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The American Film Institute has started a new movie club to help those of us who are currently in self-isolation and practicing social distancing. With the help of legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg, the organization has launched the AFI Movie Club, which will announce a featured cinematic classic each day that movie lovers around the world can watch as a collective online. Steven Spielberg is helping to launch the initiative with its first selection, The Wizard of Oz.
Described by AFI as 'a daily virtual gathering to leverage our collective love of film on behalf of optimism in this time of global uncertainty,' the AFI Movie Club doesn't require any paid subscription or anything of the like. It's simply a way for fans of classic cinema to come together around this shared interest, with the help of special guests. Steven Spielberg, director of cinematic classics such as Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan, appeared in a brief video to announce the first selection. Here's what Spielberg had to say.'I have the honor of introducing the very first film we would encourage the world to watch, The Wizard of Oz. Now, I know you think you've seen it, but please think again because, right now, at this moment in our history what better message is there than there's no place like home?'
AFI will select an iconic movie each day as they look to create a communal viewing experience, while maintaining social distancing. Other special guests will announce select the AFI Movies of the Day via short videos posted on the group's website and social media platforms. Audiences can 'gather' at the club's official website to view the featured movie each day using preexisting streaming services. The daily selections will be supported by fun facts, family discussion points and exclusive material from the AFI Archive. Audiences are encouraged to continue the conversation online using the hashtag #AFIMovieClub. Bob Gazzale, President and CEO of AFI, had this to say in a statement.'AFI's goal is to live in a world of art above anxiety. We're honored to have Steven Spielberg, the greatest storyteller of our day, lead the way.'
The Wizard of Oz was originally released in 1939. As classic cinema goes, it doesn't get much more iconic. Directed by Victor Fleming, the tale of Dorothy Judy Garland and her dog Toto became a massive hit and an Oscar-winner in its day. But its legacy goes far beyond industry accolades, as it is consistently recognized as one of the greatest and most important movies ever made.
There is no word yet on who else will be tapped to help present these movies, but it's probably best kept a surprise until the big reveal each day. The Wizard of Oz isn't currently available to stream for free, but it is available to rent from most major online retailers. Those interested in learning more about the AFI Movie Club can head on over to AFI.com.
A column chronicling conversations and events on the awards circuit.
Well it is all just about over but the counting, and in fact I would guess PriceWaterhouse accountants have even finished that at this point. What that means is two numbers crunchers out of everyone in the whole world are now looking at every pundit’s predictions, including mine I suppose, and laughing hysterically about how we got it all wrong. Or not. One Academy member called me this week to say essentially this looks to be one of the most predictable years ever. “I think just about everyone is probably going to win their office pool,” he laughed.Shutterstock
He might have a point because the four acting categories appear to be in the bag, at least if we are to go by every precursor show preceding the Oscars that have chosen , in lockstep, Joaquin Phoenix, Renee Zellweger, Brad Pitt, and Laura Dern . And with all its guild wins, plus the Golden Globes and BAFTA 1917 seems as close to a lock for Best Picture and a possible sweep as we have seen in some time . So the difference in glory or disgrace with your Oscar pool ballot just might come down to who wins Best Live Action Short. A lot of the talk at various parties including last night’s Universal and Focus Features celebration at Spago, as well as today’s Publicists Guild Awards at the Beverly Hilton revolved around possible upsets. Are all of the indicators incorrect this year? Can there be a shocker looming Sunday? That would be fun , but don’t bet the condo on it. This is a year where there seems to be some fairly unanimous agreement in terms of those soothsayers who try to foretell what names will be in those envelopes.
WHAT YOUR BOOKIE SAYS ABOUT THE OSCARSTodd Wawrychuk/AMPAS
If you want to drive yourself crazy though try checking the various oddsmakers who are out there giving us the book on winners, apparently using whatever data they have picked up by listening to prognosticators. You can actually bet money in New Jersey , Indiana, and the UK , even though technically those two PriceWaterhouse accountants could probably clean up knowing who the winners are already. And while you are at it a lot of the bookies are taking bets on things other than just the winners. For instance you can wager on stuff like the gender of the first presenter on stage Female 2/5 , Male 2/1, Transgender 20/1; How many times Kobe or Mamba will be said 5/6; Presenters who put on glasses before reading the cue card Under 2 1/2 -1/4 – Over 2 1/2 – 5/2; Who will Best Actor thank first Academy 1/1- husband, wife, partner 5/2-director 3/1-mother 7/1- God 10/1; Will “Trump” be said during the broadcast? NO 2/3...
