Tuesday, August 26, 2014

2003 Endy Awards


These are the 2003 Endy Awards, wherein I pretend to give out maneki-neko statues to the best in that year in film. Awards for many other years can be found in the Endy Awards Index. Eligibility is determined by imdb date and by whether or not I've seen the movie in question. Nominees are listed in alphabetical order and the winners are bolded. And the Endy goes to. . .


Best Picture:

1. Goodbye, Dragon Inn
2. Last Life in the Universe
3. Los Angeles Plays Itself
4. PTU
5. Running on Karma

I've had PTU in the top spot here for years, but the more I think about Running on Karma, the more I think it may be the best of all of Johnnie To's films.

Best Director:

1. Johnnie To, PTU
2. Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai, Running on Karma, Turn Left, Turn Right & Love for All Seasons
3. Thom Andersen, Los Angeles Plays Itself
4. Tsai Ming-liang, Goodbye, Dragon Inn
5. Pen-Ek Ratanaruang, Last Life in the Universe

I suggested in a note on the 2004 Awards that Johnnie To that year, with three films in my personal Top Ten of the year, might have had the best year of any director since John Ford in 1939. Well, actually he had the best year of any director since Johnnie To in 2003. Three films co-directed with Wai Ka-fai and then a solo effort, one of his very best, thrown in on top. That makes seven films in two calendar years. Johnnie To is making a mockery of my willingness to consider multiple films when giving out this award. This is To's fifth Best Director Endy. He also won in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2012.

Best Actor:

1. Tadanobu Asano, Last Life in the Universe
2. Bill Murray, Lost in Translation
3. Choi Min-sik, Oldboy
4. Johnny Depp, Pirates of the Caribbean
5. Andy Lau, Running on Karma

Best Actress:

1. Yo Hitoto, Café Lumière
2. Sandra Ng, Golden Chicken 2
3. Meg Ryan, In the Cut
4. Scarlett Johansson, Lost in Translation
5. Cecilia Cheung, Running on Karma

Supporting Actor:

1. Lau Kar-leung, Drunken Monkey
2. Gordon Liu, Drunken Monkey & Kill Bill Vol. 1
3. Sonny Chiba, Kill Bill Vol. 1
4. Will Farrell, Old School
5. Lam Suet, PTU

Supporting Actress:

1. Cate Blanchett, Coffee and Cigarettes
2. Lucy Liu, Kill Bill Vol. 1
3. Sinitta Boonyasak, Last Life in the Universe
4. Ruby Wong, PTU
5. Joan Cusack, School of Rock

A couple of awards here for two of the greatest supporting performers of the last few decades.


Original Screenplay:

1. Hou Hsiao-hsien & Chu Tien-wen, Café Lumière
2. Pen-Ek Ratanaruang & Prabda Yoon, Last Life in the Universe 
3. Thom Andersen, Los Angeles Plays Itself
4. Yau Nai-hoi & Au Kin-yi, PTU
5. Wai Ka-fai, Yau Nai-hoi, Yip Tin-shing & Au Kin-yi, Running on Karma

Adapted Screenplay:

1. James Yuen, Aubrey Lam & Mark Cheung, Golden Chicken 2
2. James Schamus, John Turman & Michael France, Hulk
3. Jane Campion & Susanna Moore, In the Cut
4. Wai Ka-fai, Yau Nai-hoi, Yip Tin-shing & Au Kin-yi, Turn Left, Turn Right
5. Peter Weir & John Collee, Master and Commander

Wai, Yau, Yip and Au, the heart of the Milkyway writing team, earn the rare feat of being nominated in both Original and Adapted Screenplay in the same year. The Adapted award goes to the continuing adventures of everyone's favorite prostitute/walking avatar of contemporary Hong Kong history and culture.

Non-English Language Film:

1. Café Lumière (Hou Hsiao-hsien)
2. Goodbye, Dragon Inn (Tsai Ming-liang)
3. Last Life in the Universe (Pen-Ek Ratanaruang)
4. PTU (Johnnie To)
5. Running on Karma (Johnnie To & Wai Ka-fai)

Documentary Film:

1. A Decade Under the Influence (Ted Demme & Richard LaGravenese)
2. The Corporation (Mark Achbar & Jennifer Abbott)
3. The Fog of War (Errol Morris)
4. Los Angeles Plays Itself (Thom Andersen)
5. Wheel of Time (Werner Herzog)

Animated Film:

1. The Animatrix (Various)
2. Finding Nemo (Andrew Stanton)

Unseen Film:

