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Thursday, May 01, 2014

2014 Cannes Check #1: Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Series Intro

Today feel like starting a short series about the directors and their films in the Cannes 2014 official selection. Just to check some facts we have to consider that in the competition there are directors that already won one or two Palme d'Or as well as winning Jury Prize, Grand Prix, Best Director, Camera d'Or and yes, even Best Actor.

Then you have the directors that for the first time are in competition but already won multiple awards at collateral sections including Un Certain Regard, Quinzaine des réalisateurs and/or Semaine de la Critique. So we can say that most are Croisette connoisseurs as only two directors are new to the competition and to Cannes.

To start the series let's talk about one favorite directors, one I follow his career, admire him from afar, like some movies more than others and have seen all his work up to this moment: Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

27th European Film Awards Winners

 In less than 30 minutes the live stream of the awards will began and in about an hour the awards ceremony will start. I'll be updating this post as soon as winners are announced, so if you wish to learn them fast refresh post often.

Unfortunately there is no way to embed stream but if you wish to watch ceremony go here.

Was thinking that this award needs more credibility as most of the "big stars" that were nominated are NOT there. Wonder if they learn who wins before the show so they HAVE TO attend (at least!) or not attend (which if done is really bad for show). I have seen my share of European TV, from musical magazine to awards and yes, the format is quite different from the ones used in America. I use to enjoy the EFA's ceremony because it was very elegant, very European and didn't try to be funny or an American award show. 2014 brings a TV show that is not that much entertaining as yes I do miss Anke and this is so boring that I'm writing instead of watching show. Sigh. Wish they could go back to the more elegant style of show.

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Friday, May 16, 2014

Day 3 at Cannes 2014

In the third day Cannes seems to have lost steam again with the first film in competition this morning as the press has not been kind with their comments. Hope things get better with today's second film in competition. Somehow feel that after the disastrous opening film, critics tend to go to extremes either you love film or you hate it and they are vociferous in social media.

The Competition

Captives by Atom Egoyan

This year the inconceivable happened: three Canadians competing for the Palme d'Or! But seems that Egoyan is out of the competition. Somehow suspected that film could be more commercial than the regular fare Cannes shows and seems that maybe I was right. Reactions in several languages to film have been mixed and yes some compare film to Dennis Villeneuve's Prisoners claiming that Egoyan's is better while others say is worst. Seems that after watching film the word that is most associated with film story is pedophile, hmm.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Üç Maymun (Three Monkeys)

All the fantastic elements are present in this movie: great images, great compositions, great cinematography, great slow pace, great long takes, amazing opening scene, great sounds, great performances, great director, and a story that’s told in an interesting way as you cannot see the acts, only the consequences. But surprisingly I did not enjoyed the movie as I felt like an observer of successions of beautiful images that didn’t provoke feelings or emotions in me, and after a while really becomes tedious.

Nuri Bilge Ceylan decided this time to tell a clear story and that perhaps was the main reason why I didn’t enjoyed the movie. Even when you do not see how things happen you easily follow the narrative and understand absolutely everything that happens, which is not common in his movies and I hope he does it only this time.

The story is very mundane as tells about politician Servet that one night does a hit-and-run killing a man. As it was elections time he asks Eyup, his driver, to take the blame and spend time in jail as when he gets out, he’ll be compensated with a large sum of money and his monthly salary will be paid in full to his wife and son. When the man is in jail, Hacer his wife starts to have an affair with Servet and from that moment everything goes sour and ends in tragedy.

Most of what I read mentions that the story is about the lack of communication among the three-member family. I totally disagree and tend to believe that probably perceptions come from the lack of dialogue and the silences; but for me is a simple story of a woman that passionately falls for his husband boss. Which honestly is not that interesting as is a story well traveled by many filmmakers and wasn’t hard to predict what will come next.

If you browse the blog you will find the honors and accolades that this movie has been collecting since was premiered in competition at 2008 Cannes where Bilge Ceylan won the Best Director Award. This time is hard for me to understand the award, as one of the most crucial elements of a good director are his storytelling skills to make a mundane story really outstanding and in my opinion Bilge Ceylan in this movie wasn’t able to show his amazing storytelling skills.

I waited so long to be able to see this movie and yes, I had huge expectations; unfortunately this time the film was not able to impress me as I really missed a better story. I cannot recommend this movie, unless you are a huge fan of Nuri Bilge Ceylan and have to see the movie, but I imagine that you will be as disappointed as me.


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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

2012 Cannes Quinzaine des Réalisateurs Carrosse d’Or

A few minutes ago the Société des Réalisateurs de Films (SRF) announced that this year’s Carrosse d’Or goes to extraordinary master filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan and he’s to receive the honor at the 44th Directors’ Fortnight opening ceremony on May 17.

