Tuesday, January 22, 2008


The Oscar nominations were announced today, with a better than usual fare competing for Best Picture. Julian Schnabel has been nominated for Best Director, for his third film The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. I haven't seen it yet, and the reviews are mixed, but it's interesting to see someone from the visual arts community in the running. Basquiat, his 1996 debut film, was decent but flawed. It survived the stunt-casting of David Bowie as Warhol, but not Gary Oldman as Julian Schnabel. Worst scene: JS as loving father, dancing with his daughter to the tune of a song by, ah, Julian Schnabel. I don't remember thinking much of the follow-up, Before Night Falls.

Other 80s visual artists turned filmmakers have not had as much luck crossing over. Cindy Sherman and Robert Longo each made a single film in mid-nineties (Office Killer and Johnny Mnemonic, respectively), but neither has shown any indication that they will return to the medium.

Pierre Bismuth won an oscar in 2005, as co-writer (with Charlie Kaufman and Michel Gondry) for Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

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