A Century of Film

Kids Filmsozgang


The Genre

For a lot of people, Kids films mean Animated films.  Perhaps part of the problem is that I really should re-name the genre to Family Films, which I probably would if it didn’t mean making changes in so many different spreadsheets.  “Kids” implies it’s only for children and a lot of these films are only for children (and really shouldn’t even be for them because they’re so insipid) whereas “Family” opens up the notion to films that are good for kids, that kids can enjoy, but really are also aimed at the whole family where adults can also enjoy them.  That would make people stop thinking just “animated” and open things up to films like The Wizard of Oz, Miracle on 34th Street, The Muppet Movie or Babe.

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A Century of Filmfantasia

Animated Film

Of all the categories that the Academy took too long to recognize (like Costume Design or Makeup), this is the most excusable.  It would not be until 1941 that there are even multiple feature length animated films, there aren’t five until 1970 and there aren’t really enough to justify a category until the early 80s.  The awards groups probably should have jumped on things earlier like the LAFC (1989) and Annies (1991) did but they didn’t wait way too long like they did with Costume Design and Makeup.

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This is the 9th part of the Top 1000 list.  The introduction can be found here.  Films #600-571 are a 90 and the rest are a 91 which are both low level ****. (more…)

Screen Shot 2020-11-14 at 11.39.57 AMAll of these films except the last one is an 88.  The last one is an 89.  All are low ****.  The introduction is here. (more…)

This is the next batch of 50 in my countdown of the Top 1000 films through 2011 (the first century of film).  Down through Last Year at Marienbad, they all earn an 87, which is the highest ***.5, or just short of being a great film.  From #829 on to the end of this list they all earn an 88 which is the lowest rating which earns **** (and thus gets called a great film).  You should probably look at the introduction first.  Your best bet for finding previous groups of 50 is to click here.

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The Year in Box Office

2019

note:  There were some things I meant to put in the post that I forgot.  They are added at the end.

As may be obvious, I have become greatly interested in box office results lately, noting in the last several Adapted Screenplay posts the highest grossing adapted films I haven’t seen for the year.  I have also put a lot of Box Office Mojo’s information into spreadsheets, which is doubly good, since, first, they became a bunch of dicks and put a lot of stuff behind a paywall (fuck you Bezos) and second, because I make a lot more use of it than they did anyway.

One of the bizarre things they have done now is that all of their yearly results initially list the calendar year.  Who has ever wanted that?  Who wants to look at 2015 and see that Force Awakens grossed just short of what Jurassic World grossed simply because of how late in the year it was released?  It’s a stupid default setting.  I don’t deal with that shit.  These are all based off the release date, not the calendar year of when grosses were accumulated.

It seems safe now to run this list now that COVID-19 has pretty much decimated the movie theater industry and brought box office to a virtual standstill, which means I can be pretty confident that nothing on this list will change much, if at all. (more…)

“The air was white, and when they alighted it tasted like cold pennies.  At times they passed through a clot of grey.  Mrs. Wilcox’s vitality was low that morning, and it was Margaret who decided on a horse for this little girl, a golliwog for that, for the rector’s wife a copper warming-tray.”  (p 60, Norton Critical Edition)

My Top 10

  1. Howards End
  2. The Player
  3. The Last of the Mohicans
  4. A Few Good Men
  5. Flirting
  6. Glengarry Glen Ross
  7. Raise the Red Lantern
  8. Enchanted April
  9. Aladdin
  10. A River Runs Through It

note:  The list goes well past 10 as listed below though none of the other films on my list earned nominations (so they’re all in the top list at the bottom) and the rest of the list is all fairly weak.

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“She stood again in front of Lecter’s cell and saw the rare spectacle of the doctor agitated.  She knew that he could smell it on her.  He could smell everything.”  (p 25)

My Top 10

  1. The Silence of the Lambs
  2. JFK
  3. The Commitments
  4. Beauty and the Beast
  5. Europa Europa
  6. The Indian Runner
  7. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead
  8. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
  9. My Own Private Idaho
  10. Fried Green Tomatoes

note:  Down at the bottom are the other films in my list which don’t make the Top 10 but the list is much shorter than the year before (even accounting for the fact that one of them, The Prince of Tides, is reviewed because of award nominations).  This is one of those years where the Original screenplays are fantastic and Adapted aren’t nearly as strong (certainly after the Top 5).

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“Now the narrow neck of sand where Shaw was buried with his men is washed by Atlantic storms. St. Gaudens’s monument to Shaw and his men marks a place where the Colonel and his regiment passed by on their way to war.” (p 147)

My Top 10

  1. Glory
  2. Field of Dreams
  3. Born on the Fourth of July
  4. Henry V
  5. My Left Foot
  6. The Little Mermaid
  7. Enemies, a Love Story
  8. Drugstore Cowboy
  9. Batman
  10. Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

note:  A fantastic Top 5 and Top 10 which is pretty much the case for any category in this year.  There’s also some irony to note here in that this is the Adapted Screenplay post but I used to own the novelization of two of these films (although it should be pretty obvious which two).

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A Century of Film
Original Song

Like with score, the first awards for such film music came in 1934 when the two categories were added at the Academy Awards.  Unlike with Score, where they seemed to be confusion for quite a while over what qualified, the Oscars from the start tried to limit this category to songs that were written for the film in which they appeared.  This would be more stringent than what the Golden Globes would eventually do, after finally getting started in this category in 1961 and much more so than the BAFTAs which only tried a false-start with such a category and then gave up after just a few years.

Various rules and machinations over the years made the category confusing.  For years, the Oscars allowed every studio to submit a song (and automatically receive a nomination) but that also meant that studios were limited to the one nomination (and thus films were as well).  The Oscars would later have different rules about how many songs from a film could be eligible and when they had to play in the film while the Globes would have no such rules.  Also, because of the rule on original songs, people would often be confused, with some people thinking that a film like Casablanca or Singin’ in the Rain should have earned an Oscar for a song that had existed for years.

For my own rules, I have tried, with some variations, to stick to the Oscar concept.  That means I try to find films in which a song is written for the film that contains both original music (ruling out any song that is new but uses an old tune) and lyrics (ruling out a song like “The Ground Beneath Her Feet” in which the lyrics were from the novel even if the music was new).  For the most part, I have tried to rely on the old oscars.org database which listed songs in various years but that database sometimes listed ineligible songs and sometimes didn’t list songs that actually earned nominations.  In some cases, I have gone with what I know or at least suspect to be the case.

My own list limits itself to five songs in a film only because my Top 5 only has room for five.  But I don’t care which songs were Oscar submitted in determining my own five.

I will also go ahead and point out my posts on the Top 250 songs of both the 80’s and the 90’s, each of which include several songs that earn Nighthawk wins or nominations.  Those posts will go into depth on each song listed.

My Top 5 Original Songs in Film History:

  1. “Over the Rainbow”, The Wizard of Oz, 1939
  2. “The Rainbow Connection, The Muppet Movie, 1979
  3. “Help”, Help!, 1965
  4. “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious”, Mary Poppins, 1964
  5. “A Hard Day’s Night”, A Hard Day’s Night, 1964

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