1. Bad Boys 2 (Michael Bay)
2. Elephant (Gus Van Sant)
3. The Best of Youth (Marco Tullio Giordana)
4. Memories of Murder (Bong Joon-ho)
5. The Triplets of Belleville (Sylvain Chomet)


Film Editing:

1. Kill Bill Vol. 1
2. Los Angeles Plays Itself
3. Master and Commander
4. PTU
5. Running On Karma

Cinematography:

1. Café Lumière
2. Kill Bill Vol. 1
3. Last Life in the Universe
4. Master and Commander
5. PTU

Johnnie To's signature blacks shot through with intense white spotlights have never looked better, turning the HK night into an ideal stage for his cops-in-a-chaotic-universe morality play.

Art Direction:

1. Down with Love
2. Kill Bill Vol. 1
3. Master and Commander
4. Pirates of the Caribbean
5. Return of the King

Costume Design:

1. Down with Love
2. Kill Bill Vol. 1
3. Pirates of the Caribbean
4. Return of the King
5. Running on Karma

Make-up:

1. Kill Bill Vol. 1
2. Master and Commander
3. Pirates of the Caribbean
4. Return of the King
5. Running on Karma


Original Score:

1. Down with Love
2. Master and Commander
3. A Mighty Wind
4. Pirates of the Caribbean
5. PTU

The guitar-heavy score gives PTU an added layer of meaning, evoking the classic rock era in general and the Vietnam War in particular.

Adapted Score:

1. Down with Love
2. Kill Bill Vol. 1
3. Lost in Translation
4. Masked and Anonymous
5. School of Rock

Tough call here, I thought I'd go with Tarantino, but Dylan covers "Dixie" so yeah.

Sound:

1. Goodbye, Dragon Inn
2. Kill Bill Vol. 1
3. Master and Commander
4. Pirates of the Caribbean
5. PTU

Maybe I don't know what this category is supposed to mean, but the sounds of Tsai Ming-liang's theatre mean as much to me as anything in any film from this year.

Sound Editing:

1. Kill Bill Vol. 1
2. Master and Commander
3. Pirates of the Caribbean
4. PTU
5. Return of the King

Visual Effects:

1. Hulk
2. Master and Commander
3. Matrix Reloaded
4. Pirates of the Caribbean
5. Return of the King

Love those ships.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

2004 Endy Awards


These are the 2004 Endy Awards, wherein I pretend to give out maneki-neko statues to the best in that year in film. Awards for many other years can be found in the Endy Awards Index. Eligibility is determined by imdb date and by whether or not I've seen the movie in question. Nominees are listed in alphabetical order and the winners are bolded. And the Endy goes to. . .


Best Picture:

1. Kung Fu Hustle
2. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
3. Throw Down
4. Tropical Malady
5. 2046

For a long time I've had Wong Kar-wai's career-summarizing masterpiece in the top spot for 2004. But come Endy-time here, I'm feeling a bit iconoclastic, a bit in the mood to shake things up. So I'm going with Apichatpong Weerasethakul's folkloric slow cinema romance in the upset.

Best Director:

1. Stephen Chow, Kung Fu Hustle
2. Johnnie To, Breaking News, Throw Down & Yesterday Once More
3. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Tropical Malady
4. Wong Kar-wai, 2046
5. Jia Zhangke, The World

If you assign a film a number of stars based on quality, say 1-5, and then add up the total number of stars accumulated by a director in a given calendar year, I suspect that Johnnie To in 2004 earned more stars in one year than any director since John Ford in 1939.

Best Actor:

1. Will Farrell, Anchorman
2. Michel Subor, L'Intrus
3. Bill Murray, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
4. Denzel Washington, Man on Fire
5. Tony Leung, 2046

Best Actress:

1. Julie Delpy, Before Sunset
2. Zhang Ziyi, The House of Flying Daggers & 2046
3. Uma Thurman, Kill Bill Vol. 2
4. Emmanuelle Devos, Kings and Queen
5. Sylvia Chang, 20 30 40 

Supporting Actor:

1. David Carradine, Kill Bill Vol. 2
2. Mathieu Amalric, Kings and Queen
3. Willem Dafoe, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
4. Yuen Wah, Kung Fu Hustle
5. Aaron Kwok, Throw Down

Supporting Actress:

1. Cate Blanchet, The Aviator & The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
2. Angelica Lee, 20 30 40
3. Yuen Qiu, Kung Fu Hustle
4. Cherie Ying, Throw Down
5. Faye Wong, 2046


