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Entries in musicals (416)

Thursday
Mar092017

Three Fittings: Haute Couture Hallucinations in "The Pirate"

New Series! Three Fittings celebrates costume design in the movies.

The whitest Caribbean ladies of all time! And why is Judy wearing a kilt balled up on her head?

We kicked off with La La Land and Allied but after a break for Oscar madness we're back with an old classic. Or perhaps this movie is better described as a notorious curio though that doesn't have the same blurb power. Regardless, Vincent Minelli's The Pirate (1948) has to be seen to be believed.

You must watch it while sober for the movie is its own pharmaceutical enhancements. I'm still having sudden flashbacks. Which is all well and good since hallucinations and fever dreams are plotted right in. 

Stay with me through this elaborate but crucial plot point. When travelling actor Serafin (Gene Kelly) hypnotizes the newly-engaged Manuela (Judy Garland) he realizes that she romantically fantasizes about the infamous pirate Macoco and promptly pretends to be him...

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Tuesday
Feb282017

Best Sound Mixer Kevin O'Connell: 21st time's the charm

Tim here. Somewhat overlooked in all the furor over the rightfully furor-inducing parts of the Oscars on Sunday, a little bit of history was quietly made.

When the four-member team from Hacksaw Ridge took to the stage of the Kodak Theater to accept the award for Best Sound Mixing, the worst losing drought in the history of the Academy Awards ended. Kevin O'Connell received his first nomination in that category in 1983, for the subdued domestic drama Terms of Endearment, which perhaps unsurprisingly lost to The Right Stuff. 33 years and 21 nominations later, in a career including 209 films to his credit as a mixer, he finally picked up his very first statue on Sunday. You may remember him as the guy who thanked his late mom for helping him to get his first job in the industry, and who asked as thanks only that he'd mention her one day as he accepted an Oscar.

Whatever feelings one might have about the film, it's hard not to be excited on O'Connell's behalf...

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Tuesday
Feb282017

New Facts & Trivia from the 89th Oscars

Before we begin, a quick note that we shouldn't have to share but we do because the rest of the universe has conspired against the proper way of doing things. When we refer to an Oscar ceremony year we are talking about the year of the films honored, not the random month of the following year in which the ceremony is held. What we just witnessed was the 2016 Oscars. We don't know who will even be nominated for the 2017 Oscars yet though we'll make some early bird predictions on April 1st as we do.

Anyway... FACTS. TRIVIA. FUN.

La La Land's loss was shocking but its performance at the Oscars was not completely without precedent. Two other films in Oscar's 89 years have won the rare combo of Best Actress and Best Director without winning Best Picture. That would be Cabaret (1972, also the single film to win the most Oscars without winning Best Picture) and 7th Heaven (1927) in the very first year of the Oscars. That silent film is an unusual case though as Janet Gaynor won Best Actress for three roles including Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans and Street Angel (Oscar quickly changed the rules so nominations could only be for one picture.) 

Arrival (8 nominations) is the first non-war film Best Picture nominee to win Sound Editing only...

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Monday
Feb272017

Oscar's Musical Numbers Fly Among the Stars

Dancin' Dan here, and I am thrilled to say that after years of mostly rather dully staged performances, the great Oscar musical numbers of the past are back.

We had planned a ranking of this year's performances, but they were all of such high quality that, feeling magnaminous, I'm unwilling to declare one better than the other.  Instead, a review of the musical numbers as they happened during the ceremony, in all their glory.

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Monday
Feb272017

The New Norm of the Picture / Director Split

Chris here. Now that the Oscar closing shock has worn off (oh, wait it still hasn’t) let’s take a second to discuss the growing frequency of the Best Picture / Director split. This is now the fourth time in five years two different films have taken home the two biggest prizes - with 25% of all instances occurring in the past decade. Has a Best Picture / Director split become an Oscar new normal?

But the recent prevalence of the split might be more symptomatic of an Academy more bent on spreading the wealth. In fact, La La Land ties Fury Road as the most awarded film since Gravity - also rewarded on the Director side of the equation... 

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Monday
Feb202017

Interview: Kristóf Deák from "Munich" to "Sing" 

Kristóf DeákIf you've had a chance to catch the touring films in the Oscar nominated shorts program in select movie theaters now, we're willing to be that one of your favorites was the Hungarian short Sing written and directed by Kristóf Deák. This sweet well acted story is about a new girl in a children's choir whose teacher makes her feel less than welcome. 

Sing, not to be confused with the current blockbuster cartoon about pop star wannabe talking animals, could well be a threat to win its category though competition is ever tough and unpredictable in the shorts categories. Kristóf has seen and enjoyed the "strong batch" competition, saying "I won't shed any tears if we don't take the statue home"

I had the opportunity to talk to the young director, currently in Los Angeles for the final push before Oscar, and though he doesn't know what's in store for his career, he's taiken the smart stance of "be ready with projects and pitches" should key opportunities arise. The London based Hungarian director got his first post film school movie gig in the large editing department of Steven Spielberg's Munich (2005) and now he's an Oscar nominee for his fourth short which has been picking up several prizes at festivals.  

Our chat follows..

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