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 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | instagram | letterboxd | deviantart 


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 "I love that two people independent of one another gave Claire Trevor an extra star simply for being Claire Trevor." - Glenn

"Interesting to see the take of young people on these movies." - Les

"That was fascinating. I love the thoughts on Executive Suite, post-post-WWII and the "benevolent patriarch." " - B.D.


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SAG / Globe Part 2...TV Noms

Hey kids. I have been in Iceland for a few days (all will be revealed in time) so I thought I'd pop in quickly for three things. First, to thank Anne, Tim and Glenn for providing you content while I'm away. Second to say "congrats!" to Golden Globe nominee Sally Hawkins who I met just before leaving on my trip (interview forthcoming) and who kinda sorta blew my mind by actually knowing / loving the site. Was it my Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) obsession? Third, and finally, to list the TV nominations for Globe & SAG.

I'll have more to say on the movie nominations (where my heart lies as you know) other than "co-sign! What Glenn said" once I return to the States this weekend. But for now let's talk the TV nominations after the jump since I only have a hot minute between events here in Iceland. 

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To Ozu on His 110th Birthday

Today marks not only the 110th anniversay of Japanese director Ozu Yasujirō's birthday, but also the 50th anniversary of his death. He was born on this day in 1903 and died exactly 60 years later in 1963. For a director whose work is very neatly put together and assembled that feels awfully appropriate. It also makes this a rather opportune moment to bring him up. I hadn't seen any of his works until a few months back, but I've now see Tokyo Story (1953), Equinox Flower (1958) and An Autumn Afternoon (1962), the final film he made. I loved Equinox, but it's Tokyo Story that rightly has the reputation as one of the greatest films ever made. Just last year it topped the director's poll in Sight & Sound's greatest movies poll and ranked third on the critics list. Impressive.

I look forward to investigating more of this master's work (I've thankfully got some time). He never got the stateside recognition that his countryman Akira Kurosawa received (no Oscar nominations for Ozu's films), but maybe he may have if he hadn't died so young. Nevertheless, does the occasion spark anything in you dear readers? I'd love to hear what films I should be on the lookout for in any repertory houses. Or just speak up with your own thoughts on the man. 


Animated Feature Contender: The Wind Rises

Tim Brayton will be looking at the key contenders for Oscar's Animated Feature race. He previously reviewed Ernest & Celestine, Frozen, and Letter to Momo. This week: The Wind Rises.

It’s easy enough to expect great, career-capping things of the final film of any important director even when it was largely an accident of timing that it worked out that. And when the director in question has openly announced his retirement with his film still fresh in theaters, that makes it that much more tempting to view it as some kind of Overt Statement. In the case of Hayao Miyazaki’s The Wind Rises, it’s a bit hard to say what an Overt Statement might actually consist of, but we can get this out of the way and then relax: there’s nothing about this that feels like a grand farewell to an artform. Far from being a summing-up, it’s probably the least characteristic film of the director’s canon, except in one respect: it makes the fascination with flight and objects in motion, a concern in every single movie he’s made (if only in a very small way), the central driving force of its plot.

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Decoding the Golden Globes animation nominees.

Tim here. In hacking through the Golden Globes nominations this morning, Glenn asks, "The Wind Rises good for foreign language, but not animated? I'm going to assume they don't allow cross-over or else that's bit wacky." And indeed, (only animated films in English" is exactly the rule that the HFPA follows, though that doesn’t, to my mind, make it any less wacky.

Also a rule for the Golden Globes: there have to be 12 films submitted for consideration to trigger a five-wide set of nominees; anything less than that tops out at three. Makes the Academy’s own “16 candidates equals five nominees” rule seem measured and thoughtful, doesn’t it? In the seven years that the Globes have given out this category, their picks have only lined up exactly with Oscar twice. With the Academy looking to fill five spots to the Globes’ three, this will be the second time that they don’t even nominate the same number of films, though there’s always the possibility that the Academy will simply add two more films to the Globes list. Which, just to remind you, consists of The Croods, Despicable Me 2, and Frozen.

Despicable Me 2


2007: The Globes nominated Bee Movie and The Simpsons Movie; Oscar went for Surf’s Up and the Globe-ineligible Persepolis.

2009: The Globes nominated Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs; Oscar nominated The Secret of Kells.

2010: The Globes nominated Despicable Me and Tangled. There were only three Oscar nominees.

2011: A virtually unrecognizable pair of lists. The Globes gave the award to The Adventures of Tintin, also nominating Arthur Christmas and Cars 2. The Oscars replaced those with A Cat in Paris, Chico & Rita (both ineligible at the Globes), and Kung Fu Panda 2.

2012: The Globes nominated Hotel Transylvania and Rise of the Guardians. The Oscars nominated ParaNorman and The Pirates! Band of Misfits.

