The St. Louis Film Critics Association Rewards Downhill


The St. Louis Film Critics Association announced the winners of their 2020 awards earlier today!  Downhill picked up its first trophy of the awards seasons as the SLFCA named it The Worst Picture of the Year.  How will this effect Downhill‘s Oscar chances?  We’ll have to wait and see.

Here are the winners:

BEST FILM
First Cow (RUNNER UP TIE)
I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Nomadland (WINNER)
Promising Young Woman (RUNNER UP TIE)
The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST DIRECTOR
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman (RUNNER UP)
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Spike Lee – Da 5 Bloods
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7
Chloe Zhao – Nomadland (WINNER)

BEST ACTRESS
Jessie Buckley – I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Viola Davis – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Vanessa Kirby – Pieces of a Woman
Frances McDormand – Nomadland (RUNNER UP)
Carey Mulligan – Promising Young Woman (WINNER)

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS
Maria Bakalova – Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (RUNNER UP)
Ellen Burstyn – Pieces of a Woman
Olivia Colman – The Father
Amanda Seyfried – Mank
Yuh-jung Youn – Minari (WINNER)

BEST ACTOR
Riz Ahmed – Sound of Metal
Chadwick Boseman – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (WINNER)
Delroy Lindo – Da 5 Bloods (RUNNER UP)
Anthony Hopkins – The Father
Gary Oldman – Mank

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR
Bo Burnham – Promising Young Woman
Sacha Baron Cohen – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (RUNNER UP)
Bill Murray – On The Rocks
Leslie Odom Jr. – One Night in Miami
Paul Raci – Sound of Metal (WINNER)

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
Lee Isaac Chung – Minari
Emerald Fennell – Promising Young Woman (WINNER)
Jack Fincher – Mank
Andy Siara – Palm Springs
Aaron Sorkin – The Trial of the Chicago 7 (RUNNER UP)

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
Charlie Kaufman – I’m Thinking of Ending Things (WINNER)
Kemp Powers – One Night in Miami (RUNNER UP)
Jon Raymond & Kelly Reichardt – First Cow
Ruben Santiago-Hudson – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Chloe Zhao – Nomadland

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY
Benjamin Kracunc – Promising Young Woman
Erik Messerschmidt – Mank (RUNNER UP)
Joshua James Richards – Nomadland (WINNER)
Newton Thomas Sigel – Da 5 Bloods
Dariusz Wolski – News of the World

BEST EDITING
Jonah Moran – Hamilton
Robert Frasen – I’m Thinking of Ending Things (RUNNER UP)
Kirk Baxter – Mank
Chloe Zhao – Nomadland (WINNER)
​Alan Baumgarten – The Trial of the Chicago 7

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN
Kave Quinn – Emma. (RUNNER UP)
Mark Ricker – Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom
Donald Graham Burt – Mank (WINNER)
Cristina Casali – The Personal History of David Copperfield
Michael Perry – Promising Young Woman

BEST SCORE
Ludovico Einaudi – “Nomadland” (RUNNER UP)
Ludwig Goransson – “Tenet”
James Newton Howard – “News of the World”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross & Jon Baptiste – “Soul” (WINNER)
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross – “Mank”

BEST SOUNDTRACK
Birds of Prey
Da 5 Bloods
Hamilton (RUNNER UP)
Lovers Rock
Promising Young Woman (WINNER)

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS
Birds of Prey
The Invisible Man (RUNNER UP)
Mank
The Midnight Sky
Tenet (WINNER)

BEST ANIMATED FILM
Onward
Over The Moon
Soul (WINNER)
The Wolf House
Wolfwalkers (RUNNER UP)

BEST HORROR FILM
Alone
The Invisible Man (WINNER)
La Llorona
Possessor: Uncut
​The Vast of Night

BEST COMEDY FILM
Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (WINNER)
Emma.
The King of Staten Island
On The Rocks
Palm Springs (RUNNER UP)

