TIME On Our Radar

iPhone Photography Awards Winners Revealed

From thousands of entries, the judges at IPPAwards select the top three photographers of the year and finalists in 19 categories

The iPhone Photography Awards, an international photography contest that fosters iPhone and mobile photography, has announced the winners of its eighth annual competition, with Michał Koralewski of Poland coming on top, and David Craik of the United Kingdom and American Yvonne Lu following the second and third spots respectively.

“It’s an incredible surprise for me to be given this award,” Koralewski tells TIME. “I’ve taken part in the IPPAwards contests for three years, and this is the first time I won something more than an honorable mention.”

Reviewing thousands of entries from all over the world, the jury selected the top three, as well as three winners in each of the 19 categories, which included travel, architecture, food and portrait. “This year’s entries were especially impressive ranging from intimate, thought-provoking moments to stunning, captivating imagery,” says the awards’ founder Kenan Aktulun.

Koralewski won best Photographer of the Year with the shoot Sounds of the Old Town, which depicts an elder accordionist playing traditional Polish songs in the market square of Warsaw. He captured the dreamy scene with an iPhone 5 equipped with a COVR photo lens – a sliding camera lens that allows photos to be taken discreetly from the waist.

As an amateur photographer, Koralewski enjoys the portability and low-profile nature of the device: “I have it with me all the time. It’s fast and always ready to use so I almost never miss the fleeting moment,” he says. “It allows me to stay almost invisible to the neighborhood when shooting.”

Craik won second prize with Cafe Birds, an image taken with his iPhone 5s in a café in Dorset, a fishing town in South England. “I’m overjoyed because I’ve finally won some recognition with a wildlife photo, and with an iPhone photo as well,” he says.

A self-taught photographer, Craik admits his “gut-wrenching passion” for wildlife inspired his shot. “I saw the birds, I saw the shadows on the wall, and I saw the corner of the table,” he says recalling the moment he noticed starlings reaching for crumbs on his table. “I saw this image happen in front of me.”

Craik applied minor edits to the photo using Pixlr to lighten it up. Although photo-editing apps were allowed in the contest, laptop post-production programs such as Photoshop were not.

With Before Sunset, an intimate photograph of a sleeping couple traveling by train along the Hudson River, photographer Yi-Chieh Lu – who goes by Yvonne – won third place. A fine art professional photographer, Lu relies on her phone mostly for street photography, as she values the “real-eye point-of-view” it provides, and praises the ability to share shots quickly on social media to reach a broad audience. Lu used VSCOcam to enhance her photograph.

Founded in 2007, the same year the iPhone was launched, the IPPAwards celebrates the power of the mobile device to produce valuable visual work.

The three winners learned to hone their skills through practice: “If you want to take a good photograph, first you need to cut out distractions in the background and focus on the essential parts of the frame. It’s especially important if you take photos with a smartphone,” says Koralewski who also encourages attention to light and experimenting with different angles for varying perspectives. The key is to be patient and to refrain from the natural instinct to rush, which might lead to blurry outcomes, Craik suggests while Lu reminds photographers to always have their iPhones with them. “Take your phone with you all the time, don’t put it in the bag!” suggests Lu. “That way, you can always capture beautiful moments just with your phone in hand.”

Lucia De Stefani is a contributor to TIME LightBox.

TIME Music

Watch Wiz Khalifa’s Touching Tribute to Paul Walker at the Billboard Music Awards

The rapper teamed up with singer Charlie Puth and violinist Lindsey Stirling to honor the Furious 7 actor's memory

It’s been a year and a half since Paul Walker died in a car accident in California—and for friends, family and his co-stars from the Fast and Furious franchise, the pain is still fresh.

At Sunday night’s Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas, Wiz Khalifa joined singer and pianist Charlie Puth and violinist Lindsey Stirling for a moving rendition of “See You Again,” a song off the Furious 7 soundtrack, in honor of the late actor. The song, for which a tribute video to Walker debuted in April, was penned by Puth, and the trio’s performance made for the most emotional moment during a night otherwise primarily concerned with theatrics and ceremony.

