The 92nd Annual Academy Awards

Introduction

Once again I am live-blogging the Academy Awards because I can’t help myself and despite the fact that I haven’t seen as many nominated films as I would like.

Red Carpet

Tuned in at about 6:30, which is a bit later than when I was a teenager and earlier than I had been doing recently.

So, Noah Baumbach and Greta Gerwig are together.

Because of Taika Waititi I will now use boomerang figuratively.

Billy Porter…that is all.

There may be some blind buys or rentals forthcoming for some of the films I have not yet been able to see.

Is Ryan Seacrest really a selling point for the red carpet show?

The above is something you probably didn’t see on the red carpet show.

How can Kelly Ripa mention fake tans and not mention this….?

True story: I read the nominations came out and knew who had a chance to be nominated, but I have no idea who is hosting.

That opening number by Janelle Monae was one of the best I’ve seen.

OK, the Steve Martin/Chris Rock opening explained my host confusion.

I was gonna venture a guess on political commentary in acceptance speeches. Considering Brad lead off with his disappointment in the lack of witnesses in the impeachment trial.

Missing Link is the first Laika film I didn’t see theatrically. I still have to see it.

There look like there are some really cool animation techniques in these shorts. I love going to see the nominee programs, but all the shorts should be available to stream. Look into them.

Josh Gad drops two political jokes and introduces the very cool polyglot “Into the Unknown” that I’ve been looking forward to.

Keanu Reeves and Diane Keaton’s intro was perfect. The patter before screenplay awards has occasionally been about bad writing in award shows, this was the most tongue-in-cheek version.

Parasite is another one I missed out on.

TAIKA!

What I wrote about the animated shorts applies here also.

Maya Rudolph and Kristin Wiig were insanely funny and that medley was legendary.

Charlton Heston makes this year’s broadcast as an NRA stooge in the Best Documentary montage. Tough break.

So feature length documentaries American Factory which won and Edge of Democracy (nominated) are both on Netflix, there may be more but I know those two are.

Now that Laura Dern won an Oscar (YES!) I may have to see Marriage Story tomorrow. Need to prioritize.

Are we really putting “It’s Hard Out Here For a Pimp” on par with “Purple Rain” Oscars?

Now we’re adding to the runtime by having a performance of a previous winner?

Now ask Scorsese thinks of Eminem media, LOL.

Randy Newman coming on to perform invariably reminds me of the Family Guy gag about him.

Yes, this is exactly what we need a musical recap. Siiiiiiiiiggggh.

WOW. Julia Louis-Dreyfus looks amazing.

The Academy is making up for making Roger Deakins wait so long.

Ford vs. Ferrari wins Best Editing. Will it win Best Picture? It’s usually a strong indicator.

Leave it to Tom Hanks to toss in the Kirk Douglas reference.

OMG Cats.

Lots of audio dumps this year.

I wasn’t sure why Bombshell was even a contender until I saw who played Ailes in the win-montage.

With Parasite having so many other nominations who won Best International Feature Film was a foregone conclusion. I hope that in future years, following the furor caused by Nigeria’s disqualification that the antiquated rules that are a relic of Best Foreign Language Film days are scrapped.

True, Elton John doesn’t beed an introduction, but he still could have been afforded one. I know introducing the acts has been time-cutting maneuver but it seems weird.

Ancestral lands comment to open Taika’s intro is great. Cutting down the Governor’s Awards wasn’t so cool.

Female conducting live performances of the Best Original Scores. AN Academy first.

Bong-Joon Ho running away with the night.

Steven Spielberg always makes an appearance, this time for the In Memoriam.

With Best Actor there was finally BAM Awards agreement.

As has been the case in Awards Season, Joaquin Phoenix’s speech was pretty much all political.

And him quoting something his brother wrote made me cry. Oof.

“Run to the rescue with love, and peace will follow.”

-River Phoenix

Should’ve seen Zellweger’s win coming. Didn’t.

Jane Fonda coming out to read Best Picture. Awesome.

It only took 92 Years, but a foreign film has won Best Picture. It’s about time. Amen.

Renée Zellweger was practically delivering a keynote address and suddenly you’re going to cut the mics on the Best Picture team Oscars?

31 Days of Oscar Recap, or Viewing Patterns Redefined

I was going to beat myself far more in the title of this blog post. The reason for that is that my viewing of 31 Days of Oscar titles on TCM itself was virtually non-existent.

Those titles were:

42nd Street

and

Good News

Good News (1947, MGM)

Others that were Oscar nominees were:

Rooty Toot Toot

Rooty Toot Toot (1951, UPa/Columbia)

Coming soon to a Short Film Saturday post!

Bedknobs and Broomsticks

Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971, Disney)

Which will be featured during March to Disney!

This year’s nominated Live Action and Animated shorts.

and…

Woody Woodypecker (Universal)

Assorted Woody Woodpecker shorts.

Essentially what I discovered, finally, is that my viewing habits are too prone to whimsy, too sporadic to be confined to one niche for very long. So preparations for things like 31 Days of Oscar, March to Disney, Poverty Row April, 61 Days of Halloween and Thankful for World Cinema have to be going on all the time.

Sorry to spend all this time on the machinations, but I debated whether or not to even write about it with such low volume. However, if you still can’t get enough Oscar content; I did participate in the 31 Days of Oscarmblogathon four times over: here, here, here and here.

I do have many selections saved on DVR that I hope to get to. Disney an other regularly scheduled programming kicks back in tomorrow!

31 Days of Oscar Blogathon: Pictures and Directors- Actors Awarded as Directors

Introduction

As it turned out this post also was a bit more involved than I initially realized before I embarked on it for the 31 Days of Oscar blogathon.

The idea of the post was to briefly talk about the handful of men who have won Best Director despite the fact they were better known as actors for most of their career. However, the desire to be a completist, and investigating gray areas makes the list a bit longer than initially realized. All of these directors deserve some mention. So I will discuss them all and delineate the tiers they appear in.

