All eyes on left field

Posted by · 11:15 am · January 21st, 2009

The nominations announcement is, oh, 18 hours away (yeah, we count minutes at this stage).  Even though I’m well on the record as being a prognosticative pussy this year, I can’t shake the feeling that we’re in for our share of surprises.  I doubt I’m alone. You can go back over Oscar history and write […]

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INTERVIEW: Matteo Garrone

Posted by · 11:39 am · December 17th, 2008

In a year that hasn’t exactly wanted for strong European cinema, Matteo Garrone’s “Gomorrah” ranks as one of its most staggering offerings — as reflected by its well-deserved placing on Kris’s top 10 list yesterday. A brutal, multi-stranded portrait of daily life within Naples’s notorious Camorra crime syndicate, it brings a keen sociologist’s eye to […]

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Golden Globes: the nominees react

Posted by · 12:00 pm · December 11th, 2008

The Hollywood Foreign Press Association tipped its collective hat to a number of the season’s hopeful contenders this morning, so it’s time to hear some reactions. Generally, a piece such as this is bound to consist of a bunch of gushing, perhaps even boilerplate gratitude from the nominees. And one certainly couldn’t fault them for […]

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Oh you crazy gangsters

Posted by · 6:59 am · November 23rd, 2008

If you can’t rub ’em out, sell ’em out. The notorious Camorra crime syndicate is selling bootlegged DVDs of “Gomorrah,” the film that mercilessly exposes its activities and is Italy’s hopeful in the foreign-language Oscar race. Camorra members may not like being scrutinized on the bigscreen, but apparently business must go on. (Courtesy: Variety) Check […]

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WEEKLY WRAP: Big guns unveiled, docs shortlisted, Saviano speaks

Posted by · 5:50 am · November 22nd, 2008

A big week, this, in which the covers were finally lifted off some heavyweight titles. Here’s what we were talking about: • And speaking of those heavyweights, Kris ran hot on “Revolutionary Road,” but cool on “Australia” … • … while being offered a frustratingly truncated glimpse of “Benjamin Button.” • The Academy announced their […]

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INTERVIEW: ‘Gomorrah’ author Roberto Saviano

Posted by · 10:35 am · November 17th, 2008

I’m pretty sure that only in Hollywood can you find publicity mobilized behind a targeted man for the purposes of securing an Oscar nomination (and, of course, prepping a film release).  But there Roberto Saviano was yesterday at the…wait, I probably shouldn’t even mention the hotel should I? Saviano has been pegged for assassination (let’s […]

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indieWIRE surveys the race, questions ‘Button’

Posted by · 2:06 pm · November 14th, 2008

Lots of conflicting soundbites have been bandied about this week regarding “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button,” but here’s the first one I’ve seen with a credibly named source. In an article on indieWIRE, the site’s editor, Eugene Hernandez, discusses the awards race with colleague Peter Knegt, and offers this carefully-worded take on the still-embargoed […]

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Is ‘Gomorrah’ this year’s ‘City of God’?

Posted by · 6:02 pm · November 12th, 2008

Since May, based on nothing but a gut feeling following the film’s Cannes reception, I’ve been predicting that Matteo Garrone’s astonishing “Gomorrah” would score nominations for Best Director, Adapted Screenplay and Film Editing — in addition to a Best Foreign Language Film nod. (Garrone has recently slipped from my Best Director predictions, but he’s still […]

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RIP Mama Africa

Posted by · 4:18 pm · November 10th, 2008

It may not be strictly movie-related — though she did enjoy a couple of screen appearances, most notably in Darrell James Roodt’s “Sarafina!” — but I can’t let the passing of the great Miriam Makeba go unacknowledged. As a Grammy-winning musician, influential political activist and all-round symbol of a country’s hopes, she was treasured not […]

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‘Gomorrah’ and ‘Changeling’: two that work

Posted by · 2:28 pm · October 16th, 2008

It’s been a while since I’ve committed to a long-form review, and for that, I have to apologize.  Short Takes here and there don’t exactly cut it, but we’ve certainly stayed afloat in this light with Guy’s wonderful work across the pond.  I don’t get a chance to sit down and hammer out some thoughts […]

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REVIEW: “Gomorrah” (****)

Posted by · 6:07 am · October 2nd, 2008

The title “Gomorrah” is at once metaphorically apt and tonally misleading. In referencing the Biblical city destroyed by God for its sinfulness, Roberto Saviano’s best-selling non-fiction posited its own setting, Naples, as some kind of present-day equivalent. A city ruled and consequently ravaged by the Camorra, the notoriously brutal crime syndicate that has reportedly been […]

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Filed in: Reviews