Saturday, November 28, 2015

1966--The Year in Review

This, the year of my birth, proved to be a bear. Any one of the top ten could have emerged victorious, but I must confess that Mike Nichols’ debut filming of Edward Albee’s landmark play had an immense impact on me as a child and even further as an adult. It really clued me in to the mature notes that cinema—American cinema, at least–could hit, and I still regard it as a breakthrough for filmmaking, and the single best adaptation of a stage play to film (and also career-best performances by its small cast, including its two superstar leads; it's also nearly the final great film of the black-and-white era and, for some time to come, the last black-and-white film to top my yearly lists). Still, I had to give the director’s award to Ingmar Bergman, as his stunning personal musing on female identity--so stimulating to look at and think about--would remain my favorite of his movies for decades to come. I should add: it kills me that Antonioni's eerily confounding Blow Up couldn’t land but one of my top votes, and that I have, in the past few years, returned to the Academy's chosen film A Man for All Seasons repeatedly for its articulate conclusions about power and faith. But similar feelings brook Robert Bresson's soaring masterpiece following a sanctified donkey named Balthazar and Sergio Leone's epic final entry in his Man With No Name trilogy. With the short films, I strode outside the norm with the second straight Animated Short citation for the Peanuts gang, and the first win for documentarians Albert and David Maysles. As for the very competitive Original Score category, there was really only one ultimate choice: the greatest film score ever composed. NOTE: These are MY choices for each category, and are only occasionally reflective of the selections made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (aka The Oscars). When available, the nominee that actually won the Oscar will be highlighted in bold. 


PICTURE: WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (US, Mike Nichols) (2nd: Persona (Sweden, Ingmar Bergman), followed by: Blow Up (UK, Michelangelo Antonioni); A Man for All Seasons (UK, Fred Zinnemann); The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (Italy, Sergio Leone); Au Hasard, Balthazar (France, Robert Bresson); Masculin Feminin (France/Sweden, Jean-Luc Godard); Closely Watched Trains (Czechoslovakia, Jiri Menzel); The Round Up (Hungary, Miklos Jancso); Seconds (US, John Frankenheimer); The Battle of Algiers (Italy/Algeria, Gillo Pontecorvo); Andrei Rublev (USSR, Andrei Tarkovsky); Cul de Sac (UK, Roman Polanski); Lord Love a Duck (US, George Axelrod); Daisies (Czechoslovakia, Vera Chytilova); The Shooting (US, Monte Hellman); The Pornographers (Japan, Shohei Imamura); Tokyo Drifter (Japan, Seijun Suzuki); Fahrenheit 451 (UK, François Truffaut); The Endless Summer (US, Bruce Brown); Morgan! A Suitable Case for Treatment (UK, Karel Reisz); Young Torless (West Germany, Volker Schlöndorff); The Professionals (US, Richard Brooks); Hunger (Denmark, Henning Carlsen); A Man and a Woman (France, Claude Lelouch); Harper (US, Jack Smight); Is Paris Burning? (US/France, Rene Clement); The Chelsea Girls (US, Paul Morrissey and Andy Warhol); La Guerre est Finie (France, Alain Resnais); The Rise of Louis XIV (France, Roberto Rossellini); Made in USA (France, Jean-Luc Godard); Seven Women (US, John Ford); Alfie (UK, Lewis Gilbert); The Velvet Underground and Nico (US, Andy Warhol); What's Up Tiger Lily? (US/Japan, Woody Allen and Senkichi Taniguchi); Fantastic Voyage (US, Richard Fleischer); The Fortune Cookie (US, Billy Wilder); A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (UK, Richard Lester); This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse (Brazil, José Mojica Marins); The Plague of the Zombies (UK, John Gilling); Django (Italy, Sergio Corbucci); The Wild Angels (US, Roger Corman); Our Man Flint (US, Daniel Mann); King of Hearts (UK/France, Phillippe de Broca); Chappaqua (US, Conrad Rooks); Thunderbirds Are GO! (UK, David Lane); Mondo Topless (US, Russ Meyer); War of the Gargantuas (Japan, Ishiro Honda); Dracula, Prince of Darkness (UK, Terence Fisher); The Oscar (US, Russell Rouse); Manos: The Hands of Fate (US, Harold P. Warren))



ACTOR: Richard Burton, WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (2nd: Paul Scofield, A Man for All Seasons, followed by: Per Oscarsson, Hunger; Clint Eastwood, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Rock Hudson, Seconds; Jean-Pierre Leaud, Masculin Feminin; Donald Pleasence, Cul de Sac) 



ACTRESS: Elizabeth Taylor, WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (2nd: Bibi Andersson, Persona, followed by: Chantal Goya, Masculin Feminin; Vanessa Redgrave, Morgan! A Suitable Case for Treatment; Anouk Aimée, A Man and a Woman; Liv Ullmann, Persona; Lynn Redgrave, Georgy Girl)


SUPPORTING ACTOR: Robert Shaw, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS (2nd: Lionel Stander, Cul de Sac, followed by: Eli Wallach, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; John Randolph, Seconds; George Segal, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; John Hurt, A Man for All Seasons; Walter Matthau, The Fortune Cookie

SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Wendy Hiller, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS (2nd: Sandy Dennis, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, followed by Vanessa Redgrave, Blow Up; Jocelyn LaGarde, Hawaii; Vivien Merchant, Alfie; Geraldine Page, You're A Big Boy Now; Jessica Walter, The Group)



DIRECTOR: Ingmar Bergman, PERSONA (2nd: Michelangelo Antonioni, Blow Up, followed by: Mike Nichols, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?; Sergio Leone, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Fred Zinnemann, A Man for All SeasonsRobert Bresson, Au Hasard, Balthazar; Gillo Pontecorvo, The Battle of Algiers)

NON-ENGLISH-LANGUAGE FILM: PERSONA (Sweden, Ingmar Bergman) (2nd: Au Hasard, Balthazar (France, Robert Bresson), followed by: Masculin Feminin (France/Sweden, Jean-Luc Godard); Closely Watched Trains (Czechoslovakia, Jiri Menzel, won in 1967); The Round Up (Hungary, Miklos Jancso); The Battle of Algiers (Italy/Algeria, Gillo Pontecorvo); Andrei Rublev (USSR, Andrei Tarkovsky); Daisies (Czechoslovakia, Vera Chytilova); The Pornographers (Japan, Shohei Imamura); Tokyo Drifter (Japan, Seijun Suzuki); Young Torless (West Germany, Volker Schlöndorff);  Hunger (Denmark, Henning Carlsen); A Man and a Woman (France, Claude Lelouch); La Guerre est Finie (France, Alain Resnais); The Rise of Louis XIV (France, Roberto Rossellini))



DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: THE ENDLESS SUMMER (US, Bruce Brown) (2nd: The Velvet Underground and Nico (US, Andy Warhol)



ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Robert Bresson, AU HASARD, BALTHAZAR (2nd: Michelangelo Antonioni, Tonino Guarra and Edward Bond, Blow Up, followed by: Ingmar Bergman, Persona; Franco Solinas and Gillo Pontecorvo, The Battle of Algiers; Sergio Leone, Luciano Vincenzoni, Agenore Incrocci. Furio Scarpelli, and Mickey Knox, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)



ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Robert Bolt, A MAN FOR ALL SEASONS (2nd: Ernest Lehman, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, followed by: Bohumil Hrabal and Jiri Menzel, Closely Watched Trains; Lewis John Carlino, Seconds; Larry H. Johnson and George Axelrod, Lord Love a Duck)



LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: MEET MARLON BRANDO (US, Albert and David Maysles) (2nd: Snow (UK, Geoffrey Jones), followed by: Outer and Inner Space (US, Andy Warhol); The Devil’s Toy (Canada, Claude Jutra); The Odds Against (US, Lee R. Bobker))


