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The 1985 Retro Hollmann Awards - The Winners

Here they are, the winners of the 1985 Retro Hollmann Awards!

Best Film Editing
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Michael Chandler / Tomoyo Oshima
2. Witness; 3. Ran; 4. Out of Africa; 5. Cannibal Holocaust

What do I use as an example? Kiyomi preparing her final night with Osamu in Kyoko's House? The entirety of Runaway Horses? The brief but breathtaking gay club-to-phone call scene? I eventually chose the finale, where all the destruction and catharsis, fact and fiction, are brought together in a final push.


Best Makeup and Hairstyling

Enemy Mine
Chris Walas, aliens creator and designer
Daniel Parker, makeup designer
Chris Taylor, key hairstylist
2. Ran; 3. Mask; 4. Cannibal Holocaust; 5. The Return of the Living Dead

LOOK AT THESE DRACS!


Best Actress
Vanessa Redgrave as Jean Travers
Wetherby
2. Meryl Streep in Out of Africa; 3. Maggie Smith in A Private Function; 4. Geraldine Page in The Trip to Bountiful; 5. Norma Aleandro in The Official Story

I find Redgrave's performance haunting, as she pieces together not only why a stranger would kill himself in her own home in front of her, but why the way it's effecting her is so low-key, so muted. What was the connection she felt with this young man, and he to her? Why is she not hysterical, furious? Why does it take her back to that long ago lost love? It's an unusual depiction of quiet unraveling and delayed grieving, particularly in a scene where she calmly tries to blame a classmate of the dead guy for his actions. It's a PTSD people don't talk about, and for Redgrave to be able to communicate the complexity of that process with few words is a tribute to her talents. 


Best Cinematography

1. Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
John Bailey

2. The Color Purple
Allen Daviau

3. Ran
Asakazu Nakai / Takao Saitô / Shôji Ueda

4. Kiss of the Spider Woman
Rodolfo Sanchez

5. Out of Africa
David Watkin


Best Actor
Tatsuya Nakadai as Lord Hidetora Ichimonji
Ran
2. Ken Ogata in Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters; 3. Harrison Ford in Witness; 4. Tim Curry in Clue; 5. Robert Redford in Out of Africa

Lear is a tasking role for any performer; becoming Ichimonji doesn't change that. The first shot of Nakadai hunting, stern-faced, furrowed-brow, is the warrior in his element. The genuine shock at being pushed out of power, the entitlement giving way to embarrassment, shame, and loss: one sees it on his face, in his body, and you feel the quake in yourself, the shudder of realization. His break with reality feels deliberate, his final scene just wrenching. A towering performance.


Best Visual Effects
Lifeforce
John Gant, special effects
John Dykstra, special visual effects
Robert Shepherd, special effects producer
2. Cocoon; 3. Back to the Future; 4. Enemy Mine; 5. Young Sherlock Holmes

Astronauts flying through a vessel that's not quite machine, not quite organic, but something entirely...weird. Bat monsters unleashed on the world. Life draining from healthy bodies into emaciated figures, the electric energy traveling from one to the other, causing them to switch...before exploding into dust. London on fire. Groundbreaking mattes, animatronics, CGI.


Best Sound
 
Back to the Future
Charles L. Campbell / Robert R. Rutledge, supervising sound editors
Daniel J. Leahy / B. Tennyson Sebastian II / Robert Thirlwell / Bill Varney, re-recording mixers
Tak Ogawa, sound designer
William B. Kaplan, production sound mixer
2. Enemy Mine; 3. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome; 4. Runaway Train; 5. The Return of the Living Dead

From the very first scene, you can't help but notice the specificity, the artistry of the sound design: the ticking clocks amidst whirring Rube Goldberg-ian mechanisms, the slop of dog food added to an uneaten mass, hot coffee sizzling onto a burnt hotplate, the roll of the skateboard wheels, the blasting note of Marty's guitar, debris falling everywhere.


Best Production Design


Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Eiko Ishioka, production design
Kazuo Takenaka, art direction
Kyoji Sasaki, set decorarion
2. Ran; 3. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome; 4. Enemy Mine; 5. The Goonies

The novel sequences are presented unrealistically, artistically, true sets reflecting the moods and themes of their subjects: the classic screen stylings of Temple of the Golden Pavilion, the pulpy Kyoko's House, the off-kilter yet orderly Runaway Horses. And against that, period details that bring to life a gay bar, Mishima's study, theatre sets, and the army base where he made his final stand.


