The FAR jumps on the trend of giving uncompromised control over a feature to a single visionary author who will offer an intimidating amount of material that you are obligated to experience. You must immerse yourself in Oscar tunes, fun costumes, a hopeful caped crusader, and the possible death and resurrection of a couple culture outlets.
Special thanks to Zach Snyder for submitting all of this week’s articles. If you want to be as cool as Zach, send articles throughout the next week to ploughmanplods [at] gmail, post articles from the past week below for discussion, and Have a Happy Friday.
While the Solute has the more granular study of Oscar Best Song awards gone wrong, The Ringer‘s Noah Gittell takes a stab at explaining why the Academy often nominates lesser songs and what they can do to improve:
While the cause of the problem remains elusive, there’s an easy way to correct course: Change the way the nominating branch listens to the songs. Currently, members of the music branch receive only three-minute clips of each eligible song to determine the nominations, removing the full context of the film in which the song is played. If a song is over three minutes, they still receive only a three-minute clip—make it make sense, because I cannot. This approach enforces a view that a song’s usage does not matter. That’s not just short-sighted; it’s anti-cinema. It’d be like making the full Academy vote on Best Picture based only on each nominee’s trailer. What if, instead, the Academy required members of the nominating branch to view the whole film featuring the nominated song? It could re-contextualize the entire award and lead to better outcomes.
For The Cut, Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz talks to costumer Ruth E. Carter about the multiple royal looks she designed for Coming 2 America:
What was your favorite piece?
A lace dress that we had for KiKi Layne, it was so beautiful. We painted it gold. Everybody was looking at me cross-eyed when I said that, but it was white, and I said, “She can’t be the person at the wedding in a white dress.” So we painted it gold because she was to be queen.
Was the Bulgari viper necklace that Leslie Jones put on real?
Yes. We had a security guard on set with us every time that the necklace was around. I was like, “For what? In case someone snatches it and runs out? What’s the security guard going to do? Run after it?”
At Crooked Marquee, Ana Velasquez sends up the Solute signal and breaks down Batman: The Animated Series as a three-act mediation on hope:
The show is not preoccupied with Bruce Wayne’s wealth or gadgets, but rather with the connections that he forms. While Nolan’s Batman films have scenes showing off the militaristic “tumbler,” the animated series has an episode dedicated to Batman protecting the mechanics who designed his car. And instead of a traitorous femme fatale, or a cold-blooded detective leading the narrative, there’s just Bruce and the people he wants to protect. He’s not made into a hero because of his technology, but because of his ability to endure, his talent for compassion, and his unfaltering determination. Strip the character of his gadgetry, and he is just a man who gives a shit. It’s the platonic ideal of Batman, a character who has morphed a hundred times over in the past eighty years.
Mel Magazine, a men’s culture magazine not afraid to question conventional notions of masculinity (and oft employer of former Dissolve writers) lays off most of its staff and halts publishing as it seeks a new owner. Maybe a more exemplary article from its possibly final week would be “The Unabashed Male Beauty (and Sexism) of 80s Hard Rock” how a Stanley Tucci travel show has become a bonding experience for queer adults and their parents. But the FAR knows what you movie animals want, so here’s a firsthand account of the infamous Orson Welles wine commercial:
That was how things would normally go, but on one shoot — the one that would become famous — he called us to say he would be late. We were supposed to begin at 10 at a mansion in Los Angeles, and the crew and the extras and the agency people were all waiting for him. Finally, at noon, the limo arrived at the mansion and the driver came and found me and brought me outside. The agency men also followed along. When I got out there, Orson beckoned me into the back of the limo.
“I’m in trouble, Shillingford,” Orson began. He was puffing on a cigar and looking very untidy.
But as a hopeful begin of a resurrection, the exciting return of Film Comment‘s Movie Gifts on their podcast, the inspiration for the hit Internet sensation Solute Movie Gifts:
It’s like Secret Santa but for movies—each participant picks a title for another that the recipient hasn’t seen. It’s a fun way for us to share our enthusiasms, gain new insights on old favorites, and fill in some longstanding blindspots.