Meta ….

I mean there is a LOT of movie related news that has come across in the past couple of weeks. I mean LOADS. So instead of creating separate posts for each, I decided to aggregate those that piqued my interest the most. So here they go – in no particular order. Enjoy!

 

Sony Pictures Hacking Scandal

Many suspect that this is a cyber attack courtesy of North Korea, in ‘retaliation’ for the The result has been the trickling release of some very interesting emails that are equal parts, embarrassing, illuminating and hilarious. I suspect the overall impact will be minimal, save leaving a few tactless executives a little red-faced. Pro-tip: if you are using company email, it is not private. Save potentially incendiary commentary for the face-to-face meeting.

 

TCM Remembers …

The folks over at Turner Classic Movies get me every time. Their touching tribute is a wonderful homage to those in the world of cinema that have passed. Very classy as always TCM, very classy.

 

NYC Classic Film Retrospectives

  1. Starring Joan Bennett @ MoMA. Started earlier this month and running through the end of January, the films featured will cover Bennett’s transition from ingenue to smoldering femme fatale.
  2. Orson Welles at Film Forum. Ring in the new year with a five week retrospective on the filmmaker. Films in the series include Citizen Kane (of course), The Magnificent AmbersonsTouch of Evil (release and restored version) and many many other over the auteur’s decades-long career.

 

13288_Joan_Bennett_American_Stage_Actress

Sundance 2015

This past Monday, the films selected for narrative and documentary premieres (out of competition) were announced. Just looking through the list, ones to look out for include:

  • Brooklyn
  • I Am Michael
  • The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution

As it is still early days, stay tuned to this space for more updates.

 

Its Awards Nomination Season (Again)

It is now at the point where there are too many awards out there to count, so I will keep my general observations based on the SAGs and GGs. My reaction? Pretty meh for the moment, because I look at the list I see a few notables that I did have the pleasure of catching but then also a couple of films that regardless of the praise heaped upon them, I will very likely be a “miss” for me, film snobbery be damned. I am personally at the point where it is becoming fairly predictable which films/performances will be highlighted at year’s end and subsequently rewarded with awards recognition.

 

Speaking of Which …

Going to see Selma this Monday; look out this upcoming week for my thoughts.

 

Thoughts on any of the topics covered in this post? Hit the Comments section.

 

The Serious Season

We are well and truly in the midst of the awards courting season. Basically this means time for the kids to stay in and now it is the grown ups’ turn to attend the cinema in droves.

For me, this year more than any other in recent memory seems to have a lot on offer. The challenge I put to myself is to try to catch each of the following films by year’s end.

 

The Skin I Live In

(dir. Pedro Almodovar, starring Antonio Banderas, Elena Anaya, Marisa Paredes)

i luv cinema’s Take

From what I have heard about it is just OTT (over the the top) enough that I will be thoroughly entertained (and possibly grossed out).

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A Dangerous Method

(dir. David Cronenberg starring Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Keira Knightley, Vincent Cassell)

i luv cinema’s Take

Freud, Jung and the woman that drove them apart.

Does not seem to be standard Cronenberg fare but the lead actors and story are a real draw for me.

 

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Golden Globe Nominations are Out!

From the Hollywood Foreign Press Association:

http://www.goldenglobes.org/nominations/

Commentary to follow.

Tuesday Evening Quarterback: The 2008 Oscars

Well it is official – these Oscars were the lowest rated (in the United States anyway) since the new ratings system was put in place in 1974. This is according to an article on the BBC.

I have a few theories in no particular order:

1.     Ambivalence due to the just recent writer’s strike

2.     The independent nature, or I daresay “spirit” of the films nominated

3.     Early talk that predicted many of possible winners were not originally from the USA

4.     American mainstream cinema was just pretty lame and catered to the lowest common denominator

5.     When I watched clips from the red carpet I immediately lost interest – I was like there are plenty of actors here tonight, but where are the movie stars?

6.     Many of the female stars are pregnant or just had a kid

7.     There was no Vanity Fair after party – a bit of a shaky point – seeing that many attendees of the annual party usually skipped the formal ceremony

8.     After being out of work all this time, many of the “celebs” were not red-carpet ready

9.     In a contradiction of #4, where were movies that achieved a critical and commercial appeal; “American Gangster” immediately comes to mind.

10.   Maybe with noted exceptions this was just one of those years of polar opposites (?)

(that is all I can think of now)

This comes to a head when one thinks the Academy may be at a tipping point. For years there has been much talk about the politicizing of the nomination and awarding process. With that talk has been the justifiable argument that what SHOULD be awarded is “excellence in filmmaking,” an objective measurement at best. For the first time when you look across all categories, I feel that if that is the objective of the Oscars, then they got it right. But they do it at the peril of holding on to the mainstream audience.

In addition, this highlights (as I do in reason #5 above) demonstrates that there is clearly a difference and being a movie star or idol and a genuine thespian. And what most people want to see at an event like this is star wattage. This in spite of the various questions people asked about “Why is Miley Cyrus/Jessica Alba/Katherine Heigl, etc. at the Oscars?” I guess you can have it both ways but this year it was not that way.

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I can wholeheartedly admit that like every year I have not seen all the movies that were nominated. In fact I only saw “Atonement” (which I loved). But in discussions with other fans of cinema that saw any of the nominated films, there was not much of a real desire to, say, go out and catch “There Will be Blood.”

Also complicating the matter is that for studios it will continue to be a win-win; studios currently own the very indy film companies that produced many if not all of the nominated films. This makes the line drawn in the sand between mainstream and indy very hazy indeed.

Overall, from my understanding, those that were recognized did all deserve to be honored; with obviously many omissions. This process is never going to be to everyone’s satisfaction but this year the Academy was rather niche in its choices than in previous years.

As the rest of the industry and film going world tries to figure this one out, I am popping in “Hot Fuzz.”