Lisa’s Oscar Predictions for October!

Hi, everyone!

It’s time for me to post my monthly Oscar predictions!  With Oscar season finally getting started, things are starting to become a lot more clearer.  At the same time, especially when compared to the previous few years, it’s hard not to feel as if there’s a lot more uncertainty than usual.

For months, people were convinced that The Post was going to be the big Oscar contender but rumor has it that the film’s a bit of a mess.  I can’t say that I’m surprised.  Tom Hanks, Meryl Streep, and Steven Spielberg teaming up for a celebration of the press?  That sounds like exactly the type of project that will bring out everyone’s worst, most mawkish instincts.

With the downfall of Hollywood power players and monsters like Harvey Weinstein, the Oscar outlook becomes even more hazy.  If ever there’s been a year for the Academy to make a statement, this would be it.  But will they have the courage?  On the one hand, the Academy has made an attempt to broaden their membership and to bring in new voices and perspectives.  On the other hand, Oscar host Jimmy Kimmel has already said he won’t be mentioning anything about Weinstein (or, I assume, James Toback or Kevin Spacey) during next year’s ceremony.  Is the Academy going to make a statement or are they just going to try to pretend like nothing’s happened?

Could next year be the year that the Oscars embrace genre films?  Some of the biggest disappointments of the year have been the movies that would typically contend for Oscars.  Meanwhile, some of the most acclaimed films of the year — Get Out, It, Wonder Woman, Logan, — are all so-called genre films.

For my predictions below, I’ve decided to live in a world where the Academy embraces genre films.  These predictions may be totally off but screw it.  It’s the night before Halloween and I’m going to have fun.  Besides, I can make a case for every single prediction found below.

Check out my predictions for January, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, and September!

Best Picture

Call Me By Your Name

Darkest Hour

The Disaster Artist


Get Out



The Shape of Water

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Wonder Woman

Best Director

Guillermo Del Toro for The Shape of Water

Martin McDonagh for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk

Jordan Peele for Get Out

Joe Wright for Darkest Hour

Best Actor

James Franco in The Disaster Artist

Andrew Garfield in Breathe

Jake Gyllenhaal in Stronger

Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour

Harry Dean Stanton in Lucky

Best Actress

Gal Gadot in Wonder Woman

Sally Hawkins in The Shape of Water

Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Margot Robbie in I, Tonya

Emma Stone in Battle of the Sexes

Best Supporting Actor

Willem DaFoe in The Forida Project

Armie Hammer in Call Me By Your Name

Sam Rockwell in Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Adam Sander in The Meyerowitz Stories

Patrick Stewart in Logan

Best Supporting Actress

Mary J. Blige in Mudbound

Allison Janney in I, Tonya

Melissa Leo in Novitiate

Laurie Metcalf in Lady Bird

Kristin Scott Thomas in Darkest Hour


Halloween Havoc!: CHRISTINE (Columbia 1983)

cracked rear viewer

Stephen King turned 70 last month, and the Master of Horror’s grip on the American psyche is stronger than ever, thanks to the unprecedented horror hit IT!, now playing at a theater near you. King’s macabre novels have been adapted for the screen since 1976’s CARRIE with  varying degrees of success; some have been unabashed genre classics, others complete bombs, most lie somewhere in the middle.

Top: Stephen King 1983
Bottom: John Carpenter 1983

Director John Carpenter had a string of successes beginning with 1978’s seminal slasher film HALLOWEEN, but his 1982 remake of THE THING, now considered a masterpiece of the genre, was a box office disappointment. Carpenter took on King’s novel CHRISTINE as a work-for-hire project. I recently watched it for the first time, and think not only is it one of the best adaptations of King’s work to hit the screen, it’s one of Carpenter’s best horror…

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Here Are The 2017 IFP Gotham Award Nominees!

Hi, everyone!

