Archive for February 25, 2013


From the outside, it looked like Steven Spielberg’s political biopic would walk the Oscars, but canny campaigning saw Ben Affleck‘s Iran-hostage drama pip it at the post. Here’s how they did it

Argo and Lincoln

Head to head … Argo and Lincoln

Argo‘s yo-yo awards season ended on an upswing on Sunday as the Tehran yarn clinched the Big Kahuna of movie honours. Ben Affleck‘s third outing as director endured the proverbial rollercoaster ride over the past five months and the Warner Bros crowd will be partying late into the night after winning best picture. This was the first time since Driving Miss Daisy in 1989 that the prize had gone to a movie whose director had not been nominated for an Oscar.

  1. Argo
  2. Production year: 2012
  3. Country: USA
  4. Cert (UK): 15
  5. Runtime: 120 mins
  6. Directors: Ben Affleck
  7. Cast: Alan Arkin, Ben Affleck, Bryan Cranston, Christopher Denham, Clea DuVall, John Goodman, Kerry Bishe, Rory Cochrane, Scoot McNairy, Tate Donovan, Victor Garber
  8. More on this film

The popular narrative of what has been an unusually high-calibre awards season is that Argo – the people’s favourite – snuck in at the eleventh hour to swipe the best picture prize from Lincoln. Not so. Argo never lost its high standing among voters and maintained its campaign momentum – albeit in a more nuanced manner in recent weeks – despite the mighty efforts of the publicity machine behind Steven Spielberg‘s august history lesson.

The campaign machine was chugging along nicely and then on 8 October, four days before Argo was due to open in US cinemas, Lincoln premiered at the New York film festival. Spielberg was about to throw a spanner in the works. Suddenly Argo was no longer the name on everyone’s lips. Lincoln was being hailed in some quarters as a masterpiece, perhaps Spielberg’s best since Schindler’s List. Hollywood lined up to kneel before the altar of Daniel Day-Lewis. An air of invincibility coalesced around Lincoln as the first awards groups prepared to announce their winners.

Day-Lewis as Abraham Lincoln was a match made in prestige movie heaven and the Anglo-Irish actor dominated his category, earning accolades from just about every awards group including the influential Screen Actors Guild, the largest voting block in the Academy. He duly won his third lead actor Oscar on Sunday and became the first man to do so. Spielberg did not make it on to the winners’ podium and, in a rare surprise on the night, had to watch as Ang Lee won best director for Life of Pi.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/XvUPak

By the start of the year Lincoln had garnered the most Golden Globe and Oscar nominations and was the perceived frontrunner. This suited the Argo camp, which wanted their contender to be the marginal underdog. At the Golden Globes in January, Lincoln suffered its first public reversal as Argo prevailed in the best dramatic picture contest and Affleck beat Spielberg in the directing category.

Two weeks later, over the course of one heady weekend, Argo delivered a one-two punch to land best picture at the Producers Guild of America and best ensemble cast at the Screen Actors Guild. On 3 February Affleck became only the third person to win the DGA award without an Oscar nomination. Two weeks later Chris Terrio won the WGA’s adapted screenplay honour. The votes for successive shows had already been cast. The late cascade of prizes may have seemed like people were suddenly championing Argo, but in reality the movie’s enduring pedigree never wavered and Hollywood had made up its mind.

 

 

Michael Haneke

 

Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP

After several failed attempts, the director won the best foreign language film award for “Amour” as his home country had its best Oscar outing since 1961.

It’s been a long wait with several failed attempts, but Michael Haneke has finally won the best foreign language Oscar for his home country, Austria.

When Haneke’s Amour was named as the award winner Sunday night, it marked the end of a long struggle by the Austrian government to have Haneke’s films – many of which like Amour have been in French – accepted as properly Austrian in the eyes of the Academy.

Foreign language films can now be in any language other than English. Their nationality is determined by the creative force behind the film.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/YvM6B7

Alongside Haneke, that deep Austrian talent pool includes Vienna hometown hero Christoph Waltz, who took home his second best supporting actor Oscar Sunday for his role as German bounty hunter King Schultz in Quentin Tarantino‘s Django Unchained.