Essentially, the fact-checking for this post was done by checking filmographies of Best Director winners. Directors who had only walk-on, cameo or “Find Hitch” type appearances do not qualify. To be mentioned by name the directors needed to: A) Have won Best Director B) Have not been awarded as an actor C) Have had acting credits prior to directing credits.

Now there are levels of notoriety and role which is why many of the directors deserve mention but aren’t necessarily in the same echelon as one another.

Peripherally Acting

Casablanca (1942, Warner Bros.)

Michael Curtiz (won for Casablanca) acted in the first short he directed in Hungary (credited as Kertész Mihály) and other silent shorts. He never truly established himself as an actor though.

On the Waterfront (1954, Columbia Picture)

Elia Kazan (won for Gentleman’s Agreement and On the Waterfront) again bears mentioning since he has a screen credit before a directing one, but does not rate as highly as the next level.

Started as Actors, but Are More Well-Known as Directors

7th Heaven (1927, 20th Century Fox)

Frank Borzage (won for 7th Heaven and Bad Girl) is borderline only because his first acting credit and directorial credit were the same film The Mystery of Yellow Aster Mine in 1913. Borzage’s 113 credits from 1913-1957 certainly include him in the company of thespians even if not a leading-man type.

Mutiny on the Bounty (1935, MGM)

Frank Lloyd (won for The Divine Lady, Cavalcade and Mutiny on the Bounty) definitely has enough credits 63, but most of them were silent shorts. However, these is a bit of longevity (through 1955) that it does bear mentioning.

How Green Was My Valley (1941, 20th Century Fox)

John Ford (won for The Informer, The Grapes of Wrath, How Green Was My Valley and The Quiet Man) had 22 acting credits between 1913-1917 as Jack Ford. That was brief and before the Oscars, but he did clearly start as an actor first.

Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948, Warner Bros.)

John Huston (won for Treasure of the Sierra Madre) -Many credits and many before directorial debut starting in a 1929 short, but his notoriety behind the camera was always higher despite some high-profile onscreen appearances like playing Noah in The Bible: In the Beginning…

Giant (1956, Warner Bros.)

George Stevens (won for Giant and A Place in the Sun) bears mentioning simply because he has two silent credits The Tigress (1915) and Whispers (1920), but he was clearly a director more so than an actor.

Midnight Cowboy (1969, UA)

John Schlesinger (Won for Midnight Cowboy) had credits as characters, mostly on TV before directing for the first time.

A Beautiful Mind (2001, Universal/DreamWorks)

Ron Howard (Won for A Beautiful Mind) this categorization is generationally sensitive. Yes, I’ve seen The Andy Griffith Show and Howard’s other work as a young actor. Aside from making the occasional appearance Ron Howard has not kept up consistent onscreen appearances enough for me to consider him someone who has always done both. He has been directing features since 1982 so I consider him officially transitioned, especially considering he has helmed one of my all-time favorites Parenthood.

Has Always Done Both

Annie Hall (1977, UA)

Woody Allen (won Best Director for Annie Hall) made his acting, writing and directorial debut in What’s New Pussycat. While he’s not quite Orson Welles in this regard (I’ve always felt that Woody Allen was a bit under-appreciated as an actor). Yes, he rarely works someone else’s material, and has a very specific type, and limited range, but so do other people.

Borderline

Ahh, here come those honorary awards again.

Henry V (1944, Eagle-Lion Distributors)

Laurence Olivier amazingly never won a competitive Oscar. In 1947 he won an honorary prize that cited all his work on Henry V:

For his outstanding achievement as actor, producer and director in bringing ‘Henry V’ to the screen.

More Well-Known as Actors but Won as Directors

Ordinary People (1980, Paramount)

Robert Redford (Won for Ordinary People): his prowess as an actor is not debatable. However, Redford only ever has received one Best Actor nomination. His Oscar wins have been honorary and for directing.

Reds (1981, Paramount)

Warren Beatty (Won for Reds) has been nominated three times as an actor. He’s directed and written a number of films but is likely best known as an actor. Beatty’s only hardware from the Academy came behind the camera.

Gandhi (1982, Columbia)

Richard Attenborough (Won for Gandhi) had his first screen credit in 1943. His directorial debut came in 1969. There are other standouts in his resume as a director (A Bridge Too Far, A Chorus Line, Chaplin, Shadowlands) but I think most casual film fans likely know him best for his appearance in Jurassic Park, which is why I included him in this section.

Out of Africa (1985, Universal)

Sydney Pollack (Won for Out of Africa) his first credit was on TV in 1956 and his first directing credit came in 1961. I do recall seeing him in many things, which is why I include him here even though he was never an award threat like some legends on this list.

Dances with Wolves (1991, Orion)

Kevin Costner (Won for Dances with Wolves) Costner now on a comeback trail in recent years was always more synonymous with acting and movie-stardom. However, that’s not to say he’s never had award-caliber performances. JFK comes immediately to mind. However, it was for his fashioning of a film behind the scenes that he received an Oscar.

Unforgiven (1992, Warner Bros.)

Clint Eastwood (Won for Unforgiven and Million Dollar Baby) at this point in his long an illustrious career it’s hard to say if Eastwood is more known as a director or actor. It may be, like many, a generationally-dependent answer. Eastwood in essence helped redefine the Western genre and give it new life and that’s outside of Dirty Harry films and some departures like Honkytonk Man so it is mildly surprising his first statuette came behind the camera.

Braveheart (1995, Paramoutn/20th Century Fox)

Mel Gibson (Won for Bravehart) Gibson came on to the scene in an Oscar-nominated film (A Year of Living Dangerously) and was one of the biggest stars of the 1980s and into the 1990s. His directorial resume is more accomplished than Costner’s but like Costner he first won as a director. His acceptance speech where he joked “What I really want to do now is act,” is largely responsible for my writing this post.

Argo (2012, Warner Bros.)