BEST ACTION FILM
Birds of Prey (RUNNER UP)
The Gentlemen
Greyhound
The Old Guard
Tenet (WINNER)

BEST DOCUMENTARY
City Hall
Collective (WINNER)
Dick Johnson Is Dead
My Octopus Teacher
The Social Dilemma

BEST FOREIGN FILM
Another Round (WINNER)
Bacurau
Beanpole (RUNNER UP)
Collective
Vitalina Varela

WORST FILM
Artemis Fowl
The Doorman
Downhill (WINNER)
Hillbilly Elegy
Wonder Woman 1984

BEST SCENE
HR scene in The Assistant
Rudy Guiliani in Borat Subsequent Moviefilm (RUNNER UP)
Dinner with parents in I’m Thinking of Ending Things
Sisters dine in The Invisible Man (WINNER)
Questionnaire in Never Rarely Sometimes Always

Artwork of the Day: Swamp Nymph (Artist Unknown)


Artist Unknown

This book was originally published in 1962.  John B. Thomas was a Louisiana native and World War II veteran who wrote at least 75 books over the course of his literary career.  Though most of his books were ignored during his lifetime, they’ve subsequently been rediscovered by collectors and he’s developed a cult reputation.  Swamp Nymph was recently reissued, with a far less effective cover.

I don’t know why certain men were apparently so obsessed with hooking up in the swamp but apparently it was a popular topic during the pulp era.  Between the mosquitos, the leeches, the crocodiles, and the malaria, it probably wasn’t worth it.  The cover artist’s identity is unknown but this cover undoubtedly sold a lot of books.  I’m just impressed that someone can keep their makeup and their hair so perfect while living in a swamp.

Music Video of the Day: Deep Deep Trouble by Bart Simpson (1990, directed by Gregg Vanzo)


Since yesterday, I shared Do The Bartman, I guess it only makes sense to share the 2nd Simpsons music video today.  Deep Deep Trouble is more of the same but, for those of us who remember when The Simpsons was funny, it still generates a feeling of welcome nostalgia.

Deep Deep Trouble was written by Matt Groening and DJ Jazzy Jeff and it’s easy to actually imagine this as one of the Fresh Prince’s songs from the Parents Just Don’t Understand era.  Bart, of course, was voiced by Nancy Cartwright.  The video was directed by Simpsons animated Gregg Vanzo.

Enjoy!

Here Are The 2020 Nominations of the San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle!


The San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle (SFBACC) have announced their nominations for the best of 2020!  It’s pretty much the usual suspects.  Every critics group that does nominations has nominated Nomadland.  It’s pretty much this year’s sure bet.  Usually, when it comes to the regional critics awards, the only real suspense is to whether or not Minari, First Cow, Trial of the Chicago 7 and I’m Thinking of Ending Things are going to pick up best picture nominations as well.  The SFBACC nominated both Minari and First Cow for best picture but not I’m Thinking of Ending Things and Trial of the Chicago 7 (though both did pick up screenplay nominations).

(Realistically, I’m Thinking of Ending Things is probably going to be judged by the Academy to be too strange.  That’s a shame because the Oscars can always use a little bit of strangness.)

The San Francisco winners will be announced on January 18th …. which is only 2 days away!  I guess they really don’t waste any time in the Bay Area.  Here are the nominees:

Best Picture
“First Cow”
“Minari”
“Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
“Nomadland”
“Promising Young Woman”

Best Director
Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland”
Eliza Hittman – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Emerald Fennell – “Promising Young Woman”
Kelly Reichardt – “First Cow”
Lee Isaac Chung – “Minari”

Best Original Screenplay
Aaron Sorkin – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Eliza Hittman – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Emerald Fennell – “Promising Young Woman”
Jack Fincher – “Mank”
Lee Isaac Chung – “Minari”