The Morning Watch is a recurring feature that highlights a handful of noteworthy videos from around the web. They could be video essays, fanmade productions, featurettes, short films, hilarious sketches, or just anything that has to do with our favorite movies and TV shows.
In this edition, find out about the big differences between the Best Picture nominated Jojo Rabbit and Christine Leunens’ novel on which it’s based, Caging Skies. Plus, watch how kids react when parents show them 90s cartoons like Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Beavis & Butt-Head, and more. Finally, Nick Offerman takes a look back at some of his movie famous characters, especially Parks and Recreation.
First up, CineFix‘s new edition of What’s The Difference focuses on Jojo Rabbit, which was adapted from Christine Leunens‘ novel Caging Skies. While the movie is a hilarious satire mixed with heavy dose of heart-wrenching drama, the book isn’t comedic whatsoever. The movie’s script covers less than half of the original story in the book, so there’s a lot to compare and contrats.
Next up, parents who grew up in the 90s sit down to show their kids clips from cartoons they grew up with like Rugrats, Hey Arnold, Beavis & Butt-Head and Rocko’s Modern Life. See how they react when they see animation, that is clearly older than the cartoons they’re used to watching, and try not to feel old.
Finally, with Nick Offerman appearing in the FX on Hulu series Devs, the folks at GQ had the actor take a look back at some of his more famous characters. Obviously he covers Parks and Recreation, but he also covers the LEGO Movie, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, We’re The Millers, Hearts Beat Loud, and more.
Nationwide student protests and strikes helped shut down the 1968 Cannes Film Festival after directors withdrew their films in solidarity.
The last time the Cannes Film Festival got called off, it wasn't a virus that did it. It was a revolution.
Fears over the spread of the coronavirus, and the respiratory illness it causes, COVID-19, led organizers on Thursday to postpone this year's Cannes International Film Festival, the first time in its 73-year-history that the world's most prestigious film fest will not take place as planned. Organizers, who had originally scheduled the 2020 festival for May 12-23 are now hoping to hold the event in late June.
But this is not the first time Cannes got canned. 52 years ago, in 1968, the festival was called off half-way through.
The 1968 festival opened as planned on May 10 with a restored version of Gone With the Wind. American actress and by then Princess of Monaco, Grace Kelly, hosted the opening ceremony.
But outside of the Cannes glamor bubble, Paris, and most of France, was burning. Student protests and nationwide labor strikes saw some 3 million French workers take to the streets, effectively shutting down the country. On May 13, the French Critics Association issued a statement calling on the festival to be suspended and for those in Cannes to support the students in their “protest against the violent police repression which is an assault on the nation's cultural liberty, the secular traditions of its universities and its democratic principles.”
Initially, Cannes refused. But the new generation of French directors, the founders of the Nouvelle Vague movement that was transforming international film, took a stand. Jean-Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut, Claude Lelouch and Louis Malle, the latter a member of the 1968 Cannes competition jury, demanded that the festival stop. At a press conference in Cannes May 18, Truffaut took to the stage in the Salle Jean Cocteau, flanked by Godard, Lelouch, Malle and Milos Forman, to demand Cannes shut down. Forman withdrew his film, The Fireman's Ball, from competition.
Roman Polanski, then 34 and also on the competition jury that year, was more skeptical. Leaning over to Godard during the press conference, he muttered: "Everything you say reminds me hugely of the time I was in Poland under Stalinism." Later, Polanski would note that he felt “people like Truffaut, Lelouch and Godard are like little kids playing at being revolutionaries" but never lived in "a country where these things happened seriously.”
It would take another day and a half and a few farcical scenes — including, during the screening of Spanish competition film Peppermint Frappe, where the actress Geraldine Chaplin and director Carlos Saura jumped on stage and tried to hold the curtains shut to prevent the audience from watching — before Cannes finally pulled the plug....