As you all know I highly admire Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s master oeuvres, especially the excellent 2011 Cannes Grand Prix winner Bir zamanlar Anadolu'da (Once Upon a Time In Anatolia) that if you have not seen you should as soon as possible.

Since 2002 the Carrosse d’Or recognizes a film director chosen for innovation in their films, for their boldness and intransigence in directing and production; so we know that this great honor is extremely well-deserved as his movies absolutely fit the award requisites well-above the norm.

To check the official announcement at the SRF site go here.

My sincere congratulations to Nuri Bilge Ceylan and hope to see the Quinzaine opening ceremony to enjoy the celebration of a great master filmmaker.


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Thursday, November 24, 2011

5th Annual Asia Pacific Screen Award Winners

Last night (i.e. very early morning for me) the Academy had their award ceremony that you can watch here.  The following are the winners.

Best Feature Film: جدایی نادر از سیمین Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (Nader and Simin, A Separation), Asghar Farhadi, Iran

Jury Grand Prize: Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia), Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey

Achievement in Directing: Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia), Turkey
Best Performance by Actress: Nadezha Markina in Elena by Andrei Zvyagintsev, Russia
Best Peformance by Actor: Wang Baoqiang for Hello! Shu Xian Sheng (Mr. Tree) by Jie Han, China

Best Children’s Feature Film: Buta by Ilgar Najaf, Azerbaijan
Best Animated Feature Film: Madangeul naon amtak (Leafie) by Oh Seonyun, Korea
Best Documentary Feature Film: Jag Var Värd 50 Lamm (I Was Worth 50 Sheep) by Nima Sarvestani, Sweden, Japan and USA

Best Screeplay: Denis Osokin for Ovsyanki (Silent Souls) by Aleksei Fedorchenko, Russia
Achievement in Cinematography Award: Gökhan Tiryaki for Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia) by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey

UNESCO Award: Ivan Sen for Toomelah, Australia
FIAPF Award: Zhang Yimou

To check the announcement go here and to check nominees plus winners in all categories go here.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

8th Asia Pacific Screen Awards Winners

As happened to me last year, this year was not able to see the awards ceremony live -which upsets me as this ceremony is very ceremonial, so different to what we see in in the west. Nevertheless can't deny that I'm very pleased that the movie of one of my favorite directors won the top award -which wasn't difficult as there were two of my favorite directors competing head to head-. Yes Andrey Zvyagintsev acclaimed Leviathan won the top award and to not upset Palme d'Or winner Nuri Bilge Ceylan (and me), the jury gave him the Best Director award for Winter Sleep.

As we know these awards recognize and promote cinematic excellence and cultural diversity of the world’s fastest-growing film region: comprising 70 countries and areas, 4.5 billion people, and responsible for half of the world’s film output. 2014 was a very good year for the are as produced many of the year greatest world films that were honored in Cannes and continued to collect multiple awards around the world.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ilklimer (Climates)

This Nuri Bilge Ceylan film tells the story of a relationship rupture. Movies about this subject usually are melodramatic, intense dramas or lately even a comedy. This movie is none of those types of breakups. This is a silent and slow separation. But is the GOOD silence and the GOOD slow.

An extraordinary visual voyage into a separation with many silences, but almost all the silences are full of expressions and no words are needed, you can feel what the characters are feeling. When there is absence of mouth sounds and music score those moments become absolutely intense.

The pace is slow. The camera becomes an intense dramatic character and does it superbly. The drama is in the way the camera moves –slowly- even in the most inconsequential moments like, for example, when Isa speaks with his mother and his father appears.

Great performances are essential if the film has silence and is slow. Kudos to the Ceylan family, as this film seems to be an outstanding family affair, as Nuri’s wife, Ebru Ceylan is Bahar the female lead, Nuri plays Isa the male lead and Isa’s mother and father are played by Fatma Ceylan and Emin Ceylan, Nuri’s real-life parents. Also Nuri wrote the screenplay.

Cinematography is impeccable and the camera by Gokhan Tiryaki conjures up some remarkable vistas and some impressively detailed close-ups. From the three seasons presented in the story, winter has the most beautiful landscapes.

Seems Mr. Ceylan has a true fan following to his absolutely art house films and his previous films seem to be as interesting as this one, so I will be checking them. French critics compare the level of this film to the best of Bergman or Antonioni … but with a minimalist touch full of sharp irony. Well, I have to agree with them this time!

This movie won the FIPRESCI prize at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival and was nominated for the Golden Palm. In Turkey has won several awards in different film festivals.

This is not a movie for all audiences. This is for those who believe that cinema can be true art. I’m still speechless!

