Oscars Here and Oscars There

February 21, 2008 at 8:41 am 1 comment

As an L.A. girl, I’m always psyched for the Oscars, especially since it’s the only awards ceremony that airs live on the West Coast. The drunk-tastic Golden Globes and slightly more sober Emmys are delayed in California for a primetime audience, and I’m petrified of being spoiled about the results beforehand, either online or from newscast teasers. But the Oscars happen mere miles from my apartment, at 5 pm, and the excitement around town is palpable. Because of the WGA strike this year, there were doubts that the show would go on, but at the 11th hour (a Hollywood ending?) a union deal was reached and we’ll get to enjoy the star-studded, glitzy evening in all its glory this Sunday.

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Japan holds its Academy Awards in February as well. This year, “Letters From Iwo Jima” won Best Foreign Film. Clint Eastwood’s World War II movie was well received in Asia. A companion piece to the American film “Flags of Our Fathers”, “Letters From Iwo Jima” depicted the same battle from a Japanese perspective. According to Japan Today, the all-Japanese cast, including Ken Watanabe, added authenticity to the script by finessing the dialogue.

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The biggest winner of the 31st Japanese Academy Awards was a film called “Tokyo Tower: Mom and Me, and Sometimes Dad.” It swept the awards, earning trophies in five categories: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor. (Now I’m dying to see it!) Unlike our Oscars, the Japanese Academy Awards also award Best Newcomers and Most Popular. Sounds kind of like a high school yearbook, but I love it.

For a taste of Japanese filmmaking closer to home, check out the Japan Film Festival – Los Angeles, which hits downtown Los Angeles from April 11th to 17th and Orange Country from April 18th to 20th. The festival promises to screen the latest cutting-edge films from Japan in hopes of starting a cultural dialogue between American and Japanese people.

Just let me grab my popcorn and I’m there!

Sarah S.

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Entry filed under: Japanese Culture, Japanese Entertainment. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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