Movie Madness

It’s the movie lover’s version of a rare solar eclipse: This month, the 86th Academy Awards coincide with the final day of Columbia’s own True/False Film Fest, which runs Feb. 27 through March 2. In honor of this momentous occasion, we’ve put together everything you need to squeeze the last drop out of the movie mayhem — and then some.

Your Oscar Ballot

Make your predictions and see how you fare when the Academy Awards air at 6 p.m., Sunday, March 2, on ABC-TV.

Best Picture

“American Hustle”
“Captain Phillips”
“Dallas Buyers Club”
“12 Years a Slave”
“The Wolf of Wall Street”

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Christian Bale, “American Hustle”
Bruce Dern, “Nebraska”
Leonardo DiCaprio, “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Chiwetel Ejiofor, “12 Years a Slave”
Matthew McConaughey, “Dallas Buyers Club”

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Amy Adams, “American Hustle”
Cate Blanchett, “Blue Jasmine”
Sandra Bullock, “Gravity”
Judi Dench, “Philomena”
Meryl Streep, “August: Osage County”

Best Actor in a Supporting Role

Barkhad Abdi, “Captain Phillips”
Bradley Cooper, “American Hustle”
Michael Fassbender, “12 Years a Slave”
Jonah Hill, “The Wolf of Wall Street”
Jared Leto, “Dallas Buyers Club”

Best Actress in a Supporting Role

Sally Hawkins, “Blue Jasmine”
Jennifer Lawrence, “American Hustle”
Lupita Nyong’o, “12 Years a Slave”
Julia Roberts, “August: Osage County”
June Squibb, “Nebraska”

Best Animated Feature Film

“The Croods” ­— Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco, Kristine Belson
“Despicable Me 2” — Chris Renaud, Pierre Coffin, Chris Meledandri
“Ernest & Celestine” — Benjamin Renner, Didier Brunner
“Frozen” — Chris Buck, Jennifer Lee, Peter Del Vecho
“The Wind Rises” — Hayao Miyazaki, Toshio Suzuki


“The Grandmaster, Philippe Le Sourd
“Gravity, Emmanuel Lubezki
“Inside Llewyn Davis, Bruno Delbonnel
“Nebraska, Phedon Papamichael
“Prisoners, Roger A. Deakins

Costume Design

“American Hustle, Michael Wilkinson
“The Grandmaster, William Chang Suk Ping
“The Great Gatsby, Catherine Martin
“The Invisible Woman, Michael O’Connor
“12 Years a Slave, Patricia Norris


“American Hustle, David O. Russell
“Gravity, Alfonso Cuarόn
“Nebraska, Alexander Payne
“12 Years a Slave, Steve McQueen
“The Wolf of Wall Street, Martin Scorsese

Documentary Feature

“The Act of Killing” — Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge Sorensen
“Cutie and the Boxer” — Zachary Heinzerling, Lydia Dean Pilcher
“Dirty Wars” — Richard Rowley, Jeremy Scahill
“The Square” — Jehane Noujaim, Karim Amer
“20 Feet from Stardom” — Morgan Neville, Gil Friesen, Caitrin Rogers

Documentary Short Subject

“CaveDigger” — Jeffrey Karoff
“Facing Fear” — Jason Cohen
“Karama Has No Walls” — Sara Ishaq
“The Lady in Number 6: Music Saved My Life” — Malcolm Clarke, Nicholas Reed
“Prison Terminal: The Last Days of Private Jack Hall” — Edgar Barens

Film Editing

“American Hustle” — Jay Cassidy, Crispin Struthers, Alan Baumgarten
“Captain Phillips” — Christopher Rouse
“Dallas Buyers Club” — John Mac McMurphy, Martin Pensa
“Gravity” — Alfonso Cuarόn, Mark Sanger
“12 Years a Slave” — Joe Walker

Foreign Language Film

“The Broken Circle Breakdown,” Belgium
“The Great Beauty,” Italy
“The Hunt,” Denmark
“The Missing Picture,” Cambodia
“Omar,” Palestine

Makeup and Hairstyling

“Dallas Buyers Club” — Adruitha Lee, Robin Mathews
“Jackass Presents: Bad Grandpa” — Stephen Prouty
“The Lone Ranger” — Joel Harlow, Gloria Pasqua-Casny

Music — Original Score

“The Book Thief” — John Williams
“Gravity” — Steven Price
“Her” — William Butler, Owen Pallett
“Philomena” — Alexandre Desplat
“Saving Mr. Banks” — Thomas Newman

