Wednesday, May 1, 2019

The 1961 Retro Hollmann Awards, Part Two

The last day of the 1961 Retrospective, the second day of the Retro Hollmann Awards. Make sure you check out the full roster of nominees and the Top Ten, as well as the first day of the Retro Hollmann Awards.

And now - a visual feast!

Best Cinematography

1. West Side Story
Daniel L. Fapp

2. The Ballad of Narayama
Hiroshi Kusuda

3. The Innocents
Freddie Francis

4. Ballad of a Soldier
Vladimir Nikolayev / Era Savelyeva

5. Black Sunday
Mario Bava

The remaining eight categories after the jump...

Monday, April 29, 2019

The 1961 Retro Hollmann Awards, Part One

The first nine categories of the Retro Hollmann Awards of 1961! Each category is presented in the same order as the original Academy Awards telecast, with only two exceptions: the first two, for they did not exist at the time - one of them still doesn't, but that's OK. On to the awards!

Best Ensemble
A Raisin in the Sun

2. Flower Drum Song; 3. The League of Gentlemen; 4. The Innocents; 5. Judgment at Nuremberg

Of course, if any film was going to win this, it'd be the one up for five acting nominations. The family unit itself is beautifully played, with the realistic moments of frustration and love, doubt and certainty. But there's also generous room for the guests in their household: Bobo, George Murchison, that too-polite white guy, Mr. Asagai.

In second place, the dynamite song-and-dance ensemble of Flower Drum Song. In third, the conspirators - and the women in their lives - in The League of Gentlemen. In fourth, the concerned staff, mischievous children, and checked-out uncle in The Innocents. In fifth, the all-star cast of Judgment at Nuremberg.

The remaining eight categories are after the jump.

Too-Early Oscar Predictions, 2019 Edition

Yes, it's that time again - way-too-early Oscar predictions! Never have I ever gotten more than two or three correct this far ahead, but that does not stop me. Maybe it should, but it won't. Not ever.

Dolemite is My Name
Ford v. Ferrari
The Irishman
The Last Thing He Wanted
Little Women
The Laundromat
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood
Pain and Glory
Untitled Todd Haynes Project

Five and a half true stories: Dolemite is My Name (biopic of Rudy Ray Moore), Ford v. Ferrari (about the competition between the titular companies for Le Mans 1966), The Irishman (Scorsese and De Niro return to gangster drama), The Laundromat (Panama Papers), Untitled Todd Haynes Project (lawyer takes on polluting chemical company) and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (Tarantino's riff on Hollywood '69 - fiction, but with real people as players). We also have possible crowdpleaser Yesterday, Greta Gerwig's adaptation of Little Women, Dee Rees' adaptation of Joan Didion's The Last Thing He Wanted, and Pedro Almodovar's showbiz drama Pain and Glory. We'll know soon enough if Pain & Glory or Yesterday have "the goods", as the former is premiering at Cannes and the latter comes out at the end of June.

Last year, I correctly predicted two of the nine eventual nominees: Roma and Vice.

Predictions in six more categories after the jump....

Monday, April 22, 2019

Top Ten of 1961

One of the more difficult Top Tens I've ever had to make. When push came to shove, I thought about what's close to my heart: the films I think about randomly or bring up in conversation; that changed or helped me better articulate my views on something; whose images moved me beyond words.

Honorable Mentions: Bachelor in Paradise, The Ballad of Narayama, Immortal Love, The Innocents and Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.

The Top Ten - in alphabetical order - after the jump....

Friday, April 19, 2019

1961: The Movies

Wrapping up 1961. These are the 75 movies I saw:

The Absent-Minded Professor
Angel Baby
Babes in Toyland
Bachelor in Paradise
Back Street
Ballad of a Soldier
The Ballad of Narayama
Black Sunday
Blue Hawaii
Breakfast at Tiffany's
Cash On Demand
The Children's Hour
El Cid
Claudelle Inglish
The Curse of the Werewolf
La Dolce Vita
Fear No More
Flower Drum Song
Francis of Assisi
General Della Rovere
Goodbye Again
The Great Impostor
The Guns of Navarone
The Human Condition: Road to Eternity
The Hustler
Immortal Love
The Innocents
Judgment at Nuremberg
King of Kings
The League of Gentlemen
Les liaisons dangereuses
Lover Come Back
A Majority of One
The Mark
Master of the World
The Millionairess
The Misfits
Mr. Sardonicus
Mysterious Island
No Love for Johnnie
Odd Obsession
One Hundred and One Dalmatians
One, Two, Three
One-Eyed Jacks
The Parent Trap
Paris Blues
Pit and the Pendulum
Pocketful of Miracles
Purple Noon
Question 7
A Raisin in the Sun
Return to Peyton Place
Rocco and His Brothers
The Roman Spring of Mrs. Stone
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning
The Savage Innocents
The Seventh Commandment
Snow White and the Three Stooges
Splendor in the Grass
Stop Me Before I Kill!
Summer and Smoke
Throne of Blood
Town Without Pity
Two Women
Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea
West Side Story
The Young Doctors
The Young Savages
Youth in Fury
On Monday - my Top Ten. On Tuesday, my nominees. And on Thursday and Friday, my awards.

