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The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R


 Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. Also loves cats. All material herein is written and copyrighted by him, unless otherwise noted. twitter | facebook | pinterest | tumblr | letterboxd

 

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Entries in Original Song (87)

Monday
Apr272015

April Foolish Predictions: Sound, Score, Make Up & FX

April is almost over and we MUST finish our April Foolish tradition - the first wave of Oscar nomination predictions before anyone knows anything. The film year is still only a toddler but they grow up so fast. The first third of the year always features the least amount of Oscar content but from movies already released we'll hope for miracles that Cinderella and Ex Machina could be remembered in the places they deserve to be. But the bulk of the heavy hitters are yet to come. Even in the more popcorn categories like Visual Effects.

NEW CHARTS --> ORIGINAL SCORE, ORIGINAL SONG, SOUND MIXING, SOUND EDITING
Which movies will have original songs? Will the composer Thomas Newman ever win an Oscar? Will Skyfall, atypically embraced by the Academy, have any sort of afterglow with AMPAS to help Spectre win nominations as well? And who will the composers be on a whole slew of Oscar Bait movies that haven't revealed their composer yet (since the score is one of the last things to happen)? These are the questions we're already asking so please do suggest answers in the comments once you've looked at the charts. 

NEW CHARTS ---> VISUAL EFFECTS, MAKEUP AND HAIR
Is Ex Machina too subtle for Oscar? Will Mad Max Fury Road be too outre for them? Will the visual effects category just be a quintet of franchise favorites they've honored before like Jurassic World, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Avengers: Age of Ultron and so on? Will the makeup category be dominated by old age latex, fantastical character creations or a trans woman's journey? 

Care to make any predictions yourself? 

Sunday
Apr262015

Happy Birthday, Giorgio Moroder

Tim here. Today's the 75th birthday of Giorgio Moroder, pioneering electronic-dance-pop mastermind, and winner of four Grammys. But this being a film site, what we're interested in is his work in movie scoring, for which he won three Oscars. And what stellar work it is!

Moroder's soundtracks - and even more than that, his songs - are absolutely definitive. Any child of the '70s or '80s can't help but associate Moroder's compositions with a certain kind of glossy, high-concept spectacle. Moroder's sleek, borderline-campy music brought pop-art grandeur to everything from the political drama Midnight Express (his Best Score Oscar) to the smutty musical Flashdance and from the kitschy Superman III to the sparkling black fantasy The NeverEnding Story. His compositions for these films are the opposite of timeless; they are emphatically and proudly mired in a specific period of pop culture history.

But for the same reason, his scores and songs are the best imaginable fit for the giddy, playfully shallow cinema of that decade, bringing the energy and dazzle of the first years of the Blockbuster Era to life with style and flair whose period-specific artificiality is their greatest strength, not any kind of weakness. But let's allow the man's music to speak for itself. Here are my three personal favorite from his 80s soundscapes.

From Cat People (1982): "Cat People (Putting Out Fire)", later used to magnificent effect in Inglourious Basterds

From Flashdance (1983): "Flashdance... What a Feeling" (his second Oscar, the first for Best Song)

From Top Gun (1986): "Danger Zone" (he won his third Oscar for "Take My Breath Away" from the same movie)

What are your favorite Moroder film scores and songs?

Wednesday
Apr222015

Nine to Five: "Best Shot" Visual Index

For this week's episode of Hit Me With Your Best Shot: the classic comedy Nine to Five (1980). We chose it to coincide with the forthcoming premiere of Grace & Frankie which will reunite Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin at last. Pity that Dolly Parton doesn't figure in! 

Nine To Five was a smash hit when it premiered in December 1980, finishing that year as the top grossing movie without light sabers. Awards bodies weren't as kind as the public. Though the title song won two Grammys for Dolly Parton, she didn't win her Oscar category (the film's only nomination) and even more bizarrely, the movie wasn't nominated for Best Comedy at the Golden Globes. The film has endured quite well in pop culture so it doesn't need resuscitation but we thought it would be interesting to think about the way it's shot. Comedies are rarely considered in that regard. The film was directed by Colin Higgins who only made three films (all of them comedy hits) due to an early death at only 47. It was shot by cinematographer Reynaldo Villabolos who is, more happily, still with us and still working in film and television.

