Awards Watch Archive for October, 2014

20 Weeks To Oscar: Sell Short

In the real world, where studios are just selling movies with massive marketing campaigns, the marketing windows have shrunk in recent years. Big TV buys can wait for 3 weeks out if the awareness has been pumped up via publicity for the months and months before. Have Oscar campaigners taken this lesson to heart? Are the early September festivals just an awareness play, followed by a 6-to-8 week window of lingering, and then the real campaign in the course of just a few weeks?

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The Academy Lists The 134 Docs Submitted For Oscar 2014; Shortlist Of 15 Comes In December

134 DOCUMENTARY FEATURES SUBMITTED FOR 2014 OSCAR® RACE LOS ANGELES, CA – One hundred thirty-four features have been submitted for consideration in the Documentary Feature category for the 87th Academy Awards®. The submitted features, listed in alphabetical order, are: “Afternoon of a Faun: Tanaquil Le Clercq” “Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case” “Algorithms” “Alive Inside” “All…

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Mark Harris On “The Curse of Crash: The Narratives That Doom Oscar Movies”

Mark Harris On “The Curse of Crash: The Narratives That Doom Oscar Movies”

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“Much of my time with Boseman went like that. ‘You’ve got to watch what you say,” he admitted, which is why I can’t tell you much about the hilarious pick-up lines he suggested he’d woo Rihanna with. (They were all immediately retracted, and amazing.)”

“Much of my time with Boseman went like that. ‘You’ve got to watch what you say,” he admitted, which is why I can’t tell you much about the hilarious pick-up lines he suggested he’d woo Rihanna with. (They were all immediately retracted, and amazing.)”

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James Marsh On Directing The Theory Of Everything

James Marsh On Directing The Theory Of Everything 2’20” vid

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Mike Leigh Regards Mike Leigh

“On the whole I kind of quite like my films without watching them every night like Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard. But I do actually think they are alright. A lot of filmmakers say ‘I can’t watch myself’ and, very often it is because the film that got made isn’t the film they wanted to…

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Emanuel Lubezki Goes Behind The Birdman Scenes With Prize Pics

Emanuel Lubezki Goes Behind The Birdman Scenes With Prize Pics

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Theory Of Everything’s Stephen Hawking Joins Facebook

Theory Of Everything‘s Stephen Hawking Joins Facebook

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Oscar Producers Zadan And Meron Set 3-Year Development-Production Pact With B’wy’s Shubert Organization

Oscar Producers Zadan And Meron Set 3-Year Development-Production Pact With B’wy’s Shubert Organization

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Behind The Scenes With Fox’s Worldwide Marketing Co-Chieftains, With Stories About Gone Girl And Pictures Of Eccentric Memorabilia

Behind The Scenes With Fox’s Worldwide Marketing Co-Chieftains, With Stories About Gone Girl And Pictures Of Eccentric Memorabilia

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Does Birdman Know Oscar’s Long Love For Cinema About Greasepaint?

Does Birdman Know Oscar’s Long Love For Cinema About Greasepaint?

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20 Weeks To Oscar: Surveying The Board

Interstellar lands this week.

That leaves Unbroken, The Gambler, Selma, American Sniper, A Most Violent Year, Into The Woods, Big Eyes, and Exodus: Gods & Men

That’s a lot of movies, given an already pretty narrow field.

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“Honestly, I’m going through exactly what Riggan is going through in this movie. I go, ‘Oh, you think you’re the greatest.’ Then someone says, ‘You’re the greatest. You’re wonderful.’ Then 20 minutes later, I’m going, ‘No, you’re not any of those things. You’re just plain Michael Keaton.'”

“Honestly, I’m going through exactly what Riggan is going through in this movie. I go, ‘Oh, you think you’re the greatest.’ Then someone says, ‘You’re the greatest. You’re wonderful.’ Then 20 minutes later, I’m going, ‘No, you’re not any of those things. You’re just plain Michael Keaton.’”

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Kevin Lincoln On “Edward Norton’s Abandoned Movie Stardom”

Kevin Lincoln On “Edward Norton’s Abandoned Movie Stardom”

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Fine Young Filmmaker Barry Jenkins Goes Bird—- For Birdman

“The infinitude of time as conveyed in Birdman’s unbroken stream of visuals is its most prescient conceit; were this a drama about radio or cinema, it would not work. On the stage where there is no barrier between performer and audience, where the performance—like life—unfolds without edits in a fluid stream of happenings (and non-happenings), there is…

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Gurus o’ Gold: After New York…

This week, the Gurus take on Picture, Actor, Actress, Supporting Actress, Supporting Actor, and Director. And if The Gurus are right at this point, all five of these individual honors would got to first-time winners and 3 of the 5 would have never been nominated before.

