Oscar History

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.

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Entries in The Nightmare Before Christmas (4)


Curio: Movie Amigurumi

Alexa here with some film craftiness. Amigurumi, those Japanese, uber-cute, anthropomorphic crochet dolls have been popular now for long enough that I thought they'd be jumping the shark already.  But damn if I don't find some interesting ones that catch my eye: I geek out on a frequent basis and make plans to buy movie-themed ones, or decide I will learn to crochet to make my own.  Then I promptly forget about it.  

Available for purchase here.

Maybe they have jumped the shark: this Exorcist pea-soup scene amigurumi set might have reached maximum amigurumi. In any case, after the jump you can see my favorite film-themed amigurumi, in case some of you are inspired to go gift shopping, or take up the crochet needles yourself...

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Oscar Horrors: "What's This?!?" an Animated Visual FX Nominee

Here lies… The Pumpkin King of The Nightmare Before Christmas, and the visual effects that made him dance.

The work of Pete Kozachik, Eric Leighton, Ariel Valesco-Shaw and Gordon Baker holds a unique place in the history of the Academy’s visual effects category. As the first – and as of 2012, the last – soley animated film to receive a nomination in this category, it earned the visual effects branch’s respect like none before or since. Oh sure, Mary Poppins and Who Framed Roger Rabbit? won the category in their respective years, but those trophies came predominantly for the way they integrated animation with live action. The Nightmare Before Christmas, however, earned its nomination for the way Henry Selick’s stop-motion universe came to life thanks to innovative camera techniques.

While many may think this film’s idea of “visual effects” lays exclusively at the floating ghosts and shape-shifting shadows that pepper Henry Selick’s visual palate, the Oscar nomination was more a reward for the way the cameras were developed with computer technology to help navigate the heavily-designed “claymation” world.

More on this 1993 Oscar Race after the jump...

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Curio: Seeing Silhouettes

Alexa here. Although they were an 18th Century craze,  silhouettes are a familiar sight in our collective film memory (James Bond openers, Elliott and E.T., even Mystery Science Theater 3000).  Cut paper silhouettes that harken back to the history of the medium are making a crafty comeback, so it seems silhouette designs are popping up everywhere from posters to porcelain. Here are some particularly nice backlit movie icons that follow the trend.

Jack and Rose, Jack and Sally, Hiccup and Toothless, handcut by Isabel Talsma.

A little Alfred Hitchcock, Jean Luc Godard and All About Eve after the jump...

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Reader of the Day: Walter

For Reader Appreciation Month, we're having mini interviews with readers. Here we have have Walter.

Nathaniel: Do you remember your first moviegoing experience or first obsession?
Walter: The first theater-going experience I remember is sitting in the movie theater with my aunt watching The Nightmare Before Christmas -- I was four years old and absolutely aghast at the final battle between Jack and Oogie Boogie and the end result. God, that was terrifying. And AWESOME.

According to my father, though, the first time I ever sat up was to watch a movie on TV. Babies get distracted; he claims I stayed with the story until they turned it off. I wish he remembered what movie it was, because it was clearly the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

When did you start reading The Film Experience?
Spring 2006, I want to say. Fresh off the 2005 Oscar Season, the first one I really got into, I Googled 2006 Oscar Predictions. Film Experience and many others came up, and I still follow the Big Four: Hollywood-Elsewhere, Awards Daily (it was Oscar Watch then), In Contention, and this one. I visit, like, three times a day, because I never know if there's an article I've missed, or I want to visit something, or I want to freshen up on my Film Bitch Trivia.

Have you ever dressed up as a movie character for Halloween?
Well, here's where I answer the "or" part of the very first question. My most memorable Halloween costume was Bela Lugosi, my first movie star obsession, in third grade. Not Dracula: Bela Lugosi. I had just seen Ed Wood, so I got a cape, a felt hat and a walking-stick, and my dad took me to a late-night screening of the Lon Chaney Phantom of the Opera. It was AMAZING.

Has any movie character as dressed as you?
William Hurt as James Leeds in Children of a Lesser God. We had the same elbow-patched blazer. I loved that thing, and I left it in the trunk of a friend's car...a friend who later moved away. Damn them!

Two fearsome and formidable icons: Bela & Maggie

Your 3 favorite actresses. Go
Maggie Smith is my all-time favorite actress: we watched The Secret Garden in second grade, and when my friend asked me who my favorite character was, he was appalled when I said the old woman. "But she's so mean!" he insisted. Well, yeah, but I also loved the way she cowered before the master of the house, and the subtle power plays she tried, and the smackdown she put on the maid. I love her so much. Meryl and honey-kissed Patty Clarkson are the other no-brainers for me.

What does your movie diet consist of these days?
I haven't seen a movie in a theater since February...and I work in one! Hopefully, that will all change this month: Jane Eyre calls. Mostly, I've been watching movies on TCM and Netflix Instant, the latter especially.

previous readers of the day: Paolo, Leehee and BBats