TIME Television

These Are the Nominees for the 2015 Critics’ Choice TV Awards

Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens in FX's "Justified."
FX Timothy Olyphant as Raylan Givens in FX's "Justified."

Justified and Olive Kitteridge currently rank at the top with 5 nominations each

This year’s Critics’ Choice Television Awards nominations have HBO leading the networks with a whopping 27 nods, followed by last year’s frontrunner, FX, with 16 nominations. The CW also makes its debut as a multi-nominee, thanks to Jane the Virgin. As for series, Justified and Olive Kitteridge have the most nominations, with five apiece.

Held by the Broadcast Television Journalists Association, the fifth annual awards will be broadcast live on A&E from the Beverly Hilton Hotel on May 31 at 8 p.m. ET.

Check out the nominees below…

Best comedy series

Broad City (Comedy Central)
Jane the Virgin (The CW)
Mom (CBS)
Silicon Valley (HBO)
Transparent (Amazon)
Veep (HBO)
You’re the Worst (FX)

Best actor in a comedy series

Anthony Anderson, Blackish (ABC)
Chris Messina, The Mindy Project (FOX)
Jeffrey Tambor, Transparent (Amazon)
Johnny Galecki, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Thomas Middleditch, Silicon Valley (HBO)
Will Forte, The Last Man on Earth (FOX)

Best actress in a comedy series

Amy Schumer, Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)
Constance Wu, Fresh Off the Boat (ABC)
Gina Rodriguez, Jane the Virgin (The CW)
Ilana Glazer, Broad City (Comedy Central)
Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Veep (HBO)
Lisa Kudrow, The Comeback (HBO)

Best supporting actor in a comedy series

Adam Driver, Girls (HBO)
Cameron Monaghan, Shameless (Showtime)
Jaime Camil, Jane the Virgin (The CW)
T.J. Miller, Silicon Valley (HBO)
Tituss Burgess, Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (Netflix)
Tony Hale, Veep (HBO)

Best supporting actress in a comedy series

Allison Janney, Mom (CBS)
Carrie Brownstein, Portlandia (IFC)
Eden Sher, The Middle (ABC)
Judith Light, Transparent (Amazon)
Mayim Bialik, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Melanie Lynskey, Togetherness (HBO)

Best guest performer in a comedy series

Becky Ann Baker, Girls (HBO)
Bradley Whitford, Transparent (Amazon)
Josh Charles, Inside Amy Schumer (Comedy Central)
Laurie Metcalf, The Big Bang Theory (CBS)
Peter Gallagher, Togetherness (HBO)
Susie Essman, Broad City (Comedy Central)

Best movie made for television

Bessie (HBO)
Killing Jesus (National Geographic Channel)
Nightingale (HBO)
A Poet in New York (BBC America)
Stockholm, Pennsylvania (Lifetime)

Best limited series

24: Live Another Day (FOX)
American Crime (ABC)
The Book of Negroes (BET)
The Honorable Woman (Sundance)
Olive Kitteridge (HBO)
Wolf Hall (PBS)

Best actor in a movie or limited series

David Oyelowo, Nightingale (HBO)
James Nesbitt, The Missing (Starz)
Kiefer Sutherland, 24: Live Another Day (FOX)
Mark Rylance, Wolf Hall (PBS)
Michael Gambon, The Casual Vacancy (HBO)
Richard Jenkins, Olive Kitteridge (HBO)

Best actress in a movie or limited series

Aunjanue Ellis, The Book of Negroes (BET)
Felicity Huffman, American Crime (ABC)
Frances McDormand, Olive Kitteridge (HBO)
Jessica Lange, American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX)
Maggie Gyllenhaal, The Honorable Woman (Sundance)
Queen Latifah, Bessie (HBO)

Best supporting actor in a movie or limited series

Bill Murray, Olive Kitteridge (HBO)
Cory Michael Smith, Olive Kitteridge (HBO)
Elvis Nolasco, American Crime (ABC)
Finn Wittrock, American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX)
Jason Isaacs, Stockholm, Pennsylvania (Lifetime)
Jonathan Pryce, Wolf Hall (PBS)

