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Entries in Hit Me With Your Best Shot (236)

Tuesday
May232017

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: "Moonlight"

by Nathaniel R

Little and Juan framed by nature

A truth: No matter how much you love a movie on first viewing, what makes it become a classic, a masterpiece even, is less predictable. That's in how it endures and oft times whether it can keep giving you new information. Aging, even for non-living things like a movie which is already "complete," before it begins that process, is tricky. But after a handful of screenings of Moonlight over the past nine months, it's quite obvious that the film (not to mention its surprise Best Picture win) will age spectacularly well. A prediction: We're just barely getting to know its marvel.

The Hit Me With Your Best Shot series initially started as an idea to honor Cinematography but film is so collaborative and complex that that's not how it turned out. It's ended up being more of a mise-en-scène appreciation ... sometimes the images that grab you are lighting based, other times it's the perfect marriage of a sound and picture, and then there are performances so indelible that they even become the primary iconic visual. Because Moonlight is rich in all of its moving parts, I opted to just look at the first act (for now). And I did something I never do: I watched it with the sound turned off... 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
May212017

"Hit Me With Your Best Shot" Returns !

SURPRISE! "Hit Me With Your Best Shot", has been renewed for an eighth season after all. You may recall that we called our last season the "final" season but in this age of every old TV show getting another shot at life, I've changed my mind. (I think I know what went wrong last season but I'll keep that to myself.)  If you're new to the blog or haven't yet experimented with actually participating, I guarantee a good time. 

UP NEXT

THIS TUESDAY Moonlight (2016, Barry Jenkins)
The Best Picture winner is Now streaming on Amazon Prime. If you don't use Amazon, it's also available for rent on iTunes.

Tues May 30th Wonder Woman (1976)
We're doing Season 1 Episodes 5/6 (two parter) "The Feminine Mystique" which is largely considered one of the best episodes of the series and is after the show perfected Diana's spinning costume change (which was rougher / incomplete in the first few episodes). Plus this one features Debra Winger as "Wonder Girl", which was only her second role ! [Amazon  (per episode or season) | iTunes (full season) ]

Tues June 6th Parent Trap (1961)
For my birthday and to honor all the Geminis among you, my favorite childhood movie starring Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills! [Amazon | iTunes | Netflix ]

HOW TO PLAY? 

  1. Watch the assigned movie over the weekend
  2. Post your single favorite shot from that movie any time on Tuesday (i.e. what you deem "best" for whatever reason) on your blog/tumblr/youtube/instagram/twitter/pinterest whatever and tell us why you chose it!
  3. Let us know you've done so and we link up

Everything we've previously covered is after the jump... 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug302016

Making a "Splash"

I'll be doing that tomorrow as I've been under the weather today. But don't despair if you needed a fix of Ron Howard's best movie (you heard me), the charming fish out of water comedy Splash from 1984. Here are seven articles from Best Shot participants to enjoy. Click on the photos to dive into their takes on this romantic winner about a man and his mermaid. 

Scopophiliac at the Cinema

Antagony & Ecstasy

Rachel's Reviews

Sorta That Guy

Dancin Dan on Film

Christian Bonamusa

Allison Tooey

Tuesday
Aug232016

Hit Me With Your Best Shot: "The Get Down"

We cannot catch a break here at TFE Headquarters this week (honesty this summer. Uff) so this one will be brief. If you haven't yet seen Baz Luhrmann's latest, the first half of a first season of a show about the birth of hiphop called "The Get Down" have at it. Due to time constraints we've only watched the first episode but it delivered on the Baz-ness that we have so desperately missed.

Here's my choice for best shot with commentary after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Aug212016

"Best Shot" Finale

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Apologies that last week's episode was  delayed one week but real life got in the way. So this Tuesday I'll be discussing Baz Luhrmann's The Get Down and Splash will serve as our season (series?) finale of Hit Me With Your Best Shot next week. It'll also double as the wrap up of our Year of the Month (1984) just after the Smackdown.

And then it's on to fall film season, festivals, and Oscar build-up! 