 
ANIMATED SHORT FILM: IT'S THE GREAT PUMPKIN, CHARLIE BROWN! (US, Bill Melendez) (2nd: Winnie the Pooh and the Honey Tree (US, Wolfgang Reitherman, followed by: How the Grinch Stole Christmas (US, Chuck Jones); The Pink Blueprint (US, Fritz Freling); Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass Double Feature (US, John and Faith Hubley))


BLACK-AND-WHITE CINEMATOGRAPHY: Haskell Wexler, WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF? (2nd: James Wong Howe, Seconds, followed by: Tamas Somlo, The Round Up; Sven Nykvist, Persona; Ghislain Cloquet, Au Hasard, Balthazar)

COLOR CINEMATOGRAPHY: Carlo di Palma, BLOW UP (2nd: Nicolas Roeg, Fahrenheit 451, followed by: Tonino Delli Colli, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Conrad Hall, The Professionals; Ted Moore, A Man for All Seasons

BLACK-AND-WHITE ART DIRECTION: WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, Seconds, Is Paris Burning?, The Fortune Cookie, The Round Up 

COLOR ART DIRECTION: FANTASTIC VOYAGE, The Rise of Louis XIV. The Good the Bad and the Ugly, Blow Up, Fahrenheit 451 


BLACK-AND-WHITE COSTUME DESIGN: WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, Morgan! A Suitable Case for Treatment, Lord Love a Duck, Andrei Rublev, Mister Buddwing

COLOR COSTUME DESIGN: A MAN FOR ALL SEASONSThe Rise of Louis XIV, Blow Up, Daisies, Hawaii



FILM EDITING: WHO'S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?, Grand Prix, Blow Up, The Good the Bad and the Ugly, A Man for All Seasons



SOUND: GRAND PRIX, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, The Professionals, Blow Up, Gambit



ORIGINAL SCORE: Ennio Morricone, THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY (2nd: Alex North, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, followed by: John Barry, Born Free; Walter Georis, John Blakely, and Gaston Georis, The Endless Summer; Herbie Hancock, Blow Up)

ADAPTED OR MUSICAL SCORE: Ken Thorne, A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM (2nd: Elmer Bernstein, Return of the Magnificent Seven)



ORIGINAL SONG: “Darling, Be Home Soon” from YOU’RE A BIG BOY NOW (Music and lyrics by John Sebastian) (2nd: “Alfie” from Alfie (Music by Burt Bacharach, lyrics by Hal David), followed by: "Born Free" from Born Free (Music by John Barry, lyrics by Don Black); "Django" from Django (Music by Luis Bacalov, lyrics by Franco Migliacci); "Georgy Girl" from Georgy Girl (Music by Tom Springfield, lyrics by Jim Dale); "A Must to Avoid" from Hold On! (Music and lyrics by P.F. Sloan); "Navajo Joe" from Navajo Joe (Music and lyrics by Ennio Morricone); "After the Fox" from After the Fox (Music by Burt Bacharach, lyrics by Hal David))



SPECIAL EFFECTS: FANTASTIC VOYAGE, Thunderbirds are GO!, Hawaii

MAKEUP: THE PLAGUE OF THE ZOMBIES, The Reptile, Seconds

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

1965--The Year in Review

It's no surprise that Robert Wise's immensely popular The Sound of Music garnered most of the 1965 awards; a box-office smash, it's the most loved movie of its period, with scads of fans still attending sing-a-longs while watching the original film. Maybe it IS the correct choice for Best Picture, but I've never much cottoned to it, even though Julie Andrews is photographed sublimely while jaunting about its impressive landscapes (seeing it with an adoring audience sure helps one understand its appeal, though the experience rarely converts those unready for overripe sentiment). For me, this year connotes a race between two harrowing films: Repulsion, Roman Polanski's horrific tale of isolation (starring a seriously diseased Catherine Deneuve, run ragged by her director) and Sidney Lumet's nearly-forgotten prison yarn The Hill involving a band of imprisoned British soldiers rising up against their sadistic jailers (the cast is led by Sean Connery, taking a break from Bond to show he could REALLY act, alongside a superb lineup of character performers who deserved to own the Supporting Actor category). Others might see David Lean's Russian epic Doctor Zhivago as the best of the year (it looks and sounds glorious but is seriously flabby around its midsection), or Godard's perfectly odd one-two punch of Pierrot le Fou and Alphaville. Other contenders included Orson Welles' last lavish movie Chimes at Midnight, or even Richard Lester's Palme D'Or winner at Cannes, a sly British sex comedy called The Knack, and How to Get It. And the year was punctuated by fantastic works from artistically-freed Czechoslovakian masters Jan Kadar, Milos Forman, Jiri Trinka, Jan Lenica, and Ivan Passer. But, in the end, Polanski had to take the top prize for the most intense of his many claustrophobic masterpieces. Even so, among the most lasting of 1965 titles were lesser-talked-about films: The War Game, Peter Watkins' sickening account of a possible nuclear-devastated Britain; Jim Henson's amusingly experimental work Time Piece, and perhaps the most universally loved movie of the year A Charlie Brown Christmas, which many see, even 50 years on, as a work they have to experience again before their holiday feels complete. There was no way I could choose between that film's sweetly jazzy score by Vince Guaraldi and the sweeping work of Doctor Zhivago composer Maurice Jarre, so I had to result in a rare tie in the Original Score race. Meanwhile, in the newly lively Best Song category, the Beatles battle in a VERY tight competition which they easily could've lost. NOTE: These are MY choices for each category, and are only occasionally reflective of the selections made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (aka The Oscars). When available, the nominee that actually won the Oscar will be highlighted in bold. 


PICTURE: REPULSION (UK, Roman Polanski) (2nd: The Hill (US/UK, Sidney Lumet), followed by: The Knack, And How to Get It (UK, Richard Lester); The War Game (UK, Peter Watkins); Pierrot le Fou (France, Jean-Luc Godard); Chimes at Midnight (Spain/US, Orson Welles); Doctor Zhivago (US/UK, David Lean); War and Peace, Part One (USSR, Sergei Bondarchuk); Alphaville (France, Jean-Luc Godard); The Flight of the Phoenix (US, Robert Aldrich); The Loved One (UK, Tony Richardson); The Shop on Main Street (Czechoslovakia, Jan Kadar); It Happened Here (UK, Kevin Brownlow and Andrew Mollo); Loves of a Blonde (Czechoslovakia, Milos Forman); The Sound of Music (US, Robert Wise); Intimate Lighting (Czechoslovakia, Ivan Passer); Mickey One (US, Arthur Penn); Juliet of the Spirits (Italy, Federico Fellini); The Bedford Incident (US, James B. Harris); The Pawnbroker (US, Sidney Lumet); Shakespeare Wallah (UK, James Ivory);  Faster, Pussycat, Kill! Kill! (US, Russ Meyer); Othello (UK, Lawrence Olivier); The Ipcress File (UK, Sidney J. Furie); For a Few Dollars More (Italy, Sergio Leone); The Collector (US/UK, William Wyler); Ride in the Whirlwind (US, Monte Hellman); Tokyo Olympiad (Japan, Kon Ichikawa); The Saragossa Manuscript (Poland, Wojciech Has); The Eleanor Roosevelt Story (US, Richard Kaplan); Help! (UK, Richard Lester); The Nanny (UK, Seth Holt); Darling (UK, John Schlesinger); Bunny Lake is Missing (UK, Otto Preminger); Thunderball (UK, Terence Young); The Naked Prey (US/UK, Cornel Wilde); A Patch of Blue (US, Guy Green); Inside Daisy Clover (US, Robert Mulligan); The Slender Thread (US, Sydney Pollack); The Agony and the Ecstasy (UK, Carol Reed); The Spy Who Came In From the Cold (UK/US, Martin Ritt); Man is Not a Bird (Yugoslavia, Dusan Makavejev); The Great Race (US, Blake Edwards); The Greatest Story Ever Told (US, George Stevens); Who Killed Teddy Bear? (US, Joseph Cates)


