Archive | February, 2011

Morning of the Big Show

27 Feb

It is the morning of the Oscars!  The votes are in!  6,000 plus voters of every angle of the movie industry including writers, producers, directors, actors and top hollywood executives decide who wins Oscar gold.   The Academy won’t even reveal all 6,000 names so it’s kind of like a secret society!   Who will win?

To take your mind off the anticipation, let’s have another look back to Oscars of yore.  There have been so many crazy, unscripted and memorable Oscar moments.  Here are some of my favorites:

Adrien Brody taking advantage of his situation as he should have:

The streaker!

Angelina Jolie mentions being in love with her brother after kissing him a little too long on the red carpet before.  Naturally.

Roberto wins then hops, skips and clears a few chairs while getting to the stage:

Another memorable speech by a great actor, Russell Crow:

Real-life childhood friends, Matt and Ben, win big!

A wee Sookie wins an Oscar at 11 years old!

Marlon Brando commissions the National Native American Affirmative Image Committee’s president/fake Native American named Maria Cruz(an actress!) to NOT accept his second Oscar for The Godfather because he felt Hollywood was discriminating against Native Americans:

Do you think there will be any unexpected happenings at this year’s ceremony?  You’ll just have to watch!  Or wait for the news reports.  On my way to my viewing party and some bubbling drinks!

Moët & Chandon, the official Champagne of the Academy Awards

Oscar Eve!

26 Feb

Hey!  It’s the eve of the Oscars! 

 In the spirit of the biggest night in Hollywood . . . what is your favorite Oscar speech?   Here are some of my favorites from actors!   (click on the play button then “Visit YouTube” to view video)

 Julia.  What a whacko!  Don’t turn the music up on her!

Cuba.  Someone told him not to forget ANYBODY!

Jack.  What a charmer.  Everybody loves this guy!

Nicole.  Onscreen she seems so icy but she really is warm and genuine.   You go, Nicole!

Audrey.  So cool to see this old footage.  She still had her stage make-up on from the play Ondine that she had just got done performing in that night! 

Kate’s is my favorite.  She is so honest in her excitement to receive her award.  And I love when she whistles to her dad!

A true triumph.  Gerda Weissmann Klein gives the audience big slap of reality.  A true winner and survivor:

Another survivor.  Of trends, fashion, and decades.  Cher can do it all!  Great, honest speech.

Grace.  A major upset when they called her name and not Judy Garland’s.



Who will give another memorable speech tomorrow night?  Watch and see on ABC! (that rhymed.)

Academy Awards of Yore

25 Feb

Grace Kelly and Marlon Brando both took home Oscars in 1955.

  

Two sleeps and a wake til’ the Oscars this Sunday!  Ever wonder what the first Academy Award ceremony was like?  The very first ceremony lasted only 20 minutes!  It took place on May 16, 1929 in the “Blossom Room” in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel.  I’ve been in the room!  The room seems so small to have held such a momentous event.  The Roosevelt is also one of the most haunted hotels around. 

The old home of the Oscars, the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, is across the street (Hollywood Blvd to be exact) from the new home of the ceremony, the Kodak Theatre.

 

Inside the Kodak Theatre during the 2009 ceremony

 

The Oscars was first televised at the 25th ceremony in 1952.  NBC-TV and radio carried the ceremony, honoring the films of 1952.  It was live from Hollywood with Bob Hope as master of ceremonies and from the NBC International Theatre in New York with Conrad Nagel as host.  A major upset that year when the heavily favored High Noon lost to Cecil B. DeMille’s The Greatest Show on Earth, which is now considered by some to be among the worst films to have ever won the Academy Award for Best Picture.

Read more about the history of the Academy Awards here: http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/about/history.html

1953 Academy Awards Ceremony

What about that gold Ken Doll-like statuette they call “Oscar”?  Well, he weighs a mighty 8½ pounds stands 13½ inches tall.  Officially called the “Academy Award of Merit”, find out where he got his nickname and what he’s really made of here: http://www.oscars.org/awards/academyawards/about/awards/oscar.html

Is there chocolate inside?

