Monday, March 8, 2010

International Women's Day

Happy International Women's Day 2010! Celebrated every year on the 8th of March, it is a major day of global celebration of women. In different regions of the world, the focus of the celebrations ranges from general respect, appreciation and love towards women to a celebration for women's economic, political and social achievements. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, IWD is a national holiday. Unfortunately for us Americans, it's not a holiday. Yet. From my favorite information source, Wikipedia:
On the occasion of 2010 International Women's Day, the International Committee of the Red Cross is drawing attention to the hardship displaced women endure. The displacement of populations is one of the gravest consequences of today's armed conflicts. It affects women in a host of ways. Women displaced by armed conflict – often living alone with their children – are frequently exposed to sexual violence, discrimination and intimidation. Many face poverty and social exclusion as well. International humanitarian law therefore includes specific provisions protecting women, for example when they are pregnant or as mothers of young children.
That's something I have never had to worry about, being displaced by war. But this is a huge and very real problem for many women (and men, and families) across Africa and the Middle East, in particular. The movie The Hurt Locker shows what the Iraq war is like for many, including those whose lives are totally disrupted, or lost, by that awful war.

And it's fitting that on IWD Eve 2010 at the Oscars, Kathryn Bigelow was the first woman ever to win the Oscar for Best Director. I saw The Hurt Locker here at home on Netflix, and although I thought it was a really good movie, and although I am at a loss to know exactly what directors actually do, in my mind it wasn't nearly as good a movie as Avatar, or even Up in the Air, which won nothing.

But I think the main difference is, if I look carefully at my feelings, I would much rather live in Pandora than in Iraq. One movie was about the oneness of all things (although it had plenty of war scenes), and the other was about the horror of war (with plenty of war scenes). I saw almost all of the movies that were nominated, except for Precious and Inglourious Basterds, which I intend to correct as soon as I can. I do like to know what passes for great film these days. What do you think?


  1. I don't know that I've seen any of the films nominated, except maybe Up...I'm very much out of the loop. You may be right about wanting to not closely examine the horrors that are committed during war or the horrors that occur as a result.

    I had no idea there even was an International Womens Day! Thanks for the update.

  2. I just saw on one of my blogger’s friend’s post that today was International Woman’s Day and in his country, Armenia, it is a national holiday. I had the TV news on while having breakfast but they never mentioned it. Maybe the US think that since it is “internationaI” it does not need to be celebrated that much, maybe if it were “American Woman’s Day” they would mention it? (OK I am being mean…) I did not see but two movies which were nominated, Invictus and while on a transat flight The Young Victoria (best costumes.) I usually don’t like to go and watch war movies. I found that people who went through a war themselves sometimes don’t like to be reminded of all the violence. Having the Nazi come to our apartment in Paris and get my dad while I was a child is not something I like to remember. Don’t know what they did to him but mother said he never was the same again. Which non violent movies would you recommend I see next? Up in the air? Or Up? Did you see the movie with Sara Bullock? I forget, I did see Julia and Julie and loved it.

  3. We watched Inglorious Basterds Saturday night. Quite a different movie. It was nothing like I expected...good, but weird. We also saw Avatar and Up, but have seen none of the others.

    I hate to say it, but I think Katherine Bigelow won for political reasons. Avatar was definitely the best movie of the all the nominated movies...the oscars are rarely about what was best and that's a little sad. But, it does get people to go see what was nominated.

  4. I'm sorry to say I haven't seen any of the nominated movies. Guess I'll catch them on Netflicks. I do have plans to see Alice in Wonderland in 3D at the Imax theater down the street on Thursday, however.

  5. lovely post!

    I did feel a weeny bit disappointed that on accepting her award, ms bigelow didn't yell 'who's king of the world NOW bitch?!'

    but that's just me :)

  6. I never agree with The Academy in their picks for best picture. I see the film from my perspective of a wanting a good story line. They see it from a variety of angles and make the selection based on details that I would not even consider. I was positive that Avatar would win. I'm not sure if I will see Precious. It is such an emotional film to view. I liked the acceptance speech made by Monique though - she did an excellent job.

  7. Mmmmm. Ok. You asked for it. Here it comes. All my friends praised Avatar. I didn't see it because I'm not interested in technological wonders encompising amazing 3d and all the rest of computerization that leaves you gasping in wonder. I like real people, relationships issues & hate violence and war. I don't go to movies where people get blown up. But if that movie drew people in enough to care about the characters, as I heard it did so well and repulsed them as to the human cost of war.... then I very glad that it was a woman who directed it and was honored for such a film. I think it was cheap shot to pass it off as "political" as one commentor did here. I loved "Julia" and Meryl Streep is by far the best actress of our generation. Sandra Bullock is wonderfull actress although I've only seen her shine in comedy roles. I enjoyed "Up In The Air" as light fluff and sort of trashed Clooney's nomination (he is a later day Cary Grant) on other (second) blog. It was pointed out to me by several female commentators on that post, that "all Clooney has to do is stand still in front of the movie camera and he gets my vote for best actor." I stood corrected. And that's the way it is...
    By the way re Annie.... you have to consider she lives in the home state that sent Dick Cheney to Washington. Also her book set in Newfoundland, was an all time favorite of mine as well as Julianne Moore in the movie. That a senior moment as I can think of the name....

  8. I haven't seen any of the films picked. The only one I'd like to see is Up in the Air. I choose to not allow violence into my eyes. George Clooney on the other hand...luscious! Easy on the eyes!
    Happy Woman's Day DJan!

  9. I am very much out of the loop when it comes to Oscar nominated movies, I haven't seen any of them. Other than Avatar I probably couldn't tell you what movies had been nominated. I really should sign up for NetFlix.

  10. Thanks for visiting my site. I enjoyued reading this posting and some of your lively commentors!
    I didn't know IWD was a big deal in other parts of the world. It did so happen that I had a good friend and former colleague over for coffee and a chance to catch up yesterday. We hadn't visited in a long time, so in a sense, we celebrated Women's Day.

    My son, who continues to amaze me, wrote a very good review/commentary on Avatar on his blog, which has inspired me to go see it. So I think we'll venture out to a 3D showing this weekend.
    I like to keep up with what I can "social literacy" as well, and hope to see more of the nominated movies. Somehow Hurt Locker just didn't seem to fit as Best Picture. I'm still replaying some of the awful partts in my head, and that's not good. We already know war is hell.

  11. I totally agree with you. Someone would have to pay me to go and see The Hurt Locker. When I go to watch a film, I want escapism not reality! I think like you 'what the heck do directors do?' and if it's so hard, how comes they can be directors and producers at the same time as being in the film, e.g. Clint Eastwood. Can't be that hard, can it?
    Hooray for women, we're a great bunch, aren't we?
    Blessings, Star

  12. I haven't seen Avatar. But I know I'd rather live in Pandora than Iraq.

  13. I only saw Avatar which I enjoyed. It was great to see a female director win though and I hope it was based on her merits not anything political.

    I was impressed that so many older celebrities either won or were nominated for Oscars though. I think it's important for Hollywood to create roles for older actors and also for the general population to reconsider their stereotypes on aging.


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