Best Adapted Screenplay
Charlie Kaufman – “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland”
Kelly Reichardt & Jon Raymond – “First Cow”
Kemp Powers – “One Night in Miami”
Ruben Santiago-Hudson – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Best Actor
Anthony Hopkins -“The Father”
Chadwick Boseman – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
Delroy Lindo – “Da 5 Bloods”
Riz Ahmed – “Sound of Metal”
Steven Yeun -“Minari”

Best Actress
Carey Mulligan – “Promising Young Woman”
Elisabeth Moss – “The Invisible Man”
Frances McDormand – “Nomadland”
Sidney Flanigan – “Never Rarely Sometimes Always”
Viola Davis – “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”

Best Supporting Actor
Chadwick Boseman – “Da 5 Bloods”
David Strathairn – “Nomadland”
Leslie Odom Jr. – “One Night in Miami”
Paul Raci – “Sound of Metal”
Sacha Baron Cohen – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”

Best Supporting Actress
Amanda Seyfried – “Mank”
Maria Bakalova – “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”
Olivia Colman – “The Father”
Toni Collette – “I’m Thinking of Ending Things”
Youn Yuh-jung – “Minari”

Best Animated Feature
“Marona’s Fantastic Tale”
“Onward”
“Over the Moon”
“Soul”
“Wolfwalkers”

Best Foreign Language Film
“Another Round”
“Bacurau”
“Collective”
“La Llorona”
“Two of Us”

Best Documentary
“Collective”
“Crip Camp”
“Boys State”
“The Truffle Hunters”
“Time”

Best Cinematography
Christopher Blauvelt – “First Cow”
Erik Messerschmidt – “Mank”
Hoyte Van Hoytema – “Tenet”
Joshua James Richards – “Nomadland”
Newton Thomas Sigel – “Da 5 Bloods”

Best Production Design
“First Cow”
“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”
“Mank”
“One Night in Miami”
“Tenet”

Best Film Editing
Alan Baumgarten – “The Trial of the Chicago 7”
Chloé Zhao – “Nomadland”
Jennifer Lame – “Tenet”
Kirk Baxter – “Mank”
Yorgos Lamprinos – “The Father”

Best Original Score
Emile Mosseri – “Minari”
Terence Blanchard – “Da 5 Bloods”
Terence Blanchard – “One Night in Miami”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross – “Mank”
Trent Reznor, Atticus Ross – “Soul”

Special Citation for Independent Cinema
“La Llorona”
“The Last Tree”
“Sh*thouse”

18 Shots From 18 John Carpenter Films


4 Shots From 4 Films is just what it says it is, 4 shots from 4 of our favorite films. As opposed to the reviews and recaps that we usually post, 4 Shots From 4 Films lets the visuals do the talking.

Today, Through the Shattered Lens wishes a happy 72nd birthday to one of the patron saints of the movies, John Carpenter!  Though often criminally underrated, John Carpenter is one of the most important filmmakers in modern film.

Every sci-fi spoof that you’ve seen owes a debt to Dark Star.  For that matter, so do quite a few serious sci-fi films, like Alien.

Every horror film owes a debt to Carpenter’s direction of Halloween.

How many apocalyptic, dystopian films have been influenced by Escape From New York?  While today it’s somewhat of a cliché for people to say that they have to escape from New York, John Carpenter imagined it long before Bill De Blasio made it into a reality.

Prince of Darkness and In The Mouth of Madness are two of the only films to capture the feelings of existential dread and the ominous atmosphere of H.P. Lovecraft’s most effective stories.

They Live may have been critically dismissed when it was released but today, many see it as being a work of prophecy.

“I wanted a vanilla twist.”  With Assault on Precinct 13, John Carpenter taught viewers that sometimes, it’s better to just take whatever ice cream you can get.

Meanwhile, films like The Thing, Big Trouble In Little China, The Fog, and others continue to find new fans every day.

Christopher Nolan may have Hans Zimmer but John Carpenter needs only himself to create a memorable musical score!

Even a film like Carpenter’s remake of Village of the Damned has a few undeniably effective moments!

