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Oscar history: Best Picture winners chosen by preferential ballot (1934-1945) include classic films

Oscar history: Best Picture winners chosen by preferential ballot (1934-1945) include classic films
In 2009 — when the Academy Awards went to 10 Best Picture nominees for the first time since 1943 — the preferential system of voting, which had been used from 1934 to 1945, was reintroduced. The academy did so as it believed this “best allows the collective judgment of all voting members to be most accurately represented.”

We have detailed how the preferential voting system works at the Oscars in the modern era. So, let’s take a look back at those dozen years early in the history of the academy when it first used this complicated counting to determine the Best Picture winner rather than a simple popular vote. (At the bottom of this post, be sure to vote for the film that you think will take the top Oscar this year.)

See Best Picture Gallery: Every winner of the top Academy Award

1934

This seventh ceremony marked the first time that the Oscars eligibility period was the calendar year.
See full article at Gold Derby »

Your Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving Marathons on TV

Your Ultimate Guide to Thanksgiving Marathons on TV
A version of this article originally appeared on EW.com.

Thanksgiving has arrived and with it comes bingeing of all kinds — but mainly food, shopping and TV. We’ve rounded up all the movie and TV show marathons airing over the long holiday weekend so you can watch your favorite while digesting on the couch.

There’s something for everyone to enjoy, whether you’re a Parks and Recreation fan and just want to spend time with your favorite Pawnee residents or a horror fan looking for a scare-fest like those on IFC and Syfy. Perhaps you’d prefer to
See full article at PEOPLE.com »

Whit Stillman’s Top 10 Films

“It kind of freed me from a lot of criticisms people have from my other films,” Whit Stillman told us at Sundance earlier this year, speaking about adapting Jane Austen‘s epistolary novel Lady Susan, which became Love & Friendship. “Things can work really well and not be entirely realistic and often they can be better than realism. We love the old James Bond films. They weren’t realistic, but they’re delightful. And the great 30s films. The Awful Truth with Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. It’s not realistic; it’s just perfect.”

To celebrate Stillman’s latest feature becoming his most successful yet at the box office, we’re highlighting his 10 favorite films, from a ballot submitted for the most recent Sight & Sound poll. Along with the aforementioned Leo McCarey classic, he includes romantic touchstones from Preston Sturges, Ernst Lubitsh, and François Truffaut. As for his favorite Alfred Hitchcock, he fittingly picks perhaps one of the best scripts he directed, and one not mentioned often enough.

We’ve covered many directors’ favorites, but this is one that perhaps best reflects the style and tone of an artist’s filmography. Check it out below, followed by our discussion of his latest film, if you missed it.

The Awful Truth (Leo McCarey)

Big Deal on Madonna Street (Mario Monicelli)

The Gay Divorcee (Mark Sandrich)

Howards End (James Ivory)

Miracle of Morgan’s Creek (Preston Sturges)

The Shop Around the Corner (Ernst Lubitsch)

Stolen Kisses (François Truffaut)

Stranger than Paradise (Jim Jarmusch)

Strangers on a Train (Alfred Hitchcock)

Wagon Master (John Ford)

See more directors’ favorite films.
See full article at The Film Stage »

It’s official, the best Oscar year ever is… – watch Jump Cut #4

This week’s Jump Cut is all about determining the best year ever in cinema.

“But how can you figure that out?!” you shout at whatever device you’re reading this on. “Film is too subjective an art form for you to make overarching statements like that!”

That’s a very good point, but you’re overlooking two things: 1) the Oscar best picture nominations, and 2) film ratings on the Internet Movie Database. Both obviously have degrees of subjectivity, but that’s levelled off somewhat with each institution’s sheer number of voters or raters.

So, to work out what year was the best ever for cinema, we’ve taken all the films nominated for each year’s Best Picture Oscar, and then worked out their average IMDb rating. I’ll just point out that these were the ratings as of the week of the 88th Academy Awards on 22nd February
See full article at Flickeringmyth »

