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The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

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The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Old 02-25-13, 06:57 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

I fell off jn the challenge... I mean I watched a lot of re nominated films this year which made the awards a better watch IMO, but I only got a couple classics in and missed my goals...
Old 02-25-13, 08:11 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Life came up, so I missed the awards show last night, and didn't hear that Argo won till this morning on the news.
Old 02-25-13, 08:22 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
So, with ARGO's win, I have yet another to add to my list of unseen Best Picture winners.
There's always next year!

I wondered early on - shortly after realising that between my own discs (and many of those temporarily unavailable), Amazon and the library that I could not get ahold of them all - whether only watching all 84/85*/86** (or so) Best Pictures would complete the checklist... I might still look into it, but I think it might. Which would be an interesting sub-challenge.

(Although for most normal people watching 80 films in a month is untenable.)


*Argo
**Sunrise
Old 02-25-13, 09:14 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Unable to find Two Arabian Knights anywhere, and The Jazz Singer locally, I abandoned my vague attempt to watch the entirety* of the winners from the first ceremony, and I'm not sure if I ever had more than the slightest of thoughts to try and watch something from every ceremony/year, although I came mildly close.

I did manage to watch every Disney Short Animated film that won - or was nominated - up to Aquamania (1961), and found almost-all of them to be very well done, rather than seeing a particular progression of quality (as I'd expected). Yesterday the highlight there was Noah's Ark which was oddly compelling and surprisingly full of reasonably-catchy songs!

I made a valiant attempt to not only complete the checklist, but also to complete a super-list of every category that had ever existed. (I considered attempting every variant wording, but when I listed the different wordings just for one category - Sound - I thought it might not be worth worrying overmuch, although I did quite well.) And I completed much of it.

I also saw Broadway Melody and The Great Ziegfeld yesterday, and enjoyed them both to a point. Naturally the former was more showcase than film (and seeing not only many songs that would turn up in Singin' in the Rain but also many costume choices and dance numbers/moves(!) was a real treat, and heightens my already-lofty appreciation of Rain), and the latter was far too long. Also, I'm very slightly surprised that it's classified as a full "Musical," since there's relatively few songs - and all that there are are stage numbers sung on stage. It's a biopic that features music because it's a biopic of an important musical figure. Oh well, that may be splitting hairs.

I also either hit it right on the nose or came one short of watching a quarter of the Best Picture winners: 21. (I had thought myself into thinking that A Farewell to Arms won, too.) And - without any specific knowledge of some of their competition - feel quite reassured that winners often do win.

There were several films that I would not have thought I would have enjoyed that I did (Mrs. Miniver at the top of that mini-list, Crash, Grand Hotel, Anatomy of a Murder... others), and one or two that I thought I would and did not (Alice in Wonderland (1951), The King and I and Gigi broadly fall into that category, although none was awful, just a bit disappointing). 1941 was a mess, though.

As always, I ran out of time without watching dozens of films that I'd either located - Amazon and (surprisingly) the Library - or dug out of my own collection. One in particular (Hugo) I completely forgot about, and might watch in this no-man's land before AACM begins, since I've already drafted more than I can watch for March...

Similarly, I actually went out and tracked down a couple of "Academy Award Winners" boxsets specifically for the Challenge, but with the exception of the Warner Musicals (which I saw all five of - with American in Paris on Amazon), wound up ignoring them all in favour of other things, mostly streaming! So I missed re-watching Silence of the Lambs - although I saw it in October - and with it a winner of the 'Big Five'. And Marty which was specifically recommended back during the Criterion Challenge. I may try and watch Marty in the next under-week, too...

Final scatter-thoughts

Pleasant not-really-a-surprise: My Fair Lady is better than I remembered.
Pleasant musical surprise: Hello Dolly!
Any challengers to Singin' and Mary Poppins... not really.
New appreciation for the cameos in Around the World in 80 Days.
Qualified disappointment in Adventures of Tintin - too many unnecessary additions; not the voices I heard when reading the books; still don't like rotoscoping (although live might have been worse)
I liked Marlene and Exit Through the Gift Shop.
I think I was confusing Crash in my mind with something completely different, because it was not all the film I imagined reading about. But it was very good.
I realised that I'd probably never seen all of Fantasia, because it was a LOT longer than I thought, and with very many more parts than I'd thought.
Alice (2010) was better than I expected. Cinderella much different than I'd been reading recently.