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Saturday, May 21, 2011

Day 11 at Cannes 2011

Tomorrow is the last day. Sigh. By now there are many press people that have seen the Palm d’Or winner as have seen the 20 films in competition, the question is which one will be chosen by the Jury? Have to admit that’s an eclectic jury, but today is the day that will try to guess with some objectivity. Still today is a great day as there are several films that absolutely are must be seen for me.

Main Competition

Another of the most awaited films by me, Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia) by one of my favorite directors, Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Have to accept that his previous film was less enjoyable than previous but from trailers –and first comments- film has to be visually stunning.

Not only has a Romanian director but also one actress I love to watch in the screen so is no surprise that La Source des Femmes (The Source) by Radu Mihaileanu is a must be seen movie for me.

Out of Competition

The red carpet will be tomorrow with the closing ceremony, but since today film will be screened and the photocall has amazing photos let’s talk today about Les Bien-aimés (The Beloved) by Christophe Honoré starring “La Reine” Catherine Deneuve, the divine Ludivine Sagnier, very hansome Louis Garrel, and looking each day more like his father, Chiara Mastroianni. Absolutely must be seen for me and wait will be very hard to endure.

Un Certain Regard

Since amazing Izgnanie (The Banishment) Adrei Zvygintsev became an almost perfect storyteller and filmmaker as film had great story with mesmerizing visuals; a while back learned that he has released a third film (first was amazing The Return), Elena and certainly was very glad that film became the closing film in this section as assures me that there is the possibility of faster movie release so the wait becomes shorter. I recognize his particular style in movie photos and let’s hope that story will be as engaging as in his previous two feature films.

Will publish awards before this post as I’m learning winners via twitter, but will wait for official news to publish post.

Cannes Classics

Today a medium-length film, Le Rideau Cramoisi (The Crimson Curtain) by Alexandre Astruc, a director that had a big influence on the Nouvelle Vague. Screening will have the presence of the director and great Anouk Aimée who is the star in film that no have not seen it but yes, of course will love to see film.

Short Films

Today the screening of all the shorts in competition, if you wish to learn the shorts please go here.

Not a bad day at all; yes the last day with film screenings is today, so this is my last daily post.  Tomorrow we will be anxiously waiting for the awards that hope to be able to follow live on TV and/or twitter.


Céline Sciamma and Alexandre Astruc were honored with the Prix France Culture Cinema 2011 in a ceremony at the Majestic Barrière. Awards were given by Yasmina Réza, president of this year edition. As noted above Astruc is also honored today at Cannes Classics and Sciamma is very well known in this blog for her extraordinary debut film Naissance des Pieuvres (Water Lilies) that was at 2007 Cannes in the Un Certain Regard, winning in 2008 the prestigious Prix Louis Delluc, and her second film released just last April in France, Tomboy was the winner of the 2011 Teddy Jury Award; obviously all her films were, are and will be must be seen for me.

My Best Guesses

Palm d’Or will go to… Hazanavicius OR Aki (the first if certain jury group prevails and the second if they’re really unanimous). But deep in my heart I wish this could be the Almodovar year, sigh.

But I know that movies by Hazanavicius, Kaurismäki, Dardenne Bros, Almodovar, and Sorrentino will get one of the many awards.


Today photos from films that are Must Be Seen for me: Les Bien-aimés, La Source des Femmes, and Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da

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Saturday, May 24, 2014

67th Festival de Cannes Award Winners

In about six hours the red carpet will start followed by the awards ceremony, then the closing tribute to the western or better, the spaghetti western with Quentin Tarantino presenting For a Fistful of Dollars by Sergio Leone.

Nice closing ceremony with great award winners speeches that unfortunately chose to speak in English as the voice-over translation was loud, annoying and couldn't let you hear anything. Sigh. But imagine most will soon appear as clips all over the net. My predictions were as all Cannes predictions a futile exercise but can't deny that with one or two exceptions I approve who won the awards.

We have to realize that this year we have traditional winners but for those that wanted "fresh blood" we also have it and just for reference the youngest director in this edition, Xavier Dolan, tied with the oldest director in this edition, Jean-Luc Godard, but Alice Rohrwacher won the second top award.

So this is the end of the Cannes coverage and the end of the Festival.

À l'année prochaine!

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Thursday, August 20, 2015

#Venezia72 Check No. 5 - From Europe and Asia

Turn to check two (2) bi-continental directors, Emin Alpert from Turkey and outstanding Aleksandr Sokurov from Russia

Emin Alper

Not much info about this director but here are the basics; most data comes from Berlinale official site. Born on August 13, 1974 in Konya, Turkey. Trained in Economics and History at Bogazici University-Istambul; holds a PH.D. degree in Turkish Modern History. He teaches at Istanbul Technical University's Humanities and Social Sciences Department.

