4 items from 2014
The best movie culture writing from around the internet-o-sphere. There will be a quiz later. Just leave a tab open for us, will ya? “Relive 238 years of American history with these 42 movies” — Stephanie Cangro at The Week rolls through an entire nation’s story using everything from Yankee Doodle Dandy to Deer Hunter. Our history is complicated. “Why I’d like to be…Billy Murray in Stripes” — Ryan Gilbey at The Guardian continues their wish fulfillment series, noting the obviousness of his pick before providing a deeper reason why he was originally drawn to the Devil Definitely Don’t Care attitude. “I have a mental image of myself watching Stripes, a coarse 1981 comedy about two lugs (Murray and the late Harold Ramis) who join the army. I am sprawled unwashed on the sofa in my pyjamas on a Saturday morning, sun pouring through the patio doors, leftover Frosties hardening in my breakfast bowl, noon »
- Scott Beggs
Part of the list provides a few Best Picture nominees, a number of Oscar winners, and a childhood favorite that still pops up now and again. In reality, this list could be half-full of music documentaries, but for that reason, I stayed away from them. Plus, I did my best to include only films that really are musicals in every sense of the word. Plenty of films have lots of musical components, but only true musicals have performances in the film that truly drive the story forward. The songs in movie musicals have a purpose, if there could be a true definition.
courtesy of ew.com
40. Coal Miner’s Daughter (1980)
Directed by Michael Apted
Signature Song: “Coal Miner’s Daughter”
- Joshua Gaul
If you're an Oscar stats geek, you should check out the new blog 1:37:1 which responded to the recent debate about whether or not the number of Oscar-nominated films is shrinking due to the expanded Best Picture field with lots of charts. It's fascinating but requires concentration. Then a follow up specifically looking at the acting categories.
All was lost this year for male actors without Best Picture heatThe most interesting finding in the second article is how enormously rare it is for an acting category to feature only performances from Best Picture nominated films. It's happened only 10 times in Oscar's entire 86 year history and 2 of those times were this year alone including, for the first time ever, in a supporting category. That's a disturbing development if you're of the opinion (and you should be) that great performances can happen anywhere including within movies that aren't otherwise popular or great. »
- NATHANIEL R
Once again World War II provides Hollywood with another tale of bravery and sacrifice that was somewhat overlooked in the shadow of the great battles (like D-Day) and the dropping of the atomic bomb. A couple of years ago the story of the Tuskegee airmen got the full blockbuster treatment with Red Tails. There have also been many stories concerning the efforts to save the lives of those targeted for extinction by Nazi Germany such as last year’s The Book Thief. Now George Clooney brings us the true tale of the special forces group charged with rescuing…art. Yes, paintings and sculptures, not people. Seems that Hitler went on quite the art-acquiring binge. Many felt that this pursuit to protect these piece was frivolous. But these curators and historians believed that these works were the culture if not the soul of their native lands. That’s why they proudly dubbed themselves The Monuments Men. »
- Jim Batts
4 items from 2014
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