Best supporting actress in a movie or limited series

Claire Foy, Wolf Hall (PBS)
Cynthia Nixon, Stockholm, Pennsylvania (Lifetime)
Janet McTeer, The Honorable Woman (Sundance)
Khandi Alexander, Bessie (HBO)
Mo’Nique, Bessie (HBO)
Sarah Paulson, American Horror Story: Freak Show (FX)

Best drama series

The Americans (FX)
Empire (Fox)
Game of Thrones (HBO)
The Good Wife (CBS)
Homeland (Showtime)
Justified (FX)
Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)

Best actress in a drama series

Eva Green, Penny Dreadful (Showtime)
Julianna Margulies, The Good Wife (CBS)
Keri Russell, The Americans (FX)
Taraji P. Henson, Empire (FOX)
Vera Farmiga, Bates Motel (A&E)
Viola Davis, How to Get Away With Murder (ABC)

Best actor in a drama series

Aden Young, Rectify (Sundance)
Bob Odenkirk, Better Call Saul (AMC)
Charlie Hunnam, Sons of Anarchy (FX)
Freddie Highmore, Bates Motel (A&E)
Matthew Rhys, The Americans (FX)
Timothy Olyphant, Justified (FX)

Best supporting actress in a drama series

Carrie Coon, The Leftovers (HBO)
Christine Baranski, The Good Wife (CBS)
Joelle Carter, Justified (FX)
Katheryn Winnick, Vikings (History)
Lorraine Toussaint, Orange Is the New Black (Netflix)
Mae Whitman, Parenthood (NBC)

Best supporting actor in a drama series

Ben Mendelsohn, Bloodline (Netflix)
Christopher Eccleston, The Leftovers (HBO)
Craig T. Nelson, Parenthood (NBC)
Jonathan Banks, Better Call Saul (AMC)
Mandy Patinkin, Homeland (Showtime)
Walton Goggins, Justified (FX)

Guest performer in a drama series

Cicely Tyson, How to Get Away with Murder (ABC)
Julianne Nicholson, Masters of Sex (Showtime)
Linda Lavin, The Good Wife (CBS)
Lois Smith, The Americans (FX)
Sam Elliott, Justified (FX)
Walton Goggins, Sons of Anarchy (FX)

Best reality series

Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (CNN)
Deadliest Catch (Discovery Channel)
Married at First Sight (A&E)
MythBusters (Discovery Channel)
Shark Tank (ABC)
Undercover Boss (CBS)

Best reality competition series

The Amazing Race (CBS)
America’s Got Talent (NBC)
Dancing With the Stars (ABC)
Face Off (Syfy)
Master Chef Junior (FOX)
The Voice (NBC)

Best reality series host

Anthony Bourdain, Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (CNN)
Betty White, Betty White’s Off Their Rockers (Lifetime)
Cat Deeley, So You Think You Can Dance (FOX)
James Lipton, Inside the Actors Studio (Bravo)
Phil Keoghan, The Amazing Race (CBS
Tom Bergeron, Dancing with the Stars (ABC)

Best animated series

Archer (FX)
Bob’s Burgers (FOX)
Gravity Falls (Disney Channel)
The Simpsons (FOX)
South Park (Comedy Central)
Star Wars Rebels (Disney XD)

Best talk show

The Daily Show with Jon Stewart (Comedy Central)
The Graham Norton Show (BBC America)
Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC)
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver (HBO)
The Late Late Show with James Corden (CBS)
The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon (NBC)

This article originally appeared on EW.com.

TIME movies

See All the Winners From the 2015 MTV Movie Awards

US-ENTERTAINMENT-MTV-MOVIE-AWARDS
Frederic J. Brown—AFP/Getty Images Actress Shailene Woodley poses on arrival for the 2015 MTV Movie Awards on April 12, 2015 in Los Angeles, California.

