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Ashley Judd, Pulp Queen

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Entries in Oscars (70s) (148)

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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Wednesday
Apr112018

Soundtracking: "Woodstock"

The 1970 Smackdown is coming! To kickoff our look at everything 1970, here's Chris looking the music of that year's landmark Oscar-winning documentary...

We love examining the lasting cultural impact of our subjects here at Soundtracking, but rarely do the soundtracks explored serve as a cultural artifact themselves. Woodstock is an event that became a part of the American story, and essentially by accident. It was more than a concert, but a landmark display in anti-war sentiment and activism through artistry. Michael Wadleigh’s staggering cinematic account shows how music and movement lived symbiotically during the era, empowering a generation and an art form.

One of the significances of the concert film is that it allows the viewer to participate in a musical moment that they didn’t get first-hand. But the very best of the genre (see: Stop Making Sense) imbue their own perspective of the artistry on display and provide something an attendee of the live experience couldn’t have lived. Here Wadleigh creates a split-screen, all-encompassing view of the weekend, one that presents the crowd and the musicians as peers moved by the same feeling.

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Wednesday
Apr112018

Coming Soon: Smackdown 1970 and Smackdown 1994

The next two regular Smackdowns were among the most requested years last time I shared the remaining years that haven't been done (among the years where it's still possible to find all five films -sigh). In both cases there are only 4 movies you need to watch to play along. I'm still on the hunt for panelists but in the meantime get to watching for the first time (or rewatching!)

Helen Hayes in "Airport"

May 6th "Supporting Actress Smackdown 1970"
Panelists: TBA; Nominees:

  • Karen Black, Five Easy Pieces
  • Lee Grant, The Landlord
  • Helen Hays, Airport
  • Sally Kellerman, MASH
  • Maureen Stapleton, Airport

Balloting is currently open and closes May 1st. Send your ballot to me with "1970" as subject line and a heart rating for each contender of 1 (awful) to 5 (perfection). Please only vote on the performances you've seen since the results are weighted accordingly so as not to punish the underseen or overvalue the widely seen.

Dianne Wiest in "Bullets Over Broadway"

June 3rd "Supporting Actress Smackdown 1994"
Panelists: TBA; Nominees:

  • Rosemary Harris, Tom & Viv
  • Helen Mirren, The Madness of King George
  • Uma Thurman, Pulp Fiction
  • Jennifer Tilly, Bullets Over Broadway
  • Dianne Wiest, Bullets Over Broadway

Balloting opens May 7th and closes May 31st. Same rules apply with "1994" in subject line. (Please do not confuse the inbox by trying to vote on different years in the same email. Your votes would likely not be counted that way)

Monday
Apr092018

The Furniture: Demolition and Preservation in The Molly Maguires

Daniel Walber's series on Production Design. Click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

Every now and then, while poring over lists of Oscar nominees from years past, you stumble across a movie you’ve never heard of. Not even once. In 1970, the Best Art Direction category included two big war movies (Patton and Tora! Tora! Tora!), another hit Best Picture nominee (Airport) and Scrooge, the musical adaptation of A Christmas Carol starring Albert Finney. Then there’s The Molly Maguires, the only one not nominated in any other category.

So what’s The Molly Maguires? Well, for one thing, it wasn’t a hit. But that may have been more a result of the film’s dour subject matter than its quality. It stars Richard Harris as a real life undercover Pinkerton Detective, tasked with infiltrating a group of Irish industrial terrorists in 1870s Pennsylvania coal country. Though just a few men, the Molly Maguires have been creating tremendous chaos, blowing up mines and eliminating abusive company supervisors.

These are the early days of organized labor in America, when robber barons hired armies of ersatz police to brutally repress strikes and intimidate low wage workers. Sean Connery’s “Black Jack” Kehoe and his co-conspirators are immigrant miners who have been pushed too far...

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Thursday
Feb012018

Months of Meryl: Kramer vs. Kramer (1979)

Hi, we’re John and Matt and, icymi, we are watching every single live-action film starring Streep. Previously Julia, The Deer Hunter, Manhattan and The Seduction of Joe Tynan


 #5 — Joanna Kramer, a mother and divorcée embroiled in a messy custody battle.

It’s 1980. Kramer vs. Kramer is a critical and commercial smash (the top-grossing film released in 1979). The dawn of a new era approaches and one actress is anointed as its icon...

“The face is beautiful but anguished, haunted by sorrow, despair, determination and love. Can one face express all these warring emotions, with a grave dignity that adds a deeper beauty to the physical structure? Meryl's face can and does in the extraordinary first image of "Kramer vs. Kramer". This first shot of a superbly crafted film prints indelibly upon the eyes and consciousness of the audience the face of a young actress who, at 30, may become the strongest performer of her generation, first American woman since Jane Fonda to rival the power, versatility and impact of such male stars as Dustin Hoffman, Robert De Niro and Al Pacino...

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