Just as reading a great short story can have an impact in a relatively few pages, short films also can entertain, inform and challenge us with limited running times. Most of our favorite filmmakers started their careers making short subjects. Which of this year’s Oscar™ nominated creators will be the makers of the next breakout independent film on their way to a studio blockbuster? You can watch and place your bets. And remember that this year the public has seen all nominated movies the same way most Academy members have been watching them for years—at home.
American director Philip Kaufman is hard to pin down: a visual stylist who is truly literate, a San Franciscan who often makes European films, he is an accessible storyteller with a sophisticated touch. Celebrated for his vigorous, sexy, and reflective cinema, Kaufman is best known for his masterpiece The Unbearable Lightness of Being, the astronaut saga The Right Stuff and an eclectic series of films including The Wanderers, Henry & June, The White Dawn and his remake of Invasion of the Body Snatchers.
Sam Shepard as Chuck Yeager, the first man to break the sound barrier; on location with Phil Kaufman for The Right Stuff.
For twenty years my office was in the Saul Zaentz Building in Berkeley. In addition to the movies Saul produced, there were award-winning documentary filmmakers plus post-production talent set in a wonderful environment there that resulted in high profile narrative filmmakers preferring to do their post-production at the facility rather than at the Hollywood studios. You might see a celebrity.
One day in early 2000 I was going to lunch with director Gus Van Sant. Landmark has been an early supporter of his work launching “Mala Noche” and “Drugstore Cowboy” when others were not interested. As the elevator door opened on the ground floor I looked out at the people waiting to get on and in my mind I could hear my bad impersonation, “Bond—James Bond.”
ON THE TOWN, ROYAL WEDDING, SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN,SEVEN BRIDES FOR SEVEN BROTHERS, IT’S ALWAYS FAIR WEATHER, FUNNY FACE,THE PAJAMA GAME,INDISCREET, DAMN YANKEES, CHARADE,ARABESQUE, TWO FOR THE ROAD and BEDAZZLED.
On the eve of the 2019 Academy Awards we are saddened to learn of his passing but happy that he lived a full 94 years and gave movie audiences many hours of pleasure. It will be interesting to see how they work Stanley into the Oscar “In Memory” reel.
“When they called my name, I had this feeling I could hear half of America going, ‘Oh no. Come on… Her, again?’ You know. But, whatever.”
– Meryl Streep, Best Actress, The Iron Lady, 2012
Will this be Glenn Close’s big night? As The Onion suggests in their annual irreverent Guide to the Oscars, “with seven nominations and no wins, Close currently holds the record for the most cut-to reaction shots of her pretending to look happy for other people.”
As we prepare for the “Big Night” without any Streep nominations I thought our readers would enjoy some tips and other fun. We’ve got speech writing tips, ballots, Oscar Bingo, food ideas and predictions. Plus the Independent Spirit Awards.
Are you having an Oscar Party? Maybe you should go through your house and assemble some goodie bags. But we doubt you can top the bags that will be delivered to the acting- and director-category nominees the morning after the Academy Awards.
Lash Fary with some of the 2014 Unofficial Oscar Goodie Bag goodies his team assembled. –Photo courtesy of Business Week
“Even Hollywood’s most acclaimed stars are disappointed if they do not win an Oscar. When our consolation gift shows up the next day, we like to think it is welcome distraction to lift their spirits,” says Lash Fary, whose company Distinctive Assets assembles the bags.