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All Movie Talk

Welcome to All Movie Talk! In this audio podcast, Samuel Stoddard and Stephen Keller talk about old and new movies, famous directors, historical film movements, movie trivia, and more.

All Movie Talk

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All Movie Talk, Episode 11

Show contents, with start times:

  • Oscar Watch 2006: Likely Nominees (1:45)
  • Trivia Question: In-Flight Movie (20:34)
  • Double Feature: Amelie X (20:58)
  • Film Buff's Dictionary: Fade, Dissolve, Wipe (34:04)
  • Top 6: Fast-Paced Movies (40:04)
  • Best of the Year: 1960-1969 (53:32)
  • Closing: Trivia Answer, Preview of Next Week (64:27)
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Show Notes:

Oscar Watch 2006: Likely Nominees

The Oscars are fun if you don't take them too seriously. It's like the Super Bowl for movie geeks! The first Academy Awards presentation was held in 1929 and only took about 15 minutes, a far cry from today's marathon awards telecasts.

Despite the fact that not all the likely contenders have been seen widely, here the some of the most likely movies to be nominated for Best Picture: There is a lengthy list of possible contenders for the other two spots, including: Little Miss Sunshine, Babel, Volver, Letters From Iwo Jima (the second film this year by Clint Eastwood about the Battle of Iwo Jima), The Pursuit of Happyness, Little Children, Notes On a Scandal, Pan's Labyrinth, United 93, World Trade Center, and a dark horse in Borat.

It may be Martin Scorsese's year to win Best Director (for The Departed), though there's an outside chance he loses to yet another actor-turned-director by way of Robert De Niro (for The Good Shepherd). Scorsese has previously lost the Best Director award to Robert Redford, Kevin Costner, and Clint Eastwood.

In the Best Actor category, the buzz surround some more obscure performances, such as Ryan Gosling for Half Nelson, Forest Whitaker for The Last King of Scotland, and Peter O'Toole for Venus. O'Toole has been nominated and not won seven times previously.

Helen Mirren (for The Queen) is the presumptive frontrunner for Best Actress, but that may work against her. Meryl Streep has some unexpected buzz for The Devil Wears Prada, and other possible Actress picks include Penelope Cruz (Volver), Judi Dench (Notes On a Scandal), Kate Winslet (Little Children), Beyonce Knowles (Dreamgirls), Cate Blanchett (for a few movies), Naomi Watts (The Painted Veil), and Annette Bening (Running With Scissors).

Remarkably, Jennifer Hudson, the 7th American Idol finalist from season 3, has huge traction in the Best Supporting Actress category for her movie debut in Dreamgirls.

To play the Academy Awards Predictions Game, head over to RinkWorks. If you listen to the podcast, be sure and enter the super secret code (and drink more Ovaltine) so you can win a fabulous prize.

Trivia Question: In-Flight Movie

The first ever in-flight movie (watch it online here) was much earlier than Snakes On a Plane.

Double Feature: Amelie X

Amelie (2001) X (2001). Two great films -- one great taste. What more can we say?

Film Buff's Dictionary: Fade, Dissolve, Wipe

All three of these editing techniques are slow transitions between shots, less abrupt than a cut. A fade comes in two varieties: a fade-in and a fade-out. A fade-in starts from a solid color screen (usually black, but sometimes white and rarely other colors) and slowly transitions to a shot in the movie, as the shot is superimposed over the solid screen. A fade-out starts with a shot and transitions to a solid color. The term "fade to black" denotes the traditional way of ending a movie.

In addition to opening and closing films, fades are often used within a movie to denote the passage of time. If several fades are used to transition between short scenes, it creates a very dreamlike atomsphere. A great extra on the Fight Club (1999) DVD offers an example of how fades can affect the way we view sequences.

A dissolve is similar to a fade, but instead of moving between a shot and a solid color, it moves between two images. Even more than the fade, it can be used to show the passage of time. The film Paris When It Sizzles contains an explicit illustration of this.

The screen wipe is the least-used of these techniques, and is thus the most obvious. Probably best known today from the Star Wars movies (though when George Lucas used this technique it was mainly an homage to Akira Kurosawa), the wipe has one image replace another through some sort of movement. For instance, in a horizantal wipe the new image may just slide over from the left and appear to cover up the old shot entirely. Wipes are particularly abused by home movie makers with easy access to video editing software but little sense of style.

Top 6: Fast-Paced Movies

See our separate Top 6 entry for more information about our picks.

Best of the Year: 1960-1969

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