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Jeff Jensen On-Sets Interstellar

Jeff Jensen On-Sets Interstellar

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Emma Stone On Not —-ing Up Birdman

Emma Stone On Not Messing Up Birdman

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Michael Cieply Sez World War II May Be Battle That Wins Oscar

Michael Cieply Sez World War II May Be Battle That Wins Oscar

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Variety Cover-Stories “Saint” Bill Murray

Variety Cover-Stories “Saint” Bill Murray

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Awards Watch

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This is probably going to sound petty, but Martin Scorsese insisting that critics see his film in theaters even though it’s going straight to Netflix and then not screening it in most American cities was a watershed moment for me in this theatrical versus streaming debate.

I completely respect when a filmmaker insists that their movie is meant to be seen in the theater, but the thing is, you got to actually make it possible to see it in the theater. Some movies may be too small for that, and that’s totally OK.

When your movie is largely financed by a streaming service and is going to appear on that streaming service instantly, I don’t really see the point of pretending that it’s a theatrical film. It just seems like we are needlessly indulging some kind of personal fantasy.

I don’t think that making a feature film length production that is going to go straight to a video platform is some sort of “step down.“ I really don’t. Theatrical exhibition as we know it is dying off anyway, for a variety of reasons.

I should clarify myself because this thread is already being misconstrued — I’m talking about how the movie is screened in advance. If it’s going straight to Netflix, why the ritual of demanding people see it in the theater?

There used to be a category that everyone recognized called “TV movie” or “made for television movie” and even though a lot of filmmakers considered that déclassé, it seems to me that probably 90% of feature films fit that description now.

Atlantis has mostly sunk into the ocean, only a few tower spires remain above the waterline, and I’m increasingly at peace with that, because it seems to be what the industry and much of the audience wants. We live in an age of convenience and information control.

Only a very elite group of filmmakers is still allowed to make movies “for theaters“ and actually have them seen and judged that way on a wide scale. Even platform releasing seems to be somewhat endangered. It can’t be fought. It has to be accepted.

9. Addendum: I’ve been informed that it wasn’t Scorsese who requested that the Bob Dylan documentary only be screened for critics in theaters, but a Netflix representative indicated the opposite to me, so I just don’t know what to believe.

It’s actually OK if your film is not eligible for an Oscar — we have a thing called the Emmys. A lot of this anxiety is just a holdover from the days when television was considered culturally inferior to theatrical feature films. Everybody needs to just get over it.

In another 10 to 20 years they’re probably going to merge the Emmys in the Oscars into one program anyway, maybe they’ll call it the Contentys.

“One of the fun things about seeing the new Quentin Tarantino film three months early in Cannes (did I mention this?) is that I know exactly why it’s going to make some people furious, and thus I have time to steel myself for the takes.

Back in July 2017, when it was revealed that Tarantino’s next project was connected to the Manson Family murders, it was condemned in some quarters as an insulting and exploitative stunt. We usually require at least a fig-leaf of compassion for the victims in true-crime adaptations, and even Tarantino partisans like myself – I don’t think he’s made a bad film yet – found ourselves wondering how he might square his more outré stylistic impulses with the depiction of a real mass murder in which five people and one unborn child lost their lives.

After all, it’s one thing to slice off with gusto a fictional policeman’s ear; it’s quite another to linger over the gory details of a massacre that took place within living memory, and which still carries a dread historical significance.

In her essay The White Album, Joan Didion wrote: “Many people I know in Los Angeles believe that the Sixties ended abruptly on August 9, 1969, ended at the exact moment when word of the murders on Cielo Drive traveled like brushfire through the community, and in a sense this is true.”

Early in Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, as Leonardo DiCaprio and Brad Pitt’s characters drive up the hill towards Leo’s bachelor pad, the camera cranes up gently to reveal a street sign: Cielo Drive. Tarantino understands how charged that name is; he can hear the Molotov cocktails clinking as he shoulders the crate.

As you may have read in the reviews from Cannes, much of the film is taken up with following DiCaprio and Pitt’s characters – a fading TV actor and his long-serving stunt double – as they amusingly go about their lives in Los Angeles, while Margot Robbie’s Sharon Tate is a relatively minor presence. But the spectre of the murders is just over the horizon, and when the night of the 9th finally arrives, you feel the mood in the cinema shift.

No spoilers whatsoever about what transpires on screen. But in the audience, as it became clear how Tarantino was going to handle this extraordinarily loaded moment, the room soured and split, like a pan of cream left too long on the hob. I craned in, amazed, but felt the person beside me recoil in either dismay or disgust.

Two weeks on, I’m convinced that the scene is the boldest and most graphically violent of Tarantino’s career – I had to shield my eyes at one point, found myself involuntarily groaning “oh no” at another – and a dead cert for the most controversial. People will be outraged by it, and with good reason. But in a strange and brilliant way, it takes Didion’s death-of-the-Sixties observation and pushes it through a hellfire-hot catharsis.

Hollywood summoned up this horror, the film seems to be saying, and now it’s Hollywood’s turn to exorcise it. I can’t wait until the release in August, when we can finally talk about why.

~ Robbie Collin