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Entries in Middle Eastern Films (