Music Video of the Day: Kill The Lights by Britney Spears (2009, dir by PUNY)


Britney’s a cartoon!

This video for Kill the Lights finds Britney Spears being — what else? — hounded by the paparazzi so she promptly flies off into space and goes to another planet.  Unfortunately, it turns out that the entire universe is apparently obsessed with robbing Britney of her privacy.

This concept behind this video was the result of a fan fiction contest, in which people were asked to send their ideas to Britney’s management, via her website.  The winner of the contest was a girl from Argentina, who titled her submission “Known Everywhere.”  Believe it or not, I came very close to entering this contest myself.  You have to remember that this was back in 2009, when I was in a much darker place than I am today.  As such, my idea was for the video to be an homage to Lucio Fuci’s Zombi 2, with Britney going to a Caribbean island to investigate the death of Justin Timberlake and then getting bitten by a zombified Joey Fatone.  My idea was that the video would end with zombie Britney eating Kevin Federline.  Personally, I still think it’s a good idea but I never actually submitted it so I’ve got no one to blame for this video but myself.

Still, just imagine if I had submitted my idea and it had been accepted.  (Seriously, I totally would have won if I had entered the contest.)  Not only would Britney now being getting credit for the zombie revival but she’d probably also would have gone on to do any number of horror-themed music videos.

So, basically, I made a huge mistake by not submitting my idea and now the world is suffering.

Sorry about that.

Anyway, enjoy!

International Weirdness : “Found Footage”


Trash Film Guru

Damn, but it’s been awhile since we did one of these “International Weirdness” columns looking at strange cinema from other parts of the globe around these parts — and that’s no one’s fault but my own, for which I duly apologize. And I further apologize for the fact that it’s returning under less than auspicious circumstances, but what can I do? Last night, you see, I made the mistake of watching a 2011 Australian “found footage” horror flick on Amazon Prime (it’s probably also available on DVD, maybe even Blu-ray, not that you should care) titled — wait for it — Found Footage, and I’d literally be remiss in my civic duty not to warn you off from it in the strongest possible terms.

So — what’s it about? Well, it’s about a killer named Darius McKenzie (played by Matt Doran, who I understand is something of a “known…

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A Quick Look At My Favorite Film Of 2018 : “First Reformed”


Trash Film Guru

With the Oscar nominations having hit earlier the day of this writing, everybody’s talking about RomaA Star Is BornBohemian RhapsodyBlack Panther, etc. But there was a robbery committed in plain sight that seems to be going entirely unremarked-upon. I speak of the fact that writer/director Paul Schrader’s most remarkable film probably since Affliction, the criminally-underappreciated First Reformed, received precisely one nomination.

It’s in a category it could very well win, Best Original Screenplay — especially given that it won in same at the DGA Awards — but seriously : this is smart, nuanced, thought-provoking, intellectually and emotionally compelling filmmaking of the highest order, anchored by two incredibly strong central performances, pitch-perfect direction, and subtly impressive work by all and sundry behind the camera as the flick’s cinematography, musical score, editing, and production design are all in no way flashy, but essentially…

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Some Thoughts On Today’s Oscar Nominations Announcement


cracked rear viewer

I really don’t mean to sound like your cranky old Uncle Elmo, but….

Seriously, Academy, I understand you don’t give two shits about Hollywood history. You prove that year after year with your truncated ‘In Memoriam’ segment, omitting far too many who’ve contributed to your industry. Last year, it was (among others) Don Gordon, Skip Homeier, Tobe Hooper, and Anne Jeffreys; the year before Gloria DeHaven, Madeleine LeBeau, William Schallert, Robert Vaughn… I get it. You’ve got to save time for those great “comedy” bits that Bob Hope wouldn’t touch with a ten-foot ski pole and lame musical production numbers, not to mention giving time for everyone to make their obligatory political statements. That’s why I put so much time and effort into my own yearly ‘In Memoriam’ tributes, so those you give short shrift to won’t be forgotten.

Orson Welles’ “The Other Side of the Wind”

But to completely…

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Here are The Oscar Nominations!


