January 2017


Night Falls Fast

I hold on.

We all hold on in some way or another, grasping at things just beyond our reach, trying to keep everything close when we know in the end that Yeats was right, that things fall apart, the centre can not hold.  But we still hold on.  Because there is nothing better that we have been taught and we all do what we have learned.  And this is what I have learned. (more…)

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If you don't like the 14 noms for La La Land, well suck it. It deserved them all.

If you don’t like the 14 noms for La La Land, well suck it. It deserved them all.

Well, the record has been tied.  And I couldn’t be happier.  It’s a much different year for me, as I have only seen two of the nine Best Picture nominees, but I’m okay with that.  Four more of them come out on DVD in February, so I’ll be mostly caught up by the time of the actual ceremony.

As for the record tying 14 nominations from La La Land?  Well, I’ve been asked already what I think of the film and I’ve been a bit coy, waiting for today, hoping it would tie the record. All About Eve is a great film but got 14 with some Tech nominations that I thought were pretty weak and I am not a fan of Titanic.  What do I think of La La Land?  I think that it’s the second best film of the last decade, behind only Lincoln.  I think, that if you count The Wizard of Oz as a Kids film (which I do), it ranks as the #3 Musical of all-time behind only West Side Story and Singin in the Rain.  That’s how much I love it and I’m about to go see it for a third time.

Now, on to the trivia: (more…)

What Comes Naturally

 

Words are not necessary.  They seldom are.  A noise is enough, a sound, a riff, the strumming of a young Irishman’s hand across the strings of his guitar.  I know the riff, millions have come to know this sound and not just the millions who own the album.  It is a song and the song is called “Where the Streets Have No Name”, a desert song of mythical images that speaks of pain and rain and far off places where love turns to rust and it is the calling card for what Rolling Stone declared the single best album of the 80’s.

One.  That is what the track is.  Fifty is the number of minutes left before the album will be finished.  Three is the number of rooms between mine and Paul’s and one hundred would be the number of miles you would have to be away from this campus before you would be able to escape it at the volume which he has the stereo turned to.  It is more than an opus for the band, it is also the signal for Paul to let loose, to relax, to let himself fall into another world where no problems can reach him.  Most especially me. (more…)

Not exactly a "meet cute". More of a "meet dirty, smelly and cramped".

Not exactly a “meet cute”. More of a “meet dirty, smelly and cramped”.

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. Out of Sight  *
  2. Shakespeare in Love  *
  3. Saving Private Ryan  **
  4. The Big Lebowski
  5. Gods and Monsters  *
  6. The Truman Show
  7. Ringu
  8. Pleasantville
  9. Insomnia
  10. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Analysis:  Only the top 9 are ****.  As is discussed down below, this is not a strong year for great films but it is a very strong year for very good films.
With Out of Sight (NSFC, BSFC wins, BFCA nom) and Gods and Monsters (NBR win, Globe, PGA, BFCA noms) in instead of The Thin Red Line and Life is Beautiful, the Consensus nominees are a lot better than the Oscar nominees.
Out of Sight is a great film, but let’s be fair.  It would have finished 6th in 1996 and fifth in 1997.  The most recent year where it even would have finished second is 1988.  In spite of that, this Top 5 is one point better than 1995. (more…)

What Private Griefs…

is a dream a lie if it don’t come true
b springsteen

kyle

She slides up on the hood of the car, stretching her long tan legs, letting eyes settle in upon her.  I have seen her like this before, remember her sliding the straps of her bikini across her shoulders and letting the straps and then the entire top fall loose upon the dirt before running and diving into the water.  She knows that she is beautiful, drop dead gorgeous, god awful sexy, whatever term you might wish to choose.  Her long dark red hair is pulled behind her in a ponytail and she is dressed to the max as the little summer sex kitten with a black tank top and fairly short khaki shorts.  She might be the most beautiful woman I have ever laid eyes upon.  True to the role I am expected to play, I keep my eyes upon the car.

“This is yours?” Bruce asks.  He stands and stares in amazement as I slowly make my way around the car.  It’s a 1996 Honda Prelude VTEC which has only just come out.  It’s a gorgeous deep red sports car and it matches her perfectly. (more…)

The seven actors that make the 1937 the best year ever for actors.

The seven actors that make the 1937 the best year ever for actors.

Ten Oscars.  That’s how many have been won by the group of seven great actors who were born in the year 1937 and will all be turning 80 this year.

I started thinking about this in December when I was re-reading John le Carre’s The Looking Glass War (which was one of the first starring roles for Anthony Hopkins, over 45 years ago) and Westworld was heading towards its season finale (which stars Hopkins in a great role with a great performance to go along with it).  On December 31, Hopkins will turn 80 years old.  But he’s just part of a year of truly great actors.  I really don’t think there’s a comparable year for actors, or possibly even for other artists. (more…)