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So as another year passes another month of May Movies comes to an end! Though I don’t work on May Movies annually, glad I manage to do a post whenever possible! This is the 4th year am doing a Mai May Movies series of Films! There have been quite a few reasons I haven’t been able to work on my blog properly within the last two years, and am unsure how regularly I’ll be able continue working on this, but I’ll definitely keep this blog going as rare as my posts might be, and stay in touch with the Blogging community!

So here are all the movies I watched in May 2021; from the Best to the Worst, broken down into different categories!

80’s America

Within the last couple of weeks of this month, I happen to watch five 80’s movies, 80’s American movies, and 4 out 5 films focused on 80’s American youth, specifically White American youth of the 1980’s! So here’s my take on these five creations of 80’s American Cinema!

Another Woman (1988)

Running on Empty (1988)

.

..

Firstborn (1984)

..

..

..

Grandview, USA (1984)

..

My Tutor (1983)

..

90’s Thrillers

..La Senitinelle Decived

Documentary Short

World of Mandame X (2019)

Hindi Feature Films

Ramprasad ki Tehrvi (2019)

Laxmii (2020)

LGBTQ

Jonas (2018)

Take me to the River (2015)

More American Movies

Dark Waters (2019)

……

The Accountant (2016)

Incomplete

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

The 93rd Academy Awards

On 26th April 2021, I woke up early to catch the Oscars LIVE on this side of the Ocean. It started at 4am here, but I got up close to an hour late, so when I switched on STAR WORLD, Daniel Kaluuya was being interviewed, and next came the man in the 24 karat gold suit (i.e. Leslie Odom Jr.), who then sang in a white trouser suit. Enjoyable show, I specifically found the event with the red carpet interviews, along with the décor at Los Angeles’ Union Station, really charming and a throwback to the heydays of Hollywood. Yet the stars sure did glam up in some WOW attire!

The Award Ceremony, inside the 1930’s built train station, itself had a classic Roaring 20’s & 30’s feel, fitting perfectly well into the nouveau Roaring 20’s of today. The 2020’s playing tribute to the 1920’s! The show went well, but I felt the BEST PICTURE category was announced a tad to soon; whereas traditionally it’s the final & biggest announcement of the day, right at the end. Towards the finalé the show got a bit dull, but I was generally happy with all the winners this year. No Actual Disappointments!

So from Sunday, 11th April 2021 to Sunday 25th April 2021, I’ve been checking out as many Oscar nominees as I could, nominated in various different categories, online (on F.Movies & YouTube). Altogether I got to see 11 Feature Films and 5 short films (3 Live-action & 2 animated). Below is a list of all 16 films I saw, along with my rating for each along with the date I got to watch each one of them. Wished I could have seen a few more. The List is in Order of My Favourite to my Least Favourite!

FEATURE FILMS:-

  • NOMADLAND (2020) – 10/10! 25th April 2021 (Last Oscar Nominee for this year I’ve seen, so far)
  • THE FATHER (2020) – 10/10! 22nd April 2021
  • SOUND OF METAL (2019) – 10/10! 24th April 2021
  • DRUK (2020) English Title: ANOTHER ROUND – 10/10! 22nd April 2021
  • JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH (2021) – 10/10! 18th & 19th of April 2021
  • PROMISING YOUNG WOMAN (2020) – 10/10! 11th April 2021 (1st Oscar Nominee for this year I saw)
  • THE TRAIL OF CHICAGO 7 (2020) -10/10! 15th April 2021
  • LA VITA DAVANTI A SÉ (2020) English Title: THE LIFE AHEAD – 10/10! 23rd April 2021
  • MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM (2020) – 9/10! 11th April 2021
  • THE WHITE TIGER (2021) – 9/10! 16th & 17th of April 2021
  • THE UNITED STATES VS. BILLIE HOLIDAY (2021) – 5/10! 21st April 2021

SHORT FILMS:-

Saw the 3 Live action shorts on 12th April 2021 and the 2 Animated ones 20th April 2021

  • Live Action Shorts:
  1. FEELING THROUGH (2020) – 10/10!
  2. THE LETTER ROOM (2020) – 10/10!
  3. AL HADIYA (2020) English Title: THE PRESENT – 9/10!
  • Animated Shorts:
  1. GENIUS LOCI (2020) – 10/10!
  2. OPERA (2020) – 10/10!