Ben Affleck (Won for Argo) here’s an interesting one. Affleck came on the scene as one of the co-writers and co-stars of Good Will Hunting. His acting career has been a bit more up-and-down than Matt Damon’s in terms of successes and perception. However, he has been the one who had a career behind the camera (writing and directing) take off. Affleck is now rebounding as an actor as well and has had enough notable onscreen appearance that I think of him as an actor first even though he is highly accomplished and capable on the other side.

Conclusion

Oscar’s at times curious desire to award well-liked actors in other capacities will likely not end soon and it is interesting to consider where they have already done so.

31 Days of Oscar Blogathon: The Crafts – Cinematography in Black-and-White and Color

Introduction

When I looked at the 31 Days of Oscar Blogathon announcement for this year what came to mind as a good idea for crafts would be to examine Cinematographers who were at the Oscars for work in black-and-white and color cinematography. If I decided to just feature those who had won in both it’d have been a smaller club (60 cinematographers are in it by my count). However, as I say with my own awards: the process is more about what’s nominated.

Furthermore, as my motivation was for the last posts on actors and defunct categories I wanted to learn in the process of writing and chronicling all the cinematographers (most past but thankfully a few present) who have been honored for chromatic and monochromatic work alike.

The Cinematographers

One thing that was surprising to learn is that there are many cinematographers who have gotten tons of nominations. There are 10 who have each had more than 10 each. Granted in the more than quarter-century where color and black-and-white photography were honored separately that’s well in excess of 260 potential nominations (there have been loose limits on total number of nominees in the past), but if you look at actors only five (Streep, Hepburn, Nicholson, Davis and Olivier) have reached that mark.

It makes more sense when you also include that working behind the scenes more often a cinematographers images speak for themselves.

Below you will see those who have been nominated in both and the occasional notes about it.

Please note:

-Some titles appear multiple times because early Color cinematography was often a team endeavor.
-This list was assembled manually so if I am missing a name, or am incorrect about the color palette please let me know in the comments.

1. Ernest Haller

Jezebel (1938, Warner Bros.)

ColorGone with the Wind, The Flame and the Arrow
Black and WhiteJezebel; All this and Heaven, Too; Mildred Pierce, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?, Lillies of the Field

2. Freddie Francis

Glory (1989. Columbia)

ColorGlory
Black and WhiteSons and Lovers

3. Joseph A. Valentine

Joan of Arc (1948)

Black and White – Mad About Music, First Love, Spring Parade,
ColorJoan of Arc

4. Karl Freund

Blossoms in the Dust (1941,

Black and WhiteThe Good Earth, The Chocolate Soldier
ColorBlossoms in the Dust

5. Leon Shamroy

Cleopatra (1963)

Black and WhiteThe Young in Heart, Ten Gentlemen from West Point, Prince of Foxes
ColorDown Argentine Way, The Black Swan, Wilson, Leave Her to Heaven, David of Bathsheba, Snows of Kilamanjaro, The Robe, The Egyptian, Love is a Many Splendored Thing, The King and I, South Pacific, Porgy and Bess, Cleopatra, The Cardinal, The Agony and the Ecstasy

6. Joseph Ruttenberg

Mrs. Miniver (1942)

Black and WhiteThe Great Waltz, Waterloo Bridge, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, Mrs. Miniver, Madame Curie, Gaslight, Julius Caesar, Somebody Up There Loves Me
ColorGigi, BUtterfield 8

7. Robert Surtees

The Graduat (1967)

Black and WhiteThirty Seconds Over Tokyo, The Bad and the Beautiful
ColorKing Solomon’s Mines, Quo Vadis?, Oklahoma!, Ben Hur, Mutiny on the Bounty, The Graduate, Dr. Doolittle, The Last Picture Show, Summer of ’42

Won in each medium.

8. Conrad Hall

Road to Perdition (2002, DreamWorks, 20th Century Fox)

Black and WhiteMorituri, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Day of the Locust, Tequila Sunrise, Searching for Bobby Fisher, A Civil Action, American Beauty, Road to Perdition
ColorThe Professionals, In Cold Blood

In Cold Blood nomination was after Black-and-White cinematography after category ended.

9. Arthur C. Miller

How Green Was My Valley (1941, 20th Century Fox)

Black and WhiteThe Rains Came, How Green Was My Valley, This Above All, The Song of Bernadette, The Keys of the Kingdom, Anna and the King of Siam
ColorThe Blue Bird

10. Harry Stradling

Some Like It Hot (1955)

Black and WhiteThe Human Comedy, The Picture of Dorian Gray, A Streetcar Named Desire, Some Like it Hot, The Young Philadelphians
ColorShe Wore a Yellow Ribbon, Hans Christian Andersen, Guys and Dolls, The Eddie Duchin Story, Auntie Mame, A Majority of One, Gypsy, My Fair Lady, Funny Girl, Hello, Dolly!

11. James Wong Howe

The Old Man and the Sea

Black and WhiteAlgiers, Abe Lincoln in Illinois, Kings Row, Air Force, The North Star, The Rose Tattoo, Hud, Seconds
ColorThe Old Man and the Sea, Funny Lady

12. Charles Rosher

Sunrise (1927, 20th Century Fox)

Black and WhiteSunrise, The Affairs of Cellini
ColorKismet, The Yearling, Annie Get Your Gun, Showboat

13. Burnett Guffey

From Here to Eternity (1953, Columbia)

Black and WhiteFrom Here to Eternity, The Harder They Fall, The Birdman of Alcatraz, King Rat
ColorBonnie and Clyde

14. Haskell Wexler

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (1966, Warner Bros.)

Black and White
Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?
ColorOne Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Bound for Glory, Matewan, Blaze

15. William C. Mellor

The Diary of Anne Frank

Black and White
A Place in the Sun, The Diary of Anne Frank
Color Peyton Place, The Greatest Story Ever Told

16. Hal Mohr

A Midsummer Night's Dream (1935, Warner Bros.)

Black and WhiteA Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Four Poster
ColorPhantom of the Opera

Only write-in nomination for cinematography, back in the wild early days of the Awards.

