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Entries in Oscars (50s) (124)

Saturday
Oct052019

Streaming Roulette, Oct: High Life/Noon and Handfuls of Dust.

As is our practice we've selected a handful plus of new-to-streaming titles and frozen them at utterly random moments without cheating (whatever comes up comes up!). After those selections we've listed all the movies from each of the streaming channels. What should you queue up for OCTOBER 2019 ? (★ means we definitely recommend catching them and bold titles are buzzy things we haven't yet seen) 

Let's get started...

[mood music]

HIGH LIFE (2019) on Amazon Prime
Funnily enough this empty shot is exactly as I recall High Life, so much atmosphere and isolation. Humanity is over. (Except for Juliette Binoche who is just living for her disturbing role.) We expect this will end up on some top ten lists at year's end...

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Wednesday
Sep042019

Oscar Trivia, Weekly. A Pop Quiz!

by Eurocheese

Since Nathaniel is flying to Toronto as we speak (TIFF kicks off tomorrow and runs through Sunday, September 15th), I volunteered to handle this week's Oscar Trivia column for him. I thought it might be fun to throw out a little quiz. THE ANSWERS WILL BE AFTER THE JUMP – no peeking! -- and be honest in the comments. How many can you guess correctly?

1. The highest number of Oscar wins for a single person is a whopping 22. Name the person who won them.

2. Last year, Roma won three Oscars. That means it missed the record for the most Oscars won by a foreign language film, a record currently held by which two films?

3. Have there been more female or more African-American Director nominees in the Academy’s history? (Both are sadly too few... bonus points if you can name all of those nominees)

4. The longest screen time for an Oscar nominated performance ended up netting the performer a win. The shortest nominated performance of all time did not. Can you name these two performances?

5. Which country has won the most Best Foreign Language Film Oscars? And which country has been nominated most often in the category? 

6. Name the only actor or actress that has multiple posthumous nominations.

7. Only one person has an Olympic gold medal and an Academy Award. Name that person.

8. No film has ever won all four acting categories. Can you name the two films that came closest to that mark?

9. Name the most Oscar nominated woman in the Academy’s history.

10. How many times has a debut performance won the Best Actor Oscar?

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Thursday
Aug082019

Intermission/Posterized: Dino De Laurentiis 100th

Today in showbiz history the famous and sometimes infamous producer Dino de Laurentiis was born in a province of Naples, Italy. We'll take an intermission on our five or six part celebration today but we hope you've enjoyed the write-ups on Bitter Rice (1949) and the Fellini years, the creation of Dinocitta and its famous high-grossing but also-flopping The Bible: In the Beginning (1966), and his early years in America with gritty dramas like Serpico (1973) and Death Wish (1974). We resume tomorrow evening with the much-derided but very successful King Kong (1976) which just so happened to be the film debut of Jessica Lange.

Until then which of these 18 early De Laurentiis' productions have you seen? Do you have a favourite?He produced hundreds of his films in his career, starting at the age of 20, so this is just a small sample of his work in the first 30+ decades of his career...

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Monday
Aug052019

De Laurentiis pt 1: "Bitter Rice" and the Fellini Years

This week at TFE we're celebrating the centennial of one of cinema’s most prolific and legendary producers, Dino De Laurentiis.  We’ll start with three of his key influential early films. Here's Eric Blume...

Bitter Rice was De Laurentiis breakthrough international hit. He married its star

De Laurentiis, born outside of Naples, set up his own company in 1946 when he was just 27 years old. He produced four smaller films before making a huge splash onto the international scene with 1949’s Bitter Rice, a film currently available through the Criterion Collection.  Bitter Rice serves up an arresting and hypnotic blend of melodrama, sexuality, and social commentary. The film is set in northern Italy during a typical spring where hundreds of poor women travel to the rice fields to work to the bone for forty days.  There are workers with a legal contract and then the “illegals” who come in hopes of getting an opportunity. Within this sociopolitical context, our story finds two thieves (Doris Dowling and Victoria Gassman) hiding amongst the farm, intertwined in love stories with an impulsive young peasant girl (Silvana Mangano) and a soldier from the nearby station (Raf Vallone)... 

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Thursday
Apr112019

Howard Keel Centennial: "Calamity Jane"

We're celebrating musical star Howard Keel's Centennial this week. Here's Tim Brayton...

Presenting a musical in which Howard Keel plays the obnoxious gunslinger love interest to a famous woman from the Wild West. My apologies if you feel a little bit of déjà vu from that logline: Nathaniel did, after all, just write about Keel's breakout performance in 1950's Annie Get Your Gun, about which every word of that sentence equally applies. And that's absolutely no accident. Warner Bros. had fought to get the rights to that stage musical as a vehicle for its up-and-coming singing star Doris Day, but lost out to MGM. When that film proved to be a hit, Warner's responded by developing an original Western musical based - oh so very loosely - on the life of Calamity Jane, famous frontierswoman and scout.

So eager was the studio to recreate that Annie magic that they even went to the trouble of borrowing Keel from MGM for the span of this one production. Not that you could tell any of this just by looking at 1953's Calamity Jane...

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Wednesday
Apr102019

Howard Keel Centennial: "Annie Get Your Gun"

Our Howard Keel Centennial celebration begins. Here's Nathaniel R...

What is the lasting legacy of Hollywood's biggest musical of 1950, Annie Get Your Gun? The best remembered thing about it may well be its place in Judy Garland's storied career; she was infamously fired well into production, marking in some ways the nadir of her career, and fueling the mythology of that comeback of all comebacks with A Star is Born (1954) after a four year absence from the big screen. But that's not the movie as it exists today, only what could have been. And "could have beens" are many with this troubled production which lost its original star (Judy), its first two directors (Busby Berkeley and Charles Walters) and one key supporting cast member (Frank Morgan as Buffalo Bill, who died after filming began) on its way to its final cut.

The first shot of Howard Keel in "Annie Get Your Gun"

Though "Annie Get Your Gun" has had a long healthy life on stages, big and small (including three Broadway runs: 1946-1949, 1966, and 1999-2001) it's most lasting cinematic contribution is the introduction of Howard Keel as a leading man...

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