Tuesday, July 7, 2015
Terry and I went to see Birdman at the Enzian Theater,1300 S Orlando Ave, Maitland, FL. While I waited for her to arrive at the Eden Bar outside the movie theater, I couldn't resist doing a sketch. I ordered an Orange Blossom Pilsner and sketched as fast as I could. The advantage of being an artist in this digital age is that people who focus their attention on their phones become completely absorbed and therefor never notice that they are being sketched.
Birdman turned out to be one of my favorite movies of 2014. It was much like Hitchcock's The Rope in which there were no discernible cuts between scenes. The movie was about an actor who was famous for his role as Birdman in the movies but he wanted to be taken serious as a true artist. He wrote and directed a play for Broadway that he hoped would revitalize peoples perceptions of him as a true artist. The camera followed his every move as opening night approached. The first scene showed him in his dressing room in a cross legged yoga pose. As the camera pulled back you realized that he wasn't only meditating, he was floating above the floor. My disbelief was suspended and I accepted each of his supernatural yet ego centric quirks.
What happened on stage always seemed to reflect what was going on in his own life. Because there were no obvious camera cuts, the moments seemed to play out in real time right until the opening night of the show on Broadway. Much of what happened might have been imagined by the narcissistic director played by Michael Keaton. There was a hilarious moment when he took a cigarette break right outside the stage door. A stage hand closed the door locking him out and he had to walk around the block, through Times Square in his underwear to get to the front entrance of the theater. Did this actually happen, or did he imagine the humiliating situation? Every scene raised these type of questions. This wasn't a CGI effects block buster, but it was a smartly written drama that raised more questions than answers. I absolutely loved it. The film garnered wide critical praise, and won the Academy Award for Best Picture, along with the Best Director for González Iñárritu, the Best Original Screenplay, and the Best Cinematography from a total of nine nominations, tying it with The Grand Budapest Hotel for being the most nominated film of the Academy's 87th annual awards ceremony. Michael Keaton deserved to win the Academy Award as the best actor.