Our point is that John Carpenter is one of the best around and, today, on his birthday, we’re going to honor him.  It’s not just 4 shots from 4 films for John Carpenter!  Instead, it’s time for….

18 Shots From 18 John Carpenter Films

Dark Star (1974, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Douglas Knapp)

Assault on Precinct 13 (1976, dir by John Carpenter. DP: Douglas Knapp)

Halloween (1978, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Dean Cundey)

The Fog (1980, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Dean Cundey)

Escape From New York (1981, directed by John Carpenter, DP: Dean Cundey)

The Thing (1982, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Dean Cundey)

Christine (1983, dir. John Carpenter, DP: Donald M. Morgan)

Starman (1984, dir by John Carpenter. DP: Donald M. Morgan)

Big Trouble in Little China (1986, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Dean Cundey)

Prince of Darkness (1987, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Gary B. Kibbe)

They Live (1988, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Gary B. Kibbe)

Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992, dir by John Carpenter, DP: William A. Fraker)

In The Mouth of Madness (1994, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Gary B. Kibbe)

Village of the Damned (1995, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Gary B. Kibbe)

Escape From L.A. (1996, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Gary B. Kibbe)

Vampires (1998, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Gary B. Kibbe)

Ghosts of Mars (2001, dir by John Carpenter, DP: Gary B. Kibbe)

The Ward (2010, dir by John Carpetner, DP: Yaron Orbach)

Artwork of the Day: I Fear You Not! (by Raymond Johnson)


by Raymond Johnson

This book was first published in 1956.  According to Amazon, it’s a “racy, realistic look at gangsters who terrorized the entire town.”  Did they terrorize why them while on the phone in the tub?  I guess if he could “buy cops the way he bought women,” he might as well.

This cover was done by Raymond Johnson, whose work has been featured many times on this site.  Obviously, the thing that catches your attention about this cover is the way the giant exclamation mark is also used to give the reader a peek inside the story.  No one in either the period or the mark above appear to be feeling any fear.

Music Video of the Day: Do The Bartman by Bart Simpson (1990, directed by Brad Bird)


Way back in 1990, The Simpsons were still a new phenomena and, even more importantly, the show was still funny.  Today, it can be easy to forget that The Simpsons were once considered to be cutting edge.  Of course, they were also a merchandizing bonanza and this lead to the release of an album called The Simpsons Sing The Blues.  The first single and video released from that album was Do The Bartman, which had nothing to do with the blues but which was a big hit nonetheless.

The video, which features Bart up to his usual tricks, was directed by Brad Bird.  At the time, Bird was a former Disney animator who had helped to develop The Simpsons after animating some of the original shorts that aired during The Tracey Ullman Show.  Long after Do The Bartman, Bird would find fame and acclaim for his work with PIXAR, in particularly The Incredibles.  He would also move into live action directing with Mission Impossible — Ghost Protocol.

Bart Simpson, of course, was and is voiced by Nancy Cartwright.  Later episodes of The Simpsons would poke fun at both The Simpsons Sing The Blues and the Bartman.  That probably wouldn’t happen today but, back in the 90s, The Simpsons were still funny and the show was still capable of poking fun at itself.

Enjoy!

Nomadland Wins In North Dakota


The North Dakota Film Society announced its picks for the best of 2020 earlier today.  All of the usual suspects won.  Nomadland took best picture.  Chloe Zhao took best director.  Frances McDormand picked up yet another best actress awards.  Don’t get me wrong, that’s not a complaint.  It’s just that, by this point, I’m so used to Nomadland, Zhao, and McDormand winning that I’m struggling to find a new way to announce their victories.

Nomadland is definitely the Oscar front runner right now.  To be honest, though, it’s sometimes better to be the underdog.  A lot of front runners have fallen to the side — The Social Network, La La Land, A Star is Born, Joker, 1917.  In other words — nothing has been determined yet and there’s still a whole month to go before we even know what’s been nominated for the Oscars.  In other words, don’t give up on Money Plane just yet!

