Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Oscars Quiz 2018



The 90th Academy Awards will be held on Sunday, March 4, 2018 and will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles, California.  In preparation for the big night, why not challenge yourself and try Number 16's eighth annual Oscars quiz.  There are 10 questions.  Good luck!


NUMBER 16 OSCARS QUIZ 2018


1. The Shape of Water received 13 Oscar nominations this year.  However, that is not the record.  What is the record for most Academy Award nominations for a film?

A.  Gone with the Wind (1939), Titanic (1997) and La La Land  (2016) all received 14 nominations.

B.   Gone with the Wind received 15 nominations.

C.  All About Eve, Titanic and La La Land all received 14 nominations.

D.  The Sound of Music (1965) received 14 nominations.

E.  The Wizard of Oz (1939) , All About Eve and Titanic all received 14 novminations.



2.  Who was the first Black male to be nominated for Best Actor in a Leading Role?

A.  Morgan Freeman

B.  Paul Winfield

C.  Dexter Gordon

D.  Sydney Poitier

E.  James Earl Jones



3.  Who was the second Black male to win an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role?

A,  Morgan Freeman

B.  Denzel Washington

C.  Laurence Fishburne

D.  Will Smith

E.   Jamie Foxx



4.  Did Cary Grant win an Oscar for any of his roles?




A.  No, Cary Grant never won an Oscar.

B..  Yes, he won the Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for North By Northwest (1959).

C.  Yes, he won an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role for his performance in The Philadelphia Story (1940).

D.  Yes, he won for Best Actor for his role in Penny Serenade (1941).


E.  Yes, he won the Best Actor Oscar for None but the Lonely Heart (1944).



5.  Sally Hawkins has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance as a mute woman in the film The Shape of Water.  Thus, she did not speak a single word in the entire move.  If she wins, she will be the fourth person and the third woman to win an Academy Award for portraying a mute.  Who was the first person to win an Academy Award for playing a mute?

A.  Katharine Hepburn

B.  Shirley Jones

C.  Audrey Hepburn

D.  Joan Fontaine

E.  Jane Wyman



6.  Julie Andrews has been nominated three times for an Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.  She has one win to her credit.  For which film did she receive her Oscar?

A.  Mary Poppins

B.  Victor/Victoria

C.  The Sound of Music

D.  Hawaii

E.  Star!



7.  Meryl Streep has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performance as Washington Post publisher Katherine Graham in The Post.  She has won three Oscars, but how many times has she been nominated?

A.  15 times

B.  27 times

C.  21 times

D.  18 times

E.  13 times



8.  If Meryl Streep wins for The Post, she will tie the record for the most acting awards, with four Oscars.  Whose record will she tie?

A.  Sally Field

B.  Bette Davis

C.  Tom Hanks

D.  Spencer Tracy

E.  Katharrine Hepburn



9.  When Katharine Hepburn won her Oscar for The Lion in Winter, she tied with another actress.  Who shared the win with Katharine Hepburn?

A.  Julie Christie

B.  Barbra Streisand

C.  Jane Fonda

D.  Faye Dunaway

E.  Vanessa Redgrave



10.  Who has won the most Academy Awards for directing.

A.  William Wyler

B.  Frank Capra

C.  Steven Spielberg

D.  John Ford

E.  Francis Ford Coppola




ANSWERS

1.  C

All about Eve, Titanic and La La Land all received 14 Oscar nominations.


2.  D.

Sydney Poitier in The Defiant Ones

In 1958, Sydney Poitier was the first African-American to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as Noah Cullen in The Defiant Ones.  In 1963, Poitier became the first Black male to win an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as Homer Smith in Lilies of the Field.

James Earl Jones received a Best Actor in a Leading Role Oscar nomination in 1970 for his role as Jack Jefferson in The Great White Hope.  In 1972, Paul Winfield was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role for his performance as Nathan Lee Morgan in Sounder.  In 1986, Dexter Gordon was nominated for his role as Dale Turner for his role in Round Midnight.

