Awards Archive for November, 2009

Screen It 2k+9

I don’t want to start reporting every DVD that hits the porch as though it is news, but with WB, Focus, Sony, Fox Searchlight, Sony Classics, and Magnolia landing with Academy members so far, it is interesting, I think, that WB decided not to ship The Hangover, though there will be Globes push. And even with the big DVD release party, no Star Trek for Oscar so far either.
I’m not sure why Searchlight hasn’t pulled the trigger on Crazy Heart, a movie that will play better on TV… not coincidentally made for TV.
There will be plenty more DVDs on the way…


Twittered By An Academy Member This Morning

where the hell are the screeners???!!!
This is one of the major events of this year’s awards season. Magnolia and Sony Classics have shipped. Everyone else… not yet.
And the same is pretty much true of the ad campaigns. Expect a big, fresh wave of ads this week and next. But studios large and small have been playing it very close to the fiscal vest this season so far.
The same is true with the last four big awards films to be seen. Nine junketed this last weekend because they had it planned months ago and they have a big cast of very busy actors. But everyone who saw the film – the soundtrack of which is still two weeks away from being done – including the HFPA, signed agreements not to review or every mention the film on social networking sites.
Avatar, no. Invictus, no. The Lovely Bones, no.
As usual, the one high-profile movie that is being long-lead screened, Sherlock Holmes, is suddenly getting odd awards buzz from the long-lead monkeys. There is even some new buzz around It’s Complicated.
Why hasn’t every member of The Academy had The Hurt Locker and District 9 and A Serious Man and Inglourious Basterds in their DVD players for weeks now? Not to mention long shots like Star Trek and The Hangover and The Informant!?
The reason is money, it seems… not so much as in no one spending as in studios hedging on their awards spending through a very scary corporate summer and preparing to lock-n-load just before Thanksgiving… some just before Christmas.
All of this is… well… interesting… if hard to analyze. Of the big new movies, you can be sure that Academy members will be drawn to Invictus and Avatar and Nine in a big way. The Lovely Bones may find it more challenging to get older viewers to the theaters (screening rooms and public) and could be very SAG-reliant to get it rolling.
But it may be that the long shots get longer as, literally, dozens of DVDs suddenly pile up on the doorstep next week.


Cinema Eye Doc Award Nominations



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“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima

“They’re still talking about the ‘cathedral of cinema,’ the ‘communal experience,’ blah blah. The experiences I’ve had recently in the theatre have not been good. There’s commercials, noise, cellphones. I was watching Colette at the Varsity, and halfway through red flashes came up at the bottom of the frame. A woman came out and said, ‘We’re going to have to reboot, so take fifteen minutes and come back.’ Then they rebooted it from the beginning, and she had to ask the audience to tell her how far to go. You tell me, is that a great experience? I generally don’t watch movies in a cinema at all. Netflix is the future. It’s the present. But the whole paradigm of a series, binge-watching, it’s quite different. My first reaction is that it’s more novelistic, because if you have an eight-hour season, you can get into complex, intricate things. You can let it breathe and the audience expectations are such that they will let you, where before they wouldn’t have the patience. I think only the surface has been touched with experimenting with that.”
~ David Cronenberg