Monday, July 29, 2019

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The 1968 Retro Hollmann Awards, Part One

Let the 1968 Retro Hollmann Awards begin! For more context, check out the nominations from last week, as well as my Top Ten.

Best Ensemble
 Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell

2. The Birthday Party; 3. Night of the Living Dead; 4. The Odd Couple; 5. The Young Girls of Rochefort

A woman with a reputation to protect, a daughter on the verge of a life-changing decision, three possible fathers, their wives, a housekeeper, and a vintner who's loved the first woman all along. Plus a countess who doesn't have to say a word to convey haughty disapproval - we stan! Every cast member is zeroed in on Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell's zany, good-hearted delights.

In second, a different kind of madness effects the cast of The Birthday Party. In third, survivors who hate living and dying together in Night of the Living Dead. In fourth, The Odd Couple and their poker buddies and coo-coo neighbors. In fifth, the sunny, beautiful singer-dancers of The Young Girls of Rochefort.

More after the jump - with each category presented in the exact order as they were at the 41st Academy Awards.
Best Supporting Actor 
Patrick Magee as McCann
The Birthday Party

2. Georg Rydeberg in Hour of the Wolf; 3. Boris Zakhava in War and Peace; 4. Telly Savalas in Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell; 5. Dick Shawn in The Producers

There comes a point when Magee, as McCann, listens to a rant about teeth from his co-conspirator Goldberg. It's not just that McCann looks terrified; there's a wide-eyed expression of, "Wow, this guy's nuts" - coming from a psychotic who wails at being touched, rips very even strips of newspaper, tortures the protagonist during Blind Man's Bluff, and apparently has a way to assassinate the soul.

In second, Rydeberg's insidious Lindhorst. In third, Zakhava's noble General Kutuzov. In fourth, Savalas' tough and touching Walter Braddock. In fifth, Shawn's sincerely kooky L.S.D.

Best Production Design

John Box, production designer
Terence Marsh, art director
Ken Muggleston, set decorator

2. 2001: A Space Odyssey; 3. War and Peace; 4. Barbarella; 5. The Shoes of the Fisherman

The rickety wooden platforms, set at Caligari-esque angles, sinking into the acid-green muck of the slums; the pristine beauty of Bloomsbury Square; the chaotic mix of established and new industrial age architecture haphazardly co-existing in a thriving London.

In second, space stations and African plains in 2001: A Space Odyssey. In third, the ballrooms and battlefields of War and Peace. In fourth, Barbarella's kitschy future. In fifth, the papal splendor of The Shoes of the Fisherman.

Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Planet of the Apes
John Chambers, creative makeup designer
Edith Lindon, hairstylist

2. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; 3. Oliver!; 4. The Fixer; 5. War and Peace

Maybe a bit obvious to exalt the Apes movie - just as the Academy did, pre-Makeup Oscar, when they awarded Chambers with an Honorary Award. Well, what of it? It's great work, completely transforming the performers without inhibiting their expressiveness.

In second, the fairy tale cartoon looks of the Child Catcher and various Vulgarians in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In third, Ron Moody becomes shaggy Fagin in Oliver!. In fourth, prison weariness and delicious beards in The Fixer. In fifth, the effects of battle and the up-dos of balls in War and Peace.

Best Costume Design

The Young Girls of Rochefort
Marie-Claude Fouquet / Jacqueline Moreau

2. Oliver!; 3. War and Peace; 4. Barbarella; 5. The Fixer

I love the look of The Young Girls of Rochefort - reminds me of springtime, candy and lemonade. The corresponding colors, the dresses made for maximum dance effect, those fitted slacks on the beautiful men. It's heaven!

In second, Oliver!'s iconic wardrobe. In third, War and Peace's detailed recreations of period opulence and the effects of war. In fourth, Barbarella's groovy comic book creations. In fifth, The Fixer's attention to class discrepancy.

Best Sound

2001: A Space Odyssey
A.W. Watkins, sound supervisor
Malcolm Stewart, sound designer
Winston Ryder, sound editor
H.L. Bird, sound mixer

2. Bullitt; 3. The Battle of Algiers; 4. War and Peace; 5. Oliver!

The sterile hum throughout. The cries of early man. The haunting "voice" of the monolith, increasing in volume until it's deafening - even before that high-pitched scream. The rhythm of the breathing during the spacewalk...until it's cut off, and there is nothing but silence. This soundscape is magic.

In second - you might think it's the car chase alone, but I genuinely love the hum of the rooms, the white noise of people, in Bullitt. In third, the amplified voices, bombings, cries from the crowd in The Battle of Algiers. In fourth, music and war in War and Peace. In fifth, the music of Oliver!.

Best Cinematography 
Anatoly Petritsky
with Yu-lan Chen / Aleksandr Shelenkov

Norimichi Igawa / Kiyomi Kuroda

3. 2001: A Space Odyssey
Geoffrey Unsworth

George A. Romero

Conrad L. Hall

Best Supporting Actress

Dandy Nichols as Meg
The Birthday Party

2. Coral Browne in The Killing of Sister George; 3. Ruth Gordon in Rosemary's Baby; 4. Shelley Winters in Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell; 5. Naomi Stevens in Buona Sera, Mrs. Campbell

What is Meg? Is she crazy? Lonely? Pushy? Imaginative? Stupid? The script keeps us guessing - and never really answers - but it's Nichols who sells us on these different possibilities without altering the oddball energy she gives every scene. Somewhere between kindly and creepy, Meg exists in a world of her own, and very likely always has.

In second, Browne's Mercy Croft is prim, proper, perhaps devious. In third, Gordon's Minnie Castevet is abrasive, loud, perhaps devious. In fourth, Winters' Shirley Newman is emotional, pushy, hilarious. In fifth, Stevens' Rosa is watchful, shady, ultimately a great help.

Best Visual Effects

2001: A Space Odyssey
Wally Gentleman, special effects supervisor
Tom Howard / Con Pederson, special photographic effects supervisor
Stanley Kubrick, special photographic effects designer

2. Barbarella; 3. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang; 4. War and Peace; 5. Hellfighters

Every aspect of the effects work in 2001 holds up, right down to that eerie star child. Miniatures, practical sets, camera tricks, exposures, and developments from folks like Douglas Trumbull come together to create a convincing, chilling depiction of the future...and beyond.

In second, the lava lamp madness of Barbarella. In third, the flying automobile that is Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. In third, the explosive war of...War and Peace. In fifth, the infernos of Hellfighters.

Tomorrow - the awards for writing, music, and more - including Best Picture of the Year!

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