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Entries in Los Angeles (44)

Sunday
Dec042016

The 42nd Annual LAFCA Winners !

The Los Angeles Film Critics Association stretches back to 1975, a very great year in cinema history with one of Oscar's all time best Best Picture lineups (Dog Day Afternoon, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Nashville, Barry Lyndon, and Jaws). They gave four of those pictures awards in their first year, ignoring only Jaws. Though we normally despair that all film critics awards seem to be viewed through the prism of Oscar influence or prediction (critics groups should have their own identity / agenda or else what good are they?) in the LAFCA's case it's difficult to avoid. Los Angeles is an industry town and these are their local critics. So go crazy when you're looking at this list and want to think of it in terms of Oscar; It's easy to argue that its the single critics list that Oscar voters take most seriously since the bulk of the membership lives there.  You can especially see this influence lately in LAFCA's choices for "career achievement" which are not so infrequently named as Honorary Oscar winners the following year or three thereafter as happened recently with Anne V Coates, Gena Rowlands, and Frederick Wiseman!

For a refresher last year's big LAFCA winners were Spotlight and Mad Max Fury Road which were of course very popular with Oscar, too. They sometimes get creative in the Best Actress category but their Best Picture winner tends to go to an obvious and highly competitive future Best Picture nominee or winner with rare exceptions like WALL•E (2008), American Splendor (2003), or Do The Right Thing (1989).

This year's prizes were bathed in Moonlight though La La Land put up a fight.

LAFCA WINNERS (AND TRIVIA) 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov152016

Noirvember: Kiss Me Deadly (1955)

It's Noirvember. Here's Bill Curran on a Robert Aldrich's neo-noir

The world turned upside down, inside out. Film noir depends on following innate impulses to that most ultimate, unthinkable, irrational end: death. Noir explores that nasty thing called "human nature, revealing (and revelling in) the elemental urges that really make us tick. Noir unmasks the mechanics of this crazy world with some variation on a guy, a girl, and a gun. Upending sexual-patriarchal dynamics, leveling the tenants of justice and who is responsible for carrying it out, filming what we do in the shadows in the half-light: when you flip the script on taste and convention, you can learn a lot about how topsy-turvy this whole mess called Earth can be. 

Kiss Me Deadly stews in and subverts these genre contradictions more brazenly than almost any other film noir before or since, perhaps because it is, in the end, about the dawn of the end of the world. Gonzo and sophisticated in equal measure, from the backward title scrawl to the A-bomb finale, this loose 1955 adaptation of the Mickey Spillane novel could be called the first neo-noir and what the Cahier du cinema crowd dubbed, "the thriller of tomorrow.”

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct242016

Middleburg Finale: "Loving" & "La La Land"

Lynn Lee here stepping in for Nathaniel, on his way back to NYC, for the final day of the Middleburg Film Festival which was Sunday. As a D.C. area resident, I’ve been observing the rising profile of this local-ish film festival over the past few years with great interest.  Festival founder Sheila Johnson seems bent on making Middleburg a lower-altitude Telluride of the East, and she certainly has the Hollywood heavy-hitter connections to do it!  This year’s lineup was easily the most impressive so far in the festival’s short history; it’s as if the program was constructed specifically to highlight likely Oscar contenders.

The Lovings in the beloved Virginia.

In both that ambition and its picturesque Virginia setting, there was no more fitting film to cap the festival than Loving...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Sep292016

Issa Rae: A Star is Born

by Kieran Scarlett

It’s an incredibly exciting thing to watch the emergence of new on-screen talent whose charisma and star quality cannot be denied.  It’s difficult to describe clearly, but it’s clear to a watchful viewer when it happens.  Such is the case with Issa Rae, star and co-creator of the new HBO comedy “Insecure” set to debut next month (the pilot episode is already available online via HBO Now). The series, which is co-created by Larry Wilmore (formerly of “The Daily Show”) announces Rae as a force to be reckoned with, both in front of and behind the camera.

The show is, in some ways, an extension of Rae’s 2011 web series “The Mis-Adventures of Awkward Black Girl”...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Mar062016

Podcast Season Finale: 88th Oscars

NathanielNick, Joe and Katey close this season of the podcast with their final "it's all sunk in now" feelings

42 minutes 
00:01 "So Spotlight won..."
02:15 Katey's Party / Nick's House Rules 
05:25 Stallone's Loss / Compton Moviegoing
09:30 How much changes if Idris Elba had been nominated?
15:00 Sam Smith, The Gays, and Original Song
20:00 What wins will age well and much randomness
37:54 That moment when we thought George Miller was possible...
40:00 Girl Scout Cookies and Goodbyes

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Related Reading: Index of Oscar Ceremony Coverage

Oscar Wrap Up