Shailene Woodley took home best female performance

The Fault in Our Stars was the big winner at the 2015 MTV Movie Awards, raking in Movie of the Year, Best Female Performance and Best Kiss. Here are all the winners:

Movie of the Year
-“American Sniper”
-“The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1″
-“Guardians of the Galaxy”
-“Gone Girl”
-“The Fault In Our Stars”
-“Boyhood”
-“Whiplash”
-“Selma”

Best Female Performance
-Jennifer Lawrence, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1″
-Emma Stone, “Birdman”
-Shailene Woodley, “The Fault In Our Stars”
-Reese Witherspoon, “Wild”
-Scarlett Johansson, “Lucy”

Best Male Performance
-Bradley Cooper, “American Sniper”
-Chris Pratt, “Guardians of the Galaxy”
-Ansel Elgort, “The Fault In Our Stars”
-Miles Teller, “Whiplash”
-Channing Tatum, “Foxcatcher”

Best Scared-As-S**t Performance
-Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
-Annabelle Wallis, “Annabelle”
-Jennifer Lopez, “The Boy Next Door”
-Dylan O’Brien, “The Maze Runner”
-Zach Gilford, “The Purge: Anarchy”

Breakthrough Performance
-Ansel Elgort, “The Fault In Our Stars”
-Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
-David Oyelowo, “Selma”
-Dylan O’Brien, “The Maze Runner”
-Ellar Coltrane, “Boyhood”

Best Shirtless Performance
-Zac Efron, “Neighbors”
-Chris Pratt, “Guardians of the Galaxy”
-Channing Tatum, “Foxcatcher”
-Ansel Elgort, “The Fault In Our Stars”
-Kate Upton, “The Other Woman”

Best Duo
-Channing Tatum & Jonah Hill, “22 Jump Street”
-Zac Efron & Dave Franco, “Neighbors”
-Shailene Woodley & Ansel Elgort, “The Fault In Our Stars”
-Bradley Cooper & Vin Diesel, “Guardians of the Galaxy”
-James Franco & Seth Rogen, “The Interview”

Best Fight
-Jonah Hill vs. Jillian Bell, “22 Jump Street”
-Chris Evans vs. Sebastian Stan, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
-Dylan O’Brien vs. Will Poulter, “The Maze Runner”
-Seth Rogen vs. Zac Efron, “Neighbors”
-Edward Norton vs. Michael Keaton, “Birdman”

Best Kiss
-Ansel Elgort & Shailene Woodley, “The Fault In Our Stars”
-James Franco & Seth Rogen, “The Interview”
-Andrew Garfield & Emma Stone, “The Amazing Spider-Man 2″
-Scarlett Johansson & Chris Evans, “Captain America: The Winter Soldier”
-Rose Byrne & Halston Sage, “Neighbors”

Best WTF Moment
-Seth Rogen & Rose Byrne, “Neighbors”
-Jonah Hill, “22 Jump Street”
-Jason Sudeikis & Charlie Day, “Horrible Bosses 2″
-Miles Teller, “Whiplash”
-Rosario Dawson & Anders Holm, “Top Five”

Best Villain
-Rosamund Pike, “Gone Girl”
-J.K. Simmons, “Whiplash”
-Jillian Bell, “22 Jump Street,”
-Meryl Streep, “Into the Woods”
-Peter Dinklage, “X-Men: Days of Future Past”

Best Musical Moment
-Jennifer Lawrence, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1″
-Chris Pratt, “Guardians of the Galaxy”
-Seth Rogen & Zac Efron, “Neighbors”
-Bill Hader & Kristen Wiig, “The Skeleton Twins”
-Miles Teller, “Whiplash”

Best Comedic Performance
-Channing Tatum, “22 Jump Street”
-Chris Pratt, “Guardians of the Galaxy”
-Rose Byrne, “Neighbors”
-Chris Rock, “Top Five”
-Kevin Hart, “The Wedding Ringer”

Best On-Screen Transformation
-Eddie Redmayne, “The Theory of Everything”
-Elizabeth Banks, “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1″
-Zoe Saldana, “Guardians of the Galaxy”
-Steve Carell, “Foxcatcher”
-Ellar Coltrane, “Boyhood”

TIME Afghanistan

U.K. Paratrooper Honored for Saving U.S. Marine

Handout photograph of VC recipient Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey of the Parachute Regiment
Reuters Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey of the Parachute Regiment is seen in this undated photograph released in London by Britain's Ministry of Defence February 26, 2015.