He is the writer and director of the short films, 2005 Mekup (The Letter) and 2006 Rifat. He has also occasionally acted in a couple of short films. His debut feature film, Tepenin Ardi (Beyond the Hill), collected multiple accolades all over the world after premiering in 2012 Berlinale Forum section.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

2008 Asia Pacific Screen Awards Nominations

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards is a collaboration with CNN International, UNESCO and FIAPF – International Federation of Film Producers Associations and is an international cultural initiative to acclaim films that best reflect their cultural origins and demonstrate cinematic excellence. APSA takes as its definition of Asia the UNESCO ruling that stretches from New Zealand to Turkey and includes the Middle East. The nominees were determined from more than 180 films from 43 countries and areas entered in these, the second APSAs.

The Awards Ceremony will be on November 11 in Gold Coast, Australia.

Today the APSA announced the nominations and here are the nominees for some categories.

Best Feauture Film
Hong Se Kang Bai Yin
(The Red Awn), Cai Shangjun, China
Mak Jeuk (Sparrow), Johnnie To, Hong Kong
Om Shanti Om, Farah Khan, India
Tulpan, Sergei Dvortsevoy, Kazakhstan, Russia, Switzerland, Poland and Germany
Üç Maymun (Three Monkeys), Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey, France and Italy

Achievement in Directing
Kim Jee-woon for Joheunnon nabbeunnom isanghannom (The Good, The Bad, The Weird), Korea
Johnnie To for Men Jeuk (Sparrow), Hong Kong
Kiyoshi Kurosawa for Tokyo Sonata, Japan, Netherlands and Hong Kong
Sergei Dvortsevoy for Tulpan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Switzerland, Poland and Germany
Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Üç Maymun (Three Monkeys), Turkey, France and Italy

Achievement in Cinematography
Lee Mogae for Joheunnon nabbeunnom isanghannom (The Good, The Bad, The Weird), Korea
Kiiran Deohans for Jodhaa Akbar, India
Cheng Siu-keung for Men Jeuk (Sparrow), Hong Kong
Oleg Kirichenko for Rusalka (Mermaid), Russia
Gökhan Tiryaki for Üç Maymun (Three Monkeys), Turkey, France and Italy

Best Performance by an Actress
Omarbekova Nesipkul for Baksy (Native Dancer), Kazakhstan, Russia, France and Germany)
Hiam Abbass for Etz Limon (Lemon Tree), Israel, France and Germany
Akie Namiki for Jitsuroku Rengo Sekigun: Asama Sanso Eno Michi (United Red Army), Japan
Miao Pu for Ying Tao (Cherries), China
Daria Moroz for Zhivi I pomni (Live and Remember), Russia

Best Performance by an Actor
Reza Naji for Avaze Gonjeshk-ha (The Song of Sparrows), Iran
Kim Yoon-suk for Chugyeogja (The Chaser), Korea
Simon Yam for Men Jeuk (Sparrow), Hong Kong
Rajat Kapoor for The Prisoner, India
Alireza Aghakhani for Tanha do bar zendegui mikonim (Before the Burial), Iran

To check other categories and to read the official press release go here.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

Bir zamanlar Anadolu'da (Once Upon a Time In Anatolia)

I’m a true admirer of Nuri Bilge Ceylan outstanding films like Distant or Climates, even when I was not too pleased with Three Monkeys; but now I know he went back to what I can call his particular style that allow us to contemplate everything in the screen: the visuals, the dialogues, the situations, the slow pace, the awesome compositions, the use of light, the silences, the amazing long shots, and yes, the story that in this film is about men. Men stories all related to their own woman, but from the very manly restrained point of view. So I contemplated and had one of the best longest moments with great mouth dropping cinema.

For starters just after the opening credits there is a long, very long shot done with a still camera that didn’t move at all during what? Probably 10 to 15 minutes, if not more. Awesome. Story tells about a night where a group of men set out in search of a dead body in the Anatolian steppes, so it’s easy to imagine the absolutely beautiful takes of the steppes we will see but what it’s truly amazing is that we watch them while twilight becomes dusk and dusk becomes night. Just imagine the color palette, that somehow reminds me very much of the color palette used in Distant.

Story will grab your attention and tension will develop not from “fictional” situations but from what looks and feels like reality, very realistic performances that are enhanced with great actors close-ups to deadpan faces that suddenly look directly into the camera and a small expression appears. Fabulous.

As I already mentioned film tells men stories, the story of Doctor Cemal, Prosecutor Nusret, Commissar Naci, one killer and the dead man. Each has a woman behind their tale, except the last two that –according to me- have one and the same woman. Thus even if they are looking for a body, slowly you will start to learn each man story and the weaving of all stories happen so flawlessly that you hardly notice that 150 minutes have passed by as you will want more.