The Winners:-

Nomadland deservedly bagged the BEST PICTURE award; which I was hoping it would win, my favourite among the films I’ve seen so far! I felt The Father came a close second. Am glad Nomadland won. Altogether it took home three Oscars, including a BEST DIRECTOR statuette for Chloé Zhao (making her the 2nd Female Director and 1st Woman of Colour to win this prestigious award), and Frances McDormand took home the BEST ACTRESS Oscar (she was my second choice after Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman). Felt Nomadland might win for Cinematography as well, but lost out to Mank (2020), a movie I haven’t watched yet (haven’t even seen Citizen Kane;1941, yet; but saw RKO 281;1999, some years ago). A special shout out to Andra Day for her amazing portrayal of legendary Billie Holiday in The United States vs. Billie Holiday; the only good thing about that movie. If not for her amazing performance that movie would have sunk badly. Day managed to salvage it to an average fare flick.

I was rooting for Anthony Hopkins to take home the BEST ACTOR trophy, and was so happy when he won for The Father. Such a touching take on ageing and dementia. The last sequence with Hopkins was so brilliantly heartbreaking and realistic. This was Hopkins 2nd Oscar (the 1st being for The Silence of the Lambs;1991), and aged 83, this makes him the Oldest BEST ACTOR winner to date. Riz Ahmed’s amazing role in Sound of Metal was the next best performance. If Hopkins didn’t, I felt Ahmed definitely ought to. Wish there were subtitles for all the sign language shown, but it was mostly just casual talk not that significant to the plot, so it wasn’t an issue. We see Ahmed’s character losing his hearing, getting involved with a deaf & dumb community (some are deaf & dumb when they are deaf from birth; as is a cousin of mine), a special school for deaf & dumb children; then he gets a chip implanted but it’s unhelpful as he’s introduced to a high pitched sound that’s unfamiliar and uncomfortable. He’s neither here nor there, and the finalé with the ultimate Sound of SILENCE! Brilliant! Ironically, as I expected, Sound of Metal won for BEST SOUND (presented by Ahmed himself) and BEST FILM EDITING. Many were disappointed that Chadwick Boseman wasn’t posthumously awarded for his performance in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, yet as good as he was (initially I assumed he was nominated in the Supporting Actor category), both Hopkins and Ahmed deserved a win way more. It would have been an insult to Boseman’s legacy if he were awarded just because he was sadly no more, or worse, because he was a black actor. The best of that year should win, and Oscars has had a few misses in the past, but not here and not in this category. May Boseman be remembered for his performances and not for an award he lost out on. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom deservedly won for Hair & Makeup and BEST COSTUME DESIGN (haven’t seen the other films nominated in those categories though). The Father also won for BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY; awarded to Christopher Hampton and Florian Zeller (Zeller, whose French play Le Père, this movie is based on). I was hoping The Father might also win for BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN; with those two very similar stylish flats adding to the “Father'”s confusion and it’s similarities to the nursing home. From his Bedroom(s) to the corridor and beyond. Chic interior design. Pity it lost out to Mank, as well; which most probably deserved it more. Really ought to check it out. BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY went to Emerald Fennell for her amazingly relevant tale in this #MeToo era; Promising Young Woman. South Korean actress, Youn Yuh-jung won BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS for Minari (2020); yet another movie I really ought to check out. Thomas Vinterberg’s Danish film, Another Round, won for BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE FILM, as I had hoped it would. Brilliant movie about getting drunk, with a killer soundtrack.

Am least interested when it comes to the Visual Effects category, for most of the time, that’s the only good thing about those movies (there are exceptions of course). From this years lot, The Midnight Sky (2020) might be the only one I might check out. Tenet (2020) of course won. I wasn’t really surprised. Wasn’t that interested in watching it, still am not, but might in the far far far future; as Christopher Nolan is a good director and love some of his past creations. This is a movie of his that least interested me. Among the Short Films, I was keen on seeing, Feeling Through for Live Action, and Genuis Loci for Animated, win. Feeling Through has beautiful storyline set in one night, with an actual deaf & blind actor, Robert Tarango. The first time in film history to have a blind actor in a lead role. Genuis Loci has some amazing watercolour animation. You end up wondering what just happened? Was it all imagined, or did she wander out and only imagine herself as a dog? Loved it! Of course two short films I haven’t seen won. BEST ANIMATION (feature film) went to Soul (2020), no surprise, there was so much hype surrounding it. I haven’t seen any of feature length Animated Films. It also won for BEST ORIGINAL SCORE, while BEST ORIGINAL SONG went to Judas and the Black Messiah. Out of the two actors in Judas and the Black Messiah nominated for BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR; I felt Lakeith Stanfield performance was more nuanced, playing an FBI informant pretending to be a loyal member of the Black Panther Party, at the same time fighting his own conscience. A difficult role. Yet Daniel Kaluuya was just as brilliant as Fred Hampton, thus deserved the win.