With his win for Lilies of Field, Sydney Poiter became only the second African-American to win an Academy Award.  The first Black to win an Oscar was Hattie McDaniel.  She won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 1939 for her performance in Gone with the Wind.


3. B.

Denzel Washington in Training Day

Demzel Washington was the second Black male to win an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role.  He won an Oscar in 2001 for his performance in Training Day.

Laurence Fishbourne was nominated for What's Love Got to Do with It in 1993.  Morgan Freeman was nominated for Driving Miss Daisy in 1994.  Will Smith was nominated for Ali in 2001 and Jamie Fox won the Academy Award for Best Actor for Ray in 2004.


4. A

Although he will always be remembered for his wit and charm, Cary Grant never won an Oscar.  However, he was nominated twice for Best Actor, for Penny Serenade and None but the Lonely Heart.  After he retired, he received an Academy Honorary Award in 1969.


5.  E

At the 1949 Oscars, Jane Wyman won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance as Belinda McDonald, a deaf/mute rape victim in Johnny Belinda (1948).  Wyman, the first wife of President Ronald Reagan, died in 2007.  She is also known for her portrayal of a wealthy winery owner on the TV series Falcon Crest.
Jane Wyman in Johnny Belinda
Jane Wyman and Ronald Reagan divorced in 1949, the same year Wyman received her Oscar. for Best Actress in Leading Role for Johnny Belinda.  Reagan reportedly quipped to a friend, "Maybe I should name "Johnny Belinda" as a co-respondent."

Sir John Mill won the Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as the "village idiot" in Ryan's Daughter (1970) and Holly Hunter won the Best Actress Oscar for her role as the mute Ada McGrath in The Piano (1993).


6.  A.

Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins

In 1965, Julie Andrews received the Academy Award for Best Actress in Leading Role for her performance in the 1964 Walt Disney film, Mary Poppins.  Andrews was again nominated in 1966 for her role in 1965's The Sound of Music.  However, Julie Christie won for her performance in the film Darling.  In 1983, Julie Andrews was nominated for her role in the 1982 film Victor/Victoria, but the Oscar went to Meryl Streep for Sophie's Choice.  



7.  C

Meryl Streep has received a record 21 Academy Award nominations for her acting performances.  She has won three times.  She won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Kramer vs. Kramer (1979).  She won for Best Actress in a Leading Role for Sophie's Choice (1982) and The Iron Lady (2011).


8.  E

The great Katharine Hepburn won four Academy Awards for Best Actress in a Leading Role for her performances in Morning Glory (1933), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967), The Lion in Winter  (1968) and On Golden Pond (1981).


9.  B

Streisand with Oscar for Funny Girl in 1969

At the 1969 Academy Awards ceremony, Katharine Hepburn, 61, shared the Best Actress Oscar with Barbra Streisand.  Streisand won for her performance as Fanny Brice in Funny Girl (1968).  Hepburn and Streisand both received 3,030 votes.  It was the first exact tie in a principal Oscar category.  It was also the first and only (so far) tie for Best Actress or any female acting category.

The 26-year-old Streisand, clad in a sequined bell-bottomed pant suit cooed "Hello, gorgeous!" upon receiving her golden statuette.


10.  D

John Ford

John Ford won four Best Director Oscars  - for The Informer (1935), The Grapes of Wrath (1940). How Green Was My Valley (1941) and the The Quiet Man (1052).  Ford also received an Oscar nomination for Stagecoach (1939).  Frank Capra and William Wyler both won three Best Director Oscars, Capra for It Happened One Night (1934), Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936), You Can't Take it With You (1938) and Wyler for Mrs. Miniver (1942), The Best Years of Our Lives (1946), Ben-Hur (1959).  Francis Ford Coppola received the Best Director Oscar for The Godfather Part II (1974).  Steven Spielberg has two Best Director Academy Awards to his credit - for Schindler's List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998).
.


