Saturday, February 7, 2015

Important Anniversaries Marked in 2015

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

10 Years Ago (2005)


Pierce Brosnan resigned at James Bond after four films and later in the year Daniel Craig was named as his successor.

Number of films I've seen: 87
My average rating: 6.89 / 10
My best of the year: Cache dir. Michael Haneke
My worst of the year: Fantastic Four dir. Tim Story

directing debuts 
Judd Apatow (The 40-Year Old Virgin)
Lee Daniels+ (Shadowboxer)
Rian Johnson (Brick)
Joss Whedon* (Serenity)

* past Oscar nominee NOT for directing +future Oscar nominee

notable deaths
Playwright and screenwriter Arthur Miller (89)
Director Robert Wise (91)
Actor and comedian Richard Pryor (65)

Top grossing film for the year (domestic): Revenge of the Sith ($380.3  million)
(worldwide): Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ($896.9 million)

Academy Award Best Picture winner*: Million Dollar Baby dir. Clint Eastwood
Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner: L'Enfant dir. Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne

Movies from my collection
The 40-Year Old Virgin
Brokeback Mountain
Cache
A History of Violence
Match Point
Wedding Crashers

Non-movie related
- Iraq had its first free Parliamentary elections since 1958 on 30 January
- Pope John Paul II died on 2 April
- Pope Benedict XVI elected 265th Pope on 19 April
- Variety revealed the identity of Deep Throat to be FBI Associate Director Mark Felt on 31 May
- Four coordinated bombing attacks in London killed 52 people on 7 July, the day after the city was announced as host of the 2012 Summer Olympics
- Hurricane Katrina made landfall on the Gulf Coast on 29 August


20 Years Ago (1995)

- Toy Story, the first film made entirely on computers, was released.
- Pierce Brosnan made his debut as James Bond six years after the last Timothy Dalton outing.
- Directors Lars von Trier and Thomas Vinterberg officially announced the Dogme 95 movement of filmmaking that stipulated location shooting, natural lighting, and sounds and music only present in the scene while shooting.
- DVDs were introduced

Number of films I've seen: 85
My average rating: 5.65 / 10
My best of the year: Leaving Las Vegas dir. Mike Figgis
My worst of the year: Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie dir. Bryan Spicer

acting film debuts of future Oscar nominees
Minnie Driver (Circle of Friends)
Michael Clarke Duncan (Friday)
Keira Knightley (Innocent Lies)
Jeremy Renner (National Lampoon's Senior Trip)
Chloe Sevigny (Kids)
Charlize Theron^ (Children of the Corn III: Urban Harvest)

^ future Oscar winner

directing debuts
Noah Baumbach* (Kicking and Screaming)
Michael Bay (Bad Boys)
Larry Clark (Kids)
John Lasseter* (Toy Story)
James Mangold (Heavy)

* future Oscar nominees NOT for directing

notable deaths
Actress and dancer Ginger Rogers (83)
Singer and actor Dean Martin (78)
Director Louis Malle (63)
Actor Donald Pleasance (75)

Top grossing film for the year (domestic): Toy Story ($191.8 million)
(worldwide): Die Hard With a Vengeance ($366.1 million)

Academy Award Best Picture winner*: Forrest Gump dir. Robert Zemeckis
Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner: Underground dir. Emir Kustirica

Movies from my collection
Before Sunrise
Dead Man Walking
Desperado
Devil in a Blue Dress
Leaving Las Vegas
Se7en
Toy Story

Non-movie related
- The O.J. Simpson murder trial and acquittal took place from January through October
- After hilariously serving as his own defense attorney, Colin Ferguson was convicted on 17 February in the murders of six commuters on the Long Island Rail Road.
- On 19 April, a bomb exploded outside the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, killing 168 people.
- Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated on 4 November.



25 Years Ago (1990)

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.

