Godfather Turns 50

The Godfather turns 50; another member of the Academy resigns over the truncated Oscar telecast; we’ve loved hearing about your favorite films of 2021, whether they were Oscar-nominated or not. Plus, Bill Murray has a line of NFTS, and a great opportunity if you’re making an environmental documentary.

Films About the Planet: Are you a moviemaker interested in “frontline stories that drive solutions for people and the planet”? If so,The Redford Center just announced an open call for its Redford Center Grants program, in which 12 intersectional environmental documentary projects will receive $20,000 grants, filmmaking resources, equipment sponsored by GoPro, and more. The center currently supports 36 environmental documentary projects — maybe yours could be next.

Somebody Has a Birthday: Today marks the 50th anniversary of maybe the best movie ever made, The Godfather. Thank you to Francis Ford Coppola and everyone else involved in its creation. There are 50 years great things that people have written about The Godfather, and we could link off to them, but really, why not just re-watch the opening today?

Academy Resignation: The Hollywood Reporter says that four-time Oscar-nominated sound mixer Peter Kurland, known for his work with the Coen brothers, plans to resign from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences because of its decision not to air the live presentation of eight awards, including for best sound, during Sunday’s Oscar telecast. (The awards will be handed out in advance and somehow edited into the broadcast.) “I can’t imagine a purpose for staying in an organization that doesn’t respect my craft anymore,” Kurland told THR. He said the Academy asked him to hold off on resigning until after the Oscars. 

Anyone Else? Tom Fleischman, a rerecording mixer and longtime Martin Scorsese collaborator who won an Oscar for his work on Hugo, resigned earlier this month.

Brutal Honesty: THR also has another very interesting anonymous Oscar ballot. This person thinks Licorice Pizza is racist, which I certainly disagree with, but they also love The Worst Person in the World, which I strongly agree with. Also I like how they talk and feel like if we met we would be friends. I think you’ll enjoy reading this, is what I’m saying.

Hooray, Another NFT: Bill Murray is cashing in on the phenomenon of Bill Murray Stories with a series of NFTs. The Chive, which is involved in this, explains the origin of the idea, and says that each token in the Official Bill Murray NFT 1000 “will tell a story, verified by Bill, told as accurately as he can recall.”

Doesn’t Bill Murray Have Enough Money?: That was my reaction, too. But good news: Chive Media Group co-founder John Resig told The Hollywood Reporter that proceeds for the first token up for auction will go entirely to charity. The Chive also works with Murray on an annual golf tournament that works with various charities to provide “health care, educational and public safety assistance.” Its website says it has raised $4 million over its 16-year history.

What Is an NFT, Again? The New York Times recently explained and my eyes glazed over as they always do when people talk about NFTs, crypto, blockchain, whatever have you.

What Is “The Chive”? It’s like Maxim crossed with old BuzzFeed.

What Is Maxim? It was part of the “lad mag” boom that was weirdly huge in the early 2000s.

Is it Safe to Fly in Airplanes? Studies show that air travel it is far safer than car travel, though a new documentary, Downfall: The Case Against Boeing, may nonetheless scare the bejesus out of you. The latest Factual America podcast features a talk with the film’s director, Rory Kennedy, who contends that competition with a close rival led Boeing to rely too much on a computer system that occasionally pushes the nose of the plane downwards when it shouldn’t. Boeing representatives did not respond to a request for comment from MovieMaker, maybe because 1. we are a movie site and 2. they’re probably rewatching The Godfather. Good for them.

Comments of the Day: Yesterday we asked you for favorite movies of 2021, whether they were Oscar nominated or not. You had great responses, highlighting movies we forgot, overlooked, or in some cases had never heard of. Among the movies that got a lot of love were Drive My Car, Red Rocket, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Encanto, CODA, Licorice Pizza, The Tragedy of Macbeth and Free Guy. We loved how almost everyone who responded mixed up big award-circuit movies with crowd pleasers and feel-good movies. Special shoutout to Carol Henry, who highlighted Old Henry, a Tim Blake Nelson Western that somehow totally escaped my attention, but looks great. Also to Jeff for choosing two out of three black-and-white movies: “Mine are The Tragedy of Macbeth, Drive My Car and Passing (I love B&W)” he wrote. I also appreciated Kristine Kreska for highlighting Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho, which was disappointingly under-seen in large part because it was released at a difficult time, pandemic-wise. But it was captivating.

Also: I admit I kind of forgot it, but did any movie from 2021 have a more passionate fanbase than Zack Snyder’s Justice League, at least online?

It’s Not Too Late: You can read (and still respond) to our tweet about 2021 movies here:

Listen to Me — What’s Gon’ Happen Gon’ Happen Quick: Here’s the trailer for Old Henry.

Main image: Marlon Brando and Robert Duvall in The Godfather.