Green Book and A Star is Born were considered to be front runners but, this morning, neither got a director nomination to go along with their picture nominations.  Black Panther made history by being the first comic book film to get a best picture nomination but it seems kind of insulting to nominate the film and then ignore its director, Ryan Coogler.

Vice and Roma both got more nominations than most people were expecting them to receive so, honestly, it seems like those two films are your new front runners.  Me, I’ll just hope for a Favourite upset.

Here’s are the nominations!

Performance by an actor in a leading role

  • Christian Bale in “Vice”
  • Bradley Cooper in “A Star Is Born”
  • Willem Dafoe in “At Eternity’s Gate”
  • Rami Malek in “Bohemian Rhapsody”
  • Viggo Mortensen in “Green Book”

Performance by an actor in a supporting role

  • Mahershala Ali in “Green Book”
  • Adam Driver in “BlacKkKlansman”
  • Sam Elliott in “A Star Is Born”
  • Richard E. Grant in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”
  • Sam Rockwell in “Vice”

Performance by an actress in a leading role

  • Yalitza Aparicio in “Roma”
  • Glenn Close in “The Wife”
  • Olivia Colman in “The Favourite”
  • Lady Gaga in “A Star Is Born”
  • Melissa McCarthy in “Can You Ever Forgive Me?”

Performance by an actress in a supporting role

  • Amy Adams in “Vice”
  • Marina de Tavira in “Roma”
  • Regina King in “If Beale Street Could Talk”
  • Emma Stone in “The Favourite”
  • Rachel Weisz in “The Favourite”

Best animated feature film of the year

  • “Incredibles 2” Brad Bird, John Walker and Nicole Paradis Grindle
  • “Isle of Dogs” Wes Anderson, Scott Rudin, Steven Rales and Jeremy Dawson
  • “Mirai” Mamoru Hosoda and Yuichiro Saito
  • “Ralph Breaks the Internet” Rich Moore, Phil Johnston and Clark Spencer
  • “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse” Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller

Achievement in cinematography

  • “Cold War” Łukasz Żal
  • “The Favourite” Robbie Ryan
  • “Never Look Away” Caleb Deschanel
  • “Roma” Alfonso Cuarón
  • “A Star Is Born” Matthew Libatique

Achievement in costume design

  • “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” Mary Zophres
  • “Black Panther” Ruth Carter
  • “The Favourite” Sandy Powell
  • “Mary Poppins Returns” Sandy Powell
  • “Mary Queen of Scots” Alexandra Byrne

Achievement in directing

  • “BlacKkKlansman” Spike Lee
  • “Cold War” Paweł Pawlikowski
  • “The Favourite” Yorgos Lanthimos
  • “Roma” Alfonso Cuarón
  • “Vice” Adam McKay

Best documentary feature

  • “Free Solo” Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Jimmy Chin, Evan Hayes and Shannon Dill
  • “Hale County This Morning, This Evening” RaMell Ross, Joslyn Barnes and Su Kim
  • “Minding the Gap” Bing Liu and Diane Quon
  • “Of Fathers and Sons” Talal Derki, Ansgar Frerich, Eva Kemme and Tobias N. Siebert
  • “RBG” Betsy West and Julie Cohen

Best documentary short subject

  • “Black Sheep” Ed Perkins and Jonathan Chinn
  • “End Game” Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman
  • “Lifeboat” Skye Fitzgerald and Bryn Mooser
  • “A Night at The Garden” Marshall Curry
  • “Period. End of Sentence.” Rayka Zehtabchi and Melissa Berton

Achievement in film editing

  • “BlacKkKlansman” Barry Alexander Brown
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody” John Ottman
  • “The Favourite” Yorgos Mavropsaridis
  • “Green Book” Patrick J. Don Vito
  • “Vice” Hank Corwin

Best foreign language film of the year

  • “Capernaum” Lebanon
  • “Cold War” Poland
  • “Never Look Away” Germany
  • “Roma” Mexico
  • “Shoplifters” Japan

Achievement in makeup and hairstyling

  • “Border” Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer
  • “Mary Queen of Scots” Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher and Jessica Brooks
  • “Vice” Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia DeHaney

