One of the great fascinations for anyone who appreciates creative endeavors is, I think, the question about where stories come from. It’s great to be able to link any given book, movie or what have you to one specific origin point. Doing so adds context to the story, and helps ground the whole creative process, which can seem so ethereal.
Circulating today is a bit of Woody Allen‘s stand-up comedy, originally documented on an LP in the ’60s and most often heard via the collection Standup Comic. The interesting bit, aside from Allen’s excellent delivery and sense of timing, is that this particular routine, ‘Lost Generation,’ is very obviously the first glimmer of what would become Midnight in Paris.
This routine has, obviously, been around for decades, so it isn’t exactly news. It even circulated at a point last year when far fewer people had seen Midnight in Paris. But with that film having a much higher awareness level now in the wake of its long theatrical run and Allen’s Oscar win, let’s check out the mid-’60s stand-up story that was the seed for the film. Read More »
Each year American Cinema Editors (ACE) recognizes the best editing of the year in narrative film, documentary and television through the Eddie Awards. The nominations for achievement in 2011 have been released. They include a couple of expected films such as Hugo and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, and feature a couple other inclusions that might count as surprises to some.
The full list is below. Read More »
Last year, Quentin Tarantino released a list of what he called the best films of 2011. This year he has repeated the list-making effort, and Tarantino’s list of the best eleven films of 2011 is out now. (Or best twelve films, really, since there is a tie in one position.) Along with that comes a collection of associated lists, from his estimation of the best directors of the year, to a set of ‘nice try’ picks, which includes some peoples’ fave film, Drive.
Check out the main list below. Read More »
It’s official: 2012 is the year we all learn to pronounce ‘Hazanavicius.’ That’s because Michel Hazanavicius, director of The Artist, is one of the five people nominated for the Award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film by the Directors Guild of America (DGA). The DGA award nominees almost always mirror the Oscar ballot for Best Director, so between this and the PGA nominations announced last week we’ve basically got the final Oscar contention list locked down.
The full nomination list for the DGA awards is Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris), David Fincher (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo), Michel Hazanavicius (The Artist), Alexander Payne (The Descendants), and Martin Scorsese (Hugo). Read More »
Here’s your best indicator yet as to what the crop of nominations for the Best Picture Oscar is likely to be. The Producers Guild of America (PGA) has announced its nominations for 2011 awards, which will be doled out on January 21.
The ten films nominated for the PGA’s top honor include expected pictures such as The Artist, The Descendants and War Horse. There are no real surprises, but the growing Oscar chances for The Help won’t be hurt by getting a PGA nomination (would be slightly wild to see Chris Columbus, a producer on The Help, with an Oscar), and Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris makes an appearance on the list, too. There are a couple surprises, though, in the form of Bridesmaids and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo — the Judd Apatow and Scott Rudin effects in full force there. With 5-10 Best Picture nominations possible for this year’s Oscars, most of the films in the PGA’s top list are likely to end up in the race.
The full PGA press release, with the full slate of nominations, is below. Documentary and animation nominations are there, too, though the slate of nominations in each category is more or less exactly what you’d expect to see at this point. Read More »
In 2011, I saw more new movies than I ever have in the past. Previous years I’d flirted with roughly two per week but, this year, thanks to a full Sundance Film Festival, Fantastic Fest, Butt-Numb-A-Thon and other events like AFI Fest and the Los Angeles Film Festival, that number jumped up to 167. Several of those won’t be released until 2012 and others won’t get released at all, but it’s still a more than sufficient cross section of 2011 releases to adequately speak on the state of film in 2011 and give my top ten movies of the year. (Note: Any film that didn’t get an Oscar qualifying 2011 theatrical run did not qualify for this list. That’s just my personal rule.)
For me, 2011 was the year of “good, but not great.” You know the type. A film that does everything right, is entertaining, emotional, but doesn’t stick with you once you’ve left the theater. We’re lucky to have films like that because, alternatively, we could get films that are total garbage. Looking back at the year as a whole, though, very few 2011 films will stick with me as all-time favorites. It was a good year, but not great.
The films after the jump were the ones that stayed with me more than most though and, because of that, earned a place as my top ten films of 2011. Read More »
Posted on Thursday, December 29th, 2011 by Angie Han
I find it difficult to say whether 2011 was an unusually strong or unusually weak year for films. As in any year, there were pleasant surprises and disappointments alike. If I had to pinpoint the one thing my favorites tend to have in common, though, it’s a sense that each of them were made with great love by people who cared desperately about them.
I don’t think there’s anything anyone can say at the start of a top 10 list to totally deflect the disgruntled comments from readers who incensed to see that X made my top 10 when Y didn’t, etc., but I’m still going to throw out the usual caveats. There are certainly deserving films that were left off just because I forgot about them, or because I missed the theatrical run, or because I couldn’t fully appreciate them due to my own biases, or what have you. I also want to acknowledge that there is no fair way to compare, say, Bridesmaids against Tree of Life, but that by ranking these movies I’ve done so anyway.
Finally, and most importantly, I’d like to stress that this is not intended as an objective list of the ten best movies of the year, but as a totally subjective look back at my personal favorites of 2011. Read my list and leave your thoughts after the jump.
Read More »
Posted on Tuesday, December 20th, 2011 by Angie Han
With just days to go until the end of 2011 (Where did the year go???), legendary film critic Roger Ebert has announced his top 20 movies of the year. Just as you’d expect from Ebert, his list runs the gamut from mainstream blockbusters to more obscure foreign or arthouse projects — with enough in the latter category to offer up some useful suggestions for your Netflix queue. Read his list after the jump.
Read More »
Cool Posts From Around the Web:
We’ve posted the directors, actors, actresses, writers and now it’s time for the people who bring them all together. Every year during awards season, The Hollywood Reporter organizes the schedules of basically every single actor, actress, writer and director of the year’s best films to sit down and discuss them. This, in itself, is pretty spectacular. What’s even better is they release the videos of the full conversations so we can watch. For the 2011 Producers’ Roundtable, they’ve brought together Midnight in Paris producer Letty Aronson, Moneyball producer Michael De Luca, Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy producer Tim Bevan, War Horse producer Kathleen Kennedy, The Tree of Life producer Bill Pohlad, The Descendants producer Jim Burke and The Help producer Chris Columbus to discuss their own, and each others’, films, all of which have a good shot at multiple award nominations. Check out the video after the jump. Read More »
Gerard Butler, Woody Harrelson, Rashida Jones, and Sofia Vergara got up extra early this morning to announce the nominations for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s 69th Golden Globes Awards, which will be televised on January 15, 2012.
Returning host Ricky Gervais (called a “naughty, naughty schoolboy” this morning by Aida Takla-O’ Reilly, the president of the HFPA) will likely be the main attraction of that broadcast, but the Globes do get attention for the awards doled out each year, if only for the way that the organization targets films with big stars to show up at the ceremony. How else to explain multiple nominations for Madonna‘s W.E.? Sure, her Best Song nomination could have gone to a tune from The Muppets, but why would the HFPA want anyone from that film at the ceremony?
The Artist, Midnight in Paris and The Help are the big nominees. Check out the full list below. Read More »