Oscar History

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Janelle Monae's Breakout Year

One of my favourite artists of the decade. I've had the pleasure of seeing her live twice. I would've loved to see more of her in Moonlight. Loved that role and loved seeing her. -Roger

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Maria Schrader (Stefan Zweig...)
Boo Junfeng (The Apprentice
Gianfranco Rosi (Fire At Sea)
Chris Kelly (Other People)
NWR (Neon Demon)

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Entries in 10|25|50|75|100 (201)


Kirk Douglas Centennial: Spartacus (1960)

Here's Eric to continue our mini Kirk Douglas fest. The actor turns 100 tomorrow

The story goes that Kirk Douglas was so disappointed that William Wyler didn’t cast him as the lead in 1959’s Ben-Hur that he optioned Howard Fast’s similarly-themed novel Spartacus for his chance to conquer the Roman Empire...  

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Kirk Douglas Centennial: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Here's Tim to continue our mini Kirk Douglas fest. The actor turns 100 this Friday.

And now, a little change of pace. I don't think the cinephile lives who'd argue that Kirk Douglas's performance in the 1954 sci-fi adventure 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea is his best, or anywhere particularly near his best. It is, however, quite possibly his most fun, as is to be expected from a star turn as the meathead sailor hero in a live-action Disney film.

Douglas gets first-billing in the movie, though he's probably not the first thing you'd think about if you looked back over the film in your mind...

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Kirk Douglas Centennial: The Bad and the Beautiful

Here's Dancin' Dan to continue our mini Kirk Douglas  fest. The actor turns 100 this Friday.

For every performer, a film lover has THAT performance. The one that makes you fall in love with them. Or, short of that, the moment you totally understand why they became a star.

I had seen a few Kirk Douglas films before Vincente Minnelli's The Bad and the Beautiful, most notably Spartacus and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, but I was not a great lover of the man himself even when I liked the films. That changed when watching Minnelli's behind-the-Hollywood-scenes epic. Whether it was due to the match of actor to character, the quality of the film, or Douglas's performance itself, who can say, but this performance made me a believer...

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The Furniture: Designing Dignity in "How Green Was My Valley"

"The Furniture" our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber

Filmmaking is often an art borne of flexibility. Tim Burton built Sleepy Hollow from scratch when he couldn’t find just the right town in the real world. Vincente Minnelli was forced to make Brigadoon indoors in Hollywood, because the studio wouldn’t pay for an expensive production in Scotland. Both films are likely better for it, too.

The same is perhaps true for How Green Was My Valley, which premiered 75 years ago this week. John Ford wanted to make shoot it on location in Wales, but World War II intervened. Instead, the production team built an entire mining town in the Santa Monica Mountains. This condensed and idealized version of the setting of Richard Llewellyn’s 1939 novel is among the most emotionally resonant sets of its era.

The film won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Art Direction.

The design team consisted of Richard Day, Nathan H. Juran and Thomas Little, no stranger to Oscar success. They based their village on Gilfach Goch, a quintessential Welsh mining town, but they dramatically reduced the size and jammed the houses much closer to the colliery...

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Look Who's in Marie Antoinette!

It's Marie Antoinette week: We're celebrating the Queen Consort of France each afternoon for a week for the 223rd anniversary of her death and the 10th anniversary of the Sofia Coppola biopic.  

by Murtada

The casting in Marie Antoinette is imaginative and to die for. You could say it’s not hard to imagine Kirsten Dunst in the title role especially since she had already worked with Sofia Coppola. Jason Schwartzman as Louis XVI is not that far fetched since he’s the director’s cousin. However putting Rip Torn, Molly Shannon, Judy Davis and Asia Argento together in 1790s France took some chutzpah...

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