17. Charles Lang

Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969, Columbia)

Black-and-White: The Right to Love; A Farewell to Arms; Arise, My Love; Sundown, So Proudly We Hail!; The Uninvited, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir; A Foreign Affair; Sudden Fear; Sabrina; Queen Bee; Separate Tables; Some Like it Hot; The Facts of Life
Color:One-Eyed Jacks, How the West Was Won, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, Butterflies are Free

After 14 nominations for black-and-white cinematography was nominated for color in the following years and for the following films: 1961 One-Eyed Jacks; 1963 How the West Was Won; 1969 Bob & Ted & Carol & Alice
1973 Butterflies Are Free

18. Victor Milner

The Furies (1950)

Black-and-WhiteThe Love Parade, Cleopatra, The Crusades, The General Died at Dawn, The Buccaneer, The Great Victor Herbert, The Furies
ColorNorth West Mounted Police, Reap the Wild Wind

Six black-and-white nominations before 1940.

19. George Barnes

Rebecca (1940, Selznick)

Black-and-WhiteThe Devil Dancer, The Magic Flame, Sadie Thompson, Our Dancing Daughters, Rebecca, Spellbound,
ColorThe Spanish Main, Samson and Delilah

Four nominations in first ceremony; Six total before 1945 The Spanish Main.

20. Joseph LaShelle

How The West Was Won

ColorHow the West Was Won, Irma La Douce
Black-and-WhiteLaura, Come to the Stable, My Cousin Rachel, Marty, Career, The Apartment, Fortune Cookie.

Six nominations before 1963 How The West Was Won.

21. Ernest Laszlo

Judgment and Nuremberg (1961, United Artists)

Black-and-WhiteInherit the Wind, Judgment at Nuremberg, Ship of Fools,
ColorIt’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World; Fantastic Voyage, Star, Airport, Logan’s Run

Third Nomination in 1963 It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World was first in color.

22. Daniel L. Fapp

West Side Story (1957, WB)

Black-and-WhiteDesire Under the Elms; One, Two, Three
ColorThe Five Pennies, West Side Story, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Ice Station Zebra, Marooned.

23. Tony Gaudio

The Letter (1940)

Black-and-WhiteHell’s Angels, Anthony Adverse, Juarez, The Letter, Corvette K-225
ColorA Song to Remember

Final nomination of six in Color.

24. Milton Krasner

Anne Baxter in All About Ever (20th Century Fox)

ColorAll About Eve, Three Coins in the Fountain, An Affair to Remember, How the West Was Won
Black-and-WhiteArabian Nights, Love with a Proper Stranger, Fate is a Hunter

1950 Second nomination was in Black-and-White for All About Eve.

25. Harold Rosson

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

ColorThe Garden of Allah, The Wizard of Oz
Black-and-WhiteBoom Town, Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo, The Asphalt Jungle, The Bad Seed

Third nomination was his first in black-and-white (Boom Town, 1940).

26. Janusz Kaminski

Schindler's List (1993, Universal)

Black-and-White Schindler’s List
Color – Amistad, Saving Private Ryan, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, War Horse, Lincoln

First nomination in black-and-white.

27. Joseph Valentine

Joan of Arc (1948)

Black-and-WhiteWings Over Honolulu, Mad About Music, First Love, Spring Parade
ColorJoan of Arc

Fifth nomination was his first for color. (Joan of Arc, 1948).

28. Robert Burks

Strangers on a Train (Warner Bros., 1951)

Black-and-White: Strangers on a Train, A Patch of Blue
Color: Rear Window, To Catch a Thief

Three of four nominations in Hitchcock films.

29. William H. Daniels

The Naked City (1948)

Black-and-White
: Anna Christie, The Naked City,
Color: Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, How the West Was Won

30. Lee Garmes

Shanghai Express (1932, Paramount)

Black-and-white
: Morocco, Shanghai Express, Since You Went Away
Color: The Big Fisherman

31. Loyal Griggs

Shane (1953, Paramount)

Color: Shane, The Ten Commandments, The Greatest Story Ever Told,
Black-and-White: In Harm’s Way

32. Ernest Palmer

4 Devils (1928)

Black-and-White: Four Devils, Street Angel
Color: Blood and Sand, Broken Arrow

33. Karl Struss

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (1931)

Black-and-White: Sunrise, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Sign of the Cross
Color: Aloma of the South Seas

34. Sam Leavitt

Exodus (1960, MGM/UA)

Black-and-white: The Defiant Ones, Anatomy of a Murder
Color: Exodus

35. Lionel Lindon

 Around the World in 80 Days (1956, All Rights Reserved)

Black-and-White: Going My Way, I Want to Live!
Color: Around the World in 80 Days

36. Arthur E. Arling

The Yearling (1946, Disney)

Color: The Yearling
Black-and-White: I’ll Cry Tomorrow

37. Joseph F. Biroc

Hush...Hush, Sweet Charlotte (1964, WB)

Black-and-white: Hush…Hush, Sweet Charlotte B & W
Color: Towering Inferno

38. Robert Elswit

Good Night, and Good Luck (2005)

Black-and-White: Good Night, And Good Luck
Color: There Will Be Blood

39. Paul Vogel

The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm (1962, MGM)

Black-and-White: Battleground
Color: The Wonderful World of the Brothers Grimm

40. George J. Folsey

The White Cliffs of Dover (1944, MGM)

Black-and-White: Reunion in Vienna, The Affairs of Cellini, The Gorgeous Hussy, The White Cliffs of Dover, Executive Suite, The Balcony
Color: Thousands Cheer, Meet Me in St. Louis, The Green Years, Green Dolphin Street, Million Dollar Mermaid, All the Brothers Were Valiant, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

Four nominations before a color nomination; no wins.

