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Archive for December 8th, 2012

1968

by Allan Fish

Let’s get it over with…

Best Picture 2001: A Space Odyssey, UK/US (10 votes)

Best Director Stanley Kubrick 2001: A Space Odyssey (12 votes)

Best Actor Peter O’Toole The Lion in Winter (6 votes)

Best Actress Katharine Hepburn The Lion in Winter (8 votes)

Best Supp Actor Sidney Blackmer Rosemary’s Baby (4 votes)

Best Supp Actress Ruth Gordon Rosemary’s Baby (13 votes)

Best Cinematography Pasqualino de Santis Romeo & Juliet & Geoffrey Unsworth, John Alcott 2001: A Space Odyssey (7 votes each, TIE)

Best Score Ennio Morricone Once Upon a Time in the West (9 votes)

Best Short The Dove, US, George Coe, Anthony Lover (4 votes)

so, onwards and upwards…

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RankinBassHobbit1

By Bob Clark

The various television specials produced and directed by Arthur Rankin Jr. and Jules Bass throughout the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s represent some of the most distinctive animation in America beyond the works of Walt Disney, Warner Brothers and MGM, enough to the point that their immediately recognizable style finds itself imitated on an almost yearly basis during the holiday season. The vast majority of their work follows a hand-crafted style, perhaps most recognized in one of their earliest efforts, the classic Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, but with each subsequent production it’s easy to see their range and comfort with the medium growing, each special more ambitious than the next in terms of length, scale and themes. For the most part, however, their work is remembered solely in the realm of stop-motion, which they produced the bulk of their output in, and though that work has provided an invaluable influence on many animators and filmmakers since (even Wes Anderson’s Fantastic Mr. Fox betrays a family resemblance) the pair’s efforts in traditional hand-drawn animation are no less impressive. Seasonal works like the Frosty specials or the Joel Grey-starring ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas remain consistent favorites (South Park would crib a song or two from the latter in one of their holiday episodes), and even later programs like Thundercats have held their own amidst the array of 80’s cartoons kept alive by nostalgia and reboots. But among the works that the pair created outside of stop-motion, the two that probably survive best beyond mere generational hindsight are their Tolkien adaptations, which impress not only as examples of modest, yet adventurous television animation but also as works of fantasy cinema in general.

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