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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Entries in dreams (11)


Review: The BFG

Eric here, with thoughts on the new Steven Spielberg release, The BFG.   

Spielberg lends his patented magical touch to this film adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s story The BFG.  It’s the tale of little orphan Sophie (Ruby Barnhill), who meets a friendly elderly giant (Mark Rylance) who instills dreams into children.  They go off together to Giant Country, where we meet other giants who eat children, and Dream Country, where The BFG shows her how he harvests dreams.  Then they enroll the Queen of England in an attack on the bad giants.

The first third of the picture establishes the meet-cute of our two leads, and it’s standard fantasy fare, albeit with a sleek look that blends the live action and CGI material quite successfully into one neat universe.  It’s all a little sparkly and cute, and pitched as most kids’ movies are to generate response for twinkly endearment.  At the end of this act, when we meet the bad giants, the film gets its first jolt of real gas... 

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April Showers: Kurosawa's Dreams

In April Showers, Team TFE looks at memorably soaked moments in the movies. Here's Lynn Lee on Dreams (1990).

The sun is shining, but it’s raining.  Foxes hold their wedding processions in this weather.

But they don’t like anyone to see them – if they catch you watching, they’ll be very angry!

Dreams (1990) may be the most personal of Kurosawa’s films, and has always struck me as one of his most underrated.  It’s uneven, yes, but at its best it really does capture the vivid yet elusive, disorienting nature of a recurring dream that always seems to slip just out of your grasp – the kind of dream that can turn on a hair from a beautiful vision to a nightmare and back again...

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This one is for movie buffs who love animals and also know how to read subtitles

Pt 3 Everything you wanted to know about the foreign language film Oscar race.... * but were afraid to ask

Do you love animals? Who doesn't love animals? If you don't love them, we can't be friends!

A True Story From Nathaniel's Sick Bed/Office... 
I've been sick all week. Yesterday, feeling vaguely human again, I risked a movie at NYFF which happened to be Taiwan's Oscar submission The Assassin. It is sure pretty but after falling for a red herring involving a blue bird I gave up trying to follow the plot. When I returned home I collapsed. I dreamt of being forced to pack up all my earthly possessions and load them on a barge that was heading to outerspace. In order to survive the interstellar journey by water we needed to wear very tight scuba space suits. I realized I couldn't bring my beloved Monty unless I could squeeze him into his own catsuit (literal catsuit, not sexy-diva figurative). He wouldn't comply and I was holding him tight and we were just sweating in those damn suits. I woke up abruptly buried in blankets and sweat with my cat sound asleep on top of me. He LOVES when I am sick. The feeling is not mutual in reverse and he has been.I can't even talk about it. I can't.

I got back to work when Oscar news dropped. I spent the day/evening frantically updating the foreign Oscar Charts and compiling that director trivia and collating all those subtitled trailers for you. I took one wee break to take an online quiz for The Lobster -- which is about people who become animals if they can't find mates -  and somehow I came out as a bear? I am relatively hairless but I do love honey and fish. Type-type-type. Blog-blog-blog. Through my sniffles and remaining sickly delirium I thought 'No one appreciates all this work I do. Gah. I should just sail to outerspace!' and then I remembered the dream and that I was crazy and should go to bed again and I love my cat. The End.

My point is this: Animals and Oscars and Movies are all on my brain simultaneously. And though that's not uncommon, here is an incomplete list of this year's Foreign Film Oscar Contenders which definitely feature our furry / feathered / scaly friends.

Xenia (Greece)
Bunny Rabbits, apparently. This one is on the poster albeit in normal bunny rabbit size.

Arabian Nights: Volume 2 - The Desolate Ones (Portugal) 
Mangy Poodles. Silent Parrots. Talking Litigous Cows! This is a must see for fans of animal-related cinema. [my confused review]

Sivas (Turkey)
The plot centers on a young boy who saves a sheep dog 

The Wanted 18 (Palestine)
This documentary is actually about cows! 

Baba Joon (Israel)
It takes place on a turkey farm 

Stranger (Kazakshtan)
A young man with a tight relationship to nearby wolves

Rams (Iceland) and Lamb (Ethiopia)
What the titles say

Embrace of the Serpent (Colombia)
The animals only really get cool chapter marking cameos but see this movie! [my besotted review]

Brand New Testament (Belgium)
I know this satire is about God living in Brussells but somehow Catherine Deneuve and a Gorilla are involved??? I'm in. When can I see it?

Which of the foreign submissions are you most curious about?

All the trailers | submissions from women and newbies | prediction & charts


You Link Something New Every Day

• Did you know that Debbie Harry was up for the part of "Pris" in Blade Runner? [Kenneth in the (212)]
• Will the general public love Crimson Peak as much as Stephen King does? [Cinemablend]
• Which SXSW movie buzz got you excited. I'm partial to the response to this Tab Hunter Confidential documentary, mostly because he starred with Natalie Wood so many times [The Playlist]
• Have you seen the list of SXSW winners? [SXSW]
• Have you heard Stephen Sondheim's comments on Lady Gaga's Sound of Music Oscars performance? [THR

• Do you think Disney will just put down permanent roots in mid March for Princess movies? Next up: Beauty & the Beast [Variety
• Are you excited that Sarah Polley will be doing the next remake of the oft remade Little Women? [Guardian]
• Have you been keeping up with all things Madonna this publicity round for Rebel Heart. So many stars, interviews, appearances, plus Ellen DeGeneres all week. Exhausting [Boy Culture]
• Isn't it weird how cinema is so much less horny than it was decades ago, 1976 to be precise? [NSFW -Deep Dish
• Did you know that The Sound of Music is coming back to movie theaters a month from now? That 50th Anniversary celebration just keeps on chugging along [Playbill]
• Which of Netflix's arrivals and departure's this next month have you cheering and weeping? Maybe we should do A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night for HMWYBS? [Dissolve]
• Were you aware that Timothy, one of the very best online film critics (this is why we recruited him!) is offering to review any movie of your choosing for a donation to the American Cancer Society? I just requested mine.  [Antagony & Ecstasy]  

• Finally, have you seen this supercut of actors waking up from nightmares? [Hat Tip: John August]  

It's such a movie trope but does it happen this way in real life. I've woken up like "noooo!" from an upsetting dream but generally more mumbled lethargically than the bolt upright wail. You?