ACTOR: Sean Connery, THE HILL (2nd: Rod Steiger, The Pawnbroker, followed by: Orson Welles, Chimes at Midnight; Laurence Olivier, Othello; James Stewart, The Flight of the Phoenix; Jean-Paul Belmondo, Pierre Le Fou; Richard Burton, The Spy Who Came In From the Cold)


ACTRESS: Catherine Deneuve, REPULSION (2nd: Julie Andrews, The Sound of Music, followed by: Ida Kaminska, The Shop on Main Street; Giulietta Masina, Juliet of the Spirits; Tura Satana, Faster, Pussycat, Kill! Kill!; Samantha Eggar, The Collector; Julie Christie, Doctor Zhivago)


SUPPORTING ACTOR: Harry Andrews, THE HILL (2nd: Ian Bannen, The Hill, followed by: John Gielgud, Chimes at Midnight; Ossie Davis, The Hill; Ian Hendry, The Hill; Tom Courtenay, Doctor Zhivago; Richard Attenbourough, The Flight of the Phoenix)


SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Shelley Winters, A PATCH OF BLUE (2nd: Peggy Wood, The Sound of Music, followed by: Joyce Redman, Othello; Maggie Smith, Othello; Jill Bennett, The Nanny; Ruth Gordon, Inside Daisy Clover; Joan Blondell, The Cincinatti Kid)

DIRECTOR: Roman Polanski, REPULSION (2nd: Orson Welles, Chimes at Midnight, followed by: Sidney Lumet, The Hill; Richard Lester, The Knack, And How to Get It;  Jean-Luc Godard, Pierrot le Fou; Peter Watkins, The War Game; David Lean, Doctor Zhivago)


 
NON-ENGLISH-LANGUAGE FILM: PIERROT LE FOU (France, Jean-Luc Godard) (2nd: War and Peace, Part One (USSR, Sergei Bondarchuk), followed by: Alphaville (France, Jean-Luc Godard); The Shop on Main Street (Czechoslovakia, Jan Kadar); Loves of a Blonde (Czechoslovakia, Milos Forman); Intimate Lighting (Czechoslovakia, Ivan Passer); Juliet of the Spirits (Italy, Federico Fellini); The Saragossa Manuscript (Poland, Wojciech Has))



DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: THE WAR GAME (UK, Peter Watkins (wins in 1966)) (2nd: Tokyo Olympiad (Japan, Kon Ichikawa), followed by: The Eleanor Roosevelt Story (US, Richard Kaplan))



ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Ladislav Grosman, THE SHOP ON MAIN STREET (2nd: Jean-Luc Godard, Pierrot le Fou; Roman Polanski, Gerard Brach, and David Stone, Repulsion; Milos Forman, Jaroslav Papousek, Ivan Passer, and Vaclav Sasek, Loves of a BlondeJean-Luc Godard, Alphaville)



ADAPTED SCREENPLAY:  Ray Rigby, THE HILL (2nd: Terry Southern and Christopher Isherwood, The Loved One, followed by: James Poe, The Bedford Incident; Robert Bolt, Doctor Zhivago; Charles Wood, The Knack, and How to Get It)



LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: TIME PIECE (US, Jim Henson) (2nd: Now (Cuba, Santiago Alvarez), followed by: To Be Alive! (US, Alexander Hackenschmied and Francis Thompson); Skaterdater (US, Noel Black); The Railrodder (Canada, Gerald Potterton, Buster Keaton and John Spotton))



ANIMATED SHORT FILM: A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS (US, Bill Melendez) (2nd: The Dot and the Line (US, Chuck Jones), followed by: La Gazza Ladra (Italy, Giulio Gianini and Emanuele Luzzati); The Hand (Czechoslovakia, Jiri Trnka); Rhinoceros (Czechoslovakia, Jan Lenica))



BLACK-AND-WHITE CINEMATOGRAPHY: Raoul Coutard, ALPHAVILLE, followed by: David Watkin, The Knack, and How to Get It; Robert Burks, A Patch of Blue; Haskell Wexler, The Loved One; Oswald Morris, The Hill)


COLOR CINEMATOGRAPHY: Frederick A. Young, DOCTOR ZHIVAGO (2nd: William C. Mellor and Loyal Griggs, The Greatest Story Ever Told, followed by: Ted McCord, The Sound of Music; Anatoli Petritsky, War and Peace, Part One; Gianni di Venanzo, Juliet of the Spirits)


BLACK-AND-WHITE ART DIRECTION: THE SPY WHO CAME IN FROM THE COLD, A Patch of Blue, Alphaville, King Rat, Ship of Fools


COLOR ART DIRECTION: DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, The Agony and the Ecstasy, The Sound of Music, War and Peace Part One, Inside Daisy Clover

 
BLACK-AND-WHITE COSTUME DESIGN: DARLING, Chimes at Midnight, The Slender Thread, Ship of Fools, The Loved One


COLOR COSTUME DESIGN: DOCTOR ZHIVAGO, The Agony and the Ecstasy, War and Peace Part One, Inside Daisy Clover, The Greatest Story Ever Told 

FILM EDITING: THE HILL, The Sound of Music, The Flight of the Phoenix, The Bedford Incident, Pierrot le Fou 

 
SOUND: THE SOUND OF MUSIC, Doctor Zhivago, The Flight of the Phoenix, The Great Race, The Agony and the Ecstasy





ORIGINAL SCORE: TIE: Vince Guaraldi, A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS and Maurice Jarre, Doctor Zhivago (2nd: John Barry, The Knack, and How to Get It, followed by: Chico Hamilton, Repulsion; Jerry Goldsmith, A Patch of Blue; Nino Rota, Juliet of the Spirits)  

ADAPTED OR MUSICAL SCORE: Irwin Kostal, THE SOUND OF MUSIC (2nd: George Martin, Help!, followed by: Frank DeVol, Cat Ballou)



ORIGINAL SONG: "Ticket to Ride" from HELP! (Music and lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney) (2nd: "The Shadow of Your Smile" from The Sandpiper (Music by Johnny Mandel, lyrics by Paul Francis Webster), followed by: "You've Got to Hide Your Love Away" from Help! (Music and lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney); "Christmas Time is Here" from A Charlie Brown Christmas (Music by Vince Guaraldi, lyrics by Lee Mendelson); "What's New, Pussycat?" from What's New, Pussycat? (Music by Burt Bacharach, lyrics by Hal David); "Ferry Cross The Mersey" from Ferry Cross The Mersey (Music and lyrics by Gerry Marsden); "Faster, Pussycat" from Faster, Pussycat, Kill! Kill! (Music by Paul Sawtell and Bert Shefter, lyrics by Rick Jarrard); "Help!" from Help!' (Music and lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney); "Thunderball" from Thunderball (Music by John Barry, lyrics by Don Black); "Sunshine, Lollipops and Rainbows" from Ski Party (Music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Howard Liebling); "Baby, The Rain Must Fall" from Baby, The Rain Must Fall (Music by Elmer Bernstein, lyrics by Ernest Sheldon))