Original Screenplay:

1. Will Farrell & Adam McKay, Anchorman
2. Stephen Chow, Huo Xin, Chan Man-keung & Tsang Kan-cheung, Kung Fu Hustle
3. Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
4. Yau Nai-hoi, Yip Tin-shing & Au Kin-yee, Throw Down
5. Wong Kar-wai, 2046

Adapted Screenplay:

1. Guillermo del Toro & Peter Briggs, Hellboy
2. Hayao Miyazaki, Howl's Moving Castle
3. Claire Denis & Jean-pol Fargeau, L'Intrus
4. Brian Helgeland, Man on Fire
5. Tina Fey, Mean Girls

Some funny scripts this year. Maybe it's just me and my weird taste as a cinephile, but it does seem like good adapted screenplays are increasingly rare. Every year I really have to scrounge to find five good ones.

Non-English Language Film:

1. Kung Fu Hustle
2. Throw Down
3. Tropical Malady
4. 2046
5. The World

Documentary Film:

1. Be Here to Love Me: A Film About Townes Van Zandt
2. Bush's Brain
3. Fahrenheit 9/11
4. Henri Langlois: Phantom of the Cinematheque
5. The Hunting of the President

Remember when there was a horribly mediocre anti-Bush documentary coming out every other week in 2004? I do.

Animated Film:

1. Howl's Moving Castle (Hayao Miyazaki)
2. The Incredibles (Brad Bird)

Unseen Film:

1. Birth (Jonathan Glazer)
2. Clean (Olivier Assayas)
3. Dumplings (Fruit Chan)
4. Nobody Knows (Koreeda Hirokazu)
5. Notre musique (Jean-Luc Godard)


Film Editing:

1. Breaking News
2. Kung Fu Hustle
3. Man on Fire
4. Throw Down
5. 2046

Cinematography:

1. Breaking News
2. Collateral
3. Man on Fire
4. 2046
5. The World

Art Direction:

1. House of Flying Daggers
2. Kung Fu Hustle
3. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
4. 2046
5. The World

Steve Zissou's boat wins out over Zhang Yimou's rococo brothel.

Costume Design:

1. Hellboy
2. House of Flying Daggers
3. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
4. Shaun of the Dead
5. 2046

Zhang Ziyi's impossible sleeves win out over Steve Zissou's red cap and Speedo.

Make-up:

1. Hellboy
2. House of Flying Daggers
3. Kill Bill Vol. 2
4. Kung Fu Hustle
5. Shaun of the Dead


Original Score:

1. House of Flying Daggers
2. The Incredibles
3. L'Intrus
4. Kung Fu Hustle
5. The World

When in doubt, go with Lim Giong.

Adapted Score:

1. Garden State
2. Kill Bill Vol. 2
3. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou
4. Mean Girls
5. Shaun of the Dead

Sound:

1. Kill Bill Vol. 2
2. Kung Fu Hustle
3. L'Intrus
4. 2046
5. Tropical Malady

Sound Editing:

1. Hellboy
2. The Incredibles
3. Kill Bill Vol. 2
4. Kung Fu Hustle
5. Spider-Man 2

Visual Effects:

1. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
2. Hellboy
3. Kung Fu Hustle
4. Resident Evil: Apocalypse
5. Spider-Man 2

Thursday, August 21, 2014

2005 Endy Awards


These are the 2005 Endy Awards, wherein I pretend to give out maneki-neko statues to the best in that year in film. Awards for many other years can be found in the Endy Awards Index. Eligibility is determined by imdb date and by whether or not I've seen the movie in question. Nominees are listed in alphabetical order and the winners are bolded. And the Endy goes to. . .


Best Picture:

1. Election
2. A History of Violence
3. The New World
4. Oxhide
5. Three Times

Best Director:

1. Cristi Puiu, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
2. Johnnie To, Election
3. Terrence Malick, The New World
4. Liu Jiayin, Oxhide
5. Hou Hsiao-hsien, Three Times

Terrence Malick's story of the discovery of America by Europeans, and of the discovery of Europeans  by America is probably my favorite film of the 21st Century thus far.