41. Roger Deakins

The Man Who Wasn't There (2002)

Black-and-White: The Man Who Wasn’t There,
Color: The Shawshank Redemption, Fargo, Kundun; O Brother, Where Art Thou?, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, No Country for Old Men, The Reader, True Grit, Skyfall, Prisoners

42. Edward Cronjager

Heaven Can Wait (1943, Fox)

Black-and-White: Cimarron, Sun Valley Serenade, The Pied Piper
Color: To the Shores of Tripoli, Heaven Can Wait, Home in Indiana, Beneath the 12-Mile Reef

Fourth nomination was first in color.

43. Joseph F. Seitz

Double Indemnity (1944, WB)

Black-and-white: The Divine Lady, Five Graves to Cairo, Double Indemnity, The Lost Weekend, Sunset Boulevard, Rogue Cop
Color: When Worlds Collide

Sixth nomination in color.

44. Russell Harlan

To Kill a Mockingbird (1962, Universal)

Black-and-White: The Big Sky, The Blackboard Jungle, To Kill a Mockingbird,
Color: Hatari!, The Great Race, Hawaii

Fourth nomination in color .

45. Ruldolph Maté

Cover Girl

Black-and-White: Foreign Correspondent, That Hamilton Woman, The Pride of the Yankees, Sahara
Color: Cover Girl

Fifth and final nomination in color for Cover Girl. Shared.

46. Franz Planer

The Children's Hour (1961, United Artists)

Black-and-White: Champion, Death of a Salesman, Roman Holiday, The Children’s Hour
Color: The Nun’s Story

Fourth nomination in color.

47. Charles G. Clarke

Hello, Frisco, Hello

Black-and-White: The Magnificent Ambersons
Color: Hello, Frisco, Hello, Green Grass of Wyoming, Sand

Second nomination in color, shared.

48. Joseph Walker

You Can't Take it With You (1938, Columbia)

Black-and-White: You Can’t Take It With You, Only Angels Have Wings, Here Comes Mr. Jordan
Color: The Jolson Story

Fourth nomination color The Jolson Story.

49. Bert Glennon

Stagecoach (1939, UA)

Black-and-White: Stagecoach
Color: Drums Along the Mohawk

50. Ray June

Arrowsmith (1931, UA)

Black-and-White: Arrowsmith, Barbary Coast
Color: Funny Face

Final nomination in color.

51. Joseph MacDonald

The Young Lions (1958, 20th Century Fox)

Black-and-White: The Young Lions, The Sand Pebbles
Color: Pepe

52. Ted D. McCord

The Sound of Music (1965, 20th Century Fox)

Black-and-white: Johnny Belinda, Two for the Seesaw
Color: The Sound of Music

Final nomination was in color.

53. Sol Polito

Sergeant York

Color: The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex, Captains of the Clouds
Black-and-White: Sergeant York,

Sergeant York black-and-white second nod.

54. Michael Chapman

Raging Bull

Black-and-White: Raging Bull
Color: The Fugitive

55. Edward Colman

Mary Poppins (1964)

Black-and-White: The Absent-Minded Professor
Color: Mary Poppins

Both Disney films, the second famously being a live-action/animation hybrid.

56. Philip H. Lathrop

Earthquake (1974)

Black-and-White: The Americanization of Emily
Color: Earthquake

57. J. Peverell Marley

Life With Father (1947)

Black-and-White: Suez
Color: Life with Father

Second nomination in color, shared.

58. Sidney Wagner

Dragon Seed

Color: Northwest Passage
Black-and-white: Dragon Seed

59. Gordon Willis

Zelig

Black-and-White and Color: Zelig
Color: The Godfather Part III

60. Robert Richardson

Kill Bill: Vol. 2 (2004, Miramax)

ColorPlatoon, Born on the Fourth of July, Snow Falling on Cedars, The Aviator, Hugo, Django Unchained
Partially Black and WhiteJFK, Inglourious Basterds

All-Color in the Split Era

Just a footnote that the following cinematographers earned ONLY color nominations in the Split Era.

Leonard Smith
Allen M. Davey
Joseph Planck
William V. Skall
W. Howard Greener

All 10 nominations in color cinematography

Oddities

Sven Nyqvist

Persona (1966)

No black and white nominations. WTF?

The Godfather Part II (1974, Paramount Pictures)

Gordon Willis wasn’t nominated for an Oscar for the Godfather, The Godfather Part II or Manhattan. What?

Conclusion

Clearly many cinematographers have proven themselves adept in both styles. Perhaps this will keep black and white occasionally kicking every so often when needed.

31 Days of Oscar: Panic in the Streets (1950)

Introduction

Whatever I do manage to see this year during 31 Days of Oscar will be covered in a wrap-up post. In the meantime, those films that previously got buried in conglomerated posts will get their own due here. In the wrap-up I will continue the tradition of attempting to see 31 new-to-me Films and accounting for 100+ nominations.

Panic in the Streets (1950)

This is a very interesting film which can be categorized as Film Noir but also as an outbreak film. It’s that unusual combination which truly makes this film special and entertaining. Was it either but not both it likely isn’t that intriguing but the combination thereof makes it worthy.

Oscar Nominations/Wins: 1/1
Score: 7/10

31 Days of Oscar Blogathon: The Snubs – Defunct Categories

Introduction

Oscar Envelope

Film is an ever-changing artform, so it stands to reason that the awards that Hollywood created to help celebrate the industry should evolve. It’s more apparent when you realize that the Oscars began when the industry was in flux as sound was in its infancy.

Film has twice adapted itself in competition with other media arts. Synchronized sound came on the heels of the popularity of radio and a shift in aspect ratio, away from 1:33 to widescreen formats was introduced to distance itself from television. The same competition with television helped push films away from black and white film and towards color. With just these technical changes its natural that some award categories would fall in an out of favor over time, some aren’t so obvious. Some, surprisingly, should have never left. I will discuss the categories that are no longer around.

