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Entries in Woody Allen (59)

Friday
Feb142014

16 Days Til Oscar: The Costumes of Irene Sharaff

Irene SharaffIf Catherine Martin wins an Oscar this year for her work on The Great Gatsby, she will join prolific costume Designer Orry-Kelly as Australia’s most Oscared individual. If Martin wins both of her nominations? She will become the first Australian to ever win more than three statues (having already won the same two for Moulin Rouge! 12 years ago). We’re not here to talk about Martin, nor Orry-Kelly really, but that’s an interesting statistic nonetheless. One of Orry-Kelly’s wins was for An American in Paris, which he won alongside Walter Plunkett and the main subject of this entry, Irene Sharaff.

Sharaff was a 15-time Oscar nominee for her work as a costume designer and was also nominated once for art direction, which certainly places her as one of the designers' favorites. She doesn’t have the famous name of, say, Edith Head or contemporaries Sandy Powell, but with such a massive nomination haul and a subsequent five awards, she should be recognized as one of the greats. She had one helluva profile, too.

Consider what Irene Sharaff won for: the aforementioned An American in Paris, plus The King and I, West Side Story, Cleopatra and Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf. Consider also the titles for which she wasn’t even nominated: Meet Me in St. Louis, The Best Years of Our Lives, Funny Girl and Mommie Dearest, which was to be her final job and was a deserving contender in spite of the film’s reputation. She designed for Judy Garland, Marlon Brando, Frank Sinatra, and Susan Sarandon. She's a legend.

Irene Sharaff focused almost primarily on musicals, which perhaps explains why her career declined so dramatically after 1969’s Hello, Dolly! She would receive only one last nomination, for The Other Side of Midnight in 1977 (the film's only nomination anywhere, proving her lasting legacy). Likewise, her collaborations with superstars like Elizabeth Taylor and Barbra Streisand, two actors with infrequent big screen careers, probably didn’t help either. Or perhaps she was just exhausted. She had also won a Tony Award from six nominations. Maybe she just earned herself a quiet retirement, dying in 1993 at the age of 83.

 

  • Woody Allen received his 16th nomination for writing this year. All of his writing nominations have been for original works, too. Alas, we’ve written about him enough lately, wouldn’t you agree?

 

Saturday
Feb082014

Last Words: The Court of Public Opinion

I'm really looking forward to that time later this year and next year and the year after that when the new Woody Allen picture arrives and we have to do this all over again.

I'll be much briefer this time, I promise.  The Farrow/Allen debacle gave us a valuable opportunity to discuss important topics: child abuse, power imbalances, the value and imperfection of the law, family dynamics and mental health, the problems inherent in identifying with and/or revering strangers or celebrities, the art and the artist and where and when they cohabitat and divide, gender politics, etc. Maybe some good could come of this harrowing story? But mostly we wasted the opportunity on misdirected rage, name-calling, witch-hunting, woman-hating. When emotionally difficult topics are brought to the public table we should talk and listen, not insist upon idealogical purity. I don't have statistics but I suspect that no one in the history of civilization has ever had their minds opened by opposing views by being a) shamed into it, b) being out-yelled, or c) forced into declaring absolute allegiance. I said some things I regret this past week or, at the very least, that I wish I had phrased differently. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb032014

A Personal Note on Allen/Farrow and a Plea For Sanity

I'm about to pull a Hannah Horvath and make something that's not about me entirely about me for a moment but... I had a really difficult week. As long time readers undoubtedly now, Woody Allen and Mia Farrow as artists and as a unit were largely responsible for making me the cinephile that I am today. The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985) was a major turning point in my life, the moment that I realized innately if not quite in a self-aware way, how much the movies meant to me.

Woody & Mia in the 80s

I will never be able to thank either of them enough for that gift. Were it not for them, and over the rest of the 80s an actress we should probably just call "Michellyl Glenn Turnstreepfer", I would not be the person I am and you would never have read The Film Experience as it would not exist.

