87th Academy Awards Foreign Language Submission post will be updated constantly with info when each country announces their selection. Today September 17: Panama and Bolivia submissions. Info about Canada.

Friday, April 30, 2010

2010 Tribeca Award Winners


Award Winner in *RED. To check winners in all categories go here.

I was checking the films in the fest and there are two in competitition that definitively are Must Be Seen for me. But this year they are doing something exceptional they'll bring the fest online for Premium Passholders across the USA.

On April 23, the fest will launch Tribeca Film Festival Virtual Premium, an 8-day full Festival experience. Passholders will have access to 8 feature films and over 15 short films, plus live red carpets, live panels and live filmmakers Q&As.

I just hope that eventually an event like this one is open to the citizens of the world! Torn down mental barriers, do business worldwide!

If you have access to the Virtual experience I suggest you do not miss Elvis & Madona by Marcelo Laffitte, Brazil, 2010 that's a 'little' lesbian interest.

Anyway the fest will run from April 21 to May 2 and here are the films in the World Narrative Feature Competition.

Buried Land, Geoffrey Aland Rhodes and Steven Eastwood, Bosnia and Herzegovina, UK, and USA, 2009
*Dog Pound, Kim Chapiron, Canada and France, 2009 - Best New Narrative Filmaker
Gainsbourg, Je t'Aime... Moin Non Plus, Joann Sfar, France, 2009
*Mine Vaganti (Loose Cannons), Ferzan Ozpetek, Italy, 2010 (Ozpetek is MUST BE SEEN! - Gay Interest) - Special Jury Mention
Lucky Life, Lee Isaac Chung, USA, 2010
My Brothers, Paul Fraser, Ireland, 2010
Open House, Andrew Paquin, USA, 20100
Paju, Park Chan-ok, South Korea, 2009
Snap, Carmel Winters, Ireland, 2010
*Die Fremde (When We Leave), Feo Aladag, Germany, 2010 (Interesting) Winner of the Founders Award for Best Narrative Feature
Keshtzarhaye Sepid (The White Meadows), Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran, 2009 (Must Be Seen!!!)
William Vincent, Jay Anania, USA, 2010

To read about each movie go here as well as to browse the fest to check the complete program.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gitmek: Benim Marlon ve Brandom (My Marlon and Brando)


When I check festivals there are films that really call my attention for no specific reason, try not to read about them even when I post synopsis and/or trailers and forget about them. In 2008 at the Rotterdam film the catchy film name stick to my mind and it wasn't until today that I was able to watch it as the film is screened online for free at The Auteurs.

The film slowly starts to involve you until it becomes really mesmerizing for Ayca Damgaci performance, when the story hits the road to show great landscapes, watching ordinary people in ordinary situations even when there was war nearby, and very tacky video love letters that show a lot more than a love message.

Reading about the film learned that is Huseyin Karabey first feature film as he mainly does documentaries and surprisingly learned that the story is real, happened to Ayca Damgaci -who reenacts her love story- and the video love letters are the real ones she received from her beloved Hama Ali Kahn.

Yes the film is a love story between a Turkish actress and an Iraqi actor that met during the filming of a film and fell in love; their problem is that when the film is over, each went back to their country and all happens not long before the Iraq war. They want to see each other but Hama is not allowed to leave Iraq, especially when the Americans start to bomb Iraq and war explodes. So Ayca decides to go to him and the most extraordinary and very exotic to my eyes trip starts from Istanbul into Turkey's north, the Iraq border, and Iran. You can really tell that Karabey's has great experience as a document recorder as his directing style travels collecting little details that surround his main character Ayca.

Is a fascinating film at many levels, especially to my occidental eyes that never been around that part of the world and much less in times of war, which is another level as silently in the background shows people reactions to the war, from indifference in Turkey to what we see in the love video letters and other situations Ayca faces during her trip.

Definitively not for all audiences but I believe that because tells a 'love story' could appeal to many and if they dare to watch I'm sure many will become mesmerized by Ayca performance, the situations and will watch until the end. But this docudrama is artish, so do not expect fast story development and you will enjoy more the ride.

I highly recommend this film -that collected several awards since premiered at 2008 Rotterdam fest- as an odd real-life woman story, a document of a war most of us know from the 'other side', and the most marvelous trip into not often seen in movies areas of the world.

Enjoy!!!

Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Single Man


What a BEAUTIFUL movie! Beautiful, beautiful. The esthetic is perfect. The use of light and color absolutely dreamy and enhances what you will feel from the scenes. This is a movie about feelings, your feelings, the ample range of feelings you will feel while watching.

I could go on and on talking about the few handheld camera takes to shake whatever was happening, the amazing compositions, the absolutely fantastic storytelling with a pace that goes slow, slowish, faster, back to slowish, slow and so on. Tom Ford successfully plays with all resources to make his audience feel.

