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Entries in Fire at Sea (6)

Friday
Feb032017

Podcast: Top Ten Lists

Nick and Nathaniel and Joe compare their top ten lists for the year -- only two movies are on all three lists.

Index (42 minutes)
00:01 Nick & Nathaniel talk Fire at Sea, The Lobster, Right Now Wrong Then, La La Land, allergies to directors and "delight" at the movies
14:00 Joe joins in for The Witch, Little MenIxcanul, and Francophonia  
23:00 Annette Bening's miracle performance and the bliss of watching 20th Century Women
28:30 More divisive films: The Handmaiden and American Honey
38:00 Things to Come and wrap-up

You can listen to the podcast here at the bottom of the post or download from iTunes. Continue the conversations in the comments, won't you? 

Our Top Ten Lists

Tuesday
Jan242017

Doc Corner: The Non-Fiction Class of 2016

This year’s Oscar race for Best Documentary Feature was a fiercely competitive one. With the strength of the 15-wide finalists list, quite frankly, it would have been hard to give us a truly bad line-up. We particularly weep for the omissions of Cameraperson, Tower, Zero Days and Weiner, but personal grouching aside about a couple of the nominees, this year’s batch is quite something. We have three films about race (one with queer undertones), a foreign language title, and the longest film ever nominated for an Academy Award.

The nominees are:

• Fire at Sea (Gianfranco Rosi, Donatella Palermo)
• I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck, Rémi Grellety, Hébert Peck)
• O.J.: Made in America (Ezra Edelman, Caroline Waterlow)
• Life, Animated (Roger Ross Williams, Julie Goldman)
• 13th (Ava DuVernay, Spencer Averick, Howard Barish)

We will be looking at the documentary short nominees later (I have one title left to watch, which is proving difficult!), but now we're going to hypothesize how the doc feature nominees did it. Let us break down the imaginary math…

Click to read more ...

Sunday
Nov062016

European Film Award Nominations. Good news for 8 Oscar contenders

The Precursors are coming! The Precursors are coming! Though the European Film Awards hardly have Oscar on their minds when they vote (bless them) it's all part of the grand circus of November-February honors to commemorate each film year. Several European films hoping to score Oscar nods in the Foreign Language Film race have reason to be hopeful given their warm embrace here.

Click to read more ...

Monday
Sep262016

Foreign Oscar Watch: Can "Elle" Slay the Competition?

Verhoeven & Huppert at Cannes this summer

France, as ever, was spoiled with options when it came to selecting their film for Oscar competition this year. Frantz (reviewed) from François Ozon would likely have appealed to Oscar voters but the selection committee went with the controversial Elle (reviewed at TIFF). It's a brave choice but we think a smart one; even if its divisive within initial voting, it will likely be a candidate to benefit under the Executive Committee 'saves' rule. Plus those who love it will love it passionately meaning it could even have a dark horse shot at a win. Not only does it have a high profile auteur and star (Paul Verhoeven and Isabelle Huppert) but it's got sensational reviews, a US release on the table in the thick of Oscar traction season (November 11th), and an outside shot at a Best Actress nomination. France has not won the category since Indochine (1992) despite numerous nominations.

Trivia: Paul Verhoeven has had one previous film nominated in this category for his home country The Netherlands with Turkish Delight (1973). If Elle is nominated it would not be the first time a director has competed for multiple countries: Akira Kurosawa, who competed many times for Japan, won the prize for the Soviet Union with Dersu Uzala (1975); Luis Buñuel who won the Oscar for France with The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie (1972) was also nominated twice for Spain, his home country; and Michael Haneke won for Austria with Amour (2012) and also competed for Germany with The White Ribbon (2009) 

More News:
Oscar's other favorite country Italy has selected the Golden Bear winner, Fire at Sea (reviewed at Berlinale), a documentary about the European migrant crisis. To my knowledge only two documentaries have ever been nominated in this category (Waltz With Bashir from Israel and The Missing Picture from Cambodia) but both of those were in the past eight years so perhaps Oscar votings are loosening up about these distinctions. Among countries who have not yet announced their submissions (with a week left) Poland and Argentina are the most formidable, statistically speaking, with Oscar.

Foreign Film Oscar Charts
Predictions - 15 films that could have the best chance at the finals?
Afghanistan to Finland - 22 submissions thus far
George to Morocco - 23 submissions thus far
Nepal to Venezuela - 28 submissions thus far 

Sunday
Feb212016

Berlin: Fire at Sea Wins the Golden Bear

 Amir Soltani is covering the Berlin International Film Festival.

The Berlinale officially closes today. Although we’re not yet finished with our coverage – a couple of interviews still to come – it’s the perfect time to look back and discuss the festival’s awards. In my review of Gianfranco Rosi’s exquisite new film, Fire at Sea, I noted that it would be a shock for the film to leave the Berlinale empty-handed. Lo and behold, the festival’s jury, headed by Meryl Streep, agreed with the sentiment, and rightly awarded the competition’s best film with the Golden Bear.

The festival’s unofficial theme – repeated across press releases and around the festival hub – was refugees and immigrants. Much as Rosi’s impressive constructed, morally compelling and profoundly moving film might have benefited from that, however, it was hard to ignore the fact that its reception by critics and audiences simply towered above any other film playing in any program in Berlin. The theory among critics was that if another film were to win, it would be Mia Hansen-Løve’s L’Avenir would be it. With critics near-unanimously calling it the director’s best work yet, and with four women on a jury of seven, the Isabel Huppert vehicle was likely to find favour, and indeed it nabbed the best director prize. [More...]

Click to read more ...

Monday
Feb152016

Berlin: Fire at Sea

Amir Soltani is covering the Berlin International Film Festival for The Film Experience this year, our first time at Berlinale!. Tonight, previous Venice winner, Gianfranco Rosi's Fuocoammare.

Gianfranco Rosi shocked the film world with his Golden Lion win at Venice for Sacro GRA a few years ago. At Berlinale, the true shock would be for his latest film, Fire at Sea (Fuocoammare), to leave the festival empty-handed. The Italian maestro’s seamless hybrid of documentary and fiction is a self-reflexive and compassionate meditation on Italy’s crisis of cultural identity in the face of an unprecedented wave of refugee migration.

Click to read more ...