This Tuesday Evening, August 23rd
THE GET DOWN (2016) 

Pick one shot from the first episode of Baz Luhrmann's Netflix series described as "a mythic saga of how New York at the brink of bankruptcy gave birth to hip-hop, punk and disco"... though from more intricate descriptions it sounds like it's mostly hip-hop we're talking about.  Can he bring that Moulin Rouge! magic? Was it worth the insane investment with a budget of $10 million per episode? (The first half of the first season -- six of twelve episodes -- began streaming on August 12th) 

SEASON FINALE  - Tuesday Evening, August 30th
SPLASH (1984)
With 1984 being our "year of the month" and a rumored gender flipped remake coming, we'll look back at the best live-action mermaid movie that I was obsessed with as a kid. Daryl Hannah's Crimped Hair forever!

 

Wednesday
Aug102016

Best Shot/Best Costume: "Les Girls"

For this week's episode of our cinematography series Hit Me With Your Best Shot we wanted a slight curveball as a way to celebrate the release of the Costume Design documentary Women He's Undressed. It's now available to rent on iTunes or purchase on other digital platforms. (Jose's interview with the director here). The film is about the legendary Orry-Kelly, who designed a truckload of classic Hollywood features and stars, and won three Oscars in the 1950s for An American in Paris, Les Girls  and Some Like It Hot.  So those playing "Best Shot" this week could choose any of those three. I watched Les Girls since it gets the least attention and they even use its image for the documentary's poster (left).

Les Girls  (George Cukor, 1957) is not well remembered today but curiously it reminds us yet again that mainstream Hollywood in the 50s and 60s paid a lot of attention to foreign auteurs and absorbed (or ripped off - you be the judge) their styles and conceits. The semi-musical (a few dance numbers mainly) concerns a libel lawsuit involving a former showbiz act "Barry Nichols and Les Girls" and in the courtroom we hear three different versions of the group's break up in Paris. In each of the stories Barry Nichols (Gene Kelly) gets mixed up romantically with a different girl (America's Mitzi Gaynor, Britain's Kay Kendall, and Finland's Taina Elg) and their musical act eventually implodes. It's clearly modelled on Akira Kurosawa's Rashômon (1950) which had taken an Honorary Oscar from the Academy earlier that decade.

Taina Elg quits dancing in Les Girls (1957)

So let's choose a best shot and a best costume after the jump. Happily my three favorite shots come from each of the film's three acts...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug092016

How I Feel / How I Wish I Felt

How I Feel / How I Wish I Felt as demonstrated by DeliveranceI seem to have done something to my shoulder* so typing has become painful. People are performing superhuman feats at the Olympics whilst looking sexy and I'm watching like a mangled corpse in my living room. Fun times. Alas, that means this week's Best Shot Special Edition focusing on both cinematography and a Best Costume choice (as tribute to Orry-Kelly with the release of the documentary "Women He Undressed") might be very late. I'm taking frequent long stretching breaks.

Best Shot Articles Elsewhere
Jason Choi *first time participant* looks at the final sequence in An American in Paris (1951) 
I Want to Believe relates to Sugar Kane in Some Like it Hot (1959)
Dancin' Dan on Marilyn's curves and despair in Some Like It Hot (1959) 
Allison Tooey looks at the musical Les Girls (1957) 
Timothy Brayton has a lot to say about the Best Picture winner An American in Paris (1951)

* by shoulder I obviously mean back (the pain likes to surprise me as to where it will show up) because I have a historically problematic one. When everyone is looking at Olympians like "what are those circular bruises on their bodies?" I'm all 'Oh, so and so's been cupping' because I've basically tried every treatment in my lifetime. 

Saturday
Jul302016

HMYBS: Close Encounters of the Julia Kind

Best Shot 1977 Party, Finale
Julia Cinematography by: Douglas Slocombe (2nd of 3 nominations)
Close Encounters of the Third Kind Cinematography by: Vilmos Zsigmond (1st of 4 nominations. His only win)

In case you missed our little Cinematography 1977 party we previously looked at the Oscar nominees Looking for Mr Goodbar, The Turning Point, and the little seen Ernest Hemingway inspired drama Islands in the Stream. Now that we're entirely out of time (SUPPORTING ACTRESS SMACKDOWN OF 1977 IS TOMORROW!) here's a quick look at our final two nominated pictures. This time we'll do it in the abbreviated spirit we always intended for the series but could never manage due to longwindedness: a single image and why we claim it as "best".

JULIA

Click to read more ...