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« Yes No Maybe So⁴: Before The Skeleton Tribe Goes To Sleep at St. Vincent's | Main | A Year with Kate: The African Queen (1951) »
Wednesday
Jul022014

Best Shot Schedule - Final Episodes

The first half of the 5th season of "Best Shot" began with the most robust participation ever. I hope we can kick it back up to that notch for these final  episodes. Here's what's on tap so adjust your queues and join the fun... 

we're risking two enigmas in a row...

Tues July 22nd UNDER THE SKIN (2014)
Scarlett Johansson arrives in alien form in this hypnotic visually driven and disturbing motion picture from disappearing act Jonathan Glazer (Birth, Sexy Beast). If you saw it in theaters you'll want to revisit and if you didn't, you're in for a unique experience. [It arrives for rental and sale on DVD/Blu-Ray on July 14th.]

Tues July 29th CRIES & WHISPERS (1973*)
Since we're celebrating 1973 all July to coincide with the Smackdown, here's your Best Cinematography winner. Ingmar Bergman's extraordinary movie about sisters and death. Cheerful! 

*IMDb lists this as a 1972 picture claiming it was released in '72 in the States (and it's true it was nominated for the Golden Globes that year). I haven't done the research but that's mighty confusing since that would seemingly make it ineligible for Oscar play in 1973. It premiered in Bergman's own Sweden in March of 1973 and was a huge out of competition sensation at Cannes in May in 1973 and was up for five Oscars for 1973 (by some accounts, it was Bergman's biggest hit of all time stateside) so I consider it a 1973 picture. Curiously Sweden made no submission for the Oscars in 1973 though this film would probably have trumped the beloved winner, Truffaut's Day For Night.  

Tues August 5th TBA

Tues August 12th SUDDENLY LAST SUMMER (1959)
I've been waiting for an opportunity for us all to jump in on Anne Marie's "A Year with Kate" action, so here's our most visually elaborate chance. Her awesome series hits this landmark gothic this week. Since the Tennessee Williams films was directed by four time Oscar winner Joseph Mankiewicz (All About Eve) and stars Katharine Hepburn, Elizabeth Taylor (both nominated for Best Actress!) and Montgomery Clift that's five great artists of the cinema all grouped together for our sensationalistic amusement in this insane story of predatory homos, evil mothers, and more... with some of the best taglines the cinema ever gave us outside of Susan Hayward pictures:

...suddenly last summer Cathy knew she was being used for something evil!"

The one they're all talking about"

These are powers and passions without precedent in motion pictures."

[Amazon Instant | Netflix | iTunes]

August 19th TBA

August 26th TBA

September 2nd TBA - SEASON FINALE

Any suggestions. It gets harder and harder to find movies readily available on multiple platforms now that Netflix keeps losing Instant Watch titles beyond endless B to Z grade movies and doesn't care about their DVD business. Can you believe that Collateral, for example, which is only 10 years old is not available for rent on Amazon or iTunes? And not Instant Watchable on Netflix either. I wanted to do that one but I don't think enough people would participate given its bizarre scarcity.

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Reader Comments (25)

I would love a Hit Me With Your Best Shot about Darling (1965). Such an interesting time-and-a-place movie with gorgeous black-and-white cinematography for ready consumption. (Either that one or 1978's Interiors.)

July 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMareko

They all sound good but I'm most excited for Suddenly, Last Summer. Would love to see a best shot for The Heiress. Wyler did some very interesting staging in it.

July 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

About Cries and Whispers, I thought it premiered only in NYC in 1972, and back then a movie had to play in LA to be eligible. I figure you are more knowledgable of Oscar history than I am, so what do you think? Is that possible?

July 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterConrado

*dying sister, not mother.

July 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

I would be fascinated to see a HMWYBS tackling Japanese animation. The obvious choice would be the master himself, Miyazaki, and my suggestion would be the fantastic Spirited Away. Anyone who participates will be spoiled for choice, because that movie has some of the best shots I've ever seen. A more non-traditional choice in the same field would be the psychological thriller Perfect Blue by Satoshi Kon, but I don't know how readily available that would be in the US.

If it's limited to live action, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon would be awesome.

July 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterF

F -- i almost scheduled Spirited Away once :)

July 2, 2014 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

@Nathaniel - does that mean its chances of making it are lower? I hope not! Regardless, your choices have always been interesting. I don't comment on the Shots as much even though I like reading them, if only because the participants usually say it with much more elegance and articulacy than I ever could.

July 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterF

I believe Shampoo is available at Amazon, Netflix and iTunes.

July 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

CAB.
BAR.
RAY.

July 2, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterpar

Shampoo, Shampoo, Shampoo..................Three of the most beautiful people in the world at one time at their most beautiful. I already know which shot I would go for.

July 2, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

How about any of the Before movies? The script and acting gets the most attention but I think some of the shots there are absolutely magical - I already know which one I'd do for Before Sunset!

Looking forward to the second part of the season!

July 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLam

I'm terrified/thrilled because i totally see myself doing a Best Shot for each Batman movie.

I oddly haven't seen Batman Begins though. It always looked too boring to me.

