Oscar History

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Entries in gender politics (176)


Middleburg Day 3: Presidents, Production Designers, and Girl Power

Photo by Mara RoszakSaturday, my final full day at the fest, was a chilly windy day in Middleburg - horseback ride thwarted again! The unplanned theme of the day was girl power. The day began with a lively keynote conversation with AMPAS President Cheryl Boone-Isaacs. The moderator kept mentioning that she was the perfect person to be leading the Academy in these tough times and after listening to her for an hour, we can't disagree! It's quite obvious why they keep electing her. She's extroverted, quite funny, movie-loving, and knowledgeable about Hollywood with quite an interesting storied career behind her in film publicity. After that rousing breakfast conversation, the day ended with a standing ovation for Emma Stone and the dazzling La La Land (it's even better the second time!).

Inbetween those events a 13 year old Kazakh girl inspires in the documentary The Eagle Huntress, a very crowded panel on Presidents in the movies, and a conversation with four time Oscar nominated Production Designer Jeannine Oppenwall...

Click to read more ...


Top Ten: Loving those "20th Century Women"

by Nathaniel R

Mike Mill's terrific new film 20th Century Women, inspired by his own mother with Annette Bening further fictionalizing her, doesn't open until Christmas (disappointing as RIGHT NOW or August might've been the perfect time for it). But since it played the NYFF and we said so little, it's time to attempt to share the joy it offers. In lieu of a standard review...

Ten Amazing Things About 20th Century Women
first impressions of a film that will surely make our 2016 top ten list

Click to read more ...


Linkin' on Heaven's Door

Los Angeles Times Lily Tomlin's classic one woman show The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe is being relaunched in LA as a 12 person play (!)
/Film Rogue One releases its final trailer. I'm personally not watching(I like to save something for the movie theater) but it's here if you want it
Variety JK Rowling will never leave us alone. Five films are planned in the Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them franchise.
Tracking Board here's interesting news. Mark Rylance will team with Embrace of the Serpent director Ciro Guerra for a movie based on a 1980 Nobel prize winning book called Waiting for the Barbarians
Deadline Netflix in the lead to get The Helicopter Heist starring Jake Gyllenhaal

The New Yorker on Bob Dylan's Nobel Prize in literature
Interview talks to rising star Ben Schetzer (Pride, Goat, Warcraft)
The New Republic Miriam Bale on both of the new films about Christine Chubbuck, Christine (starring Rebecca Hall) and the experimental documentary Kate Plays Christine.
EW It's come to this. We know have "power lists" in magazines not of actors or producers but of superheroes. Wonder Woman is currently #1 
In Contention supporting/lead options open w/ Viola in Fences & The Bening in 20th Century
Awards Daily Annette Bening will be honored at AFI 
Towleroad Kristen Stewart talking up her current relationship with Alicia Cargile
Boy Culture Miley Cyrus on her pansexuality
Playbill There will be a live audience for Hairspray Live on NBC- website coming soon with how to apply! 

Just 4 Fun
Jezebel "I wore a tail for 1 week and learned nothing" 
AV Club Documentary Now has done a full Talking Heads parody album! 

Has the Whole World Gone Insane?
Film Comment are film critics losing sight of film in the rush for content / social media?
IndieWire interviews the man behind the satire twitter account "Arthouse Donald Trump" which was hilarious and prismatically accurate of loudmouth cinephiles and Trump
Daily Beast Billy Bush is now attempting to drag NBC down with him into the mud after his "Pussygate" suspension - classy!
Gothamist a Talking Trump Zoltar machine appears in Brooklyn spewing prophesies
THR the whole Devin Faraci (Birth. Movies. Death editor) story that blew up this week when a former colleague accused him of touching her without her consent
Awards Daily ...airs a different perspective, mourning the loss of Faraci's voice against misogyny in the fanboy community, particularly during Gaming Gate. 

Exit Video
Harry Belafonte's company produces this PSA on police brutality. Actors Michael B Jordan and Danny Glover and other luminaries star

Against The Wall from Against The Wall on Vimeo.



Transparent Season 3. Part One 

TV’s best comedy/drama/tragedy, Transparent, is back for Season 3 in all of its sexual/pansexual/transsexual glory as creator Jill Soloway brings us back into the tumultuous lives of the fallible Pfefferman family.  Here’s a look at Episodes 1-3…

Episode One:  Elizah
It’s a bummer that the first show out of the gate is probably the weakest episode of Transparent we’ve seen.  While the show starts promisingly with Rabbi Raquel (the magical Kathryn Hahn, promoted to full-time cast member this season) jogging through misty woods to a soundtrack of Jacques Brel’s “Ne Me Quitte Pas”…this episode is devoted almost entirely to one storyline.  While Maura (Jeffrey Tambor) works one of her first shifts at the LGBT community center hotline, she receives a call from a confused young trans girl named Elizah.  When Elizah hangs up on her, Maura is so moved and involved that she spends the day tracking her down...  

Click to read more ...