To think that Ford could provoke Colin Firth to do perhaps his best ever performance, he's not mesmerizing, he's above mesmerizing with those facial expressions and the body language makes you feel like if you were there close to him and if you extend your hand you will touch him. Glorious performance. Bravo!

Yes Julianne Moore is here and her role fits her like a hand to a glove, she should do more of this kind of roles set in the '50/60s. But also a pleasant surprise while briefly seeing Erin Daniels, she should do more films.

I don't have to talk about the costumes after all is Tom Ford so you can imagine what you'll be able to see; but have to talk again about the film esthetic with absolutely beautiful and so 50/60's sets, surroundings, cars, makeup, people... and the playing with tint, the color and light saturation, the sad greyish and the taupe melting into sepia-ish... awesome!

On purpose never read about the story and I strongly recommend you don't. You'll eventually start to guess probably right, but it's not a movie about destination is about the voyage and what a strongly felt voyage. Suffice to let you know that the story is about one day in the life of George, an English Professor living in Los Angeles area.

I cried, I smiled, I laughed. I was sad, all right, and happy. I felt everything. It was wonderful. Love the film that personally believe is superior -as a film- to Brokeback Mountain. More complete cinema experience. Yes, I'm still waiting for a lesbian interest film that so esthetically can provoke me such a torrent of intense feelings.

Absolutely must be seen and yes, this is a keeper and goes into my collection to revisit now and then. Strongly recommend you do not skip this film as is truly a great American film about love, any love; but also about life, anybody's life.

BIG ENJOY!!!

Watch trailer here.

Note: Love this movie poster that says a lot more about the movie than any other I saw in the net, don't know if is official, but after watching the film absolutely suits the movie better.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Bienvenue chez les Ch'tis (Welcome to the Sticks)


By now some of you know that I LOVE French cinema and that I have a hard time with comedies. If you browse the blog you will see that the words French and comedy together are simply non-existent. That's until today.

Yes waited until was shown in cable and finally watched one of the most successful French movies in recent times. The big surprise is that I like it! Yes, I laugh (not too much but I did) and felt very good (after a terrible day) when was over.

This Dany Boon film is great for the story, the comedy timing, the type of comedy, and good actors performances that not often use exaggerated gestures that I simply and strongly dislike. Tells about Phillippe, post office director, trying to please his wife and scamming to get transferred to a nicer ocean-side town in the South. When he gets caught he's banished to the North of France to a tiny city, Berges. No worst punishment as up North is cold, inhabited by 'simple' and uneducated people, unemployed miners that speak an incomprehensible dialect called Ch'ti. His wife stays in sunny South and he alone goes to a worst place than Siberia... according to what everyone in the South says. The rest you have to watch and just let me tell you one phrase from the movie 'foreigners cry twice when they come up north, once when they arrive and another when they leave'.

Perhaps is the best story I have ever seen about prejudice and the humor made it so easy to watch that was highly entertaining. If you haven't seen it I suggest to check your cable -or movie rental- perhaps they are showing this great film that maybe looses a bit in translation, but if you understand French you will laugh and laugh with the dialect speaking very funny moments.

Excellent film for an entertaining and escape moment. A while back I remember I swore that will never watch again a French comedy, but gee this comedy was really an exception.

Enjoy!!!

Watch trailer (with English subtitles) @ Movie On Companion

Sunday, April 25, 2010

2010 Premiile Gopo Winners


Recently the Romanian Gopo Awards had the awards ceremony and here are the winners in the main categories. As expected the movie that sweep the awards is none other than Politist, Adjetiv by Corneliu Porumboiu.

Best Film: Politist, Adjectiv (Police, Adjetive), Corneliu Porumboiu
Best Director: Corneliu Porumboiu for Politist, Adjectiv (Police, Adjetive)
Best Actress: Hilda Péter in Katalin Varga, Peter Strickland, UK and Romania
Best Actor: Dragos Bucur in Politist, Adjectiv (Police, Adjetive)

To check winners in all categories plus the special awards go here available only in Romanian.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Afghan Star


In my insurmountable quest to watch all the foreign films submitted to the 2010 Oscars recently I took a small step and decided to watch the UK official submission, a documentary by Havana Marking that troubled me more than I was prepared for.

The documentary film tells the story of a contestants musical show very similar to American Idol -that I have to remind readers that the show format is an import from UK and not an American original idea- that happens in contemporary Afghanistan. But that's the excuse to show how Afghan society has changed since the Taliban rule and my impression is that what we see is not so impartial and has a not so hidden intention.

