AFI Film Awards

Watched AFI's Film Awards show, the first ever, while cleaning my room tonight. It managed to finish on schedule, mostly because most of the winners weren't there to receive their awards (or weren't allowed to give a speech). For the most part, everyone played it straight--there was no host to fill time with jokes.
AFI's film of the year
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring
AFI's actor of the year
Denzel Washington, Training Day
AFI's actress of the year
Sissy Spacek, In the Bedroom
AFI's director of the year
Robert Altman, Gosford Park
On a related note, one of the AFI voting committee members,
Roger Ebert, released his top ten films of 2001:
1. Monster's Ball
2. Black Hawk Down
3. In the Bedroom
4. Ghost World
5. Mulholland Drive
6. Waking Life
7. Innocence
8. Wit
9. A Beautiful Mind
10. Gosford Park
I haven't seen all of those films yet. I did see Ghost World, Mulholland Drive, and Waking Life, all of which were great. I saw Gosford Park but the showing was so late I fell asleep
in parts. A few of these movies only got released in L.A. and NYC at year end to gain Oscar eligibility. I hate when they do that. It means someone gets to see the movie before me.

Old Letters

I spent most of the day rearranging my room, moving things, tossing out old magazines and pictures. I made the difficult decision to throw out all the old Christmas and birthday cards and letters and postcards I'd saved up over the years. Some came from friends I had. Some from friends I still have. Some from former girlfriends. Family members. Business associates. Institutions. Newspaper
clippings from my mother.
Of course, I had to read each one before tossing it out. Amazing how we all used to compose long, hand-written letters to each other. E-mail has rendered it a dying art. That would be okay if we still continued to send each other long, thought-out letters. But instead, we have a series of short, episodic e-mails, many composed as events occur. Thus they often lack the longer-term perspective which the semi-annual letter contains. Contained.
Reading through all of those, I felt a flush of nostalgia. And the end of Cast Away was playing on HBO, and I felt sad watching Tom Hanks talk about finding his wife again, and losing her again. He's an amazing actor, because everything he does feels honest.
So I began feeling lovelorn, so I listened to Sting's rendition of "Someone to Watch Over Me".
I miss seeing people's handwriting, which conveys a person's craft, personality. In e-mail, lack of punctuation and capitalization passes for personal style. Emoticons, excessive use of abbreviations like IMHO or LOL. At least with hand-written notes, one could examine the handwriting even if the sentences were banal.
Yes, it's true, I didn't end up throwing out all of those old letters and notes. Some of them. I remembered why I had kept some of them in the first place.

3 more years for Mike

Disclosure is playing on HBO tonight. Funny, because Dennis Miller's character says to Michael Douglas, "Ten years from now, you'll need a forklift to get a hard on." That film played in 1994. Catherine Zeta Jones has 3 years of fun left.