not as committed as an athlete is to his/her sport. And I did it out of my passion for the paper, since unlike athletes I did not get a full ride. Yes, I did get some money taken off of my tuition, but my last year at the paper, I like many others on the paper, had a second job.

And especially at SU, athletes didn't have the pressure of the admin of the university to be 100% correct and if there was one error, be sure that it was going to be pointed out to you by Student Development, the provost, the president. When was the last time Father Sundborg went to athletic event (which, is a total different issue and I think he should be going to more games and showing support). Don't mess with me about my (or others) commitment to the paper.

But not only did this series bring up the issue of commitment, but it also got me thinking even more about how unfair women's sports are treated in comparison to men's sports. I was watching The Heart of the Game last night and besides the many frustrations I just became increasingly aware, that is a female student-athlete is a parent she will not get treated the same way as a male. Just, look at the UW football team, how many of them were married or had children and they still got recruited for college. But the moment that Darnellia Russell became pregnant, the college offers stopped coming. And, man, what a phenomenal basketball player she is.

But yet, we give consistent offenders, who never change, as many chances that they want because I believe that they are males, but yet here is a girl who took her second chance and ran with it. Who, raised her grades, became a better player and maintained being a mom as well and what do we give her, having to play a community college because she is now tainted goods.

And there are still people out there who think athletes are treated just fine and fair ...

Thursday, January 24, 2008


As I am sure every other girl my age with a blog has done the same thing, here is me expressing my sadness for Heath Ledger dying. And, I am really and truly upset about this. The 14-year-old girl that fell in celebrity love with him was crushed upon hearing the tragic news. I gasped, tears welled in my eyes and I had to stop reading the news after while, just so that I could continue on with my day. I don't want to speculate on why/how he died until the toxicology reports are conclusive.

But what gets me really upset is the asshole that Jack Nicholson is being. As many of you may or may not recall, but about a month or so ago Jack was up in arms about how he was never asked to play the Joker in The Dark Knight or that Heath also did not ask permission to take the role.
Give me a break, Jack Well, in the wake of Heath's death, what does Jack say, does he offer condolences to Michelle and Matilda? Any sort of sympathy for the family? Nope. He says "I warned him."

Bitter much? Nothing says class, like a good old fashioned "told you so" dance on some one's grave*

Jack, go back to smoking pot, wearing sunglasses and watching Laker's games, its all you're good at now.

*I do realize that I in fact have used my own "i told you so" dance, but in the occasion of fashion and other sorts of trivial matter. Plus, I already have an agreement with those I love of what potentially fatal acts they could do would warrant such a reaction.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Who I want to win:

So it is that time of year again, Oscar season is upon us. Let's just hope that the WGA and studios figure something out by the awards ceremony so that it does not suck this year. The nominees were announced this morning and while I have not done any of my usual research on who I am actually putting my money on, here is who I want to win.


I wish that either Emily Mortimer or Ryan Gosling got something for Lars and the Real Girl and it is disappointing that it only got one award nod this year. Though, I'll have to check out the Independent Spirit Awards and see if they got anything from them. And I am sure there will be more upsets but I can't think of them all right now.

Performance by an actor in a leading role

George Clooney in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)

Daniel Day-Lewis in “There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) -- This will probably be my bet for who will actually win as well.

Johnny Depp in “Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)

Tommy Lee Jones in “In the Valley of Elah” (Warner Independent)

Viggo Mortensen in “Eastern Promises” (Focus Features)

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

Casey Affleck in “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (Warner Bros.) -- This is because he didn't get nominated for "Gone, Baby, Gone" and he is an actor who has finally come into his own

Javier Bardem in “No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)

Philip Seymour Hoffman in “Charlie Wilson’s War” (Universal)

Hal Holbrook in “Into the Wild” (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment)

Tom Wilkinson in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)

Performance by an actress in a leading role

Cate Blanchett in “Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (Universal)

Julie Christie in “Away from Her” (Lionsgate)

Marion Cotillard in “La Vie en Rose” (Picturehouse) -- It is a three-way tie b/c each woman did a phenomenal job (well, I haven't seen LL but it would be a safe bet that she was awesome) but the roles are so different, I don't want to have to choose

Laura Linney in “The Savages” (Fox Searchlight)

Ellen Page in “Juno” (Fox Searchlight)

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

Cate Blanchett in “I’m Not There” (The Weinstein Company) -- As a wonderful actress, playing Bob Dylan is no easy feat and from what I heard she did a great job. I would also rather have her win the supporting role award as well. Though, Amy Ryan was not half bad in "Gone, Baby, Gone" as well.