*Bar, of course, the lost one (or two).
Old 02-25-13, 10:40 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Didn't watch the show, as usual.

Thinking back on The Little Mermaid, the story could also be looked at as a girl empowering herself to make her own choices and not follow the cultural rules that she lives under. She stands up to her father, the freaking king, and makes her own choices about who to love. She chooses to get with someone outside her species instead of staying with her own monsters. She also makes the big jump to live in a completely new land, in a completely new culture with people that aren't like her. She's ignoring her monstrous societal rules and chooses what she wants to be happy. She's loving who she wants, forbidden or not.

How many people here can say that's easy for someone to do? Why is it wrong that people want to attack her for choosing what she wants to do? If she was really this weak monster that does what the males of her species wants, she would have stayed home, married who her father and the rest of her society tells her to, and she'd be forever unhappy.

I think it's rather oppressive, what some people think, complaining about who she loves and wants to do.
Old 02-25-13, 02:36 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Watched the show & (Just) finalized my list. A good feeling to finally have seen a Best Pic winner at the theater (Last one for me was No Country...)

Best/Favorite movies I saw for the first time:
A Separation (The Absolute best film I saw)
The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean
La vie en rose
Journey of Hope
The Descendants
In the Bedroom
Pennies from Heaven
The Queen
In the Valley of Elah


Disappointments:
The Razor's Edge
Bang the Drum Slowly
Investigation of a Citizen Above Suspicion
(Most likely would have liked it more if it wasn't dubbed)

Surprised that I liked:
Our Town
War Horse
The Good Earth
The Nun's Story
Flying Down to Rio


Looking forward trying the checklist next time!
Old 02-25-13, 04:17 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

My last movie for this challenge was The Artist, which I finished about half an hour before the Academy Awards last night. From my Letterboxd diary:
Spoiler:
This was on my radar last year during its limited theatrical run because I was drawn to the novel concept behind it. I've been dabbling in films from the silent era the last few years. Alas, last January was kind of a rough month for me and I missed it. I happily discovered the library has it on DVD, though, so I was finally able to see it.

It's a delightful love letter to the twilight of the silent era and the dawn of the talkies, and I was completely smitten with Bérénice Bejo as Peppy Miller. She lit up the screen in every frame in which she appeared, and I missed her any time she was absent from the screen.

I also thoroughly enjoyed Ludovic Bource's score, which feels authentic for the picture while also managing to not feel like an imitation of past works. It's not nearly as easy as a lot of people seem to think it is to recreate the aesthetics of the past, but Bource nailed it with his score here.

The award for Easiest Screen Credit to Earn, Ever has to go to Malcolm McDowell for his one scene here in which all he did was sit beside Bérénice Bejo and smile at her newspaper. For that, he merited being fifth on the poster's cast credits? Nice work if you can get it! (I'd happily sit beside Bejo and smile at whatever she wanted to show me, without any credit at all.)

I knew long before seeing the film that it wasn't 100% silent and that Jean Dujardin did speak at the very end, though I didn't know what he said or in what context. There's a scene about half an hour or so into the film where George has a nightmare about sound, and we hear sound effects - even the dog barking and laughter from passing women - but he is incapable of uttering a sound. I understand the narrative significance of the scene, undermining how threatened George feels about talkies and not having a place in them, but all the same that took me out of the film. Part of that, I'm sure, is that I already knew there would be some sound in the film and that scene made me too conscious about it.

