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Entries in Ghost (8)

Wednesday
Jul132016

Hollywoodland. And other anniversaries today

On this day in history as it relates to the movies...

1793 Jean-Paul Marat is born in Prussia. Goes on to become a famous political activist and journalist during the French Revolution. His murder is dramatized in the famous play Marat/Sade (also known as The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade which was made into a film in 1968 starriing Patrick Macgee and Ian Richardson. I once saw a production of this play in Harlem and it was just fascinating.
1863
British Egyptologist, "Grandmother of Wicca" and proto-feminist Margaret Alice Murray is born in India. I only mention this because so many fascinating, influential and controversial women exist in history but we only ever get biopics of men. Why doesn't she have a biopic? It could be great.
1923 The iconic HOLLYWOOD sign is officially dedicated in California. It originally says "Hollywoodland" but the "land" is dropped twenty-six years later.

more after the jump

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jul132015

"Ghost" and Other Blockbuster Best Pics

Today is the 25th anniversary of Ghost (1990), that wildly successful supernatural-comedy-romance-adventure-whatsit from 1990 which briefly iconized Demi Moore's single teardrop face, revived the popularity of a 1955 song hit, made pottery-wheel lovemaking into a meme (before memes were called that) proved that Patrick Swayze was more than just Dirty Dancing, made the world hate the grandson of legendary movie mogul Samuel Goldwyn, and won Whoopi Goldberg her Oscar, the first acting win for an African American woman since Hattie McDaniel in 1939 (it's since become far more common... at least in Supporting Actress).

Ghost is among the most atypical Best Picture nominees of all time, and one that would never have been nominated without its phenomenal grosses. It ended 1990 as the top global grosser with over half a billion in the bank, though Home AlonePretty Woman and Best Picture winner Dances With Wolves were not far behind). 

So here's a quick Oscar talking point about the last, oh, 40 years of Oscar history. Which of these Best Picture nominees, arguably none of which would have been nominated without their blockbuster phenom cred given their genres and non-prestige foundations, is your favorite?

Star Wars (1977)
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Fatal Attraction (1987)
The Fugitive (1993)
The Sixth Sense (1999)
District 9 (2009)
The Blind Side (2009)

How do you think Ghost (1990) stacks up to that list? None of them actually won Hollywood's top prize in their year. 

Saturday
Feb212015

Black History Month: Whoopi Goldberg in "Ghost" (1990)

Our Black History Month through the lens of Oscar continues with abstew on Whoopi...

It took fifty-one years after Hattie McDaniel's historic win for Gone With the Wind (1939) for another black actress to hear her name called as the winner on Oscar night. Her successor scored an Oscar factoid of her own becoming the first black actress to score two Oscar nominations (thankfully, she is no longer alone with that distinction, having been joined by Viola Davis). Instead of prestigious talents along the lines of a Cicely Tyson, Ruby Dee, or Alfre Woodard, the honor went to a comedienne that took her stage name from a gag toy that makes fart sounds. Not exactly the typical Oscar winner, but that uniqueness has always been what defined Whoopi Goldberg as a performer and her Oscar win for playing medium Oda Mae Brown in the hit film Ghost (1990) is perhaps the quintessential Whoopi performance.

Born Caryn Johnson, Goldberg's first encounter with Oscar came for 1985's The Color Purple from director Steven Spielberg and based on Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winner. While performing in her one-woman show on Broadway, Goldberg was asked by Spielberg to play the lead, Miss Celie, in the film. She won the Golden Globe and became the 5th black woman to be nominated for a Best Actress Academy Award, but she lost the Oscar that year to sentimental favorite Geraldine Page in The Trip to Bountiful, who finally won her Oscar on the 8th try. 

Goldberg had much better luck the second time around, but her Oscar-winning performance was almost not to be. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Dec222014

Tweets o' the Week: Batman Returns, Last Christmas, and More

Good morning! It's just three days until Christmas. THREE! To note that I am unprepared is to state, shrugging, 'he thinks movies are alright'

I mean we haven't even started the Year in Review! Rectifying. Rectifying.

This is the kind of time frame wherein you need little friendly woodland animals to be doing all your busy work so that you can focus on the important things like Going to the Ball. I illustrate twitter collections with a picture of birds and today Cinderella seemed natural since Into the Woods is soon upon us. I hadn't really thought about this before but Cinderella is supposed to have this miserable indentured servant life but look at that view from her bedroom window!  Talk about a room with a view... that's prime real estate. Shouldn't she be sleeping in the cellar or something? 

