Tag Archives: academy awards

Link Dump: #91

This week’s kitty is the iconic, vaguely malicious one from Nobuhiko Obayashi’s cult classic Hausu (1977). It’s so cute and fluffy and also a harbinger of weeeeird deadly things to come. Love that kitty. And here are a bunch of links:

And now, some incoherent and/or porn-ish search terms: “hiroshima wet cunt,” “seymour skinner gay porn,” “hh holmesggfrrrrrrr,” “masturbating to malthusian,” “ukraine / pussy lady /nice photos.” People really searched the Internet for all of those things… and somehow found themselves here.

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Oscars ’12 Post Mortem

Before we finally wash the bad taste of this past awards season out of our collective mouth, before we have to think for a few seconds to even remember what Argo was about, here’s a quick breakdown of what looked good and bad from where I sat last night.

Things I Liked

  • Fewer gimmicks! Outside of that protracted Family Guy-style opening, the show saw no real attempts to experiment with format, pay homage to film history without actually paying it homage, play This Is Your Life with the acting nominees, etc. For which I was grateful.
  • A Sound Editing tie. That gave Zero Dark Thirty its only win. And treated us to Mark Wahlberg gasping, “No BS, we have a tie!”
  • Shirley Bassey! Adele! Barbra Streisand! I’m OK with the Oscars turning into a really classy televised concert sometimes.
  • “One Day More” from Les Mis. Infinitely more palatable than how that number was actually staged in Les Mis.
  • Daniel Day-Lewis has jokes. Elaborate Meryl Streep jokes, no less.
  • Ang Lee winning. Especially because snub or no, his filmography > the fuck out of Ben Affleck’s.
  • Michelle Obama?!? was unexpected.

Things I Didn’t Like

  • Seth MacFarlane. His frat bro tone. His “Boobs” song. His bad-because-get-it-they’re-bad-jokes-that’s-the-joke jokes. His gay jokes, Jew jokes, sexist jokes, and especially his Quvenzhané Wallis joke. Fuck him.
  • Rudd and McCarthy flailing. I don’t understand why you’d put two hilarious actors onstage, then not have them say anything funny.
  • Hey, remember Chicago? Or Dreamgirls? Or Les Mis? Because those are the only musicals that matter and we’re going to devote an enormous chunk of time to them.
  • Denzel Washington’s Oscar clip. Hope everyone saw Flight already! Because that was its entire climax.
  • Seth MacFarlane again. He was really just so (predictably) insufferable that he overshadowed most minor quibbles I had with the show. Congratulations, everyone else! You’re off the hook.

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Link Dump: #64

This week’s kitty is from Lev Kuleshov’s wacky Soviet comedy The Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks. And if you think it’s cute, you should see its litter of kittens. It gives birth in a ten gallon hat! So cute. Now here are some links:

We have two pornographic search terms this week. The first is relatively straightforward: “big women that like sex who like animals.” The second, though (and we’ve had many searches for variations on this phrase)… “google two sex women two women love firends lesbian both lesbian gether weddnig pussy pussy is in the moives.” So, yeah.

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Oscars ’11 Post Mortem

Before we all forget about last night and dive head-first into 2012, here are my takeaways from the 84th Academy Awards. First I’ll list off a few tidbits that made me smile, then I’ll bitch to my heart’s content. (If you’re curious, I’ve also reviewed 8/9 of the Best Picture nominees.)

Things I Liked

  • It was quick! Fewer “educational” montages and less pre-award banter meant that this year’s ceremony was just nigh interminable instead of actually interminable.
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’s win for editing. Not only was it deserved, but it was a rare surprise on a night that had about two of them. I would’ve welcomed more variety like that.
  • Brad Pitt gushing about The War of the Gargantuas. To think: this bedrock of my childhood was also, per Wikipedia, this demigod’s “inspiration to go into acting.” Maybe we’re not so different after all!
  • In fact, all of the “my first movie” interstitials. They were candid and fun—i.e., the polar opposite of a typical Oscar segment. And they showcased folks like Gabourey Sidibe and Werner Herzog, so we all win.
  • The women of Bridesmaids. Maya Rudolph cracking dick jokes! Rose Byrne and Melissa McCarthy playing some weird Scorsese-themed drinking game! Can we get them to group-host next year?
  • Michel Hazanavicius’s last words of the night: “I want to thank Billy Wilder, and I want to thank Billy Wilder, and I want to thank Billy Wilder.” This flood of gratitude closed the show out on the highest note possible.

