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Oscar History

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Entries in Harold and Maude (7)


On this day: Hemingway, Falconetti, Clueless, Dunkirk

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

Corey Stoll as Hemingway

1892 Maria Falconetti is born. Delivers one of the best performances ever captured on film thirty-six years later in The Passion of Joan of Arc (1928)
1899 Famous author and real 'character' Ernest Hemingway is born. In addition to his work being made into films and TV miniseries he frequently pops up as a character in cinema played by everyone from Chris O'Donnell (In Love and War) to Corey Stoll (Midnight in Paris - robbed of an Oscar nod though we honored him here) and now Dominic West (Genius) ...and that's not even the half of it.
1922 Don Knotts is born. Mugs it up in 70+ film and TV projects including Three's Company, The Apple Dumpling Gang, and The Andy Griffith Show - 5 Emmy wins for Supporting Actor thereafter until his death in 2006

1948 Steven Demetre Georgiu is born in London. He becomes the famous folk singer Cat Stevens of "Peace Train" and "Morning Has Broken" fame. Among his many early classics are the songs from the seminal 70s film Harold and Maude (which ridiculously received zero Oscar nominations). Later changes his name to Yusuf Islam and quits music for many years.
1951 Robin Williams is born
1953 Visual FX man John Nelson is born in Detroit. Gets his first FX gig with Terminator 2 (not a bad way to start) and wins the Oscar on his first nomination with Gladiator (2000)
1955 Hungarian auteur Béla Tarr is born. His best known pictures: Sátántangó, Werckmeister Harmóniák and The Turin Horse
1957 Jon Lovitz, SNL's "Master Thespian" and comic scene stealer of 90s pictures is born
1969 Neil Armstrong becomes the first person to step on the moon; Stanley Kubrick is nowhere in the vicinity at the time.
1971 Charlotte Gainsbourg is born to famous parents in London. Later submits herself to perpetual Lars von Trier torments.
1978 Ridiculously fine looking actors Josh Hartnett and Justin Bartha are born
1981 Singer Paloma Faith is born in London. Plays herself in a weirdly unflattering role in Youth (2015)
1989 Juno Temple is born. Specializes in sexually corrupted childwomen.
1992 Jessica Barden is born. 2016's been a breakout year for her via  "Justine," a bloodthirsty prostitute on Penny Dreadful and her role as "Nosebleed Woman" in The Lobster 
1995 Clueless is 21 years old today. It can drink now though it's always given us a contact high. (Please note: IMDb lists the release date as Wednesday the 19th rather than Friday the 21st but Wikipedia disagrees so I don't know.)
2006 Monster House hits theaters. Receives a well deserved nomination for Best Animated Feature but loses to Happy Feet which... recount!

Well, whichever. At least Cars didn't win!

2007 Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows goes to market in book form. Sells 11 million copies on the first day before being split in two in movie form to reap an extra billion at the box office.
2010 Orlando Bloom goes off the market when he secretly marries model Miranda Kerr
2017 Christopher Nolan abandons sci-fi for a WW II drama Dunkirk, which will open in theaters on this day. Guess he really is pissed about being denied a single Oscar nomination for directing. 


Curio: Alex Kittle, A.K.A. Guilty Cubicle

Alexa here. I've been a follower of Alex Kittle's for a long time.  She's blogged furiously about art and film for years (previously as Film Forager and now here), and her tastes run closely to mine: feminism, cult oddities, Cindy Sherman, Technicolor musicals and The Apartment are but a few her passions. Alex also also makes art in her free time (although I don't know how she has any), specifically movie-themed prints, postcards, and posters, under the etsy banner Guilty Cubicle.  

A sample of some of my favorite designs of hers...

Click to read more ...


What I Saw | Where I Saw It | Why I Loved It

One of our favorite rising actors, David Dastmalchian, is Guest Blogging! Learn his name. He's working with great people -Editor

Photo by Evelyn Leigh"What I Saw..."
-by David Dastmalchian

There are so many films that have a special place in my memory and their impact on my life was made all the more powerful by how and where I saw them.  My earliest memories of film-going are the Kansas City drive-in’s where I caught second-run screenings from the back of my folks old station wagon of Grease, James Bond flicks like View from a Kill and Moonraker, and being in my mom’s arms at the back of the theater at a matinee with my family of Raiders of the Lost Ark.  I thought the tarantulas in the opening sequence were climbing the walls of the theater… Here are a few spectacular memories that I will always treasure: 

Where I Saw It: The Oak Park Mall Cinemas (KS)

