Sunday, February 5, 2012

1993 - Year of the Sure Schindler

Tonight, while the rest of the world is watching the Super Bowl, I plan to settle into a couch position and watch Tree of Life...

I'm pretty excited; I might even drink a Bud Light and have some Tostidos feel a bit more in synch with my fellow Americans. We'll see.

So 1993. It's a very close second behind 1991 in line for my all-time favorite year in film. It is generally easy for me to remember this year because I spent half of it in Rochester, NY (from Aug 93 to July 94) involved in an apprenticeship at a regional theater, and saw a lot of movies with my co-workers.

Among the movies I saw during that time was Schindler's List. It was the only film to date where every single person in the movie theater stayed in their seats until the screen went dark and the lights came on. I was with an entire row of characteristically vocal theater people who were rendered mute for the car ride to our local bar. It was an unspoken given that Schindler's List would take Best Pic.

Which is not to say the other films of that year were not worthy contenders. The fellow nominees were - The Piano, Remains of the Day, In the Name of the Father, and The Fugitive. And those were chosen from an even broader pool of notable flicks as - Philadelphia, What's Eating Gilbert Grape, Searching for Bobby Fischer, Ruby in Paradise, and the Wallace & Grommet pic, Wrong Trousers.

The Oscar telecast that year was the first (and only) I saw without my family. I was still in Rochester and was invited to my very first Oscar party. I was tempted; this was a party that had been labeled "legendary" by more than a few who'd been previous years. But ultimately I opted for watching in the privacy of my 300 square-foot "apartment" (room), where I spoke to my parents or my brother (who was living in a small Ohio town) during each commercial break.

This was the first year that Whoopi Goldberg hosted the show. While she was not my favorite host, she was notable as the first woman and African American host. Tom Hanks won as Best actor that year and gave a touching speech (although it has been rumored that he actually outed his closeted gay drama teacher, inspiring the story for the Kevin Kline film In & Out...)

Schindler was a shoe-in for Best Picture, but the rest of that year's winners aptly represented the stand-out talent. Both Holly Hunter and Anna Paquin won for Best Actress and Supporting Actress, respectively, for the Piano. I can't remember seeing this one in Rochester or when I returned home (although I'd like to remember that I saw it in the city's perfect art house called the Little...) but I do remember it's exquisite blue hue (among its many feats of cinema splendor).

It's another year totally worth a NetFlix revist...

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