The Victoria Cross has only been awarded 15 times since the end of World War 2

A British paratrooper was awarded the highest British military honor Thursday for his actions during a firefight in 2013 in Afghanistan.

Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey, 27, is only the third serviceman to receive the Victoria Cross for service in Afghanistan and the fifteenth since World War 2, according to the BBC.

Leakey was with a group of British and American troops who were pinned down on the side of a hill in Helmand province by about 20 insurgents. During the Taliban attack, he ran through heavy fire multiple times to assess the situation, assist the wounded U.S. Marine Captain, and fire on the enemy, ultimately helping the troops regain the initiative. During the battle, 11 Taliban were killed and four were wounded.

TIME awards

Julie Andrews Calls Lady Gaga a ‘New Friend’

onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California.
Kevin Winter—Getty Images Lady Gaga introduces Julie Andrews on stage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Feb. 22, 2015

The 79-year-old star was 'deeply honored' by the Oscars tribute performance

Lady Gaga had already won the Oscars. Now it turns out she has won at life: Julie Andrews is a Little Monster.

“I was deeply honored by the Academy’s lovely tribute to The Sound of Music,” the film’s Oscar-winning star told PEOPLE about Gaga’s show-stopper, which became the night’s most-shared moment on social media, “and especially touched by Lady Gaga’s wonderful performance.”

The legendary 79-year-old star, who inspired a collective round of reverential “awww”s in the lobby of the Dolby Theatre when she took the stage at Sunday night’s show, then added the best spoonful of sugar imaginable.

“I have always been a fan, but last night we bonded and now I have a new friend,” said the star and noted children’s book author.

Even raindrops on roses can’t compete with that.

This article originally appeared on People.com.

Read next: Watch Ed Sheeran’s Soulful Cover of Christina Aguilera’s ‘Dirrty’

TIME movies

Making the ‘In Memoriam’ Montage at the Oscars Is More Complicated Than It Seems

78th Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
Frazer Harrison—Getty Images Television host Joan Rivers arrives to the 78th Annual Academy Awards at the Kodak Theatre on March 5, 2006 in Hollywood.

Did Joan Rivers get snubbed?

Even as the Oscars hangover subsides, some film fans are still worked up about one particular snub — and this time it’s not a nominee. Rather, it’s the fact that the annual ‘In Memoriam’ montage reel failed to include Joan Rivers. The late legend’s exclusion from the reel led to angry reactions, full of the indignation that Rivers herself so often used to comedic effect.

An Academy spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter that yes, Rivers was one of the many people who must be left out in any given year, but that she was included in a remembrance gallery on the Oscars website. However, Rivers (like Elaine Stritch, another comedian who was missed by many viewers) is also absent from the official Academy list of members who died in 2014. Though Rivers, who was better known for her TV work than for film roles, had plenty of big-screen credits, from Space Balls to The Smurfs, Academy membership is not automatic, so it’s entirely possible that she was not part of the group; there is no official, public list of members.

Still, an in-depth 2013 investigation by the New York Times into what goes into the making of the Oscars memorial reel — which has been a feature of the telecast since 1994 — revealed that inclusion or exclusion from the montage is not so simple as “members in, non-members out.”

For one thing, non-members are eligible for inclusion, though positive involvement with the organization always helps. (Some conspiracy theorists guessed that Rivers’ acid tongue on the red carpet might have tipped the scales against her.) For another, it’s clear that, though the committee that makes the calls is anonymous, even death isn’t the end of the Hollywood publicity race. Attempting to get a client onto that list can be the last act of PR goodwill for many a publicist.

In fact, that publicity race suggests one possible reason for the exclusion of a major name like Rivers or Stritch. The family and friends of a lesser-known Academy member may push hard to get their loved one on the memorial list, but those who speak for the most famous of the dead are less likely to think a campaign is necessary. It’s only on Oscars night that they learn the extra push might have helped.