Best Picture, Production and Best Picture, Unique and Artistic Production (1929)

Sunrise (1927, 20th Century Fox)

The Academy Awards began with two different iterations of Best Picture. In 1929 the winners of these two respective categories were Wings (Production) and Sunrise (Unique and Artistic). My interpretation of these trophies is that one is more akin to a PGA (Producers Guild of America) award. Whereas, the logistics, accomplishments and merits of the production are highly impressive and well-executed even if the picture mat not be the best overall. Unique and artistic would then be a more narrative-award with special emphasis on creativity. This is a distinction that could’ve proved highly useful in later years. Imagine if it had been around in 1998 (the first year that jumps to mind) give Production to Titanic and Unique and Artistic to As Good as It Gets or L.A. Confidential or Good Will Hunting. Or earlier maybe How Green Was My Valley could get Production and Citizen Kane can get Unique and Artistic and everyone can leave the former alone already, and stop hating it for something that’s no fault of its own.

Ultimately, I understand how the two awards would forever cause confusion and why they needed merging, but it is interesting to consider.

Best Director, Comedy Picture and Dramatic Picture (1929)

Frank Borzage

The Golden Globes still have Comedy/Musical and Dramatic categories for Films and Actors, but not directors. The directing job is highly different in both aspects. Are comedies far too overlooked when it comes to award shows? Yes. Does each year really merit having both categories? Probably not, and surely enough it was not a category the following year.

Best Title Writing (1929)

The Private Life of Helen of Troy (1927, First National Pictures)

To be quite honest considering that the industry was already in flux awkwardly transitioning from silent to talkie I’m a little surprised this was a category at the first awards. Granted some were trying to dismiss synchronized sound as a fad, but it was clear it was coming. Some categories held on longer, but silent films in the end virtually vanished quite quicker than black-and-white fare or 4:3 aspect ratio films.

Yes, titles were crucial in the silent era, and silents did win Oscars, but it’s slightly unusual that this was actually a category for one year.

Best Cinematography, Color and Best Cinematography, Black and White 1936-1939 (Special Achievement) 1940-1966

Psycho (1960, Universal)

This split became a mainstay of the Academy for 27 editions of the Awards. This is quite a long time and indicates that despite the business-related impetus for color cinematography the necessity of occasionally going into more ethereal monochrome remained and undeniable siren’s call for filmmakers for many years to come.

As wide as the gap between color productions and black-and-white ones have become they are not extinct as recent films like Ida, The Artist and The White Ribbon indicate. Yet, color cinematography in unquestionably ubiquitous enough such that the split no longer makes sense. It most definitely did at one time: color and black-and-white are two different ways of seeing the world. The reason for splitting the two was due to that and the fact that they were fairly equally split. With little equality superlative black-and-white films do have to compete against chromatic ones be it fair or unfair; it’s just a reality.

Best Effects, Engineering Effects (1929)

Wings (1927, Paramount)

The awards for Special Effects were ones that had many names an iterations before becoming a mainstay. A category for “Special Effects, Engineering Effects” existed at the first ceremonies. They returned in 1938 with and Honorary Award. From 1939 to 1962 Visual and Sound Effects shared an award titled Special Effects. In 1963 Special Visual Effects took over. From ’72-’77 it was awarded under Special Achievement Award. The current Special Visual Effects title debuted in 1995.

However, going back to the original trophy it puts me in a mind that perhaps the Academy does need to encourage and reward different kinds of effects work. Maybe split it between practical and computerized. It actually would encourage creativity and be fair. For example many of the most impressive feats in Inception (like the spinning hallway) were done practically. This could highlight those creative moments but still reward highly-creative, ever-evolving computerized effects work.

Best Writing, Achievement 1930

The Patriot (1928, Paramount)

This was the category introduced for the 2nd Annual ceremonies and for that year only. It was an attempt to transition away from three categories (Original, Adaptation and Title Writing) to just one. The only other award I ever saw merge all screenplays into one category was my own for a while. However, adaptation and original screenplays are games with similar rules but different approaches and need different skills. They should be separately awarded and this change is one that was needed.

The Juvenile Award (Awarded intermittently from 1935-1961)

The Window (1949, RKO)

This is an award I’ve already written about at length here. In that post I chronicled those young people who were honored by the Academy. I also followed-up on that by listing who since 1961 would have earned the honor, or could have, if it was still something awarded. Since my personal BAM Awards have started offering parity (meaning the same categories for mature and young performers) I have become convinced the Academy could fill a roster of five nominees a year for a category with this same concept. The term juvenile may be dated, and have poor connotations now, but the idea is one worth revisiting.

Best Short Subject, Cartoons (1932-1957) Short Subject, Comedy (1932-1937), Short Subject Novelty (1932-1937), Short Subject Color (1937-38) Short Subject One-Reel (1937-1957) and Short Subject Two-Reel (1937-1957)

The Dot and the Line (1965, MGM)

You can almost always look to the Academy for some kind of indication as to what the state of the art at least in terms of trends. One thing that would be apparent to someone looking solely at the Oscars with no other film knowledge would be that short films used to be a much more integral part of Hollywood films than they are now. For six years Live Action films were split into Comedies and Novelties, which featured, as the name implies varied subjects and approaches. Starting in 1937 animated films (then referred to as Cartoons by the Academy) were split off and Live Action films were bifurcated by length either one-reel (about 10 minutes or less) or two-reel (about 20 minutes or less). In 1958 Live Action was introduced as the only short subject category for live action, Cartoons still the term used, and the category changed to Best Short Subject, Animated Films in 1972. It is notable that serials never had a category somehow. Maybe because Poverty Row and “lesser” majors specialized in them.

Best Assistant Director (1933-1937)

Imitation of Life (1934, Universal)

Assistant Directors back at the beginning of the film industry had a far different role than they do as the industry and art evolved. There used to be far more directing for assistant directors. First ADs now are far more administrative and keep the production running, most of their direction geared at background performers. Therefore, its interesting that the Academy once underscored the greater level of responsibility this job had with an award.

Best Dance Direction (1936-1938)

Show Boat (1936, Universal)

There are a few instances of the Oscars highlighting the elevated place that the film musical once held. This category specifically aimed at choreography on film is one.

