Plus a remembrance of my first look at Coppola's masterpiece
Spinning off of Roth's piece this morning about the "Godfather" re-release, I just flipped it over to AMC and see that the film is airing there now. It'll show again at midnight.
According to Entertainment Weekly, "The Godfather: Part II" will air on Tuesday and Thursday at 8 pm and 12:30 am. "The trilogy will then be aired in its entirety on Friday, March 2, from 9:30 am through 10 pm. The celebration culminates on Saturday with AMC’s premiere of the digitally-restored version of 'The Godfather Saga' beginning at 10 am." You can learn more about the latter here. It's awesome.
Anyway, in a nice bit of self-promotion, AMC has tapped stars of its hit series "Mad Men" to promote the film, its 40th anniversary and the channel's special presentations. Jon Hamm, Jared Harris and Vincent Kartheiser are tapped for comments. I also saw "Breaking Bad"'s Giancarlo Esposito thrown in there, too.
Meanwhile, Weinsteins continue to protest R rating for 'Bully'
It may be Cannes that generates all the media-friendly controversy, but as it turns out, it was the Venice Film Festival that was quietly hatching the eventual NC-17 films. First came "Shame," which received the MPAA's most severe rating for its plentiful sexual activity and generous exposure of Michael Fassbender and Carey Mulligan's privates. Now, a less celebrated Venice title, William Friedkin's adaptation of the Tracy Letts play "Killer Joe," has been similarly branded ahead of its summer release Stateside.
LD Entertainment, the Friedkin film's new-on-the-block distributor, plans to appeal the MPAA's decision, which was made on the grounds of "graphic aberrant content involving violence and sexuality, and a scene of brutality." They believe "Killer Joe" is closer to R-rated material; I agree with them.
The film, a nastily funny if stylistically clumsy black comedy starring Matthew McConaughey as a grossly corrupt cop hired by Emile Hirsch's scuzzy Southern hick to kill off a family member, is casually violent, kinkily erotic and features Gina Gershon doing inappropriate things with fried chicken. You probably wouldn't take your mom to see it.
Unveiling of the official poster reminds us the festival is only 11 weeks away
With the long slog of the Oscar season only just out the way, one would like to put off the 2012 awards conversation for as long as possible. Yet the Cannes Film Festival is only 11 weeks away, and with a higher-than-usual presence of Croisette fare in the last Oscar race -- Best Picture winner "The Artist" debuted there, as did "The Tree of Life" and "Midnight in Paris" -- people's minds will start wandering in that direction sooner rather than later.
As if mindful of the connection, Cannes organizers chose this post-Oscar week to reveal the official poster for this year's fest, and it follows the pattern set by the last few festival posters of adopting an iconic screen beauty as a festival mascot of sorts. Monica Vitti served that purpose in 2009, Juliette Binoche (en route to a Best Actress win) in 2010, Faye Dunaway last year -- and for their 65th, they've gone for broke with Marilyn Monroe blowing out their birthday candles. It's a pretty enough poster, but based around such a familiarly iconic shot that it doesn't seem as emphatic a feat of branding as it should be.
Anyway, job done -- we're aware the festival is closer than it seems, and our appetite is duly whetted. Check out the poster below.
Could it be in the hunt next season?
I'd be curious to know how close "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory" was to winning this year's Best Documentary Feature prize (which ultimately went to "Undefeated"). It would have been nice to see Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky up there accepting an award for a body of work that saved a man's life.
Some speculated that the presence of Amy Berg's "West of Memphis," produced by Peter Jackson, took some of the sting out of the final film's punch. It bowed at Sundance last month with exclusive insights and interviews in the saga of the West Memphis Three. It also played the Santa Barbara fest a week later.
Sony Pictures Classics has announced today that it has acquired US rights to the film, which could yet pop up in the film awards season and extend the much-need spotlight for this miscarriage of justice.
Surely it deserved more than three trophies
It’s been 40 years since Francis Ford Coppola’s adaptation of Mario Puzo’s seminal crime novel “The Godfather” was released in theaters. To mark the anniversary, Paramount Pictures, in a partnership with Cinemark Theatres, is re-releasing the restored version of the film in 55 Cinemark XD auditoriums on Thursday, March 1.
