2013 BAM Award Considerations – January

And the circle opens anew. Last year I had one massive running list and it became very cumbersome to add to, and to read I’m sure. By creating a new post monthly, and creating massive combo files offline, it should make the process easier for me and more user-friendly for you, the esteemed reader. Enjoy.

Eligible Titles

Gangster Squad
Mama
Texas Chainsaw 3D
Insight
Broken
Movie 43
A Haunted House
Sweet Love
(Special Awards Only)

Best Picture

Broken

Best Foreign Film

Most Overlooked Film

As intimated in my Most Underrated announcement this year, I’ve decided to make a change here. Rather than get caught up in me vs. the world nonsense and what a film’s rating is on an aggregate site, the IMDb or anywhere else, I want to champion smaller, lesser-known films. In 2011 with the selection of Toast this move was really in the offing. The nominees from this past year echo that fact. So here, regardless of how well-received something is by those who’ve seen it, I’ll be championing indies and foreign films, and the occasional financial flop from a bigger entity.

Broken

Best Director

Rufus Norris Broken

Best Actress

Jessica Chastain Mama
Eloise Laurence Broken
Essence Atkins Movie 43

Best Actor

Josh Brolin Gangster Squad
Nicolaj Coster-Waldau Mama
Tim Roth Broken
Dennis Quaid Movie 43

Best Supporting Actress

Emma Stone Gangster Squad
Zana Marjanovic Broken
Emma Stone Movie 43

Best Supporting Actor

Sean Penn Gangster Squad
Daniel Kash Mama
Rory Kinnear Broken
Kieran Culkin Movie 43
Marlon Wayans A Haunted House

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Leading Role

Megan Charpentier Mama
Isabelle Nélisse Mama
Eloise Laurence Broken

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Leading Role

Jonah Green Insight

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Supporting Role

Maya and Sierra Dawe Mama
Martha Bryant Broken
Rosalie Kosky Broken
Chloe Grace Moretz Movie 43

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Supporting Role

Austin Abrams Gangster Squad
Maxwell Perry Cotton Gangster Squad
Bill Milner Broken
George Sargeant Broken
Jimmy Bennett Movie 43

Best Cast

Gangster Squad
Mama
Broken
Movie 43

Best Youth Ensemble

Gangster Squad
Mama
Broken

Best Original Screenplay

Best Adapted Screenplay

Gangster Squad
Mama
Broken

Best Score

Mama
Broken
Insight

Best Editing

Mama
Broken

Best Sound Editing/Mixing

Gangster Squad
Mama
Broken

Best Cinematography

Mama
Broken
Insight

Best Art Direction

Mama
Broken

Best Costume Design

Gangster Squad
Mama

Best Makeup

Ganster Squad
Mama
Broken

Best Visual Effects

Mama

Best (Original) Song

“Chica Chica Boom Chic” Sharmila Guha & The Gangster Squad Movie Band Gangster Squad
Broken

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Tarzan Thursday – Tarzan of the Apes (1918)

Last year the character of Tarzan celebrated his 100th year in print. A serialized version of the story first appeared in 1912. A hardcover collection of Tarzan of the Apes first appeared in 1914. Being in the middle of the Tarzan centennial period it’s an opportune time to (re)visit many of the screen renditions of the character.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet and copyright laws, the very first screen appearance of Tarzan is available to any and all who want it legally and free of charge. It’s also an interesting historical footnote as this was one of the earlier, quicker adaptations of very popular literature; appearing just six years after the character was introduced to the public.

Any film of a certain era can be referred to as dated. To me it’s a fairly weak, simplistic argument. Very few films are truly of the vanguard and ahead of their time. What needs to be taken into consideration is how does it function for the era and the kind of film it was. In silents, less titles are better; conversely if you feel you’re needing titles that too could be an issue.

This film gets by a lot of the time without needing them, but is sadly a little heavy on them. Unfortunately, there is also some hokey writing within them like a few references to his “little English brain” longing for things more akin to what a civilized white man would desire, when he never had any such frame of reference.

However, the version I saw was a little over an hour long, and though the titles helped it breeze through, it could’ve stood a bit more running time. This truncation only hurts minimally though as the story does ends up being a pretty brisk, entertaining and coherent origin.

Tarzan is played at two ages: by Gordon Griffith when he is young and Elmo Lincoln as a man. Griffith was one of the first young stars of the cinema and it’s clear why. He carries the first half of the film mostly on his own without any real scene partners. His expressiveness is, of course, influenced by screen acting conventions of the era, but exploits them to great effect. Similarly, Lincoln seems to have a great following among those who are great fans of the character, and it’s apparent why also.

Returning briefly to the concept of being dated, the only two times that became terribly apparent in ways that weren’t just about it being silent cinema were in one or two prejudiced/racist title cards and the very obvious (though not terrible) gorilla suits. Otherwise, it’s actually fairly easy to lose yourself in this story, and a perfect way to kick off this retrospective.