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Posts Tagged ‘Star Wars’

Tuesday February 25th, 2014

Scott Feinberg on His Career, the Oscars and the State of the Movies


By Mark Pinkert
Contributor

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For my final post of the Oscar season, I decided to interview Scott Feinberg, the preeminent Oscarologist and namesake of this website, to get some insights from him about his own career and influences, his experiences on the awards circuit this year and his impressions about the current state of the film industry. Below is the full transcript of our conversation. It’s long, but certainly worth a read.

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Monday December 16th, 2013

Best Original Score Winners in the 21st Century: Do they Influence The Best Picture Race?

By Mark Pinkert
Contributor

When I began research for this post, I assumed there would be a noticeable correlation between Academy Award Best Picture winners and Best Original Score winners. A safe assumption, I thought, because of how important music is to cinema (have you ever watched a scene before music was added?). Music provides emotional thrust to a film. It creates suspense, amplifies poignant moments, and brings settings to life. Additionally, music can shape our memory of a given film. How many iconic movies—The Godfather (1972), Star Wars (1977), Jaws (1975), Psycho (1960)—have themes that we automatically recall as soon as the movie’s title comes up?

Yet in the thirteen Academy Awards since and including 2000, only three Best Picture winners also took home Best Original Score and of the eighty-five films that were nominated for Best Picture in this time period, only about one third of them were even nominated for Best Original Score.

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Monday December 3rd, 2012

The Confounding Connection Between The Box Office And The Oscars

By Joey Magidson
Film Contributor

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As much as we all like to take a pure approach to movies and the awards season as a whole, looking at film only as an art form to be rewarded solely on its merit, the Oscars are a business. It’s mostly a matter of things being black and white. But we get shades of grey in the connection that exists (or maybe doesn’t) between the Oscars and the box office.

Long has been the contention that Oscars winners, especially Best Picture winners, need to be big moneymakers to actually take home the gold. Two out of the last three films crowned with the prize, though, have been among the very lowest grossers of all time. The Artist and The Hurt Locker beat out bigger bucks, with the latter especially noteworthy for triumphing over the highest grossing film of all time in Avatar.

While this could become the norm, it used to be a rarity (just look at how many people are still shocked that Annie Hall beat out Star Wars in 1978), and it’s currently cited as an example of how the tastes of the Academy and the mainstream public have never been less in sync. The Academy has even acknowledged its desire to cater to the average moviegoer’s likes through the expansion of Best Picture, albeit to mixed success. Is this necessarily a bad thing, and what does it mean for this year?

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Tuesday November 27th, 2012

‘Looper’ Director Rian Johnson Discusses Creative Process, Influences, Heightened Reality

By Rachel Bennett
Television Editor & Columnist

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They say the third time’s the charm, and that appears to be the case for writer-director Rian Johnson.

Looper, Johnson’s third and most ambitious feature , opened on Sept. 28 and quickly became one of the year’s most critically acclaimed and commercially successful releases. The story of a man (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) assigned to kill the 30-years-older version of himself (Bruce Willis) after time-travel is discovered, it’s a rare blockbuster that’s both creative and smart. It has thus earned Johnson comparisons to fellow filmmakers like Christopher Nolan and Darren Aronofsky.

Oh, and Looper is also immensely profitable: made on a mid-range budget of just $30 million, it grossed $66 million at the U.S. box-office and another $97 million abroad. How many other 2012 films can compete with those profit-margins?

Looper marks the second large collaboration between Johnson and star Gordon-Levitt, who worked together on Johnson’s first feature, the 2005 high school drama Brick, a $475,000 neo-noir that caught a lot of people’s attention after it played at Sundance and went on to gross over $3 million internationally. Gordon-Levitt also made a cameo in Johnson’s second film, The Brothers Bloom, a $20 million film that was rejected by critics and ignored by moviegoers upon its release in 2008.

I recently caught up with Johnson, of whom I am admittedly a big fan, over the telephone to discuss his life and career.

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Thursday November 15th, 2012

TV Rewind: ‘House of Cards’ Trailer Suggests Shake-Up, ‘Nashville’ Renewed, ‘Girls’ Going For Three

By Rachel Bennett
Television Editor & Columnist

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TOP STORIES

• The first trailer for Netflix’s original series House of Cards is online. Not to be overly dramatic, but its success could change TV as we know it.

• ABC’s new musical drama Nashville, staring Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, received a full season from the alphabet network.

• It looks as though HBO’s Girls will get a third season. The comedy’s second season premieres Jan. 13.

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Thursday March 8th, 2012

George Lucas Talks About Star Wars

By Josh Abraham

Sirius XM Radio today announced that it will broadcast an in-depth interview conducted by Senator Bill Bradley with award-winning filmmaker George Lucas—the legendary creator of the Star Wars Saga and Indiana Jones series and chairman of Lucasfilm, Ltd.—on a special edition of Senator Bradley’s SiriusXM show American Voices.

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Sunday January 22nd, 2012

“Red Tails” is an Entertaining History Lesson/B-Movie

By Scott Mendelson

The strongest aspect of director Anthony Hemingway and producer George Lucas’s Red Tails is that it lives in a somewhat Utopian film industry where African-American dramas aren’t all that big of a deal. The picture may have an unfair burden of proving the bankability of larger-budget ($58 million) genre fare revolving entirely around African Americans, but you don’t see that sweat onscreen. It treats itself not like a test case, or a passion project for one of the more financially successful independent filmmakers of our age, but merely a B-movie action drama that involves actors like Cuba Cooding Jr. Terrence Howard, and David Oyelowo. Red Tails may be (unfortunately) an anomaly, but those behind and in front of the camera treat this as if it were one of many minority-led historical dramas that open each month at the local multiplex.

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Thursday November 24th, 2011

The Hardest Oscar Category to Crack… Is Best Original Score?!

As most of us prepare to give thanks, some among us — particularly young and up-and-  coming film composers — are saying please, as in, “Please Academy, give us a chance!”

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Sunday November 13th, 2011

After Rough Week, Governors Awards Ceremony Gives Academy Reason to Celebrate

If the Academy’s image was a bit dusted up by the Brett Ratner and Eddie Murphy controversies of the past week, it was polished off like a shiny new Oscar by Saturday night’s third annual Governors Awards, at which honorary Oscars were presented to actor James Earl Jones (in absentia) and makeup artist Dick Smith and actress/producer/philanthropist Oprah Winfreyreceived the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award.

EXCLUSIVE AUDIO: Oprah Winfrey, James Earl Jones and Dick Smith on Governors Awards

I felt truly privileged to be in the room for the ceremony, which several awards show veterans in attendance described to me as one of the most powerful and moving that they can remember.

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Wednesday August 3rd, 2011

HONORARY OSCARS WILL GO TO JAMES EARL JONES, DICK SMITH, AND OPRAH!

Last night, the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voted to present honorary Academy Awards to actor James Earl Jones and makeup artist Dick Smith, and its Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award — which has only been awarded to 33 other people (three posthumously) — to philanthropist/talk show host/actress/producer Oprah Winfrey. All three awards will be presented at the Academy’s third annual Governors Awards dinner on Saturday, November 12, at the Grand Ballroom at the Hollywood & Highland Center, an event that has come to mean nearly as much to true cinephiles as Oscar night itself. In addition to receiving tributes from family, friends, and colleagues on that evening, the three honorees will also be acknowledged during the actual 84th Academy Awards ceremony on Sunday, February 26, 2012.

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