Manuel here to talk auteurs abroad. Did everyone hear (pun alert) about Pedro Almodóvar’s upcoming film, Silencio? We don’t seem to have much else other than its title (“It’s called Silencio because that’s the principal element that drives the worst things that happen to the main female protagonist”) and that Pedro doesn't think it will star one of his regular muses. But it made me curious as to what other Academy Award foreign auteurs were up to. Below the jump then, find a non-exhaustive list of the future projects of recent Foreign Language Film winners.
Entries in Michael Haneke (12)
Cinema Blend Rian Johnson (of Brick and Looper fame) will direct at least one of the new Star Wars movies. Interesting choice
Very Smart Brothas has smart things to say about Yaya DaCosta's casting as Whitney Houston in that upcoming lifetime biopic. (I just discovered this site which I gather is pretty popular on the black internet. Some really funny posts)
MNPP Michael Haneke's Flash Mob is waiting on its lead actress. But who will it be?
In Contention top 10 performances in Roman Polanski films
AV Club talks Judy Garland and the Oscar fuck-up of 1954. One of my favorite topics!
i09 Pixar's next short is called Lava
Esquire 10 best films set in New Jersey from Atlantic City to Cop Land
Just Jared Matthew McConaughey on the red carpet for more prizes. Curiously talk is spreading that McConaughey won't be back for Magic Mike XXL. I actually think that's a great move on the movie's part but I wasn't expecting it since Hollywood usually tries to give you more of the same in sequels. (I've already discussed this but If Tatum wants to build a cash cow franchise out of this for himself as a producer that could even survive without him onscreen, he needs to understand that the topic calls for fresh meat each time. Sorry to be so crass about it but it's true!)
Most Awesome Tweet of the Day/Month/Possibly the Year
If only they had done another one in a car with Brad in the back seat!
I haven't seen this movie in way too long.
Opposing Netflix Views
Vulture wonders how Chelsea Handler and Netflix are going to work around the talk show format which requires topicality which you can't get when you film in advance. But...
Mashable thinks this won't be what we're expecting an disrupt television again
This is one of those awards seasons in which I curse my time management skills. I prefer to post my annual Film Bitch Awards in the traditional Oscar categories before the nominations to avoid undue influence from the west coast, however subtle that influence may be. I didn't manage in time this year, partially due to Oscar's rushed schedule. Imagine my joy when both Benh Zeitlin and Michael Haneke were nominated for an astonishing debut and a culmination of gifts respectively for Oscar's Best Director list. Then imagine my frustration when I realized that nominating them both a week later -- though they'd been irreplaceable factors in every lineup I considered naming -- would seem like sloppy seconds. I had predicted that Haneke's decade long ascendance as a World Great would be enough for Oscar's Director's Branch to recognize him this year but I was genuinely surprised to see Zeitlin's work on Beasts of the Southern Wild recognized instead of big Hollywood names. I personally don't care who they had to shove aside to make room for him because he absolutely deserved the kudos. If it looks like I am only copying AMPAS's two most brilliantly fringe nominations this year, so be it. They're the only Oscar choices that show up on in my nominated director's field.
I imagine that my most controversial choice will be Steven Soderbergh but that strikes me as madness and typical of the dearth of imagination that most awards bodies (and, yes, to their shame critics groups) suffer once you've dropped them anywhere outside a 5 mile radius of "prestige". Consider how wrong Magic Mike could have gone in any number of ways but instead it's this beautifully subtle and earnest slice-of-life drama and character/ milieu study despite the pelvic thrusts and plentiful ass cheeks. (But points to Soderbergh for not skimping on those either for the sake of "reputable" filmmaking.)
Have you voted on the Oscar poll yet in this category?
If you're a collector o' memorabilia or receive lots of movie-related christmas gifts you've probably already seen, received or ordered the complete set of Django Unchained dolls from NECA. They're 8", poseable with cloth clothes based on the costumes designed by former Oscar nominee Sharen Davis (Dreamgirls, Ray) who could be nominated again for Tarantino's explotation flick. I've paired the Schultz, Candie and Stephen dolls below because Michael and I kept telling you that Samuel L Jackson was the movie's standout despite what movie awards have been saying. But now that you've seen the movie, you can say who you think is best!
So curious to know how you'll vote!
As for the dolls... I've read a few articles about them and none have yet answered the spoilery but standard doll question: Anatomically Correct? more
...which you probably did.
Jose here, happy to report that Michael Haneke's extraordinary Amour was the big winner at the European Film Awards held in Malta, winning the awards for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor (Jean-Louis Tringtinant) and Best Actress (Emmanuelle Riva) leaving the film one award shy of having earned the "big five", something that's never happened in the EFA's twenty five year history.
Following the film in wins were Shame and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy which swept the technical awards with two each. Thomas Vinterberg's The Hunt won the award for Best Screenplay and Helen Mirren received the award for Achievement in World Cinema.
One thing I've always loved about the European Film Awards is how "odd" they are. People in America, used to the glitzy PC-ness of the Oscars and the Golden Globes, would be shocked to see how "real" and even careless their European counterparts are. This after all is the same awards show where I first saw Tahar Rahim's penis and enjoyed reactions of David Kross as he was caught playing with his iPhone.
I screencapped my favorite moments of this year's ceremony for all of you:
The Oscar race for Best Foreign Language Film is particularly exciting this year. We have more contenders than ever (71!) and so many strong films that the Academy's always controversial foreign language branch will undoubtedly piss various contingencies off when they announce the finalist list and then the nominees. They could lessen the size of the outcry each year if only their finalist list were 12 films long. It's so strange that they make it small enough (9 films) that those films which miss the nomination are in the minority and, thus, look particularly snubbed... numerically speaking. I've already raved about the Pinoy movie "Bwakaw", and here are two other worthy candidates for this annual honor. Don't miss them if you get a chance to see them
“Ladies and Gentlemen, people die. That’s all you need to know.” This line, a recurring catchphrase from aging chanteuse Kiki (Justin Bond) in the now departed Kiki & Herb act, used to make me howl with laughter. It was a perfect punchline, soaked as it was in booze and tragicomic matter-of-factness. People do die. Death is a fact of life but we spend so much time denying it that it often feels completely abstract, an imagined fate rather than an eventual one. But as Anne (Emmanuelle Riva), the elderly woman at the heart of Michael Haneke’s new film reminds us:
Imagination and reality have little in common.”
At first Haneke keeps his customary distance. Were it not for early publicity or the disturbing pre-title sequence that shows us a woman's decomposing body surrounded by flowers, we wouldn't even know who the principle characters were during the post-title opening shot, a crowd watching a piano recital. As in the finale of Haneke's best film (Caché) the director doesn't help you decide where to look; it's your job to find the narrative. But one of the strongest directorial impulses in Amour is Haneke's barely perceptible but undeniably tightening focus on the couple. Each scene seems to bring us closer to Anne and Georges (Jean-Louis Trigninant), a happy well-off couple in their eighties who enjoy literature, cultural events, and visits from their daughter (Isabelle Huppert) and Anne's former student (the pianist Alexandre Tharaud who appears to be playing himself). The first close-ups of note, an utterly captivating shot/reverse shot of the couple as Anne all but vanishes from a conversation in progress, is the bomb dropping...