Music Video of the Day: Touched By The Hand of God by New Order (1987, directed by Kathryn Bigelow)


23 years before she made history as the first woman to win the Oscar for Best Director, Kathryn Bigelow directed this video for New Order.

The video features the members of New Order as you’ve never seen them before.  With the band’s long hair and the codpieces and the explosions going off in the background, you might think that an aging glam metal band is trying to rip off the British new wave sound.  Instead, it’s the members of New Order, wearing wigs and poking deserved fun at the bands like Poison, Cinderella, and Great White.

While New Order performs, Bill Paxton runs through traffic and makes out with Femi Gardiner.  Bill Paxton was everywhere in 1987.

Horror Film Review: Near Dark (dir by Kathryn Bigelow)


The 1987 film Near Dark is the story of two American families.

The Coltons are a family of ranchers living Oklahoma.  Loy Colton (Tim Thomerson) is the patriarch, keeping a watchful eye on his children, Caleb (Adrian Pasdar) and Sarah (Marcie Leeds).  Caleb is a cowboy and a nice guy, even if he does seem to be a little bit too naive for his own good.  After Caleb disappears one night, Loy and Sarah start their own search, traveling across the back roads of the Southwest.

The other family may not share any biological relation to one another but they definitely share blood.  They’re a group of outcasts who have found each other and now spend their nights searching for people who can satisfy their hunger.  They’re vampires, even though that’s not a word that they tend to use.  (In fact, for all the blood-sucking that goes on throughout the film, the term “vampire” is never actually heard.)  At night, they’re all-powerful but during the day, even the slightly exposure to the sun can set them on fire.

The patriarch of this family is Jesse Hooker (Lance Henriksen), a scarred war veteran.  Jesse will do anything to protect the members of his family but he expects each of them to pull their weight.  At one point, when Jesse is asked how old he is, he says that he fought for the South and that the South lost.

Jesse’s girlfriend is Diamondback (Jenette Goldstein), who is just as ruthless as Jesse.  Filling the role of oldest son is Severen (Bill Paxton), a cocky gunslinger with a quick smile and cruel sense of humor.  Homer (Joshua Miller) appears to be a 12 year-old boy but he’s actually one of the older and more violent members of the family.  And then there’s Mae (Jenny Wright), the rebellious daughter.

Mae is the one who first met and bit Caleb.  She’s the one who turned Caleb into one of them, though it takes Caleb a while to not only discover but also understand what he’s become.  When Caleb tries to escape from Mae and his new family, he becomes violently ill.  He can no longer eat human food but, at the same time, he can’t bring himself to hunt.  Instead, he’s forced to drink whatever blood Mae can provide for him.  Even when Jesse’s group attacks a redneck bar, one cowboy manages to escape, specifically because Caleb cannot bring himself to kill him.

What is Caleb to do?  He can’t return to his old family, as much as he may want to.  (It doesn’t help that Homer has developed an obsession with Caleb’s sister, Sarah.)  At the same time, his new family says that they’re going to kill him unless he starts hunting for blood.  They only thing keeping Caleb alive is the fact that Mae likes him and even she’s telling him that he’s going to have to hunt.

Meanwhile, Loy continues his own hunt, the hunt for his son….

Long before she became the first female director to win an Oscar for The Hurt Locker, Kathryn Bigelow directed this stylish vampire film.  Visually, Bigelow emphasizes the emptiness of the Southwestern plains.  Looking at the desolate landscape, it’s easy to believe that Jesse and his family could use them to successfully hide from the rest of the world.  It’s also just as easy to believe that a well-meaning but not particularly bright young man like Caleb could get lost and not be able to find his way home.  Bigelow turns the vampire family into a group of modern-day outlaws, crossing the land in their sun-proofed vehicles and trying to stay one step ahead of modern-day posses made up by concerned families and law enforcement officers who don’t know what they’re getting into.

Even if not for Bigelow’s stylish direction, the film would be a classic for just the cast alone.  Henriksen, Paxton, and Goldstein all previously appeared in James Cameron’s Aliens and they have a camaraderie that feels real.  In fact, the vampires work so well together that it’s impossible not to kind of admire them.  They’ve got it together and, even when faced with an army of police officers determined to make them step out into the sunlight, they don’t lose their sardonic sense of humor.  The much missed Bill Paxton’s performance is a hyperactive marvel, both menacing and sexy at the same time.  Meanwhile, Jenny Wright and Adrian Pasdar have a likable chemistry as Mae and Caleb while Tim Thomerson makes Loy’s love and concern for his son feel so real that adds an unexpected emotional depth to the overall movie.  The script, written by Eric Red and Bigelow, is full of quotable dialogue and the cast takes full advantage of it.

