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Entries in Mad Max (59)

Thursday
Mar032016

How Jenny Beavan won the Oscars

Tim here. I watched the Oscars this year completely without the aid of social media of any sort – absolutely worth doing, if you haven't recently. It lets you enjoy the ceremony for the ceremony.

What that means is that I didn't realize for two whole days that there was quite a furor over my very favorite visual from the whole night, Jenny Beavan's outstanding outfit that she wore on the way to collect her Best Costume Design award for Mad Max: Fury Road. It turns out that there were quite a few people who did not share my view that it was the night's clear highlight. Several of them were sitting right inside the Kodak Theater with her, in fact, rather visibly failing to be delighted by her attire. That's especially true of an epically grumpy Alejandro González Iñárritu. He and several other conspicuous non-clappers were the subject of a Vine that went viral on the spot.

The internet has obligingly and appropriately pushed back, including a magnificent Paddy Considine tweet that I dare not show here on account of the very curt language Considine fired off in Beavan's defense, but it's very much worth checking out.

I did not come to rehash all of that, but to take us back to the outfit itself.

What was buried in the clapping controversy was that Beavan was wearing just about the coolest outfit to have graced the Oscars this decade. It's an instantly classic entry in the annals of "Costume designers just do not give a crap" alongside Milena Canonero's form fitting Victorian men's suit in 2007, and Lizzy Gardiner's 1995 American Express dress (another controversial outfit that many people hate but remains one of the greatest things anyone has ever worn). Just look at it! 

All other considerations aside, that is badass. And it's also really on-point. The inherent ruggedness of (fake) leather, the heightened cartoon gaudiness of having a sequined image on the back, the fact that the image is a sort of cult identity marker, the way that her accessories suggest scavenging. She is, in effect, wearing the movie on her body, and taking it up to win the Oscar with her. More importantly, it's a way to put her own personality on display during a moment that should be entirely about here. And there is far more of Beavan the human being in that moment than any stock Hollywood figure wearing stock evening wear – this is a woman whose primary medium of expression is clothing, after all. As she put it backstage:

I don't do frocks and absolutely don't do heels, I have a bad back. I look ridiculous in a beautiful gown… I just like feeling comfortable and as far as I'm concerned I'm really dressed up."

And as far as we're concerned, she won the whole Oscar ceremony.

Tuesday
Mar012016

Oscar's Sound Montages Show The Instruments and Play The Orchestra

Daniel Crooke here to talk about the pitch-perfect Sound Editing and Mixing montages from this year’s Oscar ceremony that ended in shiny, chrome, and hugely deserved wins for Mad Max: Fury Road. Known to some fair-weather film fans as the mystery stuffing that clogs the airtime between Best Supporting Actress and Actor, the sound categories are often the most overlooked because they’re the least understood. This gives the producers of the Oscars a daunting task – explain the intricacies and differences of two finely tuned crafts and hope that the audience both understands those definitions and why sound is crucial to creating cinematic universes. 

This year, the Sound montages demonstrated the transporting power of signals and noises and thrillingly distilled how exactly they’re shaped.  More onomatopoeias after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb282016

The 88th Academy Awards 

Chris Rock's opening monologue will take some time to parse. We'll have time to parse tomorrow, okay? Like most Oscar opening monologues it had a combination of lame expected jokes and great curveball laughs but this time a super uncomfortable crowd, no one knowing when it was okay to laugh surely fearing the camera would be on them. Some of it was really inspired though, and an artful deflection and condemnation simultaneously.

To continue the racial themes he introduces Emily Blunt and "someone even whiter" Charlize Theron, who happens to actually be African. So funny. But in a thinky/smile about it later way if you realize. Both stars of that awful looking Snow White sequel look sensationally gorgeous. Charlize Theron's neckline dives deeper than the whole Best Actor field combined.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY  Spotlight
BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY The Big Short

Adam McKay's says his movie is about "financial esoterica" which is surely a first for an Oscar ceremony. 

Another first (and last) for Oscar -- a Stacey Dash appearance. I actually do not get this joke unless... Or, rather, I get it (Stacey Dash being an awful person who wants black history month and the like abolished) but it's super unfunny. 

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Alicia Vikander, The Danish Girl

lots more after the jump

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb282016

Film Bitch Awards ~ The Grand Finale

Another film year closes. Tonight when the Best Picture prize is handed out (it'll be a nailbiter down to the wire, even if The Revenant is taking lots of craft prizes) it's all over but the post-mortem party and then we're on to 2016's movies. At last! But first, if you haven't checked Nathaniel's own annual tradition the Film Bitch Awards (the name came from friends in college before the site existed -- yes, i was giving out imaginary prizes every year since, like, junior high -- and it stuck for better and SEO worst), please do.

Nominations and gold, silver, and bronze medals in 18 traditional categories and 22 "extra" fun ones have all been announced. Consider this a yearbook of TFE's most beloved screen adventures and obsessions from the 2015 film year. I wish we could have an awards show (perhaps a video show for 2016? though we'll need more funds first. Hint hint. Subscribe!) or forge actual medals. But for now these annual prizes will have to do!

