Oscar History

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RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars - Reunited and It Feels So Good

Chris here capping off this season of RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars. After a stellar finale, the show took a week off before last night's reunion, our final adieu for the show's most popular and fan-rousing season yet. The night may have been padded with nine too many commercial breaks and not a lot of fireworks between the queens, it was a refreshingly chill send off for our girls after a drama-packed season. Here are the biggest moments:

RuPaul brandishing his Emmy

Sure, this is old news, but still seeing Mama Ru show off that trophy after ten seasons of the show and a long history in entertainment is still so satisfying. Now let's get one for the damn show itself. Season 8 and this round of All Stars provided some of the best the show has to offer, so: your move Emmy voters.

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A "Moana" Sneak Peek with Lin Manuel-Miranda

We're just 25 days from Moana hitting theaters and more fresh looks have been coming. This past week I had the opportunity to see a few scenes and hear Lin-Manuel Miranda speak about the film afterwards. Curiously the scenes they showed us weren't "song scenes" despite the pairing of those two things.

We mostly saw scenes involving Moana herself, voiced by the joyful Auli'i Cravalho, the teenage discovery Disney chose to voice their latest princess. Baby Moana, before Auli'i Cravalho takes over, is just about the cutest thing ever and there's a long scene of her discovering the ocean that is not unlike the adorability of Pixar's wonderful short from earlier this season, Piper, albeit with less fear because Moana is immediately in love with the ocean. 

They also showed us a complicated ocean action sequence that the exuberant Venezuelan animator who hosted the event revealed was inspired by Mad Max Fury Road. Later when Lin-Manuel Miranda spoke we learned that he got the job before Hamilton (!) and when he was composing for Maui the demi-god he used The Rock's wrestling videos, of all things, to get a sense of his vocal range.

I was reminded of that when this new clip emerged very recently featuring The Rock singing in character as the demi-god who accompanies Moana on her journey. (In one of the clips I saw last week we also got a sense of how fun his magical tatoos are, including "Mini-Maui"  who you can meet here for yourself.)

Are you counting down the days? Or are you still a Zootopia or Red Turtle fan for the Oscar?


The Linking Dead

Towleroad Jack O'Connell will star in Andrew Haigh's Alexander McQueen biopic. Good casting
MTV Is Jon Hamm funny... when the punchline is always just, "Jon Hamm"
Guardian Tom Hardy to play famous Antartica explorer in 1914 set film
/Film Scott Derrickson says he wants to make a Doctor Strange sequel 'in the vein of The Dark Knight'. First the Inception inspired visuals than this? Someone take his Chris Nolan dvds away pronto!
Tracking Board Catherine Keener joins Del Toro & Brolin for the Sicario sequel called Soldado
The Talkhouse Filmmaker Bruce LaBruce sings the praise of...wait for it... John Travolta & Lily Tomlin in infamous Moment By Moment (1978)

Express Susan Sarandon in costume as Bette Davis for Feud
Interview talks to rising star Alden Ehrenreich - great photoshoot too
Comics Alliance shares concept art from Suicide Squad that wasn't used. Too colorful and fantastically gorgeous (Enchantress) - not grimy and ugly enough for Warner Bros / DC comic aesthetic!
Nerds of Color grades the reviews for Doctor Strange on how they deal with the Swinton casting as The Ancient One 
i09 Star Trek: Discovery just lost Bryan Fuller as its showrunner
Variety Apparently Jude & Robert are going to make yet another Sherlock Holmes movie. Wasn't 2 enough? 
/Film Shaun The Sheep Movie is getting a sequel. Hopefully this one will have a less awkward title 
Coming Soon lots of photos from the set of Thor: Ragnarok as it wraps filming 

Gay Gay Gay
People Trevante Rhodes talks about playing gay in Moonlight (straight stars are getting much better at these interviews but one wishes gay actors could get a crack at some of these key gay roles) 
Variety Will & Grace considering a possible TV revival after their election special reunion
THR Sean Hayes apologizes for not coming out sooner while receiving a prize from OutFest
Kenneth in the (212) Stonewall Fundraising Event gets help from icons like Cher, Madonna & Steve Nicks 

