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Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Paranoia: The Barbie Chronicles Episode 2 is out!

Our fun little Barbie Chronicles project has just turned 2, as in Episode 2. Released on Vimeo last night, Paranoia, as its title suggests, explores some of the paranoid delusions that Barbie experiences in her old house. Watch it on Vimeo by clicking here, or on the embedded video below:

The Barbie Chronicles Episode 2 Paranoia from Franco Esteve on Vimeo.

The first episode of the Barbie Chronicles was more of an artsy expression. In many ways, it was more about the wonderful music from Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde than about the film itself. It was open to a number of interpretations as to its meaning and purpose, exploring social themes about beauty, love, death, etc., depending on your own experience.

Paranoia - Barbie Chronicles Episode 2
Episode two is an entirely different creature. The just released, Paranoia, is set in an old house and shows Barbie waking up to a series of “visions” after reading the scary novel, Dark Places (Click on the link to get it on It's a great read. UK readers can get it here.). What’s real and what’s not is open to interpretation and is part of the fun (as are a couple of nods to some of the films I love). Paranoia - Barbie Chronicles Episode 2As always, of course, everything is done the “Tecato” way (Tecato is a Puerto Rican word for drug addict that is also used to describe things of low quality or low production value, cheap), trying to make something beautiful and fun in the cheapest, crappiest way we can, doing everything ourselves.

More images from Episode 2:

Images from the Barbie Chronicles Episode 2 Paranoia

I hope y’all enjoy it. If you missed the first episode, you can watch it on Vimeo here or on the embedded video below:

The Barbie Chronicles Episode 1 Reaction from Franco Esteve on Vimeo.

We’ve already started working on Episode 3, and barring any production issues like those that had us having to indefinitely postpone the original Episode 2, should be ready much quicker than Episode Two Paranoia.

Thanks for watching, and if you enjoy the Barbie Chronicles, don’t forget to share, like, and tip on Vimeo.

Keep up with news and information from my projects by following @FrancoEsteve and @bnowhereblog on Twitter, and by visiting and (You are here. Thanks for visiting.).

Keywords: Barbie Chronicles, Episode, Two, Paranoia, Episode One, Reaction, Barbie, Chronicles, Art, Film, Short Film, Movie, Video, Vimeo, Death, Suicide, Fear, Horror, Scary, Fun, Tecato, vision, Franco Esteve

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posted by Franco Esteve @ 11:54 AM   0 comments

Monday, November 05, 2012

Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness… Revisited

[Related article: Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness]


We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
-U.S. Declaration of Independence, In Congress, July 4, 1776



Drafted by Thomas Jefferson, the Declaration of Independence opens with words that all Americans today feel (even though they're not part of the constitution) form the essence of the United States of America and should forever be taken into consideration as such by any leader aspiring to a public office. Yet, when Thomas Jefferson and the founding fathers drafted the document, they didn't specify that those self-evident truths applied only to Americans, but to "all men", meaning "humanity" (even if the definition of humanity at the time wasn't the same as today).

LLH - "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness."

These words are all capitalized for a reason. Jefferson wanted to make sure they were understood as essential, important, so let's look at them carefully, starting with Life. For a nation founded on the unalienable Right to Life, as Americans, we certainly love to kill. We don't defend ourselves, we attack. We worship violence, celebrate it, love to watch it on TV, in sports, in events, and in games, video or otherwise. We love death, celebrating it, worshipping it, putting it on a pedestal, and bringing it to others, with no remorse if it's on foreign soil. So much for the right to Life.

[Related article: Pre-owned babies for sale]

Liberty from a country that incarcerates the largest amount of people per capita than all other countries of the world is so laughable as to make anyone cry. If Jefferson were alive today, he would have asked for a redress of grievances, and when everyone laughed while asking what the hell a redress of grievances was, would have organized a revolution to defend the country from our tyrannical government. Make no mistake. Our government is a tyranny. It has been for a long time, and we have accepted and tolerated its existence. Liberty is a mirage and our grievances will never be redressed.

The Pursuit of Happiness is everyone's most quotable favorite of these, but what is the pursuit of happiness? This obviously means different things to different people. It is for this reason that the pursuit of happiness must be globalized and simplified to a number of general ideas like the opportunity to work freely and earn money, to eat and sustain yourself, to pursue enough comfort to survive and live in a secure environment, without worry of pursuit or discrimination by others, etc. The constitutional bill of rights in theory covers some of these protections that are meant to guarantee your Pursuit of Happiness, and yet, a number of politicians labor daily to end these protections for their own benefit, their Pursuit of Happiness, NOT yours.