 

Oscar Anticipation!

22 Feb

Every year at this time brings the Superbowl for film lovers . . . The Oscars!!!

Audrey Hepburn anxiously nibbling her finger as she sits next to her mother in the audience of the 1953 Academy Awards ceremony just before she was announced winner of the Best Actress Oscar for the movie Roman Holiday.

 

The 83rd Annual Academy Awards ceremony is this Sunday! I am SO excited! Excited for at least three reasons:

  1. I LOVE the Oscars!  I have watched the ceremony ever since I can remember!  The dresses, the stars, the reactions to the winners, will someone trip?, the speeches!  Will someone get political about American Indians (Marlon Brando) or forget to thank their family (lots of people) or streak naked?
  2. I am going to an Oscar party this year!  As much as I love to curl up on the couch with my favorite snack and feel free to say what ever I want about the people on the screen, a party is fun!  And an excuse to drink my favorite drink, sparkling wine!  The invitation encourages everyone to wear either black, white, or black and white.  There is also an Oscar winner pool so I might win some money! 
  3. This year there are movies, actors, and directors that I am actually excited about!  Last year, to me, was boring, predictable and the slim pickings of movies was sad.  “Blind Side”?  Really?  I loved that “The Hurt Locker” won, though. 

Audrey Hepburn with her Oscar.

 

I have never really done a prediction list before but I figure I should compile a rough draft before I fill out my official Oscar party ballot.  Theses are the categories that I feel most comfortable picking a winner.   I don’t have much knowledge in the technical categories but lots of respect.  So here goes:

BEST ACTOR –  Judging by previous award ceremonies, Colin Firthy seems to be the front-runner.

Colin Firth (The King’s Speech)
James Franco (127 Hours)
Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network)
Jeff Bridges (True Grit)
Javier Bardem (Biutiful)

BEST ACTRESS –  Natalie Portman has basically been given the Oscar already.  Wow, that’s a lot of pressure on her night!  Annette Bening is viewed as a close second.  I’d like to see an upset here for Jennifer Lawrence even though she is so new.  She was Ah-mazing in Winter’s Bone.  Michelle Williams nominated?  Should have been her co-star Ryan Gosling. (for best actor not actress!)

Natalie Portman (Black Swan)
Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right)
Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone)
Nicole Kidman (Rabbit Hole)
Michelle Williams (Blue Valentine)

SHORT FILM (LIVE ACTION)  – The Confession is my favorite out of the list.  To me, the most moving, best shot, and compeling all in around 20 minutes. 

The Confession

The Crush

God of Love

Na Wewe

Wish 143

 

BEST DIRECTOR – Hmmmm.  Maybe Christopher Nolan didn’t get a nom because Inception was so confusing?  I picked Aronofsky only because I thought Black Swan beautifully captured the plight of an artist striving for perfection in her craft and learning that perfect is not being perfect.  Well, just rent it.  You’ll see what I mean.  BUT apparently he is not predicted to win so my safety pick is David Fincher.  He made a movie about nerds and computers completely captivating.  Come on!  Although, Tom Hooper might win, too, because his movie is so favored . . .   Hmmmmmm . . .

David Fincher (The Social Network)
Tom Hooper (The King’s Speech)
Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan)
David O. Russell (The Fighter)
Ethan and Joel Coen (True Grit)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR –  Christian Bale was so good in the role of Dicky.  What an example of great acting.  Another tough group.  Jeremy Renner was another one of my favorites this year and John Hawkes played a creepy mccreepy but in a good way.  I think Christian Bale has this one in the bag.

Christian Bale (The Fighter)
Geoffrey Rush (The King’s Speech)
Mark Ruffalo (The Kids Are All Right)
John Hawkes (Winter’s Bone)
Jeremy Renner (The Town)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS – Melissa Leo was a force of nature as Alice Ward!     I don’t like that she campaigned for her self so openly, though.  Check this strangeness out: http://theweek.com/article/index/212045/melissa-leos-rogue-oscar-campaign  Do you think it will help her or hinder her?

