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Entries in Oscars (80s) (172)

Tuesday
Jul262016

Oscar Trivia, Indie Sensations, and Evita's Death

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

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Monday
Jul252016

The Furniture: The Color of Beaches

"The Furniture" is our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber... 

Beaches, despite its enormous and enduring cultural imprint, still retains some surprises. It’s not subtle at all, yet it also contains countless little details, both of performance and design. It’s a melodrama that rewards rewatching, not only for the ritual of crying along with a beloved tearjerker, but also for the charismatic density of its images. And so, heeding the call of Nathaniel’s obituary and reappraisal of Garry Marshall’s long career (and a comment from Craver), here’s a look at the Oscar-nominated production design of Beaches.

The color palette of the film is almost schematic. That’s not a slight against production designer Albert Brenner and set decorator Garrett Lewis, either. It works, this insistence on pinks and greens reaching its emotional pinnacle along with the characters.

To be sure, Oscar nomination is probably owed specifically to the two fabulous production numbers, “Industry” and “Otto Titsling.” But rather than praise two isolated scenes, I’d like to take a look at this insistent thread of color...

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Monday
Jul182016

Stream This: Two Mia Farrow Greats, Hannibal (S3), Terminator 5, Etc...

In the effort to stay au courant we'll alternate between Netflix and Amazon Prime for streaming news each week. And we'll freeze frame select titles at random places just for fun and see what image comes up. You know how we do. 

LAST CHANCE AMAZON PRIME

Amazon Prime has a far better movie selection than Netflix on a month to month basis but they are officially the worst streaming provider in terms of providing dates of expiration on their movies/tv shows. Sometimes the titles don't expire after they're marked for expiration and sometimes they vanish even if they haven't been marked. Sometimes without warning they suddenly cost money when they were once free. And they don't do press releases to announce expiring titles like the other services. So it's all rumors in a way. But supposedly they're losing these titles (among others) at the end of July and they're all worth checking out...

There's no reason why you shouldn't have complete confidence in your chances to come out of this alive and in one piece." 

Airplane (1980)
This smash comedy mocked the disaster epic genre and started the spoof craze. That spoof genre peaked early - maybe even here. It's kind of unreal how fast and quick the visual and verbal gags come. 

7 more freeze frames after the jump... 

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Wednesday
Jul062016

Visual Index: Working Girl's Best Shot(s)

Hit Me With Your Best Shot
Working Girl (1988)
Director: Mike Nichols
Cinematography: Michael Ballhaus

I wasn't fair to Working Girl in 1988. When it won the reader poll easily for coverage here on Best Shot, the old grudge flared up again. 'Why do people love this movie so much?' I thought. You see the Oscar race is often distorting. In 1988 Working Girl was a last minute disrupter with its Christmas bow, and I never forgave it for costing Bull Durham, Running on Empty, or Who Framed Roger Rabbit major nominations and prizes. There's no proof of course that it did -- but I believed it wholeheartedly.

But watching the film again, away from that distorting horse race, I could enjoy it fully without name-checking those films I held more dear. There's so much to enjoy all told. "It plays," as they say. It plays beautifully. Now don't get me wrong. I still wouldn't have nominated it for six Oscars. Six! But let's not return to the grudge and let's enjoy this mainstream bullseye and the cinematography by Michael Ballhaus, one of the cinema's greatest DPs. He's 80 now and still doesn't have an Oscar. He should be near the very top of Oscar's list for an Honorary.

See Nathaniel's 3 favorite shots and other Best Shot choices 'round the web after the jump...

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Friday
Jun242016

Jessica's Long Journey to that Triple Crown

With only three performances remaining in Broadway's Long Day's Journey Into Night which closes this Sunday, here's Eric to talk Jessica Lange's long and awards-full career.

Jessica Lange recently became the 22nd actor to complete the official Triple Crown of Acting (performers who have won competitive Oscar, Tony, and Emmy Awards - full list prior to Jessica).  It’s an exciting moment in time, as winning the big three isn’t easy. 

Ten of her Triple Crown peers are still alive and all working to one degree or another:  Rita Moreno, Jeremy Irons, Vanessa Redgrave, Maggie Smith, Al Pacino, Geoffrey Rush, Ellen Burstyn, Christopher Plummer, Helen Mirren, and Frances McDormand.  All of these actors have had decades-long success and still get enough offers for splashy roles that it’s not inconceivable that almost any of them could win another late-career major award.

As it stands, of all the 22 current Triple Crown winners, nobody has amassed more than six total competitive awards across the three fields of film, television, and theater.  The folks with six are Ingrid Bergman (3 Oscars, 2 Emmys; 1 Tony); Shirley Booth (1 Oscar, 2 Emmys, 3 Tonys); Maggie Smith (2 Oscars, 3 Emmys, 1 Tony); Helen Mirren (1 Oscar, 4 Emmys, 1 Tony), and now Jessica Lange (2 Oscars, 3 Emmys, 1 Tony like Dame Maggie).  At this point, Mirren and Lange, only three years apart (they’re 70 and 67, respectively) would break this (granted silly) awards record if they were to win one more of the Big Three prizes.   

Now, on to Jessica's own 'Long Journey' to this triumph...

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Thursday
Jun162016

Best Shot: "One From the Heart"

This week's Hit Me With Your Best Shot was derailed by a very tough communal week and also a busy one for entirely different reasons for yours truly. But a few of our regular participants soldiered on. Please read their lovely pieces on this underappreciated Francis Ford Copoola curiousity from the early 80s. I think you can see a bit of it in the DNA of Moulin Rouge! if you need extra incentive to watch it on Amazon Prime.

Antagony & Ecstasy chose...

The film that was meant to be a quick cheapie designed to provide a financial shot in the arm to the fledgling American Zoetrope, but instead almost destroyed the company that Coppola had dreamed up as a sort of director-driven filmmaker's commune. It's one of the most idiosyncratic films of its era, overwhelmingly pleasurable despite being entirely unlikable and toxic in every possible way. I have no idea if it's a great film or a terrible one that could only have been made by a great talent. Frankly, I don't know that I care one way or the other: when all is said and done, we have the film itself, and I adore it even as it maddens me.

Sorta That Guy chose...

Apparently Coppola insisted that the whole thing be shot on a sound stage to make it feel more artificial, which he might have seen as a good thing, but... 

Dancin' Dan on Film chose...

To call Francis Ford Coppola's One From the Heart "stylized" would be an understatement. To call it "artificial" would be even more of an understatement. It is, by a pretty good margin, the strangest American film I've ever seen, and were it not for Nobuhiko Obayashi's completely batshit insane House, it would be the absolute weirdest fucking film I've ever seen, period.

 

Next Tuesday June 21st
I promise we will get back on track with RAINER WERNER FASSBINDER'S THE BITTER TEARS OF PETRA VON KANT. Please watch it on any of these services and join us. It's shot by one of my all time favorite cinematographers, Michael Ballhaus. [Hulu | Amazon | Netflix | iTunes

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