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Entries in Oscars (80s) (159)

Wednesday
Jan132016

HBO LGBT History: 1989 Oscar Flashback Best Documentary

Last week we enjoyed the eloquent musings of one Stephen Sondheim and quibbled over whether Todd Haynes’s intentionally queasy and dizzying take on “I’m Still Here” was worth including in James Lapine’s documentary on the Broadway composer. This week we’re taking a break from our regular programming and going back in time to celebrate one of HBO’s earliest Oscar victories.

As you may or may not know, films produced by HBO have won over 20 Oscars. Last year alone, HBO dominated both documentary categories with Citizenfour and Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 emerging victorious in their respective categories. And so, let us travel back to March 1990 when Robert Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt (discussed here) won the Best Documentary Oscar. [More...]

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Sunday
Dec132015

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Saturday
Dec052015

Robert Loggia (1930-2015) ...and 80s Oscar Movies.

Tough guy Italian American actor Robert Loggia, arguably best known for supporting roles in gangster classics, has passed away at age 85. He had been suffering from Alzheimers. Condolences to his family and his fans.

The enduring character actor's career began on the Broadway stage in the 1950s but he quickly began mixing it up on television where he starred in a few short lived TV shows and made numerous guest appearances over the past five decades (!). His first big screen role (uncredited) was as "Frankie Peppo" in the Paul Newman classic Somebody Up There Likes Me but his film career didn't hit its peak until the 1980s with a string of hits including An Officer and a Gentleman, Scarface, Prizzi's Honor, and the comedy Big with Tom Hanks.

Though the earliest Oscar ceremony memory I have is Shirley Maclaine winning (1983), the first Oscar race I actively followed was in 1985, the year Robert Loggia was nominated for the courtroom thriller Jagged Edge. Now in the paleozoic pre-internet era "actively following" the race was much different. It required 1) going to movies that adults thought were great and 2) reading a few articles in weekly and monthly magazines about who might be nominated. That's it! [More...]

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Friday
Dec042015

Pt 1. Oscar Editorials to Make the Blood Boil: on Category Fraud

'I'm not SUPPORTING you. I don't even like you!'I'm not in the habit, as some online pundits are, of dissing articles written by other people but two articles just published enraged me. ...I exaggerate. They made my skin crawl from their indifference and hypocrisy. Let's get the indifference out of our system first.

Variety's "Long and Honorable History of Category Fraud" - Tim Gray
Gray immediately pisses the reasonable Oscar-lover off with the way he begins this defense of Category Fraud, a topic birthed and coined right here at The Film Experience years ago since nobody else was willing to get riled up about it and make it a cause. He introduces the topic in the the context of real world problems with life & death consequences as a way to insure that any complaints about the topic are, in the grand scheme of things, entirely irrelevant. Yes, it's true, Tim. Category Fraud does not lead to car accidents (unless Nathaniel is enraged and driving) and it doesn't threaten the world's natural resources. But this is a cheap argument. Imagine the rage you'd conjure in the reader if you used this same tactic when speaking about the lack of diversity in casting and directing jobs in Hollywood. The same is, in fact, true. Nobody will die and it won't cause starvation or droughts if people of color don't get acting jobs and women aren't considered for directing big budget Hollywood movies. But that is absolutely no reason to not care about these problems!

Every topic will seem small when placed against death and disaster. By this logic the Oscars aren't worth talking about either! But that does not mean that the topics are unimportant within their own "ecosystems." That's Gray's choice of word so let's use it. [More...]

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Thursday
Nov052015

Women's Pictures - Mira Nair's Salaam Bombay!

When beginning a month long retrospective of Mira Nair, there probably isn't a better intro than the opening of Salaam Bombay!: A brightly colored circus, a stonefaced child left behind, a train ride to the bright streets of Bombay. Nair's films are eye-catching spectacles that find the beautiful in the mundane. But her playfulness is sharply contrasted with the real issues her films address. Salaam Bombay! is an observation of the secret world of the often-overlooked children living on Bombay's streets that balances bright visuals with social realism in order to paint a complex picture of Indian homeless youth.

Mira Nair's first feature follows a closeknit group of kids living between the cracks of Bombay city. The stonefaced boy at the beginning is Krishna (Shafiq Syed), who goes for an errand for the circus owner and comes back to discover that his temporary home with the circus has left without him. Krishna makes his way to Bombay, which is as colorful as the circus, but also more dangerous. Krishna eventually gets a job selling tea, and falls in with a group of urchins. He befriends a drunk, a prostitute, and her daughter. He's illiterate but street smart and is trying to save the unimaginable sum of 500 rupees to bring back to his mother - though he's not sure where he is. But don't mistake Krishna's story for a Dickensian tale of woe. Salaam Bombay! is not melodrama. Nair approaches her subject with empathy and curiosity, and gets the children to open up to her as well.

more...

