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Archive for April 13th, 2013

1986

by Allan Fish

Best Picture Blue Velvet, US (7 votes)

Best Director David Lynch, Blue Velvet (10 votes)

Best Actor Gérard Depardieu, Jean de Florette & Bob Hoskins, Mona Lisa (3 votes each, TIE!)

Best Actress Marie Rivière, The Green Ray & Kathleen Turner, Peggy Sue Got Married (3 votes each, TIE!)

Best Supp Actor Dennis Hopper, Blue Velvet (13 votes)

Best Supp Actress Isabella Rossellini, Blue Velvet (7 votes)

Best Cinematography Frederick Elmes, Blue Velvet (6 votes)

Best Score Ennio Morricone, The Mission (10 votes)

Best Short Street of Crocodiles, UK, The Brothers Quay (4 votes)

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By Bob Clark

The films of Danny Boyle always seem to represent an almost perfect condition for me as a filmgoer, each of them offering something of a genuine pleasant surprise, without exception. I was never terribly aware of little modern gems like Sunshine or 28 Days Later before they came into theaters, even though they both hit squarely in my favorite mode of science-fiction, but that only meant that I never had to build up any of the hopes and excitement whose tendency to be met with histrionic disappointment seems to be a hallmark of this current generation of cinephiles. Perhaps one of the reasons that Boyle’s films can avoid this particular hype-boobytrap is because of his position as a consumate genre chameleon, turning on a dime from horrors and thrillers to rom-coms and true-life stories, always looking for fresh narrative material to mine his particular cockeyed directorial vision. And as oddball and strained as his aesthetics can sometimes feel (The Beach feels particularly calibrated to alienate any segment of the audience at any given moment, though perhaps that’s by design, inheriting Leonardo DiCaprio fresh off his heartthrob death on Titanic), he’s usually been able to unite the disparate parts of his chosen scripts and unusual visual sensations to create movies that beg for skepticism just as hard as they try to then win it over.

The unlikely awards-sensation of Slumdog Millionaire may represent his greatest, yet at the same time most dubious success yet– a movie that thrives on old-school movie charm and modernist realism and panache, yet in a way that over time only goes to underline the deeply troubling third-world exploitation both dwelled upon by the film’s story and sadly represented in the behind-the-scenes drama of its making (were those kids ever paid?). Even 127 Hours was able to win me over with its visual ingenuity and dramatic focus, even in spite of featuring a central performance from one of my least favorite actors of this generation (in fact, no– I think I can safely say James Franco is definitively the bottom of the barrel for me). If nothing he’s done has managed to match the sensational one-two punch of material, cast and visual dynamism that Trainspotting representing, the very least one can say of Boyle is that he’s never stopped trying as hard as any one director can (or several of them at once, for that matter) to pour all of his creative resources and faculties into each project. Putting his all into every project can sometimes lead to uneven results– even personal favorites like Sunshine and 28 Days Later are full of script problems that Boyle is never able to quite fix on the set, and indeed sometimes seem exacerbated by his unrestrained visual style– but there’s something psychologically appealing about a filmmaker running free of any kind of censoring quality-control, and it’s easy to see how the hypnosis-thriller story of Trance could appeal to that “all in” sensibility.

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