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Entries in Asian cinema (116)

Tuesday
May152018

Cannes: How's the Palme d'Or Competition Shaping Up?

by Nathaniel R

Which of the 21 films that Cate Blanchett and her jury are screening, will win the Palme d'Or? It's the most coveted film festival prize in the world and it's always a nail biter even when the prize seems obvious due to the vagaries of jury voting. Only one film will win the Palme but juries are expected to spread the wealth so there's a lot to consider each year among the best-received films when you're talking "winners" since acting prizes, writing, and special prizes await us next weekend. Juries have been known to surprise by handing a random award here or there to a film that critics didn't like at all... or ignoring some obvious giant especially in the two acting awards. So in other words, take the "Cannes sensation!" reviews with a block of salt because you never know.  

Not all of the 21 films have screened yet but these 4 look like contenders of some sort to us from our vantage point across the Ocean...

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Tuesday
Apr172018

April Foolish Predictions: 4 Questions About Best Animated Feature

Last year's Best Animated Feature field was remarkably empty and 2018, at first glance, also doesn't look that promising. You can probably take it to the bank that Wes Anderson's Isle of Dogs will be squaring off against the sequels to Wreck it Ralph and The Incredibles. And it shouldn't be THAT easy to know what's going to happen a full year in advance, should it?

Of course we don't know everything yet. It's tough to foresee which foreign entries will qualify, for example. 2018 seems bereft of an obvious non-American competitor (last year it was easy to see The Breadwinner coming, which is why we predicted it a year in advance). [Four questions and ways to improve the category after the jump...]

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Thursday
Apr122018

Cannes 2018. The First Films Announced!

by Nathaniel R

Best Actress possibility? Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani (About Elly, Paterson) and French star Emmanuelle Bercot headline the cast of "Girls of the Sun" about a Kurdish female battalion and the journalist embedded in their ranks

The initial Cannes lineups have arrived with films from their semi-typical list of famous international auteurs. Cannes has had problems leaning into super-male lineups (even when hugely acclaimed female directors are available) so it's worth noting that three of the first seventeen films announced in competition are from female filmmakers: Lebanon's Nadine Labaki, Italy's Alice Rohrwacher, and France's Eva Husson.

Which films are you most excited about? We've got the titles as well as a few details we could find about them after the jump...

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Monday
Feb192018

Berlinale 2018: Isle of Dogs and more...

Seán McGovern reporting from the 68th Berlin International Film Festival.

There's a friendly kind of brusqueness to Berliners. They're very unbothered. But the barely-contained excitement of my first Berlinale is almost matched by the huge passion the Germans have for film culture. Ten days and dozens of stunning venues. I'm here mainly to see all the films up for the Teddy Award but it wouldn't be a film festival if I wasn't in at least three screenings a day.

Opening Film
Isle of Dogs (dir. Wes Anderson, United Kingdom/Germany)

At first it seems like a basic choice – A famed US director with a star studded cast.

But take a moment to appreciate that Isle of Dogs is a multi-format animation, in dual languages, and about a historic animosity between humans and dogs, set in Japan, in the future. It's is a gorgeous testament to the kind of storytelling animation is capable of...

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Thursday
Jan112018

Asian Film Award Nominees: "Legend of the Demon Cat" and More...

by Nathaniel R

Legend of the Demon Cat

It's difficult to keep track of the cream of the crop of Asian cinema because there are so many different bodies handing out prizes and so many of the major international awards bodies ignore that region altogether. One of the youngest of the Asian awards bodies is the bluntly titled "Asian Film Awards" which have only been operating since 2007. Their nomination leader this year is a film called Legend of the Demon Cat from Chen Kaige (who is most famous stateside for his 1993 arthouse smash and Oscar nominee Farewell My Concubine from 1993) but his latest isn't actually up for the top category, instead heavily dominating the tech fields. The film has not yet been released in the States.  Since these awards are based out of Hong Kong their nominees skew heavily towards Chinese productions...

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Wednesday
Dec202017

100 Biggest Foreign Language Hits of 2017

Our year in review party begins. A different list each day. Here's Nathaniel R...

In the Fade didnt risk release in 2017 after all, hoping for Oscar favor to buoy its release in 2018Time for an annual look back at subtitled fare in cinemas. As with last year's list India, China, Mexico, and South Korea dominate with a smattering of other countries faring much less well in the American marketplace. Much of that is due, we think, to dedicated distributors focusing specifically on one market like FIP, China Lion and WellGo. Some of the movies we though might be big deals this year like Chile's Oscar nominee A Fantastic Woman opted for Oscar qualifying release only and Germany's Oscar finalist In the Fade starring Diane Kruger (pictured left) opted to sneak out at the last second to qualify for all Oscars though it did not receive nominations, buried in that post Christmas glut of tiny releases.

For the purposes of this list we skipped documentaries and animated films to keep the list more focused (and avoid arguments about dubbed versions or whatnot) but please to know that had we kept them in the wonderful Turkish street cat documentary Kedi would be in the top ten right here. This list is otherwise, as carefully as we could manage, accurate though we're happy to take corrections should we have missed something.

TOP 100 FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILMS FOR 2017
Listed By US Box Office Gross only 
Title links go to reviews | 🔺 = still in theaters
Note: Figures are as of January 21st, 2018

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