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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 | letterboxd

 

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Entries in Directors (134)

Tuesday
Feb242015

New Oscar Trivia. Courtesy of the 87th Academy Awards

What does a fresh list of winners bring? Why... New TRIVIA of course! 

Do you think Patty Arquette has seen SAVAGE GRACE?

picture birdman director alejandro gonzález iñárritu, birdman actress julianne moore, still alice  actor eddie redmayne, theory of everything supporting actress patricia arquette, boyhood supporting actor j.k. simmons, whiplash original screenplay birdman adapted screenplay imitation game foreign film ida animated feature big hero 6 documentary feature citizenfour cinematography birdman editing whiplash production design grand budapest hotel costume design grand budapest hotel makeup and hair grand budapest hotel  visual effects interstellar score grand budapest hotel song "glory" selma sound mixing whiplash sound editing american sniper  live action short the phone call documentary short crisis hotline animated short feast ...I forgot to ask all of you how you did on your predictions? I did decent but not spectacular 18/24 (but i heard from a few readers who said I helped them win their office pool so there's that) but the short film categories messing me up as usual grrrr

After the jump, there's lots of trivia brought on by the 87th batch. If you have a really good one I forgot, I can always update the post so please to enjoy and comment... 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb222015

Readers Poll Results: Who *Should* Win?

With the Oscars arriving in 12 hours and your host (er, Nathaniel -- your host here at TFE-- not NPH) still sick as a dog, I turn the time over to you. Your votes have been tallied from the polls we ran on the individual Oscar Chart pages over the past month and here's who YOU -- the collective you at least -- are rooting for tonight.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Grand Budapest Hotel won 37% of your hearts. In solid second place was Birdman with 30%. Nightcrawler and Boyhood had their fans with 16% and 12% of the vote respectively. Trailing them all with a poor showing was Foxcatcher with 4%.

acting, director, picture after the jump

Click to read more ...

Friday
Feb202015

John Boorman on His Oscar Experience

Jose here. Earlier this week I had the opportunity to sit down with legendary director John Boorman (Deliverance, Point Blank, The Tailor of Panama) in order to talk about his new film Queen and Country a sequel to his Oscar nominated Hope and Glory. Besides being a notoriously versatile director Mr. Boorman is also quite the cinephile, with a profound knowledge of silent cinema and obscure noirs, this led our conversation to stray into the topic of the Academy Awards...

John Boorman directs 'Deliverance' (L) 'Hope and Glory' (R)

You’ve been nominated for Best Director twice for Deliverance and Hope and Glory, can you share some of your memories about going to the Oscars?

First of all, it’s incredibly boring, because you leave the hotel at 2 in the afternoon and the show goes on until 11 at night, and you sit in the audience more often than not watching the commercials, or at least the gaps the commercials create. It’s very wearing! (laughs) I didn’t go when I was nominated for Deliverance, I went when I was nominated for Hope & Glory, I’d been nominated as producer, director and screenwriter. I was delighted that the film was nominated, but I didn’t win in any of the categories, and it makes you feel like such a failure (laughs).

You keep yourself active as an Academy member?

Yes, I see them all and vote, but the ones I vote for never win (laughs).

What were some of your favorites in the Oscar race this year?

In the Oscars this year, in the Foreign Language category, there are three films Leviathan, Ida and Timbuktu, and there are no three films in any other category that match up to these at all. I saw them recently and felt so proud to be a filmmaker! But what does their quality say about the other films? Quite good films even, like The Theory of Everything and Birdman and so on? There’s something calculating about these films, it’s a calculation that somehow the system brings up because of the way films are made. Scripts are supervised by studios and you feel these films have been overcooked, there’s something slightly contrived about them. They’re looking over their shoulder a little bit.

Queen and Country, Boorman's final film, is now playing in select theaters.

Thursday
Feb192015

Women's Pictures - Ava DuVernay's Selma

Nothing about Ava DuVernay’s career up to 2014 suggested the epic sweep of Selma. I Will Follow and Middle of Nowhere are both quiet dramas, focusing on one central character and a handful of supporting players as they navigate a major, life-altering event. Race is the background against which these stories are set - coloring a heated music discussion, or shading the convict’s biased parole hearing - but racism isn’t explicitly addressed. This changes dramatically with Selma. In a year that has seen protests in Ferguson and serious discussions about diversity in the Academy, Selma has been called everything from controversial to current to incorrect. For its director, it’s proof that 6 years and 3 movies can rapidly mature a talent.

When telling the story of Martin Luther King’s 1965 protest march in Alabama, DuVernay focuses not on a man, but on a movement. She studies the Civil Rights movement as if it were a character, following not only Dr. King’s glossy speeches, but also the many behind-the-scenes maneuvering. King’s arguments with President Johnson, Johnson’s arguments with Governor Wallace, the student organizers’ arguments with King’s men, even quieter discussions between Coretta Scott King and Malcolm X expose the precarious balance between ideology and strategy that's needed to succeed. DuVernay manages to write her characters with humanity as well, populating the film with people, not symbols. Early on, Dr. King (dignified David Oyelowo) comments lightly that the reason he's in Selma is because he needs a bully to catch national sympathy, and the racist sheriff is that man. As men start dying, those words hang over King's head like a cross.

