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RIP Gene Wilder

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Entries in List-Mania (136)

Monday
Sep212015

Emmy Cool-Down 

Emmy Post-Mortem
Pajiba all the times Mad Men lost acting Emmys. To this we add Christina Hendricks to Uzo Aduba (2015) and Elisabeth Moss to Viola Davis (2015) so they went 1 for 36 for eight years of an entire cast -- including the day players -- doing totally brilliant work. This is one of the reasons (only one) that the Emmys truly suck.
Slate a superb analysis of why Jon Hamm never won until now.
Glenn Dunks offers a neat solution for a couple of EGOT seekers
Vanity Fair 10 best reaction shots from the ceremony
Awesomely Luvvie on the "Blackest Emmys Ever" - I especially appreciate the shout out to future understandings of diversity because I long for the day when everyone realize that diversity does not mean white + black. But there's some time to go before we get there, you know?
E! Online covers the important stories. WHO WAS ALISON JANNEY'S SUPER HUNKY DATE? 



Six Afterthoughts on the Big Night

1. I really should have posted my predictions because they were spot on this year in regards to Veep and Game of Thrones emerging as the big winners with a nauseating mix of sameness in the acting categories mixed with new winners but only when they had no other choice. The new rules, which no longer require blue ribbon panels or for voters to have watched the nominees, are bound to eventually lead to even more repeat winners if you ask me. If a show is as popular as Game of Thrones it will be awfully tough to beat in a contest where no one voting needs to have watched any shows, even the current season of the one they're voting for.

2. Congratulations to the incredible Frances McDormand, the latest thespian to achieve the coveted Triple Crown (screw the overrated EGOT - Grammys are not an acting competition!). What's even more incredible is she is a) nothing like a typical leading lady  b) won all three awards for leading roles in c) excellent properties: Fargo (1996), Good People (2011), and Olive Kitteridge (2015). 

3. I'm saddened that Matthew Weiner didn't win the writing Emmy for Mad Men's "Person to Person" since ending an iconic TV show is so hard to do superbly. I met him briefly at TIFF at a movie party held shortly after this "In Conversation" event (which I did not attend) and he was super gracious when I told him he nailed the most difficult dismount ever with that episode. He did win three writing Emmys for the show though for "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" (S1.1), "Meditations in an Emergency" (S2.13), and "Shut the Door. Have a Seat" (S3.13) and since I'm always griping about people winning multiple Emmys for the same show perhaps 3 is enough. It's just too bad they weren't a little more spaced out since Mad Men was that rare show that did not depreciate as it went along. Which is why it's officially my favorite show of all time. I never thought anything would replace Buffy! 

4. For those following along at home Nathaniel's all time favorite shows (excluding 1 season wonders and not considering shows still on the air) probably go something like this... 1: Mad Men (2007-2015); 2: Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1997-2003); 3: Twin Peaks (1990-1991); 4: Sex & the City (1998-2004); 5: Once & Again (1999-2002); 6: Battlestar Galactica (2004-2009); 7: Pushing Daisies (2007-2009); 8: 30 Rock (2006-2013); 9: Roseanne (1988-1997); 10: The Muppet Show (1976-1981). As you can see I'm not really into classic television, largely because laugh tracks make me crazy and the serialized drama has really stepped up its game in the last two decades though the shows just off this list are some combo of Six Feet Under, Friends and 80s dramas like Dynasty and thirtysomething. I suspect we're going to see some levelling off now of the rise in quality since we're already getting clichés that spring mostly from this new golden age. If someone greenlights one more anti-hero show. Ugh. 

5. Can we create a statue that honors Best Speech and the nominees can be culled from all Awards Shows each year? Viola Davis wins this statue basically whenever she wins a statue of any kind in a given year because WOW. Remember her amazing SAG speech about dreaming big? And then last night's tremendous historically minded but forward looking diversity plea. Queen. 

6. We'll do a red carpet lineup soon and be done with the 2015 Emmys and then we'll start the whole process of dumb hope then disillusionment all over again for next year when Emmy stays set in its awful repetitive ways.

7. 

 

Friday
Sep182015

Team Experience: 2015's Best Emmy Nominees

Andrew here with some more Emmy treats.

In anticipation of Sunday's big night for TV, the television lovers at The Film Experience are bringing to you a special Team Experience top 10 list.Sure, each year a handful of Emmy nominees leave us scratching our head in confusion, but we wanted to celebrate the citations that the voters got right this year and compiled our list of favourite nominees. Unlike usual Team Experience top 10s, though, we're offering you a look at each of our individual top 10s.

