Archive for March 5, 2012

Hugo and the History of the Movies (Part I)

This was originally going to be my 1,000th post. I was thinking of something to write up, and saw that the article I wrote about my favorite moments from the film was getting a ridiculous amount of traffic as compared to everything else (I guess because of the HD screenshots), so I figured, “Well, that would be fun to talk about how the film relates to film history and all of that, plus I can throw in a lot of screenshots, and make it like those Tron articles (which still get by far the most views on the blog, because people just link to all the pictures).” Basically — fun, and a calculated risk to boost traffic. Because if you can, why not?

So my plan was to write up an article with screenshots about, as the title says, Hugo and the history of the movies. Only, with me, nothing is ever that simple. I started watching the film again (third time now) and then my film student brain turned on, and I started noticing all these great moments, which turned into a whole film analysis, and — it became a whole thing. I can never contain myself to just one article. Ever.

Anyway, here’s part one of me talking about Hugo and its use of and reliance upon the history of movies (as well as some other stuff. Mostly about how Martin Scorsese is a genius). (more…)

The Oscar Quest: Best Supporting Actor – 1965

1965 is a strong year that is relatively unanalyzed. Mostly because, when you glance at it, you see, “Oh, The Sound of Music, and Dr. Zhivago was nominated,” and keept going. Clear-cut, no contention, moving on. But, when you look closer, Darling and A Thousand Clowns (not so much Ship of Fools) were also really strong films nominated for Best Picture. So, while the winner was easy to call, the category itself (among some of the others in the year) was really strong.

Robert Wise won Best Director for The Sound of Music, which comes with the territory (plus Lean won twice). Lee Marvin won Best Actor for Cat Ballou, which, as I said here, I hate. I hate it because it’s a terrible decision (Richard Burton or Rod Steiger really should have won), and because I can’t really argue about it that much, because I love Lee Marvin. Best Actress was Julie Christie for Darling (talked about here), which is a top ten decision for all time. Best Supporting Actress was Shelley Winters for A Patch of Blue (talked about here), which is a terrific decision (which is saying something, since she won one already).

That brings us to this category — one of, if not the weakest Best Supporting Actor category of all time. Holy shit. None of these performances would rate as a #2 for me in any year. And depending on the year, they might not even make #3. This is just terrible. (But fortunately the end decision does, performance quality aside, actually help keep the year strong. There’s no bad decision at all in the year.)


And the nominees were…

Martin Balsam, A Thousand Clowns

Ian Bannen, The Flight of the Phoenix

Tom Courtenay, Dr. Zhivago

Michael Dunn, Ship of Fools

Frank Finlay, Othello (more…)

Pic of the Day: “My sister and Robbie were never able to have the time together they both so longed for… and deserved. Which, ever since, I’ve… ever since, I’ve always felt I prevented. But what sense of hope or satisfaction could a reader derive from an ending like that? So in the book, I wanted to give Robbie and Cecilia what they lost out on in life. I’d like to think this isn’t weakness or… evasion… but a final act of kindness. I gave them their happiness.”