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Entries in Quentin Tarantino (29)


148 Days Til Oscar Nominations!

Do you ever marvel at the countdown clock in the lefthand sidebar and think "Wow, only ___ days until Oscar nominations!". I know I do. As of right now there are only 148 days and some hours left until Oscar nominations. 21 weeks! That means the universe has plenty of time to back me up on my current predictions or destroy them savagely. Either way is fun for me which is, I suppose, why I've never been able to quit predicting Hollywood's High Holy Night.


Best Picture & Best Director - The Great Gatsby and Baz Luhrmann exit the charts, both moving to summer 2013. And though I never had faith in Gatsby as an actual finalist (the book is too perfect as a book) what can rush in to replace it on the charts? The race is still wide open as it should be.

Gatsby will sit this particular party out. He'll throw his own next Summer

But from where I sit though I'm sure some will disagree, the franchise hopefuls are toast. A lot of people still think that The Gidling of the Lord of the Rings Lily: Part 1 of 3 will factor in but Oscar is not Emmy and LotR is not The West Wing. Fantasy is still a novelty for Oscar voters and I can't imagine that handing the last one 11 Oscars won't feel like enough of a reward for Jackson & Middle Earth. Yes, they've had a decade long breather but I figure the only way The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is competing for the top prize is if people go crazier for it than the original trilogy. And that would be an unexpected journey. 

Meanwhile I suspect that The Avengers and The Dark Knight Concludes Divisively will have a rough time making it through the wild rapids of winter campaigning and I don't expect either of them in the big show beyond a few craft nods. I don't even have faith in the eagerly awaited Django Unchained as an Oscar hopeful. Quentin Tarantino, when he leans toward retro remixes of less prestigious film genres, is just not necessarily for them (see: Jackie Brown, Kill Bill). Yes,  he leans towards that.. always... and he has made two big Oscar hits. But Pulp Fiction was the kind of pop-cultural zeitgeist breakthrough that's impossible to ignore and Inglourious Basterds was a WW II fantasy and Oscar does his own share of fantasizing about that.

All of this nitpicking doubt leads me to believe that Beasts of the Southern Wild, a movie that doesn't look much like an Oscar film (yay!), is on its way to locked up status as an Oscar film. While it didn't become the crossover hit we'd hoped it would, it's done well enough financially to ride the "beloved indie / critical darling" into the mainstream competition for gold. (Think Winter's Bone.)

Best Actor - It's been 11 years since Denzel Washington won his second Oscar and in that whole time he hasn't done anything worth Oscar's time. Will they welcome him back if Flight is a big hit?

What's Denzel's poison? And was he drinking it before the Flight?



The way I see it mainstream dramas that become big hits are shoo in for Oscar play. Oscar likes drama best and when films without genre trappings that are intended for adults soar at the box office, they join in the applause. I'm feeling it'll hit. Just a feeling.

But the big question in Best Actor is whether the Weinstein's will try to convince AMPAS voters that Joaquin Phoenix is "supporting" Phillip Seymour Hoffman (or the other way around) in The Master. If they risk a double lead campaign and the film is the critical mega-success the internet seems to be expecting, could they be the first Actor Pair since *gulp* Amadeus (twenty-eight years ago) to hog 40% of the shortlist? It's hilarious (and depressing) to view Amadeus in retrospect and know that campaign teams would try to pretend that Salieri or Mozart were "supporting" players in their own riveting brutal musical duet. 

Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress -- We discussed these last week here

Best Supporting Actor - This category hasn't come into focus yet which should make the fall extra exciting. So for the moment, you can predict just about anything (at least here) and feel like a true psychic. You can feel like a psychic right up until the moment the films open and prove you wrong! But the foggy nature of the Supporting goods me wonder if I'm not underestimating those that have already arrived and delighted (like Matthew McConaughey and Michael Fassbender) despite the lowbrow nature of their roles... at least accordingi to Oscar's general aesthetics.

Ruth E Carter, two time Oscar nominees, doing retro-chic looks for Sparkle

The latest film to enter the ring visually and aurally is the Motown musical Sparkle (my review tomorrow) and while I don't expect Oscar play anywhere stranger things have happened in the below the line categories. 

Screenplay, Animated, Foreign Film and the Complete Prediction Chart. Check them out and report back.


