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Entries in Oscars (80s) (154)

Thursday
Jan282016

Bye Instant Watch: Terms of Endearment, Tom Cruise, Big Fish...

What's leaving Netflix Instant Watch?

We should probably start covering that. It seems like a boring topic but we jazz up your public service announcements. I'll close my eyes and play with the control bar and wherever I freeze the movie I'll share the image. This weekend is your last chance to watch these films for free for who knows how long. Since there are Oscar titles in the mix, perhaps you can fill some holes in your Oscar lists of Things To See or Rewatch.

Ready? In chronological order of their film year, seven films leaving Netflix on February 1st...

TERMS OF ENDEARMENT (1983)

EMMA: I've got some good news. I'm unofficially pregnant. I mean I haven't got the tests back but I'm never late.

AURORA: [Pause] Well... No, I don't understand."

Look how crazy young Jeff Daniels is! Shirley Maclaine is so hilarious and complicated in this movie -- that long pause with cascading rejection of possible responses under frozen 'I don't understand' face. She's going to lose out since she doesn't want to think of herself as a grandmother. A well deserved Best Actress win, with Shirley obviously relieved about it "this show has been as long as my career."

Oscar Note: I know we've asked this before but how long before we get another girlie Best Picture winner it's been FOR-EV-ER. Terms of Endearment was nominated for 11 Oscars (an astounding amount for a contemporary-set film), winning 5. 

six more movies after the jump

THE TERMINATOR (1984) 

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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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