Friday, January 18, 2013

Important Anniversaries Marked in 2013

* The Oscar winners noted were released in the previous year, but given the award in the year noted.

10 Years Ago (2003)

Well, I graduated from Connecticut College and then spent three months backpacking Europe, visiting (in order) England; Scotland; Ireland; France; Belgium; The Netherlands; Germany; Austria; Switzerland; Austria; Czech Republic; Hungary; Croatia; Bosnia & Herzegovina; Croatia; Slovenia; Italy; The Vatican; Italy; Greece; Italy; Switzerland; Italy; France; Monaco; France; Spain; Ireland.

That's 19 countries in 83 days. On that trip I visited 63 different cities, towns, and villages, and slept in 43 different locations. Total cost of the trip: around $7000.

Quentin Tarantino's epic nod to Asian kung-fu and gangster cinema began with Kill Bill vol. 1

Peter Jackson's trilogy concluded with The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl launched a huge money-making franchise starring Johnny Depp.

notable deaths: actors Gregory Peck (85), Charles Bronson (81) and Katharine Hepburn (96); entertainer Bob Hope (100); director Elia Kazan (94)

Top grossing film for the year (domestic): The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($377 million)
(worldwide): The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King ($1.1 billion)
Academy Award Best Picture winner*: Chicago directed by Rob Marshall
Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner: Elephant directed by Gus Van Sant

Movies from my collection
The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King
28 Days Later...
Intolerable Cruelty
Elf
My Life Without Me
Kill Bill vol. 1
The Italian Job
Once Upon a Time in Mexico

Non-movie related
- The space shuttle Columbia disaster in February.
- Fire in a West Warwick, RI, nightclub killed 100 people in February. I was working in the area at the time.
- U.S. and allied forces invaded Iraq in March.
- U.S. Supreme Court declared sodomy laws unconstitutional in Lawrence vs. Texas in June. Hooray for blowjobs and anal! (How many page views do you think this post gets from people looking for porn now?)
- Final flight of the Concorde in October.
- Saddam Hussein captured in December.


15 Years Ago (1998)

One of my absolute favorite years for movies. Looking back at my top ten for that year, it's truly impressive. A Simple Plan from director Sam Raimi was my number 1, followed by The Truman Show and then Shakespeare in Love.

Director Terrence Malick came back after a twenty year absence with The Thin Red Line.


Steven Spielberg also had a WWII movie with Saving Private Ryan, featuring a harrowing and lengthy D-Day invasion.

Gus Van Sant confounded just about everyone with his pointless remake/recreation of Psycho.

Chris Farley's final film, Almost Heroes.

film debuts: Josh Hartnett (Halloween H20: 20 Years Later); Lindsay Lohan (The Parent Trap); Jason Statham (Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels); Jason Segel (Can't Hardly Wait); Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore)
directing debuts: Christopher Nolan (Following); Darren Aronofsky (Pi); Guy Ritchie (Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels)
notable births: actress Elle Fanning
notable deaths: actors Lloyd Bridges (85); Frank Sinatra (82); Roddy McDowall (70). Directors Akira Kurosawa (88) - he died only 8 1/2 months after actor Toshiro Mifune, whom he directed in 16 feature films; Alan J. Pakula (70) - he died close to my home in a freak accident in which a loose pipe came through his windshield on the Long Island Expressway.

Top grossing film for the year (domestic): Saving Private Ryan ($216.5 million)
(worldwide): Armageddon ($553.7 million)
Academy Award Best Picture winner*: Titanic directed by James Cameron
Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner: Eternity and a Day directed by Theo Angelopoulos

Movies from my collection
Lethal Weapon 4
He Got Game
Shakespeare in Love
A Simple Plan
Out of Sight
Rounders
Ronin
The Truman Show
The Big Lebowski
The Thin Red Line

Non-movie related
- France won the World Cup, defeating Brazil 3-0 in July.
- The U.S. Embassy bombings in Tanzania and Kenya, orchestrated by Osama bin Laden, killed 224 people in August, which turned out to be a minor precursor to 9/11.
- Larry Page and Sergey Brin started Google, Inc., which powers this blog, in September

20 Years Ago (1993)

Steven Spielberg went all dramatic and serious, to great critical acclaim, with Schindler's List.

The first film based on a video game: Super Mario Bros. starring Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo.

