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Monday, November 06, 2017

30th European Film Awards Nominations

Last Saturday, November 4, at the Seville European Film Festival the nominations for the major categories were announced and my spontaneous reaction when watching live the press conference was that nominees are extraordinary films and Academy members will have a difficult task deciding their votes, as for example in the top category, voting between Cannes Golden Palm, Grand Prix and Jury Award is not easy but then you have to add Berlin Golden Bear and on top a movie by master filmmaker Aki Kaurismäki. Very difficult decision, not easy at all.

But the category that blew my mind is European Actress were you have Juliette Binoche and Isabelle Huppert, then Paula Beer and Alexandra Borbély, and finish with almost newcomer Florence Pugh!  What an eclectic combination of talent!  To be honest, have skipped Lady Macbeth but after BIFA and now this, imagine will have to "unskip" film (lol).

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Saturday, December 03, 2011

24th European Film Awards Winners

Today awards ceremony live streaming was not flawless like last year as honestly, was truly awful probably due to a bad server that wasn't enough for the demand; still had to watch live and so I did. Winners are in *BLUE. To check the award winners at official site go here.



Today at the Seville European Film Festival the European Film Academy announced the nominations and in my opinion is one very good films selection that surely will make the more than 2,500 EFA members work not easy as how can you chose one movie from the six nominated for best film? Here are the nominations.

Best European Film
The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius, France
Le Gamin au Velo (The Kid with a Bike), Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Belgium, France and Italy
Haeven (In a Better World), Susanne Bier, Denmark
The King’s Speech, Tom Hooper, UK
Le Havre, Aki Kaurismäki, Finland, France and Germany
*Melancholia, Denmark, Sweden, France and Germany

European Director
*Susanne Bier for Haeven (In a Better World), Denmark
Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne for Le Gamin au Velo (the Kid with a Bike), Belgium, France and Italy
Aki Kaurismäki for Le Havre, Finland, France and Germany
Béla Tarr for A Torino Lo (The Turin Horse),
Lars von Trier for Melancholia, Denmark, Sweden, France and Germany

European Actress
Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia
Cécile de France in Le Gamin au Velo (The Kid with a Bike)
Charlotte Gainsbourg in Melancholia
Nadezhda Markina in Elena
*Tilda Swinton in We Need to Talk About Kevin

European Actor
Jean Dujardin in The Artist
*Colin Firth in The King’s Speech
Mikael Persbrandt in Haeven (In a Better World)
Michel Piccoli in Habemus Papam
André Wilms in Le Havre

European Cinematographer
*Manuel Alberto Claro for Melancholia
Fred Kelemen for A Torino Lo (The Turin Horse)
Guillaume Schiffman for The Artist
Adam Sikora for Essential Killing

European Screenwriter
*Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne for Le Gamin au Velo(the Kid with a Bike)
Anders Thomas Jensen for Haeven (In a Better World)
Aki Kaurismäki for Le Havre
Lars von Trier for Melancholia

European Composer
*Ludovic Bource for The Artist
Alexandre Desplat for The King’s Speech
Alberto Iglesias for La Piel Que Habito (The Skin I Live In)
Mihály Vig for A Torino Lo (The Turin Horse)

European Editor
*Tariq Anwar for The King’s Speech
Mathilde Bonnefoy for Drei (Three)
Molly Malene Stensgaard for Melancholia

European Production Designer
Paola Bizzarri for Habemus Papam
Antxón Gómez for La Piel Que Habito (The Skin I Live In)
*Jette Lehmann for Melancholia

European Documentary
*Pina, Wim Wenders, Germany
Stand van de Sterren (Position Among the Stars), Leonard Retel Helmrich, Netherlands
¡Vivan las Antipodas!, Victor Kossakovsky, Germany, Netherlands, Argentina and Chile

European Animated Feature Film
Le Chat du Rabbin (The Rabbi’s Cat), Antoine Delesvaux and Joann Sfar, France
*Chico and Rita, Tono Errando, Javier Mariscal and Fernando Trueba, Spain and Isle of Man
Une Vie de Chat (A Cat in Paris), Jean-Loup Felicioli and Alain Gagnol, France and Belgium

European Discovery – Prix FIPRESCI
*Adem (Oxygen), Hans Van Nuffel, Belgium and Netherlands
Atmen (Breathing), Karl Markovics, Austria
Michael, Markus Schleinzer, Austria
Smukke Menesker (Nothing’s All Bad), Mikkel Munch-Fals, Denmark
Tilva Ros, Nikola Ležaić, Serbia

To check the nominated shorts go here  or here. Awards ceremony will be on December 3 in Berlin. As in previous years ceremony will be streamed live in the awards site that you can find here.

I do like the selection a lot more than last year but still believe that Academy members like “American-style” films more than what I imagined as Melancholia is the most mainstream (American) movie that Lars von Trier has ever done –according to what he said and me, I absolutely agree with him. Is not a bad movie but definitively Melancholia is far-away from The Antichrist for example. Since I’m talking about this movie have to say that I don’t agree with Cannes as I believe Charlotte Gainsbourg performance –and movie segment/story- is superior to Kirsten Dunst, so hopefully the record could be straighten by the European Academy. But won’t be an easy task as the Best Actress category has very good performance by Cécile de France and even if haven’t seen it yet I know that Tilda Swinton has a very good performance in We Need to Talk About Kevin, so good that has strong Oscar buzz; of course I’m “dying” to watch Elena but sometimes is so hard to be able to finally watch Russian films.

But going back to the best film category, the selection is fabulous (sans Melancholia) as you have the film that won the Best Film Oscar last year as well as the film that won the Oscar in the Foreign Language category, then the film that won the Cannes Jury Prize, the film that everyone is talking about because is black and white plus silent, and the film that I’m “dying” to see by one of my favorite directors that always mesmerize me with outstanding and out-of-the-ordinary films, yep Aki. My award goes to Aki even when haven’t seen his film, that’s how loyal and enthusiast fan I am.

But when we review the director category I’m not that sure about Aki as I know that Béla Tarr is a more than amazing director and no, haven’t seen his latest oeuvre but I’m sure will be mesmerizing; the Dardenne Brothers particular realism style has always puzzled/marveled me. Hope the award stays within these three directors.

Best Actor first impulse is –of course- Colin Firth! But have to admit that I was absolutely taken by Michel Piccoli in Habemus Papam, fantastic performance that should get more accolades than the ones I’ve been hearing.

Almodovar’s film didn’t made it to the top awards but got two nominations for music and production designer, hmm he won’t be pleased! (Lol!) I have been delaying watching Essential Killing as imagine that will be the kind of film that I don’t enjoy but always wondered about the beautiful images I saw in clips plus trailer, so now that got the cinematography nomination maybe I’ll watch.

I have no doubt which film will win this year in documentary HAS TO BE the outstanding, mesmerizing and visually impressive Pina by Wim Wenders, I could give this film the BEST FILM award as to my eyes this film is a lot more than a document about dancing and Pina’s life/oeuvre … is SO well done that becomes a very complete cinematic experience that stimulate ALL your senses.

Last but not least, I’m going to watch some (if not all) of the animated films as I know that French animation is really evolving too fast –still is the best in the world- and have to see the state of their development but who could not enjoy two films about cats? Lol!

As you can see have seen many movies and there are only a few that haven’t seen but are absolutely must be seen for me and for a trio I’m really counting the days until I finally will watch them. Sigh. So we will see what happens on December when we watch the awards live as always.


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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Le Havre

My first and spontaneous reaction to this movie is that is very strange to watch an Aki Kaurismäki movie and understand what actors say instead of reading subtitles. Not that his movies have lots of dialogue, nor this one, that has but the essential words to guide you into this deadpan faces performances (typical) that with very slight expressions tell everything that characters are feeling in a lovely story (non-typical) that absolutely melted my heart all the way to tears when the movie was over. Yes, also thought that probably I’m the only person that could cry with a Kaurismäki movie.