"There is no greater iconic film than ‘The Godfather,’” states James Meredith, VP of Marketing and Communication at Cinemark in the press release. “It has set the standard for story-telling, launched a generation of great actors and provided movie-goers an unparalleled experience.”
Indeed, “The Godfather” is considered by many to be one of the greatest films ever made, which makes its rather nebulous relationship with Oscar all the more interesting. In looking back, one gets the sense that the AMPAS was in an argument with itself during the 1972 season.
Charting the winners and losers of this year's Oscar season
And so, the Oscar madness has come to a close. Before moseying on into the new territory of 2012, one more time, here is The Circuit, your one-stop shop for all of the announcements from the 2011-2012 film awards season.
From AFI to the Washington D.C. Film Critics Association and everything in between, this list represents the most comprehensive cross-section of the year you're bound to find, all of it providing tea leaves and intrigue, building right up to the film industry's big moment: Oscar night.
Enjoy reliving the memories. And before you know it, we'll be putting together another one for the new season.
Saying goodbye to the 2011 season
Another season in the record books. It's been my eleventh. How has it been for you?
Customarily, after a quick Off the Carpet recap, I circle back to considering the film awards season at the end of this day. So here I am with a handful of such considerations.
I still find myself seeing the year as something it really wasn't in the eyes of Academy. I think of "Margaret." I think of "Martha Marcy May Marlene." I think of "Shame." I think of the films that popped for me but not for AMPAS and I think, wow, my year was better than theirs. And that's fine. That's the subjectivity of it all. That's what it's all about.
But I also think about the transition to HitFix, which happened five months and one week ago today and couldn't have been smoother.
Gathering reactions to last night's Academy Awards
"The Artist" may have been the big winner last night, but for better or worse, Viola Davis's surprise Best Actress loss to Meryl Streep is set to remain the principal talking point of this year's Academy Awards -- and it's one that is already provoking a range of critical and political reactions. Jesse Washington studies conflicted reactions in the black community to Davis's defeat, and finds many dismayed for the actress while still unable to get completely behind the character she plays in "The Help." One response everyone should be able to agree with, however, comes from diversity consultant Monika Brooks: "The problem is not that Davis played a maid. The problem is there's not more black people in really good roles." [Associated Press]
Oscar Talk: Ep. 84 -- Special Edition! -- 2011 Oscars postmortem, Meryl Streep's upset, Billy Crystal, 'The Artist''s big night
Also: What will we be talking about this time next year?
Welcome to Oscar Talk.
In case you're new to the site and/or the podcast, Oscar Talk is a weekly kudocast, your one-stop awards chat shop between yours truly and Anne Thompson of Thompson on Hollywood. The podcast is weekly, every Friday throughout the season, charting the ups and downs of contenders along the way. Plenty of things change en route to Oscar's stage and we're here to address it all as it unfolds.
As of last night, the season is over. There are no more predictions to make, no more logic to peddle, no more considerations of how voters are responding to this or that. We know how they responded. Now it's time to pick over the rotting carcass of the season. So, with Guy Lodge in tow once more this season, let's see what's on the docket for today...
An overview from a recently devirginized Oscar blogger
My first foray into the realm of the Oscar blogger has yielded varied results. I have a sharper set of skills with which to run the metaphorical pool table, but a deeper sense of bemusement in regards to the AMPAS and the awards circuit.
The Oscars are a horse race. Or rather, the Oscars are a series of races on one grandiose and glitzy track. It represents millions of dollars in PR and marketing expenditures alone, a potential revenue increase for the nominated films, and is easily one the of the entertainment industry’s most significant events.
And yet, it remains its own unique niche. In general terms, there are public relations specialists who handle awards, there are marketing strategists who design and unveil awards campaigns. And then, there are Oscar bloggers, those whose business it is to track, judge, evaluate and predict the outcome of the awards season. But there are still people that have, and do, work in various capacities in this industry who do not have a full handle on how or why the season unfolds as it does.