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Archive for May 11th, 2013

1990

by Allan Fish

Best Picture GoodFellas, US (12 votes)

Best Director Martin Scorsese, GoodFellas (12 votes)

Best Actor Jeremy Irons, Reversal of Fortune & Paul Newman, Mr & Mrs Bridge (4 votes each, TIE!)

Best Actress Joanne Woodward, Mr & Mrs Bridge (5 votes)

Best Supp Actor Joe Pesci, GoodFellas (14 votes)

Best Supp Actress Annette Bening, The Grifters (6 votes)

Best Cinematography Pierre Lhomme, Cyrano de Bergerac (4 votes)

Best Score John Barry, Dances With Wolves & Danny Elfman, Edward Scissorhands (4 votes each, TIE!)

Best Short The Cow, USSR, Aleksandr Petrov (3 votes)

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By Bob Clark

1933’s King Kong may very well ought to be noted as one of the most important and influential films of all time, and not just for the myriad of obvious ways in which it’s shaped the course of movie history by its most direct methods. As a pioneering feat of action-adventure storytelling and marrying live-action to all manner of special-effects, from matte paintings to stop-motion, it more or less invented a kind of American blockbuster that has come to dominate world box-office, for better or worse. Countless directors have counted the film and its innovations as crucial to their inspiration to become movie-makers, and have even called back directly to the movie when formulating the vocabulary of their own FX-enhanced set-pieces– it’s easy to see traces of Merian C. Cooper’s work in everything from Lucas & Spielberg to Cameron & Jackson, but likewise it’s impossible to look at a movie like The Prestige, with all those grand acts of magic performed on the curtained stage with full proscenium arch, and not think of the Eighth Wonder of the World.

Plenty of big-screen monsters have competed for Kong’s first-place spot on the stage of world attention, and a few have even matched it (Isihiro Honda’s Godzilla and other kaiju creations, even meriting a showdown with the great one himself), but for the most part any attempt to out-do or even place with the work that animator Willis O’Brien did here in bringing the Empire State’s aplha ape have been at best forgettable (if only the same could be said of Dino de Laurientiis’ or Peter Jackson’s dismal remakes). But if in all the years since there have been any movie-monsters that have had any real chance of outshining the great Khan of Kongs and O’Brien’s efforts to tame the savage beast one stop-motion frame at a time, then they can only be due to the efforts of a man who gladly claimed Kong and O’Brien as crucial inspirations to his own start as an animator, and who very well stands as the greatest gift that 1933 film has indirectly bestowed upon the culture of popcorn cinema. Without Kong, there wouldn’t have been a Ray Harryhausen, and without him, nothing would’ve been the same.

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