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original score)

  • “Black Panther” Ludwig Goransson
  • “BlacKkKlansman” Terence Blanchard
  • “If Beale Street Could Talk” Nicholas Britell
  • “Isle of Dogs” Alexandre Desplat
  • “Mary Poppins Returns” Marc Shaiman

Achievement in music written for motion pictures (Original song)

  • “All The Stars” from “Black Panther”
    Music by Mark Spears, Kendrick Lamar Duckworth and Anthony Tiffith; Lyric by Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, Anthony Tiffith and Solana Rowe
  • “I’ll Fight” from “RBG”
    Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
  • “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns”
    Music by Marc Shaiman; Lyric by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman
  • “Shallow” from “A Star Is Born”
    Music and Lyric by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt
  • “When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs”
    Music and Lyric by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch

Best motion picture of the year

  • “Black Panther” Kevin Feige, Producer
  • “BlacKkKlansman” Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Raymond Mansfield, Jordan Peele and Spike Lee, Producers
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody” Graham King, Producer
  • “The Favourite” Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday and Yorgos Lanthimos, Producers
  • “Green Book” Jim Burke, Charles B. Wessler, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga, Producers
  • “Roma” Gabriela Rodríguez and Alfonso Cuarón, Producers
  • “A Star Is Born” Bill Gerber, Bradley Cooper and Lynette Howell Taylor, Producers
  • “Vice” Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adam McKay and Kevin Messick, Producers

Achievement in production design

  • “Black Panther” Production Design: Hannah Beachler; Set Decoration: Jay Hart
  • “The Favourite” Production Design: Fiona Crombie; Set Decoration: Alice Felton
  • “First Man” Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas
  • “Mary Poppins Returns” Production Design: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
  • “Roma” Production Design: Eugenio Caballero; Set Decoration: Bárbara Enríquez

Best animated short film

  • “Animal Behaviour” Alison Snowden and David Fine
  • “Bao” Domee Shi and Becky Neiman-Cobb
  • “Late Afternoon” Louise Bagnall and Nuria González Blanco
  • “One Small Step” Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas
  • “Weekends” Trevor Jimenez

Best live action short film

  • “Detainment” Vincent Lambe and Darren Mahon
  • “Fauve” Jeremy Comte and Maria Gracia Turgeon
  • “Marguerite” Marianne Farley and Marie-Hélène Panisset
  • “Mother” Rodrigo Sorogoyen and María del Puy Alvarado
  • “Skin” Guy Nattiv and Jaime Ray Newman

Achievement in sound editing

  • “Black Panther” Benjamin A. Burtt and Steve Boeddeker
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody” John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone
  • “First Man” Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
  • “A Quiet Place” Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
  • “Roma” Sergio Díaz and Skip Lievsay

Achievement in sound mixing

  • “Black Panther” Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor and Peter Devlin
  • “Bohemian Rhapsody” Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali
  • “First Man” Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Ai-Ling Lee and Mary H. Ellis
  • “Roma” Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan and José Antonio García
  • “A Star Is Born” Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, Jason Ruder and Steve Morrow

Achievement in visual effects

  • “Avengers: Infinity War” Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl and Dan Sudick
  • “Christopher Robin” Christopher Lawrence, Michael Eames, Theo Jones and Chris Corbould
  • “First Man” Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles and J.D. Schwalm
  • “Ready Player One” Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew E. Butler and David Shirk
  • “Solo: A Star Wars Story” Rob Bredow, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Dominic Tuohy

Adapted screenplay

  • “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” Written by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen
  • “BlacKkKlansman” Written by Charlie Wachtel & David Rabinowitz and Kevin Willmott & Spike Lee
  • “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” Screenplay by Nicole Holofcener and Jeff Whitty
  • “If Beale Street Could Talk” Written for the screen by Barry Jenkins
  • “A Star Is Born” Screenplay by Eric Roth and Bradley Cooper & Will Fetters

Original screenplay

  • “The Favourite” Written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
  • “First Reformed” Written by Paul Schrader
  • “Green Book” Written by Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly
  • “Roma” Written by Alfonso Cuarón
  • “Vice” Written by Adam McKay