I'm really torn with the way the documentary was edited as somehow I got the feeling that I was seeing propaganda. I will not get into explaining why, suffice to tell that it should have been a lot better if the story was told objectively. What I really appreciate is the story of the two women contestants as an example of cultural/religious rules that totally make women less than second class citizens and human beings. Watching both being and behaving so different impressed me and the reactions to disobeying the rules were absolute appalling. But then I'm torn here too, as I know that what is 'normal' for many, is not 'normal' for others and only us that live in a society where people are allowed to have choices will find appalling not being able to choose who we are or want to be. So I'm really troubled with this film that not unintentionally tried to show how an Occidental culture contestants format brought back "life" to a country where our concept of "joy" is restricted, the terrible consequences (including death threats) for disobeying rules, and the 'silly' government actions trying to control and punish contestants and people participation.

One positive thing the film did to me, made me think about politics, religion, Occidental recent popular culture and it's not-so-good penetration in cultures with thousands of years, and many other subjects that definitively will not discuss in this blog.

So, do I recommend the film? No if you're looking forward to an entertaining escape moment. No, if you want to have an 'objective' document of reality. Yes, if you have to watch all the foreign films submitted to the 2010 Oscar, but be prepared to see and hear a lot more than a simply Pop Idol contestants story.

Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion

Machan


Sometimes it takes me a long time to be able to watch a film and this is the case with this movie that was screened at the 2008 Venice fest at the Venice Days section where won the Label Europa Cinemas Award. It took me almost two years, but the wait was more than worth it as the film really becomes mesmerizing for the most unbelievable good story and the excellent performances from unknown to me actors (or non-actors?). It's my first movie from Sri Lanka with an Italian director Uberto Pasolini that expertly handles actors and the story development.

The film looks and feels like the raw reality of the poorest inhabitants that have to emigrate as "normal" life in their country is impossible. So it's no surprise to find that is based on a true story of a group of men that have a clever idea to obtain the German visa. They invent the Sri Lanka National Handball Team, ask to participate and obtain an invitation to an international tournament in Bavaria, Germany. The problem is that none of them play handball or have the slightest idea of what the game is all about.

This is a film to watch for the story, the natural acting and a director that created an excellent and entertaining film and as such I do strongly recommend it to those that like to watch well-done dramatization of real life stories.

The film is labeled as comedy and yes there is humor in this film, but what really touched me is the drama so well presented and handled about a very sensitive subject like emigration from a poor country into developed countries.

Enjoy!!!

Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion

Boogie Woogie


A movie that's not for all tastes as you really have to enjoy British satire to laugh with all the crazy situations, crazy acting and crazy story, and if you doubt me just check the awful movie poster that's a ridicule satiric representation of what the story is all about. But boy, did I laugh with this crazy movie.

Described as 'comedy of manners' this Duncan Ward film is set in the contemporary London art world and is based on the book by Danny Moynihan -with the same name- with an excellent cast playing characters devouring each other in a very small world awash with big money. The cast includes Gillian Anderson, Alan Cumming, Christopher Lee, Charlotte Rampling, Stellan Skarsgård, Heather Graham, Danny Huston, Jack Huston, and (again) Amanda Seyfried, plus many more like Gemma Atkinson that plays a lesbian artist that will do anything to be discovered and promoted.

Very fast paced film with many stories (as many as the large amount of characters) but basically revolves around the desire to acquire Piet Mondrian's painting that belongs to an old man who doesn't want to sell as he bought it directly from the famous painter and is his most precious collection piece. But that's the excuse to show us the (real) ridiculous side of art commercialism that is very similar (if not the same) all over the world.

If you have ever been close to the Art Marché in wherever you live then you have to watch this film to uncover people you probably know and if you appreciate Brit humor then the pleasure will be double. Unfortunately I cannot recommend this film to some of my loyal readers as is not the regular lesbian interest movie, but has all the ingredients including the sex scene.

Is so hard for me to find films that understand my humor (lol!) but this one definitively did, plus was a true delight to watch all the paintings, sculptures, etc that parade through out the entire film.

Enjoy!!

Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion

Chloe


I wasn't sure if I wanted to watch this film, so I delayed as much as possible but finally I succumbed as is an Atom Egoyan film and had to watch. The good news is that visually the film has many good moments with excellent cinematography and some outstanding outdoor compositions. The bad news is that the original story was changed to make it the most awful story you can image, chemistry between main leads (Julianne Moore and Amanda Seyfried) was non-existent and after watching I was mad!

Remakes are most of the time awful as many times the story is changed to accommodate the morality codes of the target audience. If something I was really curious about this movie was how they were going to adapt Nathalie's very peculiar story that for me totally reflects France's morality values that are SO different to values in English speaking countries. Well, just let me tell you that the main character becomes a stalker of the worst kind, which in the original story is very-very far from it.

