Category: Film

Enough with Art Fairs: The Top 10 Biggest Oscar Snubs in History!

The 1988 Academy Awards — when John Huston’s The Dead and Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket didn’t get nominations, but Fatal Attraction did. (Photo by Alan Light.)

We love the Oscars. The glitz, the glam, the flicks, the bawling starlets and on-air fuck-ups. Even when the awards plow on, past midnight and into the next morning, we nonetheless cling to our TV sets (and our empty bottles of vodka) to see who picked up the award for Best Picture — despite the fact that this honorific has a spotty track record. To be sure, on many occasions, the Academy has gotten it right: bestowing awards on the silent movie masterpiece Sunrise, the comedy classic It Happened One Night, Gone With Wind, Lawrence of Arabia, Godfather I and II, and, more recently, Schindler’s List. But sometimes, they get it horribly, horribly wrong: handing out awards to atrocious pictures, such as the stilted, early talkie  Cimarron, the cloying  Rain Man and Forrest Gump (which are basically the same movie), the treacly Titanic, the bus-wreck of Crash and the vastly overrated Slumdog Millionaire (which is basically a retread of Millions).

With the Academy Awards just around the corner, our esteemed chief, C-Monster, asked us to compose a list of the best classic flicks that failed to earn a Best Picture Nomination. So, we set down our martini long enough to flip through our movie memory and present you,  lucky reader, with the official list of Best Movie Classics Snubbed by the Academy. Like Nixon’s Enemies List, it’s an esteemed and vivacious club, whose members include everyone from Fritz Lang to David Lynch.

Don’t forget to tune into the Oscars, this Sunday at 8pm to find out if, this year, the Academy will get it right. We’re giddily chilling our bottle[s] of Grey Goose in preparation. À Bientôt!

Find the full list of biggest Academy Award snubs (dating back to the ’20s!) after the jump.

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Calendar. 09.08.09

Migration (still), 2008, by Doug Aitken. (Image courtesy of Regen Projects.)

A Day at Cinecittà: San Suzie visits fake Rome, fake Assisi + fake NYC.

Rome, recreated: The set for the HBO series Rome at Cinecittà. (Photos by San Suzie)

In 1937, everyone’s favorite Fascist, Benito Mussolini (he’s actually the guy who coined the term) founded a movie studio to create propaganda films for his Nazi-sympathizing regime. Dubbed Cinecittà (‘Film City’), the studio was heavily bombed by the Allies during the war, and afterwards, its soundstages were used to house thousands of Italians who had been displaced by the war. By the 1950s, however, Cinecittà had turned into the hub of La Dolce Vita of Italian filmmaking, serving as the set for most of Federico Fellini’s films, and even American blockbusters such as Ben Hur.

Getting a tour of Cinecittà is about as easy as getting a private audience with the Pope. But, with a few well-placed phone calls by‘s high-powered Hollywood agent, we managed to wrangle our way into a guided tour of the studio’s incredible backlot on a positively sweltering summer day. We saw everything from the satanic-looking sculptures that appeared in Angels and Demons to a recreation of the hilltop town of Assisi where St. Francis received the stigmata (“it’s too steep and inconvenient to film there,” said our guide of the real Assisi). Most significantly, we got to see the house where Grande Fratello, Italy’s version of Big Brother is filmed. The highlight, however, was walking through the $20 million dollar set for HBO’s Rome, a sprawling set of painted temples and forums that gave us a far better sense of the Imperial City than a year’s worth of trudging through ruins.

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It’s time we Met.

The Met recently launched a contest called It’s Time We Met, in which the museum asked visitors to submit photos of themselves interacting with the collection. Well, my partner-in-crime El Celso has done ‘em one better. He has video. And it stars me.

Get ready for the most action-packed five minutes of your lives. Then let me know where I should go to accept my Oscar. Or, barring that, my gift bag…



Social Diary: Yvonne Connasse does the ‘Guest of Cindy Sherman’ premiere party.

Party Arty: At the Guest of Cindy Sherman premiere in SoHo. (All photos by Yvonne Connasse.)

Bonjour! Last night, we attended the premiere party for the new film Guest of Cindy Sherman at the last minute request of C-Monster, who was temporarily indisposed. Lucky for you, we happened to be in town and tore ourselves away from our favorite local haunt (a place where you can enjoy a delicious Vesper cocktail and are still permitted to smoke!) to cover the proceedings. 

The premiere party for GOCS was held at Tailor, in the mythical land of SoHo, which at one time was synonymous with glamour, art and fashion and is now akin to power walking through a suburban mall, replete with food courts and Z Galleries.

We arrived promptly at 8 p.m. to guarantee a minimal wait at the bar. The party, unfortunately, was co-sponsored by a “vodka” brand that shall remain nameless. Let’s just say we were forced to drink several Cape Cods in order to feel even remotely interested in the proceedings…

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The C-Mon Q&A: ‘Guest of Cindy Sherman’ director Paul H-O.

Incisive Reportage: Gallery Beat host Paul H-O interviews Cindy Sherman. (Image courtesy of Guest of Cindy Sherman.)

In 1993, Paul H-O (short for Hasegawa-Overacker), along with a few comrades in arms, launched an arts-focused public access program in New York City called Gallery Beat. For 160 half-hour episodes, H-O and his esteemed colleagues — Walter Robinson, now of ArtNet, Spencer Tunick, of nekkid people fame, and Cathy Lebowitz, of Art in America — crash landed at gallery openings all over Manhattan, armed with nothing but a TV camera, a microphone and probing questions such as, What is it?  “Admittedly, half of those episodes are shit and should have never been made,” says H-O. “But there’s some great moments with people in galleries.” Including one with a lot of vagina.

H-O is working on putting the old shows online (a couple currently reside on YouTube), as well as resuscitating Gallery Beat for an internet audience. “There’s a recession going on, which means it’s time for me to come back,” he quips. His priority these days, however, is the theatrical release of his film, Guest of Cindy Sherman, which he co-directed with Tom Donohue, and which will premiere next week at Cinema Village in NYC and the Film Center in Santa Fe. The highly intriguing doc, which chronicles the rise and fall of Gallery Beat alongside the rise and fall of H-O’s romantic relationship with Sherman (expect to see rare footage of her at work), has been making its way through the festival circuit since last spring and is now set for a broad public airing. The footage of H-O & Co. at an early Vanessa Beecroft performance at Deitch is worth the price of admission alone.

To shill the flick, H-O proved willing to submit himself to our pat interrogation methods, revealing who he’d like to see in an artist girl-fight and why he thinks a tube sock and a tin can represent mankind.

C-M: What’s the biggest stereotype about art?
H-O: That tremendous macho attitude that someone like Picasso embodied. Martin Kippenberger established a certain style for himself that way, too. Then there’s Schnabel. People don’t think I like Julian Schnabel, but, in fact, I adore him. He’s given me great material. He is that larger-than-life figure. He adopts the attitude of being Picasso, and since he’s such a visible figure, Hollywood people see him and say, “Here’s an artist!”

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Calendar. 03.10.09.

The Present, by Thomas Campbell.