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Entries in Directors (196)

Friday
Mar112016

A Toast to Lilly Wachowski

This week, the younger Wachowski sibling revealed that she has transitioned. Everyone raise your glasses to Lilly Wachowski!

In an open letter, Lilly detailed her recent struggle with different press outlets that have nearly gone public with her story, particularly taking the Daily Mail rightly to task for their vulturous treatment of trans individuals. While it's disgusting that press interference has pushed Lilly to reveal her transition publicly before she might have planned, her statements about the current state of trans acceptance and treatment utilize her sizeable platform perfectly. Thank goodness she got to tell her story in her own way.

The letter is a gorgeous bit of writing, a rare insight into the more introverted of the already media wary siblings. In one of the most crucial and eloquent moments of the piece, she questions our societal perception of gender:

But these words, "transgender" and "transitioned" are hard for me because they both have lost their complexity in their assimilation into the mainstream. (...) But the reality, my reality is that I've been transitioning and will continue to transition all of my life, through the infinite that exists between male and female as it does in the infinite between the binary of zero and one. We need to elevate the dialogue beyond the simplicity of binary. Binary is a false idol.

That sentiment is one that is also present in the sisters' work, and one of their most exciting themes, to boot. Now that both siblings are living openly (Lana came forward with her transition in 2012) perhaps they'll be able to explore that even deeper than we've seen with Cloud Atlas and Sense8. For the trivia obsessives, Nathaniel wondered if this made the Wachowski's the first sister directing duo? The names that immediately popped up were the Soska sisters. Do you know of any others? 

Saturday
Feb272016

Avu DuVernay to direct A Wrinkle in Time

Lynn here, chewing on another bit of non-Oscar related movie news.

Ever since it was announced earlier this week that Ava DuVernay had signed on to direct the upcoming film version of Madeleine L’Engle’s much-beloved A Wrinkle in Time, I’ve been trying to imagine just how the director of Selma is going to approach a sci-fi fantasy that features benevolent shape-shifting inter-dimensional beings, entire planets controlled by a single giant brain, and children who literally cross the universe by bending the laws of both space and time.  She won’t be starting from scratch, at least; the project’s apparently been in the works for some time, with a script by Frozen’s Jennifer Lee.  But this will be the first time the book’s ever been brought to the big screen.  It’s frequently, and unsurprisingly, been called unfilmable, and the only previous adaptation – a 2003 TV movie on ABC – was such a failure that it’s best known for the quip it inspired from L’Engle:

I expected it to be bad, and it is.”

In other words, there’s every reason for apprehension.  Is there also reason for hope?

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Feb252016

The entire history of the directors of the Best Documentary nominees

Tim here. Since Glenn already did such a great job looking at the films that would ultimately be nominated for the Best Documentary Oscar, I wanted to approach that category from a different angle. You might call it the auteur studies approach: I've decided to highlight one film made by each of the directors whose films are up for that award.

And the best part is, you can follow along! Each of these movies is available for streaming... 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb212016

Interview: Ciro Guerra on the Must-See Oscar Nominee "Embrace of the Serpent"

Embrace of the Serpent, Colombia's great Foreign Language Film Oscar nominee took so long to arrive in theaters it may have well have arrived by rickety wooden boat after its grueling journey on the Amazon. But it's finally in theaters in select cities and just in time for the Oscars. Do NOT miss it.

I had the pleasure of speaking with the director Ciro Guerra about this cinematic triumph ... which I'm guessing was harder to make than The Revenant.

NATHANIEL: This is an extremely ambitious effort for a filmmaker as new as yourself. It's only your third film. How long have you been working on this?

CIRO GUERRA: I worked on it for about four years before we started shooting. I had done just two very personal films that were close to my experience, and my past, and my culture. So I wanted to go the opposite way, and take a journey into the unknown.

NATHANIEL: You did. It's hypnotically strange.

CIRO GUERRA: For us Colombians, the Amazon is the most unknown thing. It’s half of the country, but clearly we don’t know much about it. So, I had always been intrigued and fascinated and it had been a lifelong dream to do a film in the Amazon, and you know, these are the kind of films you can only do while you’re young. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb072016

The DGA to Iñárritu... Again

Wide open race, people. Following The Big Short's win at PGA, Spotlight's ensemble prize at SAG, comes the Director's Guild Award for... The Revenant.

Getty Images

Bonafide three-way race for Best Picture which is not common. Whoever wins we'll know that it was close -- unless a sweep reveals otherwise. Hell, Oscar's Best Director competition is also fierce though the advantage goes to Iñárritu at this point.

TRIVIA!
Incidentally, this prize for Alejandro González Iñárritu is his second consecutive from his guild. Though several directors have won twice, a consecutive win has never happened before at the DGA. It has happened at the Oscars, though, and twice at that: John Ford won two in a row for The Grapes of Wrath (1940) and How Green Was My Valley (1941). And not quite a decade later Joseph L Mankiewicz pulled off the same trick with A Letter To Three Wives (1949) and All About Eve (1950). Here's their interesting commonality. In both cases those consecutive wins did not come with consecutive Best Pictures. No director has ever helmed two consecutive Best Picture winners. If The Revenant comes out on top on Oscar night, Iñárritu will be the first to accomplish it in the Academy's 88 years. 

Do you think history will be made? (Final Picture/Director predictions are going to be tough this year.)

The complete list of DGA winners and some photos from the event are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jan162016

Best Picture Chart Fun: Rankings, Nomination Formulas, Stats, Etc...

We love who what we love. And one of the things we love is Stats. And Charts! Oh god do we ever    charts. Why don't you marry them then? Okay. I will. Call city hall. I'll throw a veil over my laptop for the big day.

The new charts are now walking down their virtual aisles to you. First up Best Picture. If you smoosh them all together you have a 131 minute violent R rated drama in which a captive mother tells her son the fantastical story of a grizzly fur trapper and a lovely Irish lass who attempt to survive on a harsh inhospitable planet called Mars where a raving band of warboys pursues them relentlessly... but we never hear how the story ends because suddenly a  lawyer negtotiates the mom & son's release and a crack team of Boston journalists swoops in to investigate just what the hell happened and why no one knew about this story until now. 

But that's just a synopsis.

Click to the chart to see how these movies got nominated, how would we rank or compare them and trivia. It was fun working the angles on this charts so please take a look and consider your own rankings in the comments. 

Housekeeping Note: You'll notice the reader poll is no longer part of the Oscar charts. Since we lost our favorite poll site Twiigs... we have yet to find a suitable easy to access poll site that works well for embedding without interrupting the site in question or being ugly or forcing you to leave the site (you'll notice their fun absence on other former poll loving sites like Fug Girls - why is it so hard to find a good poll site?). But I'll keep an eye out and hope some new service emerges. 

Friday
Jan152016

"Perhaps Margot Robbie in a Bubble Bath Could Explain This One To Me"

Now that we've had 24 hours to process the Oscar nominations I polled Team Experience for one last Oscar Nomination reaction roundup. Which nomination did each of our contributors find most mystifying? Here are their answers which amused me so I hope you feel the same. 

Please bear in mind that these items do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the management. We each have our pet peeves and our "achievements" we just can't with. Share your headscratchers with us in the comments. What's still antagonizing you this morning a full 24 hours after getting used to it as an "Academy Award Nominee" 

Individual targets after the jump...

Click to read more ...