Then, also spontaneously my first thoughts were to how marvelous is the use of light in this movie and in most Kaurismäki movies, as most of his Finland set movies light allows us to feel the cold both from weather as from situations. Here in lower than Finland geographical setting he does exactly the same but with the use of light eventually what we see in the screen, the weather and the complete film experience becomes warm, very warm. Exceptional. I know the story also helps, but is the use of light what really warms the story, that’s it according to me.

Then you have the most carefully crafted production design, amazing visual compositions, many scenes that look like and thus become awesome photographs, great actors performances –yes most if not all scenes with deadpan faces and almost expressionless body language- that tell all with small, very small details, plus a masterful direction that allows flawless fluidity of story and film. Marvelous.

Literally film tells a story about immigration of the not legal kind, but actually according to me is a very simple story with a clear message and morale: do good and you will receive good. A message executed in the most unusual way you can think of, unless you’re very familiar with Kaurismäki storytelling style and still, maybe, you will also find some oddity that probably comes more from the non-Finland setting.

Kaurismäki movies fascinate and mesmerize me, Le Havre is no exception but this movie had the immense power to make me feel beyond what his other films have done and for this I’ll be grateful as feeling intense (warm) emotions in such a dry environment is kind of explosive. Thanks master filmmaker and can’t wait for your next film.

As we know film is Finland submission to Oscar, had its premiere at 2011 Cannes where was in competition for the Palme d’Or and won the FIPRESCI prize, continued to collect honors up to winning the most prestigious Prix Louis Delluc among other accolades. All honors are more than well-deserved.

I was thinking how could be the experience of watching this film when never seen a Kaurismäki movie before; if that’s your case I strongly suggest you do not start with this movie, watch first any other set in Finland Kaurismäki film and then watch this one, I am sure you will enjoy this movie a lot more if is not your first experience with Kaurismäki narrative and visual storytelling style.

Love the movie and thanks to Cannes 2011 also the director –he’s so funny, exactly like his films that have that kind of humor that travels more to the dark and sarcastic side- but I know that this kind of movies is not for all audiences and believe that his films are an acquired taste that once you taste them and like them, you will strive to have more and more.

Big Enjoy!!!

Watch trailer @MOC

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Day 7 at Cannes 2011

No, I don’t write the post in order. I write about each film as I see the videos and news appear. Today is an unusual long day because watched ALL videos as found them interesting and as you will see, a few extremely funny. It’s a great day in Cannes.

Main Competition

From Nordic cinema one of directors I always enjoy because his particular style is Aki Kaurismäki and I’m looking forward to Le Havre, another French-speaking film that I’m afraid will be less ironic than what he usually do, but I’m curious about how he was able to transfer, mix or reinvent (?) his style in a French environment and story or if was similar to La vie bohème. Obviously film is must be seen for me and one where the wait will be unbearable. Oh! first comments are very positive.

Photocall starts with Aki and his cigarette, seems is an electric cigarette (lol!), nope is not (lol!) Gosh “Aki pour aqui” (lol!). Photocall is really odd with the director behavior but also for watching cast and him… plus “the finger” (lol!), Aki got red face. Interview starts with a question to Aki and his answer was fabulous but thinks no one got it; gosh he really has the same humor that he shows in his films. Magnifique! Besides his face constantly gets red –from laughing inside as he says such things with a deadpan face that becomes quite funny! He’s impossible to take seriously, great personality. While others talk seriously you wish questions went back to Aki. Aki telling a Kafka story… oh! gosh! LOL! This is exactly my kind of personality! Gee now have to watch press conference hope is as funny as the interview. I laughed loud! I’m crying! Excellent!!

Oh! in the press conference he starts to do his thing, come on! LOL!!! He really is like his movies! LOVE it! But what I love more is that looks like no one gets him… except his colleagues… I’m starting to imagine what the press will say about this conference but, me for one, love it!!! They even have sound problems. Oh no. Yes, is an electric cigarette. Have to admit that’s odd, very odd, but funny! Oh! “my camera wants to kill your mama” … wont write anymore as I’m laughing so much; sorry. Who knows what’s going on but Aki’s face is really red; ah! is the translator translating to him … got so serious, pity. Every time he talks says something quite smart but very funny in his own way, unfortunately press will not play his game. Surely I learned nothing about the movie, which is just great, but I learned a lot about Aki, probably will watch his movies in a different way or maybe not. You have to watch the photocall first, then the interview, last the press conference and most of all, you have to recall his movies, then and only then you will laugh as much as you could laugh in his films with these videos. “Bergman shot two films with camera … I shot 18, is no longer his camera, is Aki’s camera” LOL!

The red carpet stars with Aki and his cigarette, so serious… but soon he gets into his own thing and gloriously the interviewer plays -a little- along. Interviews with cast are not interesting and Aki walks fast the red carpet dancing to the music by Little Bob. As I was told, as soon as he finished dancing, fireworks exploded! That is good timing and a great finale for this iconic director. No, you won't see it in the video.

Second film is Pater by Alain Cavalier that I’m not sure will enjoy as even Thierry Frémaux calls film “one of the strangest films at Cannes this year”. For strange films there is always la Semaine de la Critique parallel section, why include in the main selection a so-called “strange” film too? I like Cavalier films, but this “experiment” definitively doesn’t call my attention.

Out of Competition/Special Screenings

Today is the screening of The Beaver by Jodie Foster –that’s why she came to Cannes yesterday as many photos could tell. Usually I don’t like to mix the artist and the person, but with media coverage is almost impossible not to learn something and get your own opinion about Mel Gibson. I don’t know if I will be able to separate the actor and the person while watching film which could allow me to enjoy film, but I know that I have to watch film just because is by Jodie Foster.

Photocall is crowded and noisy, still photographers yell Jodie! She looks nice not as in yesterday photos where she looked tired. Photocall is short and nice. Of course Interview is with Jodie speaking French –should I say perfect French, as I always do?- good questions and better answers. Yes they talk about the film, but unless you live under a stone, by now we all know what movie is about, so kept watching even if there are mild spoilers. She gets the Mel question and she answers as we already know she will; but liked when she talks about how she does her films. Like when she laughs. Nice interview. Oui, il viens ce soir (Mel). She really looks good in the press conference. Here comes the first Mel Gibson question… and the answer we already know. Oh! press cheered after watching film, hmm even she says that has a more European style, that’s new for me and makes film more interesting to watch –at least for me. Okay, there are spoilers but I’m watching with volume. I like her real-life personality that comes through when she works promoting films, always have liked her and she’s about the only actor that I really will like to meet in person. Another Mel question and the same answer came out, don’t reporters get it? She will only answer one way… have to admit that her way is the right way. At minute 18 turn off volume, big spoiler about the end of the movie. Wow, she talks about herself! Amazing. Usually she’s such a private person. More interesting questions until again the Mel question with the same answer. Ah! (lol) wasn’t aware that Jennifer Lawrence is in this movie, great! LOVE the press conference, should be must be seen if you wish to see Jodie in a different scenario. Red carpet starts with Mel, there is noise from the fans for Jodie and Mel… interesting, after all is Europe or should I say France? Short and nice.

Second is the documentary The Big Fix by Rebeca Tickell and Josh Tickell that revisits the oil spill which occurred in the USA last year, polluting the Atlantic Ocean in an irreversible manner. Not really interested in watching, but very concerned about the fact and also about the fact that the Pacific Ocean –as we speak- is also being polluted in an irreversible way… so, we humans managed to pollute our two main Earth water life reservoirs, aren’t we something? …and not many do a thing. Maybe I should reconsider watching if only to support that someone is trying to do something.

Also today the tribute to Jean-Paul Belmondo with a ceremony before the screening of the documentary Belmondo, itinéraire… by Vincent Perrot and Jeff Domenech. Maybe I’m the only one that when think about Belmondo I always thing about Alain Delon; for some reason they are tied together in my memory with many films that I saw a while back, a few with both but most only with one of them in film. Nevertheless fest organizers tie him alongside Jean Gabin and Michel Simon as one of the greatest French actors of all time. At official site the video of the red carpet with Belmondo and his deep-tan look plus a beautiful woman by his side; oh! Jean Rochefort (I knew was going to watch great French actors), Albert Dupontel, Cedric Klapish, Xavier Beauvois, Claude Lelouch, Claudia Cardinale, etc. He’s not young anymore but gee he smiles and looks like him, like he was when his hair was dark. Gosh, the not-young-anymore along the younger generations and a few really young, many are there. Salut Bebel.

