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Entries in Oscars (60s) (121)

Wednesday
Jan182017

The Smackdown Returns: Which Years Should We Cover?

Last year's Supporting Actress Smackdown season was way too short with only two episodes so we're starting much earlier this year and aiming for at least 5 or 6 from spring to summer.

Stitch & Bitch with Supporting Actress Shortlists February through August!

Friday February 17th - Best Supporting Actress 2016
Nominees TBA. Since the smackdown is normally a retrospective we will probably approach this 'in-the-moment' event differently but we're still brainstorming.

Friday March 31st Best Supporting Actress 1963  
We've been promising this year forever so we are going to force ourselves through it which should be easier than its been since its only three films! The nominees: Margaret Rutherford in The VIPs, Lilia Skalia in Lilies of the Field and three of Albert Finney's co-stars in Tom Jones: Diane Cilento, Joyce Redman, and '60s Oscar fixture Dame Edith Evans

But what shall we do for April through August (finale)? You get four choices come after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec082016

Kirk Douglas Centennial: Spartacus (1960)

Here's Eric to continue our mini Kirk Douglas fest. The actor turns 100 tomorrow

The story goes that Kirk Douglas was so disappointed that William Wyler didn’t cast him as the lead in 1959’s Ben-Hur that he optioned Howard Fast’s similarly-themed novel Spartacus for his chance to conquer the Roman Empire...  

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Dec082016

Exactly How Rare / Precious is "La La Land"?

With La La Land opening tomorrow (go see it) we must discuss it's already combed over reception from film critics and awards pundits and the like. When La La Land took the Best Picture prize from the NYFCC last week, certain pockets of people were outraged. Suddenly it was a "safe" movie, middlebrow, something utterly and completely common. 'Boy meets girls. Boy loses girl. UGH Romantic Dramas, am I right?!' Awards season backlash and contrarianism is a real thing though people try to pretend it's not each and every year and consider their motives solely pure. I know I've been guilty of it myself. I trust exactly no one in the entire talking-about-movies ecosphere who claims they haven't. Awards season is like politics; It affects everyone, even or especially those who rage against it and claim it to be meaningless to them. File that type under "the lady doth protest too much".

Naturally I was quick to jump to La La Land's defense whenever this happened. This was not because I love it (which I do...but keeping it 100 it's not a Moulin Rouge! level masterwork or anything) or even because I am a die hard warrior for the musical form. No, I bristle solely because this stance is ridiculous. La La Land is absolutely the furthest thing from a "safe" or common movie. And how uncommon it is, after further research, was stunning even to me!

Some lists before the revelation... 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Nov142016

The Furniture: How Subtly Is Paris Burning? (Not Very)

"The Furniture" our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber

This week marks 50 years since the release of Is Paris Burning? (not to be confused with documentary classic Paris is Burning) an epic that hasn’t quite stood the test of time. In the tradition of The Longest Day, it harnesses a cast of thousands to tell the story of a single, crucial moment of World War Two: The liberation of Paris. French stars like Jean-Paul Belmondo and Alain Delon take roles in the Resistance, while the likes of Kirk Douglas and Glenn Ford play American generals. There are cameos from Simone Signoret, George Chakiris and Anthony Perkins, to name only a few.

 

Directed by René Clément with a script by Gore Vidal and Francis Ford Coppola, you’d think it would be more popular. Still, it’s worth revisiting, and not only for its two Oscar nominations (art direction and cinematography).The film’s visual ambition is often astonishing. Its commitment to accuracy caused at least one unlucky Parisian passerby that the Wehrmacht had actually returned. Everything is bold, nothing subtle.

Production designer Willy Holt, an American who mostly worked in France, later worked on Julia and Au revoir les enfants. Art director Marc Frederix designed for films as disparate as Moonraker and Love and Death, while his colleague Pierre Gufroy won an Oscar for Roman Polanski’s Tess. Clearly, the talented group was more than up to the task of winding back the clock 20 years on one of the world’s most recognizable cities.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct272016

Oscar Horrors: Japan's Ghost Story "Kwaidan"

Boo! It's "Oscar Horrors". Each evening we'll look back on a horror-connected nomination until Halloween. Here's Dancin' Dan on a spooky Japanese beauty...

Have any of you ever seen Masaki Kobayashi's Kwaidan? I wouldn't be surprised if you hadn't. Even among Japanese films, it's not much talked about today, though it deserves to be. Kwaidan is a rarity in so many ways - an omnibus film made by one director, a truly artful horror film, a groundbreaking work of art. It was nominated for the Best Foreign Language Film in 1965 (losing to the heartrending The Shop on Main Street from Czechoslovakia), and it's a bit hard to imagine it getting that far today, even with its arthouse bona fides like a Special Jury Prize at Cannes...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Oct262016

Oscar Horrors: "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?"

Boo! It's "Oscar Horrors". Each evening 'til Halloween we look back on a horror-connected Oscar nomination. Here's David on the cinematography of a camp classic...

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? is hardly remembered as a horror classic; its camp reputation precedes it, as its recent appearance on RuPaul’s Drag Race: All Stars attests. (Only the finest for that crop of drag queens!) While the film is not what we might traditionally think of as a horror film, it has the same elements of lost souls, grotesque faces and physical cruelty that you might expect from any product of the genre. Just one year after Alfred Hitchcock changed the genre forever with Psycho, Baby Jane features a close-up of Joan Crawford’s face mushed against the floor - an eerie recall of Janet Leigh’s glassy-eyed demise.

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct112016

And The Winner Is... Julie. No, the Other Julie.

137 days until the Oscars. Random Trivia Attack!

Did you know that Julie Andrews (The Sound of Music) losing to Julie Christie (Darling) for the 1965 Best Actress Oscar is one of only two times that the Best Actress winner has beaten a fellow nominee with the same first name?! Now you do!

The Only Other Time It Happened
1989 Jessica Tandy (Driving Miss Daisy) beating Jessica Lange (Music Box)

P.S. Though if you aren't terrible strict about it you could say three times given the case of Helen Hunt (As Good As It Gets) and Helena Bonham Carter (Wings of Dove) but that one hurts to bring up so never mind!