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Cameraperson is the best film of the year. Nothing else is even close. -Mark

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Entries in Oscars (90s) (165)

Monday
Dec052016

Beauty vs Beast: Grassy Knoll Ethics

Jason from MNPP here with an under-the-weather edition of "Beauty vs Beast" - apologies if I am brief and lacking some spark today, I'm staring at my computer screen from the business end of a box of kleenex and with one too many sudafed capsules dotting my system. I bring up my sickness not to be (entirely) self-indulgent but to explain why I didn't make it out to see Jackie this weekend as I'd planned - every cough feels like a cinematic betrayal right now.

So until me and Natalie can rendezvous with our matching pink pillboxes I will ask you today to look backwards at the previous biggest Kennedy assassination movie on the books, Oliver Stone's JFK. I don't remember the Oscar race that year but I'm kind of surprised Costner wasn't nominated for the film - maybe they'd had their fill with Dances With Wolves the year before? Tommy Lee Jones was nominated for the movie though, for the poodle-mopped conspiracy sissy at the center of the mystery, and so I ask you...

PREVIOUSLY We're on an Almodovar kick thanks to the retrospective at MoMA right now so last week we climbed into bed and slipped our hands into the sex ropes for Antonio Banderas in Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! - he took 56% of the vote over Victoria Abril's 44. Said thefilmjunkie:

"If I were voting with my head I'd probably go for Marina, but my vote for Ricky was guided by more, um, prurient interests. I have no shame. I regret nothing."

Wednesday
Nov232016

'If Ever I Would Leave You,' List-Making... It wouldn't be in November

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

1859 Billy the Kid, future legendary outlaw, is born. He's been played in movies and TV by actors like Buster Crabbe, Hugh O'Brian, Paul Newman, Clu Galager, Val Kilmer, and perhaps most famously by Kris Kristofferson, BAFTA nominated for Pat Garret and Billy the Kid (1973)
1887 Boris Karloff, villainous movie icon (Frankenstein, The Mask of Fu Manchu, Scarface, etcetera) is born
1888 Harpo Marx is born

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Monday
Nov212016

The Furniture: Wednesday Addams Sets Thanksgiving on Fire

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

Happy Thanksgiving! In three days, Americans will gather together to cook, feast and argue. The acrimonious presidential election has launched a multitude of think pieces on the subject. How do you talk to your relatives who voted differently than you? The classic stereotype of the young, liberal, usually-white urbanite going back to conservative “middle america” for turkey is certainly more fraught this year than it’s ever been. Does that scenario now come with the moral obligation to speak up?

This may seem like a weird way to begin a column about Addams Family Values, a comedy sequel without an overt political message. But there's some Thanksgiving advice to be found in the Oscar-nominated design of legendary production designer Ken Adam (The Spy Who Loved Me) and set decorator Marvin March (Annie). Beyond the social satire of the early 1990s ("But Debbie...pastels?"), a blunt clash of historical narratives is built into the sets for Camp Chippewa...

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Sunday
Nov132016

Happy 23rd Anniversary, Michelle & David! 

On this day in 1993 the iconic Michelle Pfeiffer, then at the peak of her career, wed her very new boyfriend, TV powerhouse David E Kelley (who had three series on air at the that time - LA Law, Doogie Howser MD, and Picket Fences). Fun trivia notes and a few clips after the jump...

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Friday
Nov112016

Noirvember: L.A. Confidential (1997)

It's Noirvember. Here's Lynn Lee...

For a film set in the ’50s, L.A. Confidential (1997) looks and feels surprisingly contemporary.  Maybe it’s because so many of its themes still resonate today: police brutality (especially against racial minorities), broken Hollywood dreams, and the addictiveness of celebrity and power.  Maybe it’s because so much of the film is shot and lit in a more naturalistic, less stylized manner than your typical hardboiled crime movie, which makes the more obviously noir-ish sequences really pop by contrast.  But I think what distinguishes it most from its classic forbears is that it ends up being less memorable for its atmosphere or its plot twists than its character development of not one detective-protagonist but three, whose parallel narrative lines end up converging over the course of the film.

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