Co-winner of the Grand Prix at 2011 Cannes and winner of Achievement in Directing plus Achievement in Cinematography at 2011 Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Nuri Bilge Ceylan oeuvre highly deserves the honors and as we know is Turkey submission to Oscar, but I doubt that Academy members will appreciate this kind of true art in cinema. Sigh.

Have to admit that film is not for all audiences but since main story is very clear, a murder investigation, perhaps those who dare to watch it could enjoy the film as a very realistic recount of one night and one morning in the life of some men. Obviously I strongly recommend it to many that read this blog that I know will enjoy this very contemplative voyage into great cinema.


Watch trailer @MOC

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Monday, October 10, 2011

5th Annual Asia Pacific Screen Awards Nominations

Today APSA announced the nominations for this year awards, with a total of 37 films from 19 countries and areas. Here are the nominations for some categories. It’s noted that the films with most nominations –four each- are A Separation and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, as we know both are Iran and Turkey submissions to Oscar plus both are by two of my most favorite directors.

Best Feature Film
Band Baaja Baaraat (Wedding Planners), Maneesh Sharma, India
Bé Omid É Didar (Goodbye), Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran
Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia), Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey
Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (A Separation), Asghar Farhadi, Iran
Rang zidan fei (Let the Bullets Fly), Jiang Wen, China and Hong Kong

Achievement in Directing
Asghar Farhadi for Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (A Separation), Iran
Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia), Turkey
Mohammad Rasoulof for Bé Omid É Didar (Goodbye), Iran
Jiang Wen for Rang zidan fei (Let the Bullets Fly), China and Hong Kong
Na Hong-jin for Hwanghae (The Yellow Sea), South Korea

Best Performance by an Actress
Judy Davis in The Eye of the Storm, Fred Schepisi, Australia
Nahed El Sebai in Cairo 678, Mohamed Diab, Egypt
Nadezhda Markina in Elena, Andrei Zvyagintsev, Russia
Shayesteh Irani in Ayenhaye Rooberoo (Facing Mirrors), Negar Azarbayjani, Iran
Leyla Zareh in Bé Omid É Didar (Goodbye), Mohammad Rasoulof, Iran

Best Performance by an Actor
Peyman Moadi in Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (A Separation), Asghar Farhadi, Iran
Wang Baoqiang in Hello! Shu Xian Sheng (Mr Tree), Jie Han, China
Sasson Gabay in Boker Tov Adon Fidelman (Restoration), Yossi Madmoni, Israel
Fa’afiaula Sagote in O le Tulafale (The Orator), Tusi Tamasese,New Zealand and Samoa
Daniel Connors for Toomelah, Ivan Sen, Australia

To check nominees in all categories go press release or here. Award ceremony will be on November 24 at the Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia and will be streamed live at the official site here.

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Saturday, November 03, 2012

25th European Film Awards Nominations

A few minutes ago at the Seville European Film Festival the European Film Academy announced the nominations for this year. Most were expected but there is one huge surprise.

Please remember that the award calendar runs from July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012 and is the reason why the nominations have films from last year. Also, the films must have a director who was born in Europe or has a European passport and Europe has a geographical definition.

European Film
Amour (Love), Michael Haneke, Austria, France and Germany
Barbara, Christian Petzold, Germany
Cesare Deve Morire (Caesar Must Die), Paolo and Vittorio Taviani, Italy
Intouchables (Untouchable), Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano, France
Jagten (The Hunt), Thomas Vinterverg, Denmark
Shame, Steve McQueen, UK

European Director
Nuri Bilge Ceylan for Bir zamanlar Anadolu'da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia)
Michael Haneke for Amour (Love)
Steve McQueen for Shame
Paolo Taviani and Vittorio Taviani for Cesare Deve Morire (Caesar Must Die)
Thomas Vinterberg for Jagten (The Hunt

European Actress
Emilie Dequene in À perdre la raison (Our Children)
Nina Hoss in Barbara
Emmanuelle Riva in Amour (Love)
Margarethe Tiesel In Paradies: Liebe (Paradise: Love)
Kate Winslet in Carnage

European Actor
François Cluzet & Omar Sy in Intouchables (Untouchable)
Michael Fassbender in Shame
Mads Mikkelsen in Jagten (The Hunt)
Gary Oldman in Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Jean-Louis Trintignant in Amour (Love)

European Screenwriter
Michael Haneke for Amour (Love)
Tobias Lindholm & Thomas Vinterberg for Jagten (The Hunt)
Cristian Mungiu for După dealuri (Beyond the Hills)
Olivier Nakache and Eric Toledano for Intouchables (Untouchable)
Roman Polanski and Yasmina Reza for Carnage

Carlo di Palma European Cinematographer Award
Sean Bobbitt for Shame
Bruno Delbonnel for Faust
Darius Khondji for Amour (Love)
Gökhan Tiryaki for Bir zamanlar Anadolu'da (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia)
Hoyte Van Hoytema for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