Link On, Link On

My New Plaid Pants filled me with ??? and !!! and lolz with this post on terrible sequel movie What's Happened To Rosemary's Baby.
Vanity Fair Angelina Jolie is... SLINKY  
Amiresque on seeing your home town on film (Take This Waltz
My Boyfriend is an Engineer  awesome new tumblr devoted to Prometheus' wacky troublemaker. 

The Onion "Christian Bale glad to be done with the most humiliating experience of professional life" 
i09 Batman fashions and accessoris you can wear to the office? I do love the Bane coat and the Bat clip the purrfect Catwoman? I knew we'd get a few articles praising Anne Hathaway above all else.  

Off Cinema For the Hell Of It
Towleroad New Kids on the Block, now, in the shower with mustaches. Wait, what? 
xkcd United Shapes of America 
Gawker is Project Runway still relevant in its 10th year? 
Seo Kim "I think I like wasabi peas" 

Today's Must Read
Some Came Running Glenn Kenny on the internet we made and fanboy culture. Can it ever mature? Love this part...

...this thing called "fan culture" or "nerd cuture" or whatever it is you want to call it is largely predicated on emotional immaturity combined with a variety of willed cultural illiteracy. Fan culture doesn't say "comic books can be high art," it says, "comic books are the only art." And, further, "the film of the comic book must provide an analogous heightened experience of the comic book, and YOU, the person on the outside of our purview who is now being gifted with this artifact of AWESOMENESS, must fall into line and PRAISE this artifact and confer upon it the legitimacy it has always deserved but which YOU have been too blinkered by your own pretentious prejudices to recognize." That's what fan culture wants. That's what it demands. "Nerd culture" is Peter Pan as a brain-eating zombie. 

Today's Video of Choice
Quentin Tarantino's women via Neko Case...


If only all guy's guy's directors were this good with female characters! 


Link to the Future 

The New Yorker a memoir about growing up with B Movies
Aint It Cool News looks back at Alien Ressurection. The Alien franchise is on everyone's brain now that Prometheus is (nearly) upon us. 
IndieWire the cooking channel's Baron Ambrosia names his five favorite food movies. Not the usual comfort food answers. The Cook The Thief His Wife and Her Lover? Well done, Baron. 

Coming Soon The Avengers will come to home video as part of a 10 disc set of Marvel Universe movies. (Hey they gotta move those Incredible Hulk discs somehow.) Details forthcoming. One billion dollars at the box office clearly wasn't enough booty! 
World of Wonder Charlize Theron teaches us to walk like queens. "Just think MURDER..."
My New Plaid Pants today is my friend JA's seventh anniversary online. His blog is still great. 
In Contention Michael Mann will chair the Venice Film Festival this year 
Emerging Artist Contest Quentin Tarantino is hosting a contest for upcoming filmmakers although finding your own voice here means remixing and mashing film clips from Django Unchained and others... makes sense that Tarantino would want a new voice adept at mixing old voices (sound familiar?) but if you're a filmmaker this contest is definitely worth checking out. 

TMZ Lindsay Lohan on "preproduction" set testing out her Liz Taylor biopic look.
Awards Daily has the first promotional photos for Only God Forgives the Refn/Gosling follow up to the great Drive. Including this one...

Rope of Silicon seems that the Andy and Lana Wachowski have finally shaken off the Speed Racer blues with Cloud Atlas arriving soon and Jupiter Ascending which will "reinvent action" in preproduction. Channing Tatum and Mila Kunis will star.
The Mary Sue realizes that Charlize Theron is the coolest girl in the movies while she talks Mad Max and, uh, Game of Thrones. It's weird to me that people are still unaware that Charlize Theron is most awesome when playing herself... but welcome to Charlize fandom one and all.
24 Frames Kristen Stewart wants to make a new East of Eden picture, the James Dean movie being one of those pesky adaptations that sacrifices huge swaths of a book in order to make itself into a great movie. How rude of it! 


Three Notes On Two "Django" Photos 

As you may have heard-seen, two official images from Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained have hit the net. Let's discuss both.