Ruby Dee in “American Gangster” (Universal)

Saoirse Ronan in “Atonement” (Focus Features)

Amy Ryan in “Gone Baby Gone” (Miramax)

Tilda Swinton in “Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)

Best animated feature film of the year

“Persepolis” (Sony Pictures Classics) Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud

“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney) Brad Bird

“Surf's Up” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Ash Brannon and Chris Buck -- This was a really great film that I don't think was given enough credit

Achievement in art direction

“American Gangster” (Universal)Art Direction: Arthur MaxSet Decoration: Beth A. Rubino

“Atonement” (Focus Features)Art Direction: Sarah GreenwoodSet Decoration: Katie Spencer

“The Golden Compass” (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners)Art Direction: Dennis GassnerSet Decoration: Anna Pinnock

“Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount)Art Direction: Dante FerrettiSet Decoration: Francesca Lo Schiavo -- The way the blood flowed in the movie was so wonderful. The rest of the film was very typical Tim Burton, which not that there is anything wrong with that, but it was the blood that made it stand out and hopefully the Academy with take notice

“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)Art Direction: Jack FiskSet Decoration: Jim Erickson

Achievement in cinematography

“The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford” (Warner Bros.) Roger Deakins

“Atonement” (Focus Features) Seamus McGarvey

“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn) Janusz Kaminski -- This film seemed to get shut out of a lot of other categories, and it seems that this would be its best bet for a win this year

“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Roger Deakins

“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) Robert Elswit

Achievement in costume design

“Across the Universe” (Sony Pictures Releasing) Albert Wolsky -- I want this one to win, simply because it got shut out of all other categories. Julie Tamor is fabulous and this film did not get the recognition that it deserved.

“Atonement” (Focus Features) Jacqueline Durran

“Elizabeth: The Golden Age” (Universal) Alexandra Byrne

“La Vie en Rose” (Picturehouse) Marit Allen

“Sweeney Todd The Demon Barber of Fleet Street” (DreamWorks and Warner Bros., Distributed by DreamWorks/Paramount) Colleen Atwood

Achievement in directing

“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn) Julian Schnabel

“Juno” (Fox Searchlight) Jason Reitman-- I know that it won't win, but I do think that it was directed really well. And, in general, Jason Reitman is an awesome director.

“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.) Tony Gilroy

“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Joel Coen and Ethan Coen

There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) Paul Thomas Anderson

Best documentary feature -- I have no idea about any of these, in fact the only one that I heard of is "Sicko"

“No End in Sight” (Magnolia Pictures)A Representational Pictures ProductionCharles Ferguson and Audrey Marrs

“Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience” (The Documentary Group)A Documentary Group Production Richard E. Robbins

“Sicko” (Lionsgate and The Weinstein Company)A Dog Eat Dog Films ProductionMichael Moore and Meghan O’Hara

“Taxi to the Dark Side” (THINKFilm)An X-Ray ProductionAlex Gibney and Eva Orner

“War/Dance” (THINKFilm)A Shine Global and Fine Films ProductionAndrea Nix Fine and Sean Fine

Best documentary short subject -- Again, I have no clue of what I want to win/will win

“Freeheld”A Lieutenant Films ProductionCynthia Wade and Vanessa Roth

“La Corona (The Crown)”A Runaway Films and Vega Films ProductionAmanda Micheli and Isabel Vega

“Salim Baba”A Ropa Vieja Films and Paradox Smoke ProductionTim Sternberg and Francisco Bello

“Sari’s Mother” (Cinema Guild)A Daylight Factory ProductionJames Longley

Achievement in film editing

“The Bourne Ultimatum” (Universal) Christopher Rouse -- This was a good film with lots of chase scenes that do require a lot of editing to make it all flow well

“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn) Juliette Welfling

"Into the Wild” (Paramount Vantage and River Road Entertainment) Jay Cassidy

“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage) Roderick Jaynes

“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax) Dylan Tichenor

Best foreign language film of the year -- I am not going to pick, because there isn't any one that I want this year, especially with all the controversy about those films that got shut out of the category

“Beaufort” A Metro Communications, Movie Plus ProductionIsrael

“The Counterfeiters” An Aichholzer Filmproduktion, Magnolia Filmproduktion ProductionAustria

“Katyń” An Akson Studio Production Poland

“Mongol” A Eurasia Film ProductionKazakhstan

“12” A Three T ProductionRussia

Achievement in makeup

“La Vie en Rose” (Picturehouse) Didier Lavergne and Jan Archibald -- By far this film should win. The way they made Marion look like Edith was just amazing and how old she looked at the end despite her actual age.