Near Dark is vampire classic and definitely one to watch this Halloween season.

Here Are The Nominees From The Women Film Critics Circle!


The Women Film Critics Circle has announced their nominations for the best of 2017!  The winners will be named next week!

BEST MOVIE ABOUT WOMEN

BEST MOVIE BY A WOMAN

  • “Detroit”
  • “First They Killed My Father”
  • “Lady Bird”
  • “Mudbound”

BEST WOMAN STORYTELLER [Screenwriting Award]

  • Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
  • Maggie Greenwald, “Sophie And The Rising Sun”
  • Dee Rees, “Mudbound”
  • Angela Workman, “The Zookeeper’s Wife”

BEST ACTRESS

  • Sally Hawkins, “Maudie”
  • Sally Hawkins, “The Shape Of Water”
  • Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
  • Cynthia Nixon, “A Quiet Passion”

BEST ACTOR

  • Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name”
  • Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
  • Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
  • Denzel Washington, “Roman J. Israel, Esq.”

BEST YOUNG ACTRESS (Under 21)

  • Seo-Hyun Ahn, “Okja”
  • Mckenna Grace, “Gifted”
  • Brooklynn Prince, “The Florida Project”
  • Millicent Simmonds, “Wonderstruck”

BEST COMEDIC ACTRESS

  • Tiffany Haddish, “Girls Trip”
  • Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
  • Margo Robbie, “I, Tonya”
  • Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”

BEST FOREIGN FILM BY OR ABOUT WOMEN

  • “A Fantastic Woman”
  • “First They Killed My Father”
  • “In The Fade”
  • “Thelma”

*ADRIENNE SHELLY AWARD: For a film that most passionately opposes violence against women:

  • “Maudie”
  • “The Light Of The Moon”
  • “The Rape Of Recy Taylor”
  • “Wind River”

*JOSEPHINE BAKER AWARD: For best expressing the woman of color experience in America

  • “Girls Trip”
  • “Mudbound”
  • “Step”
  • “The Rape Of Recy Taylor”

*KAREN MORLEY AWARD: For best exemplifying a woman’s place in history or society, and a courageous search for identity

  • “Battle Of The Sexes”
  • “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story”
  • Mudbound
  • “The Post”

COURAGE IN ACTING [Taking on unconventional roles that radically redefine the images of women on screen]

  • Sally Hawkins, “Maudie”
  • Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
  • Michelle Rodriguez, “The Assignment”
  • Charlize Theron, “Atomic Blonde”

COURAGE IN FILMMAKING

  • Amma Asante, “A United Kingdom”
  • Kathryn Bigelow, “Detroit”
  • Angelina Jolie, “First The Killed My Father”
  • Dee Rees, “Mudbound

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN AWARD [Supporting performance by a woman whose exceptional impact on the film dramatically, socially or historically, has been ignored]

BEST DOCUMENTARY BY OR ABOUT WOMEN

  • “Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story”
  • “Faces Places”
  • “Jane”
  • “Step”

WOMEN’S WORK: BEST ENSEMBLE

BEST FEMALE ACTION HERO

  • “Atomic Blonde”
  • “In The Fade”
  • “The Shape of Water”
  • Wonder Woman

BEST EQUALITY OF THE SEXES

  • “Atomic Blonde”
  • “Battle Of The Sexes”
  • “Professor Marston And The Wonder Women”
  • Wonder Woman

BEST SCREEN COUPLE

BEST ANIMATED FEMALE(S)

  • “Coco”
  • “Loving Vincent”
  • “The Breadwinner”
  • “Window Horses: The Poetic Persian Epiphany of Rosie Ming”

BEST FAMILY FILM

Here Are The Nominations of the Los Angeles Online Film Critics!


On December 4th, because there weren’t already enough critics group to keep track of, the Los Angeles Online Film Critics (founded 2016) announced the nominees for their inagural awards!  The winners will be named on January 3rd, 2018.

Here are the nominees.  There’s a lot of them.