The combination of these three items are at stake every day in our democracy, but we allow them to be constantly violated without complaint. We ourselves love to highlight these items as the core values of the American people, and yet, we ignore these values both with ourselves and with the rest of the world. If we are to honor these "self-evident" truths, then we must truly hold ALL of humanity equal, and if the right to Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness is truly to be unalienable, then we cannot so blatantly take it away from others both at home and around the world.

Life, Liberty, and Happiness. Life, Liberty, and Happiness. Repeat it one last time: Life, Liberty, and Happiness. Think carefully about each one, and what each one means to you. Should you think these unalienable rights given to all humans in equal standing, then how does that affect your life, your government, your world? What are you willing to do about it?

Just pondering…

Keywords: Life, Liberty, Happiness, Declaration, Independence, Humanity, Pursuit of Happiness, Declaration of Independence, United States, America, United States of America, USA, US, World, Government.

More information:

  • Thomas Jefferson on Wikipedia.
  • Thomas Jefferson biography by Christopher Hitchens on
  • Declaration of Independence entry on Wikipedia.
  • Transcript for the Declaration of Independence on
  • American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU): "The ACLU is our nation's guardian of liberty, working daily in courts, legislatures and communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country."
  • Checks and balances - How does our system of checks and balances is supposed to help in protecting our rights.
  • - Site dedicated to a redress of grievances and to the constitution lobby.
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    posted by Franco Esteve @ 11:41 AM   0 comments

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Franco Esteve's Devils Within: You'll never see smoking in the same way again

    Franco Esteve's Devils WithinFor those of you that have been following my photography projects, or who've seen some of my photos on Flickr or elsewhere, now you can find the Devils Within collection in the book, Franco Esteve's Devils Within, available through the Blurb publishing service. Franco Esteve's Devils Within is an exploration within that spatial interaction that occurs within our lungs, alive, between body and nature, between the smoke and the cell. Its visions look for those demons that exist within us, within ourselves, within the smoker. Each person has their own interpretation, their own understanding, their own vision of that which exists within. In many ways, the images serve as a rorschach test of sorts, and though many see the things which I understood are there, others see their own visions, their own thoughts, their own demons and emotions. It's real. It's there… inside the smoker.

    Get your 3D glasses ready!

    The book utilizes anaglyph stereo images (red and cyan) to better convey the depth of its photos, like looking through a window into the smoke, and though it's recommended to have 3D glasses available to fully experience the depth of that within the smoke, they are certainly not a requisite (The 2D versions of the photographs are also included). If you need glasses (red and cyan), you can get them from Amazon (USA) here or Amazon (UK) here. These are the most economical glasses and are often given away. You might even have one laying about the house.

    People are often surprised to learn that the images in this book and collection are actual photographs and not created through other means or doctored to create the shapes and forms (except to create the 3D window, depth efface in the 3D versions in the book, of course). They are as I saw them through the lens, but I certify that no demons were harmed during their capture. So take a moment to look at them slowly, carefully, deliberately exploring their landscape from up close and from afar. Enjoy the experience of peering into the soul of the smoker. :)

    Franco Esteve's Devils WithinI sincerely hope you enjoy the book and the images within. It's currently available in a highly economical 7 X 7 inch square format, and has a full preview available so you can peruse the book before purchase. You can get it here. It makes a great gift with some 3D glasses! :) You can also buy framed prints from this collection @Imagekind here.

    Stay up to date about this collection and my other projects right here at, or you can visit me at my official website ( here. You can also follow bNowhere on Twitter (@bnowhereblog) here.

    Thank you and Enjoy! :)

    a visions of smoke...
    By Franco Esteve

    Keywords: Franco Esteve Devil's Within, photography, book, smoke, smoking, demons, devils, art, design, artistic, fine art photography

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    posted by Franco Esteve @ 1:45 PM   0 comments

    Monday, June 27, 2011

    Register before shopping? Please!

    You want me to what? I don't think so.
    You shouldn't have to register to shop.
    Ok, to start, I'd like to preface this by saying that I understand the desire for companies to ask users to register their products. It makes it much easier for them to handle warranty information and provides them with information about their customers which they can use for metrics, future products, marketing, etc., and also makes it easier for their customer service to serve their customers. It would seem like a win-win. I understand it, except I don't.