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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Day Eleven: The Rest of the Nominees, 1961

Over the past two weeks, we've discussed the 1961 Academy Award nominees in the eight major categories, plus score and song. All together, that's 23 films we've looked at, plus a mention of the difficult-to-find Khovanshchina.

Ah, but there were even more films up for Oscars that year! After the jump, nine more nominees, and my thoughts 'upon them.

Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Day Ten: Best Picture, 1961

Best Picture: the last award given at the Oscars, the last Oscar category we're covering for 1961. Doesn't mean we're done with the year as a whole, though! I've still my own personal picks for the Best of the Year.

But that's still to come. Let's focus on the Academy's picks today, shall we? After the jump...

Monday, April 15, 2019

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Day Seven: Best Adapted Screenplay, 1961

If the 1961 Oscars were looked at then as we do it now, Best Adapted Screenplay would be considered anyone's game. All five honorees received nominations from other bodies; four of them won. What's more, of the six writers, there was one previous winner, two previous nominees, and one who would return soon after. These are the big guns, Oscar-wise.

The nominees, after the jump.

Friday, April 5, 2019

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Day Four: Best Actor, 1961

When I look at the Best Actor nominees for 1961, my mind immediately leaps to the Tony Awards rules - you know, how if you're above the title, you're the de facto lead, and if you're below the title, you're featured/supporting? Anyway, when I see Charles Boyer) and Maximilian Schell (fifth-billed - was he the cut-off?) among the Lead Actor nominees, that's what I think.

That's all. The nominees after the jump.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Day Three: Best Scores, 1961

A double dose of Oscar fun today, as we look at the nominees for Best Dramatic/Comedy Score and Best Musical Score. The former is what we would now know as Original Score; the latter, an unused category that has gone through many permutations, from Adapted Score to Song Score to Original Musical Score. This year was an especially odd one - a non-musical is nominated for its original score in the Musical category, while a film not in the Musical category lifted its score entirely from another medium. The very next year, the categories were distinguished between Substantially Original Score and Adaptation Or Treatment Score. You'll see why.

We start with the nominees for Musical Score - after the jump...

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Day Two: Best Original Screenplay, 1961

In 1961, the Golden Globes weren't awarding screenplays and the WGA Awards had three categories: Comedy, Drama, and Musical. I mention this because it was an unusually robust film for adaptations, which may help to explain the unusual nature of the year's Best Original Screenplay lineup. None of these screenplays were honored anywhere else; three of them are foreign films; one is actually an adaptation! Honestly, except for that last part, we could use more lineups like spirit, I mean. It's surprising, one-of-a-kind, and is willing to look outside the box to find the worthy.

The nominees after the jump.

Monday, April 1, 2019

Day One: Best Supporting Actor, 1961

Why 1961? A few reasons: With all the talk of Steven Spielberg's West Side Story remake, I wanted to revisit the original. There were a number of classics I needed to catch up with, such as Judgment at Nuremberg and The Hustler. And it marked the release of Road to Eternity, the second chapter of Masaki Kobayashi's The Human Condition, so, you know, why not?

We start with the nominees for Best Supporting Actor, after the jump...

Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Coming In April....

Next month we're getting back to the Retrospectives with the films of 1961!

It all begins April 1st, with the nominees for Best Supporting Actor - George Chakiris (West Side Story), Montgomery Clift (Judgment at Nuremberg), Peter Falk (Pocketful of Miracles), Jackie Gleason (The Hustler) and George C. Scott (The Hustler) - followed by Original Screenplay, Score, Actor, and Director.



And that's just for starters. April 1st. Be here.

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Saturday, February 23, 2019

My Oscar Predictions, 2018 Edition

My final predictions for the 91st Academy Awards in all 24 categories, in three acts.

Act One: No Dog in This Fight (or, i ain't seen all these)

Animated Short - "Bao"
Documentary Short - "Period. End of Sentence."
Live Action Short - "Skin"
Animated Feature - Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Documentary Feature - Free Solo
Foreign Language Film - Roma
Original Song - "Shallow" from A Star is Born
Visual EffectsFirst Man
Makeup and Hairstyling - Vice
Cinematography - Roma

Act Two: Opinions, I Have Them (or, the ol' will win/should win game)

Sound Mixing - Bohemian Rhapsody (should win: Roma)
Sound Editing - Bohemian Rhapsody (should win: First Man)
Costume Design - Black Panther (should win: The Favourite, but I'd be down with Black Panther)
Film Editing - Vice (should win: BlacKkKlansman)
Production Design - The Favourite (should win: The Favourite)

The final act after the jump...

Monday, February 4, 2019

The 2018 Hollmann Awards: Part Two

The rest of the 2018 Hollmann Awards! For full context, make sure to take a look at my Top Ten, the nominees, and the first half of the awards.

