4 items from 2014
20. The Godfather (1972)
Scene: The Horse Head
It’s the sweeping epic that eventually spanned three films. But, without the sequels, the first still stands as one of the greatest cinematic achievements of all time. The Godfather is a crime drama, a family drama, and a warped version of the American dream. The story focuses on the Corleone family, beginning at the marriage of his daughter, an expansive reception that serves as a wonderful introduction to the characters we would grow to love. Part of this intro is to demonstrate how ruthless the family could be if called to. Vito (Marlon Brando) will grant requests on this day, as it is his daughter’s wedding day. One of those requests comes from Johnny Fontane (Al Martino), Vito’s godson and a professional singer. He wants to land a contested part in a film, so »
- Joshua Gaul
Attendees at next month’s Cannes Film Festival will hear plenty of French being spoken — except, that is, by the characters onscreen. Of the French films recently announced as part of this year’s official selection, two (Olivier Dahan’s opening-nighter “Grace of Monaco” and Olivier Assayas’ “Clouds of Sils Maria”) are predominately English-language features with largely American and British casts, while “The Search,” from “The Artist” helmer Michel Hazanavicius, reportedly features a mix of English, French, Chechnyan and Russian. Meanwhile, in the festival’s Un Certain Regard sidebar, “Lady Chatterley” director Pascale Ferran’s “Bird People” is another hybrid English/French affair, with a cast that includes Josh Charles, Radha Mitchell and Clark Johnson.
On the one hand, this may seem fated in a year when reliable linguistic provocateur Jean-Luc Godard will be present in the Cannes competition with a film titled “Goodbye to Language.” On the other, this »
- Scott Foundas
After the Academy Award for Best Song was won by ‘It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp’ at the 2006 Oscars, host Jon Stewart quipped, ‘For those of you who are keeping score at home, I just want to make something very clear: Martin Scorsese, zero Oscars; Three 6 Mafia, one.’
If the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences specialises in one thing at a sophisticated level no other collaborative body could ever hope to match, it’s giving awards to the wrong people. Sometimes, it almost seems like a deliberate act of petulance. Try finding anyone outside of Robert Zemekis’s immediate family who considers Forrest Gump to be a better picture than Pulp Fiction (one win) or The Shawshank Redemption (IMDb’s Best Film Ever Made; no wins).
In 1999, The 71st Academy Awards became to many people, the apogee of undeserved Oscars and the rabid invective from »
- Cai Ross
The opening and closing images in the Toy Story trilogy are one and the same: a picture-perfect blue sky with a couple of carefully placed, nonthreatening fluffy clouds in the middle. While both are computer-generated facsimiles, the former is a facsimile of a facsimile: the comforting wallpaper in the bedroom of a little boy named Andy Davis. The latter is closer to the real thing, greeting the teenage Andy as he drives off to college and out of the lives of the toys with whom he populated his imagination for over a decade. As the series opens, the 6-year old Andy, a suburban Christopher Robin of sorts, proves in the confines of his tiny room, overstuffed with plush animals, board games, action figures, and other toys, that his world of make-believe is limitless. As the series closes, Andy ventures into the known unknown of the real world, secretly wished an »
- Josh Spiegel
4 items from 2014
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