Few Top Oscar Contenders on Academy's 2016 Best Song Longlist

Best Song Oscar 2016 contender 'Fifty Shades of Grey,' with Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan. 74 entries in contention for 2016 Best Song Academy Award 'Tis the season for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to announce the semi-finalists – in some instances, the semi-semi-finalists – for the Academy Awards. Today, the Academy released the list of songs eligible for the 2016 Best Song – or rather, Best Original Song – Oscar. There are 74 contenders, with titles ranging from “Happy” and “I'll See You in My Dreams” to “Hypnosis” and “Bhoomiyilenghanumundo.” Curiously, apart from the inevitable animated and/or kiddie flicks (Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Road Chip, Anomalisa, Pan, Shaun the Sheep Movie, Home, The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge out of Water, etc.) most of this year's contenders are songs from smaller movies and Bollywood/South Asian releases. Exceptions include Sam Taylor-Johnson's Fifty Shades of Grey, Ryan Coogler's Creed, Kenneth Branagh's
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Astaire Dances Everywhere Today on TCM

Fred Astaire ca. 1935. Fred Astaire movies: Dancing in the dark, on the ceiling on TCM Aug. 5, '15, is Fred Astaire Day on Turner Classic Movies, as TCM continues with its “Summer Under the Stars” series. Just don't expect any rare Astaire movies, as the actor-singer-dancer's star vehicles – mostly Rko or MGM productions – have been TCM staples since the early days of the cable channel in the mid-'90s. True, Fred Astaire was also featured in smaller, lesser-known fare like Byron Chudnow's The Amazing Dobermans (1976) and Yves Boisset's The Purple Taxi / Un taxi mauve (1977), but neither one can be found on the TCM schedule. (See TCM's Fred Astaire movie schedule further below.) Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musicals Some fans never tire of watching Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers dancing together. With these particular fans in mind, TCM is showing – for the nth time – nine Astaire-Rogers musicals of the '30s,
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Oscar Winner Went All the Way from Wyler to Coppola in Film Career Spanning Half a Century

Teresa Wright and Matt Damon in 'The Rainmaker' Teresa Wright: From Marlon Brando to Matt Damon (See preceding post: "Teresa Wright vs. Samuel Goldwyn: Nasty Falling Out.") "I'd rather have luck than brains!" Teresa Wright was quoted as saying in the early 1950s. That's understandable, considering her post-Samuel Goldwyn choice of movie roles, some of which may have seemed promising on paper.[1] Wright was Marlon Brando's first Hollywood leading lady, but that didn't help her to bounce back following the very public spat with her former boss. After all, The Men was released before Elia Kazan's film version of A Streetcar Named Desire turned Brando into a major international star. Chances are that good film offers were scarce. After Wright's brief 1950 comeback, for the third time in less than a decade she would be gone from the big screen for more than a year.
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Top Tunes: The 10 greatest songs to win an Oscar

  • Cineplex
It’s been 80 years since the Academy handed out the first ever Oscar for Best Original Song and those eight decades have provided the widest possible array of winning numbers.

Six years following the all-silent first Oscar ceremony, musicians were given their chance to win Oscars of their very own. The in-between years saw the roar of The Jazz Singer open the floodgates to the movie musical, culminating in the set-pieces typified by the inaugural Best Song winner, “The Continental” from the Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire vehicle The Gay Divorcee.

However, as the years rolled on different musical styles took their turn providing Oscar’s top tune as well as some songs that emerged from the unlikeliest of films to capture the imagination.

Here is a list of the top 10 Best Song recipients in Oscar history. Please note that these are not necessarily the best stand-alone songs, but a
See full article at Cineplex »

Few Original Song Nominees Come From Best Picture Nominees

By Anjelica Oswald

Managing Editor

On Dec. 12, the Academy released a shortlist of 79 songs in contention for best original song at the 87th Academy Awards, but it’s not so easy to predict which songs will be announced as nominees on Jan. 15. You can’t turn to potential best picture nominees — or best animated features, for that matter — to predict which songs make the final cut. Though a number of best picture nominees have also been nominated for best original song, there’s not much correlation between the two.

The original song category was first introduced at the 7th Annual Academy Awards, and the winner was “The Continental” from 1934’s The Gay Divorcee, also nominated for best picture.