    Please register your new toaster:

    I bought a new toaster: please register. Why the hell would I register a 20 dollar toaster which I will toss if it breaks down a few months down the line and get another? I don't want to register my toaster. Now, it's true that I don't have to send a card for the toaster if I don't want to, but what happens when the toaster won't work without registration and/or activation.

    It sounds silly doesn't it, using the toaster as an example, but that's the direction that companies seem to want to take us. Companies are focused on forcing us to give out our personal information to use their products. Software companies have been doing it for a long time, but more and more companies are asking for more and more information and forcing us to give them something much more valuable than our money... ourselves.

    What happens when your new digital, 3D, ultra, super HDTV, mega screen television decides that before you can use it, you must register it online and get an activation code to use its software. Did you not just pay the company 3,000 dollars for the TV? Of course, the TV is yours, but in order to use it, you have to agree to a software licensing agreement, which is for the application software that runs the television. Should you not agree, you cannot use it. Should you not register with your name and information, you cannot use it. It's not yours to use. It's licensed to you. In other words, company X gives you permission to use their software under the conditions that they allow, regardless of what you pay for it.

    Too much? Exaggeration? Guess what, you're under the same conditions now. The browser you're using, the operating system you're using it on, the programs you run on your computer are all subject to a license that gives you permission to use the software you paid for under the conditions that the company specifies. You agreed to it, and are subject to it, liable to it, even if you didn't read it. Activation is another word for forced registration and use control. You own nothing. They register your computer's hardware code and tie it to the software you're running. If you install the software on another computer, then you must re-activate. They're controlling how and where you use the software you bought. Register, register, register.

    Article continues below the following preview for my latest photography book, Franco Esteve's Devils Within. Buy it Today!

    Article continues here...

    They have your personal information. They have a lot of power. Yet, overall, it's not a big deal. You're using their software legally and that's that. You do it once. It's not annoying or difficult and that's that. The problem is that it's become so pervasive that it's everywhere. It's creeping into our appliances. In too many places, we're being asked to register even to shop. I don't mean to buy, but to shop. I don't want to register to look at a catalog. Why should I give my information for nothing?

    This is all absolute crap. If you force me to register to look at your shop, I won't buy from it. As the web becomes social, what kind of relationships are we being asked to have with the shops we purchase from? What kind of information are we asked to give away and how does that affect our lives and how much privacy are we really giving up? Looking at all the recent hacker attacks upon Sony and others, and how easy it's become for nefarious entities to take over our information either for identity theft or credit card fraud or simply to expose our personal preferences to those who might not necessarily agree with our ideas, it becomes rather jarring to think about how the appliance one bought, the seller of that appliance, and the company behind it might know more than they really should, might have more power than we really know about (as no one reads their license agreements), and might put our identities at greater risk than if we published them publicly on a billboard. Considering the hacks, we must be ever more vigilant. With all the Cloud computing hoopla things can only get worse in this regard as we give up more and more to the net. Be careful out there.

    Note to companies: It's bad etiquette to ask before you buy, to ask just to look, to force to use. Would you give all of your information including date of birth before entering the Mall? McDonald's? the Gap? or your license and registration before entering the parking lot? I thought not.

    Just (rant) pondering...


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    posted by Franco Esteve @ 7:39 AM   0 comments

    Saturday, September 18, 2010

    Spain fights obesity through innovative airport program

    Madrid Airport. Copyright©2010 by Franco Esteve. All rights reserved.
    Photo: Madrid Airport. Copyright©2010 Franco Esteve. All rights reserved.
    Madrid, Spain - The Madrid airport has gone through a number of innovative changes in the last few years. A new train whisks passengers from terminal to terminal at a rate slower than crossing the whole of London, causing high levels of stress for passengers. The new terminal is huge and modern so you have a more pleasant environment when having to run from one side to the other. They've even added a new, fun game dynamic called: Guess your gate number.

    This last is an exciting experience where they'll tell you a gate number for your flight, and the information may be accurate or it may not be. When you get to that gate, it's like a suspenseful lottery. Your flight may or may not board there. If it does, you've won and the game is over… or is it? How exhilarating.

