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Entries in Oscars (80s) (151)

Sunday
Aug282016

Box Office Special: 1984 Hits

Rather than talk about this weekend's boring box office results (nothing new to see here beyond a big weekend for that new kill-the-trespassing-teenagers flick Don't Breathe) let's travel back to 1984 which was a hugely influential year for franchises of many kinds. What can the biggest hits tell us about the then and the now? 

TOP TWENTY OF 1984
numbers adjusted for today's dollars via box office mojo

01 Ghostbusters $589.6  
Two Oscar nods. Spawned 1 terrible sequel, two animated TV shows, and this year's reboot

02 Beverly Hills Cop $581.5
Led to two sequels, a TV remake, and a TV pilot that wasn't picked up. Beverly Hills Cop 4 has been in some stage of development for 20+ years and is still supposedly being made. We'll believe it when we see it.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug272016

4 Days til the Smackdown - Meet the Panelists!

The Supporting Actress Smackdown of 1984 is coming your way on Wednesday August 31st with Dame Peggy Ashcroft defending her Oscar from the other side. Will the panel co-sign that Oscar win or throw their votes to Christine Lahti, Lindsay Crouse, or legendary Oscar regulars in the form or either Glenn Close or Geraldine Page. Please remember that readers are the collective sixth panelist so I expect your answers to these questions in the comments (as well as your ballots - details on what to send me here).

MEET THE PANELISTS

Please give a hearty welcome to two first time Smackdowners

NOAH TSIKA
Noah Tsika is the Assistant Professor of Media Studies at Queens College, CUNY. He has also written two books on cinema: Nollywood Stars: Media and Migration in West Africa and the Diaspora and Pink 2.0: Encoding Queer Cinema on the Internet. 
Follow Noah on Twitter 

SHEILA O'MALLEY 
Sheila O'Malley is a regular film critic for Rogerebert.com and other outlets including The Criterion Collection. She wrote the narration (read by Angelina Jolie) for the Gena Rowlands tribute reel played at the 2016 Governors Awards. Her blog is The Sheila Variations.  
Follow Sheila on Twitter

...welcome back two regular Smackdowners

JOE REID
Joe Reid never went to film school, unless you count the film school of hard knocks, which he also didn't go to. That hasn't stopped him from writing about movies. He is currently Senior Writer at Decider.com. One day, he'll have written about his love for The HoursGo, and Mermaids enough that he can finally close his laptop, satisfied that his work is done. 
Follow Joe on Twitter 

NICK DAVIS
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 

And, of course, your host with all his needy questions about your favorites this and that...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug262016

"Don't you have something to do?"

Christine Lahti is pissed. She heard that you haven't voted on the Supporting Actress 1984 Smackdown yet...

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Aug252016

Links: Best Picture Field, Highest Paid Actresses, The Departed on TV?

It's link time which also doubles as news catch up! (Yes, Oscar Chart updates are currently in progress. So more on that and the foreign submissions very soon)

Think Pieces, List Mania, Celebrity
Movie City News launches another "Gurus of Gold" season where all of us have named our current top 20 "general field" predictions. Yes, I'm updating my charts over the next three days! Manchester by the Sea and Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk are expected leaders
Gawker Rich Juzwiack says goodbye to one identity through a George Michael lens. It's wonderful
MNPP Paul Bettany is vacationing in Ibiza
NYT talks to Kirsten Dunst about life after Fargo and her Emmy nomination
Mind of a Suspicious Kind Martin Scorsese's Silence is supposedly his longest ever (over 3 hours) but is it actually coming out this year?

Cinema Enthusiast polled film twitter on their favorite films of 1982. The results are interesting but weird. The Thing at #1? Erm, okay. Star Trek II above Victor/Victoria? NO. I have to admit that I'm quite spotty on early 80s cinema though because I couldn't drive myself to the cinema back then.
Forbes on the easy-to-predict failure of the new Ben-Hur and how it's a fitting end to this particular summer
Little White Lies wonders if there still a place for eroticism in cinema while watching shorts in Montreal 
i09 what went wrong with this summer's blockbusters
AV Club talks to Clea DuVall about past roles on the eve of her directorial debut with The Intervention
MNPP Dagmara Dominczyck's Patrick Wilson appreciation social media game
• ...TFE we interviewed her once and she is stunningly gorgeous herself
• Slate that nude Trump statue hitting various cities is not amusing to everyone  
• ...EW including actress/author Amber Tamblyn 

News & Miscellania
• The Guardian more trouble for Birth of a Nation. AFI cancelled screenings and Q&A
• ... icymi TFE previous handwringing about this scandal and film
Forbes Jennnifer Lawrence & Melissa McCarthy top the annual highest paid actresses list this year. Two actresses outside of Hollywood made the list this year: Deepika Padukone (India) and Fan Bingbing (China). Figures include not just films but endorsement deals and such. The Zeéeeee apparently banked a lot for returning to her signature role in Bridget Jones's Baby since she almost made the list.