Read next: Joan Rivers’ Daughter Writes a Book About Her Life

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

 

 

TIME movies

Review: An Oscars Telecast Saved by the Music

87th Annual Academy Awards - Show
Kevin Winter—Getty Images Lady Gaga performs onstage during the 87th Annual Academy Awards at Dolby Theatre on February 22, 2015 in Hollywood, California.

Stellar performances from John Legend, Lady Gaga and others injected excitement into an often moribund show

It’s not as if the Oscars didn’t have material to work with. In many ways, 2014 was an interesting and vital year in movies — not just artistically, but in terms of engaging viewers and giving them things to talk about. The end of the year in particular saw movies like American Sniper, Selma — even The Interview — that spurred conversations and controversies and reminded us that movies can have effects beyond their running times. (The same was true of the nominations and omissions.)

The 2015 Oscars broadcast, though, had a hard time capturing that excitement — or anything else. It certainly had a big enough net: the show was 3 hours and 40 minutes long. But as a TV broadcast, it struggled not just with length but tone, trying alternately to be light entertainment and a meaningful statement. Sometimes it was delightfully one, sometimes it was affectingly the other. But often the two collided painfully.

There were high hopes from the beginning, because of host Neil Patrick Harris, generally a delightful stage performer who’s done a reliably terrific job hosting the Tony Awards. And he started off in fine form. His first joke immediately addressed the white elephant in the room: the dearth of minority nominees for this year’s awards: “Tonight we honor Hollywood’s best and whitest — sorry, brightest.” Then he ditched a traditional monologue to do his thing: musical comedy, a rapid-fire, playful celebration of “moving pictures” that was both sweet and funny: “Check out the glamor and glitter/ People tweeting on the Twitter / And no one’s drunk and bitter yet ’cause no one’s lost.”

Sometimes, though, the organism that is the Oscars is bigger than the host, and Harris seemed to lose his grip on it, thanks largely to some badly written material. Several jokes razzing celebs in the audience fell flat, including one that involved getting Selma star David Oyelowo to trash the remake of Annie, which Oyelowo reacted to with a memorable “meh” gesture.

Harris is nothing if not game, but he often seemed disconnected from the limp material. He followed up one winner’s story of her son’s suicide with a dissonant joke about the puffy orbs on her gown: “Takes a lot of balls to wear a dress like that!” (though it’s not clear if he caught the suicide reference before making the joke). But when he had the chance, he rallied, romping through the wings onto the stage in his tighty-whities in a bit that recalled Oscar winner Birdman, and reviving when he had the right material. (“Benedict Cumberbatch,” he said, was “the sound you get when you ask John Travolta to introduce Ben Affleck.”) But then there was the running gag, about Harris’ Oscar predictions having been locked in a box onstage, that ran so long and with so little payoff it could have been redeemed only if the box contained a $10 million check made out in my name.

When the scripted material falters, you hope for the unscripted moments to deliver, and the acceptance speeches often did. It was a year of earnestness, inspiration and exhortation. Patricia Arquette of Boyhood urged pay equality for women. Best Song winner John Legend insisted that “Selma is now, because the struggle for justice is right now.” Best Adapted Screenplay winner Graham Moore — for The Imitation Game, about British cryptography genius Alan Turing who was persecuted for being gay — recalled considering suicide at age 16, and offered hope to young people feeling the same way. “Stay weird,” he said. “Stay different.”

Fittingly for an Oscars that began with a song, it was often the music that salvaged this one. Tegan and Sara with The Lonely Island delivered a joyous, hallucinatory “Everything Is Awesome” from The Lego Movie (the performers handing out Lego statuettes that several guests clutched through the ceremony). Lady Gaga performed an incendiary medley from The Sound of Music — seemed like a strange idea, but totally worked — ending with a salute from Julie Andrews, who pronounced “Lady Gaga” as though it were a royal title. And Legend’s performance of “Glory” with Common was the rare Oscar musical number that — with a recreation of the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge — managed to reproduce the emotion of the movie onstage.

