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Entries in editing (62)

Thursday
Sep012016

Honorary Oscars to Jackie Chan, Frederick Wiseman, Lynn Stalmaster, and Anne V Coates

The Board of Governors from AMPAS have finally announced their selections for this year's Honorary Oscars. This year they're not giving out the Thalberg (for Producing) or the Hersholt (for Huminatarian efforts) but just the regular ol' Honorary Oscars. If such a thing can be deemed "regular" since they're so hard to come by. Consider that James Ivory still doesn't have one despite being a masterful oft imitated but never duplicated director behind three major Best Picture contenders (and many other beautiful films) and never having won an an Oscar and being 88 years old. Nathaniel wept. Oscar remains remarkably stingy with the gays but at least they've noticed the need for diversity in other ways.

Congratulations to this year's esteemed recipients! 

Jackie Chan's starmaking hit The Legend of Drunken Master (1978)

SUPERSTAR JACKIE CHAN
He's a famous actor, producer, and director and his filmography is just enormous with well over 100 films under his belt. What's more he's a major figure in Asian cinema which is about the last place Oscar ever looks to hand honors so good on them. He's only 62 which is young for an Honorary prize but Spike Lee got his while still in his late 50s recently so they appear to be loosening up with their age restrictions. 

EDITOR ANNE V COATES
Though The Film Experience is against Oscar's strange practice of giving Honorary Statues to people who've already won (like Coates) there's no denying that she's one of the best editors the cinema has ever seen. And in truth they've been a bit stingy with her with only 5 nominations and a win (Out of Sight, In the Line of Fire, The Elephant Man, Becket, and her winning film Lawrence of Arabia when she was still in her 30s). I was personally horrified when she was not nominated for her vigorous artful editing on Erin Brockovich (2000). At 91 she doesn't work much anymore but she did edit Fifty Shades of Grey (2015) recently. 

DOCUMENTARIAN FREDERICK WISEMAN
The Academy has been egregiously stingy with this 86 year old. He's never been nominated despite being considered one of the all time greatest documentarians. He has made nearly 40 documentaries including such well regarded titles as Titicut Follies (1967), High School (1968), Hospital (1970), Welfare (1975), Domestic Violence (2001), and At Berkeley (2013)

Lynn Stalmaster at the TCM FestivalCASTING DIRECTOR LYNN STALMASTER
Since AMPAS does not have a category for casting this is a great use of the Honorary award. Lynn Stalmaster is 88 years old and a legend in his field. Within his first three years as a casting director he already had a Best Actress winning film under his belt (I Want to Live!, 1958). Among his many films there are quite a few examples of situations where the perfect actors for that particular project where chosen including: In the Heat of the Night (1967), The Thomas Crown Affair (1968), They Shoot Horses Don't They (1969), Harold and Maude (1971), Deliverance (1972), Tootsie (1982), The Right Stuff (1983), Nine and a Half Weeks (1986) and many more. I adore that he had such a thing for Faye Dunaway though maybe she regrets how frequently he cast her since Mommie Dearest (1981) and Supergirl (1984) were towards the end of it. 

The non-televised Governors Awards will be held on November 12th. As usual we'll be doing some posting on these four careers in the lead up to their honors so we have quite a range of films to choose from. Any requests?

Friday
Jul292016

HMWYBS: A Sensational Diane Keaton in "Looking for Mr Goodbar" 

Best Shot 1977 Party. Chapter 3
Looking for Mr Goodbar (1977)
Directed by: Richard Brooks
Cinematography by: William A Fraker

Finally with chapter 3 in our look back at the Cinematography nominees of 1977 -- a little prep work for the Supporting Actress Smackdown (last day to get your ballots in) -- a real threat to Close Encounter of the Third Kind for the Best Cinematography crown. Close Encounters won the Oscar, its sole competitive Oscar, but William A Fraker was more than worthy as a nominee for his evocative experimental work on Looking for Mr Goodbar. The cinematography (along with its swinging partner, the editing) are ready and able to capture the whirlwind moods, liberated momentum, self-deprecating humor, and multiple flashes of fear within this time capsule of the sexual revolution.

My only regret in showcasing the cinematography for this series is that good images are hard to come by. More (a little bit NSFW) after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul062016

Interview: That Neon-Loving Demon, Nicolas Winding Refn

Nicolas Winding Refn. Photographed by Tom Hoops for Lab MagazineNicolas Winding Refn, the Danish auteur whose made a career of candy colored violent films after grimier movies at home, is both exactly what you'd expect and unexpected. The expected: he's a little bit eccentric pacing the room rather than sitting, a little intimidating, and a little impish -- it's difficult to know if he truly means what he says in some instances, or if he has just mastered the art of provocation. The unexpected: he's relatively friendly, surprisingly generous about his collaborators despite the auteur's ego, very tall, thin and surprisingly attractive, something you wouldn't necessarily think since he's so often been photographed with inhuman gods like Ryan Gosling who make everyone but other movie stars look crumpled and basic.

