Well, you wouldn't exactly have expected Spike Lee to be leading the cheers for "Django Unchained." The firebrand filmmaker has previously taken Quentin Tarantino to task over his use of the n-word, and while it's liberally used in QT's new slavery-era Southern western, that's far from the only thing that has Lee riled up -- even though he admits he has no intention of seeing it. "All I'm going to say is that it's disrespectful to my ancestors, to see that film," he told VIBETV. "I can't disrespect my ancestors. I can't do it. Now, that's me, I'm not speaking on behalf of anybody but myself." He later hit Twitter to add: "American Slavery Was Not A Sergio Leone Spaghetti Western. It Was A Holocaust. My Ancestors Are Slaves. Stolen From Africa. I Will Honor Them." Of course, Lee is hardly the only opponent of a film that looks set to generate continued discussion and debate. [The Playlist]
The moment the guitar on Dick Dale's "Misirlou" struck on the soundtrack of "Pulp Fiction" and those giant titles slowly, methodically crawl up the screen, we knew we were in the hands of a master. And indeed, Quentin Tarantino had already established a unique ear for the songscape of his work two years prior in "Reservoir Dogs."
How about the fact that no one will ever use The Meters' "Cissy Strut" better than he did in "Jackie Brown?" Or how effectively the march of Ennio Morricone's "Rabbia E Tarantella" closes out "Inglourious Basterds?" What about Elle Driver's eerie whistling of Bernard Herrmann's "Twisted Nerve" theme in "Kill Bill" Vol. 2?"
The director's latest, "Django Unchained," takes a whole other step forward, adding four original songs to the usual mix of source music. Elayna Boynton and Anthony Hamilton's "Freedom" gets us going early on while the Morricone-penned "Ancora Qui" slows us down later.
And yet, none of these made our list of the director's "Greatest Hits" to date, showing just how expansive his work infusing music to image has been.
The Oklahoma Film Critics Circle has also chimed in for "Argo" today, giving the film Best Picture, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay honors. The group was in lock-step with the rest of the season throughout: Daniel Day-Lewis, Jessica Chastain, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Anne Hathaway, etc. Check out the full list below and keep track of the season via The Circuit.
The Nevada Film Critics Society has added one more notch to "Argo"'s tally of Best Picture wins. The group tied Ben Affleck with "Zero Dark Thirty" helmer Kathryn Bigelow for Best Director and went in a relatively unique direction with its Best Actor call, opting for John Hawkes in "The Sessions." Check out the full list of winners below and keep track of the season via The Circuit.
I've been saying for some time now that the Academy's cull of the foreign-language field from 71 to nine contenders would be a heartbreaker, and so it was.
Among the standout films eliminated from the competition after yesterday's announcement are: Australia's vivid, perspective-bending WWII tale "Lore," Belgium's wrenching domestic drama "Our Children," Hungary's brutal Berlin Silver Bear winner "Just the Wind," Mexico's disquieting conversation piece (and Cannes Un Certain Regard champ) "After Lucia" and Germany's acclaimed, elegant Stasi-era character study "Barbara." We salute them, and many others: here's hoping they find the international audiences (and, in some cases, distributors) they deserve in spite of this setback.
The Alliance of Women Film Journalists has announced its list of nominees this year, with its own fair share of unique categories. The Best Film nominees were "Argo," "Lincoln" and "Zero Dark Thirty" (each also cited for Best Director). Check out the full list of nominees below. Winners will be announced next month. And, as always, keep track of the 2012-2013 film awards season via The Circuit.
The Women Film Critics Circle has announced its annual…unique…slate of award winners. "Zero Dark Thirty" won three awards while "Lincoln" won two. And they have a bone to pick with "Killer Joe" and "Think Like a Man." Check out the full list of winners below and keep track of the season via The Circuit.
I've been on board "The Impossible" since way back in August and still believe it to be part and parcel of a great year for movies. It's been getting a lot of buzz lately as it barreled toward release and now, it's out there for you to chew on. When you get a chance to do so, come on back here and tell us what you thought. And again, feel free to rate the film above.
I've been a little dismayed at the critical reaction to Judd Apatow's "This is 40" (one of Drew McWeeny's top 10 films of the year.) It feels like some had the knives out. I'm not a worshiper of the man's work or anything but his latest is, to me, his richest film to date. Perhaps it's about relating to it or not, I don't know. In any case, I'd love to hear your thoughts, so cut loose with your take in the comments section below when/if you get around to seeing the film. And feel free to rate it above.
Here's something novel. A biennial awards presentation. The eligibility period for the International Online Film Critics' Poll is November 16, 2010 to November 15, 2012, leaving a wide array of films to choose from. Pity, then, that the critics' choices aren't themselves as varied. Tomas Alfredson's "Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy" won five awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor. Check out the full list below (and the previously announce nominees at the poll's website). And of course, keep track of the season via The Circuit.