Author: Robert Graves
- Published: 1934
- Publisher: Arthur Barker
- Pages: 432
- First Line: “I, Tiberius Claudius Drusus Nero Germanicus This-that-and-the-other (for I shall not trouble you yet with all my titles) who was once, and not so long ago either, known to my friends and relatives and associates as ‘Claudius the Idiot,’ or ‘That Claudius’, or ‘Claudius the Stammerer’, or ‘Clau-Clau-Claudius’ or at best as ‘Poor Uncle Claudius’, am now about to write this strange history of my life; starting from my earliest childhood and continuing year by year until I reach that fateful point of change where, some eight years ago, at the age of fifty-one, I suddenly found myself caught in what I may call the ‘golden predicament’ from which I have never since become disentangled.”
- Last Lines: “What a miraculous fate for a historian! And as you will have seen, I took full advantage of my opportunities. Even the mature historian’s privilege of setting forth conversations of which he knows only the gist is one that I have availed myself of hardly at all.”
- ML Edition: #20; tan cover
- Acclaim: ML Top 100 English Language Novels of the 20th Century #14; TIME 100 Best Novels Since 1923 List; James Tait Black Memorial Prize
- Film Version: 1937 (aborted); 1976 (TV – ****)
- First Read: Late 1998
24 March, 2017
21 March, 2017
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Where Angels Fear to Tread
I want to say it should be funny. Irony is the advanced sort of humor, a dark way of looking at life and finding it funny. Irony is the calling card of the cynics. It just somehow never strikes me as funny.
My best friend is a cynic. My husband is a romantic. Yet, they both adore irony. My husband would argue that’s because they are flip sides of the same coin, that a cynic is just a romantic who has been beaten down enough by life or love to accept certain bitter realities. Or that the romantic hasn’t been beaten down enough. But perhaps that is irony. And I don’t appreciate irony. (more…)
18 March, 2017
You can read more about this year in film here. The Best Picture race is discussed here, with reviews of all the nominees. First there are the categories, followed by all the films with their nominations, then the Globes, where I split the major awards by Drama and Comedy, followed by a few lists at the very end. If there’s a film you expected to see and didn’t, check the very bottom – it might be eligible in a different year. Films in red won the Oscar in that category (or Globe, in the Globes section). Films in blue were nominated. Films (or directors) in olive are links to earlier posts that I don’t want to have show up in blue and be mistaken for a nominee. Films with an asterisk (*) were Consensus nominees (a scale I put together based on the various awards) while those with a double asterisk (**) were the Consensus winners.
I’m listing the top 20 in the categories (because that’s how many **** films there are) but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.
- Best Picture
- The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring *
- The Fabulous Destiny of Amélie Poulain
- Moulin Rouge *
- Mulholland Drive **
- Gosford Park
- In the Bedroom *
- The Royal Tenenbaums
- Vanilla Sky
- Amores Perros
- The Man Who Wasn’t There
- The Others
- Ghost World
- Monster’s Ball
- A.I. Artificial Intelligence
- The Princess and the Warrior
- Black Hawk Down
- The Devil’s Backbone
- Monsters Inc.
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
14 March, 2017
The 74th annual Academy Awards for the film year 2001. The nominations were announced on February 12, 2002 and the awards were held on March 24, 2002.
Best Animated Film: Shrek
- Monsters Inc.
- Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius
Most Surprising Omission: Waking Life
Best Eligible Film Not Nominated: n/a
Rank (out of 15) Among Best Best Animated Film Years: #11
Oscar Score: 100
Alternate Oscar Score: 100
11 March, 2017
Back in 2009, I wrote a series of posts about each of the categories that have awards at the Oscars. I organized it by category because almost all things written about the Oscars group them by years and never discussed the categories as a whole. In 2010, I went back to that series and added the 2009 nominees to the original posts (you can find that original post here, but this post supersedes everything in it). Once I concluded that series (it ran every day from the day of the nominations to the day of the Oscars) I would go on to write a series about all the films ever nominated for Best Picture, writing a review of every nominee because it didn’t seem like anyone had ever done that. When that ended (in early 2013), I went on to other things, including beginning my Nighthawk Awards, my list of my own personal awards from each year. I have been doing that series for four years now and am rapidly approaching the end (if I did as many years in 2017 as I did in 2016, I would finish it this year). So, partially in an effort to put off the end of that series, I am starting this series. This is essentially the same as the Best Picture series, except with the category of Best Animated Film. So now, just before I post each Nighthawk Awards, starting with 2001, I will do a separate piece on the nominees for Best Animated Film. This post is going up after the 2000 post because that was when the Academy finally decided to create this category, probably inspired, in part by the run of great animated films from previous years like Toy Story 2, Princess Mononoke, South Park, The Iron Giant and Chicken Run. Also, with the rise of Pixar, the greater American visibility of Ghibli and new films from Aardman and DreamWorks, there were a lot more animated films out there and they wouldn’t just be giving the award to Disney every year (well, they would be mostly giving the award to Pixar, who was first distributed, then later, owned by Disney, so they actually were pretty much giving it to Disney almost every year), so it was time for the award. (more…)
7 March, 2017
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When I wake up, I find myself alone in the house. This should not be surprising, as I was alone when I fell asleep. The days are beginning to grow longer again and the sun is still bright and high in the sky as it approaches five.
I have somehow stumbled into a life that should not belong to me. This should be his life, going to sleep among the fruits of labor and waking to find an unfinished day beckoning beyond the window.
I’m thinking about the phone call I received before I went to sleep. Would it have been a different conversation if Bruce had been here for the call? Would I have reacted differently? Shouldn’t this be happening to him and not to me? Maybe that’s why I retreated into sleep in the first place. (more…)
4 March, 2017
I have always been a proponent of the idea that I can separate what I think is brilliant from what I personally enjoy. Let’s just look at 2015. I think that Carol and The Revenant were the two best films of the year. But if I’m going to sit and watch a movie from 2015, odds are it will be The Force Awakens (this is borne out by the fact that I’ve seen Carol twice, The Revenant all the way through once and The Force Awakens, at a modest count, 21 times complete plus the final 20 minutes about 15 more).
To that extent, I have finally culled together a list of my 100 Favorite Films, the ones I am most likely to sit still and watch, or at least not change the station if I come across them. They’re not heavy Drama. In fact, when I went through the genres, only one film on the entire list is one that I classify primarily as Drama (Casablanca).
It’s really hard to do this kind of list when you’ve seen as many films as I have (14,000+). I put it together by going through year by year and adding films, and once I hit 100, knocking off the films at the bottom. When I first read Veronica a list of 50 films, I then pointed out that those were the 50 I was about to delete because they didn’t make the list and she was stunned. “But you love those films!” she pointed out. “But I love the Top 100 even more,” I replied. It was very, very tough. Though they are easily two of the greatest directors of all-time if not the two greatest directors of all-time, not a single Kurosawa or Kubrick film ended up on the list. There is no Bergman. There is no David Lean. The Ealing Comedies and the Hammer Horror, both of which I love so much I wrote about them only have one film each. I did For Love of Film posts for James Bond (1 film) and Star Trek (2 films). It’s really, really hard to narrow it all down. (more…)