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Entries in Oscars (70s) (124)

Wednesday
Jan042017

Throwback FYC: Carrie Fisher, 1977

While the Star Wars franchise didn't become or stay a global phenomenon on the strength of its acting, it did received one Oscar nomination in that arena: Sir Alec Guiness as Obi Wan Kenobi in Star Wars (1977). Later Sir Ian McKellen would pull off a similar trick for the Lord of the Rings franchise proving that it really helps to be a knighted acclaimed male thespian to get respect for genre films.

But Star Wars's Oscar campaign in 1977 (which resulted in 10 nominations, 6 wins, and a special non-competitive Oscar) did include the then 21 year-old Carrie Fisher. 

It's insane that our beloved Carrie Fisher was never Oscar nominated but that insanity stems not from Star Wars, however iconic Leia is and will continue to be, but from her infinitely quotable and self-deprecatingly delicious screenplay to Postcards from the Edge  (1990). Her significantly reworked adaptation of her own novel put nearly all of the actually Oscar-nominated screenplays that year to shame.

Joan Blondell in Opening Night (1977)We've already revisited the Supporting Actress race of 1977 in our "Smackdown" series* but there wasn't room for the braided bunned Princess that year even if you attempt to rejigger the category. For if you toss out a member of that uneven batch you've got to make room first and foremost for Joan Blondell's win-worthy work as an exasperated writer dealing with a addict of a leading lady in Opening Night. Come to think of it, and now I totally can't stop thinking about it, Carrie herself would surely have related like crazy to both sides of that volatile battle of artistic and destructive wills in the John Cassavettes film.

* yes, the series will return soon.

 

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 ...

Tuesday
Oct252016

Tues Top Ten: Helen Reddy on TV and at the Movies

Appropos of nothing let's celebrate Helen Reddy's 75th Birthday today! The Pete's Dragon star (the original not this year's remake) was an Australian pop star who had a ton of hits in the 1970s. The only one that gets much airplay today is "I Am Woman" which still shows up in movies and on TV for an instant time capsule. You know how some songs become cultural shorthand. For a time Reddy was a movie and TV presence, too, including at awards shows -- and you know how we love those here at The Film Experience. She was Golden Globe nominated as "Most Promising Newcomer" a now defunct category for the disaster flick Airport '75 and she sang multiple movie theme songs, too!

Let's look back at 10 moments from her TV/Movie history just for kicks and star sightings...

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Sunday
Aug072016

Posterized: Woody Allen's Filmography

Will Cafe Society win Oscar attention? It certainly looks handsome.Woody Allen's Cafe Society is the prolific auteur's 46th full length theatrical feature. He's been so regular a presence at the movie theaters he even makes speedy Clint Eastwood look like a slacker. In fact, though he's got his first television series due in September starring himself, Miley Cyrus and Elaine May (the six episode season will be called Crisis in Six Scenes and debut on September 30th), it won't be slowing down his theatrical output since he's already working on the 47th feature as well (which will star Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake as previously noted).

It's too early in Cafe Society's run to know where it will stack up in terms of success, but it appears to be tracking to be one of his mid-range pictures, the kind that do fine but are neither true hits nor flops. We shall see. But for now let's look back at that highly prolific theatrical career. His pictures have earned a total of 52 Oscar nominations and 12 wins and they were once so popular they finished in the top ten hits of the year (can you imagine? Ah the 1970s when moviegoers were far crazier about what they'd turn out for)

How many of his 47 films have you seen (we're including the omnibus film New York Stories because why not)? All the posters and waves of his career are after the jump...

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Monday
Aug012016

Podcast/Smackdown Pt 2: Richard Dreyfuss Double Feature of '77 and Films Oscar Ignored

As a companion piece to yesterday's Smackdown, a two-part podcast. If you missed Part One it's right here. Now we conclude our '77 festivities (did you enjoy or did we go to overboard?) with our panel, which includes Mark Harris, Guy Lodge, Nick Davis, Sara Black McCulloch, and Nathaniel R, discussing Tuesday Weld, Richard Dreyfuss, Diane Keaton, Looking for Mr Goodbar, The Turning Point and a few '77 extras.

Part Two Finale. Index (40 minutes)
00:01 One more anecdote on The Goodbye Girl 
04:45 Richard Dreyfuss' big year and Steven Spielberg's interest/disinterest in actors in Close Encounters of the Third Kind
15:30 Tuesday Weld's career and the divisive Looking for Mr Goodbar
24:00 The Turning Point and a female-heavy Best Picture lineup
32:15 Performances that weren't nominated from: Saturday Night Fever, Opening Night, Handle With Care, Roseland, and Three Women
39:00 Thank yous! 

You can listen to the podcast here or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you?  

Smackdown 77. Part Two. Close Encounters

Monday
Aug012016

Podcast/Smackdown Pt 1: "Julia" & "The Goodbye Girl"

As a companion piece to yesterday's Smackdown, a two-part podcast. In the first installment Mark Harris, Guy Lodge, Nick Davis, Sara Black McCulloch, and Nathaniel R discuss 1977's Oscar race, Jane Fonda & Vanessa Redgrave's friendship, Neil Simon's quippy writing, and more...

Part One. Index (41 minutes)
00:01 Intros, 1977 Memories, Annie Hall vs Star Wars
05:55 "getting" movies and Oscar-watching before the internet
09:09 Julia and Jane Fonda's curious "supporting" lead
16:23 Gender in Julia, Vanessa Redgrave's politics, and queer subtext
29:45 Child acting and difficult language in The Goodbye Girl
35:45 The influx of divorce/single parenting movies in the 70s
39:14 Nick's family memory of The Goodbye Girl

You can listen to the podcast here or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you?  

Smackdown 77. Part One. Julia

Sunday
Jul312016

Smackdown '77: Melinda, Leslie, Tuesday, Quinn, and Vanessa Redgrave

Presenting the Supporting Actress Nominees of '77. A mother with extraterrestrial problems, a highly neurotic swinger, a wealthy political activist, a precocious daughter, and a timid ballerina.

THE NOMINEES 

John Travolta opening the envelope

If the characters weren't quite typical this time, the shortlist formation was a familiar mix of career glories. Consider the slotting: Oh look, there's the child actor slot that the Supporting Actress category is famous for going to Quinn Cummings; Tuesday Weld wins the underappreciated enduring talent nod; No typical shortlist is complete without a newish critical darling with momentum which in 1977 was Melinda Dillon (she had created the "Honey" role in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf  on stage but didn't get to do the movie and was finally making film inroads via her role in the previous year's Best Picture nominee Bound for Glory ); Finally, you have to have a current Oscar darling with considerable prestige and fame (Vanessa Redgrave) on hand in any given year. Oops, that's only four. The last type is more rare but not unprecented. The final player fell under what you might call the "novelty" slot (Leslie Browne). When the latter happens it's usually either foreign-born non-actors or famous musicians but in this case it was a soon to be principal dancer with the American Ballet Company.

THIS MONTH'S PANELISTS

Here to talk about these five turns are our panelists: Mark Harris (Author of "Pictures at a Revolution," and "Five Came Back"), Guy Lodge (Variety, The Observer), Nick Davis (Associate Professor of English and Gender & Sexuality Studies at Northwestern), Sara Black McCulloch (Rearcher, Translator, Writer) and your host Nathaniel R (Editor, The Film Experience).

And now it's time for the main event... 

1977 
SUPPORTING ACTRESS SMACKDOWN 

 

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