Tuesday, June 12, 2018

The 1987 Retro Hollmann Awards, Part Two

Finally, the finale of our 1987 retrospective: Part Two of the Retro Hollmann Awards.

Nominations are here. Part One is here.

And now....

Best Director
Jûzô Itami

2. James L. Brooks for Broadcast News; 3. Bernardo Bertolucci for The Last Emperor; 4. Steven Spielberg for Empire of the Sun; 5. John Huston for The Dead

Itami's satirical chops are on display in both The Funeral and Tampopo, but the latter is truly remarkable for the way it combines comical observations on the culture, etiquette and fetishization of food with loving tributes to various genres: western, romance, gangster pic, erotica, etc. It's hilarious, even absurd, yet there's a throat-catching beauty to Tampopo's hopes, to a homeless man's attention to cuisine, to a dying man's final words to his mistress being a cherished recipe. There's a real fascination and love of life and people here.

In second, James L. Brooks' finds the right comic tone in Broadcast News. In third, Bernardo Bertolucci's epic intimacy in The Last Emperor. In fourth, Steven Spielberg's staggering scale in Empire of the Sun. In fifth, John Huston's authentic party dynamics in The Dead.

Best Actress, Best Picture, and more after the jump - starting with Best Original Screenplay....

Monday, June 4, 2018

The 1987 Retro Hollmann Awards, Part One

Part One of the 1987 Retro Hollmann Awards begins....now!

Best Production Design

Empire of the Sun
Norman Reynolds, production designer
Charles Bishop, supervising art director
Harry Cordwell / Michael Ford, set decorator

2. La Bamba; 3. The Last Emperor; 4. Tampopo; 5. The Lost Boys

The vast layout of the airfield-adjacent prison camp alone earns Empire of the Sun its place here; doubly so for the details within, from the hierarchy of the American barracks to the lack thereof in the English ones to the scarceness of the hospital. There's also the abandoned stadium, filled with riches confiscated from white man's mansions. The mansions themselves, going from pristine to abandoned to newly-decorated. And the recreation of 1930s Shanghai and its foreign concessions.

In second, La Bamba's rags to riches as expressed through living conditions and performance venues. In third, The Last Emperor's time-sealed Forbidden Kingdom, superficial Manchukuo, and anonymous grey prison. In fourth, Tampopo's ramen houses, hotel rooms, dishes. In fifth, The Lost Boys' vampire cave, cluttered family home.

Just below the jump is my winner for Best Supporting Actress - and long after it, my pick for Best Score. Much more in between, so do continue...

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Top Ten of 1987

A difficult top ten to make, but here we finally are! In alphabetical order, here were my favorites of the 71 films I screened for the 1987 retrospective.

La Bamba
dir/scr: Luis Valdez
pr: Bill Borden, Taylor Hackford
cin: Adam Greenberg

A biopic of the short-lived teenage singer Ritchie Valens, La Bamba surprises with the equal weight and focus it puts on his whole family: Esai Morales as ne'er-do-well brother Bob, Rosanna De Soto as loving and shrewd momager Connie, and Elizabeth Peña as Bob's baby-momma Rosie. I love the way the film handles cultural identity - Ritchie doesn't speak Spanish and has never been south of the border, but he's still classified as a Mexican...even though his label has him change his name from Valenzuela to something more mass-palatable! Mind, that's just one part as experienced by Ritchie; it's through Bob's experiences that we see the vicious cycle that both keeps Mexican-Americans down and vilifies them for not "trying harder". A keenly-observed, intelligent film, politically and musically. And if you don't fall in crush with Lou Diamond Phillips here, I don't understand you, and I'm not sure I want to.

Broadcast News
dir/scr/pr: James L. Brooks 
cin: Michael Ballhaus

I've written quite a bit about what Broadcast News means to me personally, as well its strengths as a movie in general. So it should be no surprise that it winds up here on my Top Ten. It's great!

The remaining eight after the jump...

The 1987 Retro Hollmann Awards Nominations

After 71 movies over a month and a half, I am proud to present the 1987 Retro Hollmann Awards! Eighteen categories, in order of how I figured them out, beginning with:

Best Actress

Jennifer Grey as Baby Houseman
Dirty Dancing

Holly Hunter as Jane Craig
Broadcast News

Sarah Miles as Grace Rohan
Hope and Glory

Nobuko Miyamoto as Tampopo

Maggie Smith as Judith Hearne
The Lonely Passion of Judith Hearne

The remaining 17 categories, after the jump......

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Best Picture, 1987

Now we come to it - the Best Picture nominees of 1987. Broadcast News, up for seven Academy Awards, named Best Film by the New York Film Critics' Circle. Fatal Attraction, up for six Academy Awards, named Best Dramatic Film by the People's Choice Awards. Hope and Glory, up for five Academy Awards, Golden Globe winner for Best Picture - Comedy or Musical, named Best Picture by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association. The Last Emperor, up for nine Academy Awards, Golden Globe winner for Best Picture - Drama, named Best Film by British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Moonstruck, up for six Academy Awards.

The winner was...

The nominees - ranked, from lowest- to highest-scored, after the jump....

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Best Actress, 1987

On Twitter, the great Nick Davis, a man who has seen every performance nominated for the Best Actress Oscar from 1927 through to the present, named 1987 as among the greatest lineups in the category's history.  From my limited exposure, I may have to agree. Each nominee is a gay-gasp icon, every performance perfectly realized, and here's the fun part: there are more Best Picture nominees here than in Best Actor, a rarity. And I just love that we get to say "Academy Award-winning actress Cher."

More, after the jump...

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Writing Awards, 1987

The Writing Awards! It's late, we're doing eight films in two categories, there's much to get into, let's just do the Oscars clip...

And start with Best Adapted Screenplay after the jump....