European Editor
Janus Billeskov Jansen & Anne Østerud for Jagten (The Hunt)
Roberto Perpignani for Cesare Deve Morire (Caesar Must Die)
Joe Walker for Shame

European Production Designer
Maria Djurkovic for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy
Niels Sejer for En Kongelig Affære (A Royal Affair)
Elena Zhukova for Faust

European Composer
Cyrille Aufort & Gabriel Yared for En Kongelig Affære (A Royal Affair)
François Couturier for Io Sono Li (Shun Li and the Poet)
George Fenton for The Angels' Share
Alberto Iglesias for Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy

European Documentary
Hiver Nomade (Winter Nomads), Manuel von Stürler, Switzerland
London - The Modern Babylon, Julien Temple, UK
Le thé ou l'électricité (Tea or Electricity), Jérôme le Maire, Belgium, France and Morocco

European Animated Feature Film
Alois Nebel, Tomáš Luňák, Czech Republic, Germany and Slovakia
Arrugas (Wrinkles), Ignacio Ferreras, Spain
The Pirates! In An Adventure with Scientists, Peter Lord, USA and UK

European Discovery - Prix FIPRESCI
10 Timer Til Paradis (Teddy Bear), Mads Matthiesen, Denmark
Broken, Rufus Norris, UK
Kauwboy, Boudewijn Koole, Netherlands
Портрет в сумерках Portret V Sumerkhak (Twilight Portrait), Angelina Nikonova, Russia
Die Vermissten (Reported Missing), Jan Speckenbach, Germany

As we know the European Achievement in World Cinema this year goes to Dame Helen Mirren. To learn nominees in the Short Film category please go to this post.

The more than 2,700 EFA members will now vote for the winners who will be presented during the awards ceremony on December 1st in Malta. To read info about each film go here.

My biggest surprise is the total absence of Jacques Audiard film and Marion Cotillard not getting a nomination. Unbelievable. But as unbelievable are the many nominations the other French film got, yes that film, the film that is France submission to Oscar. Now seems will be easier to guess what could happen at the Oscars in the foreign-language category and beyond. Nevertheless, this Academy has always given us surprises that sometimes do not reflect what Oscar could do, like for example, last year Melancholia winning the top award.

Still, I hope that this is Michael Haneke's year and Amour sweeps the awards as is the film with the most nominations (6). In 28 days we will know if the Academy celebrates Haneke with well-deserved honors.

Last but not least I am pleased that some of my favorite and most admired directors are being honored with a well-deserved nomination including Haneke but also Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Cristian Mungiu; plus do not mind that Steve McQueen's excellent Shame got five (5) nominations, including one for Michael Fassbender. Somehow this year the Actress category does not excite me that much as really enjoyed Nina Hoss performance but know that probably Emmanuelle Riva will get the award. There is one movie nominated to the top award that I could not watch but maybe now will try to see it again hoping that I can see it up to the end; also will see the film (the other French film) I have been avoiding to see even when I know will like it as is a mainstream crowd-pleader. Sigh.

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Thursday, May 08, 2008

61st Cannes Film Festival - Final

 This is the official program for this year’s festival that will take place from May 14 to 25, 2008.

The Competition

Official Selection

Official Poster Opening Film: Blindness, Fernando Meirelles, Brazil, Canada, Japan (check the trailer here and the movie site is here).

Adoration, Atom Egoyan, Canada (Cyberspace... hmm!)
Changeling, Clint Eastwood, USA (Starring Angelina Jolie, seems interesting)
Che (aka The Argentine and Guerilla), Steven Sodergergh, Spain, USA and France (a four-hour biopic starring Benicio del Toro)
Delta, Kornel Mundruczo, Germany and Hungary (a free adaptation from Shakespeare's Hamlet and Euripide's Electra... trailer is here).
Entre Les Murs (The Class), Laurent Cantet, France
Er Shi Si Cheng Ji (24 City), Jia Zhangke, China (Starring Joan Chen)
Il Divo, Paolo Sorrentino, Italy and France (a portrait of Giulio Andreotti played by Toni Servillo!...)
La Frontiére de L’Aube (The Frontier of Dawn), Philippe Garrel, France and Italy
Gomorra (Gomorrah), Matteo Garrone, Italy (violent five stories)
Leonera (Lion's Den), Pablo Trapero, Argentina and South Korea (seems very interesting check trailer here).
Linha de Passe (Line of Passage), Daniela Thomas and Walter Salles, Brazil
My Magic, Eric Khoo, Singapore (his first Tamil film, inspired by the life of fire-eater Francis Bosco)
La Mujer Sin Cabeza (The Headless Woman), Lucrecia Martel, Argentina, France, Italy and Spain (story sounds intriguing - she directed La Niña Santa - coproduced by Almodovar's El Deseo!)
The Palermo Shooting, Wim Wenders, Germany and Italy (stars Campino, in real life a singer in the successful German band "Die Toten Hosen, also Giovanna Mezzogiorno!! and Mila Jojovich)
Serbis, Brillante Mendoza, Philippines
Le Silence de Lorna (The Silence of Lorna), Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Belgium, Italy and France
Synecdoche, New York*, Charlie Kaufman, USA and France (Kaufman directorial debut - he wrote Being John Malkovich, starring Philip Seymour Hoffman)
Two Lovers, James Gray, USA (Starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Joaquin Phoenix, movie scenes here)
ÜÇ Maymun (Three Monkeys or Daydreams), Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey, France and Italy (stoory is interesting)
Un Conte de Noël (A Christmas Tale), Amaud Desplechin, France (Catherine Deneuve, Chiara Mastroianni, Mathieu Almaric)
Waltz with Bashir, Ari Folman, Israel, France and Germany (first animated documentary...)

