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video essay

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    VIDEO ESSAY: Outstanding Collaborative Performance: The Fly (1986)

    David Cronenberg’s 1986 remake of "The Fly" would have been a shoo-in for a theoretical best collaborative performance Oscar. What makes it truly special is its empathy for its arrogant scientist hero, Seth Brundle, who tests his revolutionary new matter transporter on himself and becomes geneticall...

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    VIDEO ESSAY And the Oscar for Outstanding Collaborative Performance goes to...

    Why hasn't Andy Serkis won an Oscar yet? Will his achievements as an actor ever be recognized by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences? Should they be recognized? Is Serkis an actor, or is his physical performance in a CGI-assisted role just a rough guide for a movie's digital effects?

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    VIDEO ESSAY: Love Against Irony in Maren Ade's EVERYONE ELSE

    One of the most sublime and insightful romantic films in recent memory, Maren Ade’s Everyone Else won both Best Director and Actress awards at the 2009 Berlin Film Festival. This video looks at one of the film’s key love scenes, and explores how two people struggle to express their ...

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    'SHOULD WIN' VIDEO ESSAY SERIES: Best Documentary, UNDEFEATED

    Documentaries are as close to pure cinema as we have yet to get to. They tell our stories. The stories of those we don't know. They have the capability of breaking the fourth wall without winking at the audience. And sometimes they can make our chests swell with that uncommon feeling of humility. Fr...

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    'SHOULD WIN' VIDEO ESSAY SERIES: Best Director Martin Scorsese, HUGO

    This year's Oscar race for Best Director features an especially strong roster. The five nominees are Woody Allen for "Midnight in Paris," Michel Hazanavicius for "The Artist," Terrence Malick for "The Tree of Life," Alexander Payne for "The Descendants" and Martin Scorsese for "Hugo." Four of them d...

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    VIDEO ESSAY: An Open Source Epic - Nina Paley's SITA SINGS THE BLUES

    Adaptation and appropriation are important subtexts to Nina Paley’s award-winning animated epic, Sita Sings the Blues. Paley herself became a cause celebre among Fair Use activists seeking reforms to copyright law during her struggle to secure rights to jazz vocalist Annette Harshaw&rsquo...

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    'SHOULD WIN' VIDEO ESSAY SERIES: Best Actor Brad Pitt, MONEYBALL

    Brad Pitt is one of the biggest movie stars in the world. But he is also a fantastic actor. His phenomenal range has allowed him to play delirious and zany, as in "Twelve Monkeys," but also understated and restrained, as in "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Those films brought Pitt a Best suppo...

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    'SHOULD WIN' VIDEO ESSAY SERIES: Best Actress Viola Davis, THE HELP

    Four out the five performances nominated for Best Actress are in part based on fulfilling audiences’ preconceived notions of what they should be. Both Meryl Streep and Michelle Williams do impersonations on the level of genius. Streep dares to make Margaret Thatcher seem all too human; Williams lets...

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    'SHOULD WIN' VIDEO ESSAY SERIES: PRESS PLAY picks the Oscars

    [EDITOR'S NOTE: Press Play presents "Should Win," a series of video essays advocating winners in seven Academy Awards categories: supporting actor and actress, best actor and actress, best director and best picture. These are consensus choices hashed out by a pool of Press Play contrib...

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    'SHOULD WIN' VIDEO ESSAY SERIES: Best Supporting Actress Janet McTeer, ALBERT NOBBS

    Pretty much all of this year's Best Supporting Actress nominees are great, although a puking, pooping Melissa McCarthy in "Bridesmaids "may not exactly be the stuff of Oscar dreams. Bérénice Bejo offers a charming modern take on a silent film ingenue-turned-star. Jessica Chastain especially can do n...

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