- Joanne

Thursday, February 8, 2018

The Evolution of "Eve of Destruction" and Singer Barry McGuire

 

"Barry McGuire's splenetic "Eve of Destruction" was the commercial zenith and, for many, the artistic nadir of this (protest music) trend.  Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney both dismissed it, but the record went to N. 3 in the U.K. and No. 1 in the U.S."

- John Savage, British author
From 1966 - The Year the Decade Exploded


"The song "Eve of Destruction" was immediately labelled by the media as a protest song.  I never thought of it as such, to me it was nothing more than a diagnosis of the human condition.  I always thought of it as a societal mirror reflecting back on the world-wide community the inconsistencies of our culture."

- Barry McGuire
Official Website


They don't write protest songs the way they used to back in the 1960s.  That decade was the golden age of poetic folk music, some reflecting deep-seated anger and rage.  The '60s folk movement is just a memory now, albeit a fond one for many.  Sadly, there are no contemporary versions of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Pete Seeger, Peter, Paul and Mary, Joan Baez, John Lennon, Buffy Sainte-Marie and others .  I know, I know.  The Baby Boomers are grandparents now.  Folk music is not exactly popular with millennials and the Vietnam War ended in 1975.  However, it seems to me that there is plenty to protest about in this era of Donald Trump, climate change and the threat of nuclear war between the U.S. and North Korea. The Berlin Wall may have fallen, but Trump wants to build another wall.  The Cold War may be over, but Russia's Vladimir Putin leads an authoritarian state

That's why it's always interesting and enlightening to revisit the turbulent 1960s and compare that period to the early 21st century.  So, let me hearken you back to the year 1965.  Lyndon Johnson was President of the United States and the Cold War was in full throttle.  Even though the Civil Rights Act had come into effect in the U.S., there was still a great deal of racial unrest, especially in the South, where the battle over segregation was raging.  The restless and rebellious Baby Boomers were coming of age and they were filled with defiance.  The new generation was listening to the words of Bob Dylan as he proclaimed that "the times they are a changin'." and "a hard rain's a-gonna fall."

It was during this volatile era that Barry McGuire had a hit song that reflected the times.  It was a fearful song, an apocalyptic ballad called "Eve of Destruction."  The song was written by American pop-rock singer P.F. Sloan (1945-2015) in mid-1964, not long after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, which undoubtedly had an influence on him, as did the Selma to Montgomery, Alabama civil rights marches and "Bloody Sunday" outside Selma in March of 1965. The Cuban Missile Crisis of October 1962 was also a recent memory at the time, as was Dwight D. Eisenhower's 1961 warning about the military-industrial complex.

"Eve of Destruction" was initially offered to The Mamas & the Papas, who declined it.  It was then offered to The Byrds, who also rejected it.  It was The Turtles who finally recorded the song on their first album, It Ain't Me Babe, in 1965. The Turtles' recording of "Eve of Deestruction" was made before Barry McGuire's, but the song was not released on their album until October 18, 1965, two months after McGuire's single. The Turtles did not release it as a single until 1970, the year the band broke up..  Although other artists, such as Jan & Dean, have recorded "Eve of Destruction," the best known version was made by Barry McGuire. His version became a worldwide major hit.

Barry McGuire was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on October 15, 1935.  Barry's parents divorced when he was two years old and he moved to California with his mother.  His stepfather worked in construction in the Los Angeles area.  Barry didn't start singing until 1960 and he bought his first guitar at the age of 25 (He did play a ukulele when he was about 12 years old).  On his official website, Barry admits that he's never been a really great guitarist.  He says that he doesn't even know the names of some of the chords he plays," although he knows how to tune his guitar and he loves playing his chords.

After working as a commercial fisherman and a pipe fitter, Barry found employment singing in a bar. A bar owner who had heard him singing at a birthday party called from Santa Monica and offered him a job at his bar there, even though he only new four or five songs.  However, he  quickly expanded his repertoire and ended up singing there five days a week.  One night at the club, Barry was approached by film and television producer Fred Briskin.  Briskin introduced him to the great singer Peggy Lee.  Peggy told Barry that he had a great voice and that he should be singing at better places.  Soon after, Barry received a call from Briskin informing him that he had a gig at Ye Little Club in Beverly Hills.  Before long, he was performing at other uptown clubs such as The Troubadour.

