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Oscars 2023. Hollywood celebrating Itself, among parallel worlds and immortal icons of great Cinema.

After the long pandemic interlude, the Oscars 2023 are shining brighter than ever. And this year, in a special way, and thanks to the contribution of films celebrating the immortal icons of Marilyn and Elvis, the future of the silver screen is also being discussed, between strange names (see King Spielberg) and new directors and actors who show the other face of the new Cinema to come.

Then there are the real Outsiders with "Everything, Everywhere, All at once", who smash through with no less than 7 statuettes, and who literally upset this crazy edition, creating a "real" watershed, between the past and the future of world Cinema.

While the famous Hollywood sign that shines brightly in the hills of Los Angeles, California, has just celebrated its 101st birthday (thanks to a unique re-stilyng, streamed directly last September), the world of Film and Red Carpet fans has come to a halt once again.

The Oscars 2023, which had just concluded in the late Italian night (or early morning light), revealed quite a few surprises, in fact offering a few thrills and twists as per the 'script' (fortunately excluding slaps, this time), with a true and unique leitmotif of the evening: namely the celebration (by Hollywood) of the Cinema of yesterday, today and tomorrow. A true celebration of passage, or rather of handover between the old and the new making Cinema, then.

Anything is possible in Hollywood

And it will not have escaped the notice of those who already follow Netflix, either, of one series in particular, (the title of which is precisely Hollywood), the core of which is represented by the visceral desire of some actors to achieve great success in the magical land of dreams, and which ends in the very last episode, with the awarding of the coveted statuette, and which seems to singularly preconceive the event that just ended last night.

In fact, the Asian actress (Michelle Krusiec) featured in the TV mini-series eventually gets her well-deserved Oscar for Best Actress, as well as the same (the real one) as Michelle Yeoh who has just won for the same category, (The first Asian actress in history, ever) with the brilliant low-budget film "Everything, Everywhere All at Once". Whether this is randomness or realised statistical probability, we cannot know, but we can certainly say that 'reality often surpasses fiction' or is implicitly intertwined with it in a symbolic and non-narrative manner, since the very plot of the film offers an ordinary life the extraordinariness of being able to live it through the infinite possibilities available to both the protagonist and her family, in an endless Wonderland, or factual Multiverse, where human fragility and strength move within it, beyond the determined boundaries of space and time.

The well-deserved 7 Oscars won for this rousing film, which asserts itself as an outsider and strongly pursues the spirit of the uncertain times in which we live, incorporating all possible genres (drama, thriller, comedy, love parable, etc.). ), swirling citations from The Matrix and martial arts, in a rhythm that is both disconcerting and sparkling at the same time, which completely overpowers even the masterful work of Steven Spielberg of all people, who unfortunately comes up empty-handed in his passionate declaration of love for the cinema that inspired him to give us six decades of undisputed masterpieces (The Fabelmans is a film we recommend seeing in any case), leaving open a further window for discussion, namely:

- That Hollywood finally opens its doors in an official manner to Cinema both further afield (geographically speaking), but also to new boundaries of listening and cultural vision (see also the statuette for Best Song, with Natu, a purely Indian Film) with an almost total inclusion (already a trend in recent times) on the entire world panorama regarding the concept of diversity, as a whole.

The magnanimous benevolence (at times perhaps a little forced) on the part of Hollywood in welcoming with open arms the looming newcomer, is finally being recognized by some talents of forgotten, but still much-loved stars such as:

- Indiana Jones' adorable Short in the second Chapter, Ke Huy Quan, winner of Best Supporting Male Actor and the moving Brendan Frasier, as Best Actor, a lovable gentleman from another time in life as well, or the very talented and likable Jamie Lee Curtis, in Supporting Actress.

In addition to this, it must honestly be emphasized that in reality, nothing or 'nothing new is really happening on the film front', (a quote taken from the beautiful German film of the same name, which also won an award), since the so-called 'seventh art' is still living its long period of perennial coma, from which it still seems unable to awaken.

In order to understand the origin of this phase of stasis and oblivion together, everything must therefore refer us back to the origin of that famous fixed inscription on the Californian hills and of what it actually represents, behind the tale told:

- and that is of its remarkable and powerful presence, which in the round loudly claims the very essence of the star system, now tried and tested for almost a century, and which reveals itself as a ruthless war machine, strategically perfect for making a lot of money at the box office, in which only sometimes is able to show rare pearls of beauty of Anglo-Saxon dramaturgy (see for example in this edition also the film 'The Banshees of Inisherin', distributed by Walt Disney and produced by Searchlight Pictures and Film4, in association with TSG Entertainment, with Blueprint Pictures Production).

Constant renovation is thus somewhat the real hidden obsession of Hollywood, which intends to always present itself in a dazzling, elegant and up-to-date form, if not a proponent of future times, just like in the Netflix series (mentioned above), where even the timeless red carpet changes its traditional colour to champagne white, if necessary.