Music — Original Song

“Happy” from “Despicable Me 2” — Pharrell Williams
“Let It Go” from “Frozen” — Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Robert Lopez
“The Moon Song” from “Her” — Karen O, Spike Jonze
“Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” — Paul Hewson, Dave Evans, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen

Production Design

“American Hustle” — Judy Becker, Heather Loeffler
“Gravity” — Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, Joanne Woollard
“The Great Gatsby” — Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn
“Her” — K.K. Barrett, Gene Serdena
“12 Years a Slave,” Adam Stockhausen, Alice Baker

Short Film — Animated

“Feral” — Daniel Sousa, Dan Golden
“Get a Horse!” — Lauren MacMullan, Dorothy McKim
“Mr. Hublot” — Laurent Witz, Alexandre Espigares
“Possessions” — Shuhei Morita
“Room on the Broom” — Max Lang, Jan Lachauer

Short Film — Live Action

“Aquel No Era Yo” (That Wasn’t Me) — Esteban Crespo
“Avant Que De Tout Perdre” (Just Before Losing Everything) — Xavier Legrand, Alexandre Gavras
“Helium” — Anders Walter, Kim Magnusson
“Pitӓӓkӧ Mun Kaikki Hoitaa?” (Do I Have to Take Care of Everything?) — Selma Vilhunen, Kirsikka Saari
“The Voorman Problem” — Mark Gill, Baldwin Li

Sound Editing

“All Is Lost” — Steve Boeddeker, Richard Hymns
“Captain Phillips” — Oliver Tarney
“Gravity” — Glenn Freemantle
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” — Brent Burge, Chris Ward
“Lone Survivor” — Wylie Stateman

Sound Mixing

“Captain Phillips” — Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro
“Gravity” — Skip Lievsay, Niv Adiri, Christopher Benstead, Chris Munro
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” — Christopher Boyes, Michael Hedges, Michael Semanick, Tony Johnson
“Inside Llewyn Davis” — Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff, Peter F. Kurland
“Lone Survivor” — Andy Koyama, Beau Borders, David Brownlow

Visual Effects

“Gravity” — Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould
“The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug” — Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds
“Iron Man 3” — Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Erik Nash, Dan Sudick
“The Lone Ranger” — Tim Alexander, Gary Brozenich, Edson Williams, John Frazier
“Star Trek Into Darkness” — Roger Guyett, Patrick Tubach, Ben Grossman, Burt Dalton

Writing — Adapted Screenplay

“Before Midnight” — Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke
“Captain Phillips” — Billy Ray
“Philomena” — Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope
“12 Years a Slave” — John Ridley
“The Wolf of Wall Street” — Terence Winter

Writing — Original Screenplay

“American Hustle” — Eric Warren Singer, David O. Russell
“Blue Jasmine” — Woody Allen
“Dallas Buyers Club” — Craig Borten, Melisa Wallack
“Her” — Spike Jonze
“Nebraska” — Bob Nelson
How Did You Do?

10 or More Correct: The Movie Critic

Your wallet contains frequent moviegoer membership cards, and your film knowledge makes you a popular teammate at trivia night. Maybe you’ve even gotten into a heated debate about whether “Inside Llewyn Davis” should have been a best-picture contender.
5-9 Correct: The Film Student
You made an effort to see the films that got the most nominations, and you read some of the Oscar buzz leading up to the big night. But you haven’t yet picked up on those insider secrets, like the fact that sci-fi films never win the best picture category. (Did you vote for “Gravity”?)
0-4 Correct: The Back-Row Snoozer
You only completed this ballot because a friend persuaded you to do it. After all, you can hardly remember the last movie you saw — and stayed awake through — in the theater. It might have been “Castaway, and from what you’ve gathered, that must’ve been the prequel to this new Tom Hanks movie, “Captain Phillips.”


Mid-Missouri Movie Roundup

Can’t get enough movie magic? Check out these feature-length films, all of which have mid-Missouri roots. They’ll keep you busy long after the credits roll on the Oscars and True/False.


 “We Always Lie to Strangers” (2013)
Directed by AJ Schnack and David Wilson
109 minutes
DVD not yet released

A documentary that looks beyond the sequins and show tunes,“We Always Lie to Strangers” reveals some of the tensions at play in Branson’s show biz industry. Directors David Wilson — one of the founders of the Ragtag Film Society, Ragtag Theatre and the True/False Film Fest — and AJ Schnack, an award-winning filmmaker and University of Missouri journalism graduate, follow four families of entertainers as they face changing social values and the effects of the recession. “We Always Lie to Strangers” received special jury recognition for directing at the South By Southwest film festival, where the film premiered.

