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Entries in Brazil (30)

Wednesday
Aug282019

Will Brazil finally return to Oscar's spotlight with "Invisible Life..."?

by Nathaniel R

Brazil has arguably had a rough go of it with the Oscars. Though they've been nominated four times they have yet to win, and at least a couple of their "misses" are pretty major. Lately they've also been beset by political problems at home which has extended into their arts. Note the shunning of the intimidatingly great Aquarius (2016) in its year due to the righteous politics of both the film and its creative team.

But perhaps this year's awards season will hold a happy ending to Brazil's 21 year Oscar drought? Their candidate this year is the Un Certain Regard winner at Cannes, The Invisible Life of Euricie Gusmao (based on the novel of the same name, pictured left) a 1950s period melodrama about two sisters. The film is directed by Karim Aïnouz (previously best known for Madame Sata and Futuro Beach) and co-stars the legendary Fernanda Montenegro (Central Station) who has some Oscar history herself...

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Apr212019

Cannes 2019 Un Certain Regard Lineup

We already dove into the Cannes Competition Lineup so it's time to look at the other most famous program, Un Certain Regard, which tends to be where a lot of the edgier titles from younger directors go. Some years people actually think this program beats the main competition for quality (since the main competition generally defaults to the "masters," regardless of whether or not they happen to be having a strong year).

UN CERTAIN REGARD

Fernanda Montenegro in "Invisible Life"

Here is a bit about all that titles in Un Certain Regard. These films won't get quite as much buzz in May UNLESS they break out and the familiar refrain begins "Why wasn't this in the main competition?" You know how Cannes critics do...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jan012019

Streaming Roulette: Netflix & Prime for January

Curiously Netflix and Prime have no recent movies available to start 2019 with.  In the first half of January Netflix only has Solo: A Star Wars Story (beginning on the 9th). The situation at Prime is a bit better with Leave No Trace (3rd), Beautiful Boy (4th), and Eighth Grade 13th) all available soon. In other words, now is a great time to hit the actual movie theaters and catch up on Oscar hopefuls since the streaming services won't help much. Nevertheless here's a perusal of 'new'  streaming options.

As is our practice we've frozen the films at utterly random moments without cheating (whatever comes up comes up) for this quick preview. Let's go...


What just happened?!

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec082018

The 2018 Animation Contenders: Tito and the Birds

Every Saturday this month, Tim will be taking a look at one of the films submitted for the Best Animated Feature Oscar.

First things first: the Brazilian Tito and the Birds, a newly-minted Annie Award nominee for best animated independent feature, is a preposterously beautiful motion picture. The film's style is perhaps best described as looking like a digital oil painting, with swirling smears of color defining every background and character. It is not by any stretch of the imagination looking to present a realistic vision of the world, creating spaces defined only in outlines and crude shapes, and then filled in with dramatic swatches of barely-motivated reds and yellows and blues that function expressively and emotionally rather than to build out the narrative. It is, at an absolute minimum, one of the most eccentric, distinctive animated features released in 2018, but it's not just eccentric: the aesthetic is thoughtful, consistent, and pairs elegantly with the film's thematic concerns.

As for those thematic concerns, they're pretty overt, to the point that it almost feels like the film is a bit of a diatribe. Tito fashions itself as something of a Young Person's Guide to Media Skepticism...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep122018

Six More Foreign Film Oscar Contenders

by Nathaniel R

We're now up to 36 entries for Best Foreign Language Film, so  over one-third of the way to the full list. Of the six latest announcements The Heiresses has had the arguably highest profile at festivals but the Russian entry is the most "typically Oscar-like" in subject matter, though that thankfully matters less than it once did, even in the foreign category. 

  • The Great Mystical Circus Brazil
    A century in the life of a family of circus owners. This is the 7th time Brazil has submitted a film by Carlos Diegues. He's their most frequently submitted director but none of his submitted films have been nominated. 
  • Graves Without a Name Cambodia
    Rithy Panh created Cambodia's only Oscar nominee (the brilliant documentary The Missing Picture). This is another doc on the same topic: the Kmer Rouge and genocide
  • Polyxeni Greece 
    The plot sounds intriguing. A young Greek orphan with a lust for life, is adopted and raised by a wealthy Greek-Turkish couple, unaware that people are plotting and after her large inheritance. Greece used to automatically submit the winner of the Thessaloniki Film Festival but those awards have since been abolished. The new big prizes for Greek films are the Hellenic Film Awards (often referred to as "the Iris" like we call the Academy Awards "Oscar"). They began in 2010 with Dogtooth as their first winner but winning the Iris (which Polyxeni did) doesn't automatically get you the Oscar submission since the submission is now decided by a committee. 
  • Sunset Hungary
    It's László Nemes' follow up to his Oscar winning debut Son of Saul. He's gone further back in time from World War II in the previous picture to just before World War I for this story of a young woman who wants to be a milliner in a hat shop previously owned by her parents.
  • The Heiresses Paraguay 
    Lesbian drama about a formerly wealthy woman restarting her life after her longtime partner is imprisoned. Among its several festival prizes is the promising Best Actress win at Berlinale.
  • Sobibor  - Russia 
    A true story of a prisoner uprising at an extermination camp in Russia during World War II.

Related:
FOREIGN FILM PREDICTIONS
FOREIGN FILM SUBMISSION CHARTS

Saturday
May192018

Cannes Wins Pt 1: Un Certain Regard, Queer Palm, Palm Dog

by Nathaniel R

Cannes closing ceremony is later today but we have the first round of winners from the sidebars, official and otherwise. So let's get right to it...

Click to read more ...