Waiting on Oscar’s foreign language shortlist

Posted by · 8:29 am · January 20th, 2010

Last Saturday, the Academy concluded four months of screenings of the 65 films in contention for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film award. Today, that tall pile of titles will be culled to a shortlist of just nine contenders, from which the eventual five nominees will be chosen. Making predictions here is a pretty thankless […]

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LAFCA picks the top 10 films of the decade

Posted by · 11:20 am · January 12th, 2010

You can never have too many of these, right?  Right? Right? 1. “Mulholland Drive” 2. “There Will Be Blood” 3. “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” 4. “Brokeback Mountain” 5. (tie) “No Country for Old Men” and “Zodiac” 6. “Yi Yi” 7. (tie) “4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days” and “The Lord of the […]

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Beautiful rejects

Posted by · 6:24 am · March 21st, 2009

Yesterday’s post about the UK poster for “Let the Right One In” alerted me to the existence of a nifty little site. Not a Movie Poster showcases notable poster concepts that were ultimately rejected by the powers that be — usually, it seems, in favour of far lesser work. They are mostly UK designs (hence […]

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‘4 Months’ takes BBC award

Posted by · 3:02 pm · January 31st, 2009

The BBC Four World Cinema Award is an endearingly unassuming, low-fi ceremony — so unassuming and low-fi, in fact, I’d forgotten it took place until I happened upon the TV broadcast earlier this evening. (It seems nesting on a Saturday night has the odd advantage.) It’s a simple enough prize. UK critics elect a shortlist […]

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‘Gomorrah’ doesn’t deliver, says AMPAS

Posted by · 7:29 am · January 14th, 2009

Kris has already given the philistines on the Academy’s foreign-language film committee a deserved telling-off for sidelining Italy’s astonishing entry “Gomorrah,” but I feel compelled to add my voice to his — not least because, if I had my way, Matteo Garrone’s cinematic gut-punch about the Camorra crime syndicate would be in line for a Best […]

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Foreign film watch: 67 entries, but how open is the race?

Posted by · 1:08 pm · October 17th, 2008

Since my last update on the Best Foreign Language Film race, a further ten latecomers have entered films, bringing the number of entries to a record 67. (The full, updated list is here.) The new names in the derby are Afghanistan (“Opium War”), Albania (“The Sorrow of Mrs Schneider”), Azerbaijan (“Fortress”), Egypt (“The Island”), Georgia […]

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‘Gomorrah’ is in — do we have a frontrunner?

Posted by · 6:50 am · September 24th, 2008

Well, as speculated a few hours ago, Italy has announced their submission for Best Foreign Language Film. And, to the surprise of precisely nobody, they have gone with Matteo Garrone’s “Gomorrah” — the sprawling, breathlessly acclaimed portrait of Naples mafia life that was arguably the breakout hit of May’s Cannes festival. (It received the runner-up […]

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Israel picks the animated ‘Waltz’ for its foreign Oscar contender

Posted by · 5:11 pm · September 23rd, 2008

A website called cinemascope is reporting that Israel has chosen Ari Folman’s “Waltz with Bashir” to represent the country in the foreign film Oscar race.  Very wise.  Nice to see animated films getting this kind of an awards push, what with “Persepolis” repping France last year.  Let’s just hope “Waltz” doesn’t get the shaft like […]

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