Nineteen of the 80 Oscar-winning songs have come from best picture nominees. They are as follows:

“The Continental” — The Gay Divorcee (1934) “Over the Rainbow” — The Wizard of Oz (1939) “Swinging on a Star” — Going My Way
See full article at Scott Feinberg »

On TCM: Oscar Winner Colbert

Claudette Colbert movies on Turner Classic Movies: From ‘The Smiling Lieutenant’ to TCM premiere ‘Skylark’ (photo: Claudette Colbert and Maurice Chevalier in ‘The Smiling Lieutenant’) Claudette Colbert, the studio era’s perky, independent-minded — and French-born — "all-American" girlfriend (and later all-American wife and mother), is Turner Classic Movies’ star of the day today, August 18, 2014, as TCM continues with its "Summer Under the Stars" film series. Colbert, a surprise Best Actress Academy Award winner for Frank Capra’s 1934 comedy It Happened One Night, was one Paramount’s biggest box office draws for more than decade and Hollywood’s top-paid female star of 1938, with reported earnings of $426,944 — or about $7.21 million in 2014 dollars. (See also: TCM’s Claudette Colbert day in 2011.) Right now, TCM is showing Ernst Lubitsch’s light (but ultimately bittersweet) romantic comedy-musical The Smiling Lieutenant (1931), a Best Picture Academy Award nominee starring Maurice Chevalier as a French-accented Central European lieutenant in
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Stillman and the art of the courteous comedy

His characters are uncool, preppy and full of the self-dramatising melancholy of youth, yet his films are hugely likeable. His latest, Damsels in Distress, continues his peculiar cinematic vision

Every great American film-maker struggles to create their own peculiar vision, just as the studio men struggle to stop them doing so. Yet few visions are quite so peculiar as Whit Stillman's, and few have seemed so marginal to the industry of which they are a part. It's hard to say how much impact his films have had; there have been, for reasons beyond his own control, too few of them. He has succeeded in getting four films made: a comic trilogy set in the 1980s, Metropolitan (1990), Barcelona (1994) and The Last Days of Disco (1998), and now the about-to-be released "campus comedy" Damsels in Distress. On one level it may seem a rather meagre body of work. However, for some, myself included,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Romcoms: end of the affair?

From Fred and Ginger to Jennifer and Ashton, romantic comedies used to be one of the safest bets in Hollywood. But it seems that rom is just not into com any more

Is it the end for the romcom? You can imagine the celebrity mag headlines: "Romcom's relationship on the rocks?" "Com: I'm just not that into Rom" "Rom: Com doesn't make me laugh any more."

After all, who says romance and comedy go together like a horse and carriage? It seems to be a chiselled Hollywood commandment that the two shall be forever conjoined in cinematic matrimony, but perhaps it's time they went their separate ways. Sure, they got off to a great start: in those early years it was all fun and games and sparkling repartee, but recently they haven't quite looked the happy couple; the spark just hasn't been there.

They've been stuck in the same repetitive formula: boy meets girl,
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

The Crowd, Twelve O'Clock High, Bonanza: Packard Campus Jan. 2011 Schedule

Hayao Miyazaki, Gregory Peck, King Vidor, Ingmar Bergman: Packard Campus January 2011 Thursday, January 6 (7:30 p.m.) The Gay Divorcee (Rko, 1934) An unhappily married woman mistakes a suitor for the gigolo hired to end her marriage. Musical, comedy, romance. Directed by Mark Sandrich. With Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Alice Brady, Edward Everett Horton, Erik Rhodes and Eric Blore. Black & White, 107 min. Friday, January 7 (7:30 p.m.) Tron (Disney, 1982) A computer genius falls into the game he's designed and has to fight an evil intelligence he accidentally created. Science Fiction, action, adventure. Directed by Steven Lisberger. With Jeff Bridges, David Warner and Bruce Boxleitner. Color, 96 min. Rated PG. Saturday, January 8 (2:00 p.m.) My Neighbor Totoro (Toho,1988) When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby. Animation, family adventure, fantasy. Directed by Hayao [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Hayao Miyazaki, Gregory Peck, King Vidor, Ingmar Bergman: Packard Campus January 2011

Danny Boyle's Trainspotting stars Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Robert Carlyle, and Kevin McKidd It's too bad I'm posting this a little too late, as the Library of Congress' Packard Campus Theater welcomed the year 2011 with a screening of one of the best Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers musicals, The Gay Divorcee (1934). And screening tonight at 7:30 p.m. — there's still time if you live (very) near Culpeper, Va — is the 1982 original Tron, starring Jeff Bridges and Bruce Boxleitner. [Packard Campus January 2011 schedule.] Also of interest in the upcoming days are My Neighbor Totoro (1988), directed by Hayao Miyazaki, one of the precious few animators out there actually capable of creating magical worlds (sorry, Pixar); John Boorman's Excalibur (1981), a visually stunning retelling of the Arthurian legends; and Ingmar Bergman's cryptic Shame (1968), starring Max von Sydow and Liv Ullmann as an apolitical couple who [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Baby Marie Osborne obituary

She was one of the first Hollywood child stars, often cast as a 'Little Miss Fixit' orphan

There have been child stars in movies since Hollywood was in its infancy, and Baby Marie Osborne, who has died aged 99, was among the very first. She appeared in 29 films (including shorts and features) in five years, from the age of three. But by the age of eight, she was considered over the hill and, like many child stars since, retired from the movies before puberty.