Yes this film is the very bad remake of Anne Fontaine's Natalie. Bad because so many things that include the awful story changes but also -for example- Nathalie was all about voices and was really erotic, Chloe tries too hard to be erotic and becomes vulgar.

If you haven't seen Nathalie I urge you to go and buy/rent the DVD so you can see the abysmal difference from Chloe. Would I have liked the movie if I haven't seen Fointaine's film? Visually yes; the story, no.

Definitively Atom Egoyan should avoid doing mainstream films, he's an excellent director that wasted his time with a terrible screenplay.

If you saw and loved Nathalie as much as I did, I suggest you stay away from this movie as I'm sure you will get upset with the old-fashion portrait of lesbianism in this film.

Sigh.

Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion

2010 German Film Awards Winners


Followed yesterday via facebook the awards with my favorite film of the year winning 10 Lola's. Here are the winners in *RED.

On March 20th - Yesterday the German Film Academy announced this year nominations and the best news is that The White Ribbon has a record 13 nominations all extremely well-deserved. The full list of the better know as Lola's Awards is not out yet in English but here are the nominations for the main categories.

Best Film
Alle Anderen (Everyone Else), MarenAde
Die Fremde (When We Leave), Feo Aladag (Bronze Lola)
Soul Kitchen, Fatih Akin
Sturm, Hans-Christian Schmid (Silver Lola)
*Das Weisse Band (The White Ribbon), Michael Haneke - Golden Lola
Desert Flower (Wustenblume), Sherry Horman

Best Director
Maren Ade for Alle Anderen (Everyone Else)
Feo Aladag for Die Fremde (When We Leave)
*Michael Haneke for Das Weisse Band (The White Ribbon)
Hans-Christian Schmid for Sturm

Best Screenplay
Feo Aladag for Die Fremde
*Michael Haneke for Das Weisse Band
Wolfgang Kohlasse for Whisky mit Wodka
Bernd Lange and Hans-Christian Schmid for Sturm

Best Actress
Corinna Harfouch in This is Love
*Sibel Kekilli in Die Fremde
Susanne Lothar in Alle Anderen

Best Actor
Fabian Hinrichs in Schwerkraft
Henry Hubchen in Whisky mit Wodka
*Burghart Kaubner in Das Weisse Band
Devid Striesow in So Glucklich War ich Noch Ne

To check nominees in all categories please go here available only in German and if you feel like checking the video with the nominations announcement go here. To read about winners in all categories check the press release available only in German here.

The award ceremony will be on April 23 and as soon as the complete list in English is published I will post the link. I really like Fatih Akin films and I'm looking forward to watch Sturm (with Anamaria Marinca) but this year honors belong to the extraordinary film by Michael Haneke, the film has to sweep the awards. (and it did!!!).

Friday, April 23, 2010

2010 Looks Like a Promising Year for Movies


I was reading an article by my favorite net writer, Peter Knegt, and felt the urge to share with you all some upcoming films that definitively called my attention.

The American by Anton Corbijn
The Beaver by Jodie Foster
Hereafter by Clint Eastwood
Miral by Julian Schnabel
Potiche by Francois Ozon
Rabbit Hole by John Cameron Mitchell
Somewhere by Sofia Coppola
The Tempest by Julie Taymor
The Turin House by Bela Tarr
"Untitled" by Gus Van Sant

Knegt's list is longer, but I selected the above films because of I like the director and/or his previous films. I don't know if any of the films in the complete list will still make it to Cannes or if they will end up in Venice or Toronto fests; for me the list looks like a very promising year for movies I like to watch.

To check the complete list go here.

Cheers!!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

12th Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival


Tomorrow the fest will start and will run until May 2nd. For a very refreshing change the fest has a couple of very interesting comedies/drama as well as some interesting shorts. The following films are new to the blog.

The Four-Faced Liar, Jacob Chase, USA, 2010
Leading Ladies, Erika and Daniel Beahm, USA, 2010
My Normal, Irving Schwartz, USA, 2009

To read about the films that this year are equally gay and lesbian interest (for a change) go here.

Check trailers @ Movie On Companion

52nd Ariel Awards Winners


Recently the Mexican Academy had their award ceremony and here are the winners for the main categories.

Best Film: Cinco días sin Nora (Nora's Will), Mariana Chenillo
Best First Film: Cinco días sin Nora (Nora's Will), Mariana Chenillo

Best Director: Carlos Carrera for El Traspatio (Backyard)
Best Actress: Azur Zagada in El Traspatio (Backyard)
Best Actor: Fernando Lujan in Cinco días sin Nora (Nora's Will), Mariana Chenillo

Best Ibero-american Film: El Secreto de sus ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes), Juan José Campanella, Argentina and Spain

To check winners in all categories go here available only in Spanish.

