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I don't know, I thought LIB seemed pretty original, but SIL didn't seem as
fresh to me as everyone seemed to think it was.  I don't think the writing
necessarily saved it, particularly when compared to stoppard's earlier
_Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead_.  The reason the latter film didn't
get nominated, I think, is probably because it was just too quirky.

Scott



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Scott Andrew Hutchins
http://php.iupui.edu/~sahutchi
Oz, Monsters, Kamillions, and More!

"Colorless green ideas sleep furiously."--Noam Chomsky



On Fri, 19 Mar 1999 [log in to unmask] wrote:

> scott hutchins says something that may help us think more
> clearly about, if not resolve, the conflict over LIFE IS BEAUTIFUL
> . . . comparing that film to SHAK IN LOVE scott says . . .
>
>       The story of that film  [SIL] was really stale, enlivened
>      by good writing, acting, costume design, and music, but
>      the plot was still dead tired
>
> and i think that scott is absolutely right, but that his argument
> misses the point . . . the creators of SIL of  course know all too
> well how cliched their plot is taken by itself, but they also know that
> such a plot can be invigorated by good writing, which they do
> wonderfully well . . . cognoscenti can enjoy the kind of self-irony
> that pervades the film's well marked awareness of how trivial the
> plot itself is, while others can simply enjoy the ride provided
> by the writing on the back of a tired but eternal plot . . .
>
> the makers of LIB, on the other hand, might well have thought
> that they have come up with a new plot . . . they haven't . . . i'm
> not even sure if really new plots are possible . . . what matters is
> the fit of the plot to the context and the writing itself . . . i
> hope no one wants to make the case that LIB is wonderfully
> written . . . which leaves only the matter of the fit of that plot to
> the death camp setting . . . for many of us that was a bad fit, not
> because [or not only because] of anything inherent in the material
> itself, but because of the skill in bringing the pieces together . . .
> whereas in SIL the pieces fit splendidly . . .
>
> to put it another way, LIB thinks it's saying something new--but
> it's not . . . SIL knows that it's not saying anything new, winks at
> us about the impossibility of saying anything both new and true,
> and goes on to tell its old story with sublime panache and wit
>
> when [he asked disingenuously] was the last time a film that
> trafficked in wit won an oscar??
>
> mike frank
>
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> University of Alabama: http://www.tcf.ua.edu
>

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