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Foreign Oscar Watch
71 films now submitted 

"I love the Foreign Language Film race and love reading the developments." - Edward L

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Monday
Sep192016

Miscellania: Hugh, Tori, Sarah, and Angela Lansbury

I've been gone for two weeks and festivals are quite a bubble. What did I miss? Besides the impending apocalypse (when I left everyone said Hillary was a done deal and when I returned everyone was acting like Trump has already won).

Here are some happier things I discovered today whilst perusing the web...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep192016

Emmy Afterglow. What's Your Take Away? 

My go to caption for all photos of impossibly lovely groups of fierce women is "You can't sit with us!".  But that wouldn't be appropriate here because look how warm and inviting this photo of Marcia Clark, Sarah Paulson and Angela Bassett is after the Emmys!

A day after the Emmys what's your biggest takeaway and favorite win?

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep192016

"Land of Mine" to compete for Foreign Oscar. (Plus Chart Updates)

Though I just gushed love all over Thomas Vinterberg's Oscar submission finalist The Commune yesterday, today brings news that Denmark went with another title for their submission. The committee unanimously chose Land of Mine, a World War II drama. The film looks at a little told story about German POWs in Denmark forced to dig up land mines. The film will be released in the US by Sony Pictures Classics, dates TBA. It's worth noting that the film is also up for the Nordic Film Prize on November 1st, a prize which has other Oscar submission finalists in the running:

Nordic Council Film Prize Nominees
The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki (Finland's Oscar submission)
The Here After (Sweden - Reviewed last year at TIFF)
Land of Mine (Denmark's Oscar submission)
Louder Than Bombs (Norway's English Language Joachim von Trier film)
Sparrows (Iceland's Oscar submission finalist - they have not announced yet)

If you haven't checked out the Foreign Film Submission Charts they've had multiple updates recently with 55 films announced thus far (the number of contenders generally falls somewhere between 75-80 when all is said and done). New announcements include Apprentice from Singapore (reviewed), Jonas Cuarón's Desierto from Mexico (opening next month in the US starring Gael García Bernal, a mainstay of this category), Asgar Farhadi's Arthur Miller inspired Salesman from Iran, Karma from Thailand, and more. You can read about the films on the charts

Submission Charts
Afghanistan to Finland - 20 submissions thus far
George to Morocco - 13 submissions thus far
Nepal to Venezuela - 23 submissions thus far 

Current Predictions 
Here are 15 hunches, alphabetically, of films that have a good shot at the 9-wide finals. In red is the only film you could argue is locked up for the finalist list.
Barakah Meets Barakah (Saudi Arabia)
Desierto (Mexico)
Happiest Day in the Life... (Finland)
Julieta (Spain)
The King's Choice (Norway)
Land of Mine (Denmark)
Letters From War (Portugal)
A Man Called Ove (Sweden)
Neruda (Chile)
Salesman (Iran)
Sieranevada (Romania)
Tanna (Australia)
Toni Erdmann (Germany) 
Train Drivers Diary (Serbia) 
"Whatever France Submits" (TBA) 

 

Monday
Sep192016

The Furniture: The Malevolent Secret Code of The Conjuring 2

"The Furniture" our weekly series on Production Design. Here's Daniel Walber

There are many ways to scare an audience. Music, special effects and editing are combined to surprise the audience with loud, unexpected images of malevolent demons or slashers or whatever. But what about production design? Can you be terrified by a stationary armchair?

The Conjuring 2 holds all the answers. James Wan is an excellent horror craftsman, a director who uses every trick in the book, including the sets and props. Production designer Julie Berghoff and art directors A. Todd Holland and Andrew Rothschild run amok, with the same ferocity as the film's music and editing.

Their first order of business is to exploit some of the genre’s stand-by images. There are a lot of crosses, in this case an entire roomful.

They stand at attention, ready to demonically invert themselves at a moment’s notice. There are smaller crucifixes sprinkled throughout the film, as well as the occasional window lit to resemble a cross... 

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep192016

Say What? Justin Timberlake Filming New Woody Allen Film

Manuel here. Between Emmy night last night and TIFF's wrap, and the onslaught of New York Film Festival press screenings, let's start the week with some eye candy.  This is an image from the set of Woody Allen's latest film (as of yet, as usual, untitled) which stars Kate Winslet, Juno Temple, Jim Belushi, and JT himself. We don't know much about, but we can definitely begin answering Eric's question as to whether the "Can't Stop This Feeling" singer will bring the sexy back to Woody's films. Here he is in full mid-century lifeguard regalia:

Amuse us with dialogue or a caption in the comments. (And see more of the Trolls star in that 1950s romper here).

Oh, and while we're on the topic of Allen and pop stars, the trailer for his Amazon series, Crisis in Six Scenes, which stars Miley Cyrus and, more importantly for us actressexuals, Elaine May:

Sunday
Sep182016

Emmy Winners Open Thread

Veep and Game of Thrones defended their wins in the Comedy and Drama Series categories against first time competitors Black-ish and The Americans as well as the usual suspects in those categories (we can never have more than one fresh player, don'cha know) but the acting wins had some delicious surprises. Here are the winners.

And please also share your takeaways...

SERIES WINNERS

Outstanding Drama Series
Game of Thrones (2nd consecutive win)

Outstanding Comedy Series
Veep (2nd consecutive win)

Outstanding Reality Competition Series
The Voice (3rd win, 2nd consecutive)

Outstanding Limited Series
The People vs OJ Simpson: American Crime Story

Click to read more ...

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