Well, today is officially the start of Oscar season.  This morning, the Independent Filmmakers Project announced this year’s nominees for the Gotham Awards!  While the Gotham Awards may not be as well-known as some of the other precursors, their importance has grown over the past few years.  Though most of the major studio contenders are typically not eligible, a Gotham nomination can provide a definite boost for an independent film.

This year, Get Out received the most nominations.  Get Out has been mentioned as an outside possibility for an Oscar nomination.  It’s generally considered to be the best reviewed film of the year but horror is a genre that has traditionally struggled with the Academy.  For Get Out to receive a nomination, it’s going to need some help from the precursors (much as how Mad Max: Fury Road was legitimized by the critic groups in 2015).  With the announcement of the Gotham nominations, Get Out is off to a good start.

I’m also happy to see that James Franco received a nomination for playing Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist.

Here are the nominees:

Best Feature

Call Me by Your Name
Luca Guadagnino, director; Peter Spears, Luca Guadagnino, Emilie Georges, Rodrigo Teixeira, Marco Morabito, James Ivory, Howard Rosenman, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

The Florida Project
Sean Baker, director; Sean Baker, Chris Bergoch, Kevin Chinoy, Andrew Duncan, Alex Saks, Francesca Silvestri, Shih-Ching Tsou, producers (A24)

Get Out
Jordan Peele, director; Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Edward H. Hamm, Jr., Jordan Peele, producers (Universal Pictures)

Good Time

Josh and Benny Safdie, directors; Paris Kasidokostas-Latsis, Terry Dougas, Sebastian Bear-McClard, Oscar Boyson, producers (A24)

I, Tonya
Craig Gillespie, director; Bryan Unkeless, Steven Rogers, Margot Robbie, Tom Ackerley, producers (NEON)

Best Documentary

Ex Libris – The New York Public Library
Frederick Wiseman, director and producer (Zipporah Films)

Rat Film
Theo Anthony, director; Riel Roch-Decter, Sebastian Pardo, producers (MEMORY and Cinema Guild)

Strong Island
Yance Ford, director; Yance Ford, Joslyn Barnes, producers (Netflix)

The Work 
Sabaah Folayan, Damon Davis, directors; Sabaah Folayan, Damon Davis, Jennifer MacArthur, Flannery Miller, producers (Magnolia Pictures)

Whose Streets?

Jairus McLeary, director;  Alice Henty, Eon McLeary, Jairus McLeary, Miles McLeary, producers (The Orchard and First Look Media)

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

Maggie Betts for Novitiate (Sony Pictures Classics)
Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird (A24)
Kogonada for Columbus (Superlative Films/Depth of Field)
Jordan Peele for Get Out (Universal Pictures)
Joshua Z Weinstein for Menashe (A24)

Best Screenplay

The Big Sick, Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani (Amazon Studios)
Brad’s Status, Mike White (Amazon Studios)
Call Me by Your Name, James Ivory (Sony Pictures Classics)
Columbus, Kogonada (Superlative Films/Depth of Field)
Get Out, Jordan Peele (Universal Pictures)
Lady Bird, Greta Gerwig (A24)

Best Actor*

Willem Dafoe in The Florida Project (A24)
James Franco in The Disaster Artist (A24)
Daniel Kaluuya in Get Out (Universal Pictures)
Robert Pattinson in Good Time (A24)
Adam Sandler in The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected) (Netflix)
Harry Dean Stanton in Lucky (Magnolia Pictures)

Best Actress

Melanie Lynskey in I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (Netflix)
Haley Lu Richardson in Columbus (Superlative Films/Depth of Field)
Margot Robbie in I, Tonya (NEON)
Saoirse Ronan in Lady Bird (A24)
Lois Smith in Marjorie Prime (FilmRise)

Breakthrough Actor

Mary J. Blige in Mudbound (Netflix)
Timothée Chalamet in Call Me by Your Name (Sony Pictures Classics)
Harris Dickinson in Beach Rats (NEON)
Kelvin Harrison, Jr. in It Comes at Night (A24)
Brooklynn Prince in The Florida Project (A24)

* The 2017 Best Actor/Best Actress nominating committee also voted to award a special Gotham Jury Award for ensemble performance to Mudbound, The award will go to actors Carey Mulligan, Garrett Hedlund, Jason Clarke, Jason Mitchell, Mary J. Blige, Rob Morgan, and Jonathan Banks.