Midnight Screenings

Today the second film of only two that the section will screen. Días de Gracia (Days of Grace) by Everardo Valerio Gout -also competing for the Camera d’Or. Film concept attracts me, “one film, three versions” following three football World cups in 2002, 2006, and 2010; plus a cop, a hostage, a woman and corruption, violence, vengeance. I imagine that film has to be raw, like the new wave of Mexican films, which also calls my attention even if I know will “scare” me.

Un Certain Regard

Today two new films and a reprise. The first is the first film in Afrikaans to ever been in Cannes, Skoonheid by Olivier Hermanus -also being considered for the Queer Palm. Hermanus second film calls my attention.

The second is Tatsumi by Eric Khoo a director that I highly enjoy but as some of you recall I’m no fan of animated films; still as animation looks/feels different maybe will give a try to this portrait of Yoshihiro Tatsumi a Manga giant recognized as one of the greatest Japanese artists even in America. Stories seem interesting as deal with Tatsumi’s disenchanting portrait of Japan.

Is in the program today, a reprise of of Bonsai by Cristián Jiménez, which is unusual but gives me opportunity to share with you that saw his first movie and when was over I said: it’s okay. Not much time passed when I started to really think what I saw in the movie and it was an intense voyage of retrospection that hit me hard, very hard. Now his second movie is absolutely must be seen for me.

Cannes Classics

1931’s Niemandsland (No Man’s Land), Victor Trivas a film that was banned by the Nazis because story had a pacifist agenda and most copies were destroyed. Film has a First World War story and no, haven’t seen film.

Cinema de la Plage

1958 A Night to Remember by Roy Ward Baker about the Titanic and winner of the 1959 Golden Globe; haven’t seen movie.


Two films in the main selection. The first is Corpo Celeste by Alice Rohrwacher that from trailer visuals absolutely call my attention plus story seems that could be enjoyable.

The second is O Abismo Prateado by Karim Aïnouz that also could be considered for the Queer Palm if it has something with LGBT interest. No matter if has or not LGBT interest, story called my attention and will watch movie.

Quinzaine Special Screenings

Also today two films that are special screenings. The first is El Velador (The Night Watchman) by Natalia Almada a documentary that from clips and story probably will watch.

The second is Des Jeunes Gens Mödernes (Kids of Today) by Jérôme de Missolz, a doc that doesn’t call my attention.


Avé by Konstantin Bojanov a Bulgarian road trip movie that could be interesting, but as is screened in this section I hope is not too strange for my taste.

Today the premiere of La Collection Canal+ “5 Fois Nathalie Baye” with the actress starring in each of the following five shorts: A l’Abri by Jérémie Lippman, Bye Bye by Edouard Deluc, Dormir Debout by Jean-Luc Perreard, Je Voulais Vous Dire by Romain Delange, and Le Premier Role by Mathieu Hippeau.


Rue des Cites (Slums Road) by Carine May and Hakim Zohani that doesn’t call my attention at all. Before feature film two short films Devine by Laurent Perreau and Yasmine et la Revolution by Karin Albou.


So after all Malick was at Cannes yesterday and attended the screening of his movie; his entrance came as the announcer said his name and he was showered with the rigorous standing ovation.

Today Photos

From The Beaver and my little homage to a great personality: Very nice meeting you, Mr. Aki Kaurismäki! Last, Director/Actress Nadine Labaki at photocall.

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Friday, March 25, 2016

#Cannes2016 Carrosse d'Or

Waking up to great news always makes a great day and I'm truly happy to share with you all that one of my most-favorite directors will be honored this year with the honor given to a director by his peers. La Carrose d'Or (Golden Coach) is a tribute by directors of Société des réalisateurs (SRF) to one of their own, chosen from the international filmmaking community for the innovative qualities, courage and independent-mindedness of his or her work.

The Carrosse d'Or is a bronze statuette inspired by the figures of the Comedia dell'Arte and Jean Renoir's film of the same name – it was created by painter-sculptor Lili Legouvello.

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Friday, January 13, 2012

17th Prix Lumière Award Winners

I'm currently watching the awards ceremony live, so here are the winners in *BLUE.

Very glad that a female director got the best director award, but not so happy that Aki got no honors at all. To check winners in all categories go here, soon winners will be listed as ceremony is almost over.



A few moments ago the International Press Academy announced the nominations for the French equivalent to the Golden Globes and here they are.

Best Film
L’Apollonide, souvenirs de la maison close, Bertrand Bonello
*The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius
L’exercice de l’Etat, Pierre Schoeller
Le Havre, Aki Kaurismäki
Intouchables, Eric Toledano and Olivier Nakache

Best Foreign Film in French
Curling, Denis Cote, Canada
Et maintenant, on va où ?, Nadine Labaki, France, Lebanon, Italy
*Incendies, Denis Villeneuve, Canada
Le gamin au vélo, Jean-Pierre et Luc Dardenne, Belgium, France, Italy
Les géants, Bouli Lanners (Belgium, Luxembourg, France

Best Director
Bertrand Bonello for L’Apollonide, souvenirs de la maison close
Michel Hazanavicius for The Artist
Aki Kaurismäki for Le Havre
*Maïwenn for Polisse
Pierre Schoeller for L’exercice de l’Etat

Best Actress
*Bérénice Bejo in The Artist
Catherine Deneuve et Chiara Mastroianni in Les bien-aimés
Valérie Donzelli in La guerre est déclarée
Marina Fois et Karin Viard in Polisse
Clothilde Hesme in Angèle et Tony

Best Actor
Jean Dujardin in The Artist
Olivier Gourmet in L’exercice de l’Etat
JoeyStarr in Polisse
*Omar Sy in Intouchables
André Wilms in Le Havre

Best Female Newcomer
*Alice Barno in L’ Apollonide, souvenirs de la maison close
*Adèle Haenel in L’Apollonide, souvenirs de la maison close
Zoé Heran in Tomboy
*Céline Sallette in L’Apollonide, souvenirs de la maison close
Anamaria Valtoromei in My Little Princess

Best Male Newcomer
Grégory Gadebois in Angèle et Tony
Guillaume Gouix in Jimmy Rivière
Raphaël Ferret in Présumé coupable
*Denis Menochet in Les adoptés
Mahmoud Shalaby in Les hommes libres

Awards ceremony will be on Friday, January 13, 2012 and hope to watch it live as I did last year. The nominations eventually will be at the official site in the meantime go here available only in French.

Have not seen many of these movies and there are two or three that I’m “dying” to see yet hope to be able to watch them ASAP. It’s kind of true that this year nominations resemble Cannes more than in previous years as there are only 11 of 40 nominees that don’t belong to a film screened at 2011 Cannes. I imagine that Cesar categories will look very similar to these as all the great movies plus the ones with much buzz are included in the list.

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Friday, December 16, 2011

2011 Prix Louis-Delluc Award Winners

Today the most prestigious award in French cinema was announced by Gilles Jacob, jury president and pleases me to share with all that the winner is Le Havre by Aki Kaurismäki and Donoma by Djinn Carrenard, both films are extremely worth-watching. Winners are in *BLUE.

To check the news in French go here and in English go here.



Yesterday the nominees were announced for this most prestigious French award and these are the nominated films.