Nathaniel always points out how interesting individual ballots in awards tends to be more dynamic than the final tally and to celebrate the wide range of nominees in the prizes still to be handed at Sunday's ceremonies. So, we disregarded the already decided on categories from the Creative Awards ceremonies and from the 26 categories to be decided on Sunday, our twelve person team each submitted their favourite of the nominees.

Unsurprisingly, our individual ballots were full of Actresses. Go below the jump to see them all.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Sep172015

1963 Look Back: Liz Taylor's 10 Best Looks From "Cleopatra"

Abstew kicks off our celebration of 1963 as we countdown to the next Smackdown (date TBA but probably early October)...

There's epic film making and then there's Cleopatra. Certainly in a class all of its own, the film spanned different countries, directors, stars, budgets, an original run time that clocked in at over six hours, and one legendary love affair far more interesting than the one being portrayed in the final film. Thanks to audiences wanting to see if La Liz and Richard Burton's explosive relationship off screen was able to be captured on the 70 mm Todd-AO celluloid, Cleopatra ended up being the #1 box office champion of 1963...and still ended up nearly bankrupting 20th Century Fox. Originally budgeted at $2 million, the final budget ballooned into an unprecedented amount of $44 million (roughly over $300 million when judged for inflation today) including a million dollar contract for star Elizabeth Taylor, making her the highest paid performer at the time. (She ended up walking away with over $7 million due to delays and a percentage of the box office.)

And it feels like at least half of that inflated budget went toward Taylor's costumes alone. Setting a Guinness Book of World Record at the time, Taylor goes through 65 costume changes in the film and earned all 3 (yes, 3) of its Costume Designers the Oscar for their efforts. Renié was responsible for the women's costumes, Vittorio Nino Novarese created the men's, and thanks to Irene Sharaff, who was in charge of all of Elizabeth Taylor's looks, we have a sumptuous treasure trove of couture fit for a queen (or at least Hollywood royalty). Deciding on a more modern look and color palette than what would have actually been found in ancient Egypt at the time of the film's setting, Taylor's looks influenced early '60s fashion with an influx in Egyptian like jewelry and even inspired a Revlon "Syphinx" line of make-up. So in honor of the film's sartorial contributions to cinema, let's take a look at 10 of Elizabeth Taylor's best looks as the legendary Queen of the Nile...

10. Travel Rug Chic

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug252015

Random List-Mania: 40 Best Original Movie Songs of the 1980s

We did this once for the 1990s and you loved it, so here's round two. 

Young Oscar fanatics might not have tripped over this tidbit yet but in the 1980s they were still giving out an award for "Original Song Score" - an old vestige category of the decades when a dozen plus movie musicals arrived each year. Three of these Oscars were handed out in the 1980s for Victor / Victoria (1982), Yentl (1983) and Purple Rain (1984).  None have been handed out since even though it's technically still a category... just not one that they invoke anymore. Though it's a pity they didn't consider giving one to Moulin Rouge! or Hedwig and the Angry Inch for 2001 as the category can also be awarded to "Adaptation Score"

The presence of this category in the early 80s probably explains why Purple Rain and Victor/Victoria had no "Original Song" nominees in their years (why double dip?) but it does not explain why Yentl had nominations in both categories. Because of these films I only allowed myself 2 songs per movie so as not to let these five films hog this entire list.

BEST ORIGINAL MOVIE SONGS OF THE 1980s
Beautiful Song Craft and/or Cheesy Epic Ballads For the Wins
* Oscar nominee | ** Oscar winner 

  1. "Nine to Five"* -Nine to Five (Dolly Parton)
  2. "Le Jazz Hot" - Victor/Victoria (Henry Mancini)
  3. "Purple Rain" - Purple Rain (Prince)
  4. "Into the Groove" - Desperately Seeking Susan (Madonna)
  5. "Xanadu" - Xanadu (Jeff Lynne)
  6. "Fame"** - Fame (Michael Gore & Dean Pitchford)
  7. "When Doves Cry" - Purple Rain (Prince)
    33 more numbers after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug032015

100 Things I Love About the Movies

I recently had the pleasure of participating in a group project for the Broken Projector Podcast's 100th episode in which several cinephiles were asked to list 7 things they loved about the movies. You should listen to it! I got a little carried away and was too longwinded (sorry!) but I highly recommend a listen because even though I do carry one, others are more succinct and the podcast also features various writers from Film School Rejects and our friend Katey Rich among fabulous others. I purposely didn't lean into geek culture titans like Star Wars and Spielberg classics and all of that because I new they'd be amply covered. But yes, I love early Star Wars and early Spielberg, too. I just rarely talk about it because it's all you hear about elsewhere. 