July 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDerreck.

SO EXCITED for these! I've been wanting to see Under The Skin, Cries & Whispers and Suddenly, Last Summer.

July 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterSquasher88

Ok, here I go again. Next September is A Woman Under the Influence 40th anniversary... Amazon Instant Watch is available... August is Love Streams 30th anniversary, but it`s harder to find. But it`ll be released in BluRay and DVD August 12, finally!

July 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Cal -- but I've seen Cassavettes pictures before. I know you're always suggesting that one but isn't it mostly a performance piece? Last time I looked at it (i have the DVD) it seems very low-fi visuals.

July 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNATHANIEL R

Can't wait for Suddenly Last Summer. It's so hipnotic and disturbing at the same time.

And since it is about Taylor-Clift, may I suggest A Place in the Sun? I thought you might've covered that one, but I checked this list

http://thefilmexperience.net/blog/tag/hit-me-with-your-best-shot?currentPage=6

and it's not there.

July 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenteriggy

these three are based solely on the fact that they are visually interesting and available on netflix instant:
FUNNY FACE (we haven't ever done an audrey hepburn and this musical may make you all forgive her for MY FAIR LADY...)
VALLEY OF THE DOLLS
MANHATTAN (we can say it's in honor of MAGIC IN THE MOONLIGHT in theaters at the end of july)

but i think we absolutely must do for the season finale, a great behemoth: GONE WITH THE WIND (it's the 75th anniversary of the film AND Sept 2 happens to be the 150 anniversary of when Sherman captured Atlanta. with 2 such huge anniversaries, we kinda HAVE to do it...)

July 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterabstew

Nathaniel, not really. I love the way his camerawork builds a sense of intimacy. It's not only to let the camera roll. Usually people get amazed by light in cinematography, but what about movement? If you look the visuals of movie like Opening Night, for example, you have very intricate camera work dissecting characters from every angle, putting the audience exactly inside that storm though mirrors and unbelievable close-ups. When Godard saw Samuel Fuller's I Shot Jesse James he said those were the most expressive close-ups since Dreyer's The Passion of Joan of Arc. If you look the way Cassavetes filmed faces (the concept was so important to him that he named one of his movies after it) that you can see clearly Dreyer-inspired-movies like Breaking the Waves using the exact same Cassavetes technique to film human beings and faces, using movement to find the same effect of expression of the human soul.

The visuals in his movies are very influential to a lot of filmmakers after him, from Lars von Trier to Arnaud Desplechin, from Rachel Getting Married to Celebration to Shortbus. Of course you could just say that he was influenced by the nouvelle vague, but you can see Shadows, in 1959, already had this vision going on.

July 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Anyway, I'll stop preaching! Lol.

(Spirited Away would be a magnificent choice)

July 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Fitst pic of Sigourney in Ridley Scott's Exodus starring as Tula plus Bale,Edgerton and Kingsley!!!


http://www.pajiba.com/trade_news/im-not-religious-but-christian-bales-moses-can-take-me-up-a-mountain-any-old-time.php

July 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMRRIPLEY

Thelma & Louise!! But everyone would probably choose the selfie :)

July 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDavid

I second the idea of Gone With the Wind! I love the film, it's certainly sweeping, abounds with choices for shots and the reasons sited are good ones.

July 3, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

Bit of a non sequitur, but gosh ... has Nicole (or anyone) ever looked more beautiful than in Batman Forever?

July 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAlex Weisler

To clear up your puzzlement over Cries and Whispers' eligibility:

In that era, foreign films were eligible for nominations in whatever year they were released in LA, even if they had competed for best foreign film in an earlier year. Look at the screenplay nominees in the 60s and 70s -- it's quite common for foreign language efforts to turn up the year after their Foreign Film nominations (or even wins). Battle of Algiers in fact turned up 2 years later.

In that period in the 70s, foreign hits quite often opened in NY in the Fall, but didn't hit LA till earl in the new year. The NY Critics voted Cries and Whispers, Day for Night and Amarcord best picture in successive years '72-'74 (with the latter two also winning the Foreign Film Oscar), but each showed up in the subsequent year's Oscar nominations. Cries and Whispers was the only one to get best picture, but all three achieved directing/screenwriting nods (the Amarcord one is the one that led to Spielberg's infamous caught-on-camera moment when he realized he wasn't nominated for Jaws).

The rule has since been changed, and now a film can't compete in a later year if it was earlier up for best Foreign Film. Had it not been changed, I have little doubt a movie like The Lives of Others would have received a screenplay nomination in 2007, the year it went into general release.

July 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTom Q

I will forever and always recommend "Tales of the Night" for Hit Me With Your Best Shot; it's got absolutely incredible visuals. Also, having just checked, you can rent it on Amazon and I-tunes, though I don't know about Netflix.

Other suggestions;

*Citizen Kane

*Titanic

*Anything done by Ray Harryhausen

*All About Eve

And despite my...ambivalence about the movie, I agree that Gone With the Wind is probably an excellent choice for closing out the season.

Looking forward to the Batman one! I'll probably wind up doing three, though I'll try to keep it to one shot each.

July 5, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterallisontooey

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