Number of films I've seen: 92
My average rating: 4.8 / 10
My best of the year: Goodfellas dir. Martin Scorsese
My worst of the year: Maniac Cop 2 dir. William Lustig

Top grossing film for the year (domestic): Home Alone ($285.76 million)
(worldwide): Ghost ($505.7 million)

Movies from my collection
The Godfather Part III
Miller's Crossing

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame eligibility (debut recordings in 1990 with nominees chosen at the end of 2015 for induction in 2016)

Smashing Pumpkins (the only likely nominee in first year of eligibility)
The Breeders
Blur
A Tribe Called Quest
Mariah Carey
Vanilla Ice (ha! ha!)

30 Years Ago (1985)

Number of films I've seen: 62
My average rating: 4.94 / 10
My best of the year: Blood Simple dir. Joel and Ethan Coen
My worst of the year: Witchboard dir. Kevin S. Tenney

acting film debuts of future Oscar nominees
Joan Allen (Compromising Positions)
Sean Astin* (The Goonies)
Josh Brolin (The Goonies)
Don Cheadle (Moving Violations)
Whoopi Goldberg^ (The Color Purple)
Ethan Hawke (Explorers)
Viggo Mortensen (Witness)
River Phoenix (Explorers)
Miranda Richardson (Dance with a Stranger)
Stanley Tucci (Prizzi's Honor)
Oprah Winfrey (The Color Purple)

notable debuts, although never Oscar-nominated: John Leguizamo; Patrick Dempsey; Christian Slater

* future nomination NOT in an acting category
^ future Oscar winner

directing debuts
Tim Burton (Pee Wee's Big Adventure)
Gus Van Sant+ (Mala Noche)
Terry Zwigoff (Louie Bluie)

+ future Oscar nominee

notable births
Emile Hirsch
Keira Knightley
Rooney Mara
Carey Mulligan
Anna Kendrick
Amanda Seyfried

notable deaths
Actors Ruth Gordon (88)
Rock Hudson (59)
Yul Brynner (65)
Actor, writer, and director Orson Welles (70)
Producer Sam Spiegel (84)

Top grossing film for the year (domestic): Back to the Future ($210.6 million)
(worldwide): Back to the Future ($381.1 million)

Academy Award Best Picture winner*: Amadeus dir. Milos Forman
Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner: When Father Was Away on Business dir. Emir Kusturica

Movies from my collection
Blood Simple

Non-movie related
- "We are the World" was recorded on 28 January
- The Coca-Cola Company's failed New Coke debuted on 23 April and three months later they'd reverted to the old recipe.



40 Years Ago (1975)

- The first episode of "Saturday Night Live" aired on NBC on 11 October.

Number of films I've seen: 11
My average rating: 7.09 / 10
My best of the year: Jaws dir. Steven Spielberg

film debuts
Laurence Fishburne+ (Cornbread, Early, and Me)
Dennis Quaid (Crazy Mama - uncredited)
John Travolta+ (The Devil's Rain)
Patrick Stewart (Hennessy)
Brad Dourif+ (W.W. and the Dixie Dancekings - uncredited)

directing debuts
Terry Gilliam* (Monty Python and the Holy Grail)
Lasse Hallström+ (A Guy and a Gal)
Margarethe von Trotta (The Lost Honor of Katherina Blum)

notable births
Bradley Cooper+
Drew Barrymore
Angelina Jolie^
Tobey Maguire
Charlize Theron^
Casey Affleck+
Marion Cotillard^
Kate Winslet^

notable deaths
Actor Fredric March (77)
director Pier Paolo Pasolini (53)
composer Bernard Herrmann (64) 

^future Oscar winner
+future Oscar nominee
*future Oscar nominee NOT for directing

Top grossing film for the year (domestic): Jaws ($260 million)
(worldwide): Jaws ($470.7 million)

Academy Award Best Picture winner*: The Godfather Part II dir. Francis Ford Coppola
Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner: Chronicle of the Years of Fire dir. Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina

Movies from my collection
Jaws
Monty Python and the Holy Grail
Nashville

Non-movie related
- Margaret Thatcher became Britain's first female Prime Minister
- Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on 4 April.
- Spanish dictator Francisco Franco died on 20 November, marking the end of 35 years of dictatorship and the beginning of transition to democracy