    This seems to me like an innovative program against obesity, and considering the fantastic competence of the Spanish government which has the country on the brink of bankruptcy, both economically and intellectually, one might think it was on purpose. If you want to lose weight, don't just travel to Madrid, but add the extra excitement of having to get a connecting flight at this airport. It will not only keep you on your toes, as they change the gate number, adding a high level of suspenseful stress to your traveling, but will keep you fit with all the running from one side to another.

    I have unfortunately been forced to be in transit at this airport numerous times and can certainly attest that this program fights obesity, having lost a number of calories in the process of going through it. Let me share with you the wonders of going through this airport. For purposes of this example, I did not receive my connecting flight information, so we begin with arriving at a terminal without having any idea where to go.

    1. Finding Iberia's information booth: 5 minutes, 30 calories.
    2. Realizing you don't have much time and have to change terminals: 10 calories.
    3. Running to the train: 15 minutes, 80 calories.
    4. Realizing the train takes close to 30 minutes to get to where you need to go: 10 calories.
    5. Running to passport control: 10 minutes, 50 calories.
    6. Waiting at the passport control line: 10 calories.
    7. Running to the security control area: 10 minutes, 50 calories.
    8. Realizing they've forced you to leave the secure area, despite being in transit and that you have to go through the entire security process again with everyone else: 10 calories.
    9. Waiting in line to go through security again: 10 calories.
    10. Going through security: 10 calories.
    11. Watching security remove and throw away your duty free items, despite being in transit: 10 calories.
           -this of course, thanks to the great decision of having transit passengers exit the terminal to reenter it.
    12. Running to the gate: 15 minutes, 80 calories.
    13. Cool down: 10 minutes.
    14. Realizing Iberia has changed the gate number while you waited: 10 calories.
    15. Realizing you're at the wrong gate with little time to board: 10 calories.
    16. Running to the new gate on the other side of the terminal: 15 minutes, 80 calories.
    17. Cool down: 10 minutes.
    18: Realizing the plane is delayed: 10 calories.
    19. Realizing the gate number has changed yet again: 10 calories.
    20. Running to the new gate number: 8 minutes, 45 calories.
    21. Cool down: 10 minutes in front of the flight board to make sure the gate hasn't changed again.
    22. Final boarding.

    Approximate total time elapsed between one thing and another including rest time and delays: 2 and a half hours.
    Original amount of time available to get to the connecting flight: 2 hours.
    Approximate calories burned: 525

    This program will certainly help a large number of people in keeping the exercise routines they were unable to do while traveling, so kudos to Madrid for considering the fitness crowd and for encouraging people to exercise while at their airport. They continue to improve their program throughout the years, adding inefficiency wherever they can. The recent train is especially notable in that it takes less time to cross London on the tube. Be sure to experience this wonderful new anti-obesity program for yourself by traveling through Madrid, preferably to another domestic destination within Spain, making sure you'll enjoy the fantastic personality of the lovely security personnel. Control your desire to rip them a new one as best as you can. Oh, and be sure to leave plenty of time for your connection, two hours minimum.

    Related links:

    Iberia: If you've never flown with this airline, now owned by British Airways, the experience is like visiting an exotic location in itself.
    Madrid Airport: The main organizers of this wonderful exercise program.

    Please note: Your travel experience may vary. None of the information in this article is designed to be accurate or official. To get more accurate information, please contact agents Moulder and Sculley at your local law enforcement agency.

    Keywords: Madrid, airport, Iberia, traveling, travel, satire, exercise, obesity, Spain, connecting, flight, transport, security, fitness.

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    posted by Franco Esteve @ 8:11 AM   0 comments

    Friday, May 21, 2010

    Googlesoft - Google channels the spirit of Microsoft

    Is Google the new Microsoft? A bloated company that throws vaporware and underdeveloped products at every segment having 15 minutes of fame? Do androids dream of electric Apples?

    What's going on with Google lately? Every time I turn on the news, they're announcing some new product that copies another in a hot market segment, but it's either coming out "soon" or is underwhelming when compared to its competitors. The latest is the new Chrome Web Store, an Apple App Store competitor for the web and Android OS systems. This of course, following an announcement that they would be making an AppleTV equivalent having the very original name, GoogleTV (not that AppleTV was all that clever to begin with). Now, I know Google's founders and executive team worship Steve Jobs, but come on, at least try to be less obvious and come out with something solid. Soon it will be the Android driven gPad as well…oops, already announced. Where's that BladeRunner when you need him?