Best Adapted Screenplay
Sebastián Lelio & Rebecca Lenkiewicz
adapted from the novel by Naomi Alderman

2. Little Forest; 3. Can You Ever Forgive Me?; 4. First Man; 5. The Wife

You hear the pitch about lesbians in an Orthodox Jewish community and you know - you just know - this is going to be a preaching-to-the-choir critique against religion's stamping out of individuality! And certainly that's true...for one character. For another character, religion and faith offers clarity, security, a community - going against its tenets goes against all of that. For still another, the two sides are difficult to reconcile, but she tries. Open to everything, understanding - and breathtakingly accurate in its lustful abandon.

In second, Little Forest's instructive, romantic journey across the past and present. In third, Can You Ever Forgive Me?'s empathy and sardonic humor. In fourth, First Man's elegy. In fifth, The Wife's gradual unraveling.

After the jump: Best Supporting Actress, Best Original Song, Best Picture, and more....

Friday, January 25, 2019

The 2018 Hollmann Awards: Part One

The first group of awards for the 2018 Hollmann Awards!

Best Original Screenplay
A Bread Factory
Patrick Wang 

2. First Reformed; 3. Tully; 4. Shoplifters; 5. The Spy Gone North

As funny in Part One's depiction of Janeane Garofalo's visiting director as it is poignant in Part Two's "love-long-lost" monologue delivered by Brian Murray, brilliant in its combination of the two in Part One's climactic council hearings and Part Two's final conversation between Tyne Daly and Elisabeth Henry. Wang has created a fully-realized community populated by a large ensemble of very specific characters - it feels real.

In second, First Reformed's balance of anguish and dark comedy. In third, Tully's
In fourth, Shoplifters' humor in the face of poverty. In fifth, The Spy Gone North's political machinations and genuine love of country.

Eight more, including my picks for Best Score, Best Costume Design, and Best Actress, after the jump...

Monday, January 21, 2019

Oscar Guesses

The nominations for the 91st Annual Academy Awards are tomorrow SO let's predict 'em.

Officially, I'm predicting just seven films for Best Picture; A Star is Born leading with 10 nominations.

Check 'em out, after the jump...

Tuesday, January 15, 2019

The 2018 Hollmann Award Nominees

A terrific year for films, 2018 was. Not since 2011 have I had such a spread: 35 films in 18 categories! And it was tough to narrow down - all the way up to midnight last night, I still had six to eight finalists in several categories...

But here they are! The nominees for the 13th Annual Hollmann Awards:

Best Supporting Actress

Sakura Andô as Nobuyo Shibata

Ingrid Caven as Miss Vendegast

Sissy Spacek as Jewel
The Old Man & the Gun

Angela Winkler as Miss Tanner

Michelle Yeoh as Eleanor Young
Crazy Rich Asians

The remaining 17 categories after the jump....

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Top Ten of 2018

With apologies to All is True, Bad Times at the El RoyaleBlack Panther, Can You Ever Forgive Me?Crazy Rich AsiansThe Favourite, Good MannersThe Hate U GiveHereditary, Leave No Trace, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again, Mary Poppins ReturnsThe Old Man & the Gun, The Other Side of the Wind, Paddington 2Shirkers, ShopliftersA Simple FavorSwing Kids, and Zama, may I present....

My Top Ten of 2018....after the jump.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2018: The Films

I saw 114 domestic releases this past year. The complete list below, with links (when appropriate) to capsules and tweets about the flicks.

Along with the Gods: The Last 49 Days
At Eternity's Gate
The Ballad of Buster Scruggs
Bohemian Rhapsody
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Eighth Grade
Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald
The Favourite
Good Manners
The Great Battle
Green Book
The Hate U Give
I Feel Pretty
Let the Corpses Tan
Madeline's Madeline
Mary, Queen of Scots
The Miseducation of Cameron Post
The Nutcracker and the Four Realms
The Old Man & the Gun
On the Basis of Sex
Ralph Breaks the Internet
Studio 54
Sweet Country
Teen Titans Go! To the Movies
They'll Love Me When I'm Dead
White Boy Rick
You Were Never Really Here

Now to do the work of narrowing these kids down to a Top Ten...

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Tuesday, January 1, 2019

I Resolve

Some New Year's resolutions for the blog:

1. More Korean cinema. I live near a Korean movie theater and have been going pretty regularly since seeing The Admiral: Roaring Currents in 2014. But my screenings have become inconsistent, my records of them haphazard. And there's so much from the past that I have not seen, notable works like The Housemaid and Miracle in Cell No. 7 and Oldboy, the oeuvre of filmmakers like Hong Sang-Soo and Shin Sang-Ok, etc. It's time to take it seriously.

2. Year-long 1989 retrospective. I turn 30 this year, and I want to look at what Hollywood was churning out while I entered this world. So, in addition to my scattershot retrospectives, I intend to celebrate the 30th anniversary of a film's release every week, from now through December.

3. The return of Casting Coup Tuesdays. I don't think I've done them since the Agatha Christies in 2017, and I've a few percolating. Stay tuned.

4. 2018 Hollmann Awards in January, 1968 Hollmann Awards in February. The former is easy: we'll start looking back at the year we just left starting tomorrow! As for the latter...we'll see.

What do you hope to see here in 2019?

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