Fantasy wins at the Oscars, and its just the beginning

d44c6c0cc27b86409073154c09502413After last night’s win at the 90th annual Academy Awards, Guillermo del Toro’s The Shape of Water is in the spotlight, as is the fantasy genre. It was great to see a writer/director/producer like del Toro win the Best Picture and Best Director Oscar. His vision of other worlds in such wonderfully vivid movies like Hellboy, Pan’s Labyrinth, and Pacific Rim is legendary.

It was great to see the Academy honor a wonderful fantasy story like The Shape of Water and a director like del Toro. It gives a writer like me the confidence in my own fantasy stories. But, at the same time, it’s also disappointing that other fantasy movies weren’t even given a chance to be recognized.

I wrote previously about how the Academy snubs top-rated movies for “artsy” movies that people have barely seen. It’s a shame that audience approval isn’t part of the consideration. The Oscars are nothing more than a night for Hollywood elites to pat themselves on the back. Even still, they do try to get it right once in a while.

I just don’t understand why there is such a disdain for fantasy movies. If you think about it, only two fantasy movies have won the Best Picture Oscar in the past 50 years–Lord of the Rings: Return of the King and The Shape of Water. At the same time, some of the top selling movies of all time have been fantasy movies released in the 50 years.

It doesn’t make any sense to me. Fantasy is one of the best genres out there. It takes you back in time, to another world, or into a magical fantasy. The mind-blowing improvements in CGI has given filmmakers the opportunity to showcase stories that would never have been done before.

Here’s a great example… In 1966, director François Truffaut brought us the dystopian science fiction film Fahrenheit 451, based on the classic Ray Bradbury novel, starring Oskar Werner, Julie Christie, and Cyril Cusack. Watching this movie, you could see the wires holding the jet packs aloft. Yeah, it was pretty bad.

fahrenheit-451Now, in 2018, HBO is remaking it into a new movie starring Michael B. Jordan and Michael Shannon. It looks amazing, sure to outshine the original. You also got to love the subject matter (burning books, controlling information) in today’s day and age.

John Lennon said, “I believe in everything until it’s disproved. So I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists, even if it’s in your mind. Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares aren’t as real as the here and now?” With that, how can you not want to write, read, and watch fantasy?

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51nd6H6sATL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_SKU-000941753Mark Piggott is the author of the Forever Avalon book series. Forever Avalon is available for purchase as a book/ebook at Amazon. The Dark Tides is available for purchase as a book/ebook at AmazonBarnes and Noble, and iUniverse publishing. The Outlander War, Book Three of the Forever Avalon series is coming soon.

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