PAGE 1  Picture, Director, Screenplay
Carol and Mad Max begin their huge medal runs. Which will emerge victorious?

PAGE 2  Acting Categories
Prizes for Steve Jobs, 45 Years, Love and Mercy, Creed, and more... 

PAGE 3  Visual Categories
Ex Machina refuses to leave empty-handed despite fierce competition

PAGE 4  Music & Sound Categories
Sicario gets much of its punch from its ear candy. Or ear poison, rather, because that shit is sinister.

PAGE 5  Extra Acting-Related Categories
*JUST ANNOUNCED* Nominations and Medals in the Limited and Cameo categories including honors for Magic Mike XXL, Grandma, lesser known actors from Spotlight and more...

PAGE 6  Memorable Characters
Prizes for Inside Out and more...

PAGE 7  Best Scenes
Here's where films of all genres and target audiences tend to rise up to joust with each other. Notices for a huge swath of high and lowbrow achievements: 50 Shades of Grey, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Mission: Impossible - Rogue Nation, TangerineDiary of a Teenage Girl, and many more...

Please enjoy and discuss. It's more fun when movie-love is communal!

 

Friday
Feb262016

Final Oscar Predictions. Here We Go...

Thanks for reading all year, dear Oscar freaks.  I originally published these predictions in my column at Towleroad but the write-ups are expanded here with more details since y'all are movie freaks and I love you for it. Here we go...

From silly rumors of a bear “raping” Leonardo DiCaprio, to the critical fervor for a fourth film in a Mad and previously non-prestigious action franchise, to obviously gathering but non-impactful support of our years long anti category fraud crusade, to the internet rage and ongoing controversy over #OscarsSoWhite this has been an eventful and often surprising awards season. Will Oscar night continue that trend or feel like an anticlimax? Whichever way it goes, it all comes to an end this Sunday night on ABC when the 88th Academy Awards unspool.

The following predictions can be used to inform your Oscar party or office Oscar pool but fair warning: even seasoned Oscar pundits like myself and other Gurus and Experts are confused this year about some categories. As early as last week, for example, I had planned to start this article with an obnoxiously cute bit about the surest prediction being that the producers would try desperately to pretend that Hollywood was very diverse on Oscar night. I was wrong, wrong, wrong. They went and made another anti-diversity blunder, axing performances of two of the Original Song nominees, the two that happen to be sung by a famous Asian soprano and a trans woman. Can we have a round of applause please for Anohni (better known as Antony Hegarty) who has published a must-read personal essay about the insulting behavior of the Academy in regards to her nomination for Best Original Song.

Sigh. It’s like The Academy can’t help themselves!?! They just dig themselves deeper every time. Yet we can’t help ourselves either and continue obsessing over that 13½ inch naked gold man. Let’s look at all 24 categories after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb222016

Wouldst Thou Link Deliciously? 

• Medium wonders why diehard horror fans reject artful genre works like The Witch and It Follows
The Film Doctor reviews Owen Glieberman's book "Movie Freak: My Life Watching Movies"
Flick Chicks loving on pets in the movies. Awww
Boy Culture interviews Molly Bernard from TVLand's great sitcom Younger (the one starring Sutton Foster that I'm always hoping you'll start watching. Sutton 4evah!)
• The Film Stage an interview with director Robert Eggers of The Witch
• Vanity Fair Kate Winslet's son wants her to EGOT. Perhaps Broadway is next?

• Towleroad congratulations to producer Greg Berlanti (The Flash, Brothers & Sisters, Arrow, The Broken Hearts Club, etc...) who welcomes a newborn son via surrogate to the world
Black Phillip from The Witch has his own Twitter account. He boasts a lot and has real species pride
• Vanity Fair Amy Adams going to television. She'll star in a series version of Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects (which is extremely actress-friendly as we've previously noted)
Awards Daily How the year of the woman became the year of the man... again
Decider Joe Reid ranks EVERY Oscar nominee 

Best of Best of
• CineMunch the second Annual CineMunchies with prizes to Mad Max and Room and best food & drink moments in movies - I am totally here for that spaghetti scene in Brooklyn
• Antagony & Ecstacy Tim finally reveals his top ten list with surprising choices beyond Mad Max and shocking exclusions - no Inside Out? WTF 
• Cinematic Corner chooses 15 best shots of the year: Crimson Peak, Youth, and more...
Entertainment Junkie's 10 best: Tangerine, Inside Out, and more 
Variety Carol named best film of the year by International Cinephile Society 

News That Requires Not Linkage
Batman v Superman is going to be 151 minutes long. Uff. 

Potentially Awesome TV News
We've long hoped that a TV Variety show could air which would really work - it's such a fun abandoned form but too many recent attempts have been shoddy (that Rosie O'Donnell attempt) or so manic they're unwatchable (Neil Patrick Harris's). The Tracking Board says that we could get another attempt as early as this year starring Maya Rudolph (Great choice: She's funny, can act, also rocks) and Martin Short. 

Today's Watch
How they brought Colossus to life in Deadpool... five different actors and a whole team of visual fx artist