The 92nd Academy Awards are almost upon us, and if there’s one certainty going into Oscar night, it’s that some worthy talent in some category will be overlooked in favor of a lesser talent. No nominee or winner is undeserving of recognition, but snubs are also an essential part of Oscar history and directors are not immune to them. In fact, some of the greatest directors of all time have gone their whole career without receiving a proper Best Director Oscar.

Film is fundamentally a collaborative medium, and we’re only a little over a month removed from a decade where the movie industry shifted to a more producer-controlled landscape in which IP-friendly tentpoles seemed to occupy all the best real estate. Yet the best directors, the ones with the most singular voice or vision, do tend to bolster the case for auteur theory, whereby a director can be considered a film’s primary author. With that in mind, here’s a roughly chronological look at ten great film authors eluded by the golden statuette for Best Director. With each name on this list, we’ll be seeking to answer three questions: who did they lose to (if they were ever nominated), what film or films should they have won for, and why, oh, why didn’t they ever win?

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Tarantino on Sergio Leone

Sergio Leone, the Italian director best known for his 1960s spaghetti westerns like The Good, The Bad and The Ugly and Once Upon a Time in the West, has long been an inspiration for writer/director Quentin Tarantino. But in addition to paying homage to Leone in his own films, Tarantino has now written the foreword for a new book about Leone in which he specifies why the cinematic maestro “is the greatest of all Italy’s filmmakers.”
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Fistful of Dollars outtakes

The Cannes Film Festival will close this year with a presentation of a restoration of Sergio Leone’s 1964 film A Fistful of Dollars. (Released in the US in early 1967.)  The movie, an uncredited remake of Yojimbo, turned Clint Eastwood into a movie star and made the spaghetti western the hottest genre going. Quentin Tarantino will present the film at Cannes, but even if you can’t attend that show we’ve got a good treat, in the form of some newly discovered and restored A Fistful of Dollars outtakes.

The Cineteca di Bologna and Unidis Jolly Film (the original producers and distributors of the movie) were behind the restoration. The Hollywood Foreign Press Association and Martin Scorsese’s Film Foundation also helped out. As part of the process of restoration, some outtakes from the film were discovered and restored. Cineteca has now put them online. Watch below. Read More »

Cool Stuff: ‘The Great Directors’ by Madhi Chowdhury

It should go without saying that we at /Film have tremendous respect for the great filmmakers of eras past and present, but we also love to celebrate the devotion that these artists inspire. It’s why we regularly feature fan-created art and videos that double as both homages to these auteurs and wonderfully creative works in their own right.

We’ve shown you the work of Madhi Chowdhury in the past, in a previous post we did of his beautiful posters for films like Apocalypse Now and Black Swan. Now the artist is back with another stunning series, this time paying his respects to some of the classic heavyweight directors. Flip through his work after the jump.

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Purists can argue over the identity of Sergio Leone‘s most enduring classic — I’d go with Once Upon a Time in the West — but there is little argument over which of his films had the most rocky path to a proper release. Once Upon a Time In America, starring Robert De Niro and James Woods, was drastically cut for the American release in 1984, which reportedly saddened the director to such a degree that he did not make another film before his death five years later.

The same version that played Cannes in 1984, running 229 minutes, was finally released years later. And now there are plans to restore up to forty additional minutes in order to create the longest cut of the film yet. Read More »

VOTD: ‘Everything Is a Remix’

Thanks to DVD, compression software and services like YouTube and Vimeo, technology has changed the way we ingest visual content. But it hasn’t done as much as I’d like to the way we understand it.

Take the Everything is a Remix project, by editor Kirby Ferguson. The second installment was released this week, and it is a slick, well-written and edited piece of work that points out how much of the entertainment we consume is related to other entertainment. Specifically, it breaks down parts of Star Wars and Kill Bill into component elements, presenting scenes from those films alongside the original images re-purposed by George Lucas and Quentin Tarantino. But I’m left wanting more.

Watch both this film-centric second installment and a sidebar dissection of Kill Bill after the break, then hit the comments for a discussion of how the mechanism of influence from one film to another really affects storytelling. Read More »

Page 2: Groundhog Day Edition (and Much More)

What is Page 2? Page 2 is a compilation of stories and news tidbits, which for whatever reason, didn’t make the front page of /Film. After the jump we’ve included 24 different items, fun images, videos, casting tidbits, articles of interest and more. It’s like a mystery grab bag of movie web related goodness. If you have any interesting items that we might’ve missed that you think should go in /Film’s Page 2 – email us!

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The Alamo Drafthouse is bringing their Rolling Roadshow tour to Spain to pay tribute to one of the most influential film series of the modern age, Sergio Leone’s “dollars” trilogy: Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad and The Ugly. Quentin Tarantino will be in attendance at the screenings and will introduce one of the films. You can order tickers on But more importantly, with a new set of special screenings comes a new set of limited edition posters.

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Poster Set

Billy Perkins’ The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly is a triptych set (12×38). A limited print run, each poster is individually signed and numbered by the artist. You can buy them as a set for $45 or individually for $20 each.

Fistful of Dollars Posters

Jesse Philips’ A Fistful of Dollars is 24×36 and is part of a limited run, with each poster being individually numbered. A Metallic Variant (seen right) is available for $50, regular version is $30.

For a Few Dollars More Poster

Stainboy’s For A Few Dollars Morefeatures a fearsome duo of portraits. A limited print run, each poster is individually signed and numbered by the artist. Featuring metallic inks, the poster measures 32×22. On sale on Mondo Tees for $30.

Dollars Trilogy Posters

They also have three more posters (which I’m a little less fond of): Heads of State’s “A Fistful of Dollars”, Jay Vollmar’s “For a Few Dollars More”, and Jeff Kleinsmith’s “The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly” available as a set for $80 or individually.

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