Mixed CD: Flick Tunes

from 1965 to 2003

Being Academy Awards weekend, I thought I’d share songs from movies. It’s from a mixed CD I made in 2007 called Flick Tunes. Interestingly, I haven’t seen three of the movies, yet I own the soundtracks on CD.

Morning Hymn/Alleluia – Nun’s Chorus. The Sound of Music (1965) won five Oscars, including Best Picture, and was nominated for five more, including Julie Andrews as Best Actress in a Leading Role. Though my mother owned the soundtrack LP, and I played it a LOT in my childhood, I never saw the movie until I saw it on video with my wife and daughter in 2013.

I’m A Soldier In the Army of the Lord – Lyle Lovett, The Apostle (1997). I am positive I saw this movie on Washington’s Birthday weekend in 1998 with my ex-girlfriend Susan to see Robert Duvall’s Oscar-nominated lead actor performance.

John Rudolph

In Your Mind – Johnny Cash. Dead Man Walking (1995). I saw it at the Spectrum. Susan Sarandon won as best lead actress. Sean Penn (lead actor), Tim Robbins (director), and Bruce Springsteen (the title song) were all nominated.

The Great Beyond – R.E.M. Man On The Moon (1999). At the Spectrum with my wife. Jim Carrey won the Golden Globes for Best Performance by an  Actor in a Motion Picture – Comedy or Musical, but the film failed to gain any Oscar noms.

I’m Going Home – Sacred Harp Singers at Liberty Church. Cold Mountain (2003). I never saw the film. Renée Zellweger received the Oscar for Best Actress in a Supporting Role. The movie received four other nominations, including Jude Law as Best Actor in a Leading Role.

Beware Verwoerd – Miriam Makeba. Amandla! (2002). The subtitle is “a revolution in four-part harmony.”  I saw it at the Spectrum.

In The Name Of The Father –  Bono and Gavin Friday. In The Name Of The Father (1993). I saw it at the Spectrum. It was nominated for seven Oscars, including Best Picture, Best Director (Jim Sheridan), and Best Lead Actor (Daniel Day-Lewis).

Revolution – Grandaddy. I Am Sam (2001). I never saw it, but it has a bunch of Beatles songs. Sean Penn was nominated as Best Lead Actor again.

Overture To The Sun – Terry Tucker. A Clockwork Orange (1971). I saw it, quite possibly alone, and I felt brutalized. Yet I love the music. It was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Director (Stanley Kubrick) and Best Picture.

Train song

Ridin’ The Rails – k.d. lang and Take 6. Dick Tracy. I was disappointed that this track does not appear on the lang box set. I never saw the movie, which won three Oscars, including Best Music, Original Song: for the song “Sooner or Later (I Always Get My Man)”; Best Art Direction-Set Decoration; and Best Makeup. It was nominated for four others.

Lonely Avenue – Ian Gillian and Roger Glover. Rain Man (1988). I saw it. As I recall, a critic particularly loathed this song as a bastardization of a great Ray Charles song. [Shrugs] The film won four Oscars: Best Picture, Best Lead Actor, Dustin Hoffman; Best Director, Barry Levinson; and Best Original Screenplay; and nominated for one other, cinematography.

Tennessee Plates – Charlie Sexton. Thelma & Louise (1991). I saw it in the cinema. THR deemed this film #18 on the list of Hollywood’s 20 Most Erotic Movies. Callie Khouri won Best Original Screenplay, and the film received four other nominations, including for director Ridley Scott and lead actresses Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon.

Ma ‘Tit Fille – Buckwheat Zydeco. The Big Easy (1986). I recall disliking the film, which I saw with Susan at the Spectrum, but loving the music.

The first film on this list that I saw

Ballad Of Easy Rider – Roger McGuinn. Easy Rider (1969). I saw it when I was in high school. Two Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Jack Nicholson) and Best Original Screenplay (Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, and Terry Southern).

The Funeral (September 25, 1987) – George Fenton and Jonas Gwangwa. Cry Freedom (1987). Three Oscar nominations for Best Supporting Actor (Denzel Washington), Best Musical Score, and for the title song (both Fenton and Gwangwa)

At that point, I might have quit after that stirring finish.

