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Saturday, 5 March 2011

The Thin White Dude: Hypocrite Extraordinaire or Moron

My sincerest apologies to anyone out there he keeps up with the blog. The best and worst of the year did not get published before the Oscars. However, after much deliberation, I have decided to continue with the best and worst of 2010 being published in it's originally intended form, as opposed to severely condensing it. I would much rather if everyone out there was able to read the final product. As a sneak peek at the going ons, below this bullshit is my list of this year's inductees into The Thin White Dude's Contribution To Cinema Hall Of Fame.

The Thin White Dude's 2nd Annual Acknowledgements For Contribution To Cinema Hall Of Fame

The 4th Hall Of Fame Inductee For Contributions To Musical Composition

Bernard Herrmann

Herrmann’s scores defined what was to become the ‘thriller score’. He was most famous for his work with the ‘Master of Suspense’ himself, Alfred Hitchcock, providing scores for films such as Psycho, North By Northwest and Vertigo. Also, with contributions to other greats such as Citizen Kane and Taxi Driver, Herrmann’s work is among the finest in the history of film musical compositions.

The 3rd Hall Of Fame Inductee For Contributions To Editing

Michael Kahn

Known for continuing to edit film on a Moviola after the digital revolution, Kahn nevertheless continues to be a fine editor. His collaboration with Steven Spielberg has seen top work in films such as Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Jurassic Park and Saving Private Ryan. The work in these films is proof of his great contributions to editing.

The 4th Hall Of Fame Inductee For Contributions To Cinematography

Roger Deakins

Deakins is without question not just one of the best cinematographers working today, but one of cinema’s all-time greats. His work with the Coen Brothers on films such as No Country For Old Men, The Big Lebowski and Fargo have helped create the definitive ‘styles’ of some our most interesting filmmakers. Also, with his work on The Shawshank Redemption and The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford, Deakins has proved his worth among the pantheon of great cinematographers.

The 4th Hall Of Fame Inductee For Contributions To Screenwriting

Charlie Kaufman

A real wild card in the world of screenwriting, Kaufman writes things that go beyond the ‘normal’ scope of ones imagination. Films such as Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind proves his ability to think outside the box. Also, his ability to blend fact and faction, making an insular, hyper-realised universe in films such as Being John Malkovich is superb, a fine screenwriter.

The 3rd Hall Of Fame Inductee For Contributions To Female Acting

Bette Davis

Davis was the epitome of screen feistiness of razor-sharp vixens. Films such as Of Human Bondage and All About Eve display this screen persona that Davis crafted for herself, becoming one of the most notable screen actresses in the process. Her feud with Joan Crawford, culminating in What Ever Happened To Baby Jane?, lives on as one of the most famous Hollywood feuds, as long as the great Ms. Davis’ reputation as a formidable actress.

The 4th Hall Of Fame Inductee For Contributions To Male Acting

Max von Sydow

A performer of great versatility, von Sydow has given us some of screen acting’s greatest performances. Ingmar Bergman’s go-to man for films such as The Seventh Seal, Hour Of The Wolf and The Passion Of Anna, he would become more famous to western audiences for his performance as Father Merrin in The Exorcist. Furthermore, with recent performances in Minority Report and Shutter Island, his presence continues to light up the screen, a reminder to of his significant acting prowess.

The 3rd Hall Of Fame Inductee For Contributions To Producing

Walt Disney

The name Disney has been etched into the popular zeitgeist, and will forever be associated with some of the greatest animated films of all time. He produced the first feature length animated picture, Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs, starting a phenomenon that has become as reputable as any feature length film. With other films such as Pinocchio, Bambi, Lady And The Tramp, The Jungle Book, and the creation of Mickey Mouse to his credit, Disney’s spirit lives on.

The 4th Hall Of Fame Inductee For Contributions To Directing

Stanley Kubrick

Kubrick is the namesake for my Best Director award, so I guess it makes sense to properly acknowledge him. An uncompromising perfectionist, he directed greats such as Full Metal Jacket, The Shining and Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, and others such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange, savaged upon release, are now considered classics. His distinctive style has never been emulated, never matched, unique in film history.

