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

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