    Google seems lost in Apple's "Kool-aid," though to their credit, so is the world. Apple has made the smartphone segment hot and sexy, has reenergized and redefined the tablet segment and forced everyone to race to catch up. So Google wants to be Apple…oops, it wants to be Facebook…oops, it wants to be Microsoft…oops…oops…oops. There's another huge company that seems just as lost, one which though very successful in their original segment, seems to want to be everything and cannot seem to focus long enough to actually break from it. You'd think Google would find a different inspiration. Their intent may have been Steve Jobs, but unfortunately their delivery ended up being a Steve of a very different ilk, of a certain je ne se quoi quality that both scares and fascinates with its peculiar, almost multiple personality disorder like, all-over-the-placeness: Steve Ballmer of Microsoft.

    How could a company get so lost? How could it change into this creature? Google's original search product not only offered a better search algorithm, but it was a simple, fast, uncluttered, superior product. It was that which helped it to dominate web search and basically annihilate heavy hitters of search such as Yahoo. It made search advertising unobtrusive and useful for both advertisers and users, helping them rise to the top of the money heap. Their corporate culture allowed employees to dabble in interesting side projects, some more useful than others, and though some of these have not necessarily been original, many were interesting takes on those existing paradigms and have become very popular and useful. That is the Google we knew and loved, the one who declared they would do no evil, but this new Google smells of that different animal we all know too well.

    It smells like Microsoft, often vilified and even more often deservedly so. They are the ones who see someone develop something cool and are quickly promising their new vaporware product that will ship sometime by the end of the year and does the same thing, and if it does eventually materialize it ends up a ridiculously inferior product. In the past this has helped kill many great products, but in the age of the focused Apple, no longer works. No matter how much money they've thrown at these things, they just can't win with this strategy. Xbox, Zune, WindowsMobile, TabletPCs, Xbox being the only relatively successful one (a well executed product despite the historical hardware quality issues which seem to have finally been resolved), though certainly thrashed by Nintendo's Wii and losing ground to Sony's PS3. Sony has also explored this route and lost. This is why Sony is trying to refocus itself and its many divisions in order to survive and compete in market segments they once innovated and dominated over. So why is Google following the lost boat?

    Apple wasn't first to the mp3 player market. Apple wasn't first to the smartphone market. Apple wasn't first to the tablet market. So how have they risen to so quickly dominate these markets? (Though RIM still dominates the Smartphone category, it's the iPhone that everyone continues to talk and speculate about, and it's the iPhone whose sales continue to carve out market share from competitors). This was all done with "inferior" products. The iPod didn't have a radio and for years didn't do video. None of the products accept Adobe Flash. The iPad doesn't have the ports of a computer or the software or the file system or this or that, yet customer satisfaction is 91% according to ChangeWave surveys and is selling like hot cakes with greater demand than at launch. Focused products seem to work better than wannabe everything products. Apple made them both elegant and useful. Sure, power users may want more i/o options or system access, but most people don't care about that. The freedom to download porn is not enough of an incentive for the majority of people. They want a product that just works out of the box without issue, easily and intuitively.

    Google is a search company that wants to be a software company, a hardware company, a phone company, an energy company, an internet provider, a retailer, a media distribution company, a social networking company, etc. Branching out is not a bad idea, but focusing efforts in getting a product out there that just works, that does what it claims to do, that does what it does do well, and without much hassle for the consumer who spent his hard earned money on it, would go a long way into making it more of a want to be company than a wannabe company, into more of an Apple of our eye and less of a Microsore. Things like forcing users into Buzz and into sharing without warning is not the way to beat Facebook (even though Facebook is looking more and more like Buzz in that regard recently), but the way to anger users and steer them away. Things like that are just evil (and stupid). So, Don't be Evil Google. Don't be Googlesoft. Just be Google.

    Just venting (and hoping Google, who owns Blogger, won't censor this ;) hehe)…

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    posted by Franco Esteve @ 6:26 PM   1 comments

    Monday, March 08, 2010

    The Oscars put Avatar in The Hurt Locker

    Avatar in the Hurt LockerThe media had hyped up the battle between James Cameron's Avatar and Kathryn Bigelow's The Hurt Locker. It had hyped up the fact that it was a battle between Cameron and his ex-wife, a divorce that itself had been quite ugly. Hosts Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin even made a nasty crack about it in their opening bits, saying Cameron would give her a Toyota. George Clooney certainly didn't seem amused, making it awkward and even uglier as the camera focused on his serious face. Considering how happy and energetic he had seemed down the red carpet, it lent it even greater weight. The hosts made fun of his seriousness, but it did not seem to detract from the heaviness of the comment and the contrast.