BEST PICTURE 

“The Big Sick”
“Colossal”
“Call Me By Your Name”
“Get Out”
“I, Tonya”
“Lady Bird”
“Molly’s Game”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST FEMALE DIRECTOR

Dee Rees, “Mudbound
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
Kathryn Bigelow, “Detroit”
Patty Jenkins, “Wonder Woman
Sofia Coppola, “The Beguiled”

BEST MALE DIRECTOR

Christopher Nolan, “Dunkirk”
Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”
Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
Luca Guadagnino, “Call Me By Your Name”
Steven Spielberg, “The Post”

BEST ANIMATED / VISUAL EFFECT PERFORMANCE

Andy Serkis, “War for the Planet of the Apes
Doug Jones, “The Shape of Water”
Dan Stevens, “Beauty and the Beast

BEST EDITING

Baby Driver
“Dunkirk”
“I, Tonya”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”

BEST SCORE

Blade Runner 2049
“Dunkirk”
“Phantom Thread”
“The Shape of Water”
War for the Planet of the Apes

BEST STUNT WORK

“Atomic Blonde”
Baby Driver
“Dunkirk”
“John Wick: Chapter 2”
Wonder Woman

BEST PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTOR OR ACTRESS UNDER 23 YEARS OLD

Brooklynn Prince, “The Florida Project”
Dafne Keen, “Logan
Jacob Tremblay, “Wonder”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name”

BEST SCI-FI/ HORROR

Blade Runner 2049
“Get Out”
It
It Comes at Night
“The Shape of Water”

BEST ACTION/WAR

Baby Driver
“Dunkirk”
Logan
War for the Planet of the Apes
Wonder Woman

BEST COMEDY/MUSICAL

“The Big Sick”
“The Disaster Artist”
“Girls Trip”
“I, Tonya”
“Lady Bird”

BEST FIRST FEATURE

Aaron Sorkin, “Molly’s Game”
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
Kogonada, “Columbus”
Jeremy Gasper, “Patti Cake$”
Jordan Peele, “Get Out”

BEST INDEPENDENT FILM

“The Big Sick”
“Colossal”
A Ghost Story
“I, Tonya”
“Lady Bird”

BEST BLOCKBUSTER

Beauty and the Beast”
“Dunkirk”
Logan
War for the Planet of the Apes
Wonder Woman”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Bruno Delbonnel, “Darkest Hour”
Dan Laustsen, “The Shape of Water”
Hoyte van Hoytema, “Dunkirk”
Rachel Morrison, “Mudbound
Roger Deakins, “Blade Runner 2049”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

“Blade Runner 2049”
“Dunkirk”
“The Shape of Water”
“War for the Planet of the Apes”
“Wonder Woman”

BEST DOCUMENTARY

“An Inconvenient Sequel”
“Jane”
“Jim & Andy: The Great Beyond”
“Step”
“Whose Streets?”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

“BPM,” France
“First They Killed My Father,” Cambodia
“In the Fade,” Germany
“The Square,” Sweden
“Thelma,” Norway

BEST ANIMATED FILM

“The Breadwinner”
“Coco”
“Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie”
The LEGO Batman Movie”
“Loving Vincent”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Emily V. Gordon & Kumail Nanjiani, “The Big Sick”
Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
Guillermo del Toro & Vanessa Taylor, “The Shape of Water”
Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
Martin McDonagh, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

Aaron Sorkin, “Molly’s Game”
Luca Guadagnino, James Ivory, & Walter Fasano, “Call Me by Your Name”
Michael H. Weber & Scott Neustadter, “The Disaster Artist”
Scott Frank, James Mangold, & Michael Green, “Logan
Virgil Williams & Dee Rees, “Mudbound

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Allison Janney, “I, Tonya”
Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”
Tiffany Haddish, “Girls Trip”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Idris Elba, “Molly’s Game”
Michael Stuhlbarg, “Call Me By Your Name”
Patrick Stewart, “Logan
Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Williem Dafoe, “The Florida Project”

BEST ACTRESS

Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie, “I, Tonya”
Jessica Chastain, “Molly’s Game”
Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”

BEST ACTOR

Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”
James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”
Timothée Chalamet, “Call Me By Your Name”
Tom Hanks, “The Post”

Lisa’s Early Oscar Predictions For September


To see how my thinking has progressed, be sure to check out my predictions for January, February, March, April, May, JuneJuly, and August!