Ac-cent-tchu-ate The Positive – Clint Eastwood. Midnight In The Garden Of Good And Evil (1997). I saw this film shortly before my trip to Savannah in 1998 and recognized some landmarks.

You’ve Got A Friend In Me – Robert Goulet. Toy Story 2 (1999). My wife and I saw all four Toy Story movies; not one was with a child. Randy Newman was nominated for Original Song: When She Loved Me. I saw Randy Newman once.

And finally:

Gump – Weird Al Yankovic. Although I own the soundtrack to Forrest Gump (1994), most tracks are too obvious. This parody of Lump by The Presidents Of The United States was more suitable. BTW, Forrest Gump won six Oscars: Best Picture, Best Lead Actor (Tom Hanks), Best Director (Robert Zemeckis), Adapted Screenplay (Eric Roth), Film Editing, and Special Effects. It was seven more, including Gary Sinise for Best Supporting Actor.

Academy Awards for 2023

I love American Fiction

The Academy Awards for 2023 are airing on Sunday, March 10, 2024 on ABC-TV. I’ve given up on seeing all the nominees.  The ones I DID see I have starred (*), and I’ve linked to my reviews the first time listed.

*American Fiction – my favorite

*Anatomy of a Fall – maybe the best

*Barbie – good movie, great box office

*The Holdovers – I’m very fond

Killers of the Flower Moon

*Maestro – my least favorite

*Oppenheimer – worthy

*Past Lives – I liked it, but it seemed SO long since I saw it

*Poor Things – surprisingly good

*The Zone Of Interest – it’s good, but so bleak

*Jonathan Glazer, The Zone of Interest

*Yorgos Lanthimos, Poor Things

*Christopher Nolan, Oppenheimer. My rooting interest

Martin Scorsese, Killers of the Flower Moon

*Justine Triet, Anatomy of a Fall

*Bradley Cooper, Maestro

Colman Domingo, Rustin – damn Netflix…

*Paul Giamatti, The Holdovers

*Cillian Murphy, Oppenheimer – maybe the best

*Jeffrey Wright, American Fiction – my favorite

Annette Bening, Nyad

Lily Gladstone, Killers of the Flower Moon

*Sandra Hüller, Anatomy of a Fall. I’m invoking the Diane Keaton rule. She won for Annie Hall, but her strong performance in Waiting For Mr. Goodbar sealed it. Hüller was also great in The Zone Of Interest.

*Carey Mulligan, Maestro

*Emma Stone, Poor Things

*Sterling K. Brown, American Fiction

Robert De Niro, Killers of the Flower Moon

*Robert Downey Jr., Oppenheimer. The old rust bucket wins in a battle between Iron Man and the Hulk.

*Ryan Gosling, Barbie

*Mark Ruffalo, Poor Things

 Best Supporting Actress

*Emily Blunt, Oppenheimer

*Danielle Brooks, The Color Purple

*America Ferrera, Barbie

Jodie Foster, Nyad

*Da’Vine Joy Randolph, The Holdovers. Yes.

*Anatomy of a Fall – the best 

*The Holdovers – I’m fond of this

May December


*Past Lives

*American Fiction – very good

*Barbie – adapted from what? A toy? My rooting interest.


*Poor Things

*The Zone of Interest

The Boy and the Heron



*Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse

Robot Dreams

*Barbie – three very different movies, but my rooting interest is here

Killers of the Flower Moon



*Poor Things


Killers of the Flower Moon



*Poor Things – my pick

El Conde

Killers of the Flower Moon


*Oppenheimer – my pick

*Poor Things

*Anatomy of a Fall

*The Holdovers

Killers of the Flower Moon

*Oppenheimer – my marginal favorite

*Poor Things




*Poor Things – very surreal, so sure

Society of the Snow

The Creator


Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One


*The Zone of Interest – in a competition between an atomic bomb and the steady drone of the Holocaust, the latter

The Creator

Godzilla Minus One

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3

Mission: Impossible — Dead Reckoning Part One


*American Fiction

*Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny 

Killers of the Flower Moon


*Poor Things -yes

The Fire Inside (Flamin’ Hot)