“Norbit” (DreamWorks, Distributed by Paramount) Rick Baker and Kazuhiro Tsuji

“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (Walt Disney) Ve Neill and Martin Samuel

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

“Atonement” (Focus Features) Dario Marianelli

"The Kite Runner” (DreamWorks, Sidney Kimmel Entertainment and Participant Productions, Distributed by Paramount Classics) Alberto Iglesias -- simply because I want it to

“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.) James Newton Howard

“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney) Michael Giacchino

“3:10 to Yuma” (Lionsgate) Marco Beltrami

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

“Falling Slowly” from “Once”(Fox Searchlight)Music and Lyric by Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova -- this is the most beautifully written songs that I have heard in a long time and when I see it performed it gives me goose bumps.
Plus I really do hate that "Enchanted" has 3 songs in the category, even though I loved the movie and Alan Menken is awesome ... give me a break and other songs a chance. Where is Eddie Vedder?

“Happy Working Song” from “Enchanted”(Walt Disney) Music by Alan MenkenLyric by Stephen Schwartz

“Raise It Up” from “August Rush”(Warner Bros.)Nominees to be determined

“So Close” from “Enchanted”(Walt Disney)Music by Alan MenkenLyric by Stephen Schwartz

“That’s How You Know” from “Enchanted”(Walt Disney)Music by Alan MenkenLyric by Stephen Schwartz

Best motion picture of the year

“Atonement” (Focus Features) A Working Title Production Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Paul Webster, Producers

“Juno” (Fox Searchlight)A Dancing Elk Pictures, LLC ProductionLianne Halfon, Mason Novick and Russell Smith, Producers -- Alright, I do want this to win, but that is also because I haven't seen any of the others. Maybe, "No Country..." merely because I heard it was awesome. But this year will be an interesting year for best film

“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)A Clayton Productions, LLC ProductionSydney Pollack, Jennifer Fox and Kerry Orent, Producers

“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)A Scott Rudin/Mike Zoss ProductionScott Rudin, Ethan Coen and Joel Coen, Producers

“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)A JoAnne Sellar/Ghoulardi Film Company ProductionJoAnne Sellar, Paul Thomas Anderson and Daniel Lupi, Producers

Best animated short film -- No idea
“I Met the Walrus” A Kids & Explosions Production Josh Raskin “Madame Tutli-Putli” (National Film Board of Canada)A National Film Board of Canada ProductionChris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski

“Même Les Pigeons Vont au Paradis (Even Pigeons Go to Heaven)” (Premium Films)A BUF Compagnie ProductionSamuel Tourneux and Simon Vanesse -- Because it has pigeons in the title

“My Love (Moya Lyubov)” (Channel One Russia)A Dago-Film Studio, Channel One Russia and Dentsu Tec ProductionAlexander Petrov

“Peter & the Wolf” (BreakThru Films)A BreakThru Films/Se-ma-for Studios ProductionSuzie Templeton and Hugh Welchman

Best live action short film -- No clue

“At Night”A Zentropa Entertainments 10 ProductionChristian E. Christiansen and Louise Vesth

“Il Supplente (The Substitute)” (Sky Cinema Italia)A Frame by Frame Italia ProductionAndrea Jublin

“Le Mozart des Pickpockets (The Mozart of Pickpockets)” (Premium Films)A Karé Production Philippe Pollet-Villard

“Tanghi Argentini” (Premium Films)An Another Dimension of an Idea ProductionGuido Thys and Anja Daelemans

“The Tonto Woman” A Knucklehead, Little Mo and Rose Hackney Barber ProductionDaniel Barber and Matthew Brown