The Artist entered my Flickchart at #424/1488

The Artist
84th Academy Awards (2011)
(W) ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE -- Jean Dujardin {"George Valentin"}
(N) ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE -- Bérénice Bejo {"Peppy Miller"}
(N) ART DIRECTION -- Production Design: Laurence Bennett; Set Decoration: Robert Gould
(N) CINEMATOGRAPHY -- Guillaume Schiffman
(W) COSTUME DESIGN -- Mark Bridges
(W) DIRECTING -- Michel Hazanavicius
(N) FILM EDITING -- Anne-Sophie Bion and Michel Hazanavicius
(W) MUSIC (Original Score) -- Ludovic Bource
(W) BEST PICTURE -- Thomas Langmann, Producer
(N) WRITING (Original Screenplay) -- Written by Michel Hazanavicius
Old 02-25-13, 05:53 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by Mondo Kane
Best/Favorite movies I saw for the first time:
A Separation (The Absolute best film I saw)
I've been trying to turn people on to this movie, left and right!
Old 02-25-13, 08:33 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

I was in Best Buy tonight and found a Warner Bros. box set of 20 Best Picture winners, including two I'd never seen and had no copies of (THE BROADWAY MELODY, DRIVING MISS DAISY), and five I wanted on DVD but didn't already have (GONE WITH THE WIND, THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, UNFORGIVEN). Under the circumstances, I thought the price was reasonable ($69.99). Too bad I didn't see it sooner.
Old 02-25-13, 10:22 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Looking Back

Don't tell any of our TV on DVD* or Historical Appreciation Challenge participants, but this and Criterion are my two favorites. I think what I like most is that each eligible selection I watch brings me closer to reaching a finite (if growing) goal. Last year, I concentrated almost exclusively on nominees from the 74th Academy Awards (for the 2001 year), which gave me a better understanding of that year's pool. I really enjoyed that as it gave me a better sense of what qualities in each nominee would have stood out to that year's voters. I briefly considered trying to finish off 2001 this year, or maybe selecting another given year and trying to gorge on its nominees. Ultimately, though, I elected to primarily just go through movies I'd been meaning to watch, or re-watch.

I hadn't seen A.I. Artificial Intelligence since it opened in theaters more than 12 years ago, or Dances with Wolves since it was shown to my U.S. History class my sophomore year of high school (1994-1995). It was interesting to me to contrast the two; I caught quite a lot more about A.I. that I appreciated this time than I saw the first time, whereas Dances with Wolves felt as familiar to me as some of the movies I've watched ad infinitum over the years...such as Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, which I finally got to see on the big screen. It was every bit as satisfying as I had hoped it would be.

From my first-time viewings, I really enjoyed Amarcord, which made my third-ever Fellini film. It was perfect for watching in the middle of the night, I found. I saw not just one, but two films starring Claudette Colbert: Imitation of Life, which I kind of liked but also made me cringe, and It Happened One Night. I fell in love with that one and now especially regret not going to see it at The Louisville Palace last summer. Colbert lights up the screen and she seems quite warm and sincere in the way that movie stars are supposed to be. I'll certainly be making a concentrated effort to explore her filmography from now on.

The final movie I watched this year was last year's Best Picture: The Artist. I thoroughly enjoyed it, particularly as I've begun exploring silent films in the last few years. I became instantly smitten with Bérénice Bejo as Peppy Miller. Like Claudette Colbert, she was charismatic and irresistible, and I'll be making a point to see more of her work.

I failed to complete the checklist (again), in large part because I wasted all of this past Saturday. By the time I was going to start watching something, I was invited to hang out with some friends and I was there till after midnight. It was the right choice to make, of course and I don't regret it in the least, but it did make it mathematically impossible for me to finish the checklist on the last day without squeezing in several movies and passing on the awards ceremony telecast. And to think, I'd made a point to knock out the short film and documentary categories early so as to avoid being snagged by those at the end...!