MORE Watch Common and John Legend Perform ‘Glory’ at the Oscars

But Selma was largely outside of the major Oscar running, as was the much-talked-about American Sniper. Much of the night involved jockeying between boutique films like Birdman, Boyhood and The Grand Budapest Hotel — which is no fault of the broadcast but may not have helped with mass viewer engagement. There was also a general lack of momentum to the night — exemplified by staid choices, like having the Best Animated Film nominees represented by still drawings, as opposed to something, well, animated.

In the end, this Oscars was neither brilliant or a disaster; like many Hollywood productions, it was just a long thing that felt put together by committee. There were moving moments and tedious moments — but there were also just tons and tons of moments (and yet, somehow, there wasn’t room in the In Memoriam reel for comedian, actress, writer-director and red-carpet fixture Joan Rivers).

That said, I’d be glad to see the very musical Harris get another shot at hosting the Academy Awards. And there’s nothing wrong with a telecast that plays up all the incredible music that gets written for the movies. But the music was never the problem. This year, it was the orchestration that left something to be desired.

Read next: The Oscars Were a Night of Mild Surprises, Including Neil Patrick Harris

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME movies

Here’s the Greatest Year in Oscar History

The 12th Annual Academy Awards
NBCU Photo Bank/Getty Images Actor Spencer Tracy and Vivien Leigh, winner of Best Actress for "Gone With the Wind," during the 12th Annual Academy Awards held at the Cocoanut Grove in The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles, Calidfornia on Feb. 29, 1940

This year marks the 75th anniversary of 'the most memorable twelve months in the history of the American cinema'

No offense to Neil Patrick Harris or to this year’s best-picture nominees, but this year’s Oscars ceremony is also notable for something that proves it has no chance of being the best: this is the 75th anniversary of the Academy Awards ceremony that honored what is widely thought to be the best year in Hollywood history.

There’s not much of a public record of what happened at the 1940 ceremony between the giving-out of statuettes. It was the first such evenings hosted by Oscars-hosting champ Bob Hope, so presumably there were jokes, but it took place before the days of a national radio broadcast (much less a television broadcast) of the ceremony, though local radio stations may have broadcast a portion of the evening.

But we don’t have to know what Hope said to the audience there to know that it was epic. Here’s how TIME recounted the evening’s events, in the pages of the Mar. 11, 1940, issue:

Hollywood’s swank Cocoanut Grove was aflutter with ermine wraps and shimmering gowns as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made its twelfth annual awards. To Robert Donat for his role in Goodbye, Mr. Chips and to Vivien Leigh for her Scarlett O’Hara in Gone With the Wind went Oscars signifying the year’s best performances by an actor and actress. Nobody was surprised. Academy selections of the best supporting actor and actress met with general approval: 1) Thomas Mitchell, for his whiskey-soaked doctor in Stagecoach; 2) Hattie McDaniel, for her sentimental performance as the hard-boiled mammy in Gone With the Wind. Cinemactress McDaniel was the first Negro to receive the prize. Posthumous were two awards: 1) to the late Douglas Fairbanks Sr. for international services to motion pictures; 2) to the late Playwright Sidney Howard for his Gone With the Wind script. Of the 17 major Oscars handed out, ten were copped by G.W.T.W. Producer David O. Selznick, pretty proud and getting richer by the minute, said he would send an extra check to Author Margaret Mitchell.

Winners from Gone With the Wind, however, aren’t the evidence that 1940’s Oscars were the best. For that, look to the losers.

The best picture nominees who weren’t good enough to take home an Oscar included some of the best movies ever: Mr. Smith Goes to Washington; Stagecoach;, The Wizard of Oz; Goodbye, Mr. Chips; and Dark Victory, and that’s only a partial list, not to mention the famous movies (like Young Mr. Lincoln and Babes in Arms) that weren’t even nominated. Any year can have one instant classic; it’s a rare year that has dozens. That year had been a period that Gerald Clarke described in TIME, on its 50th anniversary in 1989, as “the most memorable twelve months in the history of the American cinema.” But, as Clarke explained, it took a while to realize what was going on: the theater was still seen as superior to the cinema, and the business-centric studio system was still in effect. Movies were low-culture fluff, and nobody was looking for history to be made. And yet, it was.