SPECIAL EFFECTS: THUNDERBALL, The Greatest Story Ever Told


MAKEUP: THE WAR GAME, The Flight of the Phoenix, Doctor Zhivago

Saturday, November 21, 2015

1964--The Year in Review

71 films of note this year--a record-breaking number. And yet it's so easy--and so correct--to rely on Stanley Kubrick's Cold War masterpiece to top them all. It remains the most prescient movie released that year, and the one that most go back to repeatedly, even if it's supremely, wryly unsettling. Its cast is wholly perfect, its look is notably accurate (Ronald Reagan, upon winning the US presidency, expected to see a Ken Adam-designed war room). And the emotion Kubrick evokes for viewers is one of bizarre exhilaration towards the truth his film comedically reveals--a feeling no other movie in cinema history quite leaves us with. The fact that Dr. Strangelove was bested at the Oscars by a middling musical adaptation like My Fair Lady is a fact best forgotten (though it's difficult to do so when Jacques Demy's much more vigorous musical from France flamed our senses with its bright colors and notes; it should be noted, though, that The Umbrellas of Cherbourg was not seen on US screens until 1965, when it garnered more appreciation--though it was still nominated for the Foreign-Language Film award this year). American-born director Richard Lester delivered perhaps the most influential movie of 1964--in ways we would not begin to process for decades to come--via a look at a day in the lives of the most famous people on the planet--The Beatles--who each, against all reasonable expectations, turned out to be adept screen presences while completely transforming the era's music (in a soft spin). The UK continued to make broad strides with the breakthroughs of Julie Andrews, Peter Sellers, and unique epics from Peter Watkins, Peter Glenville, and Cy Endfield (plus the very best James Bond film). The world cinema would see stunners from Pasolini (whose literally revolutionary look at the life of Jesus transfixed everyone), Kalatozov, Teshigahara, Antonioni, Kobayashi (with a visually ravishing horror anthology), Buñuel, Godard, Bertolucci, Dreyer, Paradjanov, and Satyajit Ray. The short film categories are here expanded to include Documentary Shorts, the best of which is a look at childhood dreams and realities directed by a now-forgotten UK filmmaker, yet updated faithfully every seven years since by his dedicated assistant. And the Documentary Feature spot is given to a sharp-eyed filmmaker who reduces endless days of US Senate testimony down to a manageable and unforgettable narrative. Meanwhile, the Live Action Short winner is a shuddery, skillfully filmed Canadian commentary on a possible future without humans--a perfect film to feature on a bill with either Dr. Strangelove or Sidney Lumet's Fail-Safe. And, finally, this year, the Best Song category assuredly explodes with possibilities. NOTE: These are MY choices for each category, and are only occasionally reflective of the selections made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (aka The Oscars). When available, the nominee that actually won the Oscar will be highlighted in bold.


PICTURE: DR. STRANGELOVE, OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB (US/UK, Stanley Kubrick) (2nd: A Hard Day’s Night (UK, Richard Lester), followed by: The Gospel According to St. Matthew (Italy, Pier Paolo Pasolini); The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (France, Jacques Demy); I Am Cuba (USSR/Cuba, Mikhail Kalatozov); Culloden (UK, Peter Watkins); Point of Order (US, Emile de Antonio); Woman in the Dunes (Japan, Hiroshi Teshigahara); Red Desert (Italy, Michelangelo Antonioni); Zulu (UK, Cy Endfield); Kwaidan (Japan, Masaki Kobayashi); Goldfinger (UK, Guy Hamilton); Diary of a Chambermaid (France, Luis Buñuel); Band of Outsiders (France, Jean-Luc Godard); Nothing But a Man (US, Michael Roemer); A Fistful of Dollars (Italy, Sergio Leone); Fail-Safe (US, Sidney Lumet); Becket (UK, Peter Glenville); Gertrud (Denmark, Carl Th. Dreyer); Seven Days in May (US, John Frankenheimer); Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors (USSR, Sergei Paradjanov); The Naked Kiss (US, Samuel Fuller); Séance on a Wet Afternoon (UK, Bryan Forbes); The Train (US, John Frankenheimer); Marnie (US, Alfred Hitchcock); A Woman is a Woman (France, Jean-Luc Godard); Four Days in November (US, Mel Stuart); The World of Henry Orient (US, George Roy Hill); Mary Poppins (US, Robert Stevenson); A Shot in the Dark (US/UK, Blake Edwards); The Best Man (US, Franklin J. Schaffner); Before the Revolution (Italy, Bernardo Bertolucci); World Without Sun (France, Jacques-Yves Cousteau); Gate of Flesh (Japan, Seijun Suzuki); That Man From Rio (France, Philippe de Broca); The Killers (US, Don Siegel); Onibaba (Japan, Kaneto Shindo); The Masque of the Red Death (UK, Roger Corman); Charulata (India, Satyajit Ray); The Chalk Garden (UK, Ronald Neame); One Potato, Two Potato (US, Larry Peerce); Zorba the Greek (UK/US, Michael Cocoyannis); My Fair Lady (US, George Cukor); 7 Faces of Dr. Lao (US, George Pal); Kiss Me, Stupid (US, Billy Wilder); At Midnight I Will Take Your Soul (Brazil, José Mojica Marins); Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (US, Robert Aldrich); The Fall of the Roman Empire (US, Anthony Mann); Empire (US, Andy Warhol); The Thin Red Line (US, Andrew Marton); The Soft Skin (France, Francois Truffaut); Marriage Italian Style (Italy, Vittorio de Sica); Blood and Black Lace (Italy, Mario Bava); Man’s Favorite Sport? (US…Howard Hawks); The Pumpkin Eater (UK, Jack Clayton); Seduced and Abandoned (Italy, Pietro Germi); Viva Las Vegas (US, George Sidney); Cheyenne Autumn (US, John Ford); Lilith (US, Robert Rossen); The Night of the Iguana (US, John Huston); Strait-Jacket (US, William Castle); Robinson Crusoe on Mars (US, Byron Haskin); Fate is the Hunter (US, Ralph Nelson); The Incredible Mr. Limpet (US, Arthur Lubin); The Tomb of Ligeia (UK, Roger Corman); 2000 Maniacs (US, Hershel Gordon Lewis); The Incredibly Strange Creatures Who Stopped Living and Became Mixed-Up Zombies (US, Ray Dennis Steckler); The Horror of Party Beach (US, Del Tenney); Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (US, Nicholas Webster)



ACTOR: Peter Sellers, DR. STRANGELOVE, OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB (2nd: Tony Randall, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, followed by: Ivan Dixon, Nothing But a Man; Richard Burton, Becket; Peter O’Toole, Becket; Anthony Quinn, Zorba the Greek; Rex Harrison, My Fair Lady; Stanley Baker, Zulu; Kirk Douglas, Seven Days in May)
 

ACTRESS: Kim Stanley, SEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON (2nd: Catherine Deneuve, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg, followed by: Jeanne Moreau, Diary of a Chambermaid; Barbara Barrie, One Potato, Two Potato; Julie Andrews, Mary Poppins; Abbey Lincoln, Nothing But a Man; Constance Towers, The Naked Kiss; Paula Prentiss, Man's Favorite Sport?; Sophia Loren, Marriage, Italian Style; Anne Bancroft, The Pumpkin Eater)

SUPPORTING ACTOR: Sterling Hayden, DR. STRANGELOVE, OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB (2nd: George C. Scott, Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, followed by: Henry Fonda, Fail-Safe; Michael Caine, Zulu; Slim Pickens, Dr. Strangelove, or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb; John Gielgud, Becket; Stanley Holloway, My Fair Lady; Edmond O’Brien, Seven Days in May; Larry Hagman, Fail-Safe; Paul Scofield, The Train)


SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Lila Kedrova, ZORBA THE GREEK (2nd: Agnes Moorehead, Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte, followed by: Jisoku Yoshimura, Onibaba; Anne Vernon, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg; Grayson Hall, The Night of the Iguana; Maggie Smith, The Pumpkin Eater; Edith Evans, The Chalk Garden; Gladys Cooper, My Fair Lady; Julie Christie, Young Cassidy; Glynis Johns, Mary Poppins)