Around this time in 1961, Barry Guire  released his first single, "The Tree." for Mosaic Records.  It didn't make any waves and Barry says it only sold "about 10 copies " That same year, Barry formed
a duo with singer/songwriter Barry Kane, whom he had met at the Troubadour.

Sometime later, Barry was working at a club in Hollywood when Randy Sparks, the founder of the New Christie Minstrels, came in one night and watched his show.  A few days later, guitarist and songwriter Artie Podell, who was working with Randy, invited Barry to join a new folk group they were putting together.


New Christy Minstrels

Barry accepted Podell's invitation, relocated to New York City and became a member of the New Christy Minstrels.  He was designated the band's lead singer and he co-wrote their first hit single, "Green, Green," which was released in 1963.  In early 1965, after three and a half years with the group, Barry decided to launch  a solo career because of his desire  to sing songs "that were more relevant to the social injustices I perceived taking place around the world."  According Barry the Minstrels wanted to keep singing "the sunshiny, happy tunes that had made them famous."

In 1963, Barry released his solo debut  for Lou Adler's Dunhill Records.  It was called The Barry McGuire Album. In July of 1965, he recorded "Eve of Destruction." It was released by Dunhill,in August of 1965.  By September of 1965, McGuire's single had hit #1 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and #3 on the U.K.'s Singles Chart.  It's interesting to note that explosive race riots broke out in the Watts neighbourhood of Los Angeles from August 11 to August 16, 1965, just before "Eve of Destruction" spiked on the charts.

In his August 31, 2016 article in the Los Angeles Times, Randy Lewis opined that most 1960s aficionados would likely agree that any list of the most iconic protest songs of that decade should include Barry McGuire's rendition of "Eve of Destruction."  Lewis stated that the song "packed about every hot button issue of the time into a 3 1/2 minute musical rant, made all the more brash by the buzz-saw vocals of McGuire . . ."

'Eve of Destruction" was quite controversial because of its anti-government lyrics.  Many American radio stations refused to play it, calling it an aid to the enemy in Vietnam. Radio Scotland banned the song and the BBC placed it on a "restricted list" (it could not be played on "general entertainment programmes"}. All of the controversy served only to provoke interest in the song and increase record sales..  "

"Eve of Destruction" deals with issues such as nuclear war, racism, hypocrisy and violence.  Here are the opening verses of the song:

The eastern world, it is explodin',
Violence flarin', bullets loadin',
You're old enough to kill but not for votin',
You don't believe in war but what's that gun you're totin'?
And even the Jordan River has bodies floatin',
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.

Don't you understand what I'm tryin' to say?
Can't you feel the fears I'm feelin' today?
If the button is pushed, there's no runnin' away,
They'll be no one to save with the world in a grave,
Take a look around you boy, it's bound to scare you, boy,
And you tell me over and over and over gain my friend
Ah, you don't believe we're on the eve of destruction.


P,F. "Flip" Sloan was only 19 years old when he wrote "Eve of Destruction."  He worked as a staff songwriter at Dunhill Records, Barry McGuire's label at the time.  He would later form the band The Grass Roots, for which he wrote "Where Were You When I Needed You.".  His other hits included "Secret Agent Man" for Johnny Rivers and songs recorded by The Turtles, Herman's Hermits, The 5th Dimension and The Mamas & the Papas.

P.F. Sloan had a falling out with Dunhill Records over the issue of royalties.  He believed his life was in danger and eventually dropped out of sight with addiction and mental health problems.  He joked that the "only good thing about it was that I missed the whole disco era."