“You’re Next” (2011)
Directed by Adam Wingard
95 minutes
Rent: 9th Street Video, $3 for two days
Buy: Amazon, $12.96

Filmed at a mansion near the Columbia Country Club, this home-invasion thriller is based on a familiar premise — an intimate family reunion at the Davidson home devolves into a slash-fest when mysterious attackers wearing creepy animal masks begin picking off everyone. Although the storyline is traditional horror, critics praised “You’re Next” for an element not often found within this genre: humor. The tension is punctuated by what Entertainment Weekly called “sick laughs,” contributing to the film’s overall positive reception. The project involved several local names including writer Simon Barrett and cinematographer Andrew Droz Palermo, both Columbia natives, as well as producer Kim Sherman and camera operator Mike Wilson.

“Deadline in Disaster” (2012)
Directed by Stephen Hudnell and Beth Pike
59 minutes
Available for checkout at the Columbia Public Library

After an EF-5 tornado tore through Joplin in 2011, the staff ofThe Joplin Globe didn’t just cover the disaster — it lived through the nightmare, too. This regional Emmy Award-winning documentary follows the newspaper’s employees as they not only carry out their jobs but also come to grips with the new reality of homes blown away, friends killed and a town in crisis. Columbia directors Beth Pike and Stephen Hudnell of Orr Street Productions interweave some truly distressing footage — trees being sucked out of the ground, people screaming — with images of hope and strength.

“Box Elder” (2008)
Directed by Todd Sklar
89 minutes
Rent: 9th Street Video, $3 for three days, $3.50 for seven days
Buy:, $14
Download: iTunes, $7.99

This down-to-earth independent film centers on the college shenanigans of four fictional friends who represent a generation adrift. Viewers will recognize local haunts such as the University of Missouri campus and Broadway Diner as backdrops for the young men’s collegiate experiences, which include breakups, parties and academic failures. Writer, director and producer Todd Sklar has mentioned in several interviews that he wanted the film to have a natural feel and encouraged the film’s stars to improvise while delivering lines. “Box Elder” was the first feature-length film for Sklar, who attended the University of Missouri before leaving to embark on his career in filmmaking.

“The Pruitt-Igoe Myth” (2011)
Directed by Chad Freidrichs
83 minutes
Rent: 9th Street Video, $3 for three days, $3.50 for seven days
Buy:, $25.95
Stream: Netflix

When St. Louis public housing complex Pruitt-Igoe was completed in 1954, hopes were extraordinarily high for the 33-building development designed to house the city’s poor. But less than two decades later, the complex had decayed to such an extent that emergency personnel wouldn’t even respond to calls there due to crime and safety concerns, and the government decided to implode the remaining buildings. In this award-winning documentary, Columbia filmmaker Chad Freidrichs combines archival footage and interviews with former residents to explore the tangled web of problems that contributed to the complex’s ruin.

“V/H/S” (2012)
Directed by Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, David Bruckner, Tyler Gillett, Justin Martinez, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Chad Villella, Ti West and Adam Wingard
116 minutes
Rent: 9th Street Video, $3 for two days
Buy: Amazon, $14.98
Stream: Netflix

A group of criminals has been hired for a mysterious job: to break into a house and steal only a video tape. But once inside, they discover the homeowner’s dead body and stacks upon stacks of tapes, which they begin watching to find the intended video. This storyline serves as a clever frame for “V/H/S,” an anthology of short films designed to look like found footage. Although many reviewers felt the collection was creative but uneven, some horror movie enthusiasts found the anthology format and the variety it offered refreshing. “V/H/S” was filmed partly in Columbia, the birthplace of writer Simon Barrett, who was also involved with the film “You’re Next.”

“Zielinski” (2011)
Directed by Chase Thompson and Ryan Walker
66 minutes
Rent: 9th Street Video, $3 for three days, $3.50 for seven days
Download: iTunes, $9.99

This documentary by Columbia filmmakers Chase Thompson and Ryan Walker gives no easy answers. The film’s subject is John Zielinski, a controversial photographer and investigative journalist who spouts sensational conspiracy theories about a government-run child-slavery ring and satanic secret societies, among many others. His claims have made him plenty of enemies and called into question his grip on reality, but some news stories and sources seem to corroborate his theories. Thompson and Walker don’t use voiceover to push their own conclusions about Zielinski, whom they met after he moved to Columbia from Iowa. Instead, the pair allows interviews and decades of source material to speak for themselves.

“Killer Diller” (2004)
Directed by Tricia Brock
95 minutes
Rent: 9th Street Video, $3 for three days, $3.50 for seven days

A group of convicts in a Christian halfway house form an unlikely blues band in this drama shot in Fayette. Actor Lucas Black, who moved to Columbia after filming “Killer Diller, plays the supporting role of Vernon, a talented pianist with autism who becomes friends with the bad-boy protagonist, a guitar player named Wesley Benfield. But instead of becoming a reformed man, Wesley’s attitude only seems to rub off on the other residents. After Wesley and Vernon persuade other halfway-house residents to join their musical group, the newly minted Killer Diller Blues Band begins sneaking out at night to play gigs.

