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Rosemary's Baby (50th Anniversary Retrospective)

Part 1 | Part 2Part 3

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Blueprints: Moonlight 

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Entries in Oscars (60s) (151)

Friday
Jun152018

Rosemary's Baby Pt 3: All of Them Witches

50th Anniversary Three-Part Mini-Series
Occasionally we'll take a movie and baton pass it around the team.

In Part One Seán McGovern sang the praises of Oscar winning Ruth Gordon as nosey neighbor Minnie to Mia Farrow's iconic Rosemary. The apartment is a find for Rosemary and her husband Guy (sleazy John Cassavettes) but the Bramford sure has sinister tenants.

In Part Two Jason Adams eyed fascinating visual details as the perversions mount and Rosemary becomes emaciated and pale -- aren't pregnancies supposed to make you fill out and glow? As we pick back up Rosemary has just left the funeral of Hutch. He left her a book and a cryptic message "the name is an anagram." 

Part 3 by Nathaniel R

1:26:00 Rosemary never gets a moment to herself. Home from the funeral she barely has time to hang up her hat and throw off her shoes and the doorbell is wringing. I'll give you one guess as to who it is. 

Minnie, yup. Notice how chalky that drink is *wretches* and how much Ruth Gordon is doing in every scene including this brief one, conveying just how watchful, manipulative, and blasphemous Minnie is  -- "Grace, one of my favorite names" -- underneath all the old-lady eccentricity, flashy clothing, and innocuous chatter. 

1:27:00 Hutch wrapped the book up tightly like a gift, but it's not a pleasant one...

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Wednesday
May092018

Anne V Coates (1925-2018)

by Nathaniel R

One of Hollywood's most important artists has died. The film editor Anne V Coates who won both a competitive and an Honorary Oscar has died at the age of 92. Her career began in the editing room of 1940s pictures -- she worked on The Red Shoes (!!!) -- but it didn't take her long to become a lead editor. Her first lead editing gigs were in British cinema in the early 50s. Her career really came roaring to life with Lawrence of Arabia (1962) for which she won her first and only competitive Oscar...

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Thursday
Apr262018

Blueprints: "What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?"

This week on Blueprints, Jorge writes a letter to daddy.

Any screenwriting book, seminar, or four-year degree will tell you that screenwriting is all about showing, not telling. It should feel more like describing a house in a Craiglist ad than writing a novel. The script is being written so it can be shot, not read. However, just like any other “rule” in cinema, it’s made to be broken. In fact, those who break rules can sometimes transcend them.

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, the 1962 grand guignol classic, is best remembered for the bombastic performances of the two leads, and the drama that took place between them behind the scenes. But reading the script, it’s apparent that the story is charged with remarkable meaning, intention, and impulse. Often hidden in the lines that the audience is never going to read...

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Saturday
Apr142018

Milos Forman (1932-2018)

by Nathaniel R

Milos Forman directing Thomas Hulce on the set of Amadeus (1984)

One of the world's most acclaimed directors has passed away at 86 years of age after a long full life and a pretty sturdy filmography. Milos Forman won two Oscars during his career for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975) and Amadeus (1984) began life as Jan Tomas Forman in Czechoslovakia. Like another two-time Best Director winner (Ang Lee), he was twice honored in the Foreign Language Film category before his English language Oscar wins...

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Monday
Dec112017

The Furniture: Matte Paintings at the End of an Era

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

Over the course of the past year, I’ve done an informal retrospective series on the Best Production Design nominees of 1967. It isn’t an especially “New Hollywood” lineup, despite being the year of “Pictures at a Revolution.” Four of the nominees are lush period pieces, three of them lengthy musicals. They often feel like extravagantly-designed chaos, whirlwinds of sets and props that spin out of control. This is true of both the hilarious brawls of The Taming of the Shrew and the dated, stereotype-laden adventures of Thoroughly Modern Millie. Camelot, the winner, manages to split the difference between Old Hollywood excess and New Hollywood sexuality.

The final two films, both Best Picture nominees, are a bit less of a thrill. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and Doctor Dolittle are, respectively, the most realistic and most fantastical of the five nominees. However, despite their differences, they both underline the inadequate end-point of old-school studio design.

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Saturday
Nov252017

59 days til nominations. Time for a little Disney trivia

by Nathaniel R

Disney won every single short category plus Documentary Feature at the 1953 OscarsWith 59 days left until Oscar nominations, it seems an appropriate time to remind everyone that it's not Meryl Streep (20) or Woody Allen (24) or even John Williams (50) who holds the record for Most Oscar Nominations of All Time, but industry titan and one of the most influential people who ever lived: Walt Disney. His fingerprints... or mouse glove prints if you will, are still all over showbiz, especially the business part. But we're here to talk Oscar. He received an incredible 59 competitive Oscar nominations, winning 22 of those races.

So in addition to holding the record for most nominations, he also holds the record for most wins. The last of those nominations and wins was his only posthumous honor -- Winnie Pooh and the Blustery Day (1968) took the Animated Short Oscar (then called "Best Short Subject, Cartoons")...

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