50 Years Ago (1965)

Number of films I've seen: 7
My average rating: 6.71 / 10

film debuts
Woody Allen+* (What's New, Pussycat)
Robert De Niro^ (Encounter

directing debuts
John Boorman+ (Catch Us If You Can)
Costa-Gavras+ (The Sleeping Car Murders)
Sydney Pollack^ (The Slender Thread

notable births
Diane Lane+
Chris Rock
Sarah Jessica Parker
Robert Downey, Jr.+
Brooke Shields
Viola Davis+
Charlie Sheen
Ben Stiller
Jeffrey Wright

notable deaths
comedian and actor Stan Laurel (74)
producer David O. Selznick (63)
actress and singer Dorothy Dandridge (42)
actress Clara Bow (60); 

^future Oscar winner
+future Oscar nominee
*future Oscar winner NOT for acting

Top grossing film for the year (domestic): The Sound of Music ($163.2 million)
(worldwide): The Sound of Music ($286.2 million)

Academy Award Best Picture winner*: My Fair Lady dir. George Cukor
Cannes Film Festival Palme d'Or winner: The Knack...and How to Get It dir. Richard Lester

Movies from my collection
none

Non-movie related
- Malcolm X was assassinated on 21 February (subject of 1992 movie Malcolm X).
- Civil rights demonstrators attempting to march from Selma, Alabama, to the capital Montgomery were brutally attacked by law enforcement officers on 7 March (subject of 2014 movie Selma).
- Clutter family killers Richard Hickock and Perry Smith were executed by hanging on 14 April (related movies: Capote and In Cold Blood).
- Bob Dylan went electric on 25 July at the Newport Folk Festival



75 Years Ago (1940)

- Bugs Bunny made his debut in A Wild Hare on 27 July.
- Puss Gets the Boot on 10 February was the debut of "Tom & Jerry."
- Hattie McDaniel was the first black person to win an Oscar on 29 February.


Number of films I've seen: 8
My average rating: 8.125 / 10
My best of the year: Rebecca dir. Alfred Hitchcock

film debut
Gene Tierney+ (The Return of Frank James)

directing debuts
Vittorio de Sica (Rose scarlatte)
Preston Sturges* (The Great McGinty)

notable births
John Hurt+
James Cromwell+
Katherine Ross+
Al Pacino^
Peter Fonda+
James Caan+
Chuck Norris
Patrick Stewart
Sam Waterston+
director and screenwriter George A. Romero
director Brian De Palma

notable deaths
writer F. Scott Fitzgerald (44)
British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain (71)

^future Oscar winner
+future Oscar nominee
*future Oscar winner NOT for directing

Academy Award Best Picture winner*: Gone With the Wind dir. Victor Fleming

Movies from my collection
Foreign Correspondent
Rebecca

Non-movie related
- Germany invaded Norway and Denmark on 9 April.
- Germany invaded Belgium, Netherlands, and Luxembourg on 10 May. Neville Chamberlain resigned the same day and Winston Churchill became PM of Britain.
- Meanwhile in California the first McDonald's opened on 15 May.
- Auschwitz Concentration Camp opened on 20 May, marking the beginning of five years that would see the murder of 1.1 million people, mostly Jews.
- Paris fell into German occupation on 14 June.




Centennial (1915)

- D.W. Griffith's The Birth of a Nation was released. It was the longest film to date and broke box office records at the time.

Number of films I've seen: 7 (5 short films)

film debuts
Douglas Fairbanks (The Lamb)
W.C. Fields (Pool Sharks)
Erich von Stroheim+ (The Birth of a Nation - uncredited)

directing debut
Tod Browning (The Lucky Transfer)

+future Oscar nominee

Movies from my collection
none

Non-movie related
- On 7 May, a German U-Boat sank the Lusitania, a passenger ship en route from New York to England. The sinking of the ship contributed to turning public opinion against Germany and the entry of the United States into the war.


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