Well, The Wire is over and Omar will never get another pack of Newportsâ€”wait, spoilers? Who cares, because the end of one good thing means weâ€™re gifted with another: the initial line-up for the 2008 Tribeca Film Festival. The official list for World Narrative and Documentary features were announced earlier in the week, as was the news that the Tina Fey comedy Baby Mama would kick off the fest on April 24th, while S.T. VanAirsdale unofficially broke Speed Racer as the closing flick on May 4th.
But Vadim and I love the festival for a whole different reason and we get into that as we look over the initial press blurbs. This leads to a slight argument between us and how one of usâ€”guess who!â€”believes that the ideology of Tribeca is firmly ingrained as the “anti” local New York film festival. We also look at crazy Brazilian film translations of major American blockbusters.
Until thenâ€”oh, wait? One of you noticed this is episode 6 and not episode 5? Why, episode 5 is coming. Just later. Our special guest, Eric Kohn (who has been busting ass at Stream) has been in Austin for the past week and looking at new media or films or music or something. Iâ€™m fairly sure he is actually at his apartment watching Time Crimes on repeat. So we postponed that recording for a bit and now have our first “lost” episode. Another fun feature we start using this week is the Noel Murray Stopclock (explanation within).
Anyway. If you see Vadim or me at the bar, be sure to buy us a drink. And Diary of the Dead sucked. JL
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John Lichman is a freelance writer who contributes to The Reeler, Primetime A&E and anyone with cash. He works odd jobs to afford his vices, sleeps on couches and can drink Vadim Rizov under a table.
Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Original Screenplay
This season, Hollywood is invested in celebrating the films they love while dodging the cultural bullets coming at them from every angle.
You know, if it weren’t for the show’s producers effectively and repeatedly saying everything about the Academy Awards is terrible and needs to be changed, and the yearâ€™s top-tier contenders inadvertently confirming their claims, this wouldâ€™ve been a comparatively fun and suspenseful Oscar season. None of us who follow the Academy Awards expect great films to win; we just hope the marathon of precursors don’t turn into a Groundhog Day-style rinse and repeat for the same film, ad nauseam.
On that score, mission accomplished. The guilds have been handing their awards out this season as though they met beforehand and assigned each voting body a different title from Oscarâ€™s best picture list so as not to tip the Oscar race too clearly toward any one film. SAG? Black Panther. PGA? Green Book. DGA? Roma. ASC? Cold War. ACE? Bryan Singerâ€™s Bohemian Rhapsody. Even awards-season kryptonite A Star Is Born got an award for contemporary makeup from the MUAHS. (Thatâ€™s the Make-Up Artists and Hair Stylists Guild, not the sound Lady Gaga fans have been making ever since A Star Is Bornâ€™s teaser trailer dropped last year.)
Not to be outdone, the Writers Guild of America announced their winners last weekend, and not only did presumed adapted screenplay frontrunner BlacKkKlansman wind up stymied by Can You Ever Forgive Me?, but the original screenplay prize went to Eighth Grade, which wasnâ€™t even nominated for an Oscar. Bo Burnham twisted the knife into AMPAS during his acceptance speech: â€śTo the other nominees in the category, have fun at the Oscars, losers!â€ť In both his sarcasm and his surprise, itâ€™s safe to say he speaks on behalf of us all.
As is always the case, WGAâ€™s narrow eligibility rules kept a presumed favorite, The Favourite, out of this crucial trial heat. But as the balloting period comes to a close, the question remains just how much enthusiasm or affection voters have for either of the two films with the most nominations (Roma being the other). As a recent â€ścanâ€™t we all just get alongâ€ť appeal by Timeâ€™s Stephanie Zacharek illustrates, the thing Hollywood is most invested in this season involves bending over backward, Matrix-style, to celebrate the films they love and still dodge the cultural bullets coming at them from every angle.
Maybe itâ€™s just tunnel vision from the cultural vacuum Oscar voters all-too-understandably would prefer to live in this year, but doesnâ€™t it seem like The Favouriteâ€™s tastefully ribald peppering of posh-accented C-words would be no match for the steady litany of neo-Archie Bunkerisms spewing from Viggo Mortensenâ€™s crooked mouth? Especially with First Reformedâ€™s Paul Schrader siphoning votes from among the academyâ€™s presumably more vanguard new recruits? Weâ€™ll fold our words in half and eat them whole if weâ€™re wrong, but Oscarâ€™s old guard, unlike John Wayne, is still alive and, well, pissed.
Will Win: Green Book
Could Win: The Favourite
Should Win: First Reformed
Watch: Joanna Hoggâ€™s The Souvenir, Starring Honor Swinton Byrne and Tilda Swinton, Gets First Trailer
Joanna Hogg has been flying under the radar for some time, but thatâ€™s poised to change in a big way.
British film director and screenwriter Joanna Hogg, whose impeccably crafted 2013 film Exhibition we praised on these pages for its â€śdisarming mixture of the remarkable and the banal,â€ť has been flying under the radar for the better part of her career. But thatâ€™s poised to change in a big way with the release of her latest film, The Souvenir, which won the Grand Jury Prize at this yearâ€™s Sundance Film Festival. Prior to the filmâ€™s world premiere at the festival, A24 and Curzon Artificial Eye acquired its U.S. and U.K. distribution rights, respectively. Below is the official description of the film:
A shy but ambitious film student (Honor Swinton Byrne) begins to find her voice as an artist while navigating a turbulent courtship with a charismatic but untrustworthy man (Tom Burke). She defies her protective mother (Tilda Swinton) and concerned friends as she slips deeper and deeper into an intense, emotionally fraught relationship that comes dangerously close to destroying her dreams.
And below is the filmâ€™s first trailer:
A24 will release The Souvenir on May 17.
Oscar 2019 Winner Predictions: Sound Mixing
For appealing to votersâ€™ nostalgia for drunken karaoke nights of yore, one film has the upper hand here.
Given what Eric wrote about the sound editing category yesterday, it now behooves me to not beat around the bush here. Also, itâ€™s my birthday, and there are better things for me to do today than count all the ways that Eric and I talk ourselves out of correct guesses in the two sound categories, as well as step on each otherâ€™s toes throughout the entirety of our Oscar-prediction cycle. In short, itâ€™s very noisy. Which is how Oscar likes it when it comes to sound, though maybe not as much the case with sound mixing, where the spoils quite often go to best picture nominees that also happen to be musicals (Les MisĂ©rables) or musical-adjacent (Whiplash). Only two films fit that bill this year, and since 2019 is already making a concerted effort to top 2018 as the worst year ever, thereâ€™s no reason to believe that the scarcely fat-bottomed mixing of Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody will take this in a walk, for appealing to votersâ€™ nostalgia for drunken karaoke nights of yore.
Will Win: Bryan Singer’s Bohemian Rhapsody
Could Win: A Star Is Born
Should Win: First Man