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Monday
Nov022015

Q&A: Hotel's Casting, Woody's Men, Oscar's Quartets

It's time for our semi-weekly Q&A session. Let's just jump right in since there was no uniting theme this time. If I didn't answer your question, apologies. I select by a very scientific process of Which Ones I Feel Like Answering. 

Jeff Daniels should've been Oscar nominated for The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)LIZZY: What are your favorite male performances in Woody Allen films?

Hee. So typical that I've never even thought of this before as the ringleader of Actressexuality. Let's see. Towering above them all has got to be Jeff Daniels in The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985). Both Mia and him should have been nominated that year at the Oscars with threats to win. It's such a delicately specific, stylized, and endearing performance in a movie that's aged superbly well. Completing a top five in no particular order I'd go with: Woody himself in anything/everything between 1977-1986, Max von Sydow in Hannah and Her Sisters, Corey Stoll in Midnight in Paris, and Chazz Palminterri in Bullets Over Broadway. But I really had to think on this one... his movies are all about the women, for all his neurosis and intermittent misogyny and/or misanthropy.

It's true. The only man who's ever won an Oscar for acting in a Woody (Michael Caine in Hannah and Her Sisters) is not one I'm particularly fond of. I wouldn't call myself allergic to Michael Caine but he's in the "don't quite get the appeal" column of legendary actors. 

PATRYK: Do you consider Kate Winslet's performance in Steve Jobs annoying? I was surprised how drastically her accent changed. Shame on the Academy if she wins on a tag-a-long nomination instead of someone like our Elizabeth Banks, who might actually be a real contender without tag-a-long Winslet and fraudulent Vikander and Rooney. 

No. I thought Kate was great in the movie. Yes, the accent was dodgy but I've already explained why I'm okay with that. Otherwise she really nailed the most important part: a psychic kind of work wife connection to Fassy's Jobs. I also agree that Banks was fabulous in a potentially dull/underwritten part in Love & Mercy but I'm not so sure she isn't the lead of that movie. I'd like to see it again before determining. 

TYLER: What is your favorite film set in New Orleans?

the answer (not Interview with a Vampire) and enticing Oscary questions after the jump

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Tuesday
Oct202015

Top Ten '86 Flashback. Plus A Room With a "Best Shot"!

We've done a terrible job of having top tens ready for you every Tuesday so here's a quickie from 1986 since it's Best Shot time again.

Top Ten Films of 1986

  1. A Room With a View (James Ivory)
  2. Aliens (James Cameron)
  3. Hannah and Her Sisters (Woody Allen)
  4. Little Shop of Horrors (Frank Oz)
  5. My Beautiful Laundrette (Stephen Frears)
  6. The Fly (David Cronenberg)
  7. Betty Blue (Jean-Jacques Beineix)
  8. Peggy Sue Got Married (Francis Ford Coppola)
  9. Parting Glances (Bill Sherwood)
  10. The Mosquito Coast (Peter Weir)

Disclaimer: I haven't seen many of these films in a very long time. I am sure there are major titles I should reconsider or see for the first time since I wasn't seeing movies as voraciously back then. 

What does your top ten from that year look like?

Basically the top three there are "all-timers" for Nathaniel, not just for an annual list. And yes yes, I'm aware that IMDb considers the James Ivory classic a 1985 movie but that's stupid because it did not open that year. It opened nowhere that year. It opened in both its home country of the UK and in the USA and then spread to other countries in the early summer of 1986. It was a big deal, crossing over from the arthouse and justly receiving a slew of Oscar and BAFTA nominations (and actual statues, too). If you've never seen it, I envy you your first time. 

BEST SHOT CHOICES...
Please click over to see the choices and read these articles. My choice will be up tomorrow so if you're running late you still have time! REPULSION, our finale of the season, will also be delayed two days (you have until Thursday the 29th to post your choice) because we have a sudden trip to London for The Danish Girl interviews this weekend so Tuesday will be impossible.

FILMMIXTAPE

The film is never lacking for gorgeous imagery, with even the most perfunctory medium dialogue shots being frames you want to live inside.

ANTAGONY & ECSTASY

The fact that it's a depiction of a literal room with a view wasn't part of my calculation

CHIRAPAT

When my mind and body long for relaxation and comfort, I usually swing the ‘costume drama’ window wide open and let it soothe my soul... 

FILM ACTUALLY

Loved every preening, posh second of Daniel Day-Lewis's performance.

MAGNIFICENT OBSESSION

Maggie Smith, she’s the ultimate symbol of the film’s humor, making (poor) Charlotte Bartlett into one of her most remarkable creations and an indispensable part of the film’s comedic construction.

ALLISON TOOEY

If it wasn’t for the costumes and some of the dialogue, the movie could have been set in almost any time period...

SORTA THAT GUY

Like many films chosen for this series, A Room with a View is a film I had meant to see sooner, but just never got around to it. 

MOVIE MOTORBREATH

Oh look!...

Exactly! Look at these movies. Pick a shot. Repulsion (1965) starring Catherine Deneuve is next on October 29th.

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