I haven’t seen a single documentary; short or feature length. Among the Short Films, Colette (2020) is the one I was most keen on watching, and it won. Among the feature length documentaries, My Octopus Teacher (2020) about the bonding between a man and a octopus, was the one I was most interested in seeing (and I really ought to). As they showed the clip from this movie, seeing how innocent and trusting all living creatures are unlike humans, an octopus affectionately curling it’s tentacle around a man’s finger, I felt this should win! And it did!

With that I shall end my Blog post for today, my 1st for YEAR 2021! Congratulations to all the winners!

Good Night!

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

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Went & got my Hair turned into a Christmas Tree, yesterday!!! 🎄

Happy X-mas 2020

What’s with the new editing tools WordPress, so confusing????? Took me about an hour or more to figure out how to get back to the classic editing format!!

Anyhow!! Enjoy these pictures and a have fun Christmas!! Take Precautions & Stay Safe; this Year of COVID-19!!!!!! Year 2020!!

The Nouveau Roaring 2020’s decade shall properly start neXt Year!!! Year 2020 was just an interim year, ending 2010’s (going with a no zero year concept) and passing the torch into a new decade!! The 2020’s!!!!

Nick & Nora’s Christmas Party!!!

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

These COVID19 Days (YEAR 2020)

Happy New Year & Happy New Decade

So the Roaring 20’s are here again, now in a Newer Century!!!!! Happy New 2020 & an even Happier New Decade ahead!!!

When it comes to movies to be released this year (Year2020), I’ll take into consideration that a movie isn’t made in a day & into account that no Zero Year exists (21st Century started from Year 2001)!! Thus, any movie released this Year, Year 2020, still belongs to the 2010’s (as far as I am concerned, at least). When it comes to movies, books, fashion trends, pretty much the arts related activities, whatever comes out this year, in a sense shall end the 2010’s, at the same time inspiring the next decade (which in every other sense has already started, it’s Year2020). Past Examples; 60’s didn’t feel like the 60’s till Hollywood’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) came out; it’s Year 1966 (and not 65′) that’s considered the half way mark that turned the late60’s over a brand new leaf never ever witnessed before, globally speaking (we live in, or are suppose to be, in a better freer world today, thanks to modern open-minded thinking that relinquished blind stoic rules and regulations of the past); and Love Story (1970) still feels very 1960’s, yet forming a catalyst to the 70’s styles yet to come!! In Bollywood, the 70’s didn’t feel like the 70’s till Haré Rama Haré Krishna (1971) came out, laying a stronger foundation to India’s already existing Hippie culture, and Qurbani‘s (1980) Bollywood Disco tunes (Pakistani Pop Singer, Nazia Hassan’s “Aap Jaisa Koi”, composed by India’s famed Music Producer Biddu, will always be my favourite Indian Disco number) happen to be a celebration of Club Music of the times (70’s & early 80’s); whilst globally (though more specifically among American youth) Fame (1980) perfectly ends the 70’s decade meanwhile serving as an inspiration for the 1980’s decade!! Mera Naam Joker (1970) took six years to make (between 1963 & 1969), and covers the Essential 60’s decade (although the story line spans a couple of more decades). Boyhood (2014) took twelve years to make, capturing the whole of the noughties (the 1st decade of this century, i.e. 2001 – 2010) and enters into the early 2010’s (2011 – 2013)! Manzil (1979), was filmed in the begining of the 70’s, when Amitabh Bachchan was a virtual unknown (the Big B rose to prominance with Zanjeer, 1973), but due to various reasons the release got delayed, ultimately being released at the very end of the decade, in 1979! Thus, without going into drastic extremes, I feel movies released in an Year eding with a nought (0), ought to be regarded as a movie belonging to the previous decade! So basically, Year 2020, specifically movie wise, is a transition from the 10’s & into the Nouveau Roaring 20’s. Some 2020 releases (especially if set today itself, although, unlike the previous century, there is no definite unique look that differentiates one decade from another, other than technological advances of this digital age) shall feel very 2010’s, whilst others could end up defining the whole decade of the 20TWENTY TWENTIES20’s!!!!