*I’m Just Ken (Barbie) -yes

It Never Went Away (American Symphony)

Wahzhazhe (A Song For My People) (Killers of the Flower Moon)

*What Was I Made For? (Barbie)

Bobi Wine: The People’s President

The Eternal Memory

Four Daughters

To Kill a Tiger

20 Days in Mariupol

*The Teachers’ Lounge, Germany

Io Capitano, Italy

Perfect Days, Japan

Society of the Snow, Spain

*The Zone of Interest, United Kingdom. For sure

I’ll note the shorts separately after I see some today.

Animated Oscar-nominated shorts

John and Yoko

My wife and I saw the animated Oscar-nominated shorts at the Spectrum Theatre. The parking lot was packed on Presidents Day at 4 pm, with moviegoers trying to squeeze in another visit before the cinema’s – we hope – temporary closing.

Just because the stories are animated doesn’t mean the subject matter is light. As the LA Times noted, “Even when they focus on the experiences of children, the five films nominated … are decidedly intended for adults. In these emotionally complex and visually distinctive shorts, the trauma of war, the wages of political repression, and the fear of death are all given their due. The Hollywood Theatre notes: Not for children under 13, verging on an R-rating.

The nominees

Our Uniform: Yegane Moghaddam, 7 min., Iran (in Farsi). The film flashes a message at the top that it was not mocking the wearing of the hijab. Indeed,  the director was recalling her recollections of school days in Iran. Does the dress code enable or disable self-expression? Maybe both? An exciting technique was used,  with the images created on fabric with the help of a computer.

Letter to a Pig: Tal Kantor and Amit R. Gicelter, 17 min., France/Israel (in Hebrew). An elderly Holocaust survivor visits a class of teenagers and tells how a pig saved his life. The story segues to a dream sequence experienced by one of the students. Kantor’s childhood memories informed the film’s mixture of history and the surreal.

South of France

Pachyderm: Stéphanie Clément and Marc Rius, 11 min., USA (in English). A young girl recounts her summers visiting her grandparents in the  Provençal countryside. On the surface, enhanced by the painted scenes and quiet narration, it would seem all is well. But it is not, as the girl blends in with her background. This may be the most fully realized of the five and the one I’d pick to win the Oscar.

Ninety-Five Senses: Jerusha Hess and Jared Hess, 13 min., USA (in English). The folksy narrator is Tim Blake Nelson, who offers an ode to the human body.  The New York Times review stated, “Each sense is illustrated by different artists, in a different style, creating a kind of 13-minute anthology of a life — but that makes this understated film also feel a bit incoherent, with the vignettes lacking the build to bring the film to a satisfying emotional conclusion.” I liked the variation of styles, and I disagree with the conclusion drawn. It was my favorite piece.

War is Over! Inspired by the Music of John & Yoko: Dave Mullins and Brad Booker, 11 min., USA. The story is based on an idea from John and Yoko’s son, Sean. In an alternate-reality World War I, war should only be experienced as a game. It is the most obvious of the five films. 

Additional films

ShortsTV often offers other “highly recommended” films to fill up the running time.

Wild Summons: Karni Arieli and Saul Freed, 14 min., UK (in English, narrated by Marianne Faithfull). This is mostly humanoid creaturesa s salmon. It is quite on the nose. 

I’m Hip: John Musker, 4 min., USA. You can see a tiny bit of the cartoon in the first minute of this interview with Musker. 

Academy Awards nominations et al.

baseball, The Daily Show, JEOPARDY!

As I’m sure I mentioned once upon a time, I pay attention to the Academy Awards nominations. In the early 1990s, I’d listen to the radio at work and jot down the major selections. Now I can wait ten minutes and find it online.

The issue of an awards snub currently seems particularly energized. Academy Award winner Whoopi Goldberg denies it happened this year but one of her The View costars says otherwise. A guy on my Facebook feed says no, and is accused of mansplaining.