So Allen and Farrow were a superhero duo to wee Nathaniel and their movies, events. To this day, I'd rather think of them that way. I turned up every year from 1984 (Broadway Danny Rose, my older brother drove me because he said "it looks funny") through 1992 (Husbands and Wives, their last film together) even when I had to drag reluctant family or friends. The catatrosphic end of their relationship -- there's no other word for it -- drove Farrow away from Hollywood and thus tarnished her justified place in film history (I hate how often I've had to explain her career/celebrity/talent to people over the years) and permanently tarnished Woody's own reputation; no one who has ever been accused of child molestation, whether or not they are convicted (and Woody was never even charged), is ever presumed innocent again. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Jan302014

A Spoonful of Linkage Helps the Blogging Go Down

Todays Must Reads
Matthew Scott, cinematographer, has a great detailed piece on Roger Deakins Oscar nominated work on Prisoners
The Wire Joe Reid ranks all seasons of all Ryan Murphy shows. Hot messes they are!

Linkage
Yahoo Movies Tom Hiddleston originally auditioned to be Thor, not Loki
The Wire Jennifer Lawrence ate Doritos in her American Hustle gown 
The Dissolve talks to Sandra Bernhard about her performance in The King of Comedy (1983). Oscar robbed! 


Fandor on why Sally Hawkins should win Best Supporting Actress for Blue Jasmine 
/Film talks to Chris Evans on the set of Captain America: Winter Soldier 
The Dissolve the SXSW lineup  

Music Break
Kenneth in the (212) Oliva Newton John will be doing a Las Vegas residency! You have to believe she is magic.  
Vanity Fair Madonna and Miley's "We Can't Stop/Don't Tell Me" duet. So cute it is

Tough Topics / Soap Boxes
Gays vs the Grammys an article articulating the most disturbing social media trend of the past few months - gays viciously attacking their allies. It wasn't just the Grammys and it needs to stop. I particularly hate the way Madonna is treated by young gays since she stood by the gay community when it was NOT cool (sorry but Lady Gaga, who I enjoy, was not risking anything by supporting us) and it cost Madonna a lot and then to see everyone turn on her? Sick-making. And also just another boring reminder that ageism is still rampant and hip and also the very dumbest prejudice since it's basically self-loathing in advance. 

The Daily Beast
publishes a must-read, unpleasant as the topic is, about the internet's desire to prosecute Woody Allen for Farrow's allegations. The list of top ten widespread assumptions of fact that are wholly and provably false in the beginning of the article is fascinating.

excellent courtroom drawing from 90s Woody/Mia custody battle. ©Marilyn Church

I love this top ten falsities lede because it basically apply to all divisive topics in this age of (mis)information...

Every time I stumble upon this topic on the internet, it seems the people who are most outraged are also the most ignorant of the facts.

It's also telling of how little facts matter to the internet and pop culture at large. I didn't even know some of this stuff and I was a mega fan of both Mia & Woody when all of this went down (and boy was it depressing and remains so because they're both great artists who made at least a few masterpieces together). The reveal that Mia Farrow approved her clips in Woody's Globes tribute is also an eyebrow raiser. Anyway it's a great read and kinder to Mia and Ronan than you'd think given its conclusions. A sad but mitigating reminder: Woody and Mia had an odd but long relationahip, probably non-monogomamous and definitely non-idyllic, and they both have a history of messy and controversial romantic relationships with collateral damage.  

Monday
Jan132014

Post-Globe Thoughts / Linkings

My apartment gets too much sunlight and I have no window blankets. So I can't see the TV during the day so I can't rewatch the Globes so I can't blog more about them until tonight and then who knows if any of us will be in the mood when I can't so maybe I won't and I just don't know anymore. The tragedy of it all!

