Some Belated BAFTA Observations

I will say from the start that this is not indended to be a “comprehensive” critique of this year’s BAFTAs. A couple of times in the past I watched it, always admiring Stephen Fry (actually, I’m his fan on Facebook). This year I didn’t watch it, and boy, did I miss something. The Coen brothers scooped the Best Director award, while Daniel Day-Lewis and Javier Bardem got the Best Actor and the Best Supporting Actor awards, respectively. In addition, Sir Anthony Hopkins was awarded the British Academy Fellowship.

This was just as good news as last year’s when Martin Scorsese and Helen Mirren each received an Oscar. What is so wonderful about this year’s BAFTAs is that all three actors – Day-Lewis, Bardem and Hopkins – are among my favourite actors. The joy of 11th of February was augmented by the Russian violinist and conductor Yuri Bashmet winning a Grammy and was diminished by the news of Roy Scheider passing away. But looking at all those names made me remember the films I’ve seen with those actors, and I counted almost 20 titles. At one point about a year ago I tried to compile the list of films I’ve seen which eclipsed 250. Which made me wonder about one thing.

I don’t think I’ll ever begin to regret studying History. In fact, it is my thirst for knowledge and the excellent comprehensive University course combined that makes me so adaptable and versatile today, so I’ve got very little to complain about. Also, as far as literature goes, I’ve rarely believed in writer’s workshops or courses. What’s the point of teaching people how to write if they don’t read? And if they read, won’t they be inspired by the great works so much as to try and write themselves? It is possible that I’m a little ostentatious holding a belief like this, but so it goes. Yet as far as music and cinema are concerned, which are two other huge passions, I do regret that I never got involved more directly in studying either. And while I’m just as ostentatious here, holding a firm belief that one can get where they want to if they are actually going there, I cannot help wondering how different things could’ve been had I chosen Film Studies from the start. But that is what the historians call a counterfactual history – and if you want to know my opinion it’s only as good as a subject for a novel.

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