POTD – Producer and Oscar Nominee Damon Quinn

The Oscar nominations were announced today and Damon Quinn, one of the Hole in the Wall Gang, from West Belfast, is in the final short list of the Best Live Action Short film category, with the first film he has produced ‘The Crush’

Some might say it’s all down hill from here but congratulations are due. The film has already won 2 nd place at Booby D’s Tribeca Film Festival but the lack of success at  Robert Redfords Sundance Film Festival just shows how arbitrary these nominations and awards are.

Looking at the nominees there’s few left field/indie nominations in the main categories but i would like to see Jennifer Lawrence win Best Actress for her performance in ‘Winter’s Bone’ if only to make the one dimensional Natalie Portman (nominated for ‘The black Swan’) take notice of how to act.

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  • CW

    Good luck to “The Crush”. It’s good to se a local film being nominated, especially in these tough economic times.

    Has anyone seen “Black Swan” by the way? I’m in two minds about whether to go.
    I quite liked The King’s Speech, even though I’m not an exactly an ardent royalist! It’s more about unlikely friendships and the power to overcome adversity than anything else.

  • Rory Carr

    I too wish The Crush every success. My preferences for the other caregories are:

    Best Picture: The Fighter

    Best Director: David O. Russell (The Fighter)

    Best Actor: Jeff Bridges (True Grit)

    Best Actress: Annette Bening (The Kids Are All Right)

    Supporting actor: Christian Bale (The Fighter)

    Supporting actress: Amy Adams (The Fighter)

    Let’s hear it for others’ choices. Maybe even get a little side-bet going?

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Ive heard that True Grit is brilliant but I would have preferred that it was left alone as the original cant be improved upon. Apparently the story is closer to the book (Mattie Ross being centre stage) but actors like John Wayne….. but especially character actors like John Fiedler, Strother Martin and John Pickard make the movie. As well as the young talent like Robert Duvall and Dennis Hopper.
    The success of 2011 True Grit probably means that John Ford classics will be “modernised” which is impossible as they were made in a specific post war era, had all the artistry of John Ford and had the John Ford Stock Company, wranglers, stunt men, bit part players properly cast.
    On the specifics of Damon Quinn…….fair play to him.
    But Im reminded of “Dance Lexi Dance” (was that the name?). Hollywood has a habit of showcasing these 15 minute movies as a chore or duty rathe than any real interest or enthusiasm.
    But it would be a nice night out in Hollywood if he won.

  • Rory Carr

    No, no, no ! FJH. No one would be so bold (or so idiotic) as to ever try and improve upon a John Ford film. Ford is inviolable. He is the Michaelangelo of cinema. The Searchers set the benchmark to which all future films must aspire and vied only with Citizen Kane as the critics’ choice for Best Film Ever for many, many years (not to mention inspiring Buddy Holly to write That’ll Be the Day). I must have watched it at least 30 times and it never dulls.

    I recently bought (quite cheaply from Amazon) a DVD copy of The Informer, his 1935 adaption of Liam O’Flaherty’s novel which won Oscars for Ford as director, Victor McLaglen as Best Actor, Dudley Nichols for Best Screenplay (which he refused because of a union dispute) and Max Steiner for music score. It really is a beautiful film and McLaglen, as Gippo Nolan, is a tour de force.

  • Rory Carr

    Oh and what about this one ? The greatest film on Irish-American politics ever (and vying for the best political film ever), based upon Edwin O’Connor’s masterful novel and starring the finest screen actor ever by an Irish country mile, Spencer Tracy – and there are none (or none sensible) who will argue against that.


  • fitzjameshorse1745

    I have my reservations about The Informer…the rosary scene where only the Our Father is said over and over again is a detail that should have been sorted.
    Ford/O’Feeney had very (Irish) Republican attitudes and I always see “The Informer” and the much under-rated “Last Hurrah” as bookends.
    Oddly the “Searchers” is not my favourite. The Cavalry Trilogy (multiple Irish references) and of course the final line in “Fort Apache” which is echoed in “Liberty Vallance”. I think he did not do a good job with “The Quiet Man” (too Oirish and the Mayo hurlers winning the All Ireland seems a bit far fetched) and the book was actually much darker.
    Probably Id go with “The Horse Soldiers” as very under-rated and with the exception of his segment in “How The West Was Won” his only venture into the Civil War which he deemed too big a topic. Fred Kennedy one of his most used stunt men died on that movie.
    But ultimately its the Stock Company which cannot be replicated in modern times. Not just Victor McLaglen, Mildred Natwick, Harry Carey Junior, George O’Brien etc etc but rather the character actors (Bing Russell, Ken Curtis, Jack Pennick, Hank Worden) and the stunt men like Frank McGrath, Terry Wilson, Fred Kennedy, Chuck Hayward.
    They just dont make movies like that anymore.
    But the success of “True Grit” just might make a re-make possible.

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Ditto (sic) LOL

    I swear I mentioned The Last Hurrah before I read your most recent post. But again its the Stock Company which stands out. Ken Curtis (Fords son in law) is miscast as the priest but most of the regulars are there.

  • I rolled my eyes when i heard of the Coen Bro’s remake of True Grit. I had visions of the risible and pointless remake of ‘The Lady Killers’ and had to remind myself of how they are the most inventive and thoughtful movie makers around.
    Think Rising Arizona, Millers Crossing, Fargo, Oh Brother where art thou? No Country for a Man. And don’t forget their debut film, Blood Simple.
    Reports are that ‘True Grit’ is “a masterpiece” and i’m really looking forward to seeing it. I hope it doesn’t take away from Fords original and why should it..they learnt from him and they have their own take on the original story.

    ‘Restrepo’ , a documentary “embed” with the US Army in the Khorenal Valley, Afghanistan, whilst deserving of a nomination, isn’t as good as ‘Armadillo’ which followed a company of the Danish Army in Helmand. It didn’t even get nominated.
    As i said It is all so arbitrary and subjective.

  • Rory Carr

    I’ve enjoyed this banter about Ford so much that, between posting, I have ordered up from Amazon copies of both The Last Hurrah (the novel) which I have read before years ago and the biography, Searching for John Ford by Joseph McBride which I have not yet read. Got them both at a snip too. Cheers !

  • fitzjameshorse1745

    Didnt Peter Bogdanovich write about John Ford also. Interesting man. And not necessarily a nice one. His politics were extremely odd at times.

  • Rory Carr

    Moochin, the original True Grit was directed by Henry Hathaway, not John Ford. As I said above – no one would dare to try to improve on John Ford.

  • Rory Carr

    Yes FJH, Bogdanovich did write something, but also Lindsay Anderson did a marvellous critique of Ford’s work in a beautiful book published, if I rememeber correctly, by the BFI. Alas, I no longer have my copy which disappeared during my many changes of address.

  • Rory Carr

    FJH, don’t confuse John Ford’s political stance with that of John Wayne. If you read this essay by Ken Browser from the American Masters collection you may get an idea of what I’m talking about, particularly if you pay attention to Ford’s address before the Directors’ Guild where he famously began, “My name is John Ford and I make Westerns” and went on to excoriate the McCarthyite witch hunt of Cecil B DeMille against progressive director, Joseph Mankiewicz and won the day when it was not only difficult but dangerous:


  • fitzjameshorse1745

    But if Ford leaned to Democrat in his early days, he was certainly a supporter of Richard Nixon later on.
    But he was certainly anti-McCarthy.
    Id argue that Sgt Rutledge and Cheyenne Autumn (made towards end of his career ) tied up some loose ends.
    Ultimately old men are entitled to be contradictions.