Someone sardonically tweeted Alain Resnais has died and the Oscars are tonight. What a truly horrible day for cinema. I chuckled. In a way it's perfectly true. The Oscars are in many ways a political and commercial event, holding little significance other than when they serve as a promotion for that smaller film or filmmaker that voters dug enough to nominate (Winter's Bone, Beasts of the Southern Wild are two recent examples of this). And then any human death can be seen as horrible, especially when it's someone with as much notability and vibrance as Resnais had. On second thought, though, while the Oscars don't necessarily mean anything positive for cinema, they're a nice mindless diversion as well as an excuse to drink on sunday night. As for Resnais, one just as easily see his death in a positive light. After all, he made it to the ripe old age of 91, and remained prolific till the end. His final film Aimer, Boir et Chanter, premiered a mere three weeks ago in Berlin. While it's appropriate to grieve his or anyone's death, that mood of sorrow should be balanced with a feeling of appreciation. Thus, tonight I may check You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet, Resnais' film from last year that a lot of really respectable folks dug, but that I never caught. It'd be a good way to work out that balance.
Amidst that and trying to read through the massive number of Melville and Emerson poems my professor assigned for class tomorrow, I may sit down for some Oscar time, which will serve as a nice excuse to crack open a little wine and the volume of James Agee articles I just obtained. I've but read two or three of his pieces so far. They're witty and beguiling and incredibly acute, and when I get a better grasp of him I'll hopefully record some more thoughts on here.