Appearing only in silent films, Osborne satisfied those who believed that children should be seen and not heard, although some of the intertitles indicated that she had a lisp. Only a few of her films still exist, but one of the survivors, Little Mary Sunshine (1916), which is available on DVD, gives a good idea of her precocious talents.

This extremely popular sentimental comedy starred Osborne as the
See full article at The Guardian - Film News »

Top Hat: Ginger Rogers’ Ostrich Feather Dress

In 1935, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers made cinema history with their most successful film partnership, Top Hat. However, it wasn’t Astaire’s headgear that got people talking; it was Rogers’ ostrich feather dress worn in the Oscar-nominated song ‘Cheek to Cheek’.

The fact remains that this is quite possibly the most memorable, beautiful and romantic musical number ever captured on film, and Rogers’ dress contributes to this greatly.

Whenever Astaire and Rogers dance, they are making love without undressing, without even kissing in the majority of their films; “they is angels” remarks unfairly condemned criminal Kofi as he fulfils his dying wish of watching the lovers perform ‘Cheek to Cheek’ in the film The Green Mile (1999).

In this scene, Rogers certainly does look like an angel in her now-famous dress, accessorised only by a glass panel-style bracelet (costume jewellery in enamel or glass was very fashionable in the 1930s
See full article at Clothes on Film »

Review: Sex and the City 2

Sex and the City 2 has a lot going on. The cast is large (so many cameos!), the storylines are many, puns -- and crotch shots -- abound, the budget is sizable, and the movie clocks in at just less than 2.5 hours.  Could the movie have been simpler? Sure, but then it wouldn't be Sex and the City.

The film begins with Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), our narrator, reminiscing about when she met Charlotte (Kristin Davis), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon), and Samantha (Kim Cattrall) in NYC; this is mainly an opportunity to show how the ladies look in 1980s era fashion. From there the story moves to Connecticut, where Anthony and Stanford are getting married by Liza Minnelli (their wedding hall looks like something out of The Gay Divorcee).

Carrie is still getting used to her role as Big's wife, Charlotte's two daughters are overwhelming her (despite the help of her
See full article at Slackerwood »

Ginger Rogers on TCM

Ginger Rogers is Turner Classic Movies‘ Star of the Month of March. Most of the films — perhaps all of them — have been shown on TCM before. So, don’t expect hard-to-find titles such as The Confession, Forever Female, The Groom Wore Spurs, Young Man of Manhattan, Sitting Pretty (1933), A Shriek in the Night, or Harlow (the Carol Lynley version). TCM’s Ginger Rogers salute begins tonight at 5 p.m. Pacific Time with a screening of The Gay Divorcee (above), one of Rogers’ best pairings with Fred Astaire, partly thanks to a top-notch supporting cast that includes Alice Brady, Eric Blore, and Erik Rhodes. That will be followed by the other nine Rogers-Astaire (I know it’s usually the other way around) [...]
See full article at Alt Film Guide »

Filmmaker Robert Wise dies; won four Oscars

Robert Wise, a four-time Academy Award winner whose epic 65-year career ranged from editing Orson Welles' Citizen Kane to directing the quintessential 1960s musical The Sound of Music to launching the first Star Trek film, died Wednesday of heart failure. He was 91. Wise died at UCLA Medical Center, according to family friend Lawrence Mirisch, owner of The Mirisch Agency, a Hollywood talent agency. Wise, who was honored with the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award in 1998, enjoyed a longevity that few filmmakers achieve: His resume ranged from his early work as a sound editor on Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers musicals like The Gay Divorcee to his collaboration as a film editor with Welles on Citizen Kane and The Magnificent Ambersons to his emergence as a director, and later producer, of films as varied as The Day the Earth Stood Still, I Want to Live! and West Side Story, which he co-directed with Jerome Robbins. His filmography covers almost every genre except animation.

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