Lovesick Brides to Be at TIFF

Nathaniel reporting from the last weekend at TIFF where brides-to-be are in the air. It's easy to see little mini-festivals blossom within the overall festival you're watching. Sometimes it happens quite by accident as with three films I caught recently (two of which might be fighting for Oscar foreign film nods). All feature female protagonists who pine for a man they thought they would marry before things went horribly wrong. We've already discussed François Ozon's Frantz. In that film the fiancee is already dead when the movie begins but in these next two films The Wedding Ring from Niger and Sand Storm from Israel, both of the young women begin the movie with a combination of dread and hope: will they be able to marry the man they loved who they met in a liberal university setting or does their conservative rural village community have other futures in mind? Both films are narrative debuts by female directors. In addition to their romantic dramas these two films speak to the clash of modernity and tradition, West and East, and especially to gender roles with young women chafing at the expectations placed on them to be subservient to whims of the patriarchy...

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The Link Of...

THR got the first look at Fences. Photos of Denzel, Viola and Stephen McKinley Henderson
Awards Daily surveys the rave reviews for Nocturnal Animals 
Playbill there's another musical about the life of Tennessee Williams on the way. The developmental concert is when I'm away at TIFF argh.

• /Film Riz Ahmed sees his Rogue One action figure for the first time (he's so skinny & British -- it's freaking me out a little post The Night Of...!)
Coming Soon Tom Holland visits a children's hospital dressed as Spider-Man
AV Club interviews Rob Reiner about his well loved filmography
MNPP if you live in NYC please note that there's a Paul Verhoeven retrospective coming in November to celebrate the release of Elle. Naturally Showgirls and the other Hollywood films will be accounted for but so will his Dutch offerings. Can't wait to see Turkish Delight finally with Rutger Hauer!
EW Tyler Hoechlin talks about becoming Superman for the CW's Supergirl
Fusion crunched the numbers on the ballots for the BBC 100 greatest of the 21st century list to come up with an all female directors ranking. I'm a little stunned, given that ultra specific scenario that A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is so low on the list (only #59) and Bright Star can't even manage the top 20 (tied for #21)
•... the original list icymi 

Los Angeles Times powerful op ed from Gabrielle Union about sexual consent, rape culture, Nate Parker, and Birth of a Nation. She plays a rape victim in his film
Variety Mark Ruffalo responds to the criticism of the casting of Matt Bomer as a trans woman in his new project. "Please have a little compassion. We are all learning" oh Jesus. Is Hollywood in so much of a bubble that they're still years behind everyone else? I find this hard to believe especially for the politically actives types like Ruffalo so it's hard to have compassion for people purposefully benefitting from the status quo.

Just For Fun
Vice analyzes the exact amount of banter in the photo of those Eton schoolboys about to meet Putin. I LOL'ed and LOL'ed. Bloody well done 

Video o' the Day
Check out this neat montage celebrating Stop-Motion in film - it's very short and due to that it gets to our lifetimes way too quickly but it still brought back so many fun movie memories. 

THE EVOLUTION OF STOP-MOTION from Vugar Efendi on Vimeo.


Best Picture Updates: La La Land Up, Birth of Nation Down

It's the final blind read Oscar charts update... after Venice/Telluride/Toronto each year things clear up a lot which is both fun because "the Oscar race has begun" and horrible since it's nice to hold on to multiple impossible dreams. After festival season is over you have to winnow the impossible dreams down since so many of the films have shown their faces and people get to decide how attractive they are and if they want to keep talking and thinking and looking at them for the next five months. 

At the very current moment La La Land is enjoying a deluge of ecstatic responses at Venice which makes us feel good about having predicted it from moment one. At the very current moment, The Birth of a Nation is reminding everyone that being a "frontrunner" a year before the actual ceremony is usually an untenable situation for a variety of similar reasons each time (boredom, hype backlash, "that ol' thing?" annoyance, etcetera) and also for specific unique reasons each time.

In the case of The Birth of a Nation we're dealing with the very unsavory business of a past rape incident. It feels grotesque to view such things through the lens of "what does it mean for Oscar?" which is largely why we've stayed relatively mum on the topic at The Film Experience. Nevertheless we should note that this is not necessarily the end for the movie. History is filled with bad press situations overcome and Hollywood is forgiving when they want to be. There are still four months left until Oscar nominations - plenty of time for more hot takes and backlashes against backlashes and so on. Nate Parker's willingness to talk at length about this is probably a good sign for both his future and the picture's, like this candid must-read interview with Ebony magazine. We can debate about how sincere and/or ignorant he is /was about consent (yes, yes, cultural understanding around sensitive topics does evolve over time but it was never okay to invite your friends to have sex with a passed out woman;  you didn't need modern understandings of "consent" to know this in the 90s) but I think we can all agree that rape culture is a very forgiving place for accomplished men, however awful that sounds. 

On the other hand once voters realize how much diversity there is in front of and behind the camera in 2016's movie offerings (Fences, Loving, A United Kingdom, Queen of Katwe, and Moonlight are all still to come) they might be eager to run far afield of the icky Birth of a Nation situation without worrying about any #OscarsSoWhite fallout because they can run right into the arms of less troubled filmmakers and warmer films. 

It's all so gross. So on to something more fun. Did you know that Alicia Keys, Tori Amos, and Sia all wrote Original Songs for movies this year? They did. See it on the music chart. 

CHART UPDATES Pre Festival Edition
Acting chart updates tomorrow!