“Plastic Planet” (2009)
Directed by Werner Boote
99 minutes
Borrow: Columbia Public Library interlibrary loan
Buy: Amazon, $16.96

It’s cheap and versatile, but is plastic harmful to the planet’s health — and our own? Austrian writer and director Werner Boote seeks answers to this question in his documentary “Plastic Planet,” which sees Boote traveling the world to confront manufacturers and lawmakers and consult with consumers, workers and scientists. One of those scientists is the University of Missouri’s own Frederick vom Saal, a biologist whose lab conducts endocrinology studies. Vom Saal’s research suggests that Bisphenol A, a chemical used in certain types of plastics and resins, can have negative health effects such as reduced sperm count and DNA changes.

“Awful Nice” (2012)
Directed by Todd Sklar
92 minutes
Limited theatrical release this month
DVD not yet released

When Jim and Dave’s father dies, it brings the two brothers together for the first time in years. Elder brother Jim, the responsible one, is forced to work together with wild and reckless Dave to fix up the home they’ve inherited in Branson so they can sell it and split the profit. But the project is sidelined by brawls and Dave’s misadventures, including an experiment with mixing drugs. Filmed in Columbia and Branson, the movie was co-written by Todd Sklar and Alex Rennie, who both attended the University of Missouri. Columbian Brock Williams was one of the film’s producers.


True Life Winners

In last month’s issue of Inside Columbia, we introduced you to some previous recipients of the True/False Film Fest’s True Life Fund. This year’s winner is “Private Violence, directed by Cynthia Hill. The film exposes the complex obstacles that stand between a survivor of abuse and freedom, and dispels destructive myths about domestic violence.

Funds raised this year will be awarded to the two main subjects of the film, Kit Gruelle and Deanna Walters. Gruelle is an advocate for survivors of domestic violence. Walters is battling for justice after surviving horrific abuse at the hands of her former partner. The Crossing, a local Columbia church, sponsors the True Life Fund this year for the seventh time. The U.K.-based Bertha Foundation provides a matching grant for the grassroots fundraising effort.



No Pass? No Problem

It’s not too late! You can still take part in the True/False Film Fest, even if you didn’t purchase a pass. Here’s how.
Buy individual tickets.
The box office sells tickets up until 15 minutes before showings; any tickets available after that deadline are sold at the film venue. Stop by the new box office location at 1020 E. Broadway, adjacent to Freebirds World Burrito, to find out which showings have remaining tickets.
Use the “Q” system.
Sometimes all available tickets for a film have been snapped up, so the box office labels the film “NRT,” meaning “no reserve tickets.” But don’t despair: With a little luck and some patience, you can sometimes get into NRT films by using the festival’s “Q” system.

The festival sets aside 10 percent of tickets to each film for moviegoers in the Q. In addition, festival pass holders sometimes skip a film or two because they’ve got a touch of “documentary fatigue.” This opens up additional spots at showings.

For a chance at one of those spots, head to the film venue an hour before the film begins. Look for the venue “queen,” who will be decked out in some sort of costume, and take a number from him or her. Sometimes festivalgoers are really eager to get into a film, so they’ll start lining up for a Q number earlier than 60 minutes before show time. Although the queen can’t bestow Q numbers upon his or her subjects any earlier than an hour prior, getting in line before then improves your chances of getting a lower Q number, thereby bettering your chances of getting into the film.

Once you have your number, you can while away the minutes before showtime — go enjoy a cup of coffee or a scoop of ice cream until 15 minutes before the film, when you and the other Q hopefuls will return to the venue and line up according to Q number. Five minutes before the film starts, the venue releases available seats to folks in the Q; so if 19 seats are unfilled, for example, the people holding Q numbers 1 through 19 get to see the film. Be prepared to pay with cash on your way into the theater.

Although the Q system does require a little flexibility, the atmosphere is convivial. And as True/False organizers point out on the festival website, there hasn’t been a showing yet where no one from the Q got into the theater.
True/False Film Fest Pricing
General Admission:
$8 at the box office, $10 at the door or through the Q

Closing-Night Film Plus Reception: $12 box office, door and Q

Students With ID: $6 at the box office for films at any venue; $6 through the Q for films at Jesse Hall, the Missouri Theatre and the Vimeo Theater at The Blue Note; $10 through the Q for all other venues