Of course, one unique look that came out in recent times (though only seen on celebrities) would be one that helped change gender norms, blurring lines between masculinity and femininity!! Young Straight male actors (like Timothée Chalamet of Call Me By Your Name; ; fame, for instant) have dared to experiment with the androgynous look, thus not stereotyping the effeminate look on a male attributed only to transgender people. Cisgender men and women (gay or straight), immaterial of their sexual orientation, can now try out blending styles that in the past were catered to just one specific gender, or attributed as a reflection of their sexuality!!!

Why not? We are all Equal!! We are all human!! Who made these rules in the past, anyway?? Go Crazy, Go Gaga, if you wanna!! Nobody has the right to judge!!!

New Look for the 20TWENTY TWENTIES20’s

I’ll be honest, the 2010’s haven’t been good to me, health wise and other wise! As it is, all my life, I’ve suffered on my own, survived on my own, and still surviving!! My stress and depression has worsened over the years. As we speak, my head is pounding, my eyes tried; yet I persevere, I go on!! Despite going through a lot, I decided I shall somehow work on a Blogpost today, no matter what! Despite everything, I shan’t give up that easily!!!

So here’s to a better future, than the past (especially better than my recent past) !!!! Looking forward to a better year & even better deacde ahead, and wishing everyone the same. Here’s to the 20TWENTY TWENTIES20’s!!!!

Wonder if Flapper Dames will make a come back, or with a 21st century twist (as gender lines blur further), even Flapper Dudes!!!!  Maybe have a modern take on famed The Charleston, jazz music and have swell time this coming decade, all round!!!

Today, also happens to be ‘s Official Birthday🐾!! FOUR Years Old!!! It’s (Atta’s) my Maternal Grandfather’s 100 Birth Anniversary, as well!! Haven’t witness a real Birthday Party/New Year Celebration in a while. The last time I actually did something to usher in the New Year was; when on 31st December 2006, my friends & I, Down Under, went to see the fireworks over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and welcomed Year 2007 (one of the rare better years of my Adult life, comparatively).

Wishing all my fellow Bloggers, , et al, a very Happy New Year & Great Decade ahead, once more!! Keep on Blogging (a note to self, as well).

Nuwan Sen



#‎NuwanSensFilmSense

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Silver Screenings

Kevin Costner (left) in 1991’s JFK, directed by Oliver Stone. Image: Letterboxd

Hollywood director Oliver Stone called film historian/journalist Roger Ebert one of the great film critics, because Ebert understood what filmmakers are trying to achieve.

Stone’s comments may be due, in part, to Ebert’s appraisal of Stone’s controversial 1991 film, JFK. “This is not a film about the facts of the [John F. Kennedy] assassination, but about the feelings,” Ebert wrote. “JFK accurately reflects our national state of mind since November 22, 1963.”¹

Ebert defended Stone’s choice of New Orleans State Attorney Jim Garrison (played by Kevin Costner) as the film’s protagonist. “Whom should he have chosen?” asked Ebert. “As a filmmaker it is his assignment to find a protagonist who reflects his feelings. Jim Garrison may not have been on the right track [while investigating the assassination], but he was a perfect surrogate for our…

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Quote of the Day, from my 2019 Calendar!

Quoting Doris Day

– Doris Day
(1922 – 2019)

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

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Heading

If Audrey Hepburn were alive today, she’d be 90 years old! Just imagine! It’s hard to even fathom; a post WWII, modern, youthful, energetic, fun-loving and fashionable, foxy 50’s generation; that gave us stars like Audrey Hepburn, Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, Grace Kelly, Marlon Brando, et al; would ever grow old! And sadly most of them didn’t; and some died way way way too young. The era of cool! I remember it like it were yesterday, when we heard of Hepburn’s demise in January 1993, at the age of 63. I was 17 years old. Where did the 1990’s go?? Am already in my 40’s, and it’s Audrey Hepburn’s heavenly 90th Birthday, today!

To mark her 90th Birth Anniversary, Audrey Hepburn’s Birth place, Brussels, Belgium; is holding a special exhibition, titled Intimate Audrey, which began earlier this week; which includes contribution from Hepburn’s older son, Sean Hepburn Ferrer (who put together this exhibition).

I wish I was in Europe, right now. If any of my fellow bloggers/Hepburn fans are in Europe these days, and happen to be in Belgium, do check it out! From whatever media I’ve come across about the exhibition, it looks amazing. The exhibition includes the green “Vespa Farobasso” scooter she rode, in Roman Holiday (1953), my all time favourite movie; Hepburn’s own fashion drawings & humanitarian writings, and the Oscar statuette awarded posthumously for her humanitarian work.