Feature Film Jury
Sean PENN, President (American actor, director, screenwriter)
Sergio CASTELLITTO (Italian actor, director, screenwriter)
Natalie PORTMAN (Israeli-American actress)
Alfonso CUARON (Mexican director)
Apichatpong WEERASETHAKUL (Thai director)
Alexandra Maria LARA (German actress)
Rachid BOUCHAREB (French director)
Jeanne BALIBAR (French actress)
Marjane SATRAPI (Irania author-director)

Un Certain Regard

Opening Film: Hunger*, Steve McQueen, UK

Afterschool*, Antonio Campos, USA
Los Bastardos, Amat Escalante, Mexico, France and USA
De Ofrivilliga* (Involuntary), Ruben Östlund, Sweden
A Festa da Menina Morta* (The Dead Girl’s Feast), Matheus Nachtergaele, Brazil and Portugal
Je Veux Voir, Joana Hadjthomas and Khahil Joreige, France and Lebanon (with Catherine Deneuve)
Johnny Mad Dog, Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire, France, Belgium and Liberia
Milh Hadha Al-Bahr* (Salt of This Sea), Annemarie Jacir, Palestine, France, Switzerland, Belgium and Spain
O’Horten, Bent Hamer, Norway, France and Germany
Soi Cowboy, Thomas Clay, Thailand and UK
Ting Che* (Parking) Chung Mong-Hong, Taiwan
Tokyo!, Bong Joo HO, Miche Gondry and Leos Carax, France, South Korea, Germany and Japan (a trilogy: Interior Design by Gondry, Merde by Carax and Sharing Tokyo by Bong)
Tokyo Sonata, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan
Tulpan*, Sergey Dvortsevoy, Germany, Kazakhstan, Switzerland, Russia and Poland
Tyson, James Toback, USA (documentary)
Versailles*, Pierre Schoeller, France
La Vie Moderne (The Modern Life), Raymmond Depardon, France (documentary)
Wendy and Lucy, Kelly Reichardt, USA (with Michelle William - story about a girl and her dog)
Wolke 9 (Cloud 9), Andreas Dresen, Germany
Yi Ban Haishui, Yi Ban Huoyan (Ocean Flame or Part Ocean Part Flame), Liu Fen Dou, China

Un Certain Regard Jury
Fatih AKIN, President (German director)

Caméra d'or Jury
Bruno DUMONT, President (French director)

Out of Competition

The Good, The Bad, The Weird, Kim Jee-woon, South Korea (the 30's in the Mandchurian desert, seems good)
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of The Crystal Skull, Steven Spielberg, USA (Cate Blanchett is here)
Kun Fu Panda, Mark Osborne and John Stevenson, USA (Latest Dreamworks animmation with Angelina Jolie voice...)
Vicky Cristina Barcelona, Woody Allen, USA and Spain

Festival Closing Film: What Just Happened?, Barry Levinson, USA (with Robert De Niro)

Midnight Screenings
Maradona, Emir Kusturica, Spain and France (documentary)
Surveillance, Jennifer Lynch, USA and Germany (yes is the daughter of David Lynch - with Julia Ormond, trailer here)
The Chaser*, Na Hong-Jin, South Korea (trailer here)

Special Screenings
Ashes of Time Redux
, Wong Kar-wai, China (a reworking of his martial arts film 12 years after its release-must be seen for me)
C’est Dur D’Etre Aime par des Cons (It's Hard Being Loved by Jerks)*, Daniel Leconte, France
Chelsea On The Rocks (or Chelsea Hotel), Abel Ferrara, USA (Documentary)
Of Time and City, Terence Davies, UK (documentary about Liverpool)
Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, Marina Zenovich , USA (documentary - Polanski pov)
Sanguepazzo (Crazy Blood), Marco Tulio Giordana, Italy and France (set in 1945 dark story - with Monica Bellucci!)