Here are the winners from North Dakota:

Best Picture
FIRST COW (RUNNER UP)
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS (RUNNER UP)
NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS
NOMADLAND (WINNER)
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN

Best Director
Emerald Fennell – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
David Fincher – MANK (RUNNER UP)
Charlie Kaufman – I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
Kelly Reichardt – FIRST COW
Chloé Zhao – NOMADLAND (WINNER)

Best Actress
Viola Davis – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Sophia Loren – THE LIFE AHEAD
Frances McDormand – NOMADLAND (WINNER)
Carey Mulligan – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (RUNNER UP)
Kate Winslet – AMMONITE

Best Actor
Riz Ahmed – SOUND OF METAL (WINNER)
Chadwick Boseman – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM
Delroy Lindo – DA 5 BLOODS (RUNNER UP)
Gary Oldman – MANK
Steven Yeun – MINARI

Best Supporting Actress
Maria Bakalova – BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM (WINNER)
Ellen Burstyn – PIECES OF A WOMAN (RUNNER UP TIE)
Saoirse Ronan – AMMONITE
Amanda Seyfried – MANK (RUNNER UP TIE)
Yuh-Jung Youn – MINARI (RUNNER UP TIE)

Best Supporting Actor
Bo Burnham – PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
Sacha Baron Cohen – THE TRIAL OF THE CHICAGO 7 (WINNER)
Orion Lee – FIRST COW (RUNNER UP)
Paul Raci – SOUND OF METAL
David Strathairn – NOMADLAND

Best Screenplay
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS (RUNNER UP)
MANK
NEVER RARELY SOMETIMES ALWAYS
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (WINNER)
SOUND OF METAL

Best Production Design
EMMA.
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
MANK (WINNER)
NEWS OF THE WORLD
THE PERSONAL HISTORY OF DAVID COPPERFIELD (RUNNER UP)

Best Cinematography
EMMA.
FIRST COW
MANK (RUNNER UP)
NOMADLAND (WINNER)
TENET

Best Film Editing
I’M THINKING OF ENDING THINGS
MANK
NOMADLAND (WINNER)
PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN
TENET (RUNNER UP)

Best Original Score
AMMONITE
THE INVISIBLE MAN
MANK (WINNER)
SOUL (RUNNER UP)
TENET

Best Original Song
BORAT SUBSEQUENT MOVIEFILM – ”Wuhan Flu” (WINNER)
MISS AMERICANA – ”Only the Young”
ON THE ROCKS – ”Identical”
ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI – ”Speak Now”
OVER THE MOON – ”Rocket to the Moon” (RUNNER UP)

Best International Feature
AND THEN WE DANCED (WINNER)
ANOTHER ROUND
BEANPOLE (RUNNER UP TIE)
COLLECTIVE (RUNNER UP TIE)
THE TWENTIETH CENTURY

Best Documentary Feature
ALL IN: THE FIGHT FOR DEMOCRACY (WINNER)
BOYS STATE
COLLECTIVE
DICK JOHNSON IS DEAD (RUNNER UP)
TIME
THE TRUFFLE HUNTERS

Best Animated Feature
THE CROODS: A NEW AGE
ONWARD
OVER THE MOON
SOUL (WINNER)
WOLFWALKERS (RUNNER UP)

Music Video of the Day: Nervous Shakedown by AC/DC (1983, directed by Paul Belcher)


One thing you can say about AC/DC: they’ve never been afraid to let the music speak for itself.  At a time when other bands were creating increasingly elaborate music videos and worrying more about how they would look on MTV than how they would sound while performing, AC/DC simply went out on stage and rocked while the cameras were rolling.  AC/DC’s videos are direct and make no excuses, much like the band itself.

This is the video for Nervous Shakedown.  Just like all of AC/DC’s other music videos, this video is about the performance and nothing else.  Nervous Shakedown is the fourth song off of AC/DC’s album, Flick of the Switch.  The song peaked at #35 on the UK charts, while reaching #20 in Ireland.

Enjoy!