4th Asian Film Awards Award Winners


Award Winners are in (*)RED.

The Nominations - Concurrently with the 34th Hong Kong International Film Festival that runs from March 21 to April 4, these young awards will be handled and here are the nominees.

Best Film
十月圍城 Shi yue wei cheng (Bodyguards and Assassins),Teddy Chang, Hong Kong and China
南京! 南京! Nanjing! Nanjing! (City of Life and Death), China
Lola, Brillante Mendoza, Philippines
(*) 마더 Madeo (Mother), Bong Joon-ho, South Korea
No Puedo Vivir Sin Ti (不能沒有你), Leon Dai, Taiwan
パレード Parêdo (Parade), Isao Yukisada, Japan

Best Director
Bong Joon-ho for Madeo (Mother), South Korea
Asghar Farhadi for About Elly, Iran
(*) Lu Chuan for 南京! 南京! Nanjing! Nanjing! (City of Life and Death), China
Brillante Mendoza for Lola, Philippines
Sono Sion for Ai no mukidashi (Love Exposure), Japan
Yonfan for Lei Wangzi (Prince of Tears), Hong Kong and Taiwan

Best Actress
Bae Doo-na in Air Doll, Japan
(*) Kim Hye-ja in Mother, South Korea
Li Bingbing in The Message, China
Matsu Takako in Villon's Wife, Japan
Sandrine Pinna in Yang Yang, Taiwan

Best Actor
Asano Tadanobu in Villion's Wife, Japan
Huang Bo in Cow, China
Matsumoto Hitsohi in Symbol, Japan
Song Kang-ho in Thirst, South Korea
(*) Wang Xueqi in 十月圍城 Shi yue wei cheng (Bodyguards and Assassins), Hong Kong and China

The award ceremony will be on March 22nd and to check the nominees in all the categories go here.

To check the winners in all categories go here.

34th Hong Kong International Film Festival Award Winners


For those that still doubt my 'good eye' for movies (lol!) check the big winner in this festival. Yes, was the only film that really called my attention when I leaned about the lineup. Anyway here are the award winner films.

Asian Digital Competition
Golden Digital Award: Guang Ban (Sun Spots), Yang Heng, China, 2009
Silver Digital Award: 寻欢作乐 The High Life, Zhao Dayong, China, 2010

FIPRESCI Prize: 寻欢作乐 The High Life, Zhao Dayong, China, 2010
Special Mention: 夜郎 Tangle, Liu Yonghong, China, 2010

SIGNIS Award: A Brand New Life, Ounie Lecomte, South Korea and France,2009
Commendation: Letters to Father Jacob, Klaus Haro, Finland, 2009

Humanitarian Awards for Documentaries
Best Documentary: Petition, Zhao Liang, China, 2009
Outstanding Documentary: Enemies of the People, Rob Lemkin and Thet Sambath, UK and Cambodia, 2009

Short Film Competition
Grand Prize: Hanasaari A, Hannes Vartiainen and Pekka Veikkolainen, Finland
Jury Prize: Berlin Wall, Paul Cotter, Germany

To check the announcement go here.

49 Semaine de la Critique – Critics’ Week Lineup - Update


The following seven (7) films make the Selection for this year in the parallel section of the Cannes fest. The section will run from May 13 to 21, 2010.

Feature Films

Armadillo, Janus Metz, Denmark
Belle épine, Rebecca Ziotowski, France
Bi, đừng sợ! (Bi, Don't Be afraid),Phan Dang Di, Vietnam, France and Germany
김복남 살인사건의 전말 Kim-bok-nam Sal-in-sa-eui Jeon-mal (Bedevilled), Jang Cheol-so, South Korea
The Myth of the American Sleepover, David Robert Mitchell, USA
Sandcastle, Boo Junfeng, Singapore
Sound of Noise, Ola Simonsson & Johannes Stjärne Nilsson, Sweden and France

Special Screenings
Opening film: Le Nom de Gens (The Names of Love), Michel Leclerc, France
Copacabana, Marc Fitoussi, France (Isabelle Huppert!)
Rubber, Quentin Dupieux, France (the story of a tire!)

Invitations
Women Are Heroes, JR, France
Revolucion (Revolution), Ten Directors, Mexico
Ten voices at the forefront of Mexican cinema join together to celebrate the hundred-year anniversary of the Mexican revolution. This multi-faceted and energetic compilation expresses the historical moment which still echoes in today’s society.