DIRECTOR:  Stanley Kubrick, DR. STRANGELOVE, OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB (2nd: Richard Lester, A Hard Day’s Night, followed by: Mikhail Kalatozov, I Am Cuba; Jacques Demy, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg; Pier Paolo Pasolini, The Gospel According to St. Matthew; Peter Watkins, Culloden; Hiroshi Teshigahara, Woman in the Dunes; Michelangelo Antonioni, Red Desert; Sidney Lumet, Fail-Safe; Cy Endfield, Zulu)



NON-ENGLISH-LANGUAGE FILM: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW (Italy, Pier Paolo Pasolini) (2nd: The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (France, Jacques Demy), followed by: I Am Cuba (USSR/Cuba, Mikhail Kalatozov); Woman in the Dunes (Japan, Hiroshi Teshigahara); Red Desert (Italy, Michelangelo Antonioni); Kwaidan (Japan, Masaki Kobayashi); Diary of a Chambermaid (France, Luis Buñuel); Band of Outsiders (France, Jean-Luc Godard); Before the Revolution (Italy, Bernardo Bertolucci); Gertrud (Denmark, Carl Th. Dreyer); Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors (USSR, Sergei Paradjanov); A Woman is a Woman (France, Jean-Luc Godard); Gate of Flesh (Japan, Seijun Suzuki); Onibaba (Japan, Kaneto Shindo); Charulata (India, Satyajit Ray))


DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: POINT OF ORDER (US, Emile de Antonio) (2nd: Four Days in November (US, Mel Stuart), followed by: World Without Sun (France, Jacques-Yves Cousteau); What's Happening!: The Beatles in the USA (US, Albert and David Maysles); Empire (US, Andy Warhol))



ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: Alan Owen, A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (2nd: Peter Watkins, Culloden, followed by: Jacques Demy, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg; Michael Roemer and Robert M. Young, Nothing But a Man; Kobo Abe and Eiko Yoshida, Woman in the Dunes)



ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Stanley Kubrick, Terry Southern, and Peter George, DR. STRANGELOVE, OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB (2nd: Pier Paolo Pasolini, The Gospel According to St. Matthew, followed by: Edward Anhalt, Becket; Franklin Coen and Frank Davis, The Train; Gore Vidal, The Best Man) 



LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: 23 SKIDDOO (Canada, Julian Biggs) (2nd: Help! My Snowman's Burning Down! (US, Carlson Davidson), followed by: 21-87 (Canada, Arthur Lipsett); It's Not Just You, Murray (US, Martin Scorsese); Scorpio Rising (US, Kenneth Anger))




DOCUMENTARY SHORT FILM: SEVEN UP! (UK, Paul Almond) (2nd: Faces of November (US, Robert Drew), followed by: 9 From Little Rock (US, Charles Guggenheim); Magic Molecule (Canada, Christopher Chapman, Hugh O’Connor); Electronics in the World of Tomorrow (Finland, Erkki Kurenniemi))



ANIMATED SHORT FILM: THE PINK PHINK (US, Friz Freling) (2nd: Archangel Gabriel and Mrs. Goose (Czechoslovakia, Jiri Trnka), followed by: Canon (Canada, Norman McLaren and Grant Munro); Dr. Devil and Mr. Hare (US, Robert McKimson); Aos (Japan, Yoji Kuri)



BLACK-AND-WHITE CINEMATOGRAPHY: Sergei Urusevsky, I AM CUBA (2nd: Tonino Delli Colli, The Gospel According to St. Matthew, followed by: Hiroshi Segawa, Woman in the Dunes; Gerald Hirschfeld, Fail-Safe; Kiyomi Kuroda, Onibaba)


COLOR CINEMATOGRAPHY: Jean Rabier, THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG (2nd: Carlo di Palma, Red Desert, followed by: Yoshio Miyagima, Kwaidan; Geoffrey Unsworth, Becket; Harry Stradling, My Fair Lady) 

BLACK-AND-WHITE ART DIRECTION:  DR. STRANGELOVE, OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB, Seven Days in May, The Gospel According to St. Matthew, Zorba the Greek, Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte


COLOR ART DIRECTION: THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG, Kwidan, The Fall of the Roman Empire, Goldfinger, Becket 

BLACK-AND-WHITE COSTUME DESIGN: THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ST. MATTHEW, Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte, The Night of the Iguana, Onibaba, A Hard Day's Night

COLOR COSTUME DESIGN: MY FAIR LADY, The Fall of the Roman Empire, Shadows of Our Forgotten Ancestors, Kwidan, The Umbrellas of Cherbourg

FILM EDITING: DR. STRANGELOVE, OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB, A Hard Day's Night, Zulu, Culloden, Fail-Safe 

SOUND: DR. STRANGELOVE, OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB, Becket, My Fair Lady, Goldfinger, Zulu 



ORIGINAL SCORE: John Barry, ZULU (2nd: Ennio Morricone, A Fistful of Dollars, followed by: Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman, Mary Poppins; Toru Takemitsu,Woman of the Dunes; Mikis Theodorakis, Zorba the Greek) 



ADAPTED OR MUSICAL SCORE: Michel Legrand, THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG, followed by: Luis Bacalov, The Gospel According to St. Matthew; George Martin, A Hard Day's Night; Irwin Kostal, Mary Poppins; Andre Previn, My Fair Lady)  



ORIGINAL SONG: "And I Love Her" from A HARD DAY'S NIGHT (Music and lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney) (2nd: "Goldfinger" from Goldfinger (Music by John Barry, lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley); followed by: "I Will Wait For You" from The Umbrellas of Cherbourg (Music by Michel Legrand, lyrics by Jacques Demy); "A Hard Day's Night" from A Hard Day's Night (Music and lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney); "If I Fell" from A Hard Day's Night (Music and lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney); "Viva Las Vegas" from Viva Las Vegas (Music and lyrics by Doc Pomus and Mort Schuman); "Chim Chim Cheree" from Mary Poppins (Music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman); "A Spoonful of Sugar" from Mary Poppins (Music and lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman); "Can't Buy Me Love" from A Hard Day's Night (Music and lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney); "This Boy" from A Hard Day's Night (Music and lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney); "I Should Have Known Better" from A Hard Day's Night (Music and lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney); "I'm Happy Just to Dance With You" from A Hard Day's Night (Music and lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney); "Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte" from Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (Music by Frank DeVol, lyrics by Mack David); "Tell Me Why" from A Hard Day's Night (Music and lyrics by John Lennon and Paul McCartney); "My Kind of Town" from Robin and the 7 Hoods (Music by James Van Heusen, lyrics by Sammy Cahn))


SPECIAL EFFECTS: 7 FACES OF DR. LAO, First Men in the Moon, Mary Poppins 

MAKEUP: DR. STRANGELOVE, OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB, 7 Faces of Dr. Lao, Kwidan

