1. ”Bloodborne and the History of Horror.” For Kill Screen, David Chandler on the video game Bloodborne’s influences.
“The immediate accessibility of this aesthetic, however, hardly reflects Miyazaki’s now-infamous approach to game and narrative design. Bloodborne’s grotesque exuberance borrows the shallowest trappings of gothic literature with, presumably, none of those facets that make the genre so fascinating. Stoker illuminates the apprehensions running rampant at the turn of the century through a lens of horror, and I had hoped that Bloodborne would use its aesthetic trappings to attempt something similar or at least equally ambitious. Instead, these designs prove to be so much easy fodder to be consumed by a much grander narrative when Bloodborne invokes another giant of the horror genre: H.P. Lovecraft.”
2. “The Unbreakable Lily Tomlin: On Weed, Uppers, and Finally Taking the Lead.” In a freewheeling interview, Grace and Frankie star Lily Tomlin dishes on everything from aging in Hollywood to being Jane Fonda’s BFF and why she doesn’t go on benders anymore.
“I mean I’ve smoked on and off over the years. I like uppers more than something soporific that makes you a little mellow. But I don’t take anything anymore. Recreationally, I mean. I never ’took it’ or was addicted to and used it every day at all. I do know people who smoked every day and did stuff like that. I’m too wacky and nutty and foggy anyway. I don’t need to get too blissed out. I do like uppers though, but I don’t do that anymore. I never took those regularly, either. I was too interested in working and being. I might do it with friends hanging out. But it has to be a special mood or a special occasion. Oh my, I’m telling you everything.”
3. “Techniques of the Observer.” For Artforum, Hito Steyerl and Laura Poitras in conversation.
“Snowden contacting me out of the blue is an example of why I love doing work that is in dialogue with the world around me, because I literally could never have imagined Edward Snowden. The limits of my imagination are much less interesting than what I encounter going into the field and filming. So yes, it obviously changed the narrative. But part of vérité filmmaking, and documenting in the present tense as things unfold, is going where the story leads. It’s uncertain and scary at times, but that is why there is drama. It wasn’t difficult to shift the focus around something that obviously has a lot of gravitational pull, which Snowden had.”
4. “Stéphane Delorme Interview.” The editor-in-chief of Cahiers du Cinéma on Spielberg, politics, and the vitality of cinema.
“My call for lyricism in film was also a call to liberate emotions and stop being either cynical or overly modest. There’s really a very French problem with modesty and timidity. The French have a complex about powerful emotions and ambitious forms. What can we do in France to change the smallness in which we are immersed? I find it so painful to witness the lack of ambition in art and literature, not just in cinema. In my view, it’s everywhere, though of course there are exceptions. We salvage things in the name of exceptions. But after a while it’s tiring to save the exceptions.”
5. “Stolen Faces.” For Chiseler, Imogen Smith on cinema’s masks.
“The fullest cinematic exploration of the problems inherent in trying to make a new life through plastic surgery is Seconds (1966), John Frankenheimer’s flesh-creeping sci-fi drama about a mysterious company that offers clients second lives. For a substantial fee, they will fake your death, make you over completely—including new fingerprints, teeth, and vocal cords—and create an entirely new identity for you. There is never a moment in the movie when this seems like a good idea. The Saul Bass credits, in which human features are stretched and distorted in extreme close-up, instills a horror of plasticity, and disorienting camera-work creates an immediate feeling of unease and dislocation, a physical discomfort at being in the wrong place.”
Video of the Day: Ryan Gosling eats his cereal:
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Oscars 2019: Who Will Win? Who Should Win? Our Final Predictions
No one is okay with the Academy Awards the way they are, and everyone seems sure that they know how to fix them.
No one is okay with the Academy Awards the way they are, and everyone seems sure that they know how to fix them. Cut out the montages, bring back honorary award presentations, give stunt performers their own category, let ranked-choice voting determine every category and not just best picture, overhaul the membership ranks, hold the event before the guilds spoil the surprise, find a host with the magic demographic-spanning mojo necessary to double the show’s recent audience pools, nominate bigger hits, nominate only hits. Across the last 24 days, Ed Gonzalez and I have mulled over the academy’s existential crisis and how it’s polluted this year’s Oscar race so thoroughly that it feels eerily similar to the 2016 election cycle all over again. We’re spent, and while we don’t know if we have it in us to do this next year, we just might give it another go if Oscar proves us wrong on Sunday in more than just one category.
Below are our final Oscar predictions. Want more? Click on the individual articles for our justifications and more, including who we think should win in all 24 categories.
Picture: Green Book
Director: Alfonso Cuarón, Roma
Actor: Rami Malek, Bohemian Rhapsody
Actress: Glenn Close, The Wife
Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali, Green Book
Supporting Actress: Regina King, If Beale Street Could Talk
Original Screenplay: Green Book
Adapted Screenplay: BlacKkKlansman
Foreign Language: Roma
Documentary Feature: RBG
Animated Feature Film: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse
Documentary Short: Period. End of Sentence
Animated Short: Weekends
Live Action Short: Skin
Film Editing: Bohemian Rhapsody
Production Design: The Favourite
Cinematography: Cold War
Costume Design: The Favourite
Makeup and Hairstyling: Vice
Score: If Beale Street Could Talk
Song: “Shallow,” A Star Is Born
Sound Editing: First Man
Sound Mixing: Bohemian Rhapsody
Visual Effects: First Man
Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Picture
The industry’s existential crisis has polluted this race so thoroughly that it feels eerily similar to the 2016 election cycle all over again.
