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Oscars: The Inside Scoop

By Michael Russnow There’ve been 97 minority actors nominated since 1939 when Hattie McDaniel became the first Black Oscar recipient for playing a servant in Gone With The Wind. And that is part of the problem, because for many, many years Blacks and other minorities were relegated to roles not only[...]

The 2016 Golden Globes: But as Entertainment it was mostly so-so.

By Michael Russnow I’ve not been a fan of Ricky Gervais in his three previous outings, finding his humor to be more of a struggle to appear adventurous and outrageous in the search for comedy, but often winding up tasteless and, worse, often flat. This year, and perhaps due to his[...]

Farewell My Dear Friend Murray. I’ll be missing you

Farewell my dear friend Murray. I’ll be missing you. “This is my baby. This is when it all started. This is my pride and joy, my first Oscar win in 1974.” Meet Murray Weissman, one of the earliest Oscar consultants, who on this day is proudly showing off a blow-up photo on[...]

Finalizing the Predictions in Oscar’s Aural/Effects Categories: Original Score, Original Song, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, Visual Effects

Last week, we undertook a final preview of Oscar’s visual/design categories – Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing, Makeup & Hairstyling, and Production Design. Now, it’s time to turn to the “aural” or “effects” categories – Original Score, Original Song, Sound Editing, Sound Mixing, and Visual Effects. Original Score Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto’s[...]

Finalizing the Predictions in Oscar’s Visual Categories: Cinematography, Costume Design, Film Editing, Makeup & Hairstyling, Production Design

So here we are. The end of the year has come, the films have unveiled themselves, and in three weeks, the nominees for the Academy Awards will be announced. Over the past three months, we have previewed each of the ten “crafts” races. This week and next, we will look[...]

Is Michael Moore’s Documentary Propaganda?

By Michael Russnow Mr. Moore is more of a propagandist, and while most of what he portrays is technically true his editing and narrative are in large part misleading. It’s the old chestnut of whether an omission is actually a lie, and I believe it is a lie if what’s omitted[...]

Quentin Tarantino: “The Hateful Eight” is a Bloated Film

By Michael Russnow Quentin is an intriguing writer, who creates characters different from many we’ve seen and imbues them with personalities and fascinating incidental dialogue that gives three dimension to what they’re all about. The problem with this film is that there is so much attention paid to each character and[...]

Always Unusual Face for Best Original Song Features Lady Gaga, Eminem as Contenders

“Somewhere Over the Rainbow.” “Moon River.” “Can You Feel the Love Tonight.” “Lose Yourself.” There’s no question that original songs that began in movies have become iconic pieces of both composing and filmmaking. And yet the Academy Award for Best Original Song is frequently one of Oscar’s most derided categories. To[...]

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” and “The Martian” Battle Out for Best Sound Mixing Oscar

Charlie Chaplin believed that sound was a fad that would disappear from movies after a short time period. He may have been a genius, but he sure wasn’t right about that. Today, it is hard to imagine most movies without sound. Dialogue obviously recreates the experience of most people’s lives.[...]

An Interview with Jake Roberts: Can He Ride the “Brooklyn” Wave to a First Oscar Nomination for Best Film Editing?

John Crowley’s “Brooklyn” is currently delighting critics and audiences. Saoirse Ronan’s triumph yesterday at the New York Film Critics Circle is likely the beginning of a solid run for the film through Oscar season. The changing time periods, locations and moods required a sharp but subtle editor. Enter Jake Roberts,[...]
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