Five for the Fifth: FEBRUARY 2017 Edition


Welcome to FlixChatter’s blog series! As is customary for this monthly feature, I get to post five random news item/observation, etc. and then turn it over to you to share your take on that given topic. You can see the previous five-for-the-fifth posts here.

1. Whoa, the first month of 2017 has come and gone! Well, I actually almost forgot to do this month’s edition as I’ve been busy finishing my short film script. Well, so this February edition will be more of a reflection piece, if you will, so no First Look or new trailers. With that in mind, I’d like to pick your brains a bit to get to know you better as a cinematic blogger/reader friends!


What single movie do you believe has had the single biggest impact on making you into a film buff and why?

2. Thanks to SlashFilm for this awesome find of a video! When I saw this beautiful video compiled of clips from every film to have won best cinematography at the Academy Awards, from 1927 to 2015, I knew I just had to feature it here. Interesting to see the evolution of cinematography over the years… crazy that the last three years had been dominated by Emmanuel Lubezki, and yet not a single clip from Roger Deakins!! 😦

What’s your favorite(s) from this amazing cinematography collection?

3. It’s only just one month into 2017 and we’ve already lost yet another acting legend 😦 The venerable John Hurt , the gravelly-voiced British actor who garnered Oscar nominations for his roles in Midnight Express and The Elephant Man, has died at the age of 77. He’s done so many varied roles in his illustrious career, but perhaps best known for the chest-busting scene in Alien.


The roles I remember him most are in V For Vendetta, Harry Potter, Brighton Rock, Immortals, Snowpiercer, and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. The quintessential character actor, he always turned in a memorable performance even in small roles.

What’s your favorite John Hurt film(s)?

4. Since my head has been buried in screenplays lately (and hopefully forever), I paid more attention to that category more than the others. Out of the ten nominations in original and adapted screenplay categories, there are four I still haven’t yet: Hell or High Water, Manchester by the Sea, 20th Century Women and Fences. 


Hell or High Water
La La Land
The Lobster
Manchester by the Sea
20th Century Women

Hidden Figures

Now I personally think Loving deserved a nom, more so than La La Land. Glad to see The Lobster getting recognized, now THAT is an original idea, bizarre, heartfelt, provocative AND funny!

Which 2016 movie you think deserve an Oscar Best Screenplay nomination?

5. This month Five for the Fifth’s guest is another great blogger from Down Under, Richard from CineMuse. I love his thought-provoking and ever-so-timely question…

Given the peculiar trait in American culture that makes certain topics appropriate for public discussion only if a movie is made about them…one often feels that the Academy Awards offer opportunities for expressing political sentiments that otherwise remain repressed.

(“The Politics of the Oscars”, Jonathan Rosenbaum)

The politics surrounding the Oscars threaten its legitimacy and is triggering an existential crisis: “The widespread protest over lack of diversity among this year’s acting nominees all but drowned out the usual pre-awards frivolity, and with no-shows, boycotts and “tune-outs”, on top of already declining TV viewing figures, the Oscars was, for the first time, contemplating its own irrelevance.

(The Guardian)

It is often argued that the Oscars is the most self-aggrandising and politically-loaded ritual of the film year. The reason is that the Oscars does not know if, as the Harvard Political Review puts it, “is it to recognize art or entertainment value.”

What’s your thought on that sentiment?

Well, that’s it for the FEBRUARY edition of Five for the Fifth. Hope you’ll take part!

19 thoughts on “Five for the Fifth: FEBRUARY 2017 Edition

  1. Wow can’t believe a month has gone by already in 2017! But I’m glad because that means spring is on the horizon!

    1. I’ve watched films at such a young age that I’ve always been a fan and thought I could be a filmmaker someday. It’s hard to nail down which film made an impact on me, I used to watch several kung fu and samurai films back when I was younger then I got into westerns, especially Eastwood’s older western films. His films were quite popular in the Far East. Then when I came to the States, my English teacher told me to watch as much American films as possible in order to learn how people speak here so I got into Hollywood pictures. Superman the movie, Die Hard, the Bond films, Raiders of the Lost Ark and RoboCop were some films that made quite an impression on me at a young age.

    2. That’s a great compilation video. Some of my favorites are Lawrence of Arabia, Ben-Hur, The Revenant, Gravity and Avatar. I’m surprised that 3 of the best shot films ever made didn’t win or maybe didn’t even get nominated? 2001: A Space Odyssey, Skyfall and The Dark Knight!

    3. He’s such a good actor and can play any role, he’ll truly be missed. The Elephant Man, Alien and The Osterman Weekend were some his memorable roles to me.