Ranked List of Viewings
(#X) = Present Rank on Flickchart | [SF] = short film | [1] = first time viewing
Spoiler:
  1. Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (#5/1488)
  2. Glory (#11/1488)
  3. Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves (#35/1488)
  4. Up in the Air (#52/1488)
  5. Dances with Wolves (#66/1488)
  6. Amarcord [1] (#77/1488)
  7. Bambi (#78/1488)
  8. The Incredibles (#90/1488)
  9. It Happened One Night [1] (#158/1488)
  10. All Quiet on the Western Front [1] (#178/1488)
  11. The Treasure of the Sierra Madre [1] (#179/1488)
  12. L.A. Confidential (#226/1488)
  13. The Odd Couple (#232/1488)
  14. Ed Wood (#236/1488)
  15. Fait d'Hiver [Gridlock] [SF] [1] (#244/1488)
  16. A.I. Artificial Intelligence (#369/1488)
  17. The Artist [1] (#424/1488)
  18. Munich [1] (#475/1488)
  19. Bowling for Columbine (#566/1488)
  20. Venus [1] (#625/1488)
  21. Das Rad [The Rocks] [SF] [1] (#635/1488)
  22. J'Attendrai le suivant... [I'll Wait for the Next One] [SF] [1] (#696/1488)
  23. Der Er En Yndig Mand [This Charming Man] [SF] (#699/1488)
  24. Searching for Sugar Man [1] (#971/1488)
  25. Katedra [The Cathedral] [SF] [1] (#984/1488)
  26. The Old Mill [SF] [1] (#1010/1488)
  27. Atama-yama [Mount Head][SF] [1] (#1030/1488)
  28. Men Against the Arctic [SF] [1] (#1045/1488)
  29. Imitation of Life [1] (#1259/1488)
  30. Inja [Dog] [SF] [1] (#1291/1488)
  31. The ChubbChubbs! [SF] (#1416/1488)
  32. Mike's New Car [SF] (#1428/1488)
Old 02-26-13, 04:29 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Where's the checklist? I couldn't find it in either thread, list or discussion. If it's in one of those threads, can someone tell me which thread and what number post it is?

Thanks.
Old 02-26-13, 10:59 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
Where's the checklist? I couldn't find it in either thread, list or discussion. If it's in one of those threads, can someone tell me which thread and what number post it is?

Thanks.
It's the same checklist we use every year. You can swipe it from my list post (link in sig), though you'll obviously need to delete my data.
Old 02-26-13, 11:51 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

It's at the bottom of the first post from this thread under "Spoiler".
Old 02-26-13, 02:03 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by Mister Peepers
Didn't watch the show, as usual.
I don't think you missed much... I missed the opening (and hence the most egregious "hilarious" sexist moment(s)), but the rest was not terribly memorable. A lot of presumed-winners won - deservedly, but it's a bit less interesting - and Mr MacFarlane was not a particularly comfortable-looking or good host.

Originally Posted by Mister Peepers
Thinking back on The Little Mermaid, the story could also be looked at as a girl empowering herself to make her own choices and not follow the cultural rules that she lives under. She stands up to her father, the freaking king, and makes her own choices about who to love. She chooses to get with someone outside her species instead of staying with her own monsters. She also makes the big jump to live in a completely new land, in a completely new culture with people that aren't like her. She's ignoring her monstrous societal rules and chooses what she wants to be happy. She's loving who she wants, forbidden or not.

How many people here can say that's easy for someone to do? Why is it wrong that people want to attack her for choosing what she wants to do? If she was really this weak monster that does what the males of her species wants, she would have stayed home, married who her father and the rest of her society tells her to, and she'd be forever unhappy.

I think it's rather oppressive, what some people think, complaining about who she loves and wants to do.
Marvellous! I'm looking forward to this being Blu-ed soon, and then I can (re-?)watch it and see what I think...
Old 02-26-13, 02:06 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by Ash Ketchum
I was in Best Buy tonight and found a Warner Bros. box set of 20 Best Picture winners, including two I'd never seen and had no copies of (THE BROADWAY MELODY, DRIVING MISS DAISY), and five I wanted on DVD but didn't already have (GONE WITH THE WIND, THE BEST YEARS OF OUR LIVES, AN AMERICAN IN PARIS, AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS, UNFORGIVEN). Under the circumstances, I thought the price was reasonable ($69.99). Too bad I didn't see it sooner.
Hmmm.... that's tempting. I really want the 100 film box, but I doubt I can afford it.

