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Entries in Sidney Poitier (7)

Monday
Dec112017

The Furniture: Matte Paintings at the End of an Era

"The Furniture," by Daniel Walber, is our weekly series on Production Design. You can click on the images to see them in magnified detail.

Over the course of the past year, I’ve done an informal retrospective series on the Best Production Design nominees of 1967. It isn’t an especially “New Hollywood” lineup, despite being the year of “Pictures at a Revolution.” Four of the nominees are lush period pieces, three of them lengthy musicals. They often feel like extravagantly-designed chaos, whirlwinds of sets and props that spin out of control. This is true of both the hilarious brawls of The Taming of the Shrew and the dated, stereotype-laden adventures of Thoroughly Modern Millie. Camelot, the winner, manages to split the difference between Old Hollywood excess and New Hollywood sexuality.

The final two films, both Best Picture nominees, are a bit less of a thrill. Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner and Doctor Dolittle are, respectively, the most realistic and most fantastical of the five nominees. However, despite their differences, they both underline the inadequate end-point of old-school studio design.

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Monday
Sep112017

Sneakers Turns 25

by Lynn Lee

Sneakers turns 25 today, and until last week I’d never seen it.   Although it came out when I was of moviegoing age, it was barely on my radar.  All I remembered of it later was that it was about hackers and maybe also spies and the NSA, and I tended to confuse it with Hackers (which I’d never seen either).  My husband was amazed to learn this, having seen Sneakers more times than he could count, and said I had to see it.  But wouldn’t it be awfully dated now, I wondered?  He insisted it still held up, despite admitting he hadn’t seen it in a while.  There was only one way to find out…

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Tuesday
Aug152017

1963 Convo Pt 2: Lilies of the Field 

Previously, in this '63 Party:
The Supporting Actress Smackdown 
Podcast Conversation Part 1

To close out our little Oscar 1963 celebration, Nathaniel talks Lilies of the Field and more with this month's panel: Teo Bugbee, Keiran Scarlett, Séan McGovern, and Brian Mullin. 

Smackdown '63 Companion Podcast Part 2
(42 minutes)
In which we wrap up our discussion of big budget airport trifle The VIPs. Then the panel has differing opinions on the merits of the classic feelgood Lilies of the Field. Also up for discussion: Sidney Poitier's unique spot in Hollywood history, Denzel Washington comparisons, and an aside to Alfred Hitchcock and The Birds. And, as we say our goodbyes, we each offer up one must-see film from 1963 that we hope you'll watch.

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunesContinue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

Smackdown '63 Conversation Part Two - LILIES OF THE FIELD

Thursday
May182017

Stage Door: "Six Degrees of Separation" Revived

Stage Door bringing you intermittent theater reviews when we manage to get there. Here's Nathaniel R

It's so basic to binge plays during Tony season as opposed to a more sensible and committed once-a-month diet of live theater. Alas, just as the more familiar mainstream obsession of the Oscar circus encourages studios to backload their releases to the last quarter of the year, most of the "big" theater shows open as late as they can for Tony consideration. This makes April and May a madhouse of theater-going for those who care about such things. Because most of the musicals are too expensive, I've been catching up with the plays. We've already covered The Little Foxes (a must see) and the Pulitzer-winning economic tragedy Sweat. So let's talk Six Degrees of Separation nominated for 2 Tonys: Best Revival of a Play and Best Leading Actor (Corey Hawkins).

"Chaos, control. Chaos, control. You like, you like?"

That's Stockard Channing's most sweetly funny line reading (among thousands of exquisite ones) in the 1993 movie adaptation of this stage classic. That was also, roughly, my reaction to the Broadway revival with Allison Janney, John Benjamin Hickey, and Corey Hawkins (Straight Outta Compton), taking over the roles Channing, Donald Sutherland, and Will Smith played onscreen...

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Sunday
Jan012017

Celebrate the 100 Oldest Living Oscar Nominees & Winners

The recent death of beloved showbiz icon Debbie Reynolds will back us up on something we've repeatedly proclaimed here at The Film Experience: Don't wait to celebrate the greats! Appreciate their gifts while they're still with us so they can feel the love. Oscar just barely recognized Debbie in time and even then her health was too poor to be there for her big night at the Governor's Awards in 2015. You never know when each journey ends. The Academy especially shouldn't be waiting around until it's too late for important artists. There are so many worthy contenders for Honorary Oscars (some of them on this list below - and we've noted that to nudge AMPAS) that are now in their 80s and 90s!


Our point is this, dear reader: Cherry pick a few people on this list and watch a few of their movies this year to appreciate their gift or learn about it for the first time. Our very best wishes of good health and happiness to the following actors, directors and craftsmen of all kinds in this new year.

100 OLDEST LIVING OSCAR NOMINEES/WINNERS
If they are halfway or more to an EGOT we've noted that, too

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Sunday
Apr132014

1963 Oscar Flashback: Sidney, Cleopatra, Hud

Something is wrong with me. I miss the Oscars already even though I've just barely recovered from the March 2nd related exhaustion. (Nathaniel the Masochist) So the other day I got a little Oscar happy and was looking back at various years, so let's talk the 36th Academy Awards briefly. You in?

They were held exactly 50 years ago today. Tom Jones, just discussed by Andrew, won 1963's Best Picture and three other trophies but the evening is best remembered today for Sidney Poitier's historic win for Lilies of the Field.

Sidney was the first black actor to win in either leading category but it was 38 years before it happened again (with Halle & Denzel on the same night). Now of course it's a fairly regular occurrence in both Best Actor and Best Supporting Actress... the other two categories not so much. 

Lots more photos and trivia after the jump...

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