 

Best Picture

Call Me By Your Name

Darkest Hour

Detroit

The Disaster Artist

Dunkirk

The Florida Project

It

Goodbye Christopher Robin

Logan

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missiouri

Wonderstruck

 

Best Director

Sean Baker for The Florida Project

Kathryn Bigelow for Detroit

Martin McDonagh for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri

Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk

Joe Wright for Darkest Hour

 

Best Actor

Chadwick Boseman in Marshall

Willem DaFoe in The Florida Project

Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman

Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour

Donald Sutherland in The Leisure Seeker

 

Best Actress

Judi Dench in Victoria and Abdul

Kirsten Dunst in Woodshock

Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri

Emma Stone in Battle of the Sexes

Meryl Streep in The Papers

 

Best Supporting Actor

Steve Carell in Battle of the Sexes

James Franco in The Disaster Artist

Armie Hammer in Call Me By Your Name

Will Poulter in Detroit

Patrick Stewart in Logan

 

Best Supporting Actress

Penelope Cruz in Murder on the Orient Express

Holly Hunter in The Big Sick

Melissa Leo in The Novitiate

Julianne Moore in Wonderstuck

Margot Robbie in Goodbye Christopher Robin

Lisa’s Early Oscar Predictions for August!


 

To see how my thinking has progressed, be sure to check out my predictions for January, February, March, April, May, June, and July!

 

Best Picture

Call Me By Your Name

Darkest Hour

Detroit

The Disaster Artist

Dunkirk

The Florida Project

Goodbye Christopher Robin

The Greatest Showman

Logan

Wonderstruck

 

Best Director

Sean Baker for The Florida Project

Kathryn Bigelow for Detroit

Michael Gracey for The Greatest Showman

Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk

Joe Wright for Darkest Hour

 

Best Actor

Chadwick Boseman in Marshall

Willem DaFoe in The Florida Project

Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman

Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour

Donald Sutherland in The Leisure Seeker

 

Best Actress

Judi Dench in Victoria and Abdul

Kirsten Dunst in Woodshock

Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri

Emma Stone in Battle of the Sexes

Meryl Streep in The Papers

 

Best Supporting Actor

Steve Carell in Battle of the Sexes

James Franco in The Disaster Artist

Armie Hammer in Call Me By Your Name

Will Poulter in Detroit

Patrick Stewart in Logan

 

Best Supporting Actress

Penelope Cruz in Murder on the Orient Express

Holly Hunter in The Big Sick

Melissa Leo in The Novitiate

Julianne Moore in Wonderstuck

Margot Robbie in Goodbye Christopher Robin

 

Lisa’s Early Oscar Nominations for July


With each passing month, the Oscar race becomes just a little bit clearer.  We are still a few months away from the true Oscar season but a few contenders have emerged.

My predictions are below.  Previously, my predictions were all based on wishful thinking and instinct.  Well, there’s still a lot of wishful thinking to be found below but, at the same time, the festival season is providing a guide and there are some early reviews that have started to come in.  I’ve never been a 100% correct in my predictions and I doubt this year is going to be any different.  (For one thing, I always predict 10 best picture nominees, even though that’s close to being a mathematical impossibility under the current Academy rules.)

One final note: Some day, the Academy will get over their resistance to Netflix and streaming.  I don’t think that’s going to happen this year, though.  I kept that in mind while considering the chances of such heavily hyped (and, for that matter, less heavily hyped) contenders as Mudbound and The Meyerowitz Stories.

Anyway, here are my predictions for July!  Be sure to check out my predictions for January, February, March, April, May, and June as well!

Best Picture

Call Me By Your Name

Darkest Hour

Detroit

The Disaster Artist

Dunkirk

The Florida Project

Goodbye Christopher Robin

The Greatest Showman

Logan

Wonderstruck

Best Director

Sean Baker for The Florida Project

Kathryn Bigelow for Detroit

Michael Gracey for The Greatest Showman

Christopher Nolan for Dunkirk

Joe Wright for Darkest Hour

Best Actor

Chadwick Boseman in Marshall

Willem DaFoe in The Florida Project

Hugh Jackman in The Greatest Showman

Gary Oldman in Darkest Hour

Donald Sutherland in The Leisure Seeker

Best Actress

Judi Dench in Victoria and Abdul

Kirsten Dunst in Woodshock

Frances McDormand in Three Billboards Outside of Ebbing Missouri

Emma Stone in Battle of the Sexes

Meryl Streep in The Papers

Best Supporting Actor

Steve Carell in Battle of the Sexes

James Franco in The Disaster Artist

Armie Hammer in Call Me By Your Name

Will Poulter in Detroit

Patrick Stewart in Logan

Best Supporting Actress

Penelope Cruz in Murder on the Orient Express

Holly Hunter in The Big Sick

Melissa Leo in The Novitiate

Julianne Moore in Wonderstuck

Margot Robbie in Goodbye Christopher Robin