Do you know if it's 20 films/20 discs, or do some of them have more than one...? (80 Days, for instance.)
Old 02-26-13, 02:10 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

I was going through the checklist, and actually checking it, yesterday... and realised that I saw Rashomon (Best Foreign) at some point, and completely forgot to add it to the daily list. Oh well. I'll mention it somewhere. It was interesting, and although I really already knew most of what was happening and going to happen, it was nice to see how it fit together.
Old 02-26-13, 02:58 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

I managed to reach all three of my goals for the challenge: watched 100 films, finished the checklist without using duplicates, and watched at least 30 new titles (ended up watching 42 new titles).
My favs were, in no particular order:

A Separation, The Reivers, The Invisible War (which I didn't enjoy per se but it was a damn effective film) and Claudine.

Loved the discussions in the thread and had a great time.
Old 02-26-13, 03:13 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by orlmac
It's at the bottom of the first post from this thread under "Spoiler".
Found it, thanks.

I just noticed that the see-a-film-from-each-decade item on the checklist specifies "WINNERS". I had most decades covered, but there were four decades in which I saw only one film and each turned out to be a nominee only (1920s, '70s, '90s, 2010s). And I never took the time to watch a short, even though I have dozens of animated winners/nominees on tape or disc.
Old 02-28-13, 02:39 PM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

I had several things I started during the challenge but didn't finish, so I finished one last night: A SONG TO REMEMBER (1945), which was nominated for six Oscars, including one for Cornel Wilde for Best Actor for playing Frederic Chopin. It's quite a good movie, although it's dominated by Paul Muni as Joseph Elsner, Chopin's music teacher. Muni overacts as usual, but it actually fits his character here and, for once, I really believe Muni in the role as he battles George Sand (played by Merle Oberon) for the soul of Chopin. Sand, an early feminist heroine, is played as quite a monster here by Oberon, an actress I like a lot. Chopin historians assert there isn't a single accurate thing in the movie.

There is, however, lots of wonderful Chopin music, beautifully played offscreen by Jose Iturbi (who had an onscreen career of his own in the 1940s), while Wilde, an accomplished fencer in real life, learned the finger movements on the piano so it would look authentic. I wonder if there's a DVD of this or a soundtrack album. Franz Liszt is a major supporting character (well played by Hungarian actor Steven Bekassy), which reminds me of the scene in the Bugs Bunny cartoon of the following year, RHAPSODY RABBIT, where Bugs is interrupted onstage by a phone call as he plays Liszt's "Hungarian Rhapsodies," and responds to the caller, "Franz Liszt? Never hoid of 'im."

Last edited by Ash Ketchum; 02-28-13 at 02:44 PM.
Old 03-02-13, 10:41 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

It hasn't been a week yet and I already miss the challenge. I watched Trail of the Lonesome Pine, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and Skyfall on Tuesday. I liked Skyfall more than Quantum of Solace, which isn't saying much. I'm planning to watch Incendies and Frankenweenie today. I need to keep the party going!
Old 03-02-13, 10:51 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

LOL!

I'm thinking of finishing a project I started two years ago by finishing the list of Oscar winning foreign language films. By all means, keep the party going...
Old 03-02-13, 10:53 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

Originally Posted by popcorn
It hasn't been a week yet and I already miss the challenge. I watched Trail of the Lonesome Pine, The Adventures of Robin Hood, and Skyfall on Tuesday. I liked Skyfall more than Quantum of Solace, which isn't saying much. I'm planning to watch Incendies and Frankenweenie today. I need to keep the party going!
I think all of those count in the currently running Challenge!
Old 03-02-13, 11:25 AM
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Re: The 7th Annual Academy Award Movie Challenge (1/24 - 2/24)

the one film that I just didn't quite enjoy all that much was Airport - I guess seeing it after Airplane! - you notice how and why some of the jokes were ripe and built into the original's storyline. Best Picture nominee? really come on, guess it was in the moment.

my fave new movies were 'The Garden of Allah', 'On the Waterfront', ' Ninotchka', 'The Spirit of St. Louis'

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