Best Film
L'Apollonide (Souvenirs de maison close) (House of Tolerance) by Bertrand Bonello
L'Exercice de l'Etat (The Minister) by Pierre Schoeller
La Guerre est déclarée (Declaration of War) by Valérie Donzelli
*Le Havre by Aki Kaurismäki
Hors Satan (Outside Satan) by Bruno Dumont
Les Neiges by Kilimandjaro by Robert Guédiguian
Pater by Alain Cavalier
The Artist by Michel Hazanavicius
Tomboy by Céline Sciamma

Best First Film
17 filles (17 Girls) by Muriel Coulin and Delphine Coulin
*Donoma by Djinn Carrenard (WOW! Movie budget: Euros 150 … have to see this! Very curious about film check this)
Jimmy Rivière by Teddy Lussi-Modeste
Mafrouza (5 films) by Emmanuelle Demoris
Nous, Princesse de Clèves by Régis Sauder

I’m so happy as have seen many, not all but many of the films; still there are some, like Aki’s film that I’m really “dying” to see and hopefully will be the great winner this year but I know that Pater, Les Neiges du Kilimandjaro and The Artist are also great contenders. As we realize in the best film category all –except one- films come from Cannes; the exception is Céline Sciamma’s Tomboy that is a very interesting film but in my opinion not as good as her extraordinary Naissance des pieuvres that won the Prix Louis Delluc for first film in 2007.

Awards ceremony will be in Paris on December 16. To check the news at allocine go here; for English go here.

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Saturday, February 18, 2017

67th Berlin International Film Festival Award Winners

There were some surprises but none as big as the top award winner as film critics were favoring other films.  Once again we have proof that what film critics like is not what juries (or voters) like and sometimes, not even what audiences like.

Many including me -but I'm totally biased- were expecting Aki Kaurismäki to win the Golden Bear so, when he was called for the Best Director award it was evident that was all for him and his surely glorious film. Sigh.  Then my second hope was for Sebastian Leilo, so when he wins Best Script all hopes were over.  I'm glad both films won something but obviously for me would have been fantastic if any of those two won the top award.

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Friday, January 20, 2017

67th Berlinale Complete Lineup

Today I start the VERY LONG annual post with (almost) ALL movies in the current edition of the Berlin International Film Festival, better-known as Berlinale. Since late last year, festival organizers have been releasing information in drop by drop basis but recently the press releases started to pour with selections in the multiple fest sections.

As every year, post will be in progress until fest uploads films to their official site; until then post will have constant updates with whatever new info becomes available.

On Friday, January 20th fest organizers released the last press release with all films in competition and in Berlinale Special section, so we can assume that the final count is twenty-four (24) films in the festival main selection with eighteen (18) in competition and six (6) out of competition.

The selection has quite a few well-know directors like Hong Sangsoo, Calin Peter Netzer, Alex de la Iglesia, Agnieszka Holland, Danny Boyle, Sally Potter, Sebastian Lelio and more; but, none excites me as much as one of my most-favorite director.  Yes, Aki Kaurismäki has a new movie that's in competition at Berlinale 2017 and I'm already dying to watch it!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012 Oscar Foreign Films Predictions

Is almost sure that today Tuesday, January 17 the Academy will announce the 9-film shortlist as will give nominees 48hrs to comply with the following requirement:

III. SUBMISSION G. - Countries whose motion pictures are shortlisted will be required to provide a second English-language subtitled print or DCP of the film to facilitate voting screenings. This second print or DCP is due at the Academy by 5 p.m. PT on Thursday, January 19, 2012.

Still if is not today then has to be tomorrow.

As many I’m really curious about what films the Academy will select this year and to entertain myself and hopefully you readers, here are my predictions.

Will be nominated FOR SURE
Iran: جدایی نادر از سیمین Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (Nader and Simin, A Separation), Asghar Farhadi

So, I just need to guess 8 more… hmm…
Germany: Pina, Wim Wenders (not really sure as will be nominated as Best Documentary)
Poland: W ciemności (In Darkness), Agnieszka Holland
China: 金陵十三釵 (The Flowers of War), Zhang Yimou
France: La guerre est déclarée (Declaration of War), Valérie Donzelli
Finland: Le Havre, Aki Kaurismäki
Mexico: Miss Bala, Gerado Naranjo
Brazil: Tropa de Elite 2 (Elite Squad: The Enemy Within), José Padilha
Israel: הערת שוליים (Footnote), Joseph Cedar

Above are the ones I’m guessing Academy will short list, but if selection depended from one person, me, then the list should look like this:

Turkey: Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia), Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Germany: Pina, Wim Wender
Sweden: Svinalängorna (Beyond), Pernilla August
Lebanon: وهلّأ لوين؟ Wo Hallah La Wen? (Where Do We Go Now?), Nadine Labaki
Iran: جدایی نادر از سیمین Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (Nader and Simin, A Separation), Asghar Farhadi
Finland: Le Havre, Aki Kaurismäki
France: La guerre est déclarée (Declaration of War), Valérie Donzelli
Italy: Terraferma, Emanuele Crialese
United Kingdom: Patagonia, Marc Evans

… and my Award goes to… well, not yet but believe that we all know who will win and if does it will be extremely well –deserved.


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Sunday, May 22, 2011

64th Festival de Cannes Award Winners

With a “Blue Screen of Death” in the middle of the broadcast I watched the live Cannes 2011 ceremony (yay!), I’m so glad to have a fast, lean, clean machine that starts again FAST! Ceremony was fast, which is very welcomed by everyone. So, here are ALL the Cannes 2011 winners.

Main Competition

Palme d’Or: The Tree of Life, Terrence Malick, USA

Grand Prix (tie): Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia), Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Le Gamin au Vélo (Boy with a Bike), Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Belgium, France and Italy

Jury Prize:Polisse, Maïwenn, France

Best Director: Nicolas Winding Refn for Drive, USA
Best Screenplay:Joseph Cedar for Hearat Shulayim (Footnote), Israel

Best Actress: Kirsten Dunst in Melancholia, Lars Von Trier, Denmark, Sweden, France, Germany and Italy
Best Actor: Jean Dujardin in The Artist, Michel Hazanavicius, France

Honorary Palm d’Or: Bernardo Bertolucci and Jean-Paul Belmondo

Camera d’Or: Las Acacias, Pablo Giorgelli, Argentina and Spain (from La Semaine de la Critique)

Short Films
Palme d’Or: Cross (Cross-Country), Maryna Vroda, France and Ukraine
Special Mention: Badpakje 46 (Swimsuit 46), Wannes Destoop, Belgium

Un Certain Regard

Un Certain Regard Prize (tie): 아리랑 Arirang, Kim ki-duk, South Korea and Halt Auf Freier Strecke (Stopped on Track), Andreas Dresen, Germany
Jury Prize: Elena, Andrei Zvyagintsev, Russia
Best Director: Mohammad Rasoulof for Bé Omid é Didar (Good Bye), Iran

Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors’ Fortnight)

Label Europa Cinemas: Atmen (Breathing), Karl Markovics, Austria
Art Cinema Award: Les Géants, Bouli Lanners, Belgium, France and Luxembourg
Prix SACD: Les Géants, Bouli Lanners, Belgium, France and Luxembourg
Séance "Coup de coeur": Play, Ruben Östlund, Sweden, France and Denmark
Carrosse d'Or: Jafar Panahi

Semaine de la Critique (Critic's Week)

Feature Films
Grand Prize: Take Shelter by Jeff Nichols, USA
Special Mention of the President: Snowtown by Justin Kurzel, Australia
SACD Prize: Take Shelter by Jeff Nichols, USA
ACID/CCAS Support: Las Acacias, Pablo Giorgelli, Argentina and Spain
OFAJ (Very) Young Critic Award: Las Acacias, Pablo Giorgelli, Argentina and Spain
Grand Rail d’Or: Las Acacias, Pablo Giorgelli, Argentina and Spain

Short Films
Best Short: Blue, Stephan Kang, New Zealand
Special Mention: Alexis Ivanovitch vous êtes mon héros, Guillaume Gouix, France
Discovery Award: Dimanches, Valérie Rosier, Belgium
Petit Rail d’Or: Junior, Julia Ducournau, France


First Prize: Der Brief (The Letter), Doroteya Droumeva, Germany,
Second Prize: Drari, Kamal Lazraq, France
Third Prize: Ya-Gan-Bi-Hang (Fly By Night), Son Tae-gyum, South Korea

To read award winners plus info about each film please go here.

