Jeff Goldblum, Lake Bell, Toni Collette and the directors of Twilight and The Hunger Games, Catherine Hardwicke and Gary Ross, have been announced as jury members at this year's (14) Tribeca Film Festival in New York. They will join Whoopi Goldberg, Heather Graham, Anton Yelchin and Sting's actress daughter Mickey Sumner among the 33 people who will oversee the competition in seven categories, from World Competition and World Narrative to World Documentary.
In total, the juries hand out $150,000 (£93,750) in prize money.
The film festival begins next week (16Apr14) and runs until 27 April (14).
Paramount via Everett Collection
With so many different awards organizations announcing their nominations one after the other, it's difficult to remember how heavily to weigh each one's picks when filling out your Oscar pool sheet. Generally speaking, the BAFTAs are a fairly safe guide when it comes to the Best Picture category. Since 2008, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts has accurately predicted the Academy's top winners, with (even more impressively) only two discrepancies in Best Picture nominations throughout those five years (both in 2012, interestingly enough). Looking at this latest batch of BAFTA's chief nominees — which includes...
American Hustle,Captain Phillips,Gravity,Philomena,and 12 Years a Slave
— we're not especially surprised by any of the films included in as much as we are a bit displaced over the absence of one of this past year's biggest titles: The Wolf of Wall Street. By now, everyone with his ear close to the conversation is predicting that Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave is a lock for the Best Picture Oscar, but the consideration rarely comes without honorable mention of Martin Scorsese's Wolf. Still, the satirical picture is far from awards fodder. Called far too "extreme" for the Academy's liking, the 3-hour tour de force of mortifying hedonism would be a far cry from an Oscar even without the competition of 12 Years. Instead, as suggested by BAFTA's list of Best Picture nods, organizations are leaning towards the safer, sweeter, more palatable, less controversial, and effectively less good spiritual counterpart to Wolf of Wall Street: American Hustle.
Hustle is a fine movie all its own — it's fun, dynamic, well-acted, and does indeed feel "lived in." But it falls shy of the artistic reach represented by fellow con man epic Wolf, to which comparisons are inevitable (you can hear a terrific discussion on the matter on the latest episode of Fighting in the War Room). While we'd be hard pressed to deny David O. Russell's funny, campy, emotionally charged picture its due recognition of quality, the choice to nominate it for Best Picture over Wolf of Wall Street seems like a statement of fear: "We don't want to nominate that large, messy, outrageous picture that's got everybody all in a huff," mutters a nervous BAFTA. "But what about the one with the hair? That's sorta like Wolf of Wall Street, but cleaner. Jolly good!"
The choice is a scary one, if only that it suggests the possibility that BAFTA has veered away from Wolf of Wall Street due to the volatility associated with the movie rather than due to the quality therein. By this token, would a few more Armond Whites have robbed 12 Years a Slave of its nomination? How about a few more Neil deGrasse Tysons stealing the nod from Gravity?
Hopefully, the Academy will not emulate this aversion to Scorsese's movie — one that more than deserves mention, and would even take home a few trophies in a just system. Peruse the rest of BAFTA's nominations below (which also, obscenely, omit Her in the Original Screenplay category) and share your thoughts on the matter.