Things I Didn’t Like

  • Billy Crystal. Maybe I’m just in the wrong demographic. I have no built-in fondness for Crystal and don’t remember his prior hosting gigs. But when his jokes weren’t corny, they were tasteless, and they were all punctuated by a self-satisfied chuckle. Not to mention the blackface. I guess his Sammy Davis, Jr. impression is an old SNL thing, but why bring it back now?
  • That fucking “magic of movies” montage. Bad enough to have a montage with no point beyond “um, movies?”; even worse when the choices are so arbitrary. It had clips from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s (favoring Best Picture winners), plus Twilight and The Hangover, and stretched back no further than 1969’s Midnight Cowboy. The lesson? The Academy’s fine with saluting pre-1970 film history, but only when it’s wrapped up in a cute little pastiche.
  • The Cirque du Soleil, whose performance had something to do with North by Northwest, I guess? Anyway, it ended up being a few more wasted telecast minutes.
  • That goddamn theme from The Artist. I’m already not a huge fan of Ludovic Bource’s Oscar-winning score, but hearing a piece of it repeated—with its implicit message of “Silent movies are kooky!”—every time an Artist team member won became grating. I get it already! They were kooky!
  • Meryl over Viola. I love Meryl. Love her in Death Becomes Her, Adaptation., “Bart’s Girlfriend,” etc. But she’s a one-woman awards dynasty. She isn’t “due” (she already won Best Actress in 1982, for chrissake) and she doesn’t need the career bump. Viola Davis, meanwhile, is a 46-year-old black woman who’s received only a handful of substantial screen parts in her lifetime. Winning would’ve made her the second woman of color to receive the award ever. So basically, fuck the Oscar electorate. Fuck them so hard.

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Link Dump: #59

This week’s kitty comes from the mental illness drama Girl, Interrupted. Its owner hangs herself, but HEY kitty! It’s also my birthday, so it’s especially cool that I get to spend it thinking about kitties, movies, and some great links…

Finally, we have a pair of amusing search terms: “most tasteless house warming present,” which would be what, a swastika doormat? And “is disney making a movie about lesbian princesses,” the answer to which is pretty obvious. (It’s “no.” What, do you think we’re living in the 21st century or something?)

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Oscar Contenders Round-up

Oscar nominations drop in less than a week. Yes, awards season is heavy upon us, with all its implicit fun and horror! I’ve already reviewed three big Oscar players—The Tree of Life (love), The Help (hate), and Midnight in Paris (eh)—but have yet to touch on the season’s other talked-about titles. The following is my attempt to rectify that:

The Artist. I was delighted by the cuteness and chemistry of Jean Dujardin and Bérénice Bejo, who give a spry pair of performances attuned to the film’s silence. And writer/director Michel Hazanavicius has an eye for visual gags, which dot the film: the dancing legs, the take-after-take courtship, the ascension of Peppy’s name, etc., etc. But The Artist never really coheres, coming across more as a set-piece variety hour than a fleshed-out feature film. Its tragedies, when they arrive, don’t stick—Dujardin’s alcoholism and depression always seem to have a wry smile lurking beneath them, and a climactic suicide attempt is punctuated by a joke. The film’s story is all but an afterthought, schematically stitching Singin’ in the Rain onto A Star Is Born.

Guillaume Schiffman’s gleaming photography gorgeously invokes the memory of “classical Hollywood,” but to what end? The film never really gets beyond the shock of its own retro-novelty, preferring to be vaguely about the idea of “silent movies” rather than any historically real silent cinema.* (This meta-silence explains its “Dream Factory” Hollywood setting, which could’ve been constructed from issues of Photoplay.) When it does make concrete allusions (to Citizen Kane and, infamously, Vertigo), they’re hollow and don’t fit their contexts. The Artist suggests the gist of silent movies (i.e., “they didn’t talk”) but doesn’t follow through; it’s very limited in outlook and execution. Kudos, certainly, to Hazanavicius and company for merely making a functional latter-day silent movie. I just wish they’d made more than a broad pastiche that teeters toward “They don’t make ’em like they used to!” pandering. Well, at least the dog’s cute.

*Hazanavicius himself seems strangely misinformed about 1920s filmmaking. In one interview, he claimed that under the Hays Code, “People don’t kiss, there isn’t any kissing in my movie, the dancing scenes are the love scenes.” I’m really curious where he got the impression that no kissing signifies “an American way to tell a story.”

Next: Hugo, The Descendants, War Horse, and Moneyball.

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Link Dump: #49

You know a horror cliché that I just love? When animals hiss at people who they just know are going to transform into monsters. Kitties, especially, seem to have a sixth kitty sense about these things. For example: the kitty above, hissing and clawing at Henry Hull just before he changes into Werewolf of London‘s titular lycanthrope. Keep at it, awesome kitty! And now, links:

  • The reliably excellent Roderick Heath of Ferdy on Films writes about MST3K’s Manos: The Hands of Fate episode.
  • Jonathan Rosenbaum objects to Pauline Kael’s Raising Kane while the New Yorker picks five essential Kael reviews.
  • Mark Harris names three stupid Oscar rules. (And when it comes to stupid, inconsistent, counterproductive Oscar rules, this is just the tip of the iceberg.)
  • If you want to read the text of the frivolous Drive lawsuit, you can do so here. It actually reads more like a bad essay out of Film History 101. Highlights include the following:

“Virtually no film critics described in any detail, if even mentioned, the allegorical nature of DRIVE, despite the importance of allegory in DRIVE. This is for inexplicable reasons.”

Well, we have a clear winner out of the past week’s search terms, and it’s “betty boops pussy on fire.” Yeahhh.

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