Collateral Awards

Main Competition: Le Havre, Aki Kaurismäki, Finland, France and Germany
Un Certain Regard: L'Exercice de l'Etat (The Minister), Pierre Schoeller, France
Semaine de la Critique: Take Shelter by Jeff Nichols, USA

Ecumenical Jury Award: This Must Be the Place, Paolo Sorrentino, Italy, France and Ireland
Special Mention: Le Havre, Aki Kaurismäki, Finland, France and Germany and Wo Hallah La Wen? (Where Do We Go Now?), Nadine Labaki, Lebanon and France

Prix de la Jeunesse: La Piel Que Habito (The Skin I Live In), Pedro Almodóvar, Spain
Prix du Jeune Regard: Martha Marcy May Marlene, Sean Durkin, USA

Queer Palm: Skoonheid (Beauty), Olivier Hermanus, South Africa, France and Germany (gay interest)

Prix François Chalais: Wo Hallah La Wen? (Where Do We Go Now?), Nadine Labaki, Lebanon and France
Special Mention: Bé Omid é Didar (Good Bye), Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran

Prix France Culture Cinema Award: Céline Sciamma and Alexandre Astruc
MEDIA European Talent Prize: Virág Zomborácz (Hungary) and Hanna Sköld (Sweden)
Chopard Newcomers: Astrid Bergès-Frisbey and Niels Schneider

Palm Dog: Uggy in The Artist
Jury Grand Prix: Laika in Le Havre

Le Festival de Cannes c'est fini ... à l’année prochaine!!!

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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

2017 Lux Prize Official Selection Update

Yesterday morning during the press conference presenting the Giornati degli Autori selection, the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani, announced the three (3) finalists films for the current edition of this award.

Seems the 2017 edition could be another year where everyone prediction will win as seems BPM has become a favorite among critic's and audiences, so perhaps will also be honored with more prestigious awards like this one.  Yes, Robin Campillo's Beats Per Minute is a finalist along with Amanda Kernell's Sami Blood and Valeska Grisebach's Western.

The three films in the Official Competition showcase the LUX Film Prize's desire to embrace an unpredictable variety of genre and tones like never before:

-Robin Campillo's third film follows a group of Act Up activists who fight to lend the AIDS problem more visibility in 1992 France and encourage faster progress to be made in terms of research and prevention.

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Monday, September 04, 2017

#EFA2017 People's Choice Awards

Every year, the EFA People’s Choice Award allows film fans across Europe to elect their favourite film. When the European Film Academy invites its members, Europe’s greatest film stars, directors, actors and actresses, to attend the European Film Awards, the People’s Choice Award sheds a spotlight on the people films are made for: the audience. This year’s vote has started – vote now and win the chance to join winners and nominees for the awards ceremony in Berlin!

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Saturday, March 01, 2008

Laitakaupungin Valot (Lights in The Dusk)

The concluding chapter by Aki Kaurismäki Finland/Loser trilogy (after Drifting Clouds and Man Without a Past) explores the theme of loneliness and what you can do when you become ostracized from others. The previous movies explored unemployment and homelessness and if you haven’t seen them I suggest you do before watching this one.

Kaurismäki is well known for his wry, deadpan humor, off-center characters and absurdist tone and with this cinema noir movie he wrote, produced, edited and directed he challenges himself and viewers anew. This dark comedy/drama is the closer I have seen to a contemporary silent movie with color and even if sounds contradictory: with sound.

I was very impressed with Man Without a Past directing style and actors performances, but this one is in my opinion is far superior as not only pokerfaced performances are outstanding (not even one smile here) but cinematography and framing are spectacular with scenes that look like lonely, icy and cold urban sharp-colorful paintings.

One of the most interesting things about this movie is the music, it opens with a very famous tango Volver performed by Carlos Gardel, another tango now sing in Finnish by Olavi Virta; has music by L’Ensemble Mastango and the rock group Melrose. So you can say that the music is quite eclectic which suits perfect to the cold- icy style of the story and narrative.

This is a complex movie due to the peculiar Kaurismaki style so I suggest reading about this movie and his trilogy before watching it. Here is one interesting article about this movie you may like to read and if you want to read more about him and his movies just google his name.

The movie has wins and nominations in European festivals and awards, and was premiered in competition at the 2006 Cannes. Also was Finland official submission for the 79th Academy Awards but the director declined for some interesting reasons, so that year there was no Finnish entry in the Academy Awards pre-selection.

This is a movie I strongly recommend only to those that are familiar with this outstanding director and to those that dare to get to know a very unusual movie style that is absolutely not for all audiences.


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Wednesday, November 29, 2017

2017 Film Critics Awards

Today, November 29 the post becomes alive again and activity will become intense until a week before Christmas when will quiet a bit with January activity will gain full force to end quietly around the first weeks of February 2018.

The annual film critics awards post starts today.  Now all the fuzz and buzz about #Oscars2018 foreign-language submissions is over and it's time to start with all the fuzz and buzz from film critics that always gives you a better idea about the films that could win nominations and the one that will collect the award.  Yes, we know that not very often great films win AMPAS accolades, so IF we wish to guess right on the Oscars office pool or any of the many online polls -some with good prices- then here will find info for better guessing.  Enjoy!

Post will be a work in progress until the last critics group announces their winner which will happen in early February 2018.

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Friday, February 10, 2017

Day 1 #Berlinale2017

The opening ceremony was fun to watch because really enjoy Anke Engelke humor style and her jokes were so sharp that made me laugh loud. Here is one example when she asked international guests: "Are you here for the festival? Or is someone keeping you from going back to your home country?" That got big laugh.

Most surprising is me paying attention to Germany's officials speeches with direct comments about two infamous world leaders that made me quiver and wonder where is this world going ... sigh. See, when they talk about John F. Kennedy's famous Berlin speech and about something only Berlin has lived in recent history: walls that divide people, I pay attention.

But the best part of any festival opening ceremony is when they show the film clips and Berlinale 2017 was no exception with three clip sections between speeches. The clips gave me the impression that there are a few films that will be visually interesting and when add what I read about story plus what I know about the director they become most-be-seen for me.

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Thursday, August 07, 2014

2014 Cinema Biennale Check #5 - Made in Sweden

Sweden representation in Venezia71 goes to none other than one of the most interesting contemporary Swedish directors, one that is recognized for his very particular cinematic style and one that I highly enjoy.

Roy Andersson

Born on March 1943 in Gothenburg, Västra Götalands län, Sweden. In 1969 he did his first feature-length film, A Swedish Love Story that went to win honors at 1970 Berlinale. After Andersson went into deep depression and is in 1975 when he does his second film that became a financial and critical disaster. Andersson took a 25-year break from film directing.

In 1996 he starts to do the first installment in the Living Trilogy, Sånger från andra våningen (Songs from the Second Floor) a film poem inspired by Peruvian poet César Vallejo that took him four years to make and went to win the Jury Prize at 2000 Cannes. His very particular style starts to show in this movie but is with the second installment -AWESOME- Du Levande (You, the Living) that is the movie that introduced me to this fantastic director and his peculiar cinematic style that can be described as dry/black humor, cold ambiance-color palette, deadpan and (fantastic) broken narrative. This film took him one year less to make it, meaning, only three years.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

7th Rome Film Festival Lineup - Update 2

On November 11 was announced the second surprise film and is Du Zhan (Drug War) by Johnnie To. With this film the main competition has 15 films.

Today November 5th, the first of the two surprise films was announced and is a film by Feng Xiaogang (remember Aftershock?), check trailer to see that is another epic grandiose production, use link at the bottom of post.

Today, October 31, organizers announced complete Jury for the main competition and two more films in the official selection out of competition.

Post has the Cinema XXI complete lineup.

Some of us are very curious to learn how the festival will evolve under the artistic direction of recently appointed Marco Müller; this year official selection will give us a first glimpse on what he was able to do to revitalize the festival and maybe bring it to a different level than before, more similar to the big three festivals.

With no further comments let's take a look at this year festival lineup.