Until then, I devour uneaten party snacks and commence with the linkings...

first a few non-Globes items
EW really thoughtful piece on Armond White and why he was just expelled from the NYFCC 
Critic Wire "Should film critics give out awards?" Of course they should. Awards are just another form of evaluation and needn't be thoughtless. They just shouldn't do it badly, ot to "predict" the Oscar race.
THR Tang Wei falls for a money scam. I hope they find the culprits but the greater crime is the career momentum the Chinese government stole from her post Lust Caution. Can we prosecute that, instead?
Dark Horizons Joseph Gordon-Levitt on the upcoming Sandman adaptation 
The Playlist Martin Scorsese on the campaign trail with Wong Kar Wai for The Grandmaster. I still have no firm read on whether or not that is making it into Best Foreign Film 

today's must read 
W Mag John Waters on staying famous once you've achieved celebrity. It's a pretty great read. Consider this bit:

If you’re really lucky, you might survive a disaster, and that’s a sure way to get your Wikipedia page updated if it’s been dormant for too long. My friend Pauline jokes that if she were in an airplane crash with me and she was the only one to die, the headline would read: air disaster! john waters lives. one dead. 

okay back to the globes
Vanity Fair Bobby Finger's imaginary Globe conversations are super. I love Streep's world domination plot (although hasn't she kind of already accomplished that?)
NY Daily News ok, I need to understand whether or not Nicholas Hoult and Jennifer Lawrence are together. Or are they like Friend with Benefits. Make up your minds!
Variety inside the after parties. Fun(nish) photos of the rich and famous at play
Zimbio more after party pics
TFE I looked back on my Globe predix and was shocked to realize that I did REALLY well (though I generally suck at Globe winner predictions) only missing stuff the mainstream media doesn't care about (but I do) like foreign, screenplay, & both music prizes among the film awards! I even somehow correctly predicted that 12 Years a Slave would only win Best Picture. I guessed HORRIBLY with the TV awards but I've never claimed to know any better there

drawing by Liza Donnellytoday's must see
Liza Donnelly took live-blogging in a fresh direction by live-sketching the Golden Globes. Damn fabulous. 

On That Woody Allen Cecil B DeMille Thing...
Ronan Farrow twitter's favorite fusion of political pundit/celebrity spawn/hot guy, wasn't pleased. Lots of people joined in the Globe-shaming. But really, now. It's so easy to judge from afar but if we are going to deny artists prizes for their work based on their moral character, actual crimes, alleged crimes, grudges people hold against them and the like would we have any prizes at all? I'm not even exaggerating. Prizes for the arts should be about the arts always, and not about someone's character. There's no prize for "Most Nice" or "Best Person" and even if there was, wouldn't showpeople be terrible judges of it? (Including Mia Farrow who is willing to testify on Roman Polanski's behalf but Woody Allen honors are beyond the pale?)
Salon has some issues with it, too, although calling out the Globes for their lack of regular honors to women is relatively speaking, misleading, since they're SO MUCH BETTER ABOUT IT than the Oscars ever have been and only a few sites (like, um, this one you're on right now) take AMPAS to task for it.
Shawn Levy did a post earlier this summer that's especially relevant now, detailing how strong Woody's Oscar history is in terms of directing actors. It's not just strong but it's varied which he gets absolutely no credit for as the article amply illustrates.

Exit Image
Jason at MNPP dubs this Globe after party pic "The Picture That Broke The Internet" and then hedges with a "this could finally be the one to do it" but either way, yes! I mean, at least it broke tumblr. I haven't been on today but I'm quite sure it's dead.

If you somehow squeezed in Tom Hiddleston for a three-way, all the breakings, everywhere.

This awesome image unfortunately reminds that it was a very BRO evening at the Globes with lots of frathouse like back patting going on. This was probably best exemplified by Michael Douglas and Jared Leto's tone deaf acceptance speeches for gay roles (ouch, you really wanna play it like that?) though I think it's unfortunate that McConaughey is getting roped into that conversation because his speech was not offensive and people are stretching ungenerously when they go there, the Leo for Wolf win after that 'supermodel's vagina welcome' (Fey & Poehler, you delight), and a million photos of handsome powerful rich (mostly) white straight guys pointing at the camera, with smug smiles on their faces (lampooned by Melissa McCarthy as Matt Damon on stage in point of fact).

And so on and so on...

Dude.