BEST FILM12 YEARS A SLAVE Anthony Katagas, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueenAMERICAN HUSTLE Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison, Jonathan GordonCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De LucaGRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón, David HeymanPHILOMENA Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan, Tracey Seaward
DIRECTOR12 YEARS A SLAVE Steve McQueenAMERICAN HUSTLE David O. RussellCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Paul GreengrassGRAVITY Alfonso CuarónTHE WOLF OF WALL STREET Martin Scorsese
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAYAMERICAN HUSTLE Eric Warren Singer, David O. RussellBLUE JASMINE Woody AllenGRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás CuarónINSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Joel Coen, Ethan CoenNEBRASKA Bob Nelson
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY12 YEARS A SLAVE John RidleyBEHIND THE CANDELABRA Richard LaGraveneseCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Billy RayPHILOMENA Steve Coogan, Jeff PopeTHE WOLF OF WALL STREET Terence Winter
LEADING ACTORBRUCE DERN NebraskaCHIWETEL EJIOFOR 12 Years a SlaveCHRISTIAN BALE American HustleLEONARDO DICAPRIO The Wolf of Wall StreetTOM HANKS Captain Phillips
LEADING ACTRESSAMY ADAMS American HustleCATE BLANCHETT Blue JasmineEMMA THOMPSON Saving Mr. BanksJUDI DENCH PhilomenaSANDRA BULLOCK Gravity
SUPPORTING ACTORBARKHAD ABDI Captain PhillipsBRADLEY COOPER American HustleDANIEL BRÜHL RushMATT DAMON Behind the CandelabraMICHAEL FASSBENDER 12 Years a Slave
SUPPORTING ACTRESSJENNIFER LAWRENCE American HustleJULIA ROBERTS August: Osage CountyLUPITA NYONG’O 12 Years a SlaveOPRAH WINFREY The ButlerSALLY HAWKINS Blue Jasmine
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILMGRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman, Jonás CuarónMANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM Justin Chadwick, Anant Singh, David M. Thompson, William NicholsonPHILOMENA Stephen Frears, Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan, Tracey Seaward, Jeff PopeRUSH Ron Howard, Andrew Eaton, Peter MorganSAVING MR. BANKS John Lee Hancock, Alison Owen, Ian Collie, Philip Steuer, Kelly Marcel, Sue SmithTHE SELFISH GIANT: Clio Barnard, Tracy O’Riordan
OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCERCOLIN CARBERRY (Writer), GLENN PATTERSON (Writer) Good VibrationsKELLY MARCEL (Writer) Saving Mr. BanksKIERAN EVANS (Director/Writer) Kelly + VictorPAUL WRIGHT (Director/Writer), POLLY STOKES (Producer) For Those in PerilSCOTT GRAHAM (Director/Writer) Shell
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGETHE ACT OF KILLING Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge SørensenBLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR Abdellatif Kechiche, Brahim Chioua, Vincent MaravalTHE GREAT BEAUTY Paolo Sorrentino, Nicola Giuliano, Francesca CimaMETRO MANILA Sean Ellis, Mathilde CharpentierWADJDA Haifaa Al-Mansour, Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul
DOCUMENTARYTHE ACT OF KILLING Joshua OppenheimerTHE ARMSTRONG LIE Alex GibneyBLACKFISH Gabriela CowperthwaiteTIM’S VERMEER Teller, Penn Jillette, Farley ZieglerWE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS Alex GibneyANIMATED FILMDESPICABLE ME 2 Chris Renaud, Pierre CoffinFROZEN Chris Buck, Jennifer LeeMONSTERS UNIVERSITY Dan Scanlon
ORIGINAL MUSIC12 YEARS A SLAVE Hans ZimmerTHE BOOK THIEF John WilliamsCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Henry JackmanGRAVITY Steven PriceSAVING MR. BANKS Thomas Newman
CINEMATOGRAPHY12 YEARS A SLAVE Sean BobbittCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Barry AckroydGRAVITY Emmanuel LubezkiINSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Bruno DelbonnelNEBRASKA Phedon Papamichael
EDITING12 YEARS A SLAVE Joe WalkerCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Christopher RouseGRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón, Mark SangerRUSH Dan Hanley, Mike HillTHE WOLF OF WALL STREET Thelma Schoonmaker
PRODUCTION DESIGN12 YEARS A SLAVE Adam Stockhausen, Alice BakerAMERICAN HUSTLE Judy Becker, Heather LoefflerBEHIND THE CANDELABRA Howard CummingsGRAVITY Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, Joanne WoodlardTHE GREAT GATSBY Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn
COSTUME DESIGNAMERICAN HUSTLE Michael WilkinsonBEHIND THE CANDELABRA Ellen MirojnickTHE GREAT GATSBY Catherine MartinTHE INVISIBLE WOMAN Michael O’ConnorSAVING MR. BANKS Daniel Orlandi
MAKE UP & HAIRAMERICAN HUSTLE Evelyne Noraz, Lori McCoy-BellBEHIND THE CANDELABRA Kate Biscoe, Marie LarkinTHE BUTLER Debra Denson, Beverly Jo Pryor, Candace NealTHE GREAT GATSBY Maurizio Silvi, Kerry WarnTHE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Peter Swords King, Richard Taylor, Rick Findlater
SOUNDALL IS LOST Richard Hymns, Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor, Micah Bloomberg, Gillian ArthurCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro, Oliver TarneyGRAVITY Glenn Freemantle, Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead, Niv Adiri, Chris MunroINSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Peter F. Kurland, Skip Lievsay, Greg OrloffRUSH Danny Hambrook, Martin Steyer, Stefan Korte, Markus Stemler, Frank Kruse
SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTSGRAVITY Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould, Nikki PennyTHE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric ReynoldsIRON MAN 3 Bryan Grill, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Dan SudickPACIFIC RIM Hal Hickel, John Knoll, Lindy De Quattro, Nigel SumnerSTAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton, Patrick Tubach, Roger Guyett
BRITISH SHORT ANIMATIONEVERYTHING I CAN SEE FROM HERE Bjorn-Erik Aschim, Friederike Nicolaus, Sam TaylorI AM TOM MOODY Ainslie HendersonSLEEPING WITH THE FISHES James Walker, Sarah Woolner, Yousif Al-Khalifa
BRITISH SHORT FILMISLAND QUEEN Ben Mallaby, Nat LuurtsemaKEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES Megan Rubens, Michael Pearce, Selina LimORBIT EVER AFTER Chee-Lan Chan, Jamie Stone, Len RowlesROOM 8 James W. Griffiths, Sophie VennerSEA VIEW Anna Duffield, Jane Linfoot
Roky Erickson has been a cult hero for so long that even the albums that introduced the Austin-based psychedelic survivor to an enthralled post-punk audience back in the 1980s are ready to be discovered by a new generation. The estimable reissue label Light in the Attic Records has revived Erickson's three 1980s releases, The Evil One, Don't Slander Me, and Gremlins Take Pictures, as CDs, downloads, and vinyl LPs that look and sound worlds better than their original incarnations.
Unfamiliar with Roky Erickson's fascinating, tragic and ultimately uplifting story? Here's what you need to know.
He Wrote A Garage Rock Classic
Roky first gained notice as the lead singer in one of the psychedelic era's most notorious bands, The 13th Floor Elevators. Their albums -- most notably 1966's The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators and 1967's Easter Everywhere -- are legendary for openly proselytizing for the use of hallucinogenic drugs. But the Elevators' first single (and all-time best song) is an Erickson-penned snotty little teenage kiss-off called "You're Gonna Miss Me" that's closer in spirit to the likes of "96 Tears" or "Dirty Water." That song kept the band's name alive when Lenny Kaye included it on the classic proto-punk compilation Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era in 1972, where generations of new garage rock fans first discovered Erickson.
He Made A Really Tragic Choice
Although it was the Elevators' guitarist and primary songwriter Stacy Sutherland who was the driving force behind the band's pro-hallucinogenics stand, that outspokenness made the entire band targets as far as Texas law enforcement was concerned. So when Erickson was arrested holding a single joint in 1969, he decided to plead insanity in an effort to avoid a potential decade in jail. Unfortunately, his three-year stint in a Texas mental hospital, which included heavy doses of both electro-shock treatments and anti-psychotic medications, left Erickson -- who had had brief episodes of mental illness prior to being committed -- far more mentally and emotionally damaged than he had been when he went in.
He Was A Post-Punk Cult Hero
One of the less attractive elements of the indie rock underground is that sometimes artists attract audiences more for their obviously unbalanced mental state (Daniel Johnston and the late Wesley Willis being two obvious examples) than for their actual music. While there's no question that some of Erickson's latter-day fans were attracted by the "Hey, lookit the crazy guy!" aspect of his story, the albums that Light In The Attic has just reissued stand up on their own musical merits. The Evil One (1981) most strongly features Erickson's lyrical obsessions of that era, religious parables doused with creepy horror-movie imagery of zombies, werewolves and vampires. Don't Slander Me (1984) is his most straightforwardly rocking effort and includes the glorious "Starry Eyes," an utterly sincere power pop love song that sounds like the best single Buddy Holly never wrote. The patchwork Gremlins Have Pictures (1986) was gathered from live tracks and demos covering nearly a decade and is the hardest listen of the lot, both for its lo-fi sound and the clear evidence of Erickson's steadily-worsening mental state in the fragmented songs. Still, even it contains the sterling live track "Song For Abe Lincoln," a cockeyed optimist's lyric set to one of the catchiest tunes he'd ever written.
He Got Worse...A Lot Worse
In the 1980s, Erickson announced that his body had been inhabited by an alien, and even got a notarized statement to that effect. Diagnosed as schizophrenic, Erickson lost interest in music by the late '80s, and at the turn of the 1990s spent a stint in prison on mail theft charges that were eventually dismissed. During this period, a longtime fan who worked for Warner Brothers Records created the 1990 compilation Where The Pyramid Meets The Eye: A Tribute To Roky Erickson. Long out of print but easily available online, the set includes tracks by friends and fans including ZZ Top, R.E.M., T-Bone Burnett, Julian Cope and The Jesus and Mary Chain, not to mention now-obscure college rockers of the time like The Judybats, Thin White Rope and Poi Dog Pondering. The album both contributed royalties to Erickson's all-but-depleted coffers and introduced him to the burgeoning alternative rock scene.
