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Visual Effects Oscar Semi-Finals 

"All I know is that if I had worked on A Monster Calls, I'd be pretty pissed that I didn't get in but Sully did." -The Jack

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INTERVIEWS

Maria Schrader (Stefan Zweig...)
Boo Junfeng (The Apprentice
Gianfranco Rosi (Fire At Sea)
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Entries in film festivals (329)

Friday
Dec022016

Sight & Sound's Top 20

So many lists and awards announcements this week you'd think it was... oh, yes, it is December. Sight and Sound enter the fray now with their top 20 which is a mix of expected auteur worship titles, festival films that may or may not ever actually open. It's also very now. The oldest title here is the great German continuous shot film Victoria (which premiered at festivals last year -- we nominated it for cinematography in 2015) but almost everything else just opened or hasn't opened yet! It's to be expected but also deeply frustrating that distributors never really catch up to film buzz...

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Monday
Oct242016

Middleburg Finale: "Loving" & "La La Land"

Lynn Lee here stepping in for Nathaniel, on his way back to NYC, for the final day of the Middleburg Film Festival which was Sunday. As a D.C. area resident, I’ve been observing the rising profile of this local-ish film festival over the past few years with great interest.  Festival founder Sheila Johnson seems bent on making Middleburg a lower-altitude Telluride of the East, and she certainly has the Hollywood heavy-hitter connections to do it!  This year’s lineup was easily the most impressive so far in the festival’s short history; it’s as if the program was constructed specifically to highlight likely Oscar contenders.

The Lovings in the beloved Virginia.

In both that ambition and its picturesque Virginia setting, there was no more fitting film to cap the festival than Loving...

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Monday
Oct242016

Middleburg Day 3: Presidents, Production Designers, and Girl Power

Photo by Mara RoszakSaturday, my final full day at the fest, was a chilly windy day in Middleburg - horseback ride thwarted again! The unplanned theme of the day was girl power. The day began with a lively keynote conversation with AMPAS President Cheryl Boone-Isaacs. The moderator kept mentioning that she was the perfect person to be leading the Academy in these tough times and after listening to her for an hour, we can't disagree! It's quite obvious why they keep electing her. She's extroverted, quite funny, movie-loving, and knowledgeable about Hollywood with quite an interesting storied career behind her in film publicity. After that rousing breakfast conversation, the day ended with a standing ovation for Emma Stone and the dazzling La La Land (it's even better the second time!).

Inbetween those events a 13 year old Kazakh girl inspires in the documentary The Eagle Huntress, a very crowded panel on Presidents in the movies, and a conversation with four time Oscar nominated Production Designer Jeannine Oppenwall...

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Sunday
Oct232016

NewFest: "Don't Call Me Son", "Esteros", and "Paris 05:59"

NewFest, New York's LGBT Festival, runs through Tuesday. Here's Chris on three of the festival's foreign selections...

Don't Call Me Son
Anna Muylaert continues to explore complex family dynamics in Don't Call Me Son, her follow-up to last year's Brazilian Oscar submission The Second Mother. Teenage Pierre (Naomi Nero) and his younger sister have their lives upended when their mother is jailed for stealing them at birth, thrusting them apart and into the homes of their birth parents. Further complicating the film's identity politics is Pierre's burgeoning gender dysphoria...

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Saturday
Oct222016

Middleburg Day 2: The Salesman, Manchester by the Sea, Women in Hollywood

by Nathaniel R

On the first full day at the Middleburg Film Festival after that cathartic teary opening with Lion, I attempted to schedule a horseback ride for the full Middleburg experience. The town is known for its rich horses & hunting history and you can see horses and foxes in sculpture form and in signs and logos in the charming little town. Rain got in the way of a ride but all was not lost since a beautiful black and white cat named Callisto greeted me inside the stable at practically a full gallop and began rubbing up all over me. Dear reader, I can assure you that her love was requited! She was 21 years old but super friendly, spry and playful so the country life has obviously been kind to her. One can assume the horses also love her as she hasn't been stepped on. 

So back to the movies I went, a perfect activity for rainy days even when you aren't at a film festival.

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