A screen legend, a style icon, a kind human with a Big Heart!!!!!! My all time favourite actress!! Great personalities never really die! They live on, through us, their greatest fans, forever!!💓

❤ Hepburn ❤

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

 

Green Book (2018) wins BEST PICTURE, at the 91st Annual Academy Awards

The 91st Annual Academy Awards came and went, without a host, and without hitch (so I heard); BUT unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to watch it. This year’s Oscars were not telecast (LIVE or otherwise) on this side of the globe. Neither on Local Channels (which I normally don’t watch) nor on any of the foreign cable channels we get from India and the South East. I wouldn’t be surprised if the local cable operators sabotaged it’s telecast. So many instances where foreign channel’s schedule programs are blocked off and replaced with what these cable operators fancy!! BUT, I did check out highlights online, especially on Youtube, on Monday night!!

I was extra keen of watching this year’s show, as it was a Hostless show, for the first time in 30 years. My very 1st Oscars, was that particular Hostless Academy Award ceremony, from 1989. It introduced me to Rain Man (1988) and Jodie Foster. Of course, that wasn’t telecast LIVE (nothing non-Lankan back then was), but about a month later, on a local channel (most probably on Rupavahini, SL’s National television channel). If I recall correctly, it was after Lucille Ball passed away. AND Ball passed away on 26th April 1989 (The 61st Annual Academy Awards were apparently held on 29th March 1989, according to online sources). We use to watch The Lucy Show (1962 -1968) back then, I believe on ITN (Back in 80’s there were only two channels available here). I remember well, how Ball’s death was not announced, before airing an episode of the show, after her death, as is the custom. The network most probably had no idea who the star comedienne of the Lucy series of shows even was.

What’s more interesting, is 30 years after sitting through my Oscars, I learn the Oscars 1989, was supposedly the worst Oscars ever!!!! I wasn’t a fan of the corny Snow White, but I did enjoy the show. I remember Lucille Ball looking graceful, yet with her nutty laugh intact, in her final public appearance. Remember Walter Matthau, Roger Moore, Melanie Griffith with Don Johnson, Tom Cruise & Dustin Hoffman, and Jodie Foster walking up the stage, in her now famously known, off-the-rack, dress (of course, back then I didn’t know it was off-the-rack). It’s good though, Foster represented herself, today some people lose their identity representing a famous designer (especially if the fashion designer is more popular than star adorning their clothes).

Worst Oscars or not, it’s thanks to the 1989 Oscars, I’ve been following the Hollywood Stars, looking forward to catching the Oscar ceremony, every year, if possible!! Preferably LIVE!!

For more on Oscars 1989 & this Year’s Hostless Oscars……

Let the Pictures below do the talking!!!!!

Julia Roberts @ the Oscars (Year 2019)

Melissa McCarthy & Brian Tyree Henry present the Oscar Award for BEST COSTUME DESIGN to Ruth E. Carter (Oscars 2019)

Becky Neiman-Cobb & Domee Shi, bag the Award for BEST ANIMATED SHORT FILM, for Bao (2018)

Chalamet & Mom
Timothée Chalamet’s absence (and the Oscar snub) was pretty conspicuous, at the 91st Academy Awards

Comedienne, Lucille Ball (1911 – 1989) made her final public appearance, at the 61st Annual Academy Awards (Oscars 1989)

Jodie Foster wins the BEST ACTRESS Oscar in 1989

From this year’s Oscar win’s, I have only seen a shabbily edited version of Bao (2018). From the rest of the nominations, I’ve only watched, the Feature Film, A Quiet Place (2018) and the Live Action, Canadian Short Film, Fauve (2018). BEST PICTURE winner, Green Book (2018) is the movie, am really keen on checking out the most!!

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense

5 Days Left, Hurry Up!!!!!

Just a reminder to all my fellow Blog-pals who’ve shown an interest in taking part in The ❝October Birthdayz❞ Blogathon am hosting (20th – 22nd October 2018). There are 5 more days left, for it to begin. Of course, it doesn’t matter if you get a little late, so long as it is posted (and the link sent to me) within this month!!

For more information on the Blogathon, see my previous Blog post – The ❝October Birthdayz❞ Blogathon, posted on the 1st of this month

Cheers

All the Best

Nuwan Sen’s Film Sense