Short Films

A distracao de Ivan, Cavi Borges and Gustavo Melo, Brazil
Berik, Daniel Joseph Borgman, Denmark
The Boy Who Wanted to Be a Lion, Alois Di Leo, UK
Deeper Than Yesterday, Ariel Kleiman, Australia
Love Patate, Gilles Cuvelier, France
Native Son, Scott Graham, UK
Vasco, Sebastien Laudenbach, France

Special Screenings
L'Amour-prope, Nicolas Silhol, France
Cynthia Todavia tienes las Llaves (Cynthia Still got the Keys), Gonzalo Tobal, Argentina
Fracture, Nicolas Sarkissian, France

Invitations
Canal+ Collection
The Programmes Courts et Créations division present The Collection, a program of eight short films ordered by CANAL+. This year, the theme was: the Collection “Cracks the crisis”.

The section has at the official site complete information about each film, to browse the site please go here. The seven feature films are competing for the Caméra d'Or, also competing is the documentary Women Are Heroes.

Read info and watch videos @ Movie On Companion.

--Update--

Today, April 22, the section organizers announced two short films that will be screened before the award ceremony on May 21st. These are the two short films directed by two well-known American actors that by 'coincidence' were colleagues in the Spiderman sagas.

Bastard, Kirsten Dunst (second short)
The Clerk's Tale, James Franco (third short)

--end of Update--

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Cannes Posts News


As of this minute almost ALL feature films in the main Selection, Un Certain Regard, Directors Fortnight, and Critics' Week have information, photos and less films, trailers. It was hard labor but I'm very glad that I did it as now I have all films in my head and know which ones definitively cannot miss when I'm able to watch them.

As expected there are many films that do not have trailers and it's understandable as some filmmakers are doing last minute film editing to start doing the transfers that need to be done for Cannes screening. They have less than 21 days to do a series of tasks.

What I really like this year is that there are MANY first time filmmakers in almost all the sections and learning about the directors was a very interesting voyage into discovering how they end up doing their first feature. The most exotic background for me was an engineer, but the most interesting are obviously the ones that come from photography. There is a movie that was 'filmed' with a photo camera, second by second, definitively the end result I HAVE to watch it.

The bad news is that there are not many female directors in the festival. Perhaps that's why they have so many women in other tasks like jurors or even as the mistress of ceremony. Do not forget that 2010 has become a milestone year in the history of American cinema with the first female director winning the top directing honor, so women all over the world expect more female director visibility. Me, I just wish I'm still alive to see when we don't care much about the genre of the director and just care about their professional abilities.

There are many films that suggest will show raw-reality but surely they will do it 'beautifully'. There are some that are horror, a genre I don't appreciate much; but there is a Mexican film about cannibalism that definitively will have to watch. My impression is that there are many films with children as leads, but I'm sure that are NOT for children, sort of ironic. Then you have the regular genres in the fest with films that probably will show a 'known' story differently and surely will be outstanding.

Me rambling about the humongous amount of information that I have in my head and telling nothing specific. Done on purpose. If you wish to learn about the movies at the trailers site (with the awful name I have to change Movie On Companion) you will find a plethora of links to production companies that eventually will have trailers and I suggest you to visit them just to get lost with the other movies they have in-development and/or coming soon.

Just for your information there are 73 new posts at the trailers site since April 15th when the Selection was announced. Each represents a film.

Once a week I'll check if the trailers have 'appeared' and if they become available will post them at the site.

I'm ready for the party and as of today, I'm ready for the fest of all fests to begin, are you???

Cheers!!!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

2010 Cannes Shorts News


In Cannes this year there will be several sections and events that will screen short films. The following are the sections and events that I have been able to identify.

Cannes Courts

According to the official site this year the festival has created a new 'Short Film' category. Here is a copy and paste of the announcement that you can check here.

Because the young talents of today will be the big names of cinema of the future, the Cannes Film Festival has created a new ‘Short Film’ category this year.

At the Cannes Film festival, short films are represented both at the Competition, at the end of which the short films jury awards a short film Palme d’or, and at the Short Film Corner, a professional area for new meetings and exchanges.

This new short film category will be represented in an area at the Palais des Festivals, where directors and professionals will have the opportunity to mingle in workshops and conferences. It is also there that the films registered under the Short Film Corner will be screened and thematic programs organized.

They will announce the shorts in competition at any time after the Selection announcement, which already happened, so I'll be checking and post as soon as they have the list at their site.

Short Film Corner

This works as a professional area and here is what they are all about.

Organized by the Festival de Cannes, the Short Film Corner has become a decisive meeting point for short film professionals as well as a step to develop their career. The Short Film Corner invites you to present your film in a dedicated space. You can take advantage of being at the heart of the most important rendez-vous to develop your network, to enhance your promotion, to discover new talents. When introduced your film could be watched by the whole industry professionals present at the festival: producers, distributors, programmers, directors, agents, buyers, Institutions - and all of them at the same place.

So short films screened in this section are mainly for commercial purposes if you wish and if you're interested in more info please go here.