And Now He's A Lot Better
In 2001, Roky Erickson's youngest brother Sumner petitioned to take over his sibling's guardianship due to the declining mental and physical state of their mother. With his mental illness more carefully managed thanks to that change and advances in medication, Roky Erickson returned to an almost-normal life that included live performances and, in 2010, a well-received comeback album, True Love Cast Out All Evil, with the help of fellow Austinites Okkervil River. A promo interview of Roky by Okkervil River frontman Will Sheff from that era shows an alert, witty, intelligent and introspective man in late middle age (he turned 66 in July) who more than possibly anyone else deserves the clichéd term rock and roll survivor.
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People love shows about serial killers. They eat up movies about terrorists. Film and television is stockpiled with some of the most deplorable, reprehensible activities and mentalities you'd be lucky never to encounter beyond the confines of the screen, and the public is wholly on board. But the day-to-day lives of twentysomething New York females? That's crossing the line. The widespread aversion to this theme, as evident by the consistent backlash agasint Lena Dunham's Girls, is reason enough to believe that a good number of people won't be on board with Frances Ha. In the film, we follow writer/star Greta Gerwig's 27-year-old aspiring (with little effort and little success) dancer from couch to couch as she skirts any semblance of maturity in the wake of a "breakup" with her longtime best friend (Mickey Sumner). Some will automatically root against Frances, and as such filmmaker Gerwig, as she laments her financial difficulties but refuses desk jobs and opts for weekend trips to Paris to stifle her narcissistic pangs.
But to those who feel this way, the film and the character are both worth your sympathy. Yes, Gerwig's heroine is an adult child, dismissive of responsibility and social norms, pathologically blind to the needs and desires of those around her. She's enrapt in her own desperation to be evaluated as worthwhile. When her spiritual partner and best pal Sophie (Sumner) takes up with a new roommate in TriBeCa and a baseball cap-laden fellow named Patch (Patrick Heusinger), a destitute Frances seeks affirmation elsewhere: in her disinterested dance mentor (Charlotte d'Ambroise), a pair of new roommies (Adam Driver and Michael Zegen, balancing good nature and douchebaggery like the best of 'em), a scornful but tolerant classmate (Grace Gummer), and the city of Paris. And any logical viewer will roll their eyes at Frances' accelerated regression, cringing (though laughing) at her inability to make functional conversation during an adult dinner party. But the film is right on your side.
What is captured perfectly in Gerwig and director Noah Baumbach's lively and inventive script — one that meanders downward, frenetically, from life beat to life beat — is the ability to love and appreciate Frances without condoning her ideas and behaviors. It is easy to assume that this kind of story is a celebration of the psychological bankruptcy exhibited by the Frances character, a sort we're seeing pop up in a number of different pieces across the board, thanks in large part to the critical and Internet success of Girls. But instead, Gerwig showcases something real: a people whose greatest source of suffering is its own willingness to suffer.
And if we're ready to take the plunge into the script, one that breathes a sort of dark energy we'll find in the pictures of a 1970s Woody Allen, rejecting our own adversity to the species it both loves and demonizes, we'll find a striking, painful, funny, and eventful tale about a girl with nothing to do and no one to do it with. From beginning to end, as we meet new sides of the heroine in her journey through various phases of self-destruction, Frances Ha is engaging, upsetting, and fun.
You'll follow every hearty laugh with a cheek-biting grimace. You'll revel in the comical misfortunes of Gerwig's manic adventurer even as you shake your head at her compulsive disregard and wallow in your empathy for her incredibly human craving for self-worth. You can manage each of these at once, thinking lowly of Frances but loving her all the while. Gerwig's film understands and champions that. Yes, she needs to get her act together. Yes, the real people who emulate the antics of Frances ought to take direction from her ultimate shift in gears. And yes, all this notwithstanding, she's still got a story to tell. One with enough humor, sadness, affection, and relatability to be more than worth our time.
Follow Michael Arbeiter on Twitter @MichaelArbeiter | Follow Hollywood.Com On Twitter @Hollywood_Com
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