/Film Blade Runner 2 adds Jared Leto to the cast and Jóhan Jóhannsson as composer
Theater Mania Jennifer Holliday joining the cast of the Broadway revival of Color Purple. I guess they've decided to make Shug Avery the short-term award-winning star draw (they've already been through Jennifer Hudson and Heather Hedley) 
Screen Daily undervalued British actor Andrew Scott has a lead role. He'll star in the thriller Steel Country 
Kotaku Ghost in the Shell  supporting cast photos leaked
Towleroad on Frank Oceans new video Nikes 
Coming Soon Amazon developing a TV series based on The Departed. Hmmm. Isn't that an odd fit for long term storytelling. It would imply we can never move past the double crossing discovered stage
Playbill Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher documentary will premiere at the NYFF 
Film Stage the first image from Euphoria with Alicia Vikander & Eva Green 

Madonna Mania - It's Around This Summer For Some Reason (not complaning)
• Boy Culture on a star studded Truth or Dare screening in NYC...
• People ...Madonna even showed up super briefly!
• Village Voice Michael Musto recalls his up and down relationship to the material girl through their very long contemporaneous careers 

And I'll leave you with the new La La Land trailer. (If you missed our discussion of the first trailer, that's here.) This movie can't open soon enough!

Wednesday
Aug242016

1984: Year of the Heroic Farm Wife

As we look back at 1984, please welcome new contributor John Guerin to talk about a famous Oscar triple...

In 1984, 60% of the Best Actress category was farm wives

In May 1985, after scoring Oscar nominations for playing distressed farmwives in Country and The River, Jessica Lange and Sissy Spacek testified before the U.S. House of Representatives and urged senators to help aid farmers during a devastating agricultural crisis. After a toxic combination of faulty economic policies, mounting debts, high interest rates, and a declining Midwest population, American farmers were experiencing financial hardship unseen since the Great Depression. Both Country and The River offer visions of farm families under such pressures, pitting family and community against unyielding forces of nature and government.

Can you remember the last time an actress testified before Congress after starring in a politically-minded film?

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug222016

Swing, Tarzan, Swing! Ch.7: Oscar Loves "Greystoke"

During this summer of the Tarzan reboot we've revisited past films in the long history of Tarzan on film. Four more episodes to go!

Impossible as it may be to move Tarzan away from his ultra-specific origins as a colonial era fantasy, filmmakers have tried over and over again to do exactly that. As we've seen in past installments of our "Swing, Tarzan, Swing!" series, he keeps changing with the times despite his historical baggage. We've seen starkly different depictions of his relationship to Jane from equal partners to Head of the Household suburban conformity. The Lord of the Apes even tried to get bachelor hip with the 1960s at the beginning of the James Bond frenzy. Nearly every Tarzan on television has attempted to place him closer to the actual timeline in which it aired. The new Legend of Tarzan (reviewed) works hard to downplay the racism in the myth, but it's never going completely away given that the story is, at heart, about a white man who becomes king of the jungle and often the savior of Africans in his ongoing adventures.

Tarzan works best when he's allowed to stay in the era to which he belongs. So it was a stroke of inspiration for director Hugh Hudson (fresh off a Best Picture win with Chariots of Fire) to give him the historical epic treatment in Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) even though the Ape Man doesn't belong to world history any more than, say, Batman, Superman and Spider-Man who were all also tragically orphaned (it's a superhero thing, okay?). 

The marketing was so committed to this "serious" prestige historical treatment that the poster even has a four paragraph synopsis closer to a novel than a movie tagline...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Aug202016

The Smackdown is Coming

The Supporting Actress Smackdown of 1984 is just 8 days away! All of the titles are available to stream online, albeit mostly with rental fees.

The Nominees were...

Dame Peggy Ashcroft, A Passage to India  iTunes | Amazon 
Glenn CloseThe Natural iTunes | Amazon
Lindsay CrousePlaces in the Heart iTunes | Amazon
Christine LahtiSwing Shift iTunes | Amazon
Geraldine PageThe Pope of Greenwich Village Amazon Prime  

Readers are our final panelist for the Smackdown so if you'd like to vote send Nathaniel an email with 1984 in the header line and your votes by Friday August 26th. 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.