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Michelle Pfeiffer and Grease 2

"I can't pass a ladder without seriously considering whether I should climb it and start belting Cool Rider" -Joey

"No matter what anyone says (even Nathaniel!), Grease 2 is awesome and Pfeiffer is wonderful in it."-Charlie

 

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Melissa Leo (The Most Hated Woman in America)
Ritesh Batra (The Sense of an Ending)
Asghar Farhadi (Salesman)

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Entries in foreign films (373)

Sunday
Dec042016

Interview: Kim Jee-woon on South Korean Oscar Submission 'The Age of Shadows'

By Jose Solís.


Kim Jee-woon is certainly no stranger to genre extravaganzas, but in The Age of Shadows (which Tim reviewed here) he takes it to the most sumptuous level yet. The spy thriller set during the Japanese occupation of South Korea centers on the dilemma a double agent (Song Kang-ho) faces when he realizes the resistance fighters he’s trying to capture, might actually be more patriotic than the people he’s working for. With stunningly choreographed action sequences, exquisite period detail and powerhouse performances, the film is the rare historical film that actually feels urgent and exciting. Since it’s South Korea’s Oscar submission I spoke to director Kim Jee-woon about what he discovered about the resistance, working with some of his best known collaborators, and what the Oscar nomination would mean to him.

Special thanks to interpreter: Areum Jeong

Read the interview after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec032016

Interview: Pavel Giroud on Cuban Oscar Submission 'The Companion'

By Jose Solis.

Cuba’s Oscar entry The Companion, will surely be seen with new eyes with the recent death of Fidel Castro, as more stories about his decades long regime will come to the surface. Directed by Pavel Giroud, the film is set in a sanatorium in the outskirts of Havana, where HIV positive people were sent to live in the 1980s in an effort of the government to try and contain the epidemic. Each of the patients was assigned a companion, who would report on their behaviors and habits (no smoking or drinking allowed!), one of them is former boxer Horacio (Latin Grammy winner Yotuel Romero) who seeks another chance at glory, while he has to look after the rebellious Daniel (Armando Miguel). The two men develop an unlikely friendship which helps as the channel through which we see other subplots unfold, all of which contribute to helping audiences come up with a more complete portrait of what it was like to live in Cuba. Without resorting to sensationalization, the film both celebrates the country and criticizes the regime in which health came at the price of liberty. I spoke to director Giroud about cult Cuban musicals, his research for the film, and what it’s like to be the first Oscar submission after Cuba and the US have normalized diplomatic relations.

Read the interview after the jump. 

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Nov292016

Interview: Maria Schrader on Directing Austrian Oscar Submission 'Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe'

By Jose Solis


Two years after The Grand Budapest Hotel put Stefan Zweig’s writing at the center of the Oscar race, the author himself now is the protagonist of Austria’s submission Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe. Directed by Maria Schrader, the film focuses on Zweig’s exile in South America after fleeing Nazi Germany in the mid-1930s, played with gravitas by Josef Hader, Zweig becomes one of the most powerful male characters of the year, in a performance that works on an intellectual as well as visceral level. Audiences who only know Schrader from her acting work, in films like Aimee & Jaguar, will be caught off guard by her elegant sense of framing, her impeccable pacing and the way she engages the viewer by avoiding going into any biopic stereotypes. I spoke to her about making the film, working with Hader, and what an Oscar nomination could mean for the film.

JOSE: This was a very hard movie to watch after the American election.


MARIA SCHRADER: Should I take that as a compliment?

JOSE: Yes!

MARIA SCHRADER: (Laughs)

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Nov242016

Turkey's Oscar Submission Wins the APSA

The Asian Pacific Awards, now in their 10th year (and our own Glenn Dunks works for them behind the scenes), and unconcerned with our American Holiday held their ceremony in Brisbane today. (Their awards cover the whole continent so all the countries you might think of as Asian, plus ones you don't like Australia, Russia, etcetera). The hosts were actor David Wenham (Lion, Australia, Lord of the Rings) and international journalist Anjali Rao. The winners (with their trailers) are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Nov232016

Interview: José Luis Rugeles on Shooting Colombian Oscar Submission 'Alias Maria" Deep in the Jungle


Jose
here. Alias Maria takes place deep inside the Colombian jungle, where we meet a group of guerrillas, many of which are children. One of them is Maria (Karen Torres), a young woman who despite her obedience to their leaders questions their double standards, she wonders why women aren’t allowed privileges men are, especially when it comes to choices over their bodies. Then one day Maria is given a task that tests her loyalty and sends her deep into the unknown. The film, which introduces audiences to a world they know merely through the news, premiered at the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, where it was greeted warmly. Since then, the film has attained more relevance as Colombians rejected a peace deal with the FARC over the fall. The film was selected as Colombia’s submission for the Oscars, and I spoke to director José Luis Rugeles about the casting methods he used, the pros and cons of shooting in the jungle, and introducing film to potential new artists.

Read the interview after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Friday
Nov112016

27 Films Eligible for Best Animated Feature

[UPDATE: Variety shared a list of 22 a week ago jumping the gun a week ago and we followed suit. Now we've updated on 11/11 with 5 additional titles since the actual list has been revealed]

Twenty-seven films are officially in the mix for Oscar nominations for Best Animated Feature. Since the threshold to trigger a five wide shortlist in the category is only sixteen, we'll get five nominees this year. As per usual in this category the US will dominate but one or two of the nominations will surely be nabbed by formidable and lower profile threats from France and/or Japan. The list and a few notes follow...

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 ...

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