This will remain one of the most profound movie-going experiences of my life.  The characters, colors, sounds, music, performances all exploded in front of my little face on the big screen as I sat enraptured beside my childhood buddy, Brian Bishop and his wonderful mother, Kathy.  We went to a matinee at the local cinema and this was one of my first ventures into an actual movie theater.  At that point in my development, the whole “suspension of disbelief” in my imagination was so strong that I believed wholeheartedly that ‘Sweetums’ the monster Muppet actually crashed through the screen in our theater auditorium at the end of the film.  For years I would proudly boast that I had seen the film in a theater where a REAL Muppet made an appearance.  The “Rainbow Connection” became my first on-stage performance in a preschool talent show and my wife even chose the song for her processional at our wedding.   The effect of this film on my life continues to this day.  Several times a year (especially in moments of disillusionment with the entertainment industry), I will watch the final five minutes of the film – from the moment that Orson Welles offers Kermit “The Rich and Famous Contract” through the end.  Go do this now.  Bring the Kleenex.  You’re welcome. 

Continue for three more favorite films

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Curio: Danielle Buerli's Three-dimensional Tributes

Alexa here with your weekly art appreciation.  In my frequent perusals of the pop culture artwork shown at Gallery1988, Danielle Buerli's work has always stood out.  Danielle is an illustrator working out of Zurich, Swizerland.  While in art school, Danielle's illustrations began to emerge from the page, and now she primarily creates diorama environments with found materials, often with inspiration from popular culture. 

Here are some examples of her wonderful movie tributes (more after the jump... )

"Milk Plus"


Click to read more ...


Curio: Lucky Jackson 

Alexa here. Film and embroidery don't seem a natural combination, but, as I've posted before, there are plenty of crafters out there celebrating their film fandom with an embroidery hoop.  One in particular, Jennifer Jackson, a.k.a. Lucky Jackson, continues to amaze me with her prolific output.  She uses thread like others might sketch with a pencil, stitching celebrities she's crushing on or movie scenes she loves.  

Richie's tent

In 2011 and 2012 she did an embroidery each and every day for a year, filling it with many a Bill Murray and Margot Tenenbaum. See a selection, including Bonnie Parker, American Beauty, Kick AssZoolander and more after the jump.

Click to read more ...



The Film Stage on Marc Webb's approach to the 'untold story' of The Amazing Spider-Man which has been told oh so many times before.
Vulture Star Market Charlize Theron
Coming Soon has a chat with shooting star Tom Hiddleston on War Horse and Midnight in Paris
The Playlist Stellan Skarsgard on getting naked for Lars von Trier for next year's The Nymphomaniac. Another von Trier alum Charlotte Gainsbourg will co-star in what Lars is calling his "porno"... not to be confused with the pornographic moments from The Idiots (incidentally one of the director's very best films though people rarely speak  of it now.) 

Moviefone 25 things you didn't know about Harold & Maude for its 40th anniversary.
The House Next Door picks the worst movie posters of the year.
In Contention interviews Kenneth Branagh on his "dangerously obvious casting" as Sir Laurence Olivier
Cinema Blend promised me a list of best "tiny" performances and then just gave me a list of good supporting performances, some of them in several scenes of their movies, one them third largest role in the movie! I need cameo suggestions, for my own awards, c'mon!!!
The Advocate has a fun list: Most Googled gays and lesbians of 2011. Congratulations to the lot of them.
MNPP The trailer for a trailer for a not prequel sequel Prometheus

Pajiba Dustin hates the Dexter finale on Season 6 (as did I) yet plans to come back for more. This is why TV shows outstay their welcome! Don't do it. Jump ship once the show jumps shark. If people exhibited half the patience they give television to the movies Bela Tarr and Sofia Coppola would have 100 million grossers under their belt ;) Why do people hate on "slow" movies but come back for TV shows week after week when it can sometimes takes 12 hours for something to happen which actually advances the plot? 
Paste 100 Best Twitter accounts of 2011... sadly the movie stars aren't bringing it. Real celebs on the list are mostly music and TV talents but Steve Martin and Diablo Cody richly deserve their places on the list. 
Animation Magazine a new Bill Plympton animated short based on Winsor McCay's "Flying House" is hitting the festival circuit. Maybe we'll hear of it in next year's Oscar discussion?  He's been nominated twice before.
The New York Times wonders what's going with Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close's late breaking Oscar campaign.  

