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Entries in Alois Nebel (3)

Saturday
Nov052011

18 Animated Features for Oscar. Will 5 Nominees Bring Diversity?

It will undoubtedly seem strange to chase Michael's Pixar interview with another reminder that I have no patience for Cars 2, but I must. With the reveal of the Best Animated Feature submission list, we know that Pixar has a much better shot than ever at yet another Oscar nomination in this category. Pixar has deserved all of its Best Animated Feature Oscar wins and more still (Shrek over Monsters Inc.??? Yep, still embarrassing!) But Oscar nominations mean a lot more when you don't get them out of habit or loyalty to the brand. Will the nominating voters dare step out of Pixar's anthropomorphic vehicles this year to look at, say, an acclaimed racy animated romance among Cuban immigrants?

If at least 16 of these 18 pass the Academy's eligibility requirements, the nominating committee can choose 5 of them as nominees.

The 18 Submitted Toons Are...

  • The Adventures of Tintin (opens Dec 21st)
  • Alois Nebel (The Czech Republic's Best Foreign Film Submission so it could be nominated in two categories - see our TIFF review)
  • Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked (opens Dec 16th)
  • Arthur Christmas (opens Nov 23rd)
  • Cars 2 
  • A Cat in Paris (this one is a feline noir homage from Belgium) 
  • Chico & Rita (a music-heavy romance between a pianist and a singer)
  • Gnomeo & Juliet 
  • Happy Feet Two (opens Nov 18th)
  • Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil 
  • Kung Fu Panda 2 
  • Mars Needs Moms 
  • Puss in Boots 
  • Rango 
  • Rio 
  • The Smurfs 
  • Winnie the Pooh 
  • Wrinkles (a Spanish drama about two old men, one with alzheimers)

 

It's strange that nearly 33% of eligible films can be nominated. Can you imagine if Best Picture worked like this. Would the Oscars mean anything at all if 91 films were nominated for Best Picture each year?!? That's how many there would be (approximately) each year if 33% of eligible films were nominated. The ceremony would never end just from reading all the names!

"Wrinkles" is about a friendship between two old men.

Seeing all the titles together you can't help but notice how much more flexible the animated film is in other countries: American cinema is still locked into the notion that the animated film is a genre (boisterous colorful family comedies) rather than an artistic medium capable of housing all genres; Across oceans and borders we get a drama about old men with alzheimers, a musical romance with nudity, a witty noir about a cat leading a double life, and a historically haunted black and white drama about a man in a sanotorium. 

I'd love to hear your thoughts about the Best Animated Feature Oscar race.
It's not my strong suit as predictions or knowledge goes... though I'll start seeing more of these very soon.

Saturday
Oct152011

Discussables: Lousy Animated Year, The TV is All Right, The Artistic Cast

Animation Magazine suggests that if the Czech Republic's Alois Nebel (recently submitted for Oscar's foreign language film race) also enters the Animated Feature race there might be over 16 eligible films and then that category could expand to five nominees. Christ, of all years to have enough films for a 5 wide race, this is not the year! That would probably mean that Pixar's Cars 2 got a nomination and who can live with that? NOT I! Can anyone even name 2 animated films that deserve to call themselves "Best Feature" this year? If Best Picture had the same ratio of release to nominees the Best Picture shortlist would be like 150 movies long. And the foreign language film nominees would total like 20. Seriously, the Oscar rules on the animated feature category are an unholy mess! 

Whew, with that off my chest -- sorry, I h-a-t-e-d Cars 2 -- Happier things now!

Deadline I keep forgetting to mention this and I'm sure you already know but they're turning The Kids Are All Right into a TV series. On the one hand TV series thrive on character you'd like to spend lots of time with and on that front it's a total winning idea. On the other hand the movie thrived on how succinctly it captured one crucial timeframe (the summer before college which is a universal Important Time Frame for families when it happens) and plus, how the hell you gonna replace 3 of the best adult actors on the planet and 2 of the most promising teen actors on the planet?

Frankly My Dear... thinks that either Quentin Tarantino's Django Unchained or Baz Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby will have to move away from Christmas Day 2012. I dunno. Didn't Gangs of New York and Catch Me If You Can open right on top of one another for Christmas 2002? It worked out for both those films. Maybe the general public is okay with Leonardo DiCaprio double features.

The Lost Boy says the smartest thing we've heard said about the This Means War trailer. But maybe you should watch it before clicking over. 

Broadway Blog reminds us that "Celebrity Autobiography is back for another season in NYC. In the show famous comedic celebrities read verbatim from the bios of famous self serious celebrities. I must go.

Twitch reminds me that I really should probably see Trespass even though the review is scathing and everyone agrees that it's a terrible movie. I keep putting it off but there is the Nicole Kidman Mandatoryness of it. What to do... what to do...

THE ARTIST TEAM: star Jean DuJardin, director Michel Hazanavicious, and the cast: Bejo, Miller, Grant and Cromwell

The Hairpin talks to character actress Beth Grant (who doubts your commitment to Sparkle Motion). I don't know if you were aware but Beth Grant is in the upcoming Oscar contender The Artist. She has a teensy tiny role in the excellent black and white / silent movie but at the press conference that followed its screening this past Friday, she made no bones about her excitement, calling it the pinnacle of her career even after name-checking No Country For Old Men, Rain Man and Donnie Darko. In short, she's totally besotted with it. A feeling that's easy to come by, actually.

If you believe the theory that SAG Ensemble Nominations go to The Movie That Actors Most Wish They Could Have Been In rather than the movies with the most ensembley of acting (DuJardin and Bejo totally hog this film) than this will be one of your five SAG Ensemble Nominees come January.

Sunday
Sep112011

TIFF: Alois Nebel, Good Bye and anticipation for Fassy

Amir, reporting on my third day at TIFF. It wasn't as exciting as the first two, though I did get to talk to two directors, Jason Reitman and Mohammad Rasoulof, in person. Reitman wasn’t promoting a film, but only walking around the Bell Lightbox building – his father, Ivan, donated the land on which the festival’s home is built – and Rasoulof, who I’d assumed was detained somewhere in Iran had gained permission to leave and promote his film in person. The fourth day is bound to get better with a premium screening of Steve McQueen’s Shame on the plate but for now, let’s get to yesterday’s films.

The big one was Alois Nebel, a much anticipated Czech animated film by first time director Tomas Lunak. You might remember Nathaniel highlighted the film among his sixteen suggestions too but sadly, it did not live up to my expectations at all. I must admit however, the black and white rotoscope animation is absolutely gorgeous too look at. The filmmaking team has spent years creating this beautiful imagery from live-action footage they filmed in 35 days and the result of their work is a collection of stark images that puts you right in the atmosphere of the film. Equally impressive is Alois’ edgy and moody sound work which as Lunak explained, has taken just as much time to materialize as the film.

Alois Nebel is about the eponymous train dispatcher at a border town whose humdrum life is changed with the entrance of a strange mute man to the small community he lives in. It’s a revenge story that has roots in Czech’s involvement in World War II and the Cold War but these roots are unfortunately the film’s biggest problem for me. I was actually a bit relieved to find out during the Q&A session that I wasn’t alone in my confusion about the back story... 

Alois Nebel

More after the jump ... plus Best Actor anticipation

Click to read more ...