This tells us first that the Oscars are far more likely to break for less mainstream fare (not a sentence you get to say everyday), which is good news for The Wind Rises and Ernest & Celestine. I’m not all sure what to make of the Globes ignoring Monsters University; it's hardly an inspired franchise effort, but that's equally true of Despicable Me 2.

At any rate, Frozen should take this handily, and the Oscar race will still be a face-off between that film and The Wind Rises. Keep your eyes on this space, because we’ll be taking a look at that Japanese import today.


Cinderella vs The Sound of Music: Live TV Musicals

It’s been one week since NBC was alive with the sound of Carrie Underwood. Whether you enjoyed The Sound of Musichated it, or were on the fence, you have to admit that it’s the most talked-about television event since the Breaking Bad finale. 18.5 million people tuned in to watch Underwood under pressure, making it NBC’s most watched non-sports event of 2013.

While NBC has been reaping the rewards, Carrie Underwood has drawn fire for her lackluster acting skills. Since a lot of (justifiable) comparisons have been made between Underwood and Julie Andrews, I thought now would be a perfect time to revisit Julie Andrews’s own star turn in a live TV musical event, one that would make television history: the 1957 broadcast of Rodgers And Hammerstein’s Cinderella. Attend that magic ball after the jump

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The Golden Globes: The Nominations Announced

Good morning once again. It feels like just yesterday we were getting up early to watch a major awards precursor announce their list of nominees. Well, that's because it was just yesterday. Yikes! First SAG, now the Hollywood Foreign Press Association. Spread it out, guys! The movies, and us fools who love them, are still all going to be here tomorrow. Or next week! Next week would have been a fabulous time to announce your nominees! I'm still here in bed wrapped up like that Golden Globe award to your left. Anyway, we're all here now and we're going to get the titles to you as fast as presenters Zoe Saldana, Aziz Ansari and Olivia Wilde can read 'em and I can write 'em. My brain nor my typing fingers work particularly well before 10am (okay - noon!), but here's hoping for some surprises. 

While we wait, any last minute hunches? Will the HFPA mimic SAG's shockeroo of no Robert Redford? Will Dallas Buyers Club find its way into the best picture category? Will the comedy categories actually honour a non-prestige comedy? I'm pulling for This is the End if they do, but what about you? Gah! It's so exciting...

Before the nominations have even started and I have to heartily congratulate the HFPA on their "streming". Whatever that means. It's not like thousands are viewing the feed or anything.

Okay, here is the complete list of film nominations with commentary. (We'll get to TV eventually - they were certainly a more interesting lot than SAG; oh hi Orange is the New Black and Orphan Black! - for now let's keep it to film).

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Oscar's Documentaries: Tales from the Shortlist (Part 1)

Glenn here with the first of three pieces looking at this year’s 15 finalists for Best Documentary. Watch along with us!

Prior to the announcement of the shortlist, I had seen roughly 30 of the 151 contenders. Hopefully by the end of the week I will have managed to catch up with all 15 of the shortlisted titles, which will be the first time that has ever happened. As Team Experience's apparent resident doc expert, I am determined to do it, although I would be lying if I said I wasn't disappointed that I couldn't catch even more of the longlist. 151 is a lot even for me.

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer
Synopsis: Filmed over the course of 6 months, this documentary tells the incredible story of three young moments of Pussy Riot, a Russian activist punk band out to disrupt the status quo and bring attention to their homeland's injustices by the hand of Vladimir Putin.
Director: Mike Lerner (Oscar nominee, Hell and Back Again) and Maxim Pozdorovkin
Festivals: Bath, Brisbane, Cornwall, Eastend, GAZE LGBT, Melbourne, New Zealand, Seattle, Sheffield, Sundance, Sydney, Vancouver.
Awards: Special Jury Prize (Sundance), Best Documentary (British Independent Film Awards).
Box Office: N/A (qualifying run), available on HBOgo
Review: If TV networks had Christian Bale balls they would air this illuminating documentary on a never-ending loop parallel to the upcoming Winter Olympics in Russia. They don't and they won't - although maybe HBO, who screened it last summer alongside other long-listed titles such as Valentine Road and Gasland 2 - will. The film itself isn't particularly brilliant, but works as a perfect entry point into the story of Pussy Riot. A story, just by the way, that continues to evolve to this day. It's a very standard documentary, simply charting the story of the imprisonment and subsequent farce of a trial of three Pussy Riot members after they stormed a church alter and performed an anti-Putin anthem. I'm glad I watched it, although there are areas that the filmmakers could have expanded like Russia's growing feminist movement and the history of it.
Oscar: The branch could respond to the very timely subjects of not just artistic oppression and censorship, but also Russia's glaringly plummeting human rights record. The branch has gone with an unexpected music doc before - Tupac: Resurrection in 2003 - but even then, the music of Pussy Riot are a, shall we say, acquired taste. And they did just award Searching for Sugarman. A vote for this film would be more a vote for the issue than the film.

Four more contenders after the jump...

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