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Entries in Hell or High Water (9)

Saturday
Aug122017

On This Day: Basquiat, Last Temptation, Cleopatra

on this day in history as it relates to showbiz

30 BC  Cleopatra commits suicide, allegedly by purposeful snake bite. I don't remember that scene in Liz Taylor's Cleopatra but it might have been at the four hour mark and t'was possibly asleep

How to honor this day: play with someone's snake. In the absence of a suitable one, wink at someone as saucily as Liz

← 1915  "Of Human Bondage" by W Somerset Maugham published. 19 years later it becomes a movie and marks Bette Davis's ascent to superstar actress

How to honor this day: Let it all out like Bette in that performance that's pure 🔥

1927 Wings (1927) the first movie to win Best Picture has its NYC premiere. Five months later it will open in Los Angeles (things took longer to get around in those days) and four months after the LA premiere it will win the very first Oscars.

How to honor this day: Go see Dunkirk if you haven't which has good aerial sequences and be astounded that Wings set the bar so high for aerial sequences 90 years ago without the aid of current movie technology.

Jean-Michael Basquiat and Madonna in 1982, part of the East Village / Alphabet city scene that produced many legendary figures

1988 The modern artist Jean-Michael Basquiat dies of an overdose and Martin Scorsese's Last Temptation of Christ opens in theaters. 

How to honor this day: Watch either Scorsese's film or Julian Schnabel's Basquiat biopic starring a young Jeffrey Wright as the painter and David Bowie as Warhol (though sadly no one plays Madonna)

2016 Hell or High Water opens in theaters becoming a sleeper hit and eventually winning a Best Picture nomination.

How to honor this day: Read Daniel Walber's interesting column on its production design

Dana IveyHappy Birthday
Actors: LaKeith Stanfield, Cantinflas, Dana Ivey, George Hamilton, Dominique Swain, Cara Delevingne, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Krause, Jane Wyatt, John Cazale; Other crafts: director Ralph Nelson (Lilies of the Field), Bo-Derek-wrangler John Derek (Tarzan the Ape Man), writer William Goldman (The Princess Bride), rapper Sir Mix a Lot, and cinematographer Nelsson Lik-wai Yu (Still Life)

Oscar Winners Born on this Day:
Pioneer/producer/director/legend Cecil B DeMille (The Ten Commandments as epic finale to that career), actor/famous brother Casey Affleck, costume designer Ulla-Britt Söderlund (Barry Lyndon), and sound editor Mike Hopkins (King Kong

 

 

Thursday
Jan052017

Art Director's Guild Nominations

The Art Director's Guild can give us a taste of what's to come for Oscar but that's the reductive way of looking at it. By having multiple categories they give us a much better sense of what these craftsmen thought of the work done in any given film year... or at least told us which screeners they caught up with. Instead of 5 annual nominees like the Oscars, they have 15. Or in this year's case 16 titles (there was a tie in "period film").

MIDNIGHT IN PARIS won a surprise Academy nomination for Production Design (without an ADG nomination). Might CAFE SOCIETY (which *has* an ADG nomination) make the Oscar list despite a current low profile?

Which will go on to Oscar? (I'll have to rethink our chart which has four films which didn't score with the ADG in the top ten though one of them, The Handmaiden, still feels possible as a nomination since foreign films don't generally show up at guild awards before their Oscar nods) Oscar eventual lineup is remarkably similar from year to year in terms of how it pulls from the ADG nominations. For example, here is this decade thus far: 

2015: Oscar chose 3 from ADG's period pieces, 1 each from their contemporary and fantasy selections
2014: Oscar chose 2 from ADG's period pieces, 2 film from fantasy, none from contemporary. They filled the remaining spot with a film ADG had not selected (Mr Turner)
2013: Oscar chose 3 from ADG's period pieces, 1 each from their contemporary and fantasy selections
2012: Oscar chose 3 from ADG's period pieces, 2 from fantasy, none from contemporary.
2011: Oscar chose 2 from ADG's period pieces, 1 from fantasy, none from contemporary, and 2 films the ADG had not selected (Midnight in Paris & War Horse)
2010: Oscar chose 2 from ADG's period pieces, 3 from fantasy, none from contemporary.

The safest bet is that they'll do the same as usual this year with a 3,1,1 split for ADG's Period, Fantasy, and Contemporary fields. All the nominations are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec212016

On Loss and Letting Go in 2016

Year in Review. Every afternoon, a new wrap-up. Today Steven Fenton on grief at the movies... 

The loss of a parent is one of life’s great tragedies. As long as humans have been telling stories, they have reflected on the trauma of this loss. It’s one of few facets of life that almost every person will experience. So it’s no surprise that we, as a society, have explored this grief across generations and media, from ancient epics to pop songs. We’ve turned the subject over in our hearts and minds, examining it from every angle. The threat of losing a parent is a concept and anxiety we’re actually raised with --children are introduced to countless stories featuring orphaned heroes who find strength in their loss, and transform their pain into triumph.

2016 was a tumultuous year for many of us, and our on screen avatars suffered as well. My mother passed away in January, and shortly after that, I watched as House of Cards’ Claire Underwood and Veep’s Selena Meyer lost their mothers in remarkably similar ways (played to very different effect)...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec122016

We ♥︎ the San Diego Film Critics Society

I want to make out with every member of the San Diego Film Critics Society right now. Why? It's not for their individual choices, no, though some of them are good. It's for this simple fact: they looked at the entire film year and not just movies that are just now hitting theaters. And, my friends, that is EXACTLY what film critics are not only supposed to do but best suited to do. The publicity teams and Oscar campaigns are already on the job of reminding people about which movies are coming out. Critics should notice more than what's being shoved at them minutes before they vote. 

Hell or High Water is their big winner but other pre-November releases in their mix include Aquarius, The Nice Guys, Love & Friendship and more. Good work San Diego! You can see the full list after the jump...  

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Dec072016

Podcast: Critics Awards, Elle, Hacksaw Ridge, More...

This week a bifurcated podcast. In the first half Nick, Joe, and Nathaniel continue their discussion of Elle. Then Katey joins us to talk about the recent surge of critics awards. 

Index (42 minutes)
00:01 A little more on Elle, Huppert, and provocateur auteurs
13:00 Bleed For This, The Fighter, Hidden Figures
19:20 Katey joins us & Nick goes to New Zealand
23:00 Critic prizes, Critics Choice Nomination, NBR, the lack of transparency, and Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge
40:00 A bit on Hell or High Water

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments. On the next podcast: Manchester by the Sea and Reader Questions Answered! 

Critics Award Rush...

Saturday
Dec032016

Amusing Film Tweets o' the Week

many more after the jump...

 

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