Showing posts from January, 2022

Song of the Week #11: "The Continental"- The Gay Divorcee

If you’re anything like me- and if you’re on this blog, you and I probably have at least a little bit in common- you’re awaiting the upcoming Oscar nominations with bated breath. What’s going to happen? Who’s going to fill out those wild card Best Picture slots? Will the Academy be cooler than the Screen Actors Guild and nominate Kristen Stewart for fuck’s sake? And oh, what five songs will be nominated for Best Original Song? (Spoiler alert, it’ll probably be mostly end credits songs.) Still, as we look forward to the future, now is the time to gaze into the past. And what better way to do that than to take a look at the very first winner in the category’s history- The Gay Divorcee’s “The Continental.” (via Wikipedia) For those of you who haven't seen Mark Sandrich's The Gay Divorcee... well, you might want to get on that. The first official Astaire/Rogers musical (the two had appeared together in Flying Down to Rio, but they weren't the stars), this 1934 film pretty m

Song of the Week #10: "Again"- Poetic Justice

A question I never get asked is how I decide which songs get featured in Song of the Week . The answer is “arbitrarily”, although I largely like to let the fates decide. You never know when chance is going to put another Oscar-nominated song in your lap. And that was certainly the case with this week, as my Film and the Arts class had me watch John Singleton’s 1993 film Poetic Justice, thereby introducing me to Janet Jackson’s “Again.” (via Wikipedia) Poetic Justice is an odd duck of a film, but you know what? I liked it. It's an uneasy mix of romantic drama, road comedy and gritty portrait of life in South Central, but it works. Janet Jackson stars as the titular poetic Justice, a hairdresser mourning the loss of her boyfriend and writing poems in her journal. In an interesting twist, the film uses the poems of Maya Angelou (who even makes a brief cameo halfway through the film) to represent Justice's poetry. And really, that's a pretty smart way to do things. What bette

Song of the Week #9: "So Close"- Enchanted

The rules surrounding the Academy Award for Best Original Song are rather complex and mercurial, with adjustments being made in response to any perceived problems. This is, for the most part, a good thing. Let us not forget that the rules did not originally specify that the song in question actually had to be original until one of the winners felt he’d been unjustly rewarded. But some of these fixes seem to be made in an effort to address something that’s not actually broken. And that’s more or less how I feel about the Academy’s decision to limit the number of songs from a single film which can be nominated to two, ostensibly done in response to Enchanted being thrice nominated in the category without receiving a single win. A fairly unnecessary change if you ask me, and a thoroughly avoidable one as well. Because while Enchanted may have had three nominated songs, only two of them were particularly Oscar worthy. So let us take a look at the sad tale of Enchanted’ s third, neglecte

Song of the Week #8: "The Morning After"- The Poseidon Adventure

It’s hard to believe now, but disaster films were all the rage back in the 70s. And it’s not really hard to see why. Big budget blockbusters with all star casts hold a certain universal appeal after all, so no wonder audiences flocked to them. It is a little more surprising that they consistently did so well at the Oscars though, racking up nominations not only in the technical categories but the more prestigious ones as well. There’s no clearer way to demonstrate this shift in tastes than to compare the reception given to The Poseidon Adventure to that of its remake. Adventure was recognized for its acting, cinematography, editing, production design, while regular old Poseidon had to settle for Best Visual Effects. The Poseidon Adventure went home with a special Oscar for its achievement in that field as well, along with one other award- the subject of today’s column, its original song, “The Morning After.” (via Wikipedia) What you think about The Poseidon Adventure will largely

Song of the Week #7- "Saludos Amigos"

The Great Oscar Baiter is back, folks! Yes, between school, the holiday seasons and 2021 being so very 2021, I’ve been on an unplanned (but frankly much-needed) hiatus. But just because I’ve been away doesn’t mean the Oscar Baiting has stopped, as much of that time has been filled with catching up on movies both old and new. And one of those movies contains our next Song of the Week, the theme song from Saludos Amigos. (via Wikipedia) Of the sixty entries in the Disney Animated Canon, Saludos Amigos might very well be one of the weirdest. Not the worst, mind you- it's no Black Cauldron- but it's definitely weird. For starters, it hardly counts as a movie. At only forty-two minutes long, it could arguably be considered a short film rather than a feature. I, however, do not count it as such, for two very important reasons. Firstly, in our first Song of the Week I claimed that Wet Blanket Policy was the only short film to receive a nomination for Best Original Song, and I do