Bigelow and Belly Skating

With the Academy Awards quickly coming up this Sunday, I thought it timely to post this link to Kathryn Bigelow’s creative process. I think she should get Best Director award. The Hurt Locker was wonderfully directed but a disturbing film that explores the persona and emotional toll of a wartime bomb diffuser, staring Jeremy Renner, who’s performance is excellent. We’ve liked his previous acting in 28 Weeks Later and other movies. However, I don’t think this is the best movie. Peter and I are partial to District 9 because it was so unexpected — an odd mix of a documentary format and parody to change your sympathies by the end of the film. It flips itself on its head. Even its website is unusually clever. Avatar is innovative for the technology but has little substance, in my opinion. Finally, I’ve always liked Maggie Gyllenhaal as an actress and person. Although I haven’t seen her performance that earned the Best Actress nomination in Crazy Heart yet, I really enjoyed her acting in Secretary, an offbeat, subversively sexy, yet overlooked film, in that it was shocking for its time. And, the soundtrack is great.

Kathryn Bigelow via IMDB

Scene from the Hurt Locker by Kathryn Bigelow

Director Kathryn Bigelow via

What a brilliant moment it was when Anni Friesinger-Postuma, of Germany, crossed the finish line by “swim sliding” on her belly during the Olympic Womens’ Team Speed Skating event. Peter just happened to turn on the TV right before it happened and we were just shaking our heads in disbelief; however, once we saw it again and realized she had won, for it doesn’t matter how you get across the finish line, we were happy that she won and laughed until we cried. What an historic moment for her that will go down in history as one of those “my most embarrassing moments.” You just have to watch the video; it’s a first. There’s an art to finishing.

Olympic speed-skating1

Olympic speed-skating-3

Olympic speed-skating2

I’m going to miss the Winter Olympics. It was a blow out year for the Team USA with an incredible amount of gold medal winnings, but despite this, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching almost every moment that I could.

Not to end on a sad note, but I just learned this news about the passing of Robert McCall, the famous “space” artist, who’s phenomenal work, The Space Mural – A Cosmic View,  graces the large six-story wall in the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum. He was 90 years old and lived to achieve high artistic accomplishments during career as an artist. I was fascinated to learn all that he had don.

I had written an earlier post on Alan Bean, the Moon Artist, who actually was an astronaut turned artist and has amazing artistic talent; however, it is also McCall’s work that I’ve had high regard for whenever I see it at the Air in Space Museum. It’s truly remarkable to see in person. Coincidentally, the way a quote by him ends in this obituary is similar wording I used to end my other post for Slipcovers for Your Walls today….”The future is bright,” indeed. Interesting too how the bomb squad uniform from the Hurt Locker above resembles an astronaut.

Cosmic Mural by Robert McCall via Smithsonian Air & Space Museum

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