Music Video of the Day: Christmas In L.A. by The Killers ft. Dawes (2013, dir. Kelly Loosli)

We’re down to the last music video with Harry Dean Stanton that I can find.

Did you ever want to see a music video with Harry Dean Stanton just wanting to be left alone to drink and smoke rather than listen to Owen Wilson’s problems? I didn’t even know such a thing existed.

Okay, he does provide some “words of wisdom” at the start of the video. Granted, Wilson has to pressure him to answer a question by ignoring his simple “no”, but he does talk to him. After that, it’s leave-me-alone time.

In reality, they did three feature films together. Also, they share in common that people will likely remember both of them for a film that had “Paris” in the title–Midnight In Paris and Paris, Texas. Both of which I’m sure would give this video more meaning if I watched them again back-to-back with this video.

The rest of the video is a sad Christmas song about being alone in the reality behind the glamour of Hollywood that you can’t leave because your career depends on you being where the jobs are.

I like the animation. It feels like a cross between Do The Evolution by Pearl Jam and Don’t Answer Me by The Alan Parsons Project.

It has an animated Warren Zevon in it. He shows up when they mention Carmelita since that is one of Zevon’s songs. There’s also a character named Carmelita in Paris, Texas. Unfortunately, it’s been forever since I’ve watched it, so I couldn’t tell you about her character.

Unlike the other videos Stanton was in, this one actually has his name in the song. I think it’s a good one to go out on.

Rest in peace, Harry Dean Stanton.

Harry Dean Stanton Retrospective:

  1. Those Memories Of You by Dolly Parton & Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris (1987, dir. White Copeman)
  2. Get Rhythm by Ry Cooder (1988, dir. David Fincher)
  3. Heart Of Stone by Dwight Yoakam (1996, dir. Dwight Yoakam)
  4. Sorry You Asked? by Dwight Yoakam (1996, dir. Dwight Yoakam)
  5. Nothing To Believe In by Cracker (1996, dir. Samuel Bayer)
  6. Stop by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (2003, dir. Charles Mehling)
  7. Dreamin’ Of You by Bob Dylan (2008, dir. ???)

Music Video of the Day: Get Rhythm by Ry Cooder (1988, dir. David Fincher)

Once again, we have club-owner Stanton, but back in the 1980s before he played a club owner in Stop by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club. This time he is under the direction of none other than David Fincher. I didn’t expect to hit a David Fincher music video while going through ones with Harry Dean Stanton.

It’s a shame that the version I found has such a low resolution. I mean there isn’t anything particularly interesting about the video. It’s one of those where a band starts playing to a nearly empty place and people keep trickling in until the club is packed because they can’t resist the pull of the song. But still, you can tell that it probably looked really good when it was shown properly.

What happened to the parrot between shots?


Harry Dean Stanton Retrospective:

  1. Those Memories Of You by Dolly Parton & Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris (1987, dir. White Copeman)
  2. Heart Of Stone by Dwight Yoakam (1996, dir. Dwight Yoakam)
  3. Sorry You Asked? by Dwight Yoakam (1996, dir. Dwight Yoakam)
  4. Nothing To Believe In by Cracker (1996, dir. Samuel Bayer)
  5. Stop by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (2003, dir. Charles Mehling)
  6. Dreamin’ Of You by Bob Dylan (2008, dir. ???)

Music Video of the Day: Dreamin’ Of You by Bob Dylan (2008, dir. ???)