THR writes:  “One irony of the backlash to the Barbie snubs is that it has attempted to pit women against women. (Barbie Land would never!) One column has been excoriated for appearing to diminish the performances of the nominated actresses in defense of [Margot] Robbie.”

For me, it’s clear I need to see more performances. There are five women Best Actress in a Leading Role:

Annette Bening (Nyad)
Lily Gladstone (Killers of the Flower Moon)
Sandra Hüller (Anatomy of a Fall)
Carey Mulligan (Maestro)
Emma Stone (Poor Things)

I’ve seen only Mulligan.

Likewise, these folks were nominated for Best Directing:

Justine Triet (Anatomy of a Fall)
Martin Scorsese (Killers of the Flower Moon)
Christopher Nolan (Oppenheimer)
Yorgos Lanthimos (Poor Things)
Jonathan Glazer (The Zone of Interest)

I’ve seen only Oppy, so I can’t say of Greta Gerwig was snubbed or not.

Best pics

Ten films were selected as Best Picture nominees. The ones I’ve seen I’ve starred:

*American Fiction (Ben LeClair, Nikos Karamigios, Cord Jefferson and Jermaine Johnson, Producers)
Anatomy of a Fall (Marie-Ange Luciani and David Thion, Producers)
*Barbie (David Heyman, Margot Robbie, Tom Ackerley and Robbie Brenner, Producers)
*The Holdovers (Mark Johnson, Producer)
Killers of the Flower Moon (Dan Friedkin, Bradley Thomas, Martin Scorsese and Daniel Lupi, Producers)
*Maestro (Bradley Cooper, Steven Spielberg, Fred Berner, Amy Durning and Kristie Macosko Krieger, Producers)
*Oppenheimer (Emma Thomas, Charles Roven and Christopher Nolan, Producers)
*Past Lives (David Hinojosa, Christine Vachon and Pamela Koffler, Producers)
Poor Things (Ed Guiney, Andrew Lowe, Yorgos Lanthimos and Emma Stone, Producers)
The Zone of Interest (James Wilson, Producer)

Time to get to the theater, where these films have either shown up for the first time or have made an Oscar nom return.

I won’t be seeing these films, though. Razzie Awards: ‘Expend4bles’ Leads Nominations. ‘Exorcist: Believer’ and ‘Winnie the Pooh: Blood and Honey’ also nabbed multiple mentions.


I’m happy Adrián Beltré, Todd Helton, and Joe Mauer were selected for the Baseball Hall of Fame. But I’m sad that, in his 9th try out of ten chances, reliever Billy Wagner came up five votes short.

Gary Sheffield: HE was snubbed, falling off the ballot after receiving 63.9% of the vote, with 75% needed.

Next year’s ballot will include Ichiro Suzuki and CC Sabathia. Both should get in on the first ballot, with Ichiro, the only MLB player I know to have his first name on the back of his jersey, a mortal lock.

I’m sad to read that  Chicago Cubs Hall of Fame infielder Ryne Sandberg has been diagnosed with prostate cancer and has begun treatment. Part of it is that my father died of the disease. 

NFL playoffs

Go, Detroit Lions! General Motors is delaying a shift on Sunday so that their workers can see the Lions’ NFC title game completion against the San Francisco 49ers. 

Like the return of Michael Jordan to the Bulls

I’m glad Jon Stewart is back on The Daily Show, even if it’s once a week on air, plus serving as executive producer, at least through the election.  TDS veterans are thrilled. I liked the top-secret intrigue in luring him back.


To my surprise, I found this season’s Celebrity JEOPARDY more interesting than the previous iteration. It’s also a lot more fun than the regular game’s interminable Champions Wildcard, where they bring back players from the past three seasons. That said, I’m rooting for Martha Bath, who won back in 1972 when Art Fleming was the host and then won again a couple of years ago.

Celebrity J! fans criticized ABC for revealing the winner ahead of the final tournament: ‘Thanks for the spoiler.’ An ad for Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night program featured the winner. (If you’ve recorded it without watching it, I’M not going to provide a spoiler.) Luckily for me, I watched it fast-forwarding through the commercials.

Is diversity “pandering”?