Official Selection

A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III, Roman Coppola, USA
Aku no kyôten (Lesson of Evil), Takashi Miike, Japan
Alì ha gli occhi azzurri, Claudio Giovannesi, Italy
毒战 Du Zhan (Drug War), Johnnie To, China and Hong Kong
E la Chiamano Estate, Paolo Franchi, Italy
Ixjana, Józef Skolimowski and Michał Skolimowski, Poland (aka Ixjana z piekla rodem)
Mai Morire, Enrique Rivero, Mexico
Main Dans La Main (Hand in Hand), Valérie Donzelli, France
Marfa Girl, Larry Clark, USA
The Motel Life, Gabriel Polsky and Alan Polsky, USA
Небесные жены луговых мари Nebesnye Ženy Lugovykh Mari (Celestial Wives of Meadow Mari), Alexey Fedorchenko, Russia
Un Enfant de Toi (You, Me and US), Jacques Doillon, France
Вечное возвращение. Кинопробы Večnoe Vozvraščenie (Eternal Homecoming), Kira Muratova, Ukraine
Il Volto di Un'Altra, Pappi Corsicato, Italy
一九四二 Yi Wu Si Er (Back to 1942), Feng Xiaogang, China

Also there are two (2) surprise films (will be in competition, titles are being withheld until last minute "in order to avoid problems from national censors")

President: Jeff Nichols, writer and director, USA
Timur Bekmambetov, director and producer, Russia, Kazakhstan
Valentina Cervi, actress, Italy
Chris Fujiwara, critic and festival director, USA
Leila Hatami, actress, Iran
P.J. Hogan, director, Australia
Edgardo Cozarinsky, writer and director, Argentina

Out of Competition
Opening Film: В ожидании моря V Ožidanii Morja (Waiting for the Sea), Bakhtiar Khudojnazarov, Russia, Germany, Belgium, France, Kazakhstan and Ukraine
Closing Film: Una Pistola en Cada Mano, Cesc Gay, Spain

La Bande de Jotas (The Gang of the Jotas), Marjane Satrapi, France
Black Star, Francesco Castellani, Italy
Bullet to the Head, Walter Hill, USA
Le Guetteur (The Lookout), Michele Placido, France
Mental, P.J. Hogan, Australia
Populaire, Regis Roinsard, France
Rise of the Guardians, Peter Ramsey, USA
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, Bill Condon, USA
Tom le Cancre, Manuel Pradal, France

A competitive selection of films devoted to new trends in world cinema embracing various genres and lengths, CinemaXXI will focus on works that reflect the continuous reinvention of cinema in the contemporary audiovisual landscape. CinemaXXI (Competition and Out of Competition) welcomes feature-length, medium-length and short films.

Feature Films

In Competition
A Walk In The Park, Amos Poe, USA
Avanti Popolo, Michael Wahrmann, Brazil
Bloody Daughter, Stéphanie Argerich, France and Switzerland
Gegewart (Consequence), Thomas Heise, Germany
Goltzius and the Pelican Company, Peter Greenaway, Netherlands
Jianshi Liu Baiyuan (Judge Archer), Xu Haofeng, China
Jungle Love, Sherad Anthony Sanchez, Philippines
Nichnasti Pa'am Lagan (Once I Entered A Garden), Avi Mograbi, Israel, France and Switzerland
El Ojo del Tiburon, Alejo Hoijman, Spain and Argentina
Panihida, Ana-Felicia Scutelnicu, Germany and Moldavia
Photo, Carlos Saboga, Portugal and France
Picas (Pizzas), Laila Pakalnina, Latvia
Suspension of Disbelief, Mike Figgis, UK
Танец Дели Tanets Deli (Delhi Dance), Ivan Vyrypaev, Russia
Tasher Desh, Kaushik Mukherjee, India
Tutto Parla Di Te, Alina Marazzi, Italy

Out of Competition
O Batuque Dos Astros, Julio Bressane, Brazil
O Fantasma Do Novais, Margarida Gil, Portugal

Short Film Collections

In Competition
Tar, Edna Biesold, Sarah-Violet Bliss, Bruce Thierry Cheung, Gabrielle Demeestere, Alexis
Gamb; supervision James Franco, USA

Out of Competition
Opening Film: Centro Histórico (Historic Centre), Aki Kaurismäki, Pedro Costa, Victor Erice, Manoel de Oliveira, Portugal
Guimaraes Transversal, Gabriel Abrantes, Maracos Barbosa and Paulo Abreu, Portugal
Historias de Guimaraes, Tiago Pereira, João Nicolau, João Botelho, Portugal
Mundo Invisível (Invisible World), Wim Wenders, Theo Angelopoulos, Atom Egoyan, Manoel De Oliveira, Guy Maddin, Marco Bechis, Laís Bodanzky, Maria de Medeiros, Jerzy Stuhr, Gian Vittorio Baldi, Brazil
Random Acts, Marina Abramovic, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Zineb Sedira, Johan Grimonprez, Shahryar Nashat, Lucy Harvey, Rachel Mayeri, Lewis Klahr, Mark Leckey, Semiconductor, Sarah Wood, Young-Hae Chang, Richard Billingham and others, UK

Medium-Length and Short Films

In Competition
Da Vinci, Yuri Ancarani, Italy, 20’
Dossier Scolaire (School Files), di Noëlle Pujol and Andreas Bolm, France and Germany, 21’
Dreams, James Franco, UK, 1’
El Ruido de las Estrellas Me Aturde, Eduardo Williams, Argentina, 20’
Eternità, Galina Myznikova and Sergey Provorov (Provmyza), Russia, 36'
GHL, Lotte Schreiber, Austria, 17’
Ishi to uta to Peta (Stone, Song and Peta), Takuya Dairiki and Takashi Miura, France and Japan, 60'
La Madre, Il Figlio e L'Architetto (The Mother, The Son and The Architect), Petra Noordkamp, Netherlands, 16'
Mitote (Mexican Ritual), Eugenio Polgovsky, Mexico, 53'
Montaña en Sombra (Mountain In Shadow), Lois Patiño, Spain, 14'
The Moon Has Its Reasons, Lewis Klahr, UK, 3'
The Museum of Imagination, Amit Dutta, India, 20'
Não estamos sonhando (We are Not Dreaming), Luiz Pretti, Brazil, 12'
Narmada, Manon Ott and Grégory Cohen, France, 47'
Nature of Aberration, Krissakorn Thinthupthai, Thailand, 13'
The Ogre's Feathers, Michael Almereyda, USA, 20'
Quatro Horas Descalço (Four Hours Barefoot), Ico Costa, France and Portugal, 15'
Rhinoceros, Kevin Jerome Everson, USA, 6'
Some Part Of Us Will Have Become, Semiconductor, UK, 3'
Tagalog, Gym Lumbera, Philippines, 45'
I Topi Lasciano La Nave, Zapruder, Italy, 32'
Il Viaggio della Signorina Vila, Elisabetta Sgarbi, Italy, 60'
Waterscope Transitions, Carsten Aschmann, Germany, 22'

Out of Competition
Steekspel (Tricked), Paul Verhoeven, Netherlands, 52'
All Sides of the Road 3D, OpenEndedGroup, USA, 12'
Plant 3D, OpenEndedGroup, USA, 17'
Pletora, Il Dono 3D, Zapruder, Italy, 15
Tanti Futuri Possibili. Con Renato Nicolini, Gianfranco Rosi, Italy, 30'
Waves 3D, OpenEndedGroup, USA, 2'

President: Douglas Gordon, visual artist, UK
Hans Hurch, film programmer, Austria
Ed Lachman, cinematographer, Germany
Andrea Lissoni, historian, curator, festival director, Italy
Emily Jacir, director, social intervention, performance, more,

Best First and Second Film Jury
President: Matthew Modine, director and actor, USA
Laura Amelia Guzmán, producer and Director, Dominican Republic
Stefania Rocca, actress, Italy
Alice Rohrwacher, director, Italy
Tanya Seghatchian, producer, UK

Independent Section - Alice Nella Città

Animals, Marçal Forés, Spain
Baby Girl, Macdara Vallely, USA
Comme Un Lion (Little Lion), Samuel Collardey, France
Igual Si Llueve (Even If It Rains), Fernando A. Gatti, Argentina
Innocents, Chen-hsi Wong, Singapore
Jeunesse (Youth), Justine Malle, France
Kid, Fien Troch, Belgium
La Pasion de Michelangelo (The Passion of Michelangelo), Esteban Larraín, Chile
Meu Pe de Laranja Lima (My Sweet Orange Tree), Marcos Berstein, Brazil
Pulce Non C'E, Giuseppe Bonito, Italy
Strings, Rob Savage, UK
You and Me Forever, Kaspar Munk, Denmark