The Jury President’s Screening
The Third Wave, Alison Thompson, USA (documentary)

*In competition for Caméra d’Or

There is one documentary participanting in the Cannes Classics that also will be in competition for the Caméra d’Or: No Subtitles Necessary: Laszlo & Vilmos* by James Chressanthis, USA.

There are many good news here, as there are new movies by great directors like Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Eric Khoo, Atom Egoyan, Amat Escalante, and many others.

According to today’s press release these are the figures of the 2008 edition.
54 films representing 31 countries with 22 films in competition
19 films in the Un Certain Regard section
53 world premiers
9 first films
8 directors participating for the first time in the official selection competition

Finally today the complete information about the movies is available in their site. In the first left column you will find the links for the fest and the main parallel sections.

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Friday, April 14, 2023

76th Cannes Film Festival Lineup

Update 2 - May 12, 2023 - Today organizers uploaded info, available trailers and more for each movie in the Official Selection and post becomes final after the current update. There are some incongruences that still have to figure out but generally speaking what has been announced in previous press releases is included in the correspondent section. So, there are only 6 days to opening day and I am looking forward to the start of the greatest cinema feast. Enjoy!!!

Update 1 - April 27, 2023 -Recently festival organizers released the Additions to the Selection and list includes film that were expected but nevertheless are not only great additions but also extraordinary films by some great master filmmakers.
In Competition Black Flies and Le Retour were added, in Cannes Premier Perdidos en la Noche, L'amour et les forets, and Eureka; in Out of Competition L'abbe pierre-une vie de combats; in Un Certain Regard Only the River Flows and Une Nuit; in Short Film Filles du Feu; in Special Screenings, Little Girl Blue, Bread and Roses and Le theoreme de Marguerite; in Midnight Screening Hypnotic and Project Silence.

Above films means that more well-known actors and directors will/could walk the red carpet to delight of all who also appreciates the light side of the festival. So, Viggo Mortensen, Chiara Mastroianni -who is this edition Master of Ceremonies-, Marion Cottillard, Amat Escalante, Lisandro Alonso, Virginie Efira, Ben Affleck, Alice Braga, and more.

Seems no more films will be announced but will wait until info about each film is uploaded to official site to make this post final.
-end of update-

April 14, 2023

Yesterday the much awaited press conference with the announcement of the Official Selection for the Cannes Film Festival took place and, besides the long speeches, the list of films was out-of-the-ordinary and gave absolute feeling that festival wishes to recoup its past glories and top-of-mind in the festival circuit and the film industry.

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

71st Festival de Cannes Official Selection - Update 1

As announced during the press conference of April 12th, today, April 19, organizers announced the films added to the composition of the Official Selection 2018.

There is some relief to my not positive feeling that this year there is an incredibly great official competition jury and there are not many great films for them to select winners from.  But now things can change a bit as, ladies and gentlemen, please notice that Nuri Bilge Ceylan is as of now in the competition to win the Palme d'or and perhaps has become the top contender along Jia Zhangke.  Well, at least their films have become must-be-seen for me no matter whatever happens in Cannes.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Uzak (Distant)

This movie by Nuri Bilge Ceylan was filmed before Ilklimler and uses the same technique to approach his story, same pace, same silences, same attention to details and same actors expressions. Maybe I should say that in Ilklimer he used the same technique as in Distant.

If I was speaking about food I could say that both dishes have the same ingredients and kitchen team, but each dish tastes different. One is delicious the other is extremely bad tasting. Using this image, Distant has a very bad taste although it had the same ingredients and the same cook as delicious Ilklimer.

Maybe I could not enjoy this picture because I saw Ilklimer first and I really like it, maybe this story was not appealing to me, but whatever reason I could not even watch the complete movie, I fast forwarded to the end… well, there where only a few minutes left but I said enough and I almost never do this to a movie.

Tells the story of two opposite men, one a bitter unsatisfied city dweller and his cousin that arrives from the countryside to find work, as he is unemployed.

This movie is the winner of 18 awards including the France Culture Award for Foreign Cineaste of the Year in the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. Me, I could definitively give those awards to Bilge Ceylan but for Ilklimler not for this one.

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Sunday, September 07, 2014

87th Academy Awards Foreign Language Film Submissions

October 10th, 2014

Yesterday the Academy published the list with a record eighty-three films submitted for consideration in the Foreign Language Film category with Malta, Mauritania, Panama and Kosovo being first-time entrants.

According to AMPAS news the published list are still submissions which somehow makes me wonder IF all will be accepted as seems that there are a few films that have a foreign language but also English and IF English is spoken above the acceptable quota, film will be disqualified. Perhaps soon we will learn if there will be or not films with too much English spoken.

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