Things I wrote in 2016

I’ve seen various writers post things they’re proud of this year, so I decided to do the same. This year I started to pitch pieces to other websites, which was scary, but I’m glad I did it. My experience working with editors has been positive, and I’m looking forward to doing more of it next year. This list of pieces is things I’ve written for the blog and other websites, roughly in chronological order.

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Claire Hooper and Mel Buttle in The Great Australian Bake Off

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‘Mad Max’ Costume Designer Jenny Beavan on Her Oscar Win: “I Don’t Mind in the Least If They Didn’t Clap” – Hollywood Reporter

Part 4 in a Series about Mad Max: Fury Road at the Academy Awards. Read Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3.

Source: ‘Mad Max’ Costume Designer Jenny Beavan on Her Oscar Win: “I Don’t Mind in the Least If They Didn’t Clap” – Hollywood Reporter

Jenny Beavan is better than all of us. This article in The Hollywood Reporter states that Inarritu did clap, but his reaction was delayed. This whole issue has been blown out of proportion (including by me), and I’ve learned a lot from it. About 10 days ago I wrote that I was going to be stepping back from the blog for a month or two. Personally it’s been a huge relief, but I don’t know if I would have written about this issue so passionately if I felt I had to. I didn’t write a review of Fury Road when I first saw it, but it turns out it had a greater impact on me than I’d realised. I got to look at the issue from a number of different perspectives and made up a bizarre conspiracy theory about Tom Hardy’s disdain for Beavan based on that metal thing he had to wear. Now we come to what Jenny Beavan has to say on the whole thing, which is presented in full in the THR article. The person whose opinion matters most is hers – if she’s not offended, I won’t be either (although I still have absolutely zero desire to see The Revenant).

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Why a film doesn’t have to be ‘high art’ to be great.

Part 3 in a series about Mad Max: Fury Road at the Academy Awards. Part 1Part 2 and Part 4.

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The women of Mad Max: Fury Road. Image courtesy of Warner Bros.

The most charitable reading of the “Inarritu refusing to clap for Jenny Beavan” incident is that maybe he’s a snob and thinks his film was better. I’ve now decided that I won’t see The Revenant after this incident, but I was never desperate to see it because I didn’t like last year’s Best Picture winner, Birdman. It was the film I was most excited to see, and the one I was most disappointed by. By comparison, my expectations for American Sniper were so low that I quite enjoyed it. The impression I got from Birdman is that Inarritu likes to make ‘high art’ – art that’s important. I could tell because Michael Keaton kept shouting about how important he was. It was beautifully shot though, I don’t begrudge Inarritu for his directing awards, I just don’t think his films (although I’ve only seen Birdman, so it’s actually film) have much substance. Maybe he dismissed Mad Max: Fury Road as being ‘just’ an action blockbuster. Just because it’s an action blockbuster, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t one of the best films of 2015.

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The Tom Hardy/Jenny Beavan conspiracy theory.

Part 2 in a Series about Mad Max: Fury Road at the Academy Awards. Read Part 1, Part 3 and Part 4.

As I wrote in my previous post, I had a lot of feelings about people who worked on The Revenant refusing to clap for Jenny Beavan as she accepted her award, either out of jealousy or disdain that she wasn’t dressed properly, which is ridiculous because she was wearing clothes. The Guardian has a great list of conspiracy theories as to why these men didn’t clap for Beavan, and now I’m going to add my own. As I was typing everything that came into my head, I came to this realisation which I’m going to leave for you in full.

Here’s the weirdest part of the whole thing: Tom Hardy’s refusal to clap, because he worked on both films. He was Mad Max! Maybe this metal mask thing was really uncomfortable (probably), but this makes the whole thing even more bizarre. I kind of forget about Hardy because the main character in Fury Road is Imperator Furiosa.

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Tom Hardy as Mad Max. The mask is really uncomfortable. Image courtesy of Warner Bros.

So: a man who was in the two most nominated films at this year’s Oscars refused to clap for the costume designer who dressed him in that really uncomfortable metal harness thing. The costume designer for The Revenant was also nominated, but I have to say, as uncomfortable as you look in that photo Tom Hardy, that still is great. Your films received 22 collective nominations and 9 collective wins. Just clap for the lady, I don’t care how uncomfortable that mask was! The other piece of completely unfounded gossip that makes this entire thing even more fascinating is that Tom Hardy punched director Alejandro G. Inarritu on the set after a long day of shooting (There is also speculation that the director in question is David O. Russell). Did he actually punch George Miller?* If so, the disgust on his face as Beavan (who is George Miller’s wife in addition to being an Oscar winning costume designer) walked up to the stage would make a little more sense. Then again, maybe that mask just really hurt.

Notes: This is by far the silliest of the posts in this series, but it was.

*He didn’t punch George Miller. That story’s from about a year ago, and filming wrapped on Fury Road at the end of 2012.

The Vine that makes me never want to see The Revenant

Part 1 in a Series about Mad Max: Fury Road. Read Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4.

A Vine has been making the rounds over the past few days, as people involved in making The Revenant refuse to clap Jenny Beavan as she receives her first Oscar for her brilliant costumes on Mad Max: Fury Road. Here’s a still of the moment in question:

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Oscar winning costume designer Beavan walking up to collect her award as people look on disapprovingly.

I’m going to be tackling this issue from two different angles: why it doesn’t matter if a costume designer wears a leather jacket to an awards ceremony, and also why Fury Road deserved those awards. This article was inspired by this hilarious list of uncomfirmed conspiracy theories as to why they didn’t clap at The Guardian.

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