Side note:  I think the actresses who played Alice Ward’s daughters in The Fighter should get a statue just for their hair! (well, I guess that’d go to Best Make-up.)

Melissa Leo (The Fighter)
Hailee Steinfeld (True Grit)
Helena Bonham Carter (The King’s Speech)
Amy Adams (The Fighter)
Jacki Weaver (Animal Kingdom)

BEST DOCUMENTARY – Sadly, I saw only one of the nominated documentaries this year, Exit Through the Gift Shop, so it gets my pick.  I hope Banksy shows up to accept if he wins!  Probably not . . .

Exit through the Gift Shop

Gasland

Inside Job

Restrepo

Waste Land

BEST PICTURE – Wow.  What a list.  This is how it should be.  Social Network and Black Swan are my favorites this year and The Fighter was enjoyable but I think The King’s Speech is gonna take the cake judging by the previous award ceremonies.

The King’s Speech
The Social Network
True Grit
Black Swan
The Fighter
Inception
Winter’s Bone
The Kids Are All Right
Toy Story 3

127 Hours

 

Red carpet at the Kodak Theatre, Hollywood Blvd, Hollywood, CA

 

 

What are your predictions?  The 83rd Annual Academy Awards will air this Sunday, February 27th at 8pm ET on ABC!  Can’t wait to see who wins!

The makings of a great short film

20 Feb

On a quest to find more outlets of creativity, I have decided to write and produce a short film.   I’ve never filmed anything or written a film script before so this is an entirely new experience!  Advice, anyone?  I asked my friend Emily to co-write and co-produce.  We both have the same brand of humor and thinking process but are also very different.  She’s the kind of friend I can have fun with in a ditch.  I smell the makings of a great writing team.  After a few brainstorming sessions we finally have our idea!  And I am not revealing until it is on tape!  It’s top-secret!  haha!

We decided to do our research and check out the Oscar nominated live action short films for 2011.  We journeyed to the Nuart Theatre in West Los Angeles.    Here is the trailer for the five live action short films we saw as well as the nominated short animation (I’m rooting for “Day and Night”!) and short documentary films. 

The live action short “The Confession” was my favorite of the five live actions.  Completely unexpected.  I thought it was a comedy at first!!  I was completely invested and enthralled.  An unabashed bash on the Catholic church’s ritual of confession.  Very interesting.  Great kid actors, too!

So what makes a great short film?  From the research we have done so far it is a simple, relatable idea that can blossom into something moving and memorable in about 20 minutes.  Easy, right?  I’m guessing not but am up for the challenge.  Stay tuned for more posts on my quest to make a great short film!

On a side note, one of my favorite things about Los Angeles is the star-sightings. Almost everywhere you go, there is the possibility of seeing someone famous. At the Nuart, we sat behind (and to the right of ) Diane Lane and Josh Brolin! I know they are just boring old humans just like everyone else but I am not ashamed to say that I get excited when I see stars!  To see people in the flesh who I respect as arteests is pretty cool.  Expect past and future reports of star sightings.

Diane Lane and Josh Brolin

Hidy Ho!

20 Feb

Welcome to my very first blog!  I was inspired to create a blog out of lack of inspiration.  What?  Well, I was recently at a point in my life where I felt uninspired and just plain “blah”.  “Blah” is an uncomfortable space for me because I usually feel “Bing”!  Full of motivation with a need to create and accomplish!   I have decided to find new and different ways to express my creativity/thoughts and a blog is one of those ways!  I like the idea of an antenna.  Not only does it rhyme with Jenna (cutesy cute) but I like the idea of the antenna as a metaphor for creativity: hypersensitive and constantly transmitting.  That’s what I want this blog to be about, radiating and receiving.  So, again, welcome!  Join me in my new creative outlet and my adventures in Los Angeles and beyond!

an·ten·na noun \an-ˈte-nə\ An antenna is a transducer designed to transmit or receive electromagnetic waves, converting electromagnetic waves into electrical currents and vice versa.