Best Art Direction-Interior Decoration Black-And-White and Color 1940-1966

Christmas in Connecticut (1945, Warner Bros.)

This is the second of three categories that for year offered two prizes owing to the unique challenges and distinct differences in working in black-and-white and color. In simplest terms in color there are temperature, palette and tone considerations but in monochrome there is a transliteration of actual colors to gray tones for desired effect that must be considered and calculated by all department heads.

Best Music, Scoring of a Drama or Comedy (1946-1957) Best Music, Scoring of a Dramatic Picture (1942-1945) and Best Music, Scoring of a Musical Picture (1942-1957)

 

bernard-herrmann5

Here’s one more testament to the potency the musical once hand in the cinematic landscape of Hollywood’s output. In 1958 the distinction in scoring ended. For 16 ceremonies musicals were a category apart. They were so prevalent, significant, and thought to be so different that it had its own category for scoring.

The issue with genre-splitting is: where does it end? Comedy was excluded for three years, and then added. If musicals had stayed at their zenith would further scoring splits have occurred? Unlikely, but it may have been clamored for. Clearly, the loss of a category did not shut the door on the musical winning Best Score, The Sound of Music jumps immediately to mind, but it’s fascinating that it was a class apart for years.

Costume Design Black and White and Costume Design Color (1948-1966)

Jezebel (1938, Warner Bros.)

If there’s one thing that you can laud the Academy for it’s that there was uniformity in when categories stopped being subdivided by color and black-and-white. In all cases when there was such a division, either from the inception of a category like costume design, or later in the game like with cinematography, that split ceased after the 1966 Awards.

Similar to Cinematography and Art Direction costuming for both media is a different game. Black-and-white requires a more abstract understanding of colors and textures and how they’ll read when exposed. Thus, its a bit more intuitive, at times counterintuitive, and far less literal than working in color. Again the time had surely come for the category to merge due to ubiquity but the task is by no means an easy one in monochrome.

Conclusion

 

Oscars (AMPAS)

In most of the these cases it is just interesting and important to note how far the artform and industry have come. It’s important in aesthetic appreciation to note some things that used to be taken for granted and to acknowledge different trends and forms of the past. However, in some of these cases these categories could still be highly useful and be brought back today.

31 Days of Oscar Blogathon – Actors – Non-Competitive, Non-Lifetime Wins

If you followed this link I know what you’re likely thinking: How many actors have been awarded Oscars that both not in a competitive category (meaning there were no nominations announced), and also not honored in a Lifetime fashion. It’s true there aren’t too many, but they are worth noting.

Some notes: Honorary Awards were once testing grounds for concepts before they were categories like Color Cinematography, Best Foreign Language Film, Best Visual Effects, Best Sound Editing, etc.

For each honoree I’ve included the Academy’s official blurb where available, and

For your edification here are the Honorary Oscars that are for an actors’ body of work over the course of their career:

2015

Maureen O’Hara on 2/22.

2014

Angela Lansbury and Steve Martin.

2013

Hal Needham

Is this the closest the Academy will get to acknowledging stunt performers?

2012

James Earl Jones

2011

Eli Wallach

AMPAS Governors Awards: Given ‘For a lifetime’s worth of indelible screen characters’.

2010

Lauren Bacall

In recognition of her central place in the Golden Age of motion pictures.

2003

Peter O’Toole

Whose remarkable talents have provided cinema history with some of its most memorable characters. (Oscar statuette)

2002

Sidney Poitier

For his extraordinary performances and unique presence on the screen and for representing the industry with dignity, style and intelligence. (Oscar statuette)

Robert Redford

Actor, director, producer, creator of Sundance, inspiration to independent and innovative filmmakers everywhere. (Oscar statuette)

Spartacus (1960, Universal)

1996

Kirk Douglas

For 50 years as a creative and moral force in the motion picture community.

1994

Deborah Kerr

An artist of impeccable grace and beauty, a dedicated actress whose motion picture career has always stood for perfection, discipline and elegance.

[Immortalized since my childhood in Brazilian singer/songwriter Rita Lee’s “Flagra.” Lyrics and audio can be found here, translations can be done on engines. ]

1991

Sophia Loren

For a career rich with memorable performances that has added permanent luster to our art form.

Myrna Loy

In recognition of her extraordinary qualities both on screen and off, with appreciation for a lifetime’s worth of indelible performances. (Oscar statuette) – Myrna Loy was not present at the awards ceremony. She gave her acceptance speech live via satellite from her Manhattan apartment.

1987

Ralph Bellamy

For his unique artistry and his distinguished service to the profession of acting.

Cool Hand Luke (1967, Warner Bros./Seven Arts)

1986

Paul Newman

In recognition of his many and memorable and compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft.

Paul Newman was not present at the awards ceremony. He gave his acceptance speech via satellite from Chicago.

1985

James Stewart

For his fifty years of memorable performances,, for his high ideals both on and off the screen, with respect and affection of his colleagues.

1983

Mickey Rooney

In recognition of his 50 years of versatility in a variety of memorable film performances.

1982

Barbara Stanwyck

For superlative creativity and unique contribution to the art of screen acting.

1981

Henry Fonda

The consummate actor, in recognition of his brilliant accomplishments and enduring contribution to the art of motion pictures.

1979

Laurence Olivier

For the full body of his work, for the unique achievements of his entire career and his lifetime of contribution to the art of film.

Tess of Storm County (1921, AMPAS)

1976

Mary Pickford

In recognition of her unique contributions to the film industry and the development of film as an artistic medium.

Mary Pickford was not present at the awards ceremony. The presentation was made at her Pickfair estate and taped for inclusion in the broadcast.

1974

Groucho Marx

In recognition of his brilliant creativity and for the unequaled achievements of the Marx Brothers in the art of motion picture comedy.

1973


Edward G. Robinson

Who achieved greatness as a player, a patron of the arts, and a dedicated citizen … in sum, a Renaissance man. From his friends in the industry he loves.

