Wiz Quiz 7: Films, canals and famous cities

Toy Story 3: Reaching out to the child in all of us? Photo courtesy - Pixar Animation Studios/Walt Disney Pictures

Why did a 3D CGI comedy-adventure film on the abandoned toys of a upper teenager become the highest grossing feature film in the US, and also worldwide, during 2010? What does it say about our common psyche when Toy Story 3, a variation on an already twice-tested theme, earned more than a billion dollars — making it one of the top five money earners of all time?

Psycho-analysts can debate that for years to come. Toy Story series must tug on some deep emotions in many of us, for the third film was not only highly popular, but also received near universal critical acclaim.

Writing in The New York Times, movie critic A. O. Scott noted: “This film—this whole three-part, 15-year epic—about the adventures of a bunch of silly plastic junk turns out also to be a long, melancholy meditation on loss, impermanence and that noble, stubborn, foolish thing called love.”

At the 83rd Oscar Awards ceremony last weekend, Toy Story 3 won two awards — for best animated feature and best original song — out of five nominations.

Wiz Quiz this week, appearing just two days after the Oscar Awards ceremony, started off with a few questions based on some films that received nominations for the best film of 2010 (officially called the Best Picture Award). At the time we compiled the quiz, the winners were not yet announced. But we probed the 10-movie nominations list deeper to see connections not immediately apparent.

We then roam the world of ancient and modern cultures, hopping from Hindu mythology to modern day Japanese cartoons. In between, we take a look at the Suez Canal that was recently in the news, and salute Ronald Reagan.

Wiz Quiz 7: Films, canals and famous cities

Wiz Quiz 2: A Handful of Oscars!

It’s the film award season once again! Awards for the best performances and technical accomplishments in feature films released during 2010 will be announced during the first quarter of 2011.

The best known – and most sought after – film awards are presented by the (American) Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Official called the Academy Awards, they are better known by their informal name ‘Oscars’.

‘A handful of Oscars’ is the title on our weekly Wiz Quiz this week in Daily News. Film buff Vindana Ariyawansa and I have chosen a few of the great many records and outstanding feats from the rich and colourful history of Oscar awards.

There aren’t too many notable Asians in this history, but we’ve focused on some: Satyajit Ray, Dr Haing S. Ngor
Akira Kurosawa and Ang Lee among them.

The first Academy/Oscar Awards ceremony was held on 16 May 1929, at the Hotel Roosevelt in Hollywood to honour outstanding film achievements of the 1927/1928 film season. The 83rd Oscar awards ceremony is scheduled for 27 February 2011, and will honour the best of films released during 2010. Nominations for the 2010 Awards have just been announced, on 25 January 2011.

Click here to see full list of Oscar Award nominations for 2010