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Entries in foreign films (367)

Tuesday
Oct112016

Foreign Film Race Pt 3: It's your first feature and you're already submitted for an Oscar!

Everything you wanted to know about the foreign language film race ...but were afraid to ask*

Ivan Marinovic (Montenegro)Pt 1 All the trailers -Albania to Italy
Pt 2 All the trailers - Japan to Yemen

Pt 3. Filmmaking is a tough business. While the size and scope of opportunities within filmmaking industries varies tremendously across the borders, it's tough everywhere as creative careers inevitably are. So imagine then that you've finally managed to make a feature film after probably years of study and practice on shorts or frustrating fundraising efforts. Then pretend that the first time behind the camera in the narrative feature level results in your home country choosing you to represent them at the Oscars! That's incredible.

So a hearty congratulations to the 23 following first timers whose films have been selected to compete in Oscar's Best Foreign Language Film Race...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct112016

Foreign Film Race Pt 2: All the Trailers (Japan to Vietnam)

Everything You Wanted to Know About the Foreign Language Film Category... *But Were Afraid to Ask

Pt 1 All the Trailers (Albania to Italy)

Pt 2 All the Trailers (Japan through Vietnam)
Here are all the trailers in one place! (Well two places. Part one has the first half. While you watch these we're sprucing up the Official Submission Charts right now to make them cleaner with the full list now that the Academy has made the list official.  Which of the 85 films (a record!) are you eager to see? Which do you think Oscar might also warm to? 

See more trailers than you can watch in one sitting after after the jump!

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct112016

Foreign Film Race Pt 1: All the Trailers (Albania to Italy)

Everything You Wanted to Know About the Foreign Language Film Category... *But Were Afraid to Ask

It's official. 85 countries will compete for this year's Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. The 85 films will be narrowed down to 9 finalist in December with the actual nominations announced in January.

Are they any changes from our previous elaborate chart tracking? Yes. There are always a few surprises. Previously announced titles that are not on the list for reasons we're not sure about yet are Afghanistan's Parting , Armenia's The Earthquake and Tunisia's As I Open My Eyes.  Titles that we didn't have advanced notice about that are on the list are Cambodia's Before the Fall and Yemen's I Am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced which is Yemen's very first submission. 

Here are all the trailers in one place. We're helpful that way...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Oct102016

NYFF: Sonia Braga in "Aquarius"

Manuel here reporting from the New York Film Festival and reminding you that Sonia Braga is a goddess of cinema 

Aquarius is the name of a building in Recife where Doña Clara (a resplendent Sonia Braga) has made her life. The apartment she lives in, which is littered with books and old LPs (she was once a famed music journalist), once belonged to her aunt. Indeed, Kleber Mendonça Filho first introduces us to the Aquarius and to the apartment back when Clara was a young woman who’d recently battled breast cancer, a key detail her aunt brings up in the midst of a birthday celebration. In this lively opening sequence, the camera pauses on an old furniture piece before giving us a glimpse of even livelier days of the older woman celebrating her birthday surrounded by family. We see a memory flash before us of a heated sexual encounter, her lingering gaze having triggered an old but cherished memory...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Oct072016

Review: Pablo Larraín's "Neruda" and "Jackie"

Nathaniel R reporting from the NYFF/TIFF as these films played at both fests... 

Fortieth birthdays don't get much better than this. In August Chile's most celebrated filmmaker Pablo Larraín turned the big 4-0 just after his excellent new film Neruda opened in his home country. One month later Jackie, his first English language picture, joined Neruda on the international festival circuit to even more excitement. Both are likely and deserving Oscar nominees come January. Pretty good year.

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Oct062016

Foreign Oscar Watch: Does "Xuan Zang" Complete the Submission List? 

As we've noted many times the Official Foreign Film Submission List generally contains at least one surprise when Oscar announces it -either a switcheroo from a country who had second thoughts about their submitted film or a disqualification or a film we hadn't yet heard of.  We don't know the date but it's any time in the next week or so. At the moment the list is 86 wide (a record if it holds!) thanks to the last few films we know of to announce including Costa Rica's romantic dramedy About Us, Malaysia's autism drama Redha, and the biopic Xuan Zang from China which is about a famous monk during the Tang Dynasty. That one sure looks pretty.

If you haven't looked at the Oscar charts in a while take a gander. We'll obviously break it down in several fun ways when the official list is announced.

What You Can Watch
If you are eager to see the selections please note that Sweden's A Man Called Ove, UK's Under the Shadow, South Korea's Age of Shadows, and Israel's Sand Storm are now in select cities and Mexico's Desierto hits next Friday. The only three available to watch online right now in the US that we know of are Palestine's The Idol (for rental on Amazon), Venezuela's From Afar and Greece's Chevalier (which are both streaming on Netflix). If you know of legal options in your country to view these please let others know in the comments.

86 Submissions for 2016
Afghanistan to Finland - 27 films
France to The Netherlands - 29 films
New Zealand to Vietnam - 30 films

14 Submission Reviews Thus Far
Death in Sarajevo - Bosnia & Herzegovina
Neruda - Chile
Mother - Estonia
Elle - France
Toni Erdmann - Germany
Chevalier - Greece
Sand Storm - Israel
Fire at Sea - Italy
A Flickering Truth - New Zealand
Apprentice - Singapore
Julieta - Spain
My Life as a Courgette - Switzerland
As I Open My Eyes - Tunisia
From Afar - Venezuela 

Tuesday
Oct042016

NYFF: Everything Else

Manuel reporting from NYFF on an Adriana Barraza star vehicle.

Everything Else
Natalia Almada's Everything Else (Todo lo demás) is a portrait of a woman in the most literal sense. The movie, which runs 98 minutes, has very little plot and is focused instead on observing (keenly, empathetically, near-obsessively) the life of Doña Flor. A no nonsense government worker by day with very little life outside the desk she occupies daily and the apartment she shares with her cat, Doña Flor (played by Babel's Oscar nominated Adriana Barraza) is not lonely, per se. But she does seem disconnected from the life around her; in Barraza's face you can see the weariness of her life without the contempt stories about childless spinsters usually inspire. Almada gives Barraza no more than 50 lines in the entire film, plunging us for stretches at a time in a silence that rattles for the very comfort it depends on. She's interested in watching Doña Flor and, in doing so, sketches out a woman perhaps like many others and yet entirely herself.

That the quiet peeks at her life are punctuated by news reports (often out of frame and unintelligible) about violence against women and close ups of the women she encounters on the train, across her desk, and at the public pool she visits, make clear that Almada's near dialogue-free project wants to think about the state of Mexican women today without doing anything more than showing (there is so little telling).

The effect is hypnotizing though whether you follow along for the ride depends on your patience for such a small scale story with such a self-consciously deployed structure. And yet, every time Barraza is on screen, you're reminded why she remains such an underutilized actress; she doesn't carry the film as much as she inhabits it, losing herself in the mundane life depicted, another face in the crowd.

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