Oscar History

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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Nick went to the Oscars!

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Oscar Luncheon

Yesterday the Academy held their annual Oscar luncheon for the nominees from 2015 cinema. Maybe we're all eager to move on to 2016 but all in good time. There's still 21 days of the 2015 film year given that it doesn't wrap up until the credits roll on Oscar night.

The luncheon is the event with the cheesy "class photo". So let's look at that and talk noteworthy moments and how we're all feeling at this point after the jump.

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Boy Culture revisiting Maurice with director James Ivory 30 years later
The Guardian previews Alone in Berlin, a new WW II drama starring Emma Thompson & Brendan Gleeson
Playbill How the Newsies choreographer got Channing Tatum tap dancing for Hail, Caesar!
The Film Stage 15 movies to see after you've seen Hail, Caesar!

Film Mixtape Chris Feil's top ten.
MNPP [nsfw] Tom Hardy on the set of Taboo... with tattoos 
Antagony & Ecstasy comparing current Best Picture nominees to previous Best Picture winners 
Pajiba on Star Wars...dildos? 
i09 argues that Virtuosity (1995) starring Russell Crowe and Denzel Washington now works as a 'bad movie we love' instead of just a bad movie 

Today's Watch...
I was watching George Clooney and Channing Tatum lounge and dance about in Roman soldier and Sailor costumes during the big game so I watched the new movie commercials afterwards. X-Men Apocalypse, Captain America: Civil War, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2, The Jungle Blook, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Jason BourneIndependence Day: Resurgence are included after the jump.

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TV at the Movies: Agent Carter goes Hollywood, and Hedy Lamarr gets her due.

Since several members of Team Experience are high on Agent Carter, here's Lynn Lee to talk about its new Tinseltown resonance.

Are you enjoying Marvel’s “Agent Carter”?  If you're not watching, you should. The show’s really upped its game in its second season, in part because its main characters have found their groove, but in even larger part because of its change of setting.  

Dispatched to Los Angeles to assist the West Coast office of the Strategic Science Reserve, Agent Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) quickly finds herself in the heart of Hollywood’s Golden Age.  Her old friend Howard Stark (Dominic Cooper) is doing his best impression of another famed Howard of the period, dabbling in filmmaking but really most interested in collecting starlets as poolside decorations and “production assistants.”  Meanwhile, Peggy and Jarvis (James d’Arcy) do their own best impression of Nick and Nora Charles (although they also prefigure original Avengers John Steed and Emma Peel), trading exquisitely polite British quips as they navigate palm trees and movie sets, and they’re a delight to watch. 

But it’s not just Howard Stark who draws Peggy into Tinseltown’s orbit. More...

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Beauty vs Beast: It's A Walk Off!

Jason from MNPP here, flashing my signature look your way as we mount this week's "Beauty vs Beast" -- it's fifteen years later and we're set to return to the Derek Zoolander School Who Can't Read Good And Wanna Learn To Do Other Stuff Good Too this Friday with Zoolander 2, the 2001 film's slow-cooked sequel. The film reunites most of the original cast while bringing in a few new (stretched, preening) faces - I can't even tell you how many times I've watched Kristen Wiig's "Youth Milk" commercial; she's the entire reason I will be returning. I do have good feelings towards the original film though, so let's make our best right turns and flash a Blue Steel backwards in time...

PREVIOUSLY We wished Jennifer Jason Leigh happy birthday with a glance back at 1992's Single White Female, and this time out it was her crazy crazy Hedra that came out on top, sticking a single high heel (and sixty percent of the vote) into poor innocent Bridget Fonda's fashion hopes and dreams. Said DJDeeJay:

"Yes, she kills a puppy, but she also gives a guy a BJ AGAINST HIS WISHES. Totally subversive, haven't seen anything like it before or since."


Silence of the Lambs Pt 1: The Grisly Case and a Hustling Rube.

For the 25th anniversary of the influential horror classic Silence of the Lambs, winner of 5 Oscars for 1991 (Picture, Director, Actress, Actor, and Adapted Screenplay), Team Experience is revisiting the picture, tag-team style all week long.

Cue: opening credits.

Pt 1 by Keiran Scarlett

00:00:01 – Howard Shore’s score always transports me into the mood of this film. It’s at once simple, yet incredibly evocative and iconic. 

