Monday, March 08, 2010

Stairway to Sirius: The Oscars and the Spiral Staircase

The festivities opened with this interesting shot, giving us the blue and gold motif of the set and showing us stagelights vaguely reminiscent of an Udjat...

Then two motifs well familiar to Secret Sun readers- the sunrise and the winding staircase. A double staircase in fact, bringing us back to the exploration of the spiral staircase and the DNA double helix

And look, here comes the ubiquitous Doogie (Doggie?) Howser...

The two blazing stage lights motif appears again, familiar to us from Pink's performance at the Grammy's.

Then Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin descended from the heavens in what looks like the most extravagant gay wedding cake ornament ever...

...and performed their entire standup routines in front of the rising sun. That bubble motif is interesting, too. 

We'll get back to it in a bit.

There was also this interesting design, that reminded me of a bunch of interlocking eyes, but I'm not married to that interpretation.

The two lights again, and a beauty shot of the deep blue curtains, which could either suggest the ocean or the night sky. 

That's James Van Der Kirk introducing District 9.

And just as we saw with Pink...

...we also have the goddesses descending the Golden Stairway, in this case the spritely Carey Mulligan and zesty Zoe Saldana (note pink dress), giving us the requisite sugar and spice.

There was also this arch design, which was strongly reminiscent of the goddess Nut (or Nuit)...

...who represents the arch of the heavens, as you can see here.


Here's a full shot of the stage, giving you the winding staircase in glorious blue and gold.


That shot makes me wonder if those lower stairs are meant to be a waterfall... we see here, again with the goddesses from the Golden Stairway.


Now let's say a quick word about the best pictures, because they fit into this symbolic narrative as well. The best documentary feature, The Cove, about activists fighting the slaughter of dolphins. The producer? Fisher Stevens.
The The Hurt Locker, a story about the invasion of Babylon (literally "The Gate of the Gods"), now known as "Iraq." 

Reader Agonus reminds us that the Iraqi National Museum opened shortly after last year's Oscars/Ausurs/Anshars/Ahura Mazdas. This is the first film directed by a woman to win Best Director, in this case the winner is Ka-Hathor-Ein Bigelow. 

UPDATE: Don't forget William Henry's work on the Babylon Stargate. Between CERN, all of the Stairway/Sirius symbolism and now this victory (for a film that only grossed $21 million) there seems to be an interesting narrative developing out there in this, the year we (are supposed to) make contact.


UPDATE: Since I've been on such a major William Gibson kick lately I found it interesting that Kathryn Bigelow also directed Strange Days, which was Lightstorm's cyberpunk move. I always thought Ralph Fiennes was badly miscast in this film, but by this point I'd given up on Cyberpunk translating to film. 

The best Cyberpunk adaptation IMO? 'Killswitch', the episode of The X-Files written by Gibson himself.