Anywayyyy... Not related but in a similar vein I chanced upon The Best Picture Project blog doing a 100 wide list, too, and... well, why limit myself to seven. So herewith, a mostly off the top of my head listing of 

100 Things I Love About the Movies 
(in no particular order and literally off the top of my head) 

 

  1. The feeling of possibility in that moment when the curtains go up or, rather, expand to fit the wider screen
  2. Opening titles that are their own short entity, not just overlayed on the movie
  3. Musicals - for being the greatest of film genres and essentially combining every art form
  4. Women Who Lie To Themselves™ - the greatest of subgenres
  5. The Redford Theater in Detroit (which played old movies every other weekend on a massive screen with a live organ pre-show) which is where I first fell in love with Old Hollywood
  6. That time exiting a revival of Singin' in the Rain as a kid when I swung around a pole in unbridled enthusiasm for the movies
  7. The pride of learning every nonsense syllable of "We Go Together" from Grease
  8. My mom's deep enthusiasm for Witness (1985) and her weird guilt about loving it so much
  9. Dreading my dad's grumpiness when the family went to Titanic (1997) on a Christmas break only to realize he loved it. And how.
  10. Liz Taylor doing Bette Davis "What a dump!"
  11. When Dorothy Gale opens her door and leaves sepia tone behind for color
  12. The complete works of Pedro Almodóvar
  13. "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that."
  14. Moulin Rouge!
  15. Catherine Deneuve's hair
  16. Vivien Leigh's eyebrows
  17. Marilyn Monroe's voice

    83 more things after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jul292015

Actors Love "Tootsie". And Other Discoveries

By now you've surely seen Time Out's "100 Best Movies" list. The hook and unusual angle is that the list is comprised solely from ballots of actors. Actors are famously impressionable of course so you get embarrassing things like the barely-out-of-the-oven Whiplash (2014) as one of the 100 best movies of all time but it's still an interesting list. #1 is not your usual Citizen Kane/Vertigo type deal (only one of those two makes the list) but is awarded to the classic comedy Tootsie (1982).

(And, no, we had no intention of posting two Tootsie related articles within the same 24 hours -- don't miss this piece on The Americans since we wanna know what you think of this new series idea -- but blogging can surprise you.)

The complete Time Out 100 list and 10 discoveries after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jul272015

200 Oldest Living Screen Stars of Note 

In December 2013 we published a list of the Oldest Living Screen Stars of Note. To this day it still gets frequent traffic. And the comments have been more robust than any other post in the blogs history... pages and pages of comments. But it was long past time to update, especially given that Olivia de Havilland, one of our all time favorite movie stars, has replaced Luise Rainer as the poster girl for Oscars-are-forever immortality, regardless of when Oscar winners and nominees actually move on from this mortal coil. Consider this list a celebration and not anything morbid.

Send out telepathic waves of appreciation to these talents. Rent one of their movies! The list begins with Lupita Tovar who turns 106 this month (!!!) and who has very cool connections to current cinema. [DISCLAIMER: Not all screen actors who are old enough for this list are here, but we were as thorough as we could be when it came to people with notable careers. Apologies if we missed someone you love!]

200 OLDEST LIVING SCREEN STARS
updated July 4th, 2016

 

105 years young

01 Lupita Tovar (7/27/1910)
Mexican actress Lupita Tovar appeared in the Spanish Dracula (1931) and though her last movie was in 1945 she continued to affect the movies via her gene pool: she mothered an Oscar nominee, Susan Kohner (Imitation of Life) and her grandsons, Oscar-nominated siblings Paul Weitz & Chris Weitz (About a Boy) are both current writer/director/producers. Paul's newest was the comedy Grandma starring Lily Tomlin which we've already raved about. He was obviously meant to make it as he knew from cool Grandmas! 

103 years young

02 Connie Sawyer (11/17/12)
The very definition of "working actor". While not exactly famous her career began in the early 50s and she's STILL working often in small roles, which make good use of her longevity. Her last prominent feature was Pineapple Express (2008) and she appeared in recent episodes of New Girl and Ray Donovan as, respectively, "The Oldest Woman in the World" and "Old Lady Sullivan"

102 years young

03 Mary Carlisle (2/3/1914)
This B movie actress of the 1930s appeared in films like Baby Face Morgan and co-starred with Bing Crosby three times. She's also in the ensemble of the actressy ginger-fest Dance Girl Dance (1940) with Maureen O'Hara and Lucille Ball in the headlining roles.

04 Gisele Casadesus (6/14/14) This Parisian goddess started in the French national theater Comédie-Française and appeared there for decades. Her film career was fairly regular in the 1940s and mostly nonexistent again until the 1970s. But she recently has had a mini film revival co-starring in both My Afternoons with Margueritte and Sarah's Key

Olivia de Havilland and more after the jump...

Click to read more ...

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