I Dream of Arendelle

Last night, surely prompted by Frozen's Golden Globe win and upcoming Oscar run, I dreamt that I discovered a magical threat to Arendelle. I helped Queen Elsa find enemy spies who were watching her every move through carefully planted glittery baubles placed around the kingdom. Since Disney princesses veritable sweat glittery knickknacks, you can imagine how difficult the foreign objects were to discover and destroy. [more...]

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Randomness: The Hunt, Film Scores, Burlesque Memories

I'm experiencing something a bit like ADHD today. I've started several articles none of which got past a few lines and worked on a few oscar chart updates or revisions none of which ever felt like I'd finished (visualdocumentary and music / sound charts). And I also spent some time stressing about Sundance which starts in less than a month and which The Film Experience will be covering. But mostly my head has remained a jumble of criss-crossed movie thoughts, so in the effort to get unstuck, I'm just blurting out a handful of random ones, a couple of which might feel familiar if you follow me on twitter.

• I'm curious to hear what your favorite film scores of the year because in this regard, I'm not sure I have any! I tend to be a fan of Alexander Desplat's work but I can't even remember Philomena's score which I saw so recently and which one assumes is an Oscar shoo-in on the composer's name alone. (See also: John Williams and The Book Thief)

• January 16th is going to be insane: Oscar nominations, Sundance's Opening Night, and the "Critics Choice" ceremony are all taking place within 12 hours of each other. Spread it out a little, showbiz! Seriously.

• I watched The Hunt last night, Denmark's finalist for The Foreign Film Category. Mads Mikkelsen is always super and his face, so full of confusion, disbelief, and hurt that's cutting as deep as the lacerations on his face from town beatings. He won Best Actor in Cannes way back in May 2012 and if the film wins its Oscar category in March 2014 The Hunt may well serve as the new poster boy reminder of how deeply strange global cinematic culture is in terms of distribution models. I've heard that people get seriously worked up about this movie, loving or hating it but frankly, either reaction is, um, foreign to me. It's an effective drama, and wholly plausible -- see also the Meryl Streep drama A Cry in the Dark (1988), a predecessor in how ugly "guilty as soon as your accused" mob mentality can be -- at least until the ending which seems tacked on as failed provocation. But it's also not doing anything particularly interesting cinematically or in the screenplay. I expected more from Thomas Vinterberg, who once made the genius Festen/Celebration (1998) which was famously snubbed by Oscar despite causing quite a stir with cinephiles. And I kept feeling like the final scene was shot at the same house where The Celebration took place. Am I crazy or is this true?

• I was at a party the other night (not a film crowd) and an older gentlemen, hearing that I was a film critic, asked me what my favorite movies were. When I got to "Woody Allen's Manhattan" he interrupts... "you mean Annie Hall?"

• Back to the foreign film finalist list, 3 of the 9 finalists each year are selected by special committee with the other 6 coming from popular vote. So which films do you think are which? I'm guessing the committee shoved Cambodia's The Missing Picture and maybe Bosnia's A Day in the Life of a Iron Picker but otherwise I can't suss out which film needed a committee boost since the other 7 finalists strike me as having obvious wide appeal Oscar hooks.

• Today Burlesque was on Oxygen and it remains insanely watchable. "Wagon Wheel Watusi"! It's not a movie that reveals something new everytime you watch it but rather a movie which just reconfirms everything you felt the first time and heightens it. It's RIDICULOUS but in a good way. And it's nice that Kristen Bell got Frozen since Burlesque has a bad case of Yentlitis -- "Only the star may sing even though we've cast a bunch of people with musical chops in this!"

• Finally, I don't know why I didn't tell you this sooner but I swear to god, last week I dreamt that Nicole Kidman was nominated for Best Supporting Actress for Blue is the Warmest Color. When I woke up I tried to go back to sleep since I didn't want this nonsensical actressexual dream to end. It's been haunting me ever since...

No wonder I can't concentrate!

What's going on in *your* movie addled mind?


I Dreamed of Gatsby

Last night I had the wildest dream (with spoilers). Baz Luhrmann had delivered a Moulin Rouge! remake with vampire characters set in the world of F Scott's Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby". No matter what happened to the characters -- whether they were shot, or run down by custom cars, or what have you -- they just kept getting back up good as new like genetically modified super soldiers or like, well, vampires.

One should never say that 'this = that', emphatically, with dreams since they're often inscrutable but the last three movies I watched were Kiss of the Damned, Iron Man Three and The Great Gatsby so perhaps this nightmare was inevitable.

When I woke up I knew it was only a dream... except for the part about Baz sucking Moulin Rouge!'s blood.



one thing I forgot to mention about that "Oz" trailer...

I'm so surprised this thing didn't pop up in my nightmares last night. Maybe tonight?