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Entries in Oscars (70s) (121)

Tuesday
Jul262016

Golden Globes 77. A Look Back

Editors Note: Nathaniel is running behind on the Cinematography Special - but don't miss yesterday's installment or Tim's huge ongoing post at Antagony & Ecstasy so we'll resume tomorrow night. In the meantime enjoy Eric's look back at the Globes in '77, since its our Year of the Month.

Peter O'Toole with Globe winners Jane Fonda (Julia), Richard Burton (Equus), and Marsha Mason (The Goodbye Girl)

Globe/Oscar comparisons are always fun to see because though the  groups have different sensibilities, inevitable industry hype influences both. Yet the Globes are rarely revisited outside of their years since Oscar is the one people obsess on when they look back, "the one that matters" as it were. Let's correct that as we gaze at 1977... 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul262016

Five Days 'til the Smackdown

THE SUPPORTING ACTRESS SMACKDOWN OF 1977 is coming. You already met two of our panelists. And here are the other three (including me). 

MEET THE PANELISTS 

Panelist: Sara Black McCulloch
Bio: Sara Black McCulloch is a Toronto-based researcher, translator and writer. She has written for i-D, cleo Journal, Adult, The Hairpin, Gawker, Bitch Magazine and The National Post. You can read more of her work here

Question: What does 1977 mean to you? 

1977 seemed to be steeped in so much disillusionment. I think that, like the years that signal the end of a decade but don't quite bookend it, it was...fraught. The year was packed with events that pointed to change and fueled uncertainty. It was the year the U.S. signed the nuclear-proliferation pact and the same year that the U.S. government voted against covering elective abortions through Medicaid. The Apple II computer hit the market and Jimmy Carter warned Americans about their oil consumption. New York City had a blackout. Culturally, things were brewing, or at least clashing with traditions: The Sex Pistols crashed the Silver Jubilee; Saturday Night Fever and a Star Wars sequel were released; hip-hop was just getting started and Roots was sweeping tv ratings. 

So much of the art produced and general sentiment of the U.S. pointed to different internal and external conflicts -- pushing boundaries, but setting up borders; artists, citizens and politicians all wanted to turn a new leaf but they were still anchored to their past. The best way I can summarize 1977: it's like the last 10 seconds of New Year's Eve, but the clock freezes.

 

Panelist: Mark Harris
Bio: Mark Harris is an editor-at-large at Entertainment Weekly, and a contributor to New York magazine. He is the author of Pictures at a Revolution (2008) and Five Came Back (2014). He lives in New York City.
[Follow him on Twitter]  

Question: What does 1977 mean to you?

I was in eighth grade and living pretty deeply in the world of television--Happy Days, Good Times, All in the Family, Charlie's Angels, Saturday Night Live. But I do have some movie memories from that year: Seeing Network just before the Oscars and thinking it was one of the greatest movies ever. Seeing Annie Hall and not getting all the jokes but recognizing parts of my New York neighborhood. Seeing ads for Star Wars and thinking, "Ehhh, not really for me." Seeing ads for Saturday Night Fever and thinking, "100% for me." I now get all the jokes in Annie Hall. Everything else still stands.

 

Panelist & Host: Nathaniel R
Bio: You can read more about me here, but you already know me!
[Follow Nathaniel R on Twitter]

Question: What does 1977 mean to you?

I don't remember much. The only movie I physically remember sitting in the theater for was The Rescuers -- I was really into Evinrude the dragonfly and Medusa's pet alligators.  My most vivid showbiz memories of 1977 are two: making Bionic Woman noises while jumping around the backyard with my best friend and hearing my big sister playing Streisand's "Evergreen (The Theme From A Star is Born)" on the piano a lot.

ARE YOU VOTING ON THE SMACKDOWN, DEAR READER? Get your votes in by Friday early evening. 


The Nominees were...

Leslie BrowneThe Turning Point
Quinn Cummings, The Goodbye Girl
Melinda Dillon, Close Encounters
Vanessa Redgrave, Julia
Tuesday Weld, Looking for Mr Goodbar 

Readers are our final panelist for the Smackdown so if you'd like to vote send Nathaniel an email with 1977 in the header line by Friday with your votes. Each performance you've seen should be rated on a scale of 1 to 5 hearts (1 being terrible 5 being stupendous) -- Remember to only vote for performances that you've seen; the votes are weighted to reflect numbers of voters per movies so no actress has an unfair advantage because her movie is popular. 