As we talk we find mutual ground in Christina Hendricks adoration ("the perfect woman," he says) but elsewhere it's like he's speaking a foreign language and I don't mean Danish. His films, though quite serious on the surface, betray a dark sense of humor, and yet it still surprises me to hear him drop "I think it would be fun to make a spy movie" as we're saying our goodbyes. Why is this surprising? I couldn't quite tell you but such is the fascination of meeting this singular director, whatever you make of his increasingly divisive movies.

Our interview follows....

NATHANIEL: Let's talk about your opening scene. It's such a bold tableau. Did you ever worry you were coming on too strong. Like 'how will I top that first image?'

NICOLAS WINDING REFN: I'm setting the stage knowing that, if you look through the film, you'll see the same dynamic in all the other scenes of death and beauty.

NATHANIEL: So you're laying the theme.

NWR: I'm laying the theme right on. Most films -- storytelling in mass media -- start slowly, introducing. Eventually it gets to some kind of dramatic point in the first act. That means the second act is how do we solve it and the third act is resolution. But i don't necessarily believe that's the right order...

Click to read more ...

Monday
May232016

Thelma & Louise, Pt 2: The Venetian Blindside

25th Anniversary Five-Part Mini Series Event 

When we left our heroines in Pt 1 of our 25th anniversary lookback at Thelma & Louise, they were fleeing the scene of their (first) crime but Louise needed a cup of coffee and to collect herself. Anne Marie & Margaret, our own superheroine duo in Los Angeles were grappling with the surprise killing of a would be rapist. Was it rage and pride that motivated Louise to shoot after she had already saved Thelma? It certainly provoked audiences but was there any other way to play the film's themes?

Louise is trying to plot their next move when we return to them, just before they jump back in their '66 Thunderbird - Editor

Pt 2 by Nick Davis

Now's not the time to panic. If we panic now, we're done for."

24:50 You could say this is the moment where Thelma and Louise shifts from a movie about two women fleeing some problems, at least temporarily, to two women solving a problem, probably permanently. Sure, I'll run to any movie where two women let their hair down, but I will fucking jet-propel myself to any movie where two or more women join forces to think their way out of a fix.  Well, not Mad Money.  And not The Boss.  Okay, there are exceptions.  But Thelma & Louise is the glorious rule, and this is where the drama of deduction, cognition, mutual examination, and deep self-reflection really kicks into fifth gear.

I should mention that I saw this film in the theater at 14.  Sheltered and naive about sex and violence, I didn't completely understand what rape was--which is to say, I think I learned it here.  I had never had a drink, much less been drunk, or even seen a margarita.  Ironically, the post-shooting moment when Thelma and Louise start spiraling into unknown territory was  when I started to connect with their world and feel common ground with the heroines.  I didn't know from waitressing jobs, fishing trips, honky tonks, convertibles, freeways, mesas, relationship troubles, shitty husbands, hitchhikers, horny moods, pistols, or structural misogyny, but I absolutely related to relying on wits to think your way out of a problem, and disclosing aspects of yourself in how you did so, and concealing parts of yourself at the same time.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
May142016

Q&A: Everybody Wants Drop Dead Gorgeous Editing & Combative Personalities

It's the time again: Reader Questions hooray. I picked 8 to answer this week. Thanks to everyone who asked. I can't answer all but who knows - the unanswered might well inspire something down the road, conciously or otherwise. You never know...

MARSHA: Are people like Ted Cruz, Mitch McConnell, and Donald Trump just so evil and insane that they are beyond parody, or are there actors and directors you can think of who could convey their humanity and worldview?

NATHANIEL: Marsha, I promised I wasn't going to talk about politics until September, remember?!? Don't tempt me.  All I will say is that a great actor can perform magic even under impossible circumstances. Remember how deep Julianne Moore was able to go with Sarah Palin?

JB: Can we discuss Drop Dead Gorgeous. In spite of having all the right ingredients, it's never quite hit cult (gay) status like I always assumed it would. Why do you think that is?

lots more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May102016

Top Ten: Sexiest Things in "A Bigger Splash"

In lieu of a full review for Luca Guadagnino's I Am Love follow up A Bigger Splash -- who can type with one hand -a hot and bothered top ten list.

THE SEXIEST THINGS IN "A BIGGER SPLASH" 

10. Reflective Sunglasses.
The great cinematographer Yorick Le Saux (look up his filmography. Seriously) makes full use of the reflections in everyone's glasses. We're staring at them, but what are they staring at in this voyeuristic vacation?

09. Tilda Whispering to Matthias
As the movie begins world famous rockstar Marianne Lane (Tilda Swinton) is on vocal rest, doctor's orders. Her visiting friend/ex lover Harry (Ralph Fiennes) and a daughter he didn't know he had until recently (Dakota Johnson) arrive in town unexpectedly and they're told she can't speak. It's not strictly true. Marianne reserves her whispering, which she's allowed, for her younger filmmaker boyfriend Paul (Matthias Schoenaerts). Secretive conspiratorial intimacy is a panty-dropper.

Click to read more ...