Out of Competition
Du Vent Dans Mes Mollets (The Dandelions), Carine Tardieu, France
Wreck-It Ralph, Rich Moore, USA

Special Program
Kirikou et Les Homes et Les Femes (Kirikou - And The Men And Women), Michel Ocelot, France
Le Petit Prince - La Planete Su Serpent, Pierre-Alain Chartier, France

New Cinema Network
This year NCN presents a selection of 20 projects from all over the world, evaluated and chosen by the selection committee appointed by Marco Müller, Marie-Pierre Duhamel and Sandra Hebron with the staff of New Cinema Network. As for the international scene, the projects selection features an ample spectrum of countries, themes, styles, genres and suggestions. There are projects by some very well-known outstanding directors like Marco Bellochio, Lisandro Alonso and Jia Zang ke

Almost Anonymous, Jia Zhang ke, China
Another World, Alexis Dos Santos, Argentina
Close Far Away, Jens Assur, Sweden
Conformista, Shangjun Cai, China
Io, Clay Jeter, USA
Iron, Alejandro Fernandez Almendras, Chile
Land, Babak Jalali, UK
Mordogan, Jessica Krummaker, Germany
Pagliacci, Marco Bellocchio, Italia
Poisonous Roses, Fawzi Saleh, Egypt
The Room On A Tree, Amit Dutta, India
School Town, Jian Liu, China
Sin Titulo, Lisandro Alonso, Argentina
Il Sogno del Pesce Rosso, Gianni Cardillo, Italy
Sword of Honor, Haofeng Xu, China
Tito Il Piccolo, Paola Randi, Italy
La Vita Ti Arriva Addosso, Paolo Sassanelli, Italy
The Vacationers, Luis Galter, Spain
Vergine Giurata, laura Bispuri, Italy
A Project (TBA), Franco Maresco, Italy

To check the official announcement that includes more films and events in the independent sections plus in the official selection Prospettive Italia, go here. Suggest to also check official site as there are more films listed there.

My first impression without reading about each film is that the festival has changed as seems there are a few more known directors releasing their films in the festival plus this time festival seems to have films from more countries around the world.

According to the released information here are some interesting figures from this edition:
Feature Films: 59 world premieres and 5 international premieres, for a total of 64 feature films
12 Medium-length films
23 Short films
These numbers really change the panorama for this festival, especially when you consider that the 13 films in competition are all world premieres.

Surely I am very curious about this year festival and posted too early as there is no films info at the official site yet. So I will be checking and updating post as soon as they publish information.

Check info and trailers @MOC.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011

2012 Oscar Foreign Language Film Submissions - Final

These are the sixty-three (63) films that will compete for the Best Foreign Language film in the 84th Academy Awards.

Albania: Amnistia  (Amnesty), Bujar Alimani
Argentina: Aballay, el hombre sin miedo (Aballay), Fernando Spiner
Austria: Atmen (Breathing), Karl Markovics
Belgium: Rundskop (Bullhead), Michaël R. Roskam
Bosnia and Herzegovina: Belvedere, Ahmed Imamović
Brazil: Tropa de Elite 2 (Elite Squad: The Enemy Within), José Padilha
Bulgaria: Тилт Tilt, Viktor Chuchkov Jr.
Canada: Monsieur Lazhar, Philippe Falardeau
Chile: Violeta Se Fue a los Cielos (Violeta Went to Heaven), Andrés Wood
China: 金陵十三釵 (The Flowers of War), Zhang Yimou
Colombia: Los Colores de la Montaña (The Colors of the Mountain), Carlos César Arbeláez
Croatia: Sedamdeset i dva dana (72 days), Danilo Serbedzija
Cuba: Habanastation, Ian Padrón
Czech Republic: Alois Nebel, Tomás Lunák (animated film)
Denmark: SuperClásico, Ole Christian Madsen
Dominican Republic: La Hija Natural (Love Child), Leticia Tonos
Egypt: الشوق El-Shouq (Lust), Khaled El-Hagar
Estonia: Kirjad Inglile (Letters to Angel), Sulev Keedus
Finland: Le Havre, Aki Kaurismäki
France: La guerre est déclarée (Declaration of War), Valérie Donzelli (Good movie, a lot better than what I imagined; a little bit uneven, last half not as good as first)
Georgia: Chantrapras, Otar Iosseliani
Germany: Pina, Wim Wenders (is a documentary - NO, this is no doc even when documents dance, it's really BEAUTIFUL to watch plus you'll feel lots of emotions! Fantastic film.)
Greece: Attenberg, Athina Rachel Tsangari (A strange movie/story yet was fascinating for me.)
Hong Kong: 桃姐 Tao jie (A Simple Life), Ann Hui
Hungary: A Torinói ló (The Turin Horse), Béla Tarr
Iceland: Eldfjall (Volcano), Rúnar Rúnarsson
India: ആദാമിന്റെ മകൻ അബു Adaminte Makan Abu (Abu, Son of Adam), Salim Ahamed
Indonesia: Di Bawah Lindungan Ka'bah (Under the Protection of Ka'Bah), Hanny R Saputra
Iran: جدایی نادر از سیمین Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (Nader and Simin, A Separation), Asghar Farhadi (Very Good movie, excellent essay on normal life, bravo Master Farhadi!)
Ireland: As If I Am Not There, Juanita Wilson  (Very HARD-to-watch story in a good movie with good performances which makes film harder to watch.)
Israel: הערת שוליים (Footnote), Joseph Cedar
Italy: Terraferma, Emanuele Crialese
Japan: 一枚のハガキ Ich-mai no Hagaki (Postcard), Kaneto Shindō
Kazakhstan: Возвращение в "А" (Return to "A"), Egor Konchalovsky
Lebanon: وهلّأ لوين؟ Wo Hallah La Wen? (Where Do We Go Now?), Nadine Labaki
Lithuania: Kai Apkabinsiu Tave (Back in Your Arms), Kristijonas Vildžiūnas
Macedonia: Панкот не е мртов Pankot ne e mrtov (Punk's Not Dead), Vladimir Blazevski
Mexico: Miss Bala, Gerado Naranjo (It's an okay movie less violent than I imagined whilst easier to watch)
Morocco: Omar m'a tuer (Omar Killed Me), Roschdy Zem
Netherlands: Sonny Boy, Maria Peters
New Zealand: O Le Tulafale (The Orator), Tusi Tamasese
Norway: Sykt lykkelig (Happy, Happy), Anne Sewitsky (Interesting human behavior essay, dark funny)
Peru: Octubre (October), Diego and Daniel Vega
Philippines: Ang Babae Sa Septic Tank (The Woman in the Septic Tank), Marlon Rivera
Poland: W ciemności (In Darkness), Agnieszka Holland
Portugal: José e Pilar (Jose and Pilar), Miguel Goncalves Mendes (documentary)
Romania: Morgen, Marian Crisan
Russia: Утомлённые солнцем 2: Цитадель Utomlyonnye Solntsem 2 (Burnt by the Sun 2: The Citadel), Nikita Mikhalkov
Serbia: Montevideo, bog te video (Montevideo: Taste of a Dream), Dragan Bjelogrlić
Singapore: Tatsumi, Erick Khoo
Slovakia: Cigán (Gypsy), Martin Šulík
South Africa: Shookheid (Beauty), Oliver Hermanus
South Korea: 고지전 Go-ji-jeon (The Front Line), Jang Hun
Spain: Pa Negre (Black Bread), Agustí Villaronga (An okay movie with an okay story, nothing special)
Sweden: Svinalängorna (Beyond), Pernilla August
Switzerland: Giochi d'estate (Summer Games), Rolando Colla
Taiwan: 賽德克.巴萊 Saideke Balai (Warriors of the Rainbow: Seediq Bale), Wei Te-Sheng
Thailand: คนโขน Kon Khon, Sarunyu Wongkrachang
Turkey: Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia), Nuri Bilge Ceylan
United Kingdom: Patagonia, Marc Evans
Uruguay: La Casa Muda (The Silent House), Gustavo Hernández
Venezuela: El Rumor de las Piedras (The Rumble of the Stones), Alejandro Bellame
Vietnam: Khát vọng Thăng Long (The Prince and the Pagoda Boy), Lưu Trọng Ninh

Watch 62 trailers @MOC Poland doesn't have trailer yet.