I wanted to do a different music video today, but it’ll have to come in the following days due to health issues. On the upside, those health issues might have left another music video with Harry Dean Stanton in it go unfound. Or is that a downside? Yes, I found another one, and I’ll take it as a good thing.

Anyways, this time we get bootlegger-Stanton.

We get to see him travel around following Dylan to bootleg his songs.

I think it’s clever the way they did this video. According to Wikipedia, it did get an official release:

It was originally recorded to be on the 1997 album Time Out Of Mind. You remember Time Out Of Mind, right? That was the album that took Dylan to the Grammy Awards so he could meet the “Soy Bomb”-guy. I’ll always remember that one. The song wasn’t included on the album. It must of leaked out because people had access to it regardless. Cut to almost 10 years later, and Dylan decided to not only release it on an album and call it part of “The Bootleg Series”, but a video was made chronicling the hard life of an old bootlegger.

You’ll notice that Dylan only appears in some grainy stock footage. There’s a comment on YouTube that covers that bit:

A friend of mine called and asked if I wanted to work on a Bob Dylan music video. I said absolutely! However, once we got out to the desert in Palmdale, CA  I said where’s Bob? My buddy said “Dylan, isn’t exactly in the video. The video is a  concept about an old music bootlegger played by Harry Dean Stanton. Bummer. Harry Dean was a trooper, because it was brutally hot at almost 100 degrees. At the end of the day, Harry got on the guitar and played a Mexican folk ballad. He said “film this and send it to Bob.”

I love that story.

This might be my favorite one of the Harry Dean Stanton videos so far. We see this isn’t just a bootlegger. He is a fan who treasures Bob Dylan’s material, would love to be able to play like him, and is so obsessed with Dylan that he appears to have made it his life’s work to make sure not a performance or song is lost to the wind.

As for the album shown at the end, apparently they tried to charge people $18.99 for the two-CD set and the three-CD version for $129.99. Yes, because that’s how to encourage your fans to buy the official release instead of procuring a pirated copy–price gouging.


Harry Dean Stanton Retrospective:

  1. Those Memories Of You by Dolly Parton & Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris (1987, dir. White Copeman)
  2. Heart Of Stone by Dwight Yoakam (1996, dir. Dwight Yoakam)
  3. Sorry You Asked? by Dwight Yoakam (1996, dir. Dwight Yoakam)
  4. Nothing To Believe In by Cracker (1996, dir. Samuel Bayer)
  5. Stop by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (2003, dir. Charles Mehling)

Music Video of the Day: Stop by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club (2003, dir. Charles Mehling)

Hi, club-owner Stanton!

Bye, club-owner Stanton!

What was the point of having him bookend this video? Was the band really big fans of Harry Dean Stanton? Was Stanton a fan?

In between the parts with Stanton, we just get a stylized road trip. There’s nothing particularly interesting about it other than the spin shots. I kind of liked those.

This is one of those videos where I can find quite a few credits.

Charles Mehling directed the video. He has a little over 25 credits as a director of music videos.

Cathy Pellow was the producer. She has a variety of credits spread over work as a video commissioner, executive producer, producer, and director.

Simon Coull was the one who shot it. He appears to have done a little over 10 music videos.

Jeff Seibenick has worked as a director, editor, and cinematographer. He has a bunch of different credits over on IMDb.

Finally, prolific 1st assistant director John Downer worked on this video along with the some 80-90 videos he has done.


Harry Dean Stanton Retrospective:

  1. Those Memories Of You by Dolly Parton & Linda Ronstadt & Emmylou Harris (1987, dir. White Copeman)
  2. Heart Of Stone by Dwight Yoakam (1996, dir. Dwight Yoakam)
  3. Sorry You Asked? by Dwight Yoakam (1996, dir. Dwight Yoakam)
  4. Nothing To Believe In by Cracker (1996, dir. Samuel Bayer)