John Woo's first Hollywood action film, Hard Target, starred Jean-Claude Van Damme.

film debuts: Jennifer Aniston (Leprechaun); Dave Chappelle (Robin Hood: Men in Tights); Matthew McConaughey (My Boyfriend's Back); Anna Paquin (The Piano); Alicia Silverstone (The Crush); Mira Sorvino (Amongst Friends); Vince Vaughn (Rudy)
directing debuts: Mel Gibson (The Man Without a Face); John Madden (Ethan Frome); Bryan Singer (Public Access)
notable deaths: actors Audrey Hepburn (63); Lillian Gish (99); Vincent Price (82); River Phoenix (23). Director Federico Fellini (73)

Top grossing film for the year (domestic): Jurassic Park ($357 million)
(worldwide): Jurassic Park ($914 million)
Academy Award Best Picture winner*: Unforgiven directed by Clint Eastwood
Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner: Farewell My Concubine directed by Chen Kaige and The Piano directed by Jane Campion

Movies from my collection
In the Line of Fire
Short Cuts
Army of Darkness

Non-movie related
- Bill Clinton became the 42nd President of the United States in January.
- The first World Trade Center bombing killed 6 people in February.
- In February, the standoff between the ATF and Branch Davidians began after a raid left 6 cult members and 4 agents dead.
- In April, the standoff between ATF and the Branch Davidians at Waco, TX, ended very badly with a fire that killed 76 people.
- The Battle of Mogadishu, in which 19 American service members were killed and two Black Hawk helicopters were shot down in October. This was the subject of Ridley Scott's Black Hawk Down.

25 Years Ago (1988)

Most 25 year anniversaries and commemorations will be covered in my month-by-month reports, so for the new year I'll just highlight a few things that won't be covered in a specific month.

Top grossing film for the year (domestic): Rain Man ($172.8 million)
(worldwide): Rain Man ($354.8 million)

Movies from my collection
Cinema Paradiso
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels
The Last Temptation of Christ

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame eligibility (debut albums in 1989 with nominees chosen at the end of the year for induction in 2014)

Nirvana is likely to be the only first ballot Hall of Famer this year.

30 Years Ago (1983)

Monty Python's Meaning of Life would be the final collaboration involving all six Pythons.

Brainstorm, Natalie Wood's final film.


Tom Cruise was launched to eternal stardom after dancing in his underwear in Risky Business.

film debuts: A bunch of the 1980s teen stars I grew up with including Matthew Broderick and Kiefer Sutherland (Max Dugan Returns); John Cusack and Andrew McCarthy (Class); Rob Lowe (The Outsiders); Lea Thompson (Jaws 3-D). Also future Oscar winners Nicole Kidman (Bush Christmas) and Juliette Binoche (Liberty Belle). Plus Andy Garcia (Blue Skies Again), Ray Liotta (The Lonely Lady) and several others.
directing debuts: Curtis Hanson (Losin' It); the late Tony Scott (The Hunger); Barbra Streisand (Yentl); James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment)
notable births: Actors Emily Blunt; Chris Hemsworth; Mila Kunis; Jonah Hill
notable deaths: Actors Gloria Swanson (84) and David Niven (73). Director Robert Aldrich (65)

Top grossing film for the year (domestic): Return of the Jedi ($252.5 million)
(worldwide): Return of the Jedi ($475.1 million)
Academy Award Best Picture winner*: Gandhi directed by Richard Attenborough
Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner: The Ballad of Narayama directed by Shohei Imamura

Movies from my collection
Return of the Jedi
The Outsiders

Non-movie related
- Michael Jackson introduced the world to the Moonwalk as he performs "Billie Jean" on the Motown 25 TV special in March.
- Sally Ride became the first American woman in space in June.
- The Red Hot Chili Peppers released their debut self-titled album in September.
- A Marine barracks in Beirut, Lebanon, was bombed, killing 241 U.S. service members and 58 French paratroopers in October.
- In November, Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established as a federal holiday.