Two Austrian Oscars in one night – that hasn’t  happened since 1961, when Billy Wilder won three Oscars in a single year for The Apartment. The film took home the best picture, best director and best original screenplay honors that year.

 

  • Directing

    A government official in the director’s native Taiwan praises his accomplishment, while Indian stars tweet in delight over Lee’s statement in Hindi during his acceptance speech.

HONG KONG and DELHI – Just hours after bagging an Oscar statuette in Los Angeles, Ang Lee has been told of yet another award coming his way: an honorary citizen’s medal from the municipal authorities of Taichuing, the Taiwanese city where he shot the ocean scenes in Life of Pi.

Speaking to the Taiwanese CNA news agency, Taichung mayor Jason Hu – who watched the awards ceremony after a medical check-up in a Taipei hospital – said Lee deserves the Best Director prize, and that he thanked Lee for putting the island on the map by shooting Life of Pi there and then giving Taiwan a call-out in his acceptance speech.

Hu said Lee, who was born in southern Taiwan and left the island to study filmmaking in the US in 1979, should be accorded with recognition by the Taiwanese government, and he will make the filmmaker an honorary citizen of Taichung.

Read more about Ang Lee here: http://bit.ly/VHDmuV

Life of Pi has proven to be a hit in Taiwan, where it took US$15.6 million. The film also took about US$85 million on mainland China, an amount which surpassed its American earnings of US$69.6 million.

Meanwhile, Lee set the Indian blogosphere alight by concluding his acceptance speech on Sunday night with a salutation in Hindi.

“YES!!! Life of Pi wins four Oscars, with most deserved Best Director Oscar for Ang Lee, who ended speech with ‘Namaste,’” actor Kabir Bedi posted on his twitter account.

“Congratulations to the entire team of Life Of Pi and to the Genius called Ang Lee. Proud to have worked with him.:),” said a tweet by actor Anupam Kher,who was at the Oscar ceremony as part of the ensemble cast of Silver Linings Playbook. Kher — who also posted a photo of himself with Lee taken at a pre-Oscar party — had earlier worked with the two-time Oscar winning director in 2007’sLust, Caution.

“Ohhhh how beautiful to see Ang Lee on the stage. He truly truly truly deserves it,” tweeted actorAdil Hussain who stars in Life of Pi, playing the principal character’s father.

Perhaps the tweet that best captured the enthusiasm of Lee’s Oscar win and acceptance speech came from Bollywood banner Balaji Telefilms CEO Tanuj Garg: “Every Indian has just had an orgasm over Ang Lee’s ‘namaste.’”

 

After about six months of buzz, noise, gripes, campaigning, smearing and whatnot, the 85th Academy Awards are finally here. It’s been a long and eventful season and one of the most interesting in recent years if only because the winners weren’t locked up in advance like “The Artist” last year. In fact, it’s been one of the most up and down, surprising seasons in an age. “Argo” took the buzz early on in Telluride, “Silver Linings Playbook” took the baton after that in Toronto when it won the coveted Audience Award and then “Zero Dark Thirty,” “Lincoln” and “Life of Pi” entered the fray later in the fall and changed everything (remember when everyone thought “Les Misérables” would be the frontrunner after those reports of audiences crying and cheering?). But the “Argo” groundswell started to mount late in the game after director Ben Affleck was snubbed by the Academy during the nominations and the ground started moving under everyone’s feet again.

Read more about Oscars here: http://bit.ly/YqxuoM

Best Picture
“Amour”
WINNER: “Argo”
“Beasts Of The Southern Wild”
“Django Unchained”
“Les Misérables”
“Life Of Pi”
“Lincoln”
“Silver Linings Playbook”
“Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Director
Michael Haneke – “Amour”
Benh Zeitlin – “Beasts Of The Southern Wild”
WINNER: Ang Lee – “Life Of Pi”
Steven Spielberg – “Lincoln”
David O. Russell – “Silver Linings Playbook”

Best Actor In A Leading Role
Denzel Washington – “Flight”
Hugh Jackman – “Les Misérables”
Daniel Day-Lewis – “Lincoln”
Joaquin Phoenix – “The Master”
Bradley Cooper – “Silver Linings Playbook”