P.F. Sloan
Sloan's view of the world in the 21st century was even more bleak that when he wrote '"Eve of Destruction."  He told the Wall Street Journal that the song "sounds naive in today's world, with ISIS, ongoing wars and all those terrorist attacks.  I was looking from the point of view that we can fix this, really - if we put our attention to it.  Talk about naive."

In a 1972 interview with Melody Maker magazine, music executive and  producer Lew Adler claimed that he had to  coax the song out of P.F. Sloan by giving him a pair of boots, a hat and a copy of Bob Dylan's Bringing It All Back Home album.  A week later. Sloan returned with ten songs, one of them being "Eve of Destruction." Adler described "Eve of Destruction" as "the first rock 'n' roll protest song."  "Sloan laid it down in very simple terms," Adler stated, "not like the folk people were doing."

Barry tried to follow up his  success with "Eve of Destruction" by recording some more songs by P.F. Sloan, but was unable to score another hit.  He branched out into acting and had a role as Old Wrangler, the leader of a band of hippies in the 1967 satirical film, The President's Analyst, starring James Coburn.  He also appeared in the musical Hair on Broadway.

After his 1968 album, The World's Last Private Citizen. was poorly received by the public, Barry ceased recording until 1971.  That was year he became a born-again Christian and began recording gospel music for the Myrrh Records label.  A remake of "Eve of Destruction" was included in his 1974 album Lighten Up  

In the mid-1980s, Barry and his wife, Mari, moved to New Zealand and worked for the charity organization World Vision.  They remained there until the 1990s.  Upon their return to the United States, Barry recorded a series of albums with gospel singer/songwriter Terry Talbot.

These days, 82-year-old Barry McGuire says he's "doing whatever presents itself to be done."  He says that "if all the bits fall into place, I go and sing.  He also spends a great deal of time with his wife and grandchildren.


END NOTES

* In a Rolling Stone magazine readers' poll, Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction" was voted one of the ten best protest songs of all time, along with works by artists such as Bob Dylan ("Hurricane","Blowin' in the Wind," "The Times They Are A-Changin'," "Masters of War,"} Buffalo Springfield ("For What It's Worth"), Creedence Clearwatar Revival ("Fortunate Son") l, Country Joe and the Fish ("I-Feel-Like-I'm-Fixin'-to-Die Rag"), Rage Against the Machine ("Killing in the Name") and Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young ("Ohio').

* P.F. Sloan died of pancreatic cancer on November 15, 2015 at the age of 70.  In January of 2015, he and Barry McGuire performed "Eve of Destruction" at an Altadena, California coffeehouse.

* Due to the line "You're old enough to kill but not for votin'," "Eve of Destruction" has been credited with helping to bring about with the passage of the 26th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1971.  The 26th Amendment lowered the voting age in the United States from 21 to 18.

* In September of 2016, Barry was joined by latter-day Byrds member John York for a concert benefitting the South Pasadena Public Library in Los Angeles County, California.

Sources: The Encylopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin; Los Angeles Times;Wikipedia, Rolling Stone magazine; Barry McGuire's official website:  www.barrymcquire.com



- Joanne

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tim Hortons: Public Relationss Nightmare

Tim Hortons has tarnished its brand considerably.  The company needs to wake up and smell the coffee.  Its recent actions have disappointed customers who affectionately refer to the restaurant chain as "Timmys."

On January 1, 2018. the minimum wage in Ontario was raised from $11.40 per hour to $14 per hour.  It will increase further to $15 per hour on January 1, 2019.  To offset the increase in labour costs, some of the province's employers have chosen to take punitive measures against their employees by doing away with paid breaks or increasing workers' contributions for benefits  These clawbacks have been put into effect at Tim Hortons restaurants in Leamington. Port Hope and in the Coburg area.
The Coburg Ontario franchises are owned by Jeri Horton-Joyce and Ron Joyce Jr., the married offspring of the company's founders.

In a letter to employees at two Tim Hortons in Coburg, the couple informed staff that as of January 1, 2018, they would no longer be entitled to paid breaks and that they would also be required to pay a portion of the costs for dental and health benefits.

