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If you've caught a screening of "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," you likely noted the new animated logo celebrating the studio's 100th anniversary. It's a grand occasion for any company to hit that kind of a mark, and Paramount will be wasting no time heralding the occasion later this month with a planned exhibition of Technicolor's restoration of 1927's first-ever Best Picture winner "Wings."
Meanwhile, the studio has launched a new app for the iPad that also celebrates the landmark year. The 100 Years of Movie Magic app "is an exploration of the studio’s incredibly rich and storied history," the iTunes blurb reads. "From Paramount’s modest beginning in 1912 with 'Queen Elizabeth' to 'Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol,' the app provides a fresh and innovative opportunity to experience your favorite films by flipping through never-before-seen photos, watching memorable film clips, and listening to timeless music scores."
This is the kind of thing an iPad app can excel at. There is a wonderful (pricey) app dedicated to T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land," for instance, which draws in a boatload of interactive features related to the famed poem, all taking advantage of the iPad's components. I downloaded the Paramount app (it's free) and just a moment ago started digging through the bells and whistles myself.
Included is a forward from studio CEO Brad Grey, photos charting the studio's journey from its earliest days (when much of the surrounding area was yet unspoiled), a detailed history of Paramount's many films (with smartly tied-in purchasing options, natch) -- it might even be ALL the studio's films, and much more. Images from "Wings," "Terms of Endearment," "Forrest Gump," "Braveheart," "The Lost Weekend," "The Greatest Show on Earth," "The Godfather" and "Ordinary People," among others, flash by, reminding of a rich legacy.
Quite applicable to our purposes here is an Academy Awards section, which goes through each year that saw Oscar recognition in the form of a nomination or an actual statue for Paramount films. Very cool stuff. I wish every studio would do something like this.
It's well worth it to kill a little time diving into the history. You can download the app at iTunes or on your iPad.
What are some of your favorite Paramount films over the years? Naturally I have to speak up for "The Godfather" and "The Godfather Part II" (as I'm sure you all would). The 1970s weren't too bad for the studio, actually, with others like "Harold and Maude," "Serpico," "The Conversation," "Chinatown," "Nashville," "Days of Heaven" and "Heaven Can Wait" spread throughout.
Obviously, "Once Upon a Time in the West" ranks up there for me. "Double Indemnity" and "Metropolis" are also personal all-time favorites. "Hud," "Sullivan's Travels," the Indiana Jones trilogy (what fourth one?), "The Untouchables," "The Truman Show," entertainments like "Top Gun," "Coming to America," and "Tropic Thunder," recent favorites like "School of Rock," "Mean Girls," "Hustle & Flow," "There Will Be Blood," "Up in the Air," "Shutter Island." So much to note.
And since the holidays just passed, I might as well mention "It's a Wonderful Life," "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" and "Scrooged," too.
This year, of course, Paramount has another healthy crop of films, including "The Adventures of Tintin," "Hugo," "Justin Bieber: Never Say Never," the aforementioned "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol," "Paranormal Activity 3," "Super 8," "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" and "Young Adult." And "Hugo" looks to be the studio's 62nd film nominated for Best Picture. (Note: Paramount includes "No Country for Old Men" as one of its films. The studio shared the film with Miramax Films in 2007.)
Here is my Oscar Talk colleague Anne Thompson on the studio topping the domestic market share in 2011.
It's a big year for the crew on Melrose. Congratulations to them. And here's to 100 more. Oh, and have a look at that celebratory logo in action (with new fanfare courtesy of "Super 8" and "Mission: Impossible - Ghost Protocol" composer Michael Giacchino) below.
For year-round entertainment news and awards season commentary follow @kristapley on Twitter.
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