    After all the comments, the speculation, and the hype though, the 82nd Academy Awards were pretty much standard Oscar fare, as the Academy played it safe and predictable with its choices. Anyone who followed the awards season was expecting The Hurt Locker to win over Avatar, but of course, the Academy has sometimes offered surprises and with ten Best Picture nominees, I think many were expecting one. Unfortunately, this was not the time for surprises. The first directing Oscar given to a woman was Kathryn Bigelow for The Hurt Locker, which also took Best Picture, as expected (Six Oscars including the top two for The Hurt Locker, verus Avatar's three technical Oscars).

    The Show

    The OscarsThe broadcast overall may have been predictably safe but not necessarily in a bad way, as the streamlined show, which tends to stretch out in a boring manner, was entertaining overall. A lot of the traditional fluff was removed and the show was better for it. Gone were the torturous, extended dance numbers to the original score nominees, as was the singing of every single original song, sparing us from the million and a half pauses in-between each and the occasional terribly awkward performances. Of course, awkwardness still existed every now and again, as Kristen Stewart definitely showed in her presentation of a wonderful tribute to horror films accompanied by her Twilight co-star Taylor Lautner.

    The opening followed excellently in the footsteps of Hugh Jackman's wonderful musical number from last year, except this time, it was performed by How I met your mother's Neil Patrick Harris and framed in a very elegant, classic style reminiscent of old burlesque shows with huge, feather fans and rockette-style dancing. The OscarsThe song spoke about not being able to do it alone and was a great intro for the hosting team of Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin who did not disappoint. They made fun of a number of their peers, but one of the themes that permeated throughout the comedy of the night was Meryl Streep, whose numerous nominations, Steve Martin referred to as "losses". The camera continually focused on her enjoyment of it all in her spectacular and well-commented-on beauty. If anyone had any doubt as to how gorgeous and talented she is, they were certainly reminded of it again and again.

    With great cuts to the show come some strange and unusual items. For example, there's the Scientific achievement oscars which were cut down from an honorary clip to a mention at a hundred miles per hour while panning across a group shot of the winners. I think giving them an extra two seconds wouldn't have hurt. There was a short clip of the Governors ball where four lifetime achievement awards were given - move the camera to the two winners present at the Oscars, get up, sit down, goodbye (this was usually a wonderful moment in the show that is now gone, and seemed to me to lack the respect they deserved). Another was the wonderful horror homage introduced by the previously mentioned, horrified Kristen Stewart (perhaps her discomfort was on purpose...NOT!). And last but not least the extended tribute to the late John Hughes which had the entire Breakfast Club (sans Emilio Estevez), Mathew Broderick (from Ferris Bueller's Day Off), Macaulay Culkin (from Home Alone,), and Jon Cryer (from Pretty in Pink) on stage to speak of his influence in front of his family (who had great seats - kudos to the organizers). Perhaps strangest was seeing Judd Nelson from The Breakfast Club up there, looking like the stereotypical "Whatever happened to?" or "Wow, he's still alive?" or "Did he just come out of prison?" candidate, and more bizarre still, they let him speak!

    And the winner is…

    Thank you Penelope Cruz! She had the honor of providing one of the few big surprises of the night (as she was the first one to give out an oscar), and it was quite a welcome one. As a presenter, she ended the ridiculous saying that has plagued the Oscars for a number of years now, "And the Oscar goes to...". The attempt to devalue the honor of the Oscar as some toned down, politically correct, everybody's a winner, hypocritical bullshit has gone on for far too long. No, they are not all winners. It's an honor to be nominated, but there's a huge difference between being an Oscar nominated actor and being an Oscar winning actor.

    Yes, in Hollywood, as in life, there are winners and there are losers. Ask anyone, and of course, they'd prefer to be taking home the little statue. So, it was great, if surprising, to hear the words come out of Penelope Cruz's mouth, subsequently followed equally by every other presenter's, "And the winner is...". Thank you Penelope and the Academy for that. You've saved the word "Actress" and the thrill (and reality) of winning.