Friday, November 13, 2015

1963--The Year in Review

An abysmal year for American film, with only one Best Picture nominee (Elia Kazan's beautiful memory piece America, America) worthy of the honor. The slate was rounded out with two bloated epics--the now-dull Cinerama showcase How The West Was Won and the intermittently entertaining Cleopatra (the year's most controversial work, for all the wrong reasons)--and one good-hearted drama, Lilies of the Field, starring Sidney Poitier, who probably won the '63 Best Actor award because he wasn't even nominated for his supreme screen performance the year before (for A Raisin in the Sun). The winner, ultimately, was Tony Richardson's bawdy farce Tom Jones, a handsome and totally inconsequential choice (though one that harkens to the looming sexual revolution and British Invasion). It's holds, then, that Fellini takes the prize (here, at least) for his impressively thoughtful, visually striking personal epic about a filmmaker's bout with creative ennui; it kinda goes without saying that it's a dazzling work, deserving of the award even if American movies had been ten times their power. Spearheaded by Marcello Mastroianni's complex, charismatic lead performance, Fellini's soul-baring movie would be much imitated by only the bravest directors in later years, but never with quite as much verve (though Bob Fosse would come dangerously close in 1979). Still, the great Italian auteur spars mightily with Jean-Luc Godard, another master filmmaker critically examining his chosen craft with the brightly-colored and beautifully scored Contempt. The closest the US could come to this remarkable level of filmmaking aptitude was Martin Ritt's Hud, a sourly dour look at the death of the American West, led by nasty Paul Newman as an odious drunkard causing trouble for his aging cowpoke father (a stern, lovely Melvin Douglas) and straight-talking housemaid (Patricia Neal, whose wonderfully naturalistic, Best Actress-winning role really belonged in the supporting category). Instead, for Best Actress, I initially leaned towards competing performances delivered by Ingrid Thulin in service of Ingmar Bergman (agilely directing two intensely challenging movies about religious faith), but in the end had to give the award to Julie Harris. whose manic heroine finds solace with a haunted house (for me, it's her second Best Actress award, after 1952's The Member of the Wedding). In the newly lively Documentary Feature category, it was impossible to ignore Robert Drew's Crisis, an intimate examination of President John F. Kennedy's trying battle with Alabama's governor George Wallace over allowing black students into the state university. As for the short films, none surpass The House is Black, the shockingly frank look at a leper colony from Iran's Forugh Farrokhzad--a masterpiece if there ever was one. The same goes for Stan Brakhage's silent "animated" short film Mothlight, consisting of pieces of moth wings embedded withing long strips of 16mm editing tape (both films are like nothing you've ever seen--and you can watch them here!). And, finally, in the special effects category, Ray Harryhausen finally wins, this time for his most deeply loved work. Unbelievably, it wasn't even nominated for the Special Effects award. What the hell were the voters THINKING? NOTE: These are MY choices for each category, and are only occasionally reflective of the selections made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (aka The Oscars). When available, the nominee that actually won the Oscar will be highlighted in bold. 

PICTURE: 8½ (Italy, Federico Fellini) (2nd: Contempt (France, Jean-Luc Godard), followed by: Hud (US, Martin Ritt); High and Low (Japan, Akira Kurosawa); The Leopard (Italy/US, Luchino Visconti); America, America (US, Elia Kazan); Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment (US, Robert Drew); Winter Light (Sweden, Ingmar Bergman); The Birds (US, Alfred Hitchcock); Shock Corridor (US, Samuel Fuller); The Haunting (US, Robert Wise); Billy Liar (UK, John Schlesinger); Lord of the Flies (UK, Peter Brook); An Actor’s Revenge (Japan, Kon Ichikawa); The Servant (UK, Joseph Losey); Ladybug Ladybug (US, Frank Perry); This Sporting Life (UK, Lindsay Anderson); The Silence (Sweden, Ingmar Bergman); The Big City (India, Satyajit Ray); Charade (US, Stanley Donen); From Russia With Love (UK, Terence Young); The Great Escape (US/UK, John Sturges); Cleopatra (US, Joseph L. Mankiewicz); Bye Bye Birdie (US, George Sidney); It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World (US, Stanley Kramer); Jason and the Argonauts (UK, Don Chaffey); The Nutty Professor (US, Jerry Lewis); Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow (Italy, Vittorio de Sica); La Baie des Anges (France, Jacques Demy); Tom Jones (UK, Tony Richardson); X--The Man with the X-Ray Eyes (US, Roger Corman); The Cool World (US, Shirley Clarke); Flaming Creatures (US, Jack Smith); These are the Damned (UK, Joseph Losey); Love with the Proper Stranger (US, Robert Mulligan); Lilies of the Field (US, Ralph Nelson); The Pink Panther (US, Blake Edwards); The List of Adrian Messenger (US, John Huston); The Cardinal (US, Otto Preminger); Irma La Douce (US, Billy Wilder); The Day of the Triffids (US, Steve Sekely); Johnny Cool (US, William Asher); Black Sabbath (Italy, Mario Bava); Dementia 13 (US, Francis Coppola); Blood Feast (US, Hershel Gordon Lewis))


ACTOR: Marcello Mastroianni, 8½ (2nd: Paul Newman, Hud, followed by: Toshiro Mifune, High and Low; Richard Harris, This Sporting Life; Jerry Lewis, The Nutty Professor; Dirk Bogarde, The Servant; Kazuo Hasegawa, An Actor’s Revenge; Ray Milland, X--The Man with the X-Ray Eyes; Gunnar Bjornstrand, Winter Light)



ACTRESS: Julie Harris, THE HAUNTING (2nd: Ingrid Thulin, Winter Light, followed by: Ingrid Thulin, The Silence; Tippi Hedren, The Birds; Sophia Loren, Yesterday Today and Tomorrow; Rachel Roberts, This Sporting Life; Audrey Hepburn, Charade; Madhabi Mukherjee, The Big City; Natalie Wood, Love With the Proper Stranger)



SUPPORTING ACTOR: Melvyn Douglas, HUD (2nd: Rex Harrison, Cleopatra, followed by: Walter Matthau, Charade; Larry Tucker, Shock Corridor; Robert Shaw, From Russia With Love; James Best, Shock Corridor; Roddy McDowall, Cleopatra; John Huston, The Cardinal; Paul Lynde, Bye Bye Birdie)



SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Patricia Neal, HUD (won as Best Actress) (2nd: Ethel Merman, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World, followed by: Julie Christie, Billy Liar; Ann-Margret, Bye Bye Birdie; Lilia Skala, Lilies of the Field; Joyce Redman, Tom Jones; Diane Cilento, Tom Jones; Sandra Milo, ; Suzanne Pleshette, The Birds)



DIRECTOR: Federico Fellini, 8½ (2nd: Jean-Luc Godard, Contempt, followed by: Martin Ritt, Hud; Ingmar Bergman, Winter Light; Luchino Visconti, The Leopard; Elia Kazan, America America; Akira Kurosawa, High and Low; Alfred Hitchcock, The Birds; Samuel Fuller, Shock Corridor; Ingmar Bergman, The Silence)

NON-ENGLISH-LANGUAGE FILM: 8½ (Italy, Federico Fellini) (2nd: Contempt (France, Jean-Luc Godard); High and Low (Japan, Akira Kurosawa); The Leopard (Italy/US, Luchino Visconti); Winter Light (Sweden, Ingmar Bergman); An Actor’s Revenge (Japan, Kon Ichikawa); The Silence (Sweden, Ingmar Bergman); The Big City (India, Satyajit Ray); Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow (Italy, Vittorio de Sica); La Baie des Anges (France, Jacques Demy))


DOCUMENTARY FEATURE: CRISIS: BEHIND A PRESIDENTIAL COMMITMENT (US, Robert Drew) (2nd: The Cool World (US, Shirley Clarke))

ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY:  Federico Fellini, Ennio Flaiano, Tulio Pinelli and Brunello Rondi, 8 ½ (2nd: Samuel Fuller, Shock Corridor, followed by: Ingmar Bergman, Winter Light; Eleanor Perry and Lois Dickert, Ladybug Ladybug; Elia Kazan, America, America)

ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Irving Ravetch and Harriett Frank Jr., HUD (2nd: Akira Kurosawa, Hideo Oguni, Ryuzo Kikushima and Eijiro Hisaita, High and Low, followed by: Harold Pinter, The Servant; David Storey, This Sporting Life; Keith Waterhouse and Willis Hall, Billy Liar)



LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: THE HOUSE IS BLACK (Iran, Forugh Farrokhzad) (2nd: Showman (US, Albert and David Maysles), followed by: Towers Open Fire (UK, Antony Balch); What’s a Nice Girl Like You Doing in a Place Like This? (US, Martin Scorsese); The Five Cities of June (US, Walter de Hoog and Bruce Herschensohn))


 
ANIMATED SHORT FILM: MOTHLIGHT (US, Stan Brakhage) (2nd: Labyrinth (Poland, Jan Lenica), followed by: The Critic (US, Ernest Pintoff); Automania 2000 (UK, John Halas); Le Nez (France, Alexander Alexeieff, Claire Parker))


BLACK-AND-WHITE CINEMATOGRAPHY: Gianni di Venanzo, 8½ (2nd: James Wong Howe, Hud, followed by: Sven Nykvist, Winter Light; Haskell Wexler, America America; David Boulton, The Haunting)
 
COLOR CINEMATOGRAPHY: Raoul Coutard, CONTEMPT (2nd: Leon Shamroy, Cleopatra, followed by: Giuseppe Rotunno, The Leopard; Robert Burks, The Birds; Walter Lassally and Manny Wynn, Tom Jones)


BLACK-AND-WHITE ART DIRECTION: THE HAUNTING, 8½, Hud, America America, Love with the Proper Stranger

COLOR ART DIRECTION: CLEOPATRA, The Leopard, Tom Jones, The Cardinal, Contempt 

BLACK-AND-WHITE COSTUME DESIGN: 8½, The Stripper, Love with the Proper Stranger, America America, Toys in the Attic

 COLOR COSTUME DESIGN: CLEOPATRA, The Leopard, Tom Jones, The Cardinal, Irma La Douce 

FILM EDITING: 8 1/2, Hud, The Great Escape, The Birds, America America 



SOUND: THE BIRDS, The Haunting, Bye Bye Birdie, The Great Escape, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World



ORIGINAL SCORE: Georges Delerue, CONTEMPT (2nd: Nino Rota, 8½, followed by: Henry Mancini, The Pink Panther; John Barry, From Russia with Love; John Addison, Tom Jones; Elmer Bernstein, Hud)



ADAPTED OR MUSICAL SCORE: John Green, BYE BYE BIRDIE (2nd: Andre Previn, Irma La Douce)




ORIGINAL SONG: "More" from MONDO CANE (Music by Riz Ortolani and Nino Oliviero, lyrics by Norman Newell) (2nd: "Bye Bye Birdie" from Bye Bye Birdie (Music by Charles Strouse, lyrics by Lee Adams), followed by: "A Gringo Like Me" from Gunfight at Red Sands (Music by Ennio Morricone, lyrics by Dicky Jones); "Call Me Irresponsible" from Papa's Delicate Condition (Music by James Van Heusen, lyrics by Sammy Cahn); "Charade" from Charade (Music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Johnny Mercer))



SPECIAL EFFECTS: JASON AND THE ARGONAUTS, The Birds, Cleopatra

  MAKEUP: CLEOPATRA, 8 1/2, The List of Adrian Messenger

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

1962--The Year in Review

1962 saw a Hollywood-generated blowback against the influence of world cinema, with its native filmmakers obviously feeling challenged to deliver equally serious work. The American scene was dotted with glorious pictures--Robert Mulligan's To Kill a Mockingbird, Morton Da Costa's The Music Man (in my heart of hearts, still my favorite musical ever), Sam Peckinpah's arrival with Ride The High Country (a forsaken B-picture at the time), John Ford's then-critically-drubbed The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, John Frankenheimer's chilling Cold War tale The Manchurian Candidate, Sidney Lumet's ambitious Long Day's Journey Into Night, Robert Aldrich's Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (a progenitor for a whole slew of later quasi-horror films that would star fading actresses), and David and Lisa, an oddly moving early indie film by husband-and-wife team Frank and Eleanor Perry (theirs was the first independent film to get such major recognition). But none could brook the breathtaking work done by David Lean. His massive yet achingly intimate film about a reluctant British hero working out complex personal issues against the backdrop of a World War I sideshow in the Middle East would become the point against which all epics would subsequently be measured (especially since it contained a brilliant debut by Peter O'Toole, and another breakthrough performance by Omar Sharif). It was an astonishing year, though, for cinema from other countries, with films from Luis Bunuel (whose absurd dark comedy about insatiable bourgeoisie appetites still captivates), Truffaut, Godard, Ozu, Kobayashi, and Serge Bourguignon, a filmmaker who barely even tried to match his chancy tale about a chaste love affair between a shell-shocked war veteran and an abandoned 12-year-old girl (it would win the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, even though it's a movie that could never be made--or, for some, even viewed--today). Yet I have to give its lead actress the top award, as Patricia Gozzi's performance always moves me to stinging tears (it was a stupendous year for young actresses, with To Kill A Mockingbird's Mary Badham, The Miracle Worker's Patty Duke, and Lolita's Sue Lyon all contributing remarkable work). The UK film world, too, was ratcheting up to an upcoming explosion, with the country's "kitchen sink" dramas and the first James Bond film both being early clues to a new direction. On the short film front, the offerings were becoming much more daring, with Chris Marker stunningly elegant 27-minute sci-fi tale La Jatee told in a devastating series of still photographs. Meanwhile, on the animated front, former Oscar-winners Chuck Jones and the Hubleys are bested by a French film that conveys a challenging, emotionally draining peer into the Holocaust--one that turned out to be a deep influence on the animated work of Monty Python veteran Terry Gilliam. NOTE: These are MY choices for each category, and are only occasionally reflective of the selections made by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (aka The Oscars). When available, the nominee that actually won the Oscar will be highlighted in bold. 

PICTURE: LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (UK, David Lean) (2nd: The Music Man (US, Morton Da Costa), followed by: Ride the High Country (US, Sam Peckinpah); The Exterminating Angel (Mexico, Luis Buñuel); To Kill a Mockingbird (US, Robert Mulligan); The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (US, John Ford); Sundays and Cybele (France, Serge Bourguignon); Knife in the Water (Poland, Roman Polanski); Harakiri (Japan, Masaki Kobayashi); David and Lisa (US, Frank Perry); The Manchurian Candidate (US, John Frankenheimer); Jules and Jim (France, François Truffaut); Lolita (UK, Stanley Kubrick); An Autumn Afternoon (Japan, Yasujiro Ozu); Billy Budd (UK, Peter Ustinov); Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? (US, Robert Aldrich); Cleo from 5 to 7 (France, Agnès Varda); L’Eclisse (Italy, Michelangelo Antonioni); Vivre sa Vie (France, Jean-Luc Godard); Advise and Consent (US, Otto Preminger); Dog Star Man (US, Stan Brakhage); Ivan’s Childhood (USSR, Andrei Tarkovsky); Mamma Roma (Italy, Pier Paolo Pasolini); Carnival of Souls (US, Herk Hervey); Dr. No (UK, Terence Young); The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner (UK, Tony Richardson); Chushingura (Japan, Hiroshi Inagaki); Le Doulos (France, Jean-Pierre Melville); The Miracle Worker (US, Arthur Penn); Merrill's Marauder's (US, Samuel Fuller); Cape Fear (US, J. Lee Thompson); Long Day’s Journey into Night (US, Sidney Lumet); Days of Wine and Roses (US, Blake Edwards); Birdman of Alcatraz (US, John Frankenheimer); Lonely Are the Brave (US, David Miller); The Intruder (US, Roger Corman); The L-Shaped Room (UK, Bryan Forbes); The Trial (France/US, Orson Welles); The World’s Greatest Sinner (US, Timothy Carey); Heaven and Earth Magic (US, Harry Smith); A Kind of Loving (UK, John Schlesinger); The Connection (US, Shirley Clarke); Gay Purr-ee (US, Abe Levitow); The Longest Day (Andrew Marton, Bernard Wicki, Ken Annikin and Darryl L. Zanuck); How the West Was Won (US, Henry Hathaway, John Ford and George Marshall); Two for the Seesaw (US, Robert Wise); The Phantom of the Opera (UK, Terence Fisher); Eegah! (US, Arch Hall Sr.); Wild Guitar (US, Ray Dennis Steckler))