Posthumously. Robinson died 2 months before the ceremony, after the award was voted on. His widow Jane Robinson accepted the award on his behalf.

1972

Charles Chaplin

For the incalculable effect he has had in making motion pictures the art form of this century.

1971

Lillian Gish

For superlative artistry and versatility in the creation of motion pictures.

Orson Welles

For superlative artistry and versatility in the creation of motion pictures.

Orson Welles was not present at the awards ceremony. His acceptance speech was pre-recorded.

1970

Cary Grant

For his unique mastery of the art of screen acting with the respect and affection of his colleagues.

1966

Bob Hope

For unique and distinguished service to our industry and the Academy (gold medal).

[The fourth time Hope was honored is the only one in which it seems to be for the whole of his career.

High Noon (1952, United Artists)

1961

Gary Cooper

For his many memorable screen performances and the international recognition he, as an individual, has gained for the motion picture industry.

Gary Cooper could not attend the awards ceremony. James Stewart accepted the award on his behalf.

Stan Laurel

For his creative pioneering in the field of cinema comedy. Stan Laurel was not present at the awards ceremony. Presenter Danny Kaye accepted the award on his behalf.

[Just Stan? Fair or unfair? Unfair.]

1960

Buster Keaton

For his unique talents which brought immortal comedies to the screen.

1959

Maurice Chevalier

For his contributions to the world of entertainment for more than half a century.

1957

Eddie Cantor

For distinguished service to the film industry.

White Christmas (1954, 20th Century Fox)

1955

Danny Kaye

For his unique talents, his service to the Academy, the motion picture industry, and the American people.

Greta Garbo

For her unforgettable screen performances. Greta Garbo was not present at the ceremony. Nancy Kelly accepted the award on her behalf.

1953

Bob Hope

For his contribution to the laughter of the world, his service to the motion picture industry, and his devotion to the American premise.

[Number three. Since it cites the Motion Picture industry I do not cite it as an award for other services.]


Harold Lloyd

For his contribution to the laughter of the world, his service to the motion picture industry, and his devotion to the American premise.

1952

Gene Kelly

In appreciation of his versatility as an actor, singer, director and dancer, and specifically for his brilliant achievements in the art of choreography on film.

1950

Jean Hersholt

For distinguished service to the motion picture industry.

Fred Astaire

For his unique artistry and his contributions to the technique of musical pictures.

Actors Awarded for Other Endeavors

Bob Hope and Marlon Brando (A.M.P.A.S.)

There have been many cases where Honorary Awards have been specifically given to actors for work not onscreen. Here are those instances with the Academy’s blurb for each. When necessary I have expounded on them:

1945

Bob Hope

For his many services to the Academy (Life Membership in the AMPAS).

[Did hosting apply to this too?]

1943

Charles Boyer

For his progressive cultural achievement in establishing the French Research Foundation in Los Angeles as a source of reference (certificate).

1941

Bob Hope

In recognition of his unselfish services to the motion picture industry (special silver plaque).

1940

Hearts of Humanity (1932)

Jean Hersholt (president), Ralph Morgan (chairman of the executive committee), Ralph Block (first vice-president), Conrad Nagel (Motion Picture Relief Fund)

Acknowledging the outstanding services to the industry during the past year of the Motion Picture Relief Fund and its progressive leadership
(plaque).

Douglas Fairbanks

Recognizing the unique and outstanding contribution of Douglas Fairbanks, first president of the Academy, to the international development of the motion picture (Commemorative Award).

1938

Edgar Bergen

For his outstanding comedy creation, Charlie McCarthy (wooden statuette).

[Ventriloquism is performance, but since this award is for the creation of a character I consider it “another” contribution.]

1932

Fantasia (1940, Disney)

Walt Disney

For the creation of Mickey Mouse.

[Walt Disney received quite a few custom-created Oscars. This one I consider as an actor for another endeavor because he did start of drawing and voicing Mickey aside for conceptualizing him. Disney’s renown is justly more for producing and his creative/business acumen, but it did all start with a mouse which he was the driving force behind].

Actors Awarded For Singular Performances in Non-Competitive Ways

Song of the South (1946, Disney)

OK, now that we got the standards and the oddities out of the way we can discuss briefly the two single-performance Honorary Oscars ever. They are rare and each have their own unique circumstances.

1948

Song of the South: James Baskett

For his able and heart-warming characterization of Uncle Remus, friend and story teller to the children of the world, in Walt Disney’s Song of the South.

[Here I go talking about Song of the South again, I knew this was going to overlap here when I planned it.

Essentially this is the Academy taking up the idea after Disney’s urging. Baskett sadly died a most untimely death of heart failure shortly after his being awarded the Oscar.

1929

The Circus (1928, United Artists)

Charles Chaplin, The Circus

For versatility and genius in acting, writing, directing and producing The Circus.

Though nominated for best actor, the academy decided to remove Chaplin’s name from the competitive classes and instead award him a Special Award.

As I will look at in the defunct categories post when snubs come around thing were a lot different in the early days before the Academy gained prestige and standard operating procedures. Even though the blurb for Chaplin’s honorary award reads very complimentary between the lines it does seem to read like: “You were going to embarrass everyone, Charles, here’s an award now let’s all give some other folks a chance.” Whether personal, actual or business politics came into play I’m sure will never be confirmed, but it’s really one of the most head-scratcing decisions ever on the surface. We’re going to un-nominate you and give you an Oscar then re-award Best Actor of 1929. Weird to say the least. Not only were the Oscars new but the industry was in flux. Silent versus Talkies may have played into it as well.

Chaplin, of course, would go on to win another Honorary Award after long leaving the US, and again when Limelight made its way across the Atlantic after 20 years.

Conclusion

Anyone with further information on the Chaplin oddity, please do add some. Thank you. Next week I will discuss the short-lived and otherwise defunct Oscar Categories in the Snubs theme. I hope this was an enjoyable one even with the long lead-in citing conventional Honorary Winners.