Best Shots from Nine To Five (1980)
10 shots from 12 participating blogs

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb232015

Team Experience: Oscar's Best & Worst Moments

Neil Patrick Harris' big musical opening had fun shadow effectsAre most of you over your Oscar party hangovers now?

I polled Team Experience (and myself) on their very favorite moment and their "Agony!" bit alike from last night's show of shows and here's what they had to say about the 87th Academy Awards. Please do share your single Best & Worst moment in the comments, too as we work our way through putting this film year behind us.

BEST MOMENTS

Timothy: Pawel Pawlikowski muscling right on through the play-off music in order to pay due tribute to his late wife.

Julien: That opening song was really some... Oh who am I kidding ? Watching Julianne finally clutch that Oscar was a dream I thought would never come true. 

Nathaniel: Once you get past Julianne I'd go with 1) Emma Stone reaction shots  2) "Glory" 3) Jessica Chastain saying "Chivooooo" 4) the insanity of "Everything is Awesome" - particularly the fake Oscars and the Batman interruption 5) Patricia Arquette's infectious righteousness (sub-shoutout to Meryl & JLo). I understand that people are up in arms the day after but that's called 'missing the point because people love to be outraged' which is an epidemic online that distracts the world from progressive goals like eradicating inequality and sexism. 6) "because you're rich"

More heartfelt applause (and then some jeers) after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb182015

Black History Month: Endless Love (1981)

I know what you're thinking. You're working out some variation of "how perverse to feature a lily white teenage romance for a Black History Month feature!"... and I get it. But let's travel back to 1981 together anyway and I'll explain.

The Italian auteur Franco Zeffirelli had found great success in America directing Romeo and Juliet (1968) which became both a populist hit and an Oscar magnet finishing in the year's top five at the box office and in the Best Picture shortlist. A dozen or so years later Zeffirelli took another stab (pun intended) at the zeitgeist with a similar if much cruder tale of an ill advised tempestuous and horny teenage affair. Endless Love was critically panned (multiple Razzie nominations) though it managed to be a hit if not quite a blockbuster. Its eponymous Best Original Song nominee "Endless Love" by Lionel Richie on the other hand was a monster...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Feb112015

Musical Oscars: JHud, Kendrick, Jack Black & More to Perform

Anna Kendrick singing her ass off all month on screen and stageManuel here bringing more news about the Oscar telecast. While some continue to ponder whether we’ll really be asked to be Team BOYhood or Team birdMAN (and how’s that for a an apt metaphor for contemporary Hollywood!), we’ll be focusing more on what Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have in store for us during the sure-to-be-endless ceremony that shortchanges winning speeches for needless montages and musical performances.

Speaking of these, it looks like we’re getting a full Best Original Song performance roster, with Adam Levine ("Lost Stars"), Tegan and Sara with The Lonely Island ("Everything is Awesome!!!"), Common & John Legend ("Glory"), Tim McGraw ("I'm Not Gonna Miss You") and Rita Ora ("Grateful") slated to sing their respective numbers on the big night.

"We're creating several musical sequences for the Oscars and we couldn't be happier that our friend, Jennifer Hudson, will be performing in one of them," say Zadan and Meron.

On top of this, last week came word that Jack Black would be performing, that Anna Kendrick would be part of a "special performance" and just this past weekend, Meron and Zadan confirmed that Jennifer Hudson would also be performing (my guess is she might be doing the In Memoriam number? That is, unless they’ve designed another “tribute to musicals” like they did in 2013, remember that?)

That already looks like quite a stacked schedule, especially once you add NPH’s number, so maybe we’ll be spared the montages that celebrate “Oscar’s history” or some oddly specific genre rather than the year in film and the actual nominated films?

The Best Picture lineup may look quite oppressively manly, but with all these musical numbers (and NPH on hand), it’ll be quite the glittery gay spectacle, no? Fingers crossed! My only hope is that Hudson wears something as cray-tastic as that cape from her Dreamgirls red carpet.