Awards Archive for November, 2007

Sweenie & The Plasma Factory

There is a freaky embargo on Sweeney Todd, given that it had a junket, unofficial reviews are all over the place, it was reviewed by Harry Knowles a month ago, and I (and most of my colleagues) already know what dozens of people think of the film


I've Got Spirit, How About You?

A rather odd list from the Indie Spirit crew this year. No one can really accuse the group of pandering to celebrity with its version of Best Picture


By Request: The No Country For Old Men Thread

This is a SPOILER comment thread for No Country… it has been asked for, discussed, avoided, and fought about…
If you don’t want the ending SPOILED, stay out of the thread. You are warned!!1


On Blanchett

Ah, the joy of the awards season…
The issue of Ms. Blanchett’s intended placement in I’m Not There is at least one step more in the air than suggested to me by a very close source this weekend. In other words, I got played a little… and I was not as careful as I should have been.
At this point, things may well go that way. But frankly, the media blowback coming out of the post the other day is turning heads in various camps and where things land are in play once again.
This much is clear… Ms Blanchett’s turn in I’m Not There is one of the five best performances on the year in ALL categories, male or female or dog or cat, if you were going to pick five. It is easily the current crowning achievement of her career. Cotillard, Day-Lewis, and Bardem are, to my eye, the other undeniables… not just great performances (like Swinton, Page, Wilkinson, Jones, Hoffman, Linney, Depp, Hirsch, etc, etc, etc) but singular events.
But whoever said that the political race of award season is exclusively or even primarily about the work?


A Little Less Support In Search Of More

There is good news for the Marisa Tomeis (Before The Devil Knows You


Stuck In The Middle (East) With You

There is an excellent film out there suffering from a publicity problem.
The problem is that it is the Israeli nominee for Best Foreign Language Oscar and all the attention is being paid to the film that was disqualified


Clarification On Once Song Eligibility

From one of the film’s publicists –
“To clarify the eligibility of Falling Slowly as I noticed some posts on your blog – the academy rules say a song must be recorded for use in the film prior to any other usage – Falling Slowly was written by Glen Hansard for Once and the film was shot in January 2006. Unsure of whether Once would ever find a distributor or much less have a soundtrack, Glen and Marketa decided to release The Swell Season in Sept 2006 and that album has 4 songs on it that were also in Once. All the songs were recorded expressly for use in the film, but then used later on their album. Luckily, everything changed for them when Fox Searchlight acquired the film at Sundance 2007 and made it into this year’s indie success.”
And while a publicist is a publicist, you should know that situations like this are cleared with The Academy by studios as the process goes along, so I doubt any of this is just a defensive position. I’m sure that if this is being written for publication, that they have been cleared by The Academy on the issue.


New Idea

This came via e-mail with a 5mg attachment that I can’t recreate on the blog. But interesting…
November 20, 2007
Dear Broadcast Film Critic member,
We are pleased to send you a downloadable MP3 of


The Academy Doc Short List Emerges

6:00p Update
Last night and today is the tome when The Academy lets filmmakers know whether they are on the doc short list. This entry will evolve as more informations comes in…
Already in:
Autism: The Musical
Body of War
Lake of Fire
– no official website available
No End In Sight
Operation Homecoming
The Price of Sugar
Taxi To The Darkside

Next rumor at #11 – The Rape Of Europa
Amongst the “expected by many, but unheard from as of yet”:
Crazy Love
For the Bible Tells Me So
I Have Never Forgotten You: The Life & Legacy of Simon Wiesenthal
Jimmy Carter Man from Plains
My Enemy’s Enemy
My Kid Could Paint That
Pete Seeger: The Power of Song
Primo Levi’s Journey
Terror’s Advocate

And apparently Out are:
Darfur, Now
The Devil Came on Horseback
In The Shadow Of The Moon
The King Of Kong
Manda Bala
Steal a Pencil for Me
We Are Together


Sweeney Tease

The Evening With Tim Burton at Lincoln Center delivered the first real glimpses, outside of Venice, of Sweeney Todd. The choices of what to show were clearly carefully selected.
In the case of


Off The Lot

Thought it was interesting… at least two studios (Fox and Paramount) are moving all guild/Academy screenings off of their lots. This will require an addition of about $25,000 a week to many studio awards screening budgets and will make quality screening rooms a major commodity… even more than normal.
This will also make it an even tougher market for indies, as the studios with money will be chasing screening opportunities – heavy on weeknights and weekend matinees – at The Grove, The Arclight, and the Landmark Pavillion and guild members will start facing, to their dismay, events at the crappier theaters rooms all over town that we all thought were no longer options that anyone would choose.
If the strike lasts into late December, things will get a lot more dramatic, as screens become even more valuable to the exhibitors who own them and the studios who have films in traditional release.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon