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Podcast - 1996 Cannes Competition Revisit

"Never forget Madonna (!!) beating Frances McDormand for the Golden Globe that year" - David

 "Watson/McDormand/Blethyn? I couldn't even choose. All so perfect - my favorite kind of Oscar category." -Mike

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Entries in short films (113)

Saturday
May212016

Cannes Closing Ceremony Tomorrow - Any Guesses? 

The 69th annual Festival du Cannes wraps up this weekend with reprise screenings of competition titles and the closing ceremony tomorrow evening at 7:15 PM (Cannes time so a handful of hours earlier here in NYC). Sean Penn's The Last Face starring Javier Bardem and Charlize Theron (pictured in all her androgynous chic, left, at the premiere), Asghar Farhadi's The Salesman (which takes its title from an in movie amateur production of Death of a Salesman), and Paul Verhoeven's Elle starring Isabelle Huppert were among the last titles to premiere. Don't expect The Last Face, which was met with hostility to show up in the prizes.

Here are the 21 competition titles loosely grouped by your hosts vague perceptions of how well received they were (you might group them differently as its my policy not to read full reviews from Cannes - which tend to be spoiler filled for films that are months away from release). George Miller's jury will name one of these the Palme D'Or winner, one the Jury Prize winner, and then we'll see who takes Director,  Actress (we have a few ideas as to who might win), and Actor. Depending on how the jury plays it we might get a couple of other prizes, too...

Click to read more ...

Saturday
May142016

"Best Shot" Schedule for May

'Here's what's coming up the rest of this month on Best Shot if you'd like to join us. It's easy. You...

1) watch the movie
2) pick a shot, post it and say why you love it
3) let us know you did via twitter, email or comments and we link up 

May 24th Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
We pushed this back a month since it wasn't yet available to rent but it's time to revisit future jedi Rey as she takes on the patriarchy the resurgent Empire and evil Emo brat Kylo Ren with her newfound gifts (and swooning sidekicks Poe & Finn.)

May 31st Dietrich Double!
Morocco (1930) and/or Blonde Venus (1932) 

The Film Experience obviously loves Old Hollywood sirens so why have we given Dietrich so little attention? Let's rectify that weird gap and close our "Girls Gone Wild" month (yup, that's the theme for May) with either or both (your choice if playing) of these Von Sternberg classics as Marlene Dietrich breaks through from singing foreign curiousity to Hollywood superstar by way of androgynous seduction and chain smoking.

Tuesday
May102016

Trippy Best Shots: "True Skin" and "World of Tomorrow"

Tonight's edition of Hit Me With Your Best Shot is our annual short film episode. The genre is sci-fi but we're looking at two trippy but altogether unalike films.

The first is True Skin (2012) which has rather extraordinary visual effects considering it comes from the DIY world of short filmmaking. It was once earmarked for the feature film treatment but when that didn't work out earlier this year Amazon snatched it up to develop into a TV series. The second film is recent Oscar nominee World of Tomorrow (2015) from animation legend Don Hertzfeld. (His career being Oscarless is just not right.) Lets look at the "Best Shots" as chosen by your host and the volunteer panelists elsewhere after the jump. 

Click to read more ...

Sunday
May082016

Swing, Tarzan, Swing! Ch.1: Buster Crabbe's Loincloth

New Miniseries! As we approach the release of The Legend of Tarzan (2016) we'll be ogling past screen incarnations of the Lord of the Apes each weekend like we're going to an old timey matinee.


We begin with Buster Crabbe as Tarzan the Fearless (1933) who looks much better in this movie than implied on the poster which imagines him from maxi-challenge workroom outtakes from RuPaul's Drag Race. Blend, man, blend!

This next image is more flattering I promise...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Apr292016

New Directors: Banana, Transpecos, Spa Night, and The Fits

One day I will figure out to keep up with the cinematic madness but April contained none of those days. A week ago the Nashville Film Festival wrapped and I have yet to share with you the prizes my jury bestowed! Not that you've been clamoring to read about films you've never heard of but one of the joys of film festivals is in the discoveries. Hence my great thrill to be asked to sit on the "New Directors Jury". Let's survey a handful of the competitors starting with the two winners, both of which made one step closer to theaters this week.

HONORABLE MENTION The Fits (2016)
I'm starting with this one because it's out very soon (June 3rd in NYC / June 10th in Los Angeles) and you absolutely shouldn't miss it. I'm already eager to see it again. We need directors with fresh voices and a unique gaze and we've got one in Anna Rose Helmer. The Fits follows a young girl named Toni (Royalty Hightower, pretty great) who spends her days helping her older brother with his job cleaning a boxing gym. She's fascinated by the boy rituals and the girl rituals which are happening just down the hall where a local dance squad rehearses in another gymnasium. Just when you think you've figured out the film's theme (there's certainly much to ponder in its gender dynamics) one of the dancers has a violent fit and faints and you realize Helmer has a lot more yet on her mind. There's no easy allegories here and maybe it's a little opaque but there's much to ponder in its metaphysical poetry, thoughtful camera work and editing and, above all else, its persistent fly-on-the-wall curiosity, the camera a soulful twin to Toni's ever-searching eyes. B+ (A-?)

Breaking News: The Fits got a poster (left) and a perfect moody trailer this week from Oscilloscope Pictures. 

More after the jump including an awards magnet which keeps winning festivals... 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Mar012016

Pt 2: New Oscar Trivia, Stats, and Curiosities

Picking up where we left off after the headliner categories. But click not away. The below the line crafts and specialty categories are just as important and trivia-interesting. I promise.

FOR THE EYES

Production Design: Colin Gibson, Mad Max: Fury Road
Makeup and Hairstyling
: Mad Max: Fury Road
Costume Design: Jenny Beavan, Mad Max: Fury Road

Jenny Beavan previously won the costume category for another perfect film A Room With a View. Not since arguably Dianne Wiest has a two time winner won for such polar opposite achievements. Yes both of Wiest's Oscars are from Woody Allen pictures but those star turns couldn't be more different stylistically / emotionally / pscyhologically. Mad Max Fury Road is also the first sci-fi winner EVER in this category... unless you count Star Wars (1977) though some people prefer lumping Star Wars into the fantasy genre rather than sci-fi... and there have been multiple fantasy winners.

I can't think of any interesting stats to go with the Makeup and Production Design Oscars but they were richly earned, don't you think?

More after the jump including further Star Wars coincidences...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Feb282016

Take a Number: Here's the Order of Tonight's Statue Delivery

This was tweeted out by Jake Hamilton today. I assume it's accurate since it looks like the official program.

The hardest category to predict this year is, I mantain, Costume Design. I'd call it the only truly five-wide race. And it's fourth so some real suspense right off the bat. We'll also know very early whether a Kate & Leo reunion is coming since Supporting Actress is third... though I fully expect Alicia Vikander to take that one. [Final Predictions ICYMI

You'll also notice that they're not doing the short films all at once this year but (perhaps) pairing them with kindred spirit categories (animated short with animated feature, doc short with documentary, and live action short with foreign film... which makes sense since it's often a hodgepodge of foreign shorts that are nominated).

Are you feeling excited yet or merely panicked whilst preparing for your festivities?

P.S. Please enjoy this great Leonardo DiCaprio goodie from The Flippist.