Oscar History
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Entries in Oscars (20s) (9)

Saturday
Aug122017

On This Day: Basquiat, Last Temptation, Cleopatra

on this day in history as it relates to showbiz

30 BC  Cleopatra commits suicide, allegedly by purposeful snake bite. I don't remember that scene in Liz Taylor's Cleopatra but it might have been at the four hour mark and t'was possibly asleep

How to honor this day: play with someone's snake. In the absence of a suitable one, wink at someone as saucily as Liz

← 1915  "Of Human Bondage" by W Somerset Maugham published. 19 years later it becomes a movie and marks Bette Davis's ascent to superstar actress

How to honor this day: Let it all out like Bette in that performance that's pure 🔥

1927 Wings (1927) the first movie to win Best Picture has its NYC premiere. Five months later it will open in Los Angeles (things took longer to get around in those days) and four months after the LA premiere it will win the very first Oscars.

How to honor this day: Go see Dunkirk if you haven't which has good aerial sequences and be astounded that Wings set the bar so high for aerial sequences 90 years ago without the aid of current movie technology.

Jean-Michael Basquiat and Madonna in 1982, part of the East Village / Alphabet city scene that produced many legendary figures

1988 The modern artist Jean-Michael Basquiat dies of an overdose and Martin Scorsese's Last Temptation of Christ opens in theaters. 

How to honor this day: Watch either Scorsese's film or Julian Schnabel's Basquiat biopic starring a young Jeffrey Wright as the painter and David Bowie as Warhol (though sadly no one plays Madonna)

2016 Hell or High Water opens in theaters becoming a sleeper hit and eventually winning a Best Picture nomination.

How to honor this day: Read Daniel Walber's interesting column on its production design

Dana IveyHappy Birthday
Actors: LaKeith Stanfield, Cantinflas, Dana Ivey, George Hamilton, Dominique Swain, Cara Delevingne, Bruce Greenwood, Peter Krause, Jane Wyatt, John Cazale; Other crafts: director Ralph Nelson (Lilies of the Field), Bo-Derek-wrangler John Derek (Tarzan the Ape Man), writer William Goldman (The Princess Bride), rapper Sir Mix a Lot, and cinematographer Nelsson Lik-wai Yu (Still Life)

Oscar Winners Born on this Day:
Pioneer/producer/director/legend Cecil B DeMille (The Ten Commandments as epic finale to that career), actor/famous brother Casey Affleck, costume designer Ulla-Britt Söderlund (Barry Lyndon), and sound editor Mike Hopkins (King Kong

 

 

Tuesday
May162017

Today's 5: "She's got Bette Davis eyes... 🎵 " 

Five mood-boosting showbiz anniversaries for today, and if it's a special day for you have a great one. Take these suggestions and let us know if they helped.

MAY 16th History

2003 The fabulous and seriously undervalued Down with Love opened in theaters...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jan292017

28 Days Until Oscar

Today's number is 28. I trust you know that Gloria Swanson was ALWAYS ready for her close-up. 

She's best remembered for Sunset Blvd (1950) but that movie couldn't have existed, at least not in the perfect form it does, were it not for her earlier silent screen stardom.  Her first Oscar nomination came for Sadie Thompson (1928) in the very first year of the Oscars. The movie was also nominated for Best Cinematography but both the DP and Swanson lost the Oscars to Janet Gaynor and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans, respectively. Swanson wasn't the only female superstar to play Sadie...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun292016

Welcome to the Academy, 683 of You!

With AMPAS under so much scrutiny this past season for their lack of diversity, they made several rule changes about membership and ruling bodies within the various branches. Here's the big power move. They've invited twice as many people as they are usually prone to invite. Invitations have gone out to 683 film professionals this year.

That is a lot of new members, percentage-wise, for a group known for their exclusivity that for a long time was hovering around 6,000 members. According to Academy graphics 46% of the new invitees are women which is a smart move given that Hollywood has struggled in the gender balance department forever despite the fact that civilization has always been half women. (It might have been smarter to make it 75% for a few years to make up for lost time at eliminating the silly gender disparity but we applaud any efforts to work towards a better 50/50 balance.) 

41% of the new invitees are people of color...

Click to read more ...

Monday
May162016

On this day in history: The very first Oscars, Loving, and more...

Every once in awhile we do this to remind ourselves that this moment we're in is fleeting but time is infinite or something... and I'm not even stoned while typing this.

On this day in movie-related history...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Aug242014

182 days 'til Oscar

Which power couple will be obsessing over in just six months time? The 87th Oscars approach and as long as the movies have been around there have been fabulously wealthy and glamorous movie star couples. Take Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks for instance, the original celebrity power couple. If you must know (I know you are too shy to ask) my favorite films of theirs are His: The Thief of Bagdad (1924) and Hers: Stella Maris (1918) though admittedly I have many more left to see.

Fairbanks & Pickford were married in 1920 when both were superstars, he the original Zorro and she Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm and other big hits. He famously gave Pickford "The Star of Bombay," a 182-carat sapphire which was not actually from Bombay but from Sri Lanka. She later bequeathed it to the Smithsonian where it remains. There's your priceless (okay, $½ million in today's dollars) piece of trivia for the day. You're welcome.

Pickford (the original "America's Sweetheart") and Fairbanks (the original "King of Hollywood") were among the 36 co-founders of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Fairbanks served as its first President and both would eventually receive Honorary Oscars with Mary also winning a regular statuette for Coquette). Could they have ever imagined how obsessive we'd all be about their little annual banquets 87 years later? 

At the 86th Oscars, contemporary Hollywood's most glamorous megastar couple Angelina Jolie & Brad Pitt famously ate a pizza (well, he did) but they were also honored. She took home an Honorary (albeit non televised. argh) and he won his first competitive Oscar for producing 12 Years a Slave. They could theoretically both take home Oscars again if Fury and Unbroken are massive hits with AMPAS and reasonably well liked by audiences. 

Do you think they will be?

CURRENT OSCAR PREDICTIONS (which category needs a major rethink?)