Hollywood Thanks (to Hollywood)

What many struggle to notice, however, is an even more hidden side lurking behind the magical evening of the Oscars 2023, in which an implicit message delicately or subtly emerges that speaks to us: Of a Hollywood that slowly 'sighs an interminable farewell' to the old Hollywood, that smokes behind the scenes, paying homage to it, for example, in the memory of some of its most famous icons (see Marilyn Monroe, Elvis Presley but also with the "living" and immense Steven Spielberg, among all) who have always spoken to the country and the whole world, bringing to this day the American Dream, as the slogan/banner of the USA, and which is now showing for the first time, an unexpected turn, and transition, towards a new Hollywood era, or rather a new concept of the 'American dream', more minimal and conceptually introspective.

During the celebration, that is, of the 95th Edition, what in our opinion will remain or be remembered, will be above all that certain traditional form of blatant reverence, almost obsessive and at the same time pawing, and if not downright obsequious, on the part of all participants and insiders, towards a reality that no longer responds to the old objective canons of the past (or better said, of a certain Hollywood that no longer exists) and its memory, kept alive, only by the programming of the silver screen. A dutiful respect, which responds to a precise etiquette of thought and words expressed, just as when one looks at the photo of a dear departed, who will be close in the heart, even if physically no longer part of it.

In paying homage to the golden age that was, then Hollywood itself is thanked and celebrated, as never before and in every possible way, in a poignant remembrance of a time long gone, but still present in our hearts, which takes us back to the best years of cinema on the big screen, never really forgotten. A perfect example of this unceasing feeling of melancholic presence is the return to theatres of Titanic, which in 1997, (25 years ago) managed to 'Takes everything', winning no fewer than 11 statuettes, on a par with only two other masterpieces (Ben Hur and Lord of the Rings) and confirming once again today with the record at the box office of the same film, that there is no real alternative competition in the cinemas on a par with it, with the exception of Avatar 2, (also by the same director Cameron) now on the schedule.

In the name of great thanks, the last real farewell to those who have recently left us (Olivia Newton John, Gina Lollobrigida and many others) and to a Hollywood of true myths, masterfully brought back to "celluloid" through two timeless icons who, in the twenty years between the 1950s and 1970s alone, provided pure magic and the real American dream, and who undoubtedly deserve an entire evening dedicated to them, just to remember them with dignity.

We are of course talking about the two films in the competition, which tell unprecedented glimpses of both Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley: in a virtual meeting at a distance, here is the super-explosive blonde on the one hand, and the one and only great King of Rock and Roll, both of whom died very young, and with two different but similarly dramatic lives between them, are worth watching, if not for the skill of both actors, and for the simple fact that they too, are in our opinion, further confirmation of the direction in which Hollywood is going, and that is the one in which:

"One leaves with sadness in one's heart the old man one has loved enormously, to make room for the unknown one does not yet know".

A real leap forward, therefore, for Hollywood, which is preparing to make, and as it were, this can also be deduced from other various aspects or curiosities, noticed during the Oscar 2023 night itself, which has just ended, such as:

  1. the historic Red Carpet, which becomes 'champagne' colored for the first time ever, explained for basically technical reasons, which make the night effect even during the day;

  2. for the set design used in the historic location of the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, which wanted to dust off the art deco style of the Roaring Twenties (1920s), in an emotion of endless melancholic memorabilia or perhaps who knows, of a more astute marketing strategy, to sponsor the brand new and majestic Academy Museum, in the same city of LA.

If cinema is dead, then... Long live cinema!

As every year, and as we have noticed, two ways of making films clash more and more blatantly: there is the commercial type, or more commonly known as Blockbuster, which aims above all at box-office earnings, and the more intimate and independent type, which tries to focus on the originality of the stories and the unique character of offbeat characters, in order to press for quality and not just quantity of earnings.

Let us emphasise that, for some time now, the lack of interesting ideas has prompted both screenwriters and directors to decide to invest in and often prefer films of the Biopics genre or on sequels and/or prequels of famous classics, thus revealing another great limitation of the Cinema of the last 10 years. In fact, it is a decline, according to industry experts, that seems unstoppable, and which does not yet see an end, or at least not until, a new form of Hollywood really takes hold, supported by its most heartfelt admirers, scattered around the world, in the rebirth of a Dreamland, which will bring people back to see Films in the theatres, even if the dreams take on more bizarre and tormented stories than regular ones with happy endings (see the multi-award-winning 'Everything....') and in which the faces of half-unknown actors and directors are preferred, with a view to future visions different from the world of single-mindedness, which in the meantime, has inevitably already changed, and drastically, after the last three years.

A common farewell to the old guard of Hollywood, to which we may have to submit sooner or later, and which does not only concern those who had to physically leave us, but also those who still work in the industry and continue to play similar roles to the past, without grasping the new incoming shockwave.

But a tomorrow of Cinema seems to be already here, in an available parallel version, or an alternative one that opens up to our eyes, our minds and our hearts, if we know how to grasp the unknown and accept it, just like in the best film of the Oscars 2023.

If the old Cinema dies, a new Cinema rises and is already here, accessible for all of us.


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