Updates Comments

An unexpected update but suddenly the AMPAS Best Foreign Language Film Award Screening Schedule became available and with some unexpected surprises as seems Slovenia's silent Circus Fantasticus is NOT in the list that has 63 films (two less than in previous years).

As expected Albania changed their submission, Georgia has the expected submission, and new to the list are Estonia, Indonesia and UK. Not expected but predictable Russia kept their original submission and in a positive turn of events, the Academy allowed the Dominican Republic submission.

Between today and tomorrow the Academy has to publish their official list and ONLY then this post will become final.



The last update before final has 58 countries submitting a film that had some kind of promotion in local media or industry media; then add one more (Georgia) that haven't been able to find info to make the total to 59, odd number, isn't? Should be 60, but up-to-this moment there are no new announcements. I still expect the number to reach 65 and soon we will learn the final list that the Academy will release within the following two weeks.

This year I have the impression that there are TOO many good films, some I have seen so know they're good (a few exceptions that I don't understand how they made it to this list) and other haven't seen them yet but are from directors I highly appreciate as great filmmakers.

I know is kind of crazy (so early) to speculate about the films that will make it to the shortlist of nine, but here is my nine film wishlist and I really hope they make it.

Germany with Pina, Finland with Le Havre, Iran with A Separation, China with The Flowers of War, Lebanon with Where do we go now?, Mexico with Miss Bala, Turkey with Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Sweden with Beyond, and Iceland with Volcano. As a matter of fact today my Oscar goes to Pina!!! Yes, what a marvelous film truly deserves the award.

For a change there is one film that I'm not really looking forward to see, France's submission as story, style and the I-can't-forget reference of being in La Semaine de la Critique, make film not attractive to me.

Soon this post will become final and we will know if Russia changed the submission, Albania retains its submission, and Georgia submitted a French production -which is most likely as Morroco did it too.




A new update as today we reached the 40th mark with up-to-this-moment forty (40)films. Past years there has been 65 submissions, so we can estimate that we still get around 25 more.

But what really calls my attention is the many festival movies that are being submitted; from Cannes 2010 there are 2, Cannes 2011 - 7, Venice 2010 - 2, Venice 2011 - 1, and Berlin 2011 - 3; for a total of 15 films out of 40. Also there are many (yes, many WHEN we compare it to previous years) that have gay or lesbian interest and not often in this list we have the Queer Palm winner, so I'm glad for this -small- milestone in LGTB cinema.

In about a week is the submission deadline, so this coming week should be also with many announcements.



As list will grow larger soon had to do the first update to have the post above all the others (lol!) as not everyone knows that in the second column there is ALWAYS a link to this post for the easiest access.

I'm very puzzled with Iran's announcement a few days back, seems was not official -that's why they deleted all the news-; then Variety confirmed the news, but today in Iranian press the news that there are three films shortlisted. I do believe the Golden Bear winner deserves the honor, but let's see what Iranian authorities finally decide.



The American Award Season is “around the corner” so it’s no surprise to find my first movie submitted to Oscar 2012. I say my first as imagine that surely now that I’ll start to look for information I’ll find more, but for today this is the first confirmed movie submitted to Oscar.

So my favorite yearly post begins today with many more submissions and one film with lesbian interest... fantastic!

Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Aki Kaurismäki. Sort by date Show all posts
Showing posts sorted by relevance for query Aki Kaurismäki. Sort by date Show all posts

Monday, September 12, 2011

24th European Film Awards – Long List

A few minutes ago the European Film Academy (EFA) announced the titles of the forty-five (45) films on this year’s selection list with films that will be considered for a nomination in current year European Film Awards.

This year the EFA’s will return to Berlin with the award ceremony scheduled on December 3rd; as always nominations will be announced at 2011 Seville European Film Festival – fest will run from November 6 to 14, 2011- on November 5th.

Here is the long list that includes many Cannes, Berlin and festival films in general.

ALMANYA – WILLKOMMEN IN DEUTSCHLAND (ALMANYA), Yasemin Samdereli, Germany and Turkey
AMÉRICA (AMERICA), João Nuno Pinto, Portugal, Spain, Brazil and Russia
THE ARTIST, Michel Hazanavicius, France
AS IF I AM NOT THERE, Juanita Wilson, Ireland, Macedonia and Sweden
ATTENBERG, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Greece
AVE, Konstantin Bojanov, Bulgaria
BELI BELI SVET (WHITE WHITE WORLD), Oleg Novkovic, Serbia, Germany and Sweden
CIRKUS COLUMBIA, Danis Tanović, Bosnia & Herzegovina, France, UK, Germany, Slovenia and Belgium
CIRKUS FANTASTICUS (SILENT SONATA), Janez Burger, Slovenia and Ireland
DREI (THREE), Tom Tykwer, Germany
ELDFJALL (VOLCANO), Rúnar Rúnarsson, Iceland and Denmark
ЕЛЕНА (ELENA), Andrey Zvyagintsev, Russia
ESSENTIAL KILLING, Jerzy Skolimowski, Poland, Norway, Ireland and Hungary
LE GAMIN AU VÉLO (THE KID WITH A BIKE), Jean-Pierre & Luc Dardenne, Belgium, France and Italy
HABEMUS PAPAM, Nanni Moretti, Italy and France
HÆVNEN (IN A BETTER WORLD), Susanne Bier, Denmark
HITGANVUT YEHIDIM (INFILTRATION), Dover Kosashvili, Israel and France
LE HAVRE, Aki Kaurismäki, Finland, France and Germany
LIDICE, Petr Nikolaev, Czech Republic
LOVERBOY, Cătălin Mitulescu, Romania
MAJKI (MOTHERS), Milcho Manchevski, Macedonia
MELANCHOLIA, Lars von Trier, Denmark, Sweden, France and Germany
NEDS, Peter Mullan, UK
NOI CREDEVAMO (WE BELIEVED), Mario Martone, Italy and France
OSLO 31. AUGUST (OSLO, AUGUST 31st), Joachim Trier, Norway
ОВCЯНКИ – OVSYANKI (SILENT SOULS), Alexey Fedorchenco, Russia
PA NEGRE (BLACK BREAD), Agustí Villaronga, Spain
LA PETITE CHAMBRE (THE LITTLE ROOM), Stéphanie Chuat & Véronique Reymond, Switzerland and Luxembourg
PLAY, Ruben Östlund, Sweden
PŘEŽÍT SVŮJ ŽIVOT (SURVIVING LIFE), Jan Švankmajer, Czech Republic and Slovakia
RUNDSKOP (BULLHEAD), Michaël R. Roskam, Belgium and Netherlands
SVINALÄNGORNA (BEYOND), Pernilla August, Sweden, Denmark and Finland
TILVA ROŠ, Nikola Ležaić, Serbia
TIRZA, Rudolf van den Berg, Netherlands
TOMBOY, Céline Sciamma, France
A TORINÓI LÓ (THE TURIN HORSE), Béla Tarr, Hungary, France, Switzerland and Germany

To my surprise have seen more than a few and the ones I haven’t seen of course I’m “dying” to see them. Quite unusual but in this long list there are two lesbian interest films and as usual there are more gay interest films in the list, sigh. Most of the new to me films come from Eastern Europe and there are some that definitively am interested in watching, so let’s hope I’m able before November 5th, just in case they’re nominated.

To check the list at the EFA official site go here or here at the European Film Awards official site.

Not an easy task for the Academy members as in the above list there are TOO MANY extraordinary movies that already collected the Oscar last year and/or are being submitted to Oscar this year. But let’s wait until the nominations are near to play the guessing game for the main categories.


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