Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (1991)

Do you ever wonder about our obsession, in cinema and in literature, with serial killers? I guess it started with Jack the Ripper—the notion that someone could murder six women in such horrific fashion in the heart of the largest city in the world and get away with it understandably scared the pants off people—but I think more than that, he reminded us and subsequent serial killers continue to remind us, however obliquely, that there are forces in the universe outside our control, and outside our ability to comprehend. That, and our own day of reckoning is an inevitable as the rising of the sun.

The problem is, though, with each fictional serial killer, we have to up the ante to get a reaction from the audience. Hannibal Lecter was stylishly sinister, but pretty straight-forward by today's standards. What, he'll only bite your face off? How droll. I pretty much topped out on my limit of baroque butchery some time ago and have since retreated to the relatively bloodless mysteries of the old masters. Philip Marlowe may get thumped from time to time, and Archie Goodwin takes more than his share of guff from Nero Wolfe, but at least I never have to choose between my murders and my lunch.

By the way, Anthony Hopkins wins a Katie Award for his performance in The Silence of the Lambs, just as he won an Oscar, but here as a supporting actor rather than the lead. You may not realize it because he was so memorable in the part, but Hopkins was only on screen for sixteen minutes—by far, the shortest performance to win an Oscar in a lead acting category in history.

winner: The Silence of the Lambs (prod. Ronald M. Bozman, Edward Saxon and Kenneth Utt)

PICTURE (Comedy/Musical)
winner: Beauty and the Beast (prod. Don Hahn)

PICTURE (Foreign Language)
winner: Da hong deng long gao gao gua (Raise The Red Lantern) (prod. Fu-Sheng Chiu)

ACTOR (Drama)
winner: Kevin Costner (JFK)

ACTOR (Comedy/Musical)
winner: Danny DeVito (Other People's Money)

winner: Susan Sarandon and Geena Davis (Thelma & Louise)

ACTRESS (Comedy/Musical)
winner: Bette Midler (For the Boys)

winner: Zhang Yimou (Da hong deng long gao gao gua a.k.a. Raise The Red Lantern)

DIRECTOR (Comedy/Musical)
winner: Alan Parker (The Commitments)

winner: Anthony Hopkins (The Silence of the Lambs)

winner: Jessica Tandy (Fried Green Tomatoes)

winner: Zhen Ni, from the novel Wives and Concubines by Su Tong (Da hong deng long gao gao gua a.k.a. Raise The Red Lantern)


theduckthief said...

I think part of the fascination with Jack the Ripper is that he was never caught, he's a phantom. People like to fantasize that he could have been anybody which creates endless possibilities.

Mythical Monkey said...

And everybody from Sherlock Holmes to Captain Kirk has given him chase!