    4. I only saw Hell or High Water and Arrival from the list so I don’t have an opinion as to which one should win since I didn’t see all of the films that were nominated.

    5. I’ve given up on any respect for The Oscars or any other awards long time ago. It’s not really about rewarding artistic and talents anymore, its all about the ratings. Also, I don’t believe many of the voters even seen all of the films that were released last year.

    1. Hey Ted! Superman the movie and the Bond films definitely made a big impression to me when I was a kid.

      Yeah I love that video, but yeah Deakins should’ve won for Skyfall, I mean it’s such a stunning film!

      I know, I still had no idea the cause of his death.

      I really should see Hell or High Water soon!

      Yep, I truly believe most Oscar voters hadn’t seen SILENCE yet.

  2. 1. Hackneyed answer, but seeing the special edition re-release of “Star Wars” with my dad when I was 7 was what made me REALLY get obsessed with movies.

    2. “Apocalypse Now” (1979)

    3. It’s not a great movie, or one of his great performances, but honestly, the first John Hurt performance that always flashes to my mind is his little spoof cameo in “Spaceballs”, a movie I watched probably three dozen times when I was a kid (“Oh no — not again — !”) He was wonderful in so many films…his death makes me think I should really finally get around to seeing “The Elephant Man”.

    4. Of the nominees I’ve seen, I don’t really have an issue with any — I don’t necessarily know that I think “La La Land” was one of the five best screenplays of the year, but at the same time nothing jumps to mind that I’d replace it with. I do think the nomination for “Fences” is a little strange — it’s a GREAT movie and beautifully written, don’t get me wrong, but my understanding is that it’s basically word for word the original play, so I’m not sure precisely WHAT they “adapted”!

    5. The Oscars continue to be a thorny issue for people; I don’t necessarily place any more or less value on them than I do on the Cannes Film Festival awards, or the New York Film Critics’ Awards, or any other award giving body — it’s just one group’s opinion of what the most noteworthy films were of that year, and I guess on that level the Oscars are interesting as a sort of general canvass of what the American filmmaking “establishment” thought was their best foot forward. I do sometimes wonder if the ceremony being a televised event ends up working against it — I know people complain all the time about how the Oscars never nominate “movies people actually see”, as if the box office top ten list is in some way a more valid accounting of the year’s best films.

    1. Hello there CB!

      Ah yes Star Wars, that definitely inspired even young filmmakers who are working in Hollywood today.

      I haven’t seen ‘The Elephant Man’ either!

      Ahah, I haven’t seen Fences yet but I’m curious how a play translate into film when they ‘adapted’ it word for word!

      Yep, ultimately all awards are just one group’s opinion. Well surely box office numbers have no bearing on quality. ahah.

  3. 1. I would say Breaking the Waves as it was something so different from what I’ve seen in film as it had something that I felt had a personal look as it was raw and that it used faith in ways that I never thought would be possible. It wasn’t like anything I had seen before and since as it showed that there was so much more to film.

    2. Days of Heaven that is shot by Nestor Almendros w/ additional photography from Haskell Wexler who didn’t get the Oscar for his work which was unfair in some respects.

    3. Definitely The Elephant Man while I have a very soft spot for his cameo in Spaceballs parodying his own death scene in Alien.

    4. Since I haven’t seen a lot of the nominees. For Original Screenplay, Manchester by the Sea and for Adapted, Arrival.

    5. I have mixed feelings on the Oscars. Yeah, it can validate your work but it can also remind you that there might’ve been a better performance or better technical work that didn’t get nominated. I usually hold critics awards from New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago and publications such as Sight & Sound and Cahier du Cinema in more high esteem than the Oscars. Same thing with the film festival awards in Cannes and Toronto.

    1. I haven’t seen Breaking the Waves but I could see how that made an impression on you. Emily Watson is such a terrific actress, too.

      Oh man, Days of Heaven is strikingly-beautiful, can’t believe that wasn’t nominated!

      I gotta watch Spaceballs soon now!

      I still can’t believe Amy Adams wasn’t nominated for Arrival, and yeah the screenplays was indeed excellent.

  4. 1. Answered this somewhat a few years ago with this movie, along with the why.

    2. Oh, it would have to be Lawrence of Arabia (1962).

    3. Answered this on Twitter a short while ago:

    7#FavJohnHurtFilmsAlienRob RoyContactMidnight ExpressThe HitThe Elephant ManHellboy@IrishJayhawk66 @CitizenScreen— Michael Alatorre (@le0pard13) January 30, 2017


    4. Still catching up with the nominees, so I’ll skip this one…for now.

    5. Art and political sentiment are not mutually exclusive. I’m more than fine with artists expressing themselves politically, in any forum.