“I’m hyperventilating a little. If I fall over pick me up because I’ve got something to say,” deadpanned Frances McDormand upon winning her best actress Oscar last year. From her lips to Hollywood’s ears. No one is okay with the Academy Awards the way they are, and everyone seems sure that they know how to fix them. Cut out the montages, bring back honorary award presentations, give stunt performers their own category, let ranked-choice voting determine every category and not just best picture, overhaul the membership ranks, hold the event before the guilds spoil the surprise, find a host with the magic demographic-spanning mojo necessary to double the show’s recent audience pools, nominate bigger hits, nominate only hits.
But first, as McDormand herself called for during her speech, “a moment of perspective.” A crop of articles have popped up over the last two weeks looking back at the brutal showdown between Saving Private Ryan and Shakespeare In Love at the 1999 Academy Awards, when Harvey Weinstein was at the height of his nefarious powers. Every retrospective piece accepts as common wisdom that it was probably the most obnoxious awards season in history, one that indeed set the stage for every grinding assault we’ve paid witness to ever since. But did anyone two decades ago have to endure dozens of weekly Oscar podcasters and hundreds of underpaid web writers musing, “What do the Academy Awards want to be moving forward, exactly? Who should voters represent in this fractured media environment, exactly?” How much whiskey we can safely use to wash down our Lexapro, exactly?
Amid the fox-in-a-henhouse milieu of ceaseless moral outrage serving as this awards season’s backdrop, and amid the self-obsessed entertainers now wrestling with the idea that they now have to be “content providers,” all anyone seems concerned about is what an Oscar means in the future, and whether next year’s versions of Black Panther and Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody have a seat at the table. What everyone’s forgetting is what the Oscars have always been. In other words, the industry’s existential crisis has polluted this race so thoroughly that it feels eerily similar to the 2016 election cycle all over again, and Oscar’s clearly splintered voting blocs may become ground zero for a Make the Academy Great Again watershed.
In 1956, the Oscars took a turn toward small, quotidian, neo-realish movies, awarding Marty the top prize. The correction was swift and sure the following year, with a full slate of elephantine epics underlining the movie industry’s intimidation at the new threat of television. Moonlight’s shocking triumph two years ago was similarly answered by the safe, whimsical The Shape of Water, a choice that reaffirmed the academy’s commitment to politically innocuous liberalism in artistically conservative digs. Call us cynical, but we know which of the last couple go-arounds feels like the real academy. Which is why so many are banking on the formally dazzling humanism of Alfonso Cuarón’s Roma and so few on the vital, merciless fury of Spike Lee’s BlacKkKlansman.
And even if we give the benefit of the doubt to the academy’s new members, there’s that righteous, reactionary fervor in the air against those attempting to “cancel” Green Book. Those attacking the film from every conceivable angle have also ignored the one that matters to most people: the pleasure principle. Can anyone blame Hollywood for getting its back up on behalf of a laughably old-fashioned but seamlessly mounted road movie-cum-buddy pic that reassures people that the world they’re leaving is better than the one they found? That’s, as they say, the future that liberals and Oscar want.
Will Win: Green Book
Should Win: BlacKkKlansman
Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Adapted Screenplay
After walking back almost all of its bad decisions ahead of this year’s Oscars, there’s no way AMPAS isn’t going to do the right thing here.
Eric and I have done a good job this year of only selectively stealing each other’s behind-the-scenes jokes. We have, though, not been polite about stepping on each other’s toes in other ways. Okay, maybe just Eric, who in his impeccable take on the original screenplay free-for-all detailed how the guilds this year have almost willfully gone out of their way to “not tip the Oscar race too clearly toward any one film.” Case in point: Can You Ever Forgive Me? winning the WGA’s adapted screenplay trophy over presumed Oscar frontrunner BlacKkKlansman. A glitch in the matrix? We think so. Eric and I are still in agreement that the race for best picture this year is pretty wide open, though maybe a little less so in the wake of what seemed like an easy win for the Spike Lee joint. Nevertheless, we all know that there’s no Oscar narrative more powerful than “it’s about goddamn time,” and it was so powerful this year that even the diversity-challenged BAFTAs got the memo, giving their adapted screenplay prize to Lee, Charlie Wachtel, David Rabinowitz, and Kevin Willmott. To bamboozle Lee at this point would, admittedly, be so very 2019, but given that it’s walked back almost all of its bad decisions ahead of this year’s Oscars, there’s no way AMPAS isn’t going to do the right thing.
Will Win: BlacKkKlansman
Could Win: Can You Ever Forgive Me?
Should Win: BlacKkKlansman