Kareem re: The Bachelor

I was talking to a White friend of mine recently. During the conversation, they said that all those television advertisements showing diverse people, folks of many colors and sizes, and abilities, are “pandering.” This took me aback.

Maybe it’s because I’ve written about this at least twice. Here’s the second piece, because the comments to the first piece (which I linked to in that second post) were so filled with racist vitriol that it was exhausting.

The less vulgar responses were like what “Bruce” wrote: “My count of Blacks in commercials exceeds 33%… But blacks make up 14% of the population and only 10% of total consumption (commercials, after all, are all about stimulating consumption)…

“So explain that huge discrepancy. I surely don’t mind seeing diversity in TV ads. But they should reflect fairness relative to these respective groups’ overall economic impact. Otherwise, it’s just PC gone haywire.” As I noted, I grew up when there were NO people of color in TV ads and damn few on the programs.

It finally occurred to me that I was stating the premise incorrectly. Advertisements have always been aspirational. I can see myself in that new model T Ford. My new Frigidaire will keep my food fresher.

Frankly, I don’t watch many television ads, as I fast forward a lot through recorded programs. The shows I watch tend to be news programs. But even speeding through them, I can tell many, if not most, of the programs I watch, are for prescription drugs.

Let me be clear that I despise these direct-to-the-consumer Rx ads, which seem to run only in the US and New Zealand. Their goal is to remind Black women they can also have clearer skin. Hispanic men no longer have to suffer the embarrassment of ED.

These ads show diversity, not because they are “woke” or pandering but because they want to sell stuff – sometimes things you don’t need – to as many people as possible.

As author Walter Mosley speaks to CBS News about how much more buzz his new book, Every Man a King, is getting than any of his others, he notes it’s because of capitalism.  

The Bachelor

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, who incidentally appears in an ad about AFib, though not tied to a particular product, recently wrote about diversity in television. His example was The Bachelor, The Bachelorette, et al. I’ve never watched a single episode.

He asks a “simple question:  Do reality shows (or TV shows and movies in general) have a responsibility to be aspirational as well as reflecting ‘reality’? By that, I mean, should a reality franchise with a vast audience and influence on popular culture merely reflect systemic racism, or should it aim higher in creating the kind of diverse world that we aspire toward?

“When you reflect systemic racism by not including a more ethnically diverse cast, then you are perpetuating that racism. For money.” He explains it well.


Another friend noted, “I’ve seen some media coverage of the Oscars. The whole thing seems like a study in overcompensation, as if ‘the academy’ feels guilty and hopes throwing everything at a single film can make up for decades of ‘in-crowd’ awards.”

The reference, of course, is to Everything Everywhere All At Once, a movie I  extolled. It may be my favorite film of this century. (My friend hasn’t seen it for what I know to be good reasons unrelated to the ethnicity of the actors.)

My take: EEAAO was a film that would not have been made a few years ago,  but it can now be with an Asian co-writer/co-director/co-producer. And that should be celebrated. I’m REALLY happy that I saw it at the cinema.

And it’s not just Asians being honored. Of the four acting winners, Michelle Yeoh is 60, Jamie Lee Curtis is 64, Ke Huy Quan is 51, and Brendan Fraser (The Whale) is 54. The guys had both been lost in the Hollywood wilderness.

I understand that “diversity” is a bugaboo for many people. On a recent episode of the TV drama The Good Doctor, the black female third-year resident didn’t want to be on a video chat talking to would-be doctors that “looked like her.” It was a burden, which I totally got. Mild spoiler: she gave the talk at the end and realized how powerful the experience was.
Another friend asked me in a public setting recently whether we should stop counting race in the US Census since race, as we all know, is a social construct. I said yes, which was disappointing to that person. They were sad that Barack Obama had not checked the White AND Black boxes on the 2010 Census.
I opined at the time that the race question might disappear when the number of people selecting multiple race boxes increased enough to make the numbers meaningless.
In retrospect, I don’t believe it’ll go away until America becomes more willing to discuss the consequences of racism. Since the distinctions will be based on historic racial characteristics, they will remain relevant for… I don’t know how long.
Social media & sharing icons powered by UltimatelySocial