Some background: The first Tun Hortons doughnut shop was opened in Hamilton, Ontario in 1964 by Canadian hockey star Tim Horton and Jim Charade (1934-2009)   In 1967, Horton entered into a business partnership with investor Ronald Vaughan "Ron" Joyce. (Tim Horton's eldest daughter, Jeri-Lyn, is married to Joyce's son, Ron Joyce Jr.).  On February 21, 1974, Horton, 44, died in a single-vehicle crash near St. Catharines, Ontario.  After the hockey player's death, Ron Joyce purchased Horton's share for about $1 million and assumed control over business operations.  Under Joyce's stewardship, the chain was expanded into a multimillion-dollar franchise.  In 2014, Burger King purchased Tim Hortons for US$11.4 billion and the chain became a subsidiary of Restaurant Brands International (RBI), an Oakville, Ontario-based holding company.

Restaurant Brands International, the parent company of Tim Hortons, has attempted to distance itself from the current controversy and absolve itself from responsibility.  It has said that the decision to pass minimum wage costs onto employees was made by"rogue franchises." and does not reflect the "values' of the company. In effect, RBI has shifted the blame to the franchises.  For their part, individual franchises have told CBC News that they have been forced to reduce benefits because the head office refuses to permit price increases.

A spokesperson for Great White Franchisee Owners, which represents the franchise owners who have been quarrelling with RBI, has defended Ron Joyce Jr. and Jeri Horton-Horton Joyce. She declared that "they like many Ontarians, are hard-working small business owners who are striving to keep their businesses viable and keep all their employees employed."  That may be true in many cases, but Ron Joyce Jr. is the son of a billionaire.

In an interview with the CBC News, Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne came out with some sharp words in response to  the minimum wage situation. She described the clawbacks as "the act of a bully."  She further stated that "if Mr. Joyce wants to pick a fight, pick that fight with me and not the people who are working at the service windows of the stores."  The premier also said that "Tim Hortons is a really important part of daily life for Canadian families.  But so is having a decent living wage."

I won't mince words here either.  Tim Hortons response to the minimum increase has been petty and vindictive.  It seems determined to make workers or the public pay the price for a wage increase.  Whether one agrees with this increase in minimum wage or not, the company's actions have been unconscionable.  To treat workers in this fashion is simply mean-spirited and unfair.

Yes, I realize that running a business isn't easy, whether it be a large corporation or a small convenience store.  Nevertheless, employees and workers don't have to be on opposite sides of the fence.  It is no secret that well-treated workers are happier, healthier and far more productive. The most savvy employers know that respect is a two-way street.  They know that good relations between business and labour is a win-win situation.  Thus, they strive for what is mutually beneficial.

To be fair, Tim Hortons isn't the only business to react to the minimum wage increase.  Ontario workers at  Sunset Grill, Wimpy's, East Side Mario's and other businesses have been told that they are going to take a hit due to the minimum wage hike. However, it's difficult to accept that large corporations are severely hampered by the minimum wage increase.  According to a report by Jennifer Wells in the Toronto Star, the minimum for Canada's top CEOs is now $5.2 million a year.  The average is $104 million.  Isn't it time low wage workers received a few crumbs?  They have bills to pay and they have to put food on the table.  Their income has to keep pace with inflation.

The situation has prompted a backlash from labour groups and the public.  Demonstrators from Ontario labour unions have turned out at Tim Hortons locations.  A social media movement on Facebook is exhorting people to boycott Tim Hortons on Tuesdays.  All in in all, this has been a public relations disaster for the iconic company.




- Joanne

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

How to Make a Blockbuster Film on a Budget

Here's an infographic on how to make a successful film on a limited budget.  It provides tips on how to get funding for a film if you do not have a wealthy backer.  It also provides a list of successful movies that were made on a small budget and facts about their background.  I hope you find it entertaining and informative.  Note: All financial information is give in British pounds.

- Joanne

”How
How to Make a Blockbuster on a Budget? by Moneypod.