Achievement in sound editing

“The Bourne Ultimatum” (Universal)Karen Baker Landers and Per Hallberg

“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)Skip Lievsay

“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney) Randy Thom and Michael Silvers “There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)Matthew Wood

"Transformers” (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro)Ethan Van der Ryn and Mike Hopkins -- This would be a good award for the movie. Or maybe sound mixing, either one I would be happy with

Achievement in sound mixing -- See above

“The Bourne Ultimatum” (Universal)Scott Millan, David Parker and Kirk Francis

“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)Skip Lievsay, Craig Berkey, Greg Orloff and Peter Kurland

“Ratatouille” (Walt Disney)Randy Thom, Michael Semanick and Doc Kane

“3:10 to Yuma” (Lionsgate)Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Jim Stuebe

“Transformers” (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro) Kevin O’Connell, Greg P. Russell and Peter J. Devlin

Achievement in visual effects

“The Golden Compass” (New Line in association with Ingenious Film Partners)Michael Fink, Bill Westenhofer, Ben Morris and Trevor Wood -- It seems so passé to have Pirates win and Transformers ... eh

“Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End” (Walt Disney)John Knoll, Hal Hickel, Charles Gibson and John Frazier

“Transformers” (DreamWorks and Paramount in association with Hasbro)Scott Farrar, Scott Benza, Russell Earl and John Frazier

Adapted screenplay

"Atonement” (Focus Features)Screenplay by Christopher Hampton

“Away from Her” (Lionsgate)Written by Sarah Polley

“The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” (Miramax/Pathé Renn)Screenplay by Ronald Harwood

“No Country for Old Men” (Miramax and Paramount Vantage)Written for the screen by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen -- I heard that the book was great ... though maybe since Sarah Polley got shut out of best director, this should be her consolation prize

“There Will Be Blood” (Paramount Vantage and Miramax)Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson

Original screenplay
“Juno” (Fox Searchlight)Written by Diablo Cody -- In reality, this is the only award that the movie is probably going to get this year. But it is also probably the one that it is most deserving of.

"Lars and the Real Girl” (MGM) Written by Nancy Oliver

“Michael Clayton” (Warner Bros.)Written by Tony Gilroy

"Ratatouille” (Walt Disney)Screenplay by Brad BirdStory by Jan Pinkava, Jim Capobianco, Brad Bird

“The Savages” (Fox Searchlight) Written by Tamara Jenkins

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

What happens to white people who get stabbed

So I have been waiting to figure out what I should start the year off of with and nothing had struck me until now. Back on New Year's Eve a woman was stabbed to death outside of her Capitol Hill apartment. There aren't any suspects and the "person of interest" hasn't been found yet. Scary, right? Yeah, not so much, at least not for me. I don't know, maybe after all these years of living here, especially now in an area that isn't the safest, I just don't feel scared. Plus, I don't feel scared for those I know that live around there. It is a proven fact that the percentage of random acts of violence is very low that I just personally believe that she knew her attacker in some way.

However, not many other people do and that is why over 200 people showed up to a public meeting last night to hear what the mayor and the police had to say about the incident. But of course, no one was satisfied with any of the answers that were given and tried to blame all other factors on why this woman would be stabbed (though better lighting is a valid point, there are hardly any street lights in that area). On (idiotic) man suggested that his wife carry a gun now ... um yeah that seems like a real safe idea, give your wife a gun, who probably doesn't know how to use (or doesn't even want to use it) and let's see what happens then. And a larger police presence? You have a precinct 4 blocks away ... the police are always around the area.

So was this woman a beloved member of the community, a local hero/friend-to-all/celebrity? Nope (though I am sure that she was a very nice and kind person). She was white. When a white person gets stabbed to death under these circumstances its not surprising that there is this much outrage. If this had happened in a different neighborhood (which it does) to anyone who is a minority (which it does) there would not be town hall meetings, the mayor would not show up. In fact he probably would just inact some other type of ban on the nightlife in Seattle. When there are shootings invovled in clubs/bars that are mere blocks away from the stabbing, they get closed down because minorities are involved. When there is a surge in hate crimes against gay men just few blocks away, does the mayor turn up for those community meetings? Nope. But stab a white person, oh man, there will be hell to pay.

This is why I understand why over at the PI's "Big Blog" the meeting was labeled "Protst du Jour," because that's really all it is. In a week or so all the "hoopla" will be over and people will find something else to get up in arms about.