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Can We Agree That a Movie Is a Thing of Its Own Year?


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When it comes to which year to refer to in the world of entertainment, I consider it an annoying trend that rather than listing the year of the movie or TV show in question as they used to, media sources have progressively transformed toward listing the following year when awards for those achievements are given. Just to state a fact we should all agree on, "Green Book" is NOT the Best Picture winner for 2019, but for 2018 (not to suggest how I feel about the choice), although entertainment reports keep using the year of the awards, perhaps thinking ridiculously that the subject is more pertinent by using the current year? I can't imagine if they said 2018 that the response of many people would be "2018? That is so last year." With the passing of the great Andre Previn, the Wikipedia "recent deaths" page lists among his main accomplishments his Oscars for 1959, 1960, 1964 and 1965. If you wanted to guess for which movies they were awarded, you should first accept the clue that the movies are from the preceding of each of those four years. At first, I had thought they made a mistake with the second movie in actually listing the movie year, since I thought he had also won for "Elmer Gantry," but no he did not. (Actually, I think it was one of Oscar's real bad choices not to have given it to Elmer Bernstein that year for "The Magnificent Seven," and also it was downright silly not to nominate Bernard Herrmann for "Psycho.") I'll wait until my next post in this thread to mention what the Andre Previn wins were for, in case you would like to guess what they are.

Of course movie years vs. award years do have complications since often the year we list isn't, for example, the year when a foreign film was released in its own country. The 1952 Oscar winner for Best Foreign Language Film (then an honorary award) was "Rashomon" which is listed as a 1950 film on imdb due to its August release that year in Japan, arriving in the USA in December 1951, but I guess it didn't reach Los Angeles to qualify for Oscar until 1952, but then, oddly was nominated also for the 1953 Oscar for Best Art Direction/Set Decoration (Black-and-White), so perhaps the age qualification rules differed between Foreign Film and the "regular" awards. (Boy, am I going to get slammed for using that word.) One of my favorite movie years internationally was 1949, the year of both Italy's "Bicycle Thieves" (aka "The Bicycle Thief"), which properly received the 1949 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film given in 1950; and UK's "The Third Man" which "Inside Oscar" lists it as the first surprising choice of eligible films that failed to be nominated for the 1950 Best Picture award given in 1951, although Carol Reed was nominated at that time for Best Director. The year confusion muddles up the debate of which non-US movie was the best of a given year if it can't be agreed upon what year that is.

Perhaps the most memorable individual question of a movie's year consideration at the Oscars may be "Casablanca" which has always been listed as a 1942 movie whenever I've seen anyone refer to it, yet after "Mrs. Miniver" got the award for 1942, "Casablanca" received it as the Best Picture of 1943. Was this meant as a political bow to the British war effort in giving it to "Miniver" and placating Jack Warner that "his" movie would be given the award the following year? I've never understood it.

And then there was "Limelight." Perhaps all one-word movies ending in "-light" have to have some sort of controversy. The 1952 Charlie Chaplin classic finally became eligible for Oscar consideration twenty years later when it finally played in that magic Oscar zip code, and ended up winning the 1972 Oscar for Best Original Dramatic Score, which was the only competitive Academy Award that Chaplin ever won.

I'm someone who primarily grew up on horror movies and from them moved on to interest in every other movie category whenever excellence presented itself, and never questioned that "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari" was from 1919 and "Nosferatu" from 1922, as those were the years always given for them in every book on the subject I read. Yet imdb indicates they were both 1920 releases in Germany, so now it seems my father's birth in December 1919 preceded "Caligari" when I had always imagined it being in theaters when he was born. A minor thing for sure, but it just shows why I would like the year confusion worked out about what year should be definitively linked to what film. (And I wish it could be confirmed if Edgar G. Ulmer actually worked on those great German silents, also including "Metropolis" as he claimed, or if his known career could stand on its own without that embellishment if false.)

And when all of that year confusion is sorted out, I would like some agreement, based on my living according to TV Guide long ago when that publication was actually an important thing, that a day starts at 6 a.m.--not at midnight.

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I used to be a TV Guide addict too, so much so that I could almost quote verbatim a synopsis of a film based on their schedule write-ups, and that included the year they quoted too. Those days have ended but some reviews still stick in my head.

I agree wholeheartedly with your belief and thanks for not limiting yourself to a short explanation of the topic, since it needed all of your most sage points for contemplation!

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11 minutes ago, Sgt_Markoff said:

An earth day starts at 6am? Since when? :huh:

Since April 22, 1970, when Earth Day was first established as a national holiday.

And yes, looking at the current "Binge-fangirl" fan-mag version of TV Guide ("Special issue: Your guide to the season finales...Who ends up together and who dies!"), it's hard for younger folks to remember a time when our national sense of culture was defined by TV Guide:

https://movieactivist.blogspot.com/2016/07/july-29-2016-tv-activist-pt.html

(And as you can see, the listings actually began at 5am, with the sunrise, but apart from the farm report and "Sunrise Semester", there usually wasn't anything on at 5am to list.)

When they sold it to those new "100 Greatest Episodes" publishers, it was the beginning of the end.  😥

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4 hours ago, CaveGirl said:

I agree wholeheartedly with your belief and thanks for not limiting yourself to a short explanation of the topic, since it needed all of your most sage points for contemplation!

Laying it on a little thick there..... 😎

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Its a world of nit-pickers, hair-splitters, smart-alecs, and bean-counters today. You guise wear me thin. What are ye gonna give me next, universal solar time? We all gotta get new wristwatches? 24 hour days is good enough for our nation's military and its good enough for me. 1300 hours get me? Audie Murphy endorses the 24 hour military clock! Go home and tell your momma she wants ya!

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