Cinéfondation

As we know, in 1998, the Festival de Cannes created the Cinéfondation to inspire and support the next generation of international filmmakers. The Selection includes fifteen to twenty short and medium-length films from film schools all over the world.

The Cinéfondation Selection forms part of Cannes Official Selection and a prize is awarded to the best three.

Basically here the competition is all about student films. This year Selection will be announced soon and the list with information will be on-line one week before the opening of the event. Will be here.

I'll be checking the site and will post when the lists become available.

42nd Quinzaine des Réalisateurs - Directors Fortnight Lineup


This year the Quinzaine not only has a new and nicer logo at their official site but has perhaps the most diverse selection of all sections with films from all the continents. These are the films in their Selection.

Feature Films

Alegria (Joy), Marina Meliande and Felipe Bragança, Brazil
(*) All Good Children, Alicia Duffy, Ireland, Belgium and France
Alting Bliver Godt Igen (Everything Will Be Fine), Christoffer Boe, Denmark, Sweden and France
(*) Año Bisiesto, Michael Rowe, Mexico
(*) Benda Bilili!, Renaud Barret and Florent de la Tullaye, France and Congo (documentary)
(*) La Casa Muda (The Silent House), Gustavo Hernandez, Uruguay
Cleveland vs. Wallstreet – Mais mit dä Bänkle, Jean-Stephane Bron, Switzerland and France (documentary)
Des Filles en Noir, Jean-Paul Civeyrac, France
(*) Ha'Meshotet (The Wanderer), Avishai Sivan, Israel
Illégal, Olivier Masset-Depasse, Belgium, Luxemmbourg, and France
Svet-ake (The Light Thief), Aktan Arym Kubat, Kyrgyzstan
(*) En waar de sterre bleef stille staan (Little Baby Jesus of Flandr), Gust Van den Berghe, Belgium
La Mirada Invisible (The Invisible Eye), Diego Lerman, Argentina, France, and Spain
(*) Picco, Philip Koch, Germany
Pieds nus sur les Limaces (Lily Sometimes), Fabienne Berthaud, France
Le Quattro Volte (The Four Times), Michelangelo Frammartino, Italy, Germany, and Switzerland
Shit Year, Cam Archer, USA
(*) Somos Lo Que Hay (We Are What We Are), Jorge Michel Grau, Mexico
Tiger Factory, Woo Ming jin, Malaysia and Japan
(*) Todos vós sodes capitáns, Oliver Laxe, Spain
(*) Two Gates of Sleep, Alistair Banks Griffin, USA
(*) Un Poison Violent (Love Like Poison), Katell Quillevéré, France

(*) Films competing for the Caméra d'Or

Special Screenings

Stones in Exile, Stephen Kijak, UK (documentary)
Boxing Gym, Frederik Wiseman, USA (documentary)

Short Films

Cautare (Quest), Ionut Piturescu, Romania
Ett tyst barn (A Silent Child), Jesper Klevenas, Sweden
Licht, Andre Schreudders, Netherlands
Mary Last Seen, Sean Durkin, USA
Petit Tailleur, Louis Garrel, France
Shikasha, Hirabayashi Isamu, Japan
Tre Ore (Three Hours), Annarita Zambrano, Italy
ZedCrew, Noah Pink, Zambia and Canada

To check the list go here.

The official site doesn't have info on films yet. The complete catalog is here.

Read info and watch videos @ Movie On Companion

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky


It's been a while since I feel like writing about a movie I watch but I have to share with you all about this excellent film and story that goes well beyond the regular tale about an affair between a single woman and a married man, an extraordinary musician and an extraordinary couturier, a man that's an artist and a woman that was changing the way women dressed forever. Absolutely on purpose is my last dual comparison as there is one scene that shocked me, when Stravinsky says (more or less) that he's an artist while Coco is just a shop owner. Wow! For me the moment when this scene happens is the climax to a movie that is slow paced with not much dialogue, excellent performances with expressions and body language, lots of exuberant Stravinsky music and the most spectacular sets that recreate the true (or myth?) Chanel.

Jan Koune film is absolutely mesmerizing since the very beginning that opens credits with Chanel alike designs kaleidoscope to smoothly (and symbolically) start the film with Chanel scissoring her corset, transition to a 20 minute (or so) recreation of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring (disastrous) opening night. AWSOME!

When I saw Coco Avant Chanel I saw Tatou very alike to what Chanel looked like. Here Anna Mougalis does not look at all like Chanel but it's impressive how she IS Chanel just with attitude and body language, you have no idea of how good her performance is, truly mesmerizing. Then Mads Mikkelsen's Stravinsky says everything with very little expressions and lots of body language even when he's stiff and deadpan faced most of the time. Last but not least, Yelena Morozova's Catherine (Stravinsky's wife) also is mesmerizing as the total opposite of Coco. Truly amazing performances.