Herewith some tweets that amused, edified, or otherwise cocked a brow this past week for a variety of reasons, posted to get this week chirping away quickly, happily. Enjoy.

(SO MUCH POSTING DUE THROUGH NEW YEAR'S. BEAR WITH US... VISIT A LOT, OKAY?)

Fav Tweets Non-Celebrity Division...

Sadly that tweet describes so many ill advised days o' mine! Moving on with GHOST, BATMAN RETURNS after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug122013

Reader Spotlight: Santy Calalay

Today on Reader Spotlight we're talking to the very talented Santy Calalay from The Philippines whose interview was lost in my inbox for months. Sorry Santy! Without further ado... here he is with "the only Oscar winner I know"

Santy with Greg Curda, who won Best Sound for The Hunt for Red October"

TFE: Do you remember your first movie?

Santy: It was either one of three Disney movies: Snow White, Sleeping Beauty or Bambi. That or it was a Filipino film from the 70's where my father played the bad guy. Haha. My most vivid childhood memory regarding movies though is with Ghost. My mother loved watching that when it came out but she would never watch it alone. My sister and I were only 6 and 8 at the time so when THAT SCENE as we called it (clay. hands. white shirt. need I type more?) came up, my mother would tell us to go to the other side of the room and bury our faces in pillows while she watched.

I only saw that scene for the first time when I participated in Stinkylulu's 1990 Supporting Actress Smackdown. (Go Diane!)

Why do you read TFE?

Because you write about the movies the way I think about them. Plus TFE must be the most open-minded community when it comes to discussing movies as a business, as an art and as an obsession. I've learned so much from the knowledge of your contributors and commentators.

You're a photographer. How do you think that coincides with your movie love? 

Photography is in-between writing and filmmaking. It's Hit Me With Your Best Shot. It's me stopping the narrative and saying, "wow, this is what it's all about." For me, the most beautiful shot is still when Brigitte Lin takes her wig off in the alley in Chungking Express. My breath was taken away. Even the movie stood still for that moment. A photoshoot is just like making a movie, only you try to show your greatest frames and angles to tell the whole story. The brevity of a picture always appealed to me.

Brigitte Lin & Takeshi Kaneshiro in the mindblowingly beautiful "Chungking Express"

Have you ever broken up with someone over a movie?

Yes. After she said Orgazmo was a better movie than Casablanca. Have. Not. Spoken. Since.

Three favorite actresses 

Deborah Kerr because I have always loved a lady. Glenn Close because I have always admired someone who goes big and broke every time. And lastly, Thelma Ritter for Pick-up on South Street and the sincerity she always gave in her roles. Sorry Maggie Cheung, Nathaniel said just three.

Favorite director?

Robert Altman. Those casts! Enough said.

Take away an Oscar. regift it.

I'll do it but I'll hate myself in the morning: Hilary Swank for Million Dollar Baby to Kate Winslet in Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind since I only get ONE regift. [Editor's Note: He hated himself in the morning and sent a new response] Sally Field's Oscar for Norma Rae to Bette Midler for The Rose!

What's the last movie you saw before these questions?

Detective Story. Kirk Douglas growls. Eleanor Parker cries. Lee Grant is KOO-KY.

And in theaters?

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters. I actually enjoyed the first movie because of Uma's delicious and highly-affected line readings as Medusa, reminiscent of her Poison Ivy. No such treasure in this one and it only reminded me that Shoreh Aghdashloo has no Oscar.

If you'd like to see Santy's photo work, check it out here. Such a good photographer and recently published in Vogue Italia. Congrats! 

Sunday
Nov112012

50 Appropriate Ways to Celebrate Demi Moore's ½ Century Mark

Too few people speak of Demi Moore anymore and that truly saddens me. I grew up with Demi as a big screen goddess and though her star went supernova, flaring so bright you couldn't miss it before unarguably fading, she's still worth celebrating. The 80s and 90s would NOT have been the same without her. Younger generations know her best as the former Mrs. Ashton Kutchner! What a world. What an ignomious fate for someone as good at being a celebrity as she!

50 Ways to Celebrate Demi Moore. I Double Demi Dare you!

  1. Scream until you're hoarse to achieve her suitably sexy voice.
  2. Hook your star to a sexy bald man.
  3. Indulge your inner cougar.
  4. Practice the fine art of being friends with your most famous ex. (Let Bruce & Demi be role models for all)
  5. Refer to yourself as "Mrs. [Whoever You're Dating]" this week on Twitter or Facebook 

Click to read more ...