00:00:24 – Seeing the Orion logo calls to mind Jodie Foster’s Oscar speech where she thanked Orion Pictures “as it used to be and how it will always be in [her] heart”. Amen, sister.  Seriously, check out the slate of Orion releases. There are some true gems in there.

00:01:31 – The opening montage of young FBI trainee Clarice Starling in the woods near Quantico, Virginia (thanks, super!) I love how Jodie Foster plays Clarice Starling as incredibly enthusiastic, but not naïve. That little look of “let’s do this thing” that she gives when she climbs that rope into the clearing. This performance is a great assembly of perfect little details.

more after the jump...

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Breaking Down Oscar's Production Design Nominees

Adam Stockhausen and Anna Pinnock with their Grand Budapest Hotel OscarsDavid here with a closer look at this year’s Oscar nominees for Production Design. Not too close, mind: this is all about the big picture. The PD is responsible for the entire art department, and as such, the entire visual look and feel of a film. If it’s difficult to separate that idea from what cinematographers and costume designers do, well, that’s the difficulty in awarding all these disciplines as if they act independently of one another. Such is the nature of the awards season beast.

The origin of the title is an amusing, unsurprising fable: William Cameron Menzies, coined it to describe his own function on the set of Gone with the Wind (a mammoth task, to be sure) after David O. Selznick instructed everyone that "Menzies is the final word” on the set on every technical aspect of the visual production. Menzies, incidentally, was the first Oscar winner of the award, under the label ‘Best Interior Decoration’ - the award changed to 'Best Art Direction – Set Decoration’ in 1947, and didn’t become ‘Best Production Design’ until 2012.

As we saw earlier in the week when the Art Directors Guild gave out their awards, the Oscar race seems to be a two-horse race. [More...]

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Almodóvar's 'Julieta' Gets a Trailer

Manuel here. A new Pedro Almodóvar film is always cause for celebration. Yes, even when his last one (I'm So Excited) left many of us cold. Initially titled Silencio, the film is now called Julieta, making it only the second time he's named a film after its heroine. Let's hope Julieta makes for a more pleasant and engaging character than Kika, though.

The trailer is wonderfully oblique, with very little dialogue, so those of you who would otherwise need English subtitles can still bask in the visual sumptuousness of Jean-Claude Larrieu's photography. The D.P. is one of many newcomers to the Almodóvar family: both of his leading ladies, Emma Suárez and Adriana Ugarte (sharing the title role) are making their Almodrama debuts. But don't worry, actress Rossy de Palma and composer Alberto Iglesias are also onboard, giving Julieta the feel of vintage Pedro. Indeed, the visuals and what little we know of the plot — a chronicle of a woman's life from 1985 to 2015, with some unspoken secrets ready to be divulged — suggest a Volver-type melodrama which is as great a reference point as we could hope for.

We won't do a full on Yes/No/Maybe So because we're obviously a full on YES, but you can check out the trailer below and let us know how excited you are about Pedro's 20th feature which premieres in April in Spain, and August (!!) in the UK, suggesting we're not bound to get it Stateside until the Fall.


43rd Annie Award winners

Over the weekend, ASIFA-Hollywood held the 43rd annual Annie Awards, honoring the year in animation. Their complete list of winners is here, but some of the highlights that you should be aware of:

• Pixar's Inside Out, an Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature and widely assumed to be the frontunner in that category, had a terrific night, winning 10 awards for everything from its production design to Phyllis Smith's vocal performance as the mopey character Sadness, to Best Animated Feature.

It was a virtually clean sweep of the animated feature categories, interrupted only by...

• Pixar's other film, The Good Dinosaur, which managed to overcome the stigma of being Pixar's first-ever box office bomb to nab the award for Outstanding Animated Effects in an Animated Production.

• Fellow Oscar nominee Boy and the World, the little masterpiece from Brazil that I've raved about before, won the inaugural award for Best Animated Feature-Independent. Hey, whatever it takes to make sure a masterpiece like that gets to walk away with a trophy.

• Continuing its award-winning weekend, The Revenant won an award for Outstanding Character Animation in a Live Action Production for everybody's favorite, Judy the Bear. The Revenant is also nominated for Best Visual Effects at the Oscars, and if it wins, it's going to be mostly on the basis of the same character.