The story? Very simple. Coco undertakes Stravinsky's financial support and takes all his family to live with her at her country villa. Stravinsky works, Chanel works (in perfume Chanel No. 5). Slowly they get involved and I know you don't need much imagination to figure out what happens, but this film is not about destination is about the voyage and exploration of two early last century figures that dared to be different and be true as individuals.

If you love Stravinsky you can't miss this movie. If you love Chanel (more style than clothes) this film is a must be seen; and if you love great European cinema you have to see this movie.

Took me almost a year to be able to watch the film that premiered at 2009 Cannes -out of competition- but the wait was more than worth it as I simply love this film. I strongly recommend it to many that read this blog but please don't expect a regular romance story as is not.

Big Enjoy!!!

Watch trailer @ Movie On Companion

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

30th Genie Awards Winners


Winners are in *RED.

Recently the Academy of Canadian Cinema and Television announced the nominations for the current year awards and here they are.

Best Motion Picture
3 Saisons, Jim Donovan
Le jour avant le lendemain (Before Tomorrow), Marie-Hélène Cousineau and Madeline Piujuq Ivalu
Fifty Dead Men Walking, Kari Skogland
Nurse.Fighter.Boy, Charles Officer
*Polytechnique, Denis Villeneuve

Achievement in Direction
Marie-Hélène Cousineau, Madeline Piujuq Ivalu for Le jour avant le lendemain (Before Tomorrow),
Kari Skogland for Fifty Dead Men Walking
Charles Officer for Nurse.Fighter.Boy
*Denis Villeneuve for Polytechnique
Bruce McDonald for Pontypool

Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role
Carinne Leduc in 3 Saisons
Madelline Piujuq Ivalu in Le jour avant le lendemain (Before Tomorrow),
Gabrielle Rose in Mothers&Daughters, Carl Besssai
Karen LeBlanc in Nurse.Fighter.Boy
*Karine Vanasse in Polytechnique

Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role
Jean-Carl Boucher in 1981, Ricardo Trogi
Paul Dylan Ivalu in Le jour avant le lendemain (Before Tomorrow),
Clark Johnson in Nurse.Figther.Boy
*Joshua Jackson in One Week, Michael McGowan
Stephen McHattie in Pontypool

To read the nominees in all the categories please go here. The awards ceremony will take place Monday, April 12, 2010 in Toronto and will be broadcast live but no news about the channel yet.

It's a true surprise that the official Canadian submission to the Oscar's got NO nominations! Strange. Still the Claude Jutra Award for First Film is given to the film. Stranger. I'm talking about J'ai tué ma mère (I Killed My Mother) by Xavier Dolan. The film with most (11) nominations is Polytechnique and from all nominated in the major categories is the only one I have seen and yes still have it in my head with the spectacular black and white images.

During 2009 I didn't watch that many Canadian films and perhaps I should try one or two from the nominees to best film.

The big winner is the only movie I have seen and gee, it was a great cinema experience even when the story was hard to swallow. To check winners in all categories go here.

Monday, April 12, 2010

2010 Cannes


I really have to call this post 'Cannes Gossip' as the news are not at the official site and maybe they are just gossip. Still sooner than later I'll find if they are true.

- The 'maitresse de cérémonie du festival' will be none other than Kristin Scott-Thomas!!! As Gilles Jacob told on TV and now is allover the French press (so it's true!). This year the first fest news are related to some of my favorite actresses, first Juliette, now Kristin and see what follows.

-From Cinecitta News: according to Italian press, it's almost sure than Giovanna Mezzogiorno is going to be part of the Jury.

-Zombie film starring Sir Ian McKellen heads to Cannes. It's a 22-minute comedy and wonder if will be in competition in the shorts section perhaps?

-The Selection will include films by Jean-Luc Godard (at Un Certain Regard), Woody Allen (the one set in London with a great cast), Abbas Kiarostami (film with Juliette Binoche!) and Oliver Stone (yep, the sequel to a famous NY street movie)... LOVE to be able to watch a new film by Godard! Hope is true and a great Romanian movie that follows The Death of Mr. Lazarescu makes it to the selection.

-Bad, bad, bad... but seems that the Selection could have a Brad Pitt film; still the good news is that Sean Penn costars.

-Oliver Assayas 'Carlos the Jackal' a three-part 4 1/2-hour miniseries about Venezuelan terrorist Illich Ramirez Sanchez probably will make it too.

-Carrosse d'Or goes to Varda!!!

These are today's 'news' (still gossip) about upcoming Cannes.

One last thing... if you're not familiar with Cannes fest (the Mother of all Festivals) please take a look at the following video that I'm sure it was made for those not familiar with the fest...