Playbill Patti LuPone on joining Crazy Ex Girlfriend
YouTube John Cleese recap of The Walking Dead's first six seasons - it's funny and I don't even watch the show
Vulture reminds me why I don't watch the show by discussing its more exploitative qualities when it comes to the violence
Fusion a great piece on the non-sexualized dude robots on Westworld 

Just 4 Fun
Gothamist best dog costumes at Halloween in Thompson Square Park including movie spoofs like Human Centipede, The Little Shop of Horrors, and Harry Potter
Vulture remembering the best Celebrity Vines

...And Lady Gaga on Carpool Karaoke 


Oscar Horrors: Japan's Ghost Story "Kwaidan"

Boo! It's "Oscar Horrors". Each evening we'll look back on a horror-connected nomination until Halloween. Here's Dancin' Dan on a spooky Japanese beauty...

Have any of you ever seen Masaki Kobayashi's Kwaidan? I wouldn't be surprised if you hadn't. Even among Japanese films, it's not much talked about today, though it deserves to be. Kwaidan is a rarity in so many ways - an omnibus film made by one director, a truly artful horror film, a groundbreaking work of art. It was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film in 1965 (losing to the heartrending The Shop on Main Street from Czechoslovakia), and it's a bit hard to imagine it getting that far today, even with its arthouse bona fides like a Special Jury Prize at Cannes...

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One Mississippi Burning (Episodes 3-6)

By Steven Fenton

Welcome back to Bay Saint Lucille, readers. Join me in wrapping up the last few episodes of this fine comedy's short first season.

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Academy's Documentary Shorts Shortlist - Watch Them!

When you’re trying to be seen as a short film, it can be difficult to step outside the feature-length shadow. If you’re Oscar-nominated, you’ll eventually be packaged into a multi-film program and play a handful of theaters across the country. Perhaps you’ll be purchased by HBO and find yourself showcased for a premium cable audience – like last year’s Academy Award winner A Girl in the River. Or you may screen at an infinite variety of regional festivals, submitted and curated for a different niche audience. Bottom line: unless you’re being actively scouted, many beautiful short films go unnoticed by moviegoers who would likely be eager to absorb the material if they knew it existed.

So, without further ado, here is the Academy’s ten-wide, recently released shortlist for Best Documentary, Short Subject. You can even watch half of the titles online now. While only half of this list will compete for the gold once nominations are announced in January, here’s hoping the whole group finds a lasting reception that goes beyond the jokes of its category’s presenters at the Oscars.

Oscar-nominated or not, what are some of your favorite short films you’ve checked out recently?


AACTA Awards Hail Mel Gibson, Tanna and... Gods of Egypt?

by Glenn Dunks

Mel Gibson certainly won’t object to waking up to 13 nominations from the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (the AACTA Awards) for his directorial comeback, Hacksaw Ridge. This canny bit of career rehabilitation for the former Oscar winner began, by association, with the revival of Mad Max. Even if Hacksaw Ridge doesn't ultimately pan out in terms of Oscar success, it should at least go some way to redeeming him in the eyes of many who have been turned off by his personal dramas and increasingly violent movies. I have not seen the film which leads today’s AACTA announcement, but a big-budget international co-production with a big name at its helm is catnip to this group --it’s not surprising to see it nominated in every category possible except one (Best Original Score).

The pleasure in these nominations is the swathe of nominations for much smaller, unique titles like the desert noir Goldstone, the quirky coming-of-age fantasy Girl Asleep, and Australia’s foreign language Oscar entry the Vanuatu-set romance Tanna that in any other year (er, one with bigger hits) would have likely been left with scraps. These four films are nominated alongside the all-star Ibsen adaptation The Daughter in the Best Film category. Alas, Gods of Egypt had to settle for technical nominations.

And, in case you’re wondering, Lion is not here because it doesn’t receive a local release (in its home country!) until next January. This time next year, folks.

The full list of nominations with commentary after the jump...

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