Best Actress In A Leading Role
Emmanuelle Riva – “Amour”
Quvenzhane Wallis – “Beasts Of The Southern Wild”
Naomi Watts – “The Impossible”
Jennifer Lawrence – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Jessica Chastain – “Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Actor In A Supporting Role
WINNER: Christoph Waltz – “Django Unchained”
Robert De Niro – “Silver Linings Playbook”
Alan Arkin – “Argo”
Tommy Lee Jones – “Lincoln”
Philip Seymour Hoffman – “The Master”

Best Actress In A Supporting Role
WINNER: Anne Hathaway – “Les Misérables”
Sally Field – “Lincoln”
Amy Adams “The Master”
Helen Hunt – “The Sessions”
Jacki Weaver – “Silver Linings Playbook”

Best Original Screenplay
Michael Haneke – “Amour”
WINNER: Quentin Tarantino – “Django Unchained”
John Gatins – “Flight”
Wes Anderson & Roman Coppola – “Moonrise Kingdom”
Mark Boal – “Zero Dark Thirty”

Best Adapted Screenplay
WINNER: Chris Terrio – “Argo”
Lucy Alibar, Benh Zeitlin – “Beasts of the Southern Wild”
David Magee – “Life of Pi”
Tony Kushner – “Lincoln”
David O. Russell – “Silver Linings Playbook”

Best Foreign Language Film
WINNER: “Amour”
“Kon-Tiki”
“No”
“A Royal Affair”
“War Witch”

Best Animated Feature Film
WINNER: “Brave”
“Frankenweenie”
ParaNorman
“The Pirates! Band of Misfits”
“Wreck-It Ralph”

Best Original Song
“Before My Time” – “Chasing Ice”
“Pi’s Lullaby” – “Life of Pi”
“Suddenly” – “Les Miserables
“Skyfall” – “Skyfall”
“Everybody Needs a Best Friend” – “Ted”

Best Cinematography
WINNER: Claudio Miranda – “Life of Pi”
Seamus McGarvey – “Anna Karenina”
Robert Richardson – “Django Unchained”
Janusz Kaminski – “Lincoln”
Roger Deakins – “Skyfall”

Best Film Editing
WINNER: William Goldenberg – “Argo”
Tim Squyres – “Life of Pi”
Michael Kahn – Lincoln
Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers – “Silver Linings Playbook”
William Goldenberg, Dylan Tichenor – Zero Dark Thirty

Best Costume Design
WINNER: Jacqueline Durran – “Anna Karenina”
Paco Delgado – “Les Misérables”
Joanna Johnston – “Lincoln”
Eiko Ishioka – “Mirror Mirror”
Colleen Atwood – “Snow White and the Huntsman

Best Documentary Feature
WINNER: “Searching For Sugar Man”
“5 Broken Cameras”
“The Gatekeepers”
“How To Survive A Plague”
“The Invisible War”

Best Visual Effects
WINNER: “Life of Pi”
The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey
“Marvel’s The Avengers”
“Prometheus”
“Snow White and the Huntsman”

Best Production Design
WINNER:Rick Carter, Jim Erickson, Peter T Frank – “Lincoln”
Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer – “Anna Karenina”
Dan Hennah, Ra Vincent, Simon Bright – “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”
Eve Stewart – “Les Misérables”
David Gropman, Anna Pinnock – “Life of Pi”

Best Original Score
WINNER: Mychael Danna – “Life of Pi”
Dario Marianelli – “Anna Karenina”
Alexandre Desplat – “Argo”
John Williams – “Lincoln”
Thomas Newman – “Skyfall”

Best Make Up
WINNER: “Les Misérables”
“Hitchcock”
“The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”

Best Sound Editing
WINNER: (TIE) “Skyfall” and “Zero Dark Thirty”
“Argo”
“Django Unchained”
“Life of Pi”

Best Sound Mixing
WINNER: “Les Misérables”
“Argo”
“Life of Pi”
“Lincoln”
“Skyfall

Best Documentary Short Film
WINNER: “Inocente”
“Kings Point”
“Mondays At Racine”
“Open Heart”
“Redemption”

Best Animated Short
WINNER: “Paperman”
“Adam and Dog”
“Fresh Guacamole”
“Head Over Heels”
“Maggie Simpson In the Longest Daycare”

Best Live-Action Short Film
WINNER: “Curfew”
“Asad”
“Buzkashi Boys”
“Death of a Shadow”
“Henry”

The Killers are currently overseas in support of last year’s Battle Born. Earlier this week, they stopped by Manchester, UK — aka, the greatest city in Europe — where they surprised the locals by teaming with a local hero for a special cover.

Read more here: http://bit.ly/XzixQ6

 

It may be a digital age, but live is still the big cash driver for the top 40 earners on our annual list

The U.S. music business offers a matrix of trends to satisfy chart watchers and number crunchers. New CD sales continue to fall. Digital music sales are rising nearly 10 years after the launch of the iTunes Music Store. Streaming and subscription revenue are growing as music lovers choose easy access over-and, sometimes, in addition to-physical ownership.

Concerts make up 68.9% of revenue for the 40 artists on Billboard’s Moneymakers list, which tallies artists’ annual earnings. Remove Adele and Taylor Swift, both of whom didn’t earn any U.S. touring income in 2012, and the average increases to 72.5%-a figure on par with the 72.6% in 2010 and the 68.3% that touring represented in 2011.

Madonna tops the 2012 list, in part because 93.5% of her total revenue came from concerts. Bruce Springsteen, a close second, earned 92% of his revenue from live shows. Roger Waters, a distant third, had the highest concert share on the list with 93.6%. The entire top 10 averaged 84.2% of their income from concerts, and the number would have been higher, if not for Justin Bieber‘s mere 60.1% share at No. 10 dragging down the average.

Billboard estimates the 2012 Moneymakers artists pocketed $373 million from concerts after paying agents, managers and expenses. That was up from $329 million in 2011 but down from $383 million in 2010. For all Moneymakers artists, touring income accounted for 72.8% of revenue in 2011 and 75.1% of revenue in 2012. Artists at the top of the list got an even greater share of revenue from touring. A top 10 artist made 84.2% of income from concerts in 2012 compared with 75.8% in 2011 and 81.7% in 2010.

Touring wasn’t vital for every act on the Moneymakers list. Two major artists, Swift — who topped last year’s rankings — and Adele, made the list without any concert earnings for the year. Meanwhile, two others-Mumford & Sons and Maroon 5-pocketed less than $1 million in concert earnings for 2012. In percentage terms, touring accounted for just 12.6% of Mumford & Sons’ total revenue and only about 2.6% of Maroon 5’s total.

Artists who made less than $1 million on the road tended to make more from recorded music — just as the negative correlation between concert revenue and music sales suggests should happen. Adele and Swift averaged $7.2 million in recorded-music sales while Mumford & Sons and Maroon 5 averaged about $3.2 million. The other 36 acts on the Moneymakers list, who each earned more than $1 million from touring in 2012, averaged just $2.3 million in recorded-music sales.

Read more details here:  http://bit.ly/15HmGru

Streaming revenue wasn’t terribly important to any artist’s overall income as measured by Billboard-not even those artists with little to no touring income. This isn’t to say streaming didn’t have an indirect impact on these artists’ revenue. Without the promotional benefit of, say, YouTube, some albums would have hardly been as successful as they were last year. But in terms of pure, direct revenue, streaming provided a mere pittance for music’s top earners.

Maroon 5 had the highest streaming share of 2012’s Moneymakers list with 3.5%. Within that, the highest noninteractive streaming share was 0.5%, or one-seventh of the total. Drake had the second-highest streaming share with 3.3%, and One Direction had the third with 2.5%. It’s not surprising that Maroon 5’s “Payphone” and One Direction’s “What Makes You Beautiful” were the No. 5 and No. 6 tracks, respectively, on Spotify in the United States in 2012. (Maroon 5 had two more songs in Spotify’s top 100 of the year.)

 

 

 

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