Oscar History
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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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Ashley Judd, Pulp Queen

"Double Jeopardy is my jam!!! I ain't mad at cha, Miss Ashley! " - Dorian

"Ashley reminds me of Ida Lupino, who in the '40s had a lot of talent but was undervalued because of her association with genre potboilers." -Brookesboy

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Entries in gender politics (209)

Sunday
Dec032017

Podcast: The Shape of Lady Bird

Nathaniel and Nick talk two Best Picture hopefuls, the generous funny adorable Greta Gerwig movie Lady Bird and the overstuffed visually creative Guillermo Del Toro fantasy The Shape of Water

Index (43 minutes)
00:01 Lois Smith & Lucas Hedges and lingering moments
06:00 Greta Gerwig, Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, and Tracy Letts are all brilliant
16:00 More Lady Bird gushing
23:00 The Shape of Water -wanted to love it more
27:00 Guillermo del Toro problems and monsters
32:00 The performances in the movie
37:40 The Best Picture field, Hollywood sexism, and the atypical versus typical within the contenders

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesContinue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

Shape of Water & Lady Bird

Friday
Nov242017

Will this year's Best Director Oscar race be the most diverse ever?

by Nathaniel R

from left to right: del Toro, Guadagnino, Wright, Peele, Jenkins, Rees, Nolan, McDonagh, Aronofsky, Baker, Spielberg, Gerwig, Scott, Bigelow, Coppola, Villeneuve

While I was updating the Oscar charts for Picture and Director it occurred to me that the Academy's directing branch could well come up with their most diverse shortlist ever. Generally speaking when the Best Director lineup has had some variations from its usual five middle aged white American directors it's been with older white European auteurs. But in the past twelve years things have been shifting for that category quite a lot despite frequent complaints that they aren't changing at all. Or at least that they're not changing fast enough.

Consider that the following things have all happened in the past twelve Oscar races:

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Nov182017

Interview: Director Petra Volpe on Swiss Oscar Submission 'The Divine Order'

By Jose Solís

I don’t remember exactly what horrible thing the new US administration had announced it wanted to do the day I found myself walking into The Divine Order at the Tribeca Film Festival. I knew nothing about the movie and decided I’d give it ten minutes to capture my attention and help me escape whatever ghastly reality was shaping outside. I didn’t want to watch anything about war, genocide etcetera.

All I wanted was hope, and boy did Petra Volpe’s lovely film deliver...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Nov182017

Link Therapy

• Criterion Close Isabelle Huppert makes her picks! 
• i09 Netflix odd email phishing scam promotion of The Punisher (I received this too and was like hmmmm... clever but gross and no thank you)
• Gr8ter Days Ann Wedgeworth, a favorite of the National Society of Film Critics prizes in the late 70s and early 80s (Handle with Care, Sweet Dreams) and a Tony winner for a Chapter Two (which later became a film albeit without Wedgeworth) and a TV regular has died
• Boy Culture It only took 50+ years but the Star Trek franchise just got its first gay kiss via Star Trek: Discovery thanks and out actors Anthony Rapp and Wilson Cruz
• Playbill Broadway hit Come From Away, which is about passengers stranded in a small Newfoundland town during 9/11, is going to get a film version with the Broadway director and writers transferring over
• Tracking Board Mahershala Ali and Carmen Ejogo (YAS! She's so undervalued) will headline the third season of True Detective for HBO

Our Ongoing Collective Trauma
• HuffPost a fine piece by Matt Jacobs on loving Hollywood and the pop-culture machine but realizing how rotten its been since its inception when it comes to abuses of power and the treatment of women
• Deadline Marti Nixon on the recent allegations against Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner 
• Variety Matthew Weiner denies the allegations but admits to being angry on set a lot of the time and wishes he had behaved differently
AV Club Lena Dunham defends a Girls writer accused of assault
• Nylon a personal essay from Evan Rachel Wood about what the psychotic hurricane of these past two years and what she's learned about herself and others during this awful decline in time. 
Film School Rejects on the way film sites have been reacting (or not) to the growing list of accusations

Two Videos
On Hela's hello cool antler headpiece in Thor Ragnarok and the short teaser for Incredibles 2 (basically Jack Jack giggling and causing havoc with his laser beam eyes) 

Off Screen for Fun
• New Yorker Disney princes reimagined as allies

Prince Eric is extremely committed to female equality in his kingdom. He has so much to tell Ariel about the plight and oppression of women that he fails to notice that she doesn’t have a voice.

Saturday
Oct142017

Harvey Weinstein Expelled From the Academy

By Nathaniel R

It's the end of an era. Harvey Weinstein has been expelled from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences given the avalanche of sexual harassment and rape claims that have hit in the past week. That's quite a downfall for a man once synonomous with Oscar Night. Or as The Los Angeles Times succinctly puts it

The move... in symbolic terms, amounts to a virtual expulsion from Hollywood itself.

The Oscars aren't the house that Harvey built, of course. They have survived many scandals and scandalous members and will survive this. The organization predates his birth by 25 years though how's this for an eery bit of Oscar/Harvey trivia: the very first televised Oscars were held on the night of baby Harvey's first birthday on March 19th, 1953. The producing giant didn't come into prominence until the early 1990s with the rise of Miramax but once he did he changed the way Oscar campaigns ran, was thanked relentlessly in acceptance speeches, and made prestige mini-majors the dominant Oscar players across town. 

Of course one could argue that the Weinstein era had ended years ago. The Weinstein Company has struggled in recent years against the rise of now-powerful awards players like Fox Searchlight, A24, Amazon Studios and more. There isn't even much to say about the way the Weinstein sexual harassment scandals will affect the Oscars this year. TWC only had one release this year that was successful enough to justify a campaign of any kind (Wind River) but that was a long shot at best even before the company was embroiled in this scandal. The period drama The Current War was their Christmas hopeful but its festival response was tepid and with the company falling apart and cries to "dissolve the board" out there it seems unlikely that it will see release any time soon.  

The Academy's Board of Governors (incidentally just one woman shy of being 50% women) was right to get this scandal off their plate immediately given that the Honorary Oscars are just around the corner. Who could be celebratory with anything like this depressing hurtful story on their minds? But on a deeper level they're taking a stand against the way Hollywood has been run for years. They state that they made the move in order to send a message:

The era of willful ignorance and shameful complicity in sexually predatory behavior and workplace harassment in our industry is over.

Well done.