Film

Best Actor, Jean-Louis Trintignant in 'Amour'

We live for La Riva here at Statuesque, but let's show some love to her (equally iconic) co-star!

When Emmanuelle Riva gets an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in January next year for her shattering work in Michael Haneke’s Amour, her nod won’t help but feel a tad bittersweet for the fact that her equally brilliant co-star Jean-Louis Trintignant not only won’t be nominated as Best Actor, but he won’t even figure into the pre-Oscar conversation as much.

I know, it sounds ridiculous to bring up a male bias when more often than not Oscar is accused of chauvinism, but it does seem that whenever there is a particularly strong female performance, Oscar chooses to overlook the male counterpart, as if the two couldn’t be recognized (this is the reason why only seven movies have won both awards). Most recently this has been seen in cases like Shakespeare in Love (won Best Actress for Gwyneth Paltrow while SAG and Golden Globe nominee Joseph Fiennes was denied a Best Actor nomination), Titanic (Leo’s snub remains among the most famous), Rabbit Hole (Nicole Kidman was nominated while her equally exceptional co-star Aaron Eckhart was snubbed) and the case that got me thinking about Trintignant the most was that of Gordon Pinsent’s snub for Away From Her.

Like in Haneke’s movie, Sarah Polley’s lovely film centers on the post-disease life of an old married couple. In Amour a stroke leaves the wife disabled, in Away From Her, Fiona (Julie Christie) is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s leaving her husband Grant (Pinsent) to look after her. While both Christie and Riva’s performances are unrivaled in terms of physical demands and “losing” themselves in their characters, their onscreen husbands went practically unrecognized in terms of awards.

Trintignant is a living legend who has suffered this kind of snub in the past - Anouk Aimée was nominated as Best Actress for A Man and a Woman without a corresponding Best Actor mention - yet even that’s not a strong enough case for the actor’s talents as is his Georges Amour. In the movie - which has already won him a Best Actor statuette from the European Film Academy - he has to interiorize everything that Anne, Riva’s character, exteriorized. For every painful turn in Anne’s disease we see an equally, if subtler to the point of imperceptibility, reflection in Georges face.

It can be argued that his performance is just as complex as Riva’s, but it’s not just as “showy” (let it be stated that “showy” in this case is simply used for lack of better words). Trintingnant proves that he is an actor unafraid of becoming truly monstrous onscreen, yet when juxtaposed with the compassion shown by Georges he also has a profoundly moving qualities. His ability to listen without reacting is mesmerizing and when the film reaches its devastating finale, you will realize that few actors would’ve dared to look death straight in the face like he does, without having it completely destroy them.

Why do you think Trintignant has been so left out of the awards talk? Where would you rank him among this year’s best male performances?

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

70. The Horrors - "Machine"

On their fifth album V, the Horrors expand on the bright, psychedelic territory they explored with Luminous, anchoring the ten new tracks with retro synths and guitar fuzz freakouts. "Machine" is the delicious outlier and the most vitriolic cut on the record, with Faris Badwan belting out accusations to the song's subject, who may even be us. The concept of alienation is nothing new, but here the Brits incorporate a beautiful metaphor of an insect trapped in amber as an illustration of the human caught within modernity. Whether our trappings are technological, psychological, or something else entirely makes the statement all the more chilling. - Tristan Kneschke

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Electronic music is one of the broadest-reaching genres by design, and 2017 highlights that as well as any other year on record. These are the 20 best albums.


20. Vitalic - Voyager (Citizen)

Pascal Arbez-Nicolas (a.k.a. Vitalic) made waves in the French Touch electro-house scene with his 2005 debut, OK Cowboy, which had a hard-hitting maximalist sound, but several albums later, Voyager finds him launching into realms beyond at his own speed. The quirky, wallflower vocals and guitar snippets employed throughout Voyager drop a funk that brings to mind WhoMadeWho or Matthew Dear if they had disco-pop injected between their toes. "Levitation" is as pure a slice of dance floor motivation as theoretically possible, a sci-fi gunfight with a cracking house beat sure to please his oldest fans, yet the album-as-form is equally effective in its more contemplative moments, like when Miss Kitten's vocals bring an ethereal dispassion to "Hans Is Driving" to balance out its somber vocoder or the heartfelt cover of "Don't Leave Me Now" by Supertramp. Voyager may infect you with a futuristic form of Saturday Night Fever, but afterwards, it gives you a hearty dose of aural acetaminophen to break it. - Alan Ranta


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Film

Hitchcock, 'Psycho', and '78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene'

Alfred Hitchock and Janet Leigh on the set of Psycho (courtesy of Dogwoof)

"... [Psycho] broke every taboo you could possibly think of, it reinvented the language of film and revolutionised what you could do with a story on a very precise level. It also fundamentally and profoundly changed the ritual of movie going," says 78/52 director, Alexandre O. Philippe.

The title of Alexandre O. Philippe's 78/52: Hitchcock's Shower Scene (2017) denotes the 78 set-ups and the 52 cuts across a full week of shooting for Psycho's (1960) famous shower scene. Known for The People vs. George Lucas (2010), The Life and Times of Paul the Psychic Octopus (2012) and Doc of the Dead (2014), Philippe's exploration of a singular moment is a conversational one, featuring interviews with Walter Murch, Peter Bogdanovich, Guillermo del Toro, Jamie Lee Curtis, Osgood Perkins, Danny Elfman, Eli Roth, Elijah Wood, Bret Easton Ellis, Karyn Kusama, Neil Marshall, Richard Stanley and Marli Renfro, body double for Janet Leigh.

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Mary Poppins, Mrs. Gamp, Egyptian deities, a Japanese umbrella spirit, and a supporting cast of hundreds of brollies fill Marion Rankine's lively history.

"What can go up a chimney down but can't go down a chimney up?" Marion Rankine begins her wide-ranging survey of the umbrella and its significance with this riddle. It nicely establishes her theme: just as umbrellas undergo, in the everyday use of them, a transformation, so too looking at this familiar, even forgettable object from multiple perspectives transforms our view of it.

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Those who regard the reclusive Argerich as one of the world's two or three greatest living pianists—classical or otherwise—would not have left the concert hall disillusioned.

In a staid city like Washington, D.C., too many concert programs still stick to the basics. An endless litany of Rachmaninoff and Tchaikovsky concerti clog the schedules and parades of overeager virtuosi seem unwilling to vary their repertoire for blasé D.C. concertgoers. But occasionally you encounter a concert that refreshes your perspective of the familiar. The works presented at The Kennedy Center on 25 October 2017 might be stalwarts of 20th century repertoire, but guest conductor Antonio Pappano, leading the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, reminded us how galvanizing the canonical can still be. Though grandiose executions of Respighi's The Fountains of Rome and The Pines of Rome were the main event, the sold-out crowd gathered to see Martha Argerich perform one of her showpieces, Prokofiev's Third Piano Concerto. Those who regard the reclusive Argerich as one of the world's two or three greatest living pianists—classical or otherwise—would not have left the concert hall disillusioned.

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