Class Of 2010 To The Thin White Dude’s Film Hall Of Fame

Last year, I began this wing to my Hall Of Fame. It’s only appropriate that the work of those involved in the making of films be acknowledged, but also to recognise the actual films themselves. Also, this year I am introducing a new section dedicated to the documentary medium. I do not do an animated section because these films are not separate from non-animated films and are eligible in any category represented.

The 2nd Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Comedic Film

The Naked Gun (1988) – David Zucker

The great testament to the careers of both Leslie Nielsen, in his finest performance as Frank Drebin, and ZAZ (David Zucker, Jim Abrahams and Jerry Zucker). After having launched their careers with Airplane!, David Zucker’s directs this fast-paced comedy that does not let up for a second. It is Nielsen’s performance as Drebin that is a perfect example of comedic expertise that elevates this film above the unworthy stream of copycats still trying to better it over twenty years on.

The 2nd Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Science-Fiction/Fantasy Film

RoboCop (1987) - Paul Verhoeven

After directing his first American film Flesh & Blood, director Paul Verhoeven took a decidedly different direction in taking on Robocop. Ultraviolent, anarchic, satirical, Robocop is a stunning film that manages, despite clear genre boundaries, to be a popcorn action movie, a savage black comedy and underneath this a powerful story on identity and humanity, punctuated with a terrific performance by Peter Weller. For a film directed a Dutch filmmaker, it is a tremendous testament that RoboCop is considered among the definitive works in film for social commentary on 1980's Reagan-America.

The 2nd Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Horror Film

Audition (1999) – Takashi Miike

In a genre that has a tendency to become stale, Audition stands out as a horror film that has the ability to stand proudly in the upper echelons of the genre. Subversive and utterly terrifying, the film creeps up with subtlety, cranking the tension, finally stabbing you in the heart. Importantly, it is not without an emotional core, the central performances being wonderfully humane, embedding the film in the melodramatic and gothic roots of the genre, and along with Miike’s powerful direction, create one of horror’s all-time greats.

The 2nd Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Thriller Film

Blue Velvet (1986) – David Lynch

A work of extreme density and power by America’s master of the surreal, David Lynch’s psychological thriller is a wonderful film. It possesses all the attributes of a great thriller, with superb acting, nightmarish imagery and a soundtrack that manages to be both incredibly intense and transcendently beautiful. This is the film that made everyone wake up and realise the supreme talents of David Lynch after the fallout of Dune, creating a fine legacy for itself in the process. Blue Velvet’s reputation and power only seems to grow with age.

The 2nd Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Drama Film

Citizen Kane (1941) – Orson Welles

Yes, the so-called ‘greatest film of all time’ I know, but believe me, Citizen Kane is a work that is not undue of the reputation that it receives. It boasts one of cinema’s all-time great performances from Welles, a terrific screenplay by Herman J. Mankiewicz (with Orson Welles), top cinematography by Gregg Toland, music by Bernard Herrmann and swift editing by Robert Wise. An infinite treasure box of a film, to this day it is a superb and highly watchable work.

The 2nd Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Action/Adventure Film

The Good, The Bad And The Ugly (1966) – Sergio Leone

In recent years, the action epic has seen a resurgence, though many of these ‘epics’ pale in comparison to this classic by direct Sergio Leone. Following the previous ‘Dollars’ films, GBU is these films and yet so much more. Gone are the more simplistic characterisations of the previous films, the title trio each balanced, and acted to perfection by Clint Eastwood, Lee Van Cleef and Eli Wallach. Ennio Morricone’s score is thrilling and infinitely cool, editing and cinematography working together amazingly, and it represents the emergence of Sergio Leone as one of cinema’s most important filmmakers.

The 1st Hall Of Fame Inductee Representing Documentary Film

Koyaanisqatsi (1982) – Godfrey Reggio

Once again, as stated last year when awarding Akira with induction as the 1st Sci-Fi/Fantasy Hall Of Fame member, I am not trying to be difficult by inducting Koyaanisqatsi as the first member of the documentary wing. Yes, I suppose, being images and music, it is in many sense an anti-documentary documentary. Nevertheless, one cannot deny the power of the fantastic score by Philip Glass, the savage beauty of Ron Fricke’s cinematography, and the message that director Godfrey Reggio is sending to us through this wonderful piece of work.