    1. Ah yes I remember that Beatles post! 🙂

      Yep, hard to beat David Lean!

      Oh my, I forgot about Rob Roy, he’s memorable in that too.

      I normally don’t mind artists expressing their opinions on politics or what have you, but lately it seems to take over the artistry itself and becomes way too political IMHO.

  5. 1.) I feel it’s impossible to narrow it down to one film. I used to love the Roger Moore Bond films when I was young, so maybe they got me into film.

    3.) John Hurt had been in a lot of films. Alien is the one that stands out to me. And his memorable voice-over work in Dogville.

    4.) I think Hell or High Water is well-written and I hope it wins screenplay oscar.
    Indignation (2016) I liked and has been called one of the better Philip Roth adaptations by Rotten Tomatoes. Sadly didn’t get any award season momentum for adapted screenplay.

    5.) Good point that films can open up a discussion. I don’t personally find ‘big message’ movies interesting, but that is what the oscars is often about, trying to instigate change such as Spotlight winning. Moonlight seems to be another important film for its message about tolerance. I think Cannes does a better job of recognizing innovation and art in filmmaking, whereas the oscars is more mainstream.

    1. Hi Chris! I grew up w/ Moore’s Bond films but it’s Timothy Dalton’s Bond who’s my all time fave.

      Boy I really need to see Hell or High Water soon. I remember Indignation, but that one seems to fell off under the radar.

      Y’know I don’t know if Moonlight is all about tolerance. I mean it has that elements to be sure, but it’s more about this man’s journey of self identity. I like that it isn’t preachy but yet so powerful and heartfelt. I’m Team Moonlight all the way!

  6. 1 No single film, but there was a moment in time when I realised that movies were like a hall of mirrors that reflected the real world where I could get lost inside.

    2 I simply cannot pick favourites but am totally enthralled at a century of evolution in cinematography as an artform. Its poetic power amazes me.

    3 I’m terrible with lists. Hurt was marvellous in Jackie (2016). In all his work, he was gravitas personified.

    4 I was struck by the almost luscious stage-like qualities of Fences (2016). Extraordinary filming and acting with a script that was electric.

    5 The Oscars must be the global exemplar of capitalist consumerism. It fabricates a world stage to promote the genre-factory and all its glorious products which are honoured according to political ebbs and tides, while occasionally recognising film as art.

    1. Hey Richard!

      “… movies were like a hall of mirrors” Hey I like that, so true!

      It’s hard to pick a favorite too, though I really wish some of Deakins’ work are recognized.

      I still haven’t seen JACKIE yet but now looking forward to it even more the fact that John Hurt is in it too. I need to see FENCES soon too!

      Ahah yeah, the film recognition almost become secondary, or worse, in these award events!

  7. Sorry for the late comment, have been so caught up with my blog because of the award season.
    Anyways, I loved your answers and here are mine!

    1. You know, a lot of people ask me this question and I just don’t remember one particular movie. I remember watching all the critically acclaimed movies of 2012 (the next year I became a movie buff) and I just eventually fell in love.

    2. Oh god it is so hard to pick a favorite, I’ll end up naming all of them! But if you really want one, I’ll go with my all-time favorite – Gone With The Wind.

    3. I raised my wand (yes, I have one) when he passed away. So, Harry Potter is my favorite movie of John Hurt.

    4. Adapted Screenplay – Moonlight (TOTALLY) and I’m stuck between Manchester By the Sea, 20th Century Women and The Lobster for the Original Screenplay.

    5. I strongly agree that the Oscars are about celebrating art and culture but not even mentioning the politics would make it seem like they are ignoring the problem. I personally like when celebrities talk about current affairs (but only if they are fully informed) because they have a lot of influence on people. I just don’t like it when anything is taken a step too far. So, in short, I don’t have a problem with the Oscars talking politics until and unless they don’t overdo it.

  8. In terms of your first question, it has to be Raging Bull for me. Although Back to the Future also switched me on too! As for the late great Hurt, it’s difficult to not have Elephant Man at the top of the list.

  9. Lists are difficult. So hard when there is so much variety. As for the oscars, I find winners are, more often than not, so over rated often because it is simply Hollywood loving itself. LaLaLand is an ideal example. Lion was fab. Would love the young, wonderful Sunny Pawar to get best actor gong. Not likely to happen, I sense. Fab blog, thank you.

    1. Yep, Hollywood is the quintessential narcissist so I guess self love is not surprising. It’s kinda hilarious though how La La Land is embraced by BAFTA as well, like these award shows are also living in la la land 🙂 Oh yeah LION was beautifully heart wrenching. That Sunny Pawar is such a scene stealer!

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