If I have one complaint with Selma, it’s that the violence is too beautiful. DuVernay deftly stages the action of hundreds of protestors for the camera, and re-teams with cinematographer Bradford Young. The result is similar to Raging Bull: every protest is shot differently, so that each violent outbreak feels fresh. If the night march feels familiar to 2014 audiences, if the first march feels claustrophobic, if the violence on the Edmund Pettus Bridge looks like a hallucinatory war film, that’s not unintentional. In Selma, Ava DuVernay has matched epic sweep with humanity and brutal vision. It’s a hell of an achievement for a third film.

This close to the Oscars ceremony, reviving the question of whether Selma was snubbed is pointless. But regardless of Sunday’s outcome, Ava DuVernay has joined a different illustrious company: unnominated female directors whose films were nominated for Best Picture. In an attempt to divine DuVernay’s future, I did some research, and discovered a pattern: Of these nine female directors, seven are still directing. Of those seven directors, four (including DuVernay) are now working in TV.

As anyone with a remote or a streaming subscription knows, we are currently in a second Golden Age of television. This is due in no small part to the diversity of creative talent. Every year, more shows are created by, directed by, and starring women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. In this increasingly colorful TV landscape, Ava DuVernay will be a welcome addition when she launches her show on OWN. But at what cost to film?

2014 has been widely criticized as the whitest, most male-dominated year of the Oscars in a long time. As much as I would like to blame our old scapegoat, the White Male Voter, this is also because of the homogeny of the films being offered to the Academy. When we can count the number of Oscar nominated female directors on one hand--likewise for directors of color--we should be shouting for more of these voices in film, instead of celebrating when the ones who’ve already proven themselves move to television (where they can get snubbed by the Emmys instead). I love Ava DuVernay’s work. I can’t wait to see what she creates with Oprah’s blessing. But surely I’m not alone when I say: Ava DuVernay, please come back to film soon.

 

Thus concludes our first month of Women's Pictures. Next week will be a vote to choose our next female filmmakers. Who do you want us to cover? If you have suggestions for future Women’s Pictures directors, post them in the comments or find Anne Marie on Twitter!

 

Wednesday
Feb112015

Most Eligible Links List

Gurus of Gold rank the Best Pictures and possible surprises with a handful of days of voting left
Playbill At Roundabout Theater's Spring Gala "There is Nothing Like a Dame" a who's who of awesome Broadway stars will honor Helen Mirren
Playlist filmmakers who disowned their movies. I didn't know the hilarious Screenplay Oscar trivia situation with Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) , a movie I really loved as a kid
New York Times America's Sweetheart Tom Hanks writes an ode to the value of community colleges.

 

Henry Cavill's Site interviews the actor's stunt man Alainn Moussi who is getting his own lead role in the Kickboxer remake
AV Club HBO's brilliant comedy about nurses in an elderly care ward Getting On is getting one more very short season and then its bye-bye. 
Towleroad Laverne Cox cast in a CBS legal drama pilot Doubt as a trans lawyer. Too bad its not the lead role. That'd really be something.
Cinesnark has a good review of the most recent episode of Agent Carter which has proven itself as a fast, kicky, well acted and really fine TV show. I kinda love it. Agents of SHIELD has improved over its run but Carter's short run has only emphasized how weak it still is; I'm sad it's coming back because that mean Carter is over!

This Week's Must Read
Tilda Swinton gave a glorious wise speech about art and cinema and inspiration at the Rothko Chapel. Here's the full transcript  and I really urge you to read it.

It occurs to me on a regular basis that the cinema carries the potential to be perhaps the most human of all gestures in art: the invitation to place ourselves, under the intimate cover of darkness, into another person's shoes, behind another set of eyes, into another's consciousness. The ultimate compassion machine, the empathy enging.

Here is the darkness.

Here comes the light.

Beautiful. Just beautiful, don't you think?

 

Andrew Scott (Sherlock, Pride) one of our best out actors. Today's 'What Does This Word Mean?' Curiousity
Out revealed their 100 Most Eligible Bachelors list and it's wonderful to swipe through it realizing how many out actors we have now (I knew that once we had a few brave ones people would calm down about it and the floodgates would open) though the list is hardly actors-only. Thankfully the list has plentiful ethnic, age, and national diversity.

But the list is not without controversy because not all of the men are "Out" as it were like Ronan Farrow for example or the actor Jussie Smollett (who plays the gay son on Empire and is the brother of Jurnee Smollett from Friday Night Lights & True Blood). There might be other examples. I hadn't heard that the model Jon Kortajarena was gay either but maybe I just missed that somewhere. Most hilarious is their inclusion of famously NOT out Hobbit actors Luke Evans (Dracula Untold) who has a long history of being back in the closet which My New Plaid Pants lampoons constantly and Lee Pace who has a long history of not being out and recently denying the everyone-assumes Elf-Dwarf love affair with co-star Richard Armitage.