If you'd like to read a piece that is fine though unrelated follow up to Michael's recent "Burning Questions" post about being nominated without precursor support, Erik at has been crunching other numbers with the same time frame using the Chicago Film Critics of all things as a major predictor. He also reminds us of those unlucky few leads from the past decade who did NOT go on to Oscar nominations despite having the entire big precursor trifecta BFCA/SAG/GLOBE and they were Cinderella Man's Russell Crowe, Sideways' Paul Giamatti, Lars and the Real Girl's Ryan Gosling and A Mighty Heart's Angelina Jolie. Locks can be broken in other words. Of this year's leading crowd that already has all three I'd say only Tilda Swinton and Leonardo DiCaprio seem vulnerable. That said, I'm not prepared to bet against Leo, biopic leads being crack cocaine to AMPAS. Tilda on the other hand I still wonder about given that it's not an Oscar style film by any stretch of the imagination.


Oscar Horrors: Nosy Neighbor Finale

Editor's Note: This is the final entry in our Oscar Horrors miniseries. We really hope you enjoyed all 17 entries -- full index at the bottom of this post. Should we do it again next year? (Yes, there are more nominations afforded to the creepy-crawly films. The Oscars have been around for 84 years after all...) -Nathaniel

HERE LIES... Ruth Gordon's Oscar-winning turn in Rosemary's Baby who drugged her competition and dragged them to hell in 1968.

Robert here, with a look back at one of Oscar's best Best Supporting Actress decisions. You probably already know that Ruth Gordon was a real Hollywood veteran when she won her Oscar for Rosemary's Baby, having been in the showbiz business ever since appearing as a picture baby in 1915 and taking a stage role as one of Peter Pan's lost boys. Even if you didn't know that, it's the sort of thing that seems right. Or you may have deduced it after seeing footage of Ruth winning her Oscar and declaring "I can't tell ya' how encouraging a thing like this is" followed by a big audience laugh. It's a good laugh line and a silly thing to say after over fifty years in the business. But the laugh was on the audience because Ruth was right. At the time of her win, Ruth's career was going fine. She'd already been a nominee for Inside Daisy Clover a few years earlier. So it would be wrong to say that the Oscar raised her career from the dead... but it sure created a monster.
In the first 53 years of Ruth Gordon's career, the pre-Oscar years, Miss Ruth assembled 13 screen credits to her name. Not an insane amount. Not the hundreds you probably assumed from such an enduring actress. But hey, showbusiness is showbusiness. You take what you can get to put food on the table. In the final 19 years of her career, the post-Oscar years, Madam Ruth showed up on screen 28 times. If you take out TV roles the number still almost doubles post-Oscar. so between the ages of 72 and her passing at 88, Ruth Gordon worked twice as much onscreen as in the first 70 years of her life. You'd think she'd made a deal with the devil.

How'd she do that? Well, Ruth Gordon knew what she was doing. Her performance in Rosemary's Baby is the most memorable in the film. But it's not written that way. Consider the descriptive names given to all the characters in the film: the plain but still very pretty Rosemary, the generically masculine Guy, the ancient and powerful Roman, and Ruth Gordon plays Minnie. She's a tiny little thing. Okay, she's got some sass, but she doesn't have any big emotional stand-out Oscar scenes, except of course that she makes every scene she's in stand out.
She's a villain. She's evil. Really evil. Frustratingly, annoyingly evil. She's your grandmother's pestering friend, but evil. And the Oscars don't like their supporting actresses to be that evil. Even when they're villainous, like Tilda Swinton or Mo'Nique, they're multi-layered evil. They have human moments. Oscar like's his supporting ladies complex but his supporting men sociopathic. Ruth's Minnie Castevet is dangerous and remorseless. She has more in common with the Hannibal Lecters, Anton Chigurhs and Jokers of the world then her fellow supporting actresses. Then she followed it all up with Harold & Maude. Chances are, if you don't know Ruth as Minnie, you know her as Maude. From the malevolent to the benevolent. It was the one-two punch of her career and it proved that she could do anything. And that, is truly scary.

The Swarm - Best Costume Design
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane -Best Actress in a Leading Role
The Fly -Best Makeup
Death Becomes Her -Best Effects, Visual Effects
The Exorcist -Best Actress in a Supporting Role 
The Birds - Best Effects, Special Visual Effects

The Birds - Best Effects, Special Visual Effects
Rosemary's Baby - Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium
Beetlejuice - Best Makeup
Carrie - Best Actress in a Leading Role
Bram Stoker's Dracula - Best Costume Design
Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde - Best Actor in a Leading Role
King of the Zombies - Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture

Poltergeist - Best Effects, Visual Effects
Hellboy II: The Golden Army -Achievement in Makeup
The Silence of the Lambs -Best Director
The Tell-Tale Heart -Best Short Subject, Cartoons