Advertisement
Advertisement
Oscar History
Welcome

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

Powered by Squarespace
What'cha Looking For?
Don't Miss This!
Comment Fun

Comment Du Jour
Viola's Speech

"If she'd said "We're a profession that celebrates what it means to live a life" instead of "the only profession" it would have been a truer, less self-aggrandizing statement. But what she said about exhuming stories from those who are dead - ordinary lives that should be illuminated on film - was powerful and is worth remembering" - Hustler

INTERVIEWS

OSCAR WINNER INTERVIEWS
Asghar Farhadi (The Salesman)
Krystof Deak (Sing)
Robert Legato (The Jungle Book)
Rich Moore (Zootopia) 

Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500 Patron Saints!

IF YOU READ THE SITE DAILY, PLEASE BE ONE BY DONATING. 
Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference to The Film Experience in terms of stability and budget to dream bigger. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

Subscribe

Entries in Oscars (70s) (127)

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 ...

Wednesday
Jul062016

Michael Cimino & the Best Director Oscar Since

Eric here with thinking about the past 40 years of Oscars Best Director category.

This past Saturday, director Michael Cimino passed away at age 77.  Cimino won the Best Director Oscar for 1978’s The Deer Hunter, beating Woody Allen (Interiors), Hal Ashby (Coming Home), Warren Beatty and Buck Henry (Heaven Can Wait), and Alan Parker (Midnight Express).  While those five actual films are of varying quality, the names behind them are all heavyweights and it was formidable company.

The Deer Hunter was a divisive film upon its release and remains so today (praised for its leisurely-paced first half and its capture of inexpressive male friendship; criticized for the Russian Roulette melodrama and its depiction of the Vietnamese). With The Deer Hunter, Cimino aimed to make something epic and classically Greek in its storytelling, and watching the film you can actually feel his young talent. Cimino next famously (infamously?) went on to direct 1980’s Heaven’s Gate, a film of disastrous proportions that has been covered ad nauseum as one of cinema’s biggest catastrophes.  He directed four more films after that, none to any significant acclaim, the last one released 20 years ago.   

It’s interesting to look over the list of the men (and one woman) who have won the Best Director Oscar since Cimino in 1978 to see where their careers have gone...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Jun292016

Olivia @ 100: Airport '77

Don't get on the plane! It's a Disaster Movie!Team Experience is looking at highlights and curios from the filmography of Olivia de Havilland for her Centennial this Friday. Here's guest contributor Sean Donovan...

Airport ’77, the third film of the Airport franchise, capitalized on the immense success of the 70s disaster movie craze in the twilight of its years. Just one year later in 1978, the critical and box office failure of Irwin Allen’s The Swarm showed how much audiences had sobered up, no longer excited by disaster movies and more interested in openly mocking them, based on their cheesy acting and overwrought destruction (a movement chronicled by Ken Feil in his worth-the-read book Dying for a Laugh: Disaster Movies and the Camp Imagination). So if something feels lacking and obligatory about Airport ’77- in which a botched hijacking lands a Boeing 747 in the ocean, the passengers struggling to get back to land safely- that’s only because the film presents a crew of movie stars eager to cash their checks and get out as quick as possible. 

Among them is our honored centennial, Ms. Olivia de Havilland! And who can blame her for dipping into the disaster movie depths?

Her generational cohort Shelley Winters scored an Oscar nomination for being the token old lady to brave disaster (at the age of 52, but that’s Hollywood), in the genre-defining The Poseidon AdventureOlder actresses like Helen Hayes, Gloria Swanson, and Myrna Loy had already wandered into the Airport franchise, Hayes walking away with an Oscar for her efforts. As an aging member of Hollywood royalty in the 1970s, it seems one of your duties was to class up a trashy disaster film with your mere presence... 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun202016

Things that happened on Nicole Kidman's Birthday over the years

On this day in history as it relates to the movies...

1893 Lizzie Borden acquitted of the axe murders of her dad and stepmom but everyone still thinks she did it. I still haven't seen that show where Christina Ricci played her. Oops.
1905 Lillian Hellman, playwright and screenwriter is born. 
1909 Swashbuckler supreme Errol Flynn is born
1910 Fanny Brice debuts in "Ziegfeld Follies". The moment was recreated (see photo above from the Academy's archives) and heavily fictionalized of course, in Barbra Streisand's Funny Girl (1968)
1915 Director Terence Young is born. Goes on to kick off the Bond franchise with Dr. No, From Russia With Love, and Thunderball and direct Audrey Hepburn to her last Oscar nomination for Wait Until Dark (1967)
1928 Martin Landau is born. 66 years, 9 months, and 7 days he wins a well-deserved Oscar for Ed Wood (1994)

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Jun122016

Irwin Allen "Master of Disaster" Centennial

Tim here. Today we celebrate the 100-year anniversary of the birth of producer-director-writer Irwin Allen, one of the great junk-food purveyors in Hollywood cinema. It's by no means true that Allen invented the disaster movie (a genre stretching back into the 1930s), nor even the uniquely '70s-style incarnation of the form, with an impressively well-stocked larder of overtalented, underpaid stars filling out the clichéd melodramas of addiction and marital strife that tend to form the plots of these movie (Airport got there first). But it was under Allen's hand that disaster movies became the greatest, gaudiest spectacles of the decade.

Allen was not always a high-end schlockmeister. In fact, he began his career as an Oscar-winner, taking home a Best Documentary Feature award for 1953's The Sea Around Us, based on a Rachel L. Carson book. Curiously his first taste of the effects-driven spectacle that would typify his later films came in as a way of fleshing out his documentaries. One sequence of his 1956 film The Animal World, on dinosaurs, featured effects by the great Ray Harryhausen, and his very next film was his first all-star extravaganza, the cameo-packed The Story of Mankind.

More...

Click to read more ...