Best Score
1. Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Philip Glass
2. Out of Africa
John Barry
3. Cannibal Holocaust
Riz Ortolani
4. Cocoon
James Horner
5. Clue
John Morris


Best Costume Design

Ran
Emi Wada
2. Out of Africa; 3. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome; 4. A Private Function; 5. Prizzi's Honor

Extraordinary colors. Effective coding for the sons and their respective armies, bright red against bright white guarantees our focus on Lord Hidetora, the combination of all colors and patterns on Kyôami is just perfect.


Best Original Song
1. "7th Heaven" from The Last Dragon
music and lyrics by Bill Wolfer and Vanity
2. "Miss Celie's Blues (Sister)" from The Color Purple
music by Quincy Jones and Rod Temperton
lyrics by Quincy Jones, Rod Temperton and Lionel Richie
3. "Don't You (Forget About Me)"
music and lyrics by Keith Forsey and Steve Schiff
4. "The Last Dragon" from The Last Dragon
music and lyrics by Norman Whitfield and Bruce Miller
5. "We Don't Need Another Hero (Thunderdome)" from Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome
music and lyrics by Terry Britten and Graham Lyle


Best Adapted Screenplay
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
Paul Schrader & Leonard Schrader and Chieko Schrader
based on the works of Yukio Mishima
2. Out of Africa; 3. Ran; 4. Clue; 5. The Shooting Party

Yukio Mishima's life told through selected works, each highlighting various obsessions, different aspects of his nature, with biographical details gleaned from his (believed to be) autobiographical novel Confessions of a Mask. It's ambitious and it works, beautifully, perhaps one of the better biopics because it knows that one way to understand its subject is to actually experience the work.


Best Supporting Actress
Eileen Brennan as Mrs. Peacock
Clue
2. Tina Turner in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome; 3. Lea Thompson in Back to the Future; 4. Mieko Harada in Ran; 5. Madeline Kahn in Clue

Has anyone in any movie ever given such perfectly eccentric line readings, from "I am determined to enjoy myself and veryintriguedand ohhh myyy this soup's delicious, isn't it?" to "Will you shut up, we're doin' our best!" to "Our lives are in danger, ya beatnik!" Her physicality: slapping her feathered headwear out of her face, sneering disdainfully as she smokes a cigarette, the delay before she just drops the knife. And those noises: the gasp at "socialists," the despairing moan at using a corpse to fake necking, the tsk at Mr. Green's accidents, that scream! She nails the obnoxiously polished politician's wife and the coarser broad behind the facade.


Best Director
Akira Kurosawa
Ran
2. Paul Schrader for Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters; 3. Peter Weir for Witness; 4. Sydney Pollack for Out of Africa; 5. Joyce Chopra for Smooth Talk

As I wrote before, the scale is staggering, the execution of this vision humbling, the emotional undercurrents never sacrificed for setpieces. Focused, awe-inspiring.


Best Supporting Actor
Lou Gossett, Jr., as Jeriba Shigan
Enemy Mine
2. Pîtâ in Ran; 3. James Mason in The Shooting Party; 4. Hisashi Igawa in Ran; 5. Chris Sarandon in Fright Night

Gossett does not allow the makeup or sound mix to do all the work. The tone and tenor of his voice, the physicality - you can almost feel him wanting to go even more amphibious in his performance, so lost is he in the skin of this character. Jeriba Shigan is real to me, a friend to Davidge, a figure made in God's own image, because Gossett believes it, plays it, lives it.


Best Ensemble
Clue
casting by Janet Hirshenson / Jane Jenkins
2. A Private Function; 3. Twice in a Lifetime; 4. The Shooting Party; 5. After Hours

A cast that not only nails every comedic line and manic energy, but the whodunnit suspense - suspicion, scheming, terror. They play so well together, not just the central cast of seven, but the victims, witnesses, and of course...the man at the door. "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."


Best Original Screenplay
A Private Function
Alan Bennett
story by Alan Bennett / Malcolm Mowbray
2. Witness; 3. The Official Story; 4. Wetherby; 5. Twice in a Lifetime

A heist flick, a study in class, a fascinating capsule of the post-war period. Smart and funny, unexpectedly melancholy. The ways in which "respectability" can be signaled and access gained not just by occupation or obeying "the rules" of society, but by the willingness to skirt the rules in certain situations, for certain people.


Best Motion Picture of the Year
Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters
produced by Tom Luddy / Mataichirô Yamamoto
2. Out of Africa; 3. Ran; 4. Clue; 5. Cannibal Holocaust
6. A Private Function; 7. The Last Dragon; 8. Witness; 9. Enemy Mine; 10. The Shooting Party

It is, honestly, very odd to have Out of Africa leave with zero wins, because it is my #5 favorite film of all time. But that's what happens when you start judging individual aspects!


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