Uncle John

John and his soon to be-wife Susannah.

Uncle John #1 is gettin' hitched.

Uncle John #1 is gettin’ hitched.

Well, I don’t have the next Nighthawk Awards post done.  Nor do I have the next Adapted Screenplay post even close to done, which is why I pushed up the next Great Reads post, which I had wanted to do closer to 1987, when the film is listed in the Nighthawk Awards.

And, now we’re off to Oregon for the rest of the week.  Our best friend, John is getting married up by Mt. Saint Helens, so we’re hoping it doesn’t decide to erupt.  John spent the entire weekend at the hospital with us when Thomas was born, getting some sleep on the couches and he was part of our wedding ceremony.  So, returning the favor, Thomas is going to be his ringbearer, which means of course we’ll be dressing Thomas up like Frodo for the ceremony.  Do you think I’m kidding?  More importantly, does John think I’m kidding?

John providing some very needed balance.

John providing some very needed balance.

Anyway, we’re off on an early flight and we won’t be back until next week, so hopefully at some point I’ll get to the next posts.  In the meantime, I’m off to Powells to buy me some books and Del Taco to have some del classic chicken burritos.  Oh, and family, friends, all that stuff too.

Dubliners

  • The short story collection to top them all.

    The short story collection to top them all.

    Author:  James Joyce

  • Published:  1914
  • Publisher:  Grant Richards Ltd
  • Pages:  182
  • First Line:  “There was no hope for him this time: it was the third stroke.”
  • Last Line:  “His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.”
  • ML Edition:  #124  (seven different dust jackets); gold dust jacket
  • Film:  1987  (**** – dir. John Huston)
  • First Read:  early 1993

(more…)

The greatest musical talent in history burns himself up.

The greatest musical talent in history burns himself up.

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 10 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Amadeus  **
  2. A Passage to India  *
  3. The Killing Fields  *
  4. This is Spinal Tap
  5. Under the Volcano
  6. Ghostbusters
  7. Broadway Danny Rose
  8. Once Upon a Time in America
  9. The Cotton Club
  10. Gremlins

(more…)

Revisiting Childhood Movies Part XVII:

A Nightmare on Elm Street

  • It's all fun and games until Freddy Kruger kills you in your sleep.

    It’s all fun and games until Freddy Kruger kills you in your sleep.

    Director:  Wes Craven

  • Writer:  Wes Craven
  • Producer:  Robert Shaye
  • Stars:  Heather Langenkamp, Robert Englund, Johnny Depp, Ronee Blakely
  • Studio:  New Line
  • Award Nominations:  none that I track
  • Length:  91 min
  • Genre:  Horror (Slasher)
  • MPAA Rating:  R
  • Release Date:  9 November 1984
  • Box Office Gross:  $25.50 mil  (#40 – 1984)
  • My Rating:  ***
  • My Rank:  #28  (year)
  • Nighthawk Nominations:  none
  • Nighthawk Notables:  none
  • First Watched:  1987 or so
  • Number of Times Watched as a Kid:  2 or 3

As a Kid:  This film pretty much scared the crap out of me.  It wasn’t the worst movie I ever dealt with (I watched The Hitcher at one in the morning alone – that was a mistake) but it was genuinely terrifying.  And yet, I watched it more than once.  Why?  Well, because I knew it was well-made.  The director clearly had some talent, and he used that to great effect.  I wasn’t quite certain why it had scared me so much – perhaps that I never liked to sleep to begin with (I had nightmares a lot as a kid) and this film is designed to make you scared of sleeping.  Perhaps because the killer was unreal in a sense, and that made him more frightening than someone like Michael Myers.  Either way, this was one of the few non-Godzilla Horror films that I watched more than once as a kid. (more…)

Whether you go with the 3 hour theatrical release or the 6 hour television version, Fanny and Alexander is the best film of the year.

Whether you go with the 3 hour theatrical release or the 6 hour television version, Fanny and Alexander is the best film of the year.

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 10 in the categories but only the top 5 earn Nighthawk nominations.

Nighthawk Awards:

  • Best Picture
  1. Fanny & Alexander  *
  2. Terms of Endearment  **
  3. The Big Chill
  4. Zelig
  5. The Right Stuff
  6. Betrayal
  7. Star Wars Episode VI: The Return of the Jedi
  8. Educating Rita  *
  9. Miss Europe
  10. Danton

(more…)

inside-out-14In mid-January, on the day the Oscars were announced, I wrote a piece about the Oscar nominations.  In response to a comment on that piece, I listed Inside Out as my #6 film of the year.  A month and a half later, when I published my Year in Film, it was listed at #3 for the year.  What happened in between?  Well, Starz happened in between, as it started airing Inside Out the weekend of the Oscars.  Since it kept coming on and it’s something we’re definitely okay with Thomas watching, we kept putting it on.  The more I watched it, the more I found myself moved by it.  It wasn’t the moment that everyone talks about either, the moment when Bing-Bong sacrifices himself so that Joy can make it back, so that Riley can be saved.  It’s the end of the film, when the emotions can’t seem to bring Riley back, when she’s losing the capacity to feel anything at all. (more…)

Garcia Marquez isn't the only South American who can write a fantastic magical realism novel.

Garcia Marquez isn’t the only South American who can write a fantastic magical realism novel.

The House of the Spirits (La casa de los espíritus)

  • Author:  Isabel Allende  (b. 1942)
  • Published:  1982  /  1985  (English tran.)
  • Publisher:  Plaza & Janés, S.A.
  • Pages:  433
  • First Line:  “Barrabás came to us by the sea, the child Clara wrote in her delicate calligraphy.”
  • Last Line:  “It begins like this: Barrabás came to us by the sea.”
  • Awards:  Panorama Literario
  • Film:  1994  (**)
  • First Read:  Fall 2000

The Novel:  When I first started at Powells, I was living in Beaverton and commuting into Portland on the Max.  That gave me a lot of time to read, and I was employed by the largest bookstore in the world.  So I made a list.  It was a mixture of a variety of books – some were books I had seen the film of, some were finishing off authors whose other books I had already read and some were award winners I felt the need to read.  I don’t remember all of the books on the list, but some of them come back to me vividly, as I remember reading them while on the Max, or walking through the streets of Northwest to the Max.  This is one of those books. (more…)

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