“There is no formula for magic, and what happened then is something of a mystery even today. Part of the explanation may be that the studio system, which had been born 20 years or so earlier, had come of age; it had reached its maturity but was still full of zest,” Clarke wrote. “The bosses may have been crude and often tyrannical, but they loved their business, they knew what they were doing, and they had created huge organizations whose only purpose was to send new pictures to thousands of theaters, most of which, in the U.S., were owned by the studios themselves. At the same time, moviemaking had reached a level of technical perfection that would have seemed miraculous even five years before.”

The night of the Academy Awards of 75 years ago was a celebration of that magic — but there is one way in which the 1940 Oscars flopped: as recounted by the Academy, the practice of tipping off newspapers in advance, to get the winners into the morning paper, backfired that year. The Los Angeles Times published the results in the evening edition rather than the morning edition, which meant the attendees already knew who had won.

Read the full 1939 cover story about Gone With the Wind, here in the TIME Vault: G With the W

Read Gerald Clarke’s examination of the best year in Hollywood history, here in the TIME Vault: Twelve Months of Magic

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In Soviet Russia, the Oscars Host You

Actors (L-R) Clark Gable Cary Grant Bob Hope and David
Leonard McCombe—The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Clark Gable, Cary Grant, Bob Hope and David Niven laughing heartily together at one of Hope's recently-acquired Russian jokes during break from rehearsals for the 1958 Academy Awards

In 1958, Oscars host Bob Hope may have made comedy history

Stop me if you’ve heard this one.

These days, an Oscars host is likely to wish only to avoid a complete disaster — but in 1958, veteran host Bob Hope may have introduced the world to a joke that, decades later, has become part of comedy’s common heritage.

Here’s how TIME described the ceremony in the Apr. 7 issue of that year:

As things got under way, Jimmy Stewart told the home audience that the uninterrupted program was “being brought to you in living black and white.” Bob Hope, back from his Russian junket, noted that there had been TV in all the rooms of his Moscow hotel—”only it watches you”—also called attention to the parades of expensive talent being given away free to television, proving that “the motion-picture industry isn’t frightened. It’s off its rocker.”

Comedy fans will likely recognize a very familiar construction in that first Hope joke. In Soviet Russia, the TV watches you!

These days, that construction is often known as the “Russian reversal.” Swap around the order in which things are usually done, add “in [Soviet] Russia” to the beginning, and that’s it. The joke has appeared on The Simpsons and Family Guy, and the Internet is flush with “t-shirt wears you” gear.

Most sources — from the spot-on Language Log blog at UPenn to the equally trustworthy (when it comes to viral jokes) Know Your Meme — trace the joke’s popularity to Yakov Smirnoff, a Russian-born comedian who came to the U.S. in the 1970s. And it’s not hard to see why he would get the credit:

Dig a little deeper, and some sources note that a similar joke (substituting “the Old Country” for “Russia”) appeared on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, which started airing in 1968 — which is, of course, a full decade after Bob Hope used the joke at the 1958 Oscars.

There’s some evidence that Hope’s joke was new at that time: LIFE magazine had a photographer on scene during rehearsals for the telecast, and — though the magazine ended up printing something different — the caption with one of the photos (seen here) indicates that Hope and friends were laughing at one of his “recently acquired Russian jokes.”

But, while Bob Hope may have introduced a national television audience to the Russian reversal, the real moral of the story is not that he was first — just that it’s hard to say who came up with something so common. After all, buried in the meme’s page on TVTropes.org there’s an example from a play written a full two decades earlier, before Bob Hope hosted the Oscars, before the Oscars were on TV, before the Cold War even started. In 1938’s Cole Porter musical Leave It to Me!, a man tries to tip a messenger. “No tipping,” he’s told. “In Soviet Russia, messenger tips you.”

Read the full write-up of the 1958 ceremony, here in the TIME Vault: The Oscars

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