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Wednesday
Jan132016

HBO LGBT History: 1989 Oscar Flashback Best Documentary

Last week we enjoyed the eloquent musings of one Stephen Sondheim and quibbled over whether Todd Haynes’s intentionally queasy and dizzying take on “I’m Still Here” was worth including in James Lapine’s documentary on the Broadway composer. This week we’re taking a break from our regular programming and going back in time to celebrate one of HBO’s earliest Oscar victories.

As you may or may not know, films produced by HBO have won over 20 Oscars. Last year alone, HBO dominated both documentary categories with Citizenfour and Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 emerging victorious in their respective categories. And so, let us travel back to March 1990 when Robert Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (discussed here) won the Best Documentary Oscar. [More...]

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Tuesday
Jan122016

The DGA Nominees. Other directors still blind to the genius of Todd Haynes

Weep with me now my fellow people of good taste for the continual shunning of Todd Haynes at awards shows. Save one. Haynes will always have the Independent Spirits as loyal cheering squad. They've miraculously nominated him for his direction on every single one of his feature films.

Yes well before even the bulk of cinephiles realized he was going to be a legendary filmmaker. They nominated him for his strange triptych debut (Poison) and his then quite divisive/confounding but now universally admired sophomore effort ([safe]) and they've been true ever since. I bring this up to quench the tears and prepare for the worst on Thursday in case Carol is barely acknowledged which is what usually happens with Todd Haynes films on Oscar nomination morning. Even Far From Heaven (2002), his biggest hit, got a weak 4 nominations despite having the kind of "Spectacular Spectacular!" craftsmanship that at least nets filmmakers Moulin Rouge! honors (nope - Far From Heaven was stiffed in both Art Direction and Costumes. Hilarious to contemplate but true.) 

The Academy's directing branch is much more exclusive in numbers and arguably more sophisticated than the much larger voting body of the directors guild, but it's best to lower expectations; the world is often a mysteriously cruel place! Nevertheless it's frustrating that an auteur as singular and consistently wondrous as Todd Haynes has trouble getting honors from peers. He's in good company at least. Great artists in every field throughout time have had to decades for people to catch up with their greatness. Sometimes it didn't even happen until after they died. Remember that Alfred Hithcock never won a Directing Oscar and Douglas Sirk, one of of Todd Haynes's greatest influences, was never even nominated for one. Curiously Sirk, who specialized in the melodrama (those are often about women and you know how Oscar feels about women's pictures - Ewww!) was nominated by the DGA once, for Imitation of Life but an Oscar nomination did not follow. Generally Oscar will boot one of the DGA nominees for someone else but since they haven't gone 5/5 for awhile we're probably due for another year of exact crossover. 

We should probably talk about the actual nominees not just one of our all time favorite auteurs. So let's do that after the jump...

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Tuesday
Jan122016

Tuesday Top Ten: Golden Globes Fashion

Jose here. Can it be that the Golden Globes have now out-Oscared the Oscars in terms of incredible fashion? For a few years now, the stars have been saving their boldest looks for the Globes (Emma Stone's incredible pants combo! Felicity Jones' impressive Dior ball gown!) and this year the trend continues, as the stars wore their most idiosyncratic looks to the HFPA's annual open bar. 

Top Ten Golden Globe Gowns after the jump


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Tuesday
Jan122016

CAS Nominees & Oscar Predictions. Do you like the sound of these movies? 

The Cinema Audio Society, which awards the sound mixing in movies, is our only real clue beforehand of how the two sound categories (mixing and editing) at the Oscars might go. The MPSE, which honors their brethren, the sound editors, doesn't announce its nominees for "The Golden Reels" until two weeks after the Oscar nominations. So this morning's announcement is another last minute reminder that Nathaniel (c'est moi) needs to get both his final Oscar predictions on (TODAY AND TONIGHT) and publish those Film Bitch Award nominations -- at least the Oscar correlative categories (TODAY AND TOMORROW) -- which are his own long-running film honors and should not to be confused with the Team Experience Awards which come from the contributors here and are going up in one week's time. 

So basically ALL of that is happening... simultaneously. Maybe. Definitely. Hopefully. But how ???

Surveillance footage of TFE Headquarters, shows Nathaniel stockpiling snacks, Motrin, and water bottles. The latter he will both drink from and pee in, as he's not allowed to move until Friday morning once Oscar noms have sufficiently sunken in. But first he is downing pots of coffee, typing this very post you're reading and begging himself to quit typing in the third person.

CAS Nominees for the film year, as well as both Oscar Predictions and Film Bitch Awards. Yes we're doing it all (Yipee) after the jump

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Tuesday
Jan122016

The Seven Best Ladies of the Globes

Chris here with a post-Globes actress love hangover. Sorry boys, but unless your name was Denzel, you didn't do much during the ceremony to win our attention. Here are the seven women who won the evening (and we're not even talking best dressed yet. In no particular order, except for this golden girl.

C O N S I D E R

Let's hear it for Brie Larson! After earning accolades for Room and keeping her social media game on point, she's finally got a big prize to set her apart from tough competition. Add in a charming speech where she credited the Room team above and below the line (including best friend Jacob Tremblay), and we've got the once-supposed frontrunner securing that status for real.

Oh and speaking of that winning speech...

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Tuesday
Jan122016

Curio: Bowie Forever

Pt 1 Goodbye to Bowie via Velvet Goldmine
Pt 2 Goodbye to Bowie....and Curio, for now

Alexa here, still reeling over the loss of David Bowie. It really took the steam out of me today, as I'm sure it did a lot of you.  He was such a touchstone that it felt as if he would never die. But he lives on as inspiration.

And so too might Curio. I hope it does. If not in this exact form. This weekly arts & crafts series, which Nathaniel invited me to do years ago, has had a long run at TFE but I must move on for 2016. (Parenthood really alters the life of a cinephile.)

But back to Bowie. I've been enjoying seeing some of this inspiration filtered through the minds of others, so here are a few some beautiful and fun curios -- everything from a career spanning animated gif, to realistic dolls, and more traditional fan art.

Celebrate the icon with wide eyes after the jump... 

 

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