Saturday, February 6, 2016

Earth Wind and Fire plus Maurice White (solo)/Philip Bailey (solo) playlist.

1. Got To Get You Into My Life
2. Let's Groove
3. After The Love Is Gone
4. Serpentine Fire
5. That's The Way Of The World
6. Shining Star
7. September
8. Walking On The Chinese Wall (Bailey)
9. Children Of The Ghetto (Bailey)
10. Stand By Me (White)
11. I Need You (White)
12. Fantasy
13. Getaway
14. Boogie Wonderland

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Billy Joel playlist 1973-1980

1. Captain Jack
2. Stop In Nevada
3. The Ballad of Billy The Kid
4. Piano Man
5. Los Angelenos
6. The Entertainer
7. Last of the Big Time Spenders
8. Say Goodbye To Hollywood
9. Summer, Highland Falls
10. New York State of Mind
11. Prelude (Angry Young Man)
12. I've Loved These Days
13. The Stranger
14. Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)
15. Vienna
16. Scenes From An Italian Restaurant
17. Half A Mile Away
18. Zanzibar
19. Until The Night
20. All For Leyna
21. It's Still Rock and Roll To Me

Friday, January 29, 2016

Finally, a Best Films/TV of 2015 list.

Films in no specific order:
BEASTS OF NO NATION
CAROL
SPOTLIGHT
AMY
WHAT HAPPENED, MISS SIMONE?
INSIDE OUT
BROOKLYN
THE BIG SHORT
LOVE AND MERCY
THE REVENANT
STEVE JOBS
MAD MAX: FURY ROAD
ROOM
TRAINWRECK
Honorable Mention: TRUTH, 99 HOMES, THE END OF THE TOUR, JOY, WHILE WE'RE YOUNG, STRAIGHT OUTTA COMPTON, CREED, MERU, CALL ME LUCKY

Series/Miniseries TV in no particular order:
TRANSPARENT
LOOKING Season 2
UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT
MAKING A MURDERER
WOLF HALL
SHOW ME A HERO
Honorable Mention: THE JINX, ASH VS EVIL DEAD, AMERICAN CRIME Season 1, HOUSE OF CARDS Season 3

Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Motion Picture Academy tries to rise above its limitations.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has entered Consecutive Year Two of all-white acting nominations--mentioned quite a bit in the last few days.  And, of course, there's the noticeable failure to recognize independent films not distributed by major studios/studio-run specialty units; this includes Netflix's BEASTS OF NO NATION, Spike Lee's Amazon-backed CHI-RAQ and Roadside Attractions' Brian Wilson biopic LOVE AND MERCY.

Let's take a brief look at the nomination process:

Excerpted from Wikipedia's "Academy Awards" article:
In late December ballots and copies of the Reminder List of Eligible Releases are mailed to around 6,000 active members. For most categories, members from each of the branches vote to determine the nominees only in their respective categories (i.e. only directors vote for directors, writers for writers, actors for actors, etc.). In all major categories, voters use an instant run-off voting ballot, with potential nominees rewarded in the single transferable vote tally for having strong supporters who rank them first.[34] There are some exceptions in the case of certain categories, like Foreign Film, Documentary and Animated Feature Film, in which movies are selected by special screening committees made up of members from all branches. In the special case of Best Picture, all voting members are eligible to select the nominees for that category. Foreign films must include English subtitles, and each country can submit only one film per year.[35]
The winners are then determined by a second round of voting in which all members are then allowed to vote in most categories, including Best Picture.[36]
Thanks in part to the #OscarsSoWhite protests, the Academy recently announced some "we hear you, but we're moving at our own pace" attempts at correction.
But, as noted by Michael Cieply in THE NEW YORK TIMES--
"....action on possible changes to Oscar balloting was deferred for later consideration."

Likely results of the Academy's wake-up call:
1. Fearful grumbling (with various degrees of racial prejudice exhibited) from rank-and-file Academy members uncomfortable with being pushed into Emeritus no-voting status by not working/not being an Oscar nominee/winner.
2. The number of Best Picture nominees may be set at ten every year, instead of the current "anywhere between five and ten pictures."  This may be the most notable nod to expanding racial diversity and acknowledging popular commercial films (the Academy has done some backsliding on the latter).
3. Unlike what Tom O'Neil of GOLD DERBY proposed recently (a dramatic increase in the number of Academy members), the current Status Quo will only see slight alterations--with future protests being countered with the "we'll get it done by 2020" Academy talking point.


Monday, January 18, 2016

My David Bowie playlist 1969-1980.

1. Space Oddity
2. Ziggy Stardust
3. Rebel Rebel
4. Life On Mars?
5. Starman
6. Suffragette City
7. Fame
8. Young Americans
9.  Imagination
10. Station To Station
11. TVC15
12. Golden Years
13. Sound + Vision
14. Heroes
15. DJ
16. Look Back In Anger
17. Boys Keep Swinging
18. Fashion
19. Scary Monsters
20. Ashes To Ashes

The Glenn Frey playlist--Eagles and solo.

1. Take It Easy
2. Peaceful Easy Feeling
3. Best Of My Love
4. Lyin' Eyes
5. Tequila Sunrise
6. New Kid In Town
7. Smugglers Blues
8. The Heat Is On
9. You Belong To The City
10. Soul Searching
11. Part Of Me, Part Of You

Saturday, January 16, 2016

THE NEW YORKER's Richard Brody on the Academy's lack of love for comedy.

Beyond the allegations of racism and rewarding Brand Names for Serious Intentions (Steven Spielberg's BRIDGE OF SPIES doesn't belong on the Best Picture Nominations list), there's the issue of comedy being largely ignored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Richard Brody discusses the "comedy doesn't show enough effort/gravitas/Serious Intentions" attitude of the Academy in his NEW YORKER article "The Baffling 2016 Oscar Nominees."

http://www.newyorker.com/culture/richard-brody/the-2016-oscar-nominees

Excerpt:
"The Best Director nominations go to three showy filmmakers (Adam McKay, George Miller, and Alejandro González Iñárritu) and two nearly invisible ones (Tom McCarthy and Lenny Abrahamson). McKay had the oddest inspiration of the five. He applied the freewheeling loopiness of his comedies (notably “Anchorman”) to a political subject, proving once more that comedy gets no respect—most significantly, in the absence of any nominations for “Trainwreck.” Outside of the oddball interpolations of star announcers in “The Big Short,” there’s hardly a giggle or a guffaw in any of the Best Picture nominees. (Leonardo DiCaprio gave one of the greatest comic performances in recent years in “The Wolf of Wall Street”; he’ll likely win an Oscar for his relentlessly grim grind through “The Revenant.”) Comedy that the Academy feels comfortable taking seriously, comedy that comes trademarked as topical—that’s what the members watch on TV or streaming. It’s exactly why the revitalization of big-screen comedy—a job that Judd Apatow took on a decade ago and is attempting all over again—is tougher than ever."