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The biggest Oscar winners that weren't Best Picture nominees

"That Dracula costume win is one of the most deserved Oscars of all time. Ishioka = genius. Her costumes were their own characters." - Sawyer

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Oscar Nominee Interviews
Asghar Farhadi (The Salesman)
Martin Butler & Bentley Dean (Tanna)
Nicole Kidman (Lion)
Denis Villeneuve (Arrival
Krystof Deak (Sing)
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Entries in gender politics (185)

Saturday
Nov122016

Rank the "1 and Done" Oscar-Winning Actors

Did you catch the out of focus Yul Brynner robot in the background of a darkly lit scene in last week's episode of Westworld? That charismatic movie star had a lot of success in action films (see also the original Magnificent Seven) but he won his only Oscar race for a musical, The King and I. Which brings us back around to our "One and done" discussion. We featured the actresses who'd won Oscars for their one and only nomination a week ago and it was so fun we decided we should do the men this weekend. The "One and Done" club includes men, too, and even a few more of them. (As with the women I left out those who would otherwise qualify but for a second round via the Honorary Oscars)

Give us your top ten among them in the comments!

LEAD
A few differences worth noting that differ from leading actresses. Only 9% of leading actresses win from their sole nomination. For men, it's quite different with around 21% belonging to the 1 and done club...

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Thursday
Nov102016

Chicken Run for the Despondent Soul

by Daniel Crooke

In the wake of Donald Trump’s victory on Tuesday, it’s been a challenge not to hide under the covers and never come out. When fundamental civil liberties, minority rights, and the safety of the entire planet are on the line, the diverting promises of everyday distractions are a mixed bag; the stakes are high, the situation is dire, and change depends on every single American who believes in justice for all to keep their eyes open and their voices loud on the task at hand. Action demands itself. Everything else can feel a bit frivolous right now.

But for those who need a quick bit of movie fantasy with a hearty, hopeful dose of relevance, I would recommend clicking over to Netflix like I did last night to refamiliarize yourself with the crackling Aardman claymation caper Chicken Run - a story about a henhouse uprising of economically disadvantaged chickens taking their rights back from the human farmers who mean to exterminate them in the name of wealth concentration and boundless brand recognition.

Concerned fundamentally with the importance of political organization as a means of toppling inhumane powers that threaten freedom and liberty, Chicken Run is a model for the promises of civic engagement. The film's clucking characters escape the despair-cast shackles of its dead end world by tirelessly fighting the good fight against odds impossibly stacked against them. Their fearless leader Ginger carries the torch for the film’s fowl feminism, outsmarting the bloviating, dimwitted, and fraudulent men on the farm to shine a path through the darkness for her disenfranchised comrades. Indeed, it is only when the night falls into its pitchest black that Ginger and her team of nasty women band together with enough grit and goodwill to extinguish their enemy once and for all and seize their brighter tomorrow. Food for thought.

Monday
Oct242016

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...

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Wednesday
Oct192016

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

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Thursday
Oct132016

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.

 

Saturday
Oct012016

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...  

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Saturday
Sep172016

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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