40 Years Ago (1973)

The incredible success of The Exorcist reignites interest in the horror genre, which basically has not really died since, though it has gone through at least 3 renaissance periods.

film debuts: John Candy (uncredited in Class of '44)
directing debuts: Wes Craven (The Last House on the Left); Robert Benton (Bad Company); Bruce Beresford (The Adventures of Barry McKenzie); Michaeld Apted (The Triple Echo)
notable births: Actors Adrien Brody; Juliette Lewis; Kate Beckinsale; Neve Campbell; Seth MacFarlane
notable deaths: Actors Edward G. Robinson (79); Bruce Lee (32); Lon Chaney, Jr. (67). Director Robert Siodmak (72)

Top grossing film for the year (domestic): The Exorcist ($193 million)
(worldwide): The Exorcist ($357.6 million)
Academy Award Best Picture winner*: The Godfather directed by Francis Ford Coppola
Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner: The Hireling directed by Alan Bridges and Scarecrow directed by Jerry Schatzberg


Movies from my collection
The Exorcist
Serpico
Mean Streets

Non-movie related
- Supreme Court overturned state bans on abortions in the landmark decision Roe v. Wade in January.
- Also in January, Richard Nixon announced a peace accord had been reached in Vietnam.
- In March the last American soldier left Vietnam.
- The first handheld cellular phone call was made.
- The World Trade Center officially opened.
- In April, the first resignations of White House officials behind the Watergate scandal.
- The Knicks won their last Championship in May, defeating the L.A. Lakers.
- Secretariat became the first Triple Crown winner in 25 years.


50 Years Ago (1963)

The first James Bond film, Dr. No, was released in U.S. theaters.

Donovan's Reef, the final collaboration between John Ford and John Wayne after 21 films going back to a 1928 film with Wayne in an uncredited bit part.

I Could Go on Singing, Judy Garland's final film

film debuts: Actors Alan Alda (Gone Are the Days!); Tippi Hedren (The Birds); Lynn Redgrave (Tom Jones)
directing debuts: Francis Ford Coppola (Dementia 13); Brian De Palma (The Wedding Party); James Ivory (The Householder); Milos Forman (Konkurs)
notable births: Actors Johnny Depp; Helen Hunt; Lisa Kudrow; Brad Pitt; Elisabeth Shue. Directors Quentin Tarantino and Steven Soderbergh.

Top grossing film for the year (domestic): Cleopatra ($57.8 million)
(worldwide): Cleopatra ($119.8 million)
Academy Award Best Picture winner*: Lawrence of Arabia directed by David Lean
Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner: The Leopard directed by Luchino Visconti

Non-movie related
- The trade and travel embargo with Cuba began in February.
- In February, The Beatles recorded their debut album Please, Please Me in a single session. "Twist and Shout" was recorded at the end of the day in a single take. They released the album the following month.
- In March, Alcatraz Prison in San Francisco Bay closed.
- ZIP codes were introduced in July.
- Martin Luther King Jr. delivered the famous "I have a dream" speech on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in August.
- In November, John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, TX.
- Lyndon Johnson became the 36th President of the United States.


75 Years Ago (1938)


The Wizard of Oz began filming.

film debuts: Actors William Holden (Prison Farm); Vincent Price (Service de Luxe)
notable births: Actors Frank Langella; Brian Dennehy; Natalie Wood; Christopher Lloyd; Jon Voight

Top grossing film for the year (domestic): You Can't Take It with You
Academy Award Best Picture winner*: The Life of Emile Zola directed by William Dieterle

Non-movie related
- In February Adolf Hitler took direct control of the German military after disbanding the War Ministry.
- Anschluss: Germany annexed Austria in March.
- The first comic book appearance of Superman in April.
- In June Italy won the World Cup, defeating Hungary 4-2.
- Throughout the year, Germany continues to signal aggression toward Czechoslovakia until they finally invade the Suedetenland in October.
- Kristallnacht in Germany in November. Nationwide aggression toward Jewish businesses and synagogues.


Centennial (1913)

In December Charlie Chaplin signed his first Hollywood contract with Mack Sennett to make movies at Keystone.

D.W. Griffith left Biograph to begin making feature length films.

The final films of Georges Melies, the subject of Martin Scorsese's film Hugo.

film debuts: Wallace Beery; Harold Lloyd
directing debuts: Frank Borzage; King Vidor (Hurricane in Galveston); Raoul Walsh
notable births: Actors Lloyd Bridges; Danny Kaye; Alan Ladd; Burt Lancaster; Vivien Leigh. Director Stanley Kramer

Non-movie related
- In February the 16th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, giving the Federal Government power to collect income taxes.
- Woodrow Wilson became the 28th President of the United States.
- In April the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified, allowing for direct election of Senators.
- In December the Ford Motor Company introduced the first moving assembly line.

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