Tagged: Academy Award

Consider This Sh*t: James Franco Best Supporting Actor


If you’ve seen Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers, whether you liked it or not, chances are you remember James Franco‘s crazy performance as Alien the rapper/gangster that bails the lovely ladies out of prison. The film itself also got a lot of praise and critical acclaim as one of Korine’s best films to date and so it is only natural for new distributor A24 to exploit all the good buzz and try to get even more attention by supporting James Franco’s Oscar campaign. In tune with the film’s humor (and language) the provocative, but memorable, slogan is going to be “Consider this shit”, evocative of Alien’s iconic line in the movie “Look at my shit!”.

Personally I think this is more of a marketing stunt than anything else. Their chances of actually getting nominated are slim considering the people they’re addressing (older white folks), but it certainly gets people talking about the movie. Even now that the film is out on home video, the social media marketing on Facebook is still going on, constantly reminding people of the film. I think this is a prime example of film marketing done right and I look forward to finding out how Franco’s campaign works out.

I fondly remember David Lynch campaigning for Laura Dern with a cow, back in 2007, for her stellar performance in Inland Empire. Even if these tentatives aren’t successful they’re fun and inspiring, because these people don’t take themselves (or the Academy) too seriously, but they do so in a loving way. The campaign poster for Franco, showing Alien holding not one, but two statues is pure gold. Stay tuned for more news on James Franco and his Oscar campaign!

What makes a great movie?


Being a business student, I’ve learned that most people like to simplify. They also like to make figures and diagrams and list thing that start with the same letter, like the 4 Ps in marketing (Product, Place, Price, Promotions).

In a similar vein I thought long and hard about what it is that constitutes a great movie, and if it could be narrowed down to a few simple catch phrases. What I came up with is what I like to call the 4 Ms of Movie Magic.

Totally cheesy, I know. Here it goes:

Mise en scène
It already feels like cheating, because it’s not really one word and not all of the words start with an M, but bear with me.
Basically what I mean with mise en scène are all the technical aspects of filmmaking. Thinking in terms of Oscars these would be the so called “technical awards”. Even a ‘bad film can distinguish itself for a superb mise en scène. In other words everything from cinematography, to editing, sound design/mixing, costumes, art direction and direction in general certainly have something to do with it.

Mood? “What does that have to do with anything?” You might ask. Well, the mood of a film comprises everything from the performance to the score, the color palette and the camera angles. It’s usually what we are not able to put our fingers on, but made us fall in love with a picture. Great acting, writing and directing are of course highly influential in how a film will make you feel. This is also very closely connected to another of the 4 Ms namely meaning.

What is the filmmaker trying to say? That’s irrelevant. How you perceive a film is ultimately what counts. It will also determine whether you like a movie or not. If the message seems to speak against personal convictions or beliefs you hold highly the film can be really good in all other departments, but that won’t help much. For example if a film is racist or too “self-righteous” it will never be able to win me over.

A film can be incredibly well crafted and have the most important message, but if there is no personal connection to the film how can one relate? Here’s again where the script comes in: Are the characters real? And the acting: Is it believable? We assign meaning to a film depending where we are in life, what we’ve experienced or even how we feel on that particular day. A film can take on different ‘meanings’ depending on the context it is viewed in.

As you’ve seen this was a bit of an over-simplification, but that’s the definition of schematic thinking.
When all the four Ms work together perfectly you should have a personal favorite film. Critics might consider it best movie of all time, but if you get something out of it and find yourself re-visiting it every so often, that is certainly worth more than what others think of it.