ACTOR: Peter O’Toole, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (2nd: Robert Preston, The Music Man, followed by: Gregory Peck, To Kill a Mockingbird; Joel McCrea, Ride the High Country; James Mason, Lolita; Hardy Kruger, Sundays and Cybele; Tom Courteney, The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner; Jack Lemmon, Days of Wine and Roses; Robert Mitchum, Cape Fear; Burt Lancaster, Birdman of Alcatraz)

ACTRESS: Patricia Gozzi, SUNDAYS AND CYBELE (2nd: Bette Davis, What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?, followed by: Katharine Hepburn, Long Day’s Journey into Night; Monica Vitti, L’Eclisse; Anne Bancroft, The Miracle Worker; Shirley Jones, The Music Man; Anna Magnani, Mamma Roma; Leslie Caron, The L-Shaped Room; Jeanne Moreau, Jules and Jim; Lee Remick, Days of Wine and Roses) 


SUPPORTING ACTOR: Omar Sharif, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (2nd: Peter Sellers, Lolita, followed by: Peter Ustinov, Billy Budd; Charles Laughton, Advise and Consent; Lew Ayres, Advise and Consent; Dean Stockwell, Long Day's Journey Into Night; Lee Marvin, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; Ed Begley, Sweet Bird of Youth; Terrence Stamp, Billy Budd; Victor Buono, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?)



SUPPORTING ACTRESS: Mary Badham, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (2nd: Patty Duke, The Miracle Worker, followed by: Angela Lansbury, The Manchurian Candidate; Shelley Winters, Lolita; Hermione Gingold, The Music Man; Thelma Ritter, Birdman of Alcatraz; Mariette Hartley, Ride the High Country; Sue Lyon, Lolita; Shirley Knight, Sweet Bird of Youth; Cicely Courtenidge, The L-Shaped Room)



DIRECTOR: David Lean, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (2nd: Luis Bunuel, The Exterminating Angel, followed by: John Ford, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; Sam Peckinpah, Ride the High Country; Robert Mulligan, To Kill a Mockingbird; Serge Bourguignon, Sundays and Cybele; Frank Perry, David and Lisa; Masaki Kobayashi, Harakiri; Morton Da Costa, The Music Man; John Frankenheimer, The Manchurian Candidate)


NON-ENGLISH-LANGUAGE FILM: THE EXTERMINATING ANGEL (Mexico, Luis Buñuel) (2nd: Sundays and Cybele (France, Serge Bourguignon), followed by: Knife in the Water (Poland, Roman Polanski); Harakiri (Japan, Masaki Kobayashi); Jules and Jim (France, François Truffaut); An Autumn Afternoon (Japan, Yasujiro Ozu); Cleo from 5 to 7 (France, Agnès Varda); L’Eclisse (Italy, Michelangelo Antonioni); Vivre sa Vie (France, Jean-Luc Godard); Ivan’s Childhood (USSR, Andrei Tarkovsky); Mamma Roma (Italy, Pier Paolo Pasolini); Chushingura (Japan, Hiroshi Inagaki); Le Doulos (France, Jean-Pierre Melville))



ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY: N.B. Stone Jr., RIDE THE HIGH COUNTRY (2nd: Roman Polanski, Jerzy Skolimowski, and Jakub Goldberg, Knife in the Water, followed by: Agnes Varda, Cleo from 5 to 7; J.P. Miller, Days of Wine and Roses; Michelangelo Antonioni, Tonino Guerra, Elio Bartolini, and Ottiero Otterei, L'Eclisse)



ADAPTED SCREENPLAY: Horton Foote, TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD (2nd: Robert Bolt, Lawrence of Arabia, followed by: Luis Bunuel, The Exterminating Angel; James Gordon Bellah and Willis Goldbeck, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance; Eleanor Perry, David and Lisa)



LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM: LA JATEE (France, Chris Marker) (2nd: Zoo (Finland, Bert Haanstra), followed by: Window Water Baby Moving (US, Stan Brakhage); The War Game (UK, Mai Zetterling); Dylan Thomas (UK, Jack Howell))



ANIMATED SHORT FILM: LES JEUX DES ANGES (France, Walerian Borowczyk) (2nd: The Hole (US, John and Faith Hubley), followed by: Now Hear This (US, Chuck Jones and Maurice Noble); Self Defense...For Cowards (UK, Gene Deitch); Human Zoo (Japan, Yoji Kuri))


BLACK-AND-WHITE CINEMATOGRAPHY: Lionel Lindon, THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE (2nd: Henri Decaë, Sundays and Cybèle, followed by: Yoshio Muyajima, Harakiri; Vadim Yusov, Ivan’s Childhood; Russell Harlan, To Kill a Mockingbird)


COLOR CINEMATOGRAPHY: Frederick A. Young, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (2nd: Lucien Ballard, Ride the High Country, followed by: Robert Burks, The Music Man; Yahuru Atsuta, An Autumn Afternoon; Harry Stradling Jr., Gypsy)


BLACK-AND-WHITE ART DIRECTION: WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?, The Manchurian Candidate, To Kill a Mockingbird, Days of Wine and Roses, Harakiri


COLOR ART DIRECTION: LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, The Music Man, Gypsy, Mutiny on the Bounty, That Touch of Mink

BLACK-AND-WHITE COSTUME DESIGN: WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Days of Wine and Roses, Harakiri, Billy Budd


COLOR COSTUME DESIGN: THE MUSIC MAN, Lawrence of Arabia, Gypsy, My Geisha, Mutiny on the Bounty 

FILM EDITING: LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, The Manchurian Candidate, To Kill A Mockingbird, The Music Man, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance 

SOUND: LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, The Music Man, The Longest Day, Days of Wine and Roses, The Manchurian Candidate 



ORIGINAL SCORE: Maurice Jarre, LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (2nd: Elmer Bernstein, To Kill a Mockingbird, followed by: Bernard Herrmann, Cape Fear; Henry Mancini, Days of Wine and Roses; John Barry and Monty Norman, Dr. No; Nelson Riddle, Lolita)

 
ADAPTED OR MUSICAL SCORE: Ray Heindorf, THE MUSIC MAN (2nd: Frank Perkins, Gypsy)



ORIGINAL SONG: "Days of Wine and Roses" from DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES (Music by Henry Mancini, lyrics by Johnny Mercer) (2nd: "I've Written a Letter to Daddy” from What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Music by Frank DeVol, lyrics by Bob Merrill), followed by: "Peppermint Twist" from Hey Let's Twist (Music and lyrics by Joey Dee and Henry Glover); "Walk on the Wild Side" from Walk on the Wild Side (Music by Elmer Bernstein, lyrics by Mack David); "Tender is the Night" from Tender is the Night (Music by Sammy Fain, lyrics by Paul Francis Webster); "The World's Greatest Sinner" from The World's Greatest Sinner (Music and lyrics by Frank Zappa))


SPECIAL EFFECTS: THE LONGEST DAY, Mutiny on the Bounty


MAKEUP: WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE?, Lawrence of Arabia, My Geisha