Monday
Jul252016

HMWYBS: "Islands in the Stream"

Best Shot 1977 Party. Chapter 1
Islands in the Stream (1977)
Directed by: Franklin J Schaffner
Cinematography by: Fred J Koenekamp


No, dear readers, quit humming.

Though this post is retro it is not about Dolly Parton & Kenny Rogers' classic Grammy-winning 80s duet. Islands in the Stream is also the name of a 1977 movie very loosely adapted from a collection of possibly unfinished Ernest Hemingway stories which were released after his death under this title. I regret to inform that I had not even heard of it, the film or the book. The three sections of Hemingway's posthumous book include his previously published "The Old Man and the Sea," something I had heard of. (I'm not an animal.) 

The poster to your left begins with the tagline:

How long has it been since you've seen a really good movie?

Which was maybe not the best marketing tactic in March of 1977 considering what a sensational film year 1976 was and it had just ended. What ingrates! But that's a topic for another day.

George C Scott and David Hemming watching Scott's boys fishing

The internet doesn't provide much quick info on what people thought of this film back in the day but it does hold the scrappy distinction of being a first quarter release that ended up competing at the Oscars an entire year later (and we know how depressingly difficult that is to pull off).  After the jump, a few thoughts on the movies visuals and a little inappropriate ogling of 80s hunk Hart Bochner in his film debut...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jul242016

The Smackdown Is Almost Here

THE SUPPORTING ACTRESS SMACKDOWN OF 1977 IS JUST ONE WEEK AWAY. Get your votes in by Friday early evening. This week will be a '77 blitz at the blog to get you in the mood. 


The Nominees were...

Leslie BrowneThe Turning Point
Quinn Cumming, The Goodbye Girl
Melinda Dillon, Close Encounters
Vanessa Redgrave, Julia
Tuesday Weld, Looking for Mr Goodbar 

Readers are our final panelist for the Smackdown so if you'd like to vote send Nathaniel an email with 1977 in the header line and your votes. Each performance you've seen should be rated on a scale of 1 to 5 hearts (1 being terrible 5 being stupendous) -- Remember to only vote for performances that you've seen! The votes are weighted to reflect numbers of voters per movies so no actress has an unfair advantage. 

Click to embiggen to see the 1977 goodies

MEET THE PANELISTS

We'll do this piecemeal so you don't feel overwhelmed. Here are two of our guests this time 'round...

 

Panelist: Nick Davis
Bio: Nick Davis writes the reviews and features at the website Nick's Flick Picks.  The site's unpredictable cycles of frenzied activity and long dormancy have to do with his also being an Associate Professor of English and Gender & Sexuality Studies at Northwestern, where his research and teaching mostly concern narrative film in different eras, genres, and countries. 
[Follow Nick on Twitter]

Question: What does 1977 mean to you?

1977 is the year I personally debuted at the box office. My Star Wars-obsessed brother says it was the second-best thing that happened that year. Sadly, I drew only a modest "B-" on CinemaScore from males 18-29, but since I mostly appealed to middle-aged and older moviegoers, I turned out to have legs.  Shelley Duvall drove to the delivery ward, her skirt caught in the car door, and brought my parents pigs in a blanket and little pudding cups to celebrate my arrival.  When she left, she looked a lot more like Sissy Spacek, which confused all of us.  I was an odd-looking baby, but not as odd-looking as the one in Eraserhead, so that was some consolation.  My mom was just relieved she didn't have to be impregnated by a computer, like Julie Christie was in Demon Seed.  My parents were very careful about vaccines; Han Solo gave me my shots first.  When it was time to leave the hospital, Roy Scheider, Francisco Rabal, and two other guys drove us all home in trucks full of live nitroglycerine. It was a harrowing journey, especially the part on the rope bridge over a swollen river. Once at the house, we opened the door to a huge surprise party.  Liza Minnelli was in the living room belting "New York, New York," with backup from the aliens of the Creature Cantina. Gena Rowlands was sozzled behind her huge sunglasses in a corner, talking to someone the rest of us couldn't see. Charles Burnett, Laura Mulvey, and Derek Jarman were all screening brilliant new footage in the back of the house, wondering what it would take to get more attention from the mainstream partygoers in the front of the house.  Annie and Alvy arrived late, after a very long walk to the curb from where she'd parked.  Once they'd arrived, she sang "Seems Like Old Times" from a bar stool, which was weird, because I wasn't even a day old.  The party was fun until everyone got drunk and Anne Bancroft and Shirley MacLaine started pulling each other's hair.  Everyone dispersed, at which point we all noticed Jane Fonda acting really agitated in her giant hat, and making strenuous excuses for why she didn't want a ride from anyone.  Once we were alone, my whole family expressed gratitude for what a fantastic universe of movies I'd been born into, and then we privately screened the only one from 1977 that really, really, really matters, which is The Many Adventures of Winnie-the-Pooh.