We'll start with Leonardo DiCaprio as the villain Calvin Candie

  • Between this and the Great Gatsby, Leo may well just accidentally stretch himself this year leaving the Dead Wives Club (Rev Rd, Shutter Island, Inception) behind. Although in the case of his evil slave owner, perhaps there will be still be ghosts of women whose deaths he is responsible for. I'm speaking metaphorically so if you've read the screenplay don't be all "there are no ghosts in this movie I've read the screenplay!" reaction. Please and thx.
  • Calvin Candie. What a character name, huh?
  • Why is he holding a hammer: Amateur carpentry? I expect its for sadistic reasons because when it comes to hammers and the movies they're never used for good. I think the last time I saw a benevolent hammer in a movie was Witness (1985)... anyone remember that awesome church/barn building scene? When I think of hammers in movies I invariably think of Annie Wilkes Oscar-Winning Hobbling Instructions (1990) or that sick sick sick and infamous sequence in Oldboy (2003)

And here are Christoph Waltz and Jamie Foxx as Dr King Schultz and the titular Django

  • No offense to Mr. Foxx but I still wish it'd been Will Smith because I always like to see what Tarantino can pull from certain actors. You know the kind. We think we've already seen too much to be surprised only to be very surprised. With Tarantino I like to see what he gets from megastars or from people who've never got the challenging role they deserve and Jamie Foxx is in neither camp of actor.
  • I hope this movie is as crammed withmemorable characters as Tarantino's others so you can end up loving the movie without necessarily having any of the three leads as your favorite performance. Cups overflowing is how we like it.
  • Despite the instantly recognizable stylings of Reservoir Dogs, the instantly iconic riffs and theatrical splendors of Kill Bill, and the impeccable glorious  Inglourious fashions, no Tarantino movie has ever been nominated for Best Costume Design. Ain't that a bitch? (Sharen Davis, who costumed The Help and Dreamgirls, does the honors this time in her first collaboration with QT)

Add your own notes. What 3 things do these first 2 photos say to you?


Django Unchained, Poster Teased.

It's a pity that there are 257 days left until Christmas. Am I right?

Isn't it wonderful when a movie can be sold on the name of their auteur alone? 

Wouldn't it be wonderful if final movie posters were ever as graphically bold as teaser posters?


Curio: Happy Birthday Quentin

Alexa here. Today Quentin Tarantino turns 49; somehow I thought he was older, if only because he has been in our consciousness for so long. It feels like forever ago that we heard Mr. Brown give his thesis on "Like a Virgin." His Madonna connection got some further milage this week with word that Madge wants him to direct the video for her new single "Gang Bang." ("All he has to do is show up with a camera.") Considering that he lent Gaga his Pussy Wagon, it just might happen.  

Here are a few creations celebrating the prince of palaver.

Quentin's bloody ear, by Gregg Gordon of Gigart.Tribute posters by Ibraheem Youssef

Click for more posters including Django Unchained. Plus: Vincent and Jules as mice...

Click to read more ...


Links: Poitier & Tarantino, Poppins & Gaga, Miyaga & Felt?

Movie|Line Quentin Tarantino loves Sidney Poitier.
Cineuropa Tarantino and Christoph Waltz will reteam for period film about an escaped slave Django Unchained.
IndieWire Focus Features will distribute Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom.

Salon on hot actresses pandering to fanboy culture.
Playbill gets quotes from the Tony Nominees
i09 wonders what this summer's surprise hit will be. I'm confused about how Super 8 could count as a surprise though. So much huzz on that one.
/Film Cameron Crowe reveals We Bought a Zoo images.
The Webby Award winners: Angry Birds, The New Yorker, Funny or Die, Web Therapy, etc...
MTV Keanu Reeves sidesteps the  'James Franco My Own Private Idaho Art Exhibit' question; he hasn't seen it.

Pretty Pictures
You may have noticed I've renewed my love of illustration of late. So here's a piece from the artist SAUL ZANoLARi called "Echnography of Change" which is using Lady Gaga and Julie Andrews to represent tradition and transgression. My first response is only that Gwen Stefani is going to be so jealous of Gaga [cue "Lonely Goatheard" yodelling]

"Echonography of Change" by Saul Zanolari

Anyway... Remember that "lesson" I drew up, about rewarding students with chocolate, a grand lesson delivered by Michelle Pfeiffer herself? Well I was clicking around to see other Illustrations for that same theme (it's a weekly art party) and I did find one other piece that used movies as a jumping off point. When2FeltEm has a really fun almost tangible looking take on The Karate Kid's Mr Miyagi. Love it.

I also enjoyed this bittersweet universal lesson from Letile and two funny efforts from Vhrsti, lord of the flies, and Hello Auki. Bunnies are always trouble!