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Entries in Oscars (80s) (181)

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. 

Wednesday
Aug172016

1984: John Cassavetes' Farewell "Love Streams"

by Bill Curran

The story of an irredeemably chaotic, forever ailed pair of siblings—Robert (John Cassavetes), a louche, bestselling (but never working) author and alcoholic, and Sarah (Gena Rowlands), his troubled, manic sister just divorced and now separated from her daughter—Love Streams doesn’t care much for a Story, capital “S”.  There is no dissolution or sea change in Cassavetes’ swan song*. If one of the chief pleasures of any good narrative is the suggestion of lives lived before and after the story itself, it’s striking to note that, unlike previous Cassavetes works like Faces and A Woman Under the Influence (with their forever altering moments), Love Streams exists on a continuum. We know Robert and Sarah will never really change. And there is a poignant resignation in realizing at the film’s end, as a thunderstorm pounds the windowpanes of Robert’s home and Sarah’s new companion’s car, that we’ve witnessed only a beautiful stepping stone in their zigzagging roads to nowhere.


Instead, the film achieves a dreamlike intensity, moment to moment, by giving free reign to Robert and Sarah’s thoughts and associations...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug162016

Beauty Break: Jeff Bridges in 1984

by Murtada

We know the origin of the  current fetishization of luxurious facial hair, that’s been going on for quite sometime. No it’s not Oscar Isaac, or any of the Marvel guys. Its origin is 1984 and Jeff Bridges in Against All Odds. Behold.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug152016

Q&A: "Who is that?" Actors, Streep Classics, and Gendered Oscars

Last week there were too many questions we wanted to answer to fit it all into one post so here's a second round up of eight reader questions and brief answers. Ahem. (One answer is most definitely not brief.)

MATT ST CLAIR:  When I saw Laura Linney in the trailer for Sully, my heart sank because it saddened me to see another great actress stuck in those stock "wife worrying over the phone" roles. When do you think Hollywood will ever get tired of seeing older women portrayed as supportive wifes or mothers and let more of them be in charge of their own stories?

How I wish I had a good answer to this. The answer might be a more diverse body of people telling stories because then chances are slightly better that it won't always be straight white 30-50something men as protagonists. Now, it's worth noting that it's been largely straight white men directing movies for about 100 years now and there were periods, long before our modern one, when men in charge of storytelling were interested in women and knew how to showcase them. I don't know what happened to make the alpha directors so disinterested in women's stories but whatever it was, I hate it. I guess it changed around the time Scorsese, Coppola, and Spielberg all exploded into fame together (not that we're blaming them) and none of them happened to have much interest in the ladies beyond a key atypical project each. As time wore on into the 80s and 90s less and less female projects were made. Give us more descendants of William Wyler, Douglas Sirk, and Alfred Hitchcock, Hollywood! We've got enough Spielberg & Scorsese acolytes to last another 50 years.

JAMES FROM AMES:  What character actor's performance was so good it made you go from "hey, it's that guy" to "who is THAT?" and start following their work? For me: Mary Kay Place just floored me in Being John Malkovich. I was so pleased when she popped up in Lady Dynamite this year.

Mary Kay Place on the 7½ floor in "Being John Malkovich"

Mary Kay Place is a wonder, isn't she?...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug122016

Posterized: Director Stephen Frears

Streep & StephenThe "Posterized" series has fallen into a 'totally inconsistent director' zone. Last week we looked at Woody Allen's filmography, full of impossible peaks and embarrassing valleys and everything inbetween. The 75 year old British director Stephen Frears hasn't had peaks that are quite as dizzy from the genius altitude but his valleys aren't as cringeworthy as Allen's, either. He's a safe middle distance director that critics and audiences and Oscar can all love, albeit not stay married to. He's made 22 features over the course of his long career which began with 1971's Gumshoe after which he disappeared into epidodic British TV for a decade or so until his movie career really started to sizzle; My Beautiful Laundrette put him on the global map. But did he ever really top that breakthrough?

For all the ups and downs that followed, the consistency is his love for actresses: he famously directed Helen Mirren to her Oscar, and he's worked with Glenn Close, Judi Dench, and Michelle Pfeiffer twice each.

It's a busy summer for Frears.  He's prepping a third feature with Judi Dench called Victoria and Abdul, he's added Meryl Streep to his grande dame arsenal via Florence Foster Jenkins, and he'll receive the Honorary Heart of Sarajevo Award at the 22nd Annual Sarajevo Film Festival which starts today.

All the Frears theatrical posters are after the jumpHow many of his films have you seen?

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug092016

Vintage '84: Travel Back in Time...

1984 is our "Year of the Month", as we work towards the Supporting Actress Smackdown on the last Sunday in the month (more on that soon). So let's steep ourselves in that year that was a bit. It was an Olympics year (Los Angeles in summer, Sarajevo in winter), the Ethiopian famine alarmed the world and prompted that "Do They Know It's Christmas" music world response, the first Apple Macintosh went on sale, TV brought us the premiere of the ubiquitous Wendy's commercial "Where's the beef?", several franchises that still won't go away debuted in early forms, for better and worse (The Terminator, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Transformers), the first MTV Video Awards was held, featuring Madonna's historic "Like a Virgin" performance, and there were two sudden confusing celebrity deaths (35 year old comedian Andy Kaufman to cancer -- which later prompted hoax theories -- and 26 year old beefcake superstar Jon-Erik Hexum who died of an accidental gunshot on the set of his TV show).

Indiana Jones becomes a franchise | Madonna, Kathleen Turner, and Daryl Hannah all become superstars, Geraldine Ferraro is first female VP candidate, and Rob Lowe is the hot new boytoy

Marinate in the Juices of 1984 via Movies, Music, Theater, and Television after the jump...

Click to read more ...

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