    The few, the proud

    The fact that the show was mostly predictable doesn't mean that it didn't have its moments. Apart from the highly unexpected win by Geoffrey Fletcher in the Adapted Screenplay category for Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire, there were a couple of items that took me by surprise. One was the extremely bitchy thank you speech from Sandy Powell when receiving her Best Costume Oscar for The Young Victoria which she opened by saying, "Well, I have two of these at home" in an I-could-care-less-about-this tone.

    Another was Ben Stiller in full Avatar Na'vi garb. This was highly publicized, but I found two things odd here. One was the unfortunate lack of Sacha Cohen who was The Oscarssupposed to do it with him but pulled out, alleging his not wanting to piss Cameron off to which Cameron responded he didn't mind the spoofing of Avatar. The other was choosing to do this bit for the one category that Avatar wasn't nominated for, Makeup. Ben Stiller even mentioned it, and said he would move out of the way to not detract from the winners with his amazing costume. In fact, the makeup almost made me wonder why Cameron used computer generated characters at all...well, not really, but it was both good and funny. :)

    An emotional evening

    The Academy Awards are usually not without their emotional moments as the winners walk to the stage to stand in front of their peers and accept their well deserved recognition of their work. Some get nervous, some make statements, some forget to thank their significant others, some cry, some dance, some scream. For the most part, they were kept under control, but there were standouts nonetheless. Mo’Nique, the comedic actress who won the Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her breakthrough dramatic performance in Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire said in her emotional speech that she was happy the Academy members chose performance over politics. The OscarsThere were a number of very emotional mentions of recently dead relatives. Geoffrey Fletcher could hardly speak when thanking for his Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar, after which Steve Martin joked that he had written that speech for him.

    As always, the faces around the audience spoke loads, particularly those of the losers or those being joked about. The emotions always run high, but in the end, I think they run higher still at all the Oscar parties being held, not by or for Hollywood celebrities, but by people like you and me watching at home, scorecards in hand, hoping to win the bets they made to their friends. How did you do this time? Did you come out a winner? or Did you end up pulling off an Avatar-sized disappointment?

    They say the average Oscar bet is fifty bucks. So, were you an Oscar winner this year?

    The 82nd Academy Awards Winners List - 2010 Oscars

    Best Actor in a Leading Role
    • Jeff Bridges in “Crazy Heart”

    Best Actor in a Supporting Role
    • Christoph Waltz in “Inglourious Basterds”

    Best Actress in a Leading Role
    • Sandra Bullock in “The Blind Side”

    Best Actress in a Supporting Role
    • Mo’Nique in “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire”

    Best Animated Feature Film
    • “Up” Pete Docter

    Best Art Direction
    • “Avatar” Art Direction: Rick Carter and Robert Stromberg; Set Decoration: Kim Sinclair

    Best Cinematography
    • “Avatar” Mauro Fiore

    Best Costume Design
    • “The Young Victoria” Sandy Powell

    Best Directing
    • “The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow

    Best Documentary (Feature)
    • “The Cove” Louie Psihoyos and Fisher Stevens

    Best Documentary (Short Subject)
    • “Music by Prudence” Roger Ross Williams and Elinor Burkett

    Best Film Editing
    • “The Hurt Locker” Bob Murawski and Chris Innis

    Best Foreign Language Film
    • “The Secret in Their Eyes (El Secreto de Sus Ojos)” Argentina

    Best Makeup
    • “Star Trek” Barney Burman, Mindy Hall and Joel Harlow

    Best Music (Original Score)
    • “Up” Michael Giacchino

    Best Music (Original Song)
    • “The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart)” from “Crazy Heart” Music and Lyric by Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett

    Best Picture
    • “The Hurt Locker” Kathryn Bigelow, Mark Boal, Nicolas Chartier and Greg Shapiro, Producers

    Best Short Film (Animated)
    • “Logorama” Nicolas Schmerkin

    Best Short Film (Live Action)
    • “The New Tenants” Joachim Back and Tivi Magnusson

    Best Sound Editing
    • “The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson

    Best Sound Mixing
    • “The Hurt Locker” Paul N.J. Ottosson and Ray Beckett

    Best Visual Effects
    • “Avatar” Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham and Andrew R. Jones

    Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay)
    • “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire” Screenplay by Geoffrey Fletcher

    Best Writing (Original Screenplay)
    • “The Hurt Locker” Written by Mark Boal

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    posted by Franco Esteve @ 12:47 PM   2 comments