Panelist: Guy Lodge
Bio: Guy Lodge is a film critic for Variety, a home entertainment columnist for The Observer, and plans to be Melissa Leo's official biographer whether she likes it or not. Born and mostly raised in Johannesburg, South Africa, he is currently based in what's left of London.
[Follow Guy on Twitter]

Question: What does 1977 mean to you?

My grizzled countenance and cranky Twitter rants may lead people to assume otherwise, but I wasn't close to being alive in 1977 — my parents wouldn't even meet for another two years — so my picture of the year is one informed entirely through history and pop totems. (Admittedly, not always the most popular pop totems: one of my most treasured thrift-store finds remains a double-disc vinyl soundtrack to Martin Scorsese's New York, New York, surely that year's most persistently undervalued triumph.) It's hard not to think of Star Wars when you think of 1977, since it so comprehensively altered the blockbuster template in ways we still feel today (and not just in the ongoing Star Wars films!), but it's a franchise to which I've never been sentimentally attached — perhaps because I never had the chance to discover it in theaters. I know I would have been Team Annie Hall in that year's Oscar race, one that continues to rankle with younger generations of acolytes: perhaps, in a sense, I think of 1977 as the starting point for today's polarized fan culture?

Continue on the Meet the Panelists Pt 2

How about you dear reader: What does 1977 mean to you?  

Friday
Jul222016

1977: The Best Animated Short nominees

Tim here. To celebrate the upcoming Supporting Actress Smackdown, 1977 is the year of the month here at the Film Experience. I'd like to take you back to a different Oscar competition from that year, the four-way race for Best Animated Short Film. It was one of the more interesting slates that category has ever seen, which I hasten to clarify isn't the same as calling it one of the best. But it makes for a pretty unique cross-section of the kind of animation being made in North America, with two nominees from the United States and two from Canada, ranging from a purely abstract experiment with the medium to a literal TV show.

We'll start off with the shortest of the nominees, an offbeat little gag called Jimmy the C (on YouTube – that unpleasant little watermark in the center goes away after a minute). In it, recently-inaugurated President Jimmy Carter waxes rhapsodic over his beloved home state by lip-singing to Ray Charles's "Georgia on My Mind", all through the magic of clay animation. I confess myself stumped: what the hell?...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Jul152016

Beauty Break: Vintage 1977 - Magazine Covers

Liz, and Liza and Halston, Oh my!

Reminder. At the end of the month the Smackdown returns with a look at the Supporting Actress Race of 1977 (The Turning Point, Julia, Close Encounters, The Goodbye Girl, and Looking for Mr Goodbar so get to watching so you can vote!).

To get you in the mid to late 1970s mood, if you lived through them, or just to engage your curiousity if you didn't, a collection of magazine covers from the year in question. Naturally we'll start with two Best Actress winners and then hit the general collections of showbiz covers...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jul112016

The Furniture: The Spy Who Loved My Supertanker

1977 is our "Year of the Month" for July. So we'll be celebrating its films randomly throughout the month. Here's Daniel Walber...

Looking back at the films of '77, the clear production design stand-out is Star Wars. It won the Oscar and changed the world, though not necessarily in that order. Science fiction was crossing over, pushed even further by fellow nominee Close Encounters of the Third Kind. But why talk about harder sci-fi when you could focus on the futuristic gadgetry and technological excess of the James Bond franchise?

The Spy Who Loved Me is a remarkable showcase for legendary production designer Ken Adam, who passed away earlier this year. He built models of the Pyramids, a cavernous office for the head of the KGB and a decadent underwater lair for nefarious shipping magnate Karl Stromberg (Curt Jurgens). But the real showstopper is the interior of the Liparus supertanker, the site of the film’s climax. Or, rather, the liveliest of its many climaxes. This is a Bond film, after all.

This was Adam's sixth contribution to the franchise, and he made a point of outdoing his prior work. The set for the Liparus was to be an entirely new sound stage, among the largest ever constructed. 

The final product was gigantic, 334ft by 136ft. Cinematographer Claude Renoir couldn’t actually see from one end to the other. Adam had to call in Stanley Kubrick, with whom he had worked on Dr. Strangelove and Barry Lyndon, just to figure out the lighting...

Click to read more ...