Best Actor:

1. Heath Ledger, Brokeback Mountain
2. Simon Yam, Election & SPL
3. Viggo Mortensen, A History of Violence
4. Liu Zaiping, Oxhide
5. Steve Coogan, Tristram Shandy

Best Actress:

1. Luminiţa Gheorghiu, The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
2. Q'orianka Kilcher, The New World
3. Zhou Xun, Perhaps Love
4. Claire Danes, Shopgirl
5. Shu Qi, Three Times

Supporting Actor:

1. Tony Leung Ka-fai, Election
2. Jacky Cheung, Perhaps Love
3. Ian McDiarmid, Revenge of the Sith
4. Mickey Rourke, Sin City & Domino
5. Jeff Daniels, The Squid & the Whale

Veteran Hong Kong actor and Cantopop star Jacky Cheung plays the movie director third of Peter Chan's lush meta-musical love triangle melodrama.

Supporting Actress:

1. Michelle Williams, Brokeback Mountain
2. Catherine Keener, The 40-Year-Old Virgin
3. Maria Bello, A History of Violence
4. Michelle Yeoh, Memoirs of a Geisha
5. Uhm Ji-won, Tale of Cinema


Original Screenplay:

1. Yau Nai-hoi & Yip Tin-shing, Election
2. Terrence Malick, The New World
3. Liu Jiayin, Oxhide
4. Yoshio Urasawa, Princess Raccoon
5. Chu Tien-wen & Hou Hsiao-hsien, Three Times

Adapted Screenplay:

1. Larry McMurtry & Diana Ossana, Brokeback Mountain
2. Josh Olson, A History of Violence
3. Shane Black, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
4. Tony Kushner & Eric Roth, Munich
5. Frank Cottrell Boyce, Tristram Shandy

Not a fan of the Adapted Screenplay category this year. There were probably another four or five original screenplays I would have rather nominated than some of these. Still, Tristram Shandy made me laugh, so that's good.

Non-English Language Film:

1. The Death of Mr. Lazarescu (Christi Puiu)
2. Election (Johnnie To)
3. Oxhide (Liu Jiayin)
4. Perhaps Love (Peter Chan)
5. Three Times (Hou Hsiao-hsien)

Documentary Film:

1. The Aristocrats (Paul Provenza)
2. Dave Chappelle's Block Party (Michel Gondry)
3. Grizzly Man (Werner Herzog)
4. My Dad is 100 Years Old (Isabella Rossellini)
5. No Direction Home (Martin Scorsese)

I continue to believe that this is Michel Gondry's best film.

Animated Film:

1. 9 (Shane Acker)
2. The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Nick Park & Steve Box)
3. One Man Band (Mark Andrews & Andrew Jimenez)

Unseen Film:

1. A Bittersweet Life (Kim Jee-woon)
2. Last Days (Gus Van Sant)
3. Linda Linda Linda (Nobuhiro Yamashita)
4. Pride & Prejudice (Joe Wright)
5. The Wayward Cloud (Tsai Ming-liang)


Film Editing:

1. Domino
2. Election
3. The New World
4. Perhaps Love
5. Three Times

Cinematography:

1. Domino
2. King Kong
3. The New World
4. Perhaps Love
5. Three Times

Art Direction:

1. King Kong
2. The New World
3. Princess Raccoon
4. Seven Swords
5. Three Times

Seijun Suzuki's musical starring Zhang Ziyi is one of the weirdest films of the decade, and its stage is essential to its charm.

Costume Design:

1. Kingdom of Heaven
2. Munich
3. The New World
4. Princess Raccoon
5. Seven Swords

Make-up:

1. Domino
2. Kingdom of Heaven
3. Revenge of the Sith
4. Seven Swords
5. Sin City


Original Score:

1. Brokeback Mountain
2. Broken Flowers
3. Election
4. Perhaps Love
5. Princess Raccoon

Giving the nod to Perhaps Love's array of musical styles (big Broadway tunes, operetta-style monologues, pop ballads) over Princess Raccoon's folk eclecticism and Brokeback Mountain's groovy guitar.

Adapted Score:

1. Dave Chappelle's Block Party
2. Elizabethtown
3. The New World
4. No Direction Home
5. Walk the Line

Johnny Cash by a nose over Dylan, Wagner, Cameron Crowe's mix tapes and one awesome concert.

Sound:

1. Domino
2. The New World
3. Perhaps Love
4. Three Times
5. The War of the Worlds

Sound Editing:

1. Domino
2. King Kong
3. Revenge of the Sith
4. Serenity
5. The War of the Worlds

Visual Effects:

1. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy
2. King Kong
3. Revenge of the Sith
4. Serenity
5. The War of the Worlds

True story: when I was watching King Kong, the Empire State Building sequence, which I knew was totally fake, all special effects, was dizzying enough that it gave me an attack of vertigo and I had to watch the rest of the film lying on the floor. That's what the Endys are all about.