The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

Welcome to October, ye aulde scavengers of doorstep candies and defacers of guileless pumpkins.  This is a month unto itself in the world of film, a sort of embodied actor dictating the atmosphere and mood of its cinematic output with all the gusto of a mad composer.  Where December takes us to the stereo systems, bidding us hear the crooners and choirs in their mystic wonderlands of white, October ushers us manipulatively to dark rooms with dull lights emanating from silver screens.  It is a haunting force, not unlike the specters that inhabit it, simultaneously possessing us and scaring us away.  October is no mere month, it is a phenomenon, beckoning us to consume fear like we would fun-size chocolates and candy corns.  Trick-or-treating, costumes, haunted houses, plumes of dry ice flowing from plastic punch-bowls… none of these exorcise that possessive ghost of October quite like a scary movie.  Indeed, the genre of horror film lies at the very heart of Halloween celebration. Continue reading

87th Annual Academy Awards

It’s that time of year again….awards season.  Like last year, I will take you on an adventure through 2014’s best films as I make my selections for each Academy Award.  I will first list the movies that were nominated by the Academy, and then mark the ones that I feel didn’t deserve nomination as well as the ones that got snubbed.  I will then select the film that I feel should win the given award.  I reiterate a point that I made last year: these are not predictions!  They are selections.  You may even find that some of the movies that I select weren’t even nominated by the Academy for a given category.  If that is the case, I will let you know.

Just like last year, I will list the Academy’s nominees, then I will put an asterisk by the names that I don’t feel deserved a given nomination.  In a subcategory labeled “Snubbed”, I will put the film or individual who should have been nominated, in my opinion. I will put my pick for the winner in the given category in boldface.  This year, I will add a little bonus detail: I will also select a runner-up for each category, which will also be in boldface.

My general observations for this year’s crop: the movies this year weren’t as good as they were last year.  But that’s okay, there will still some certifiable masterpieces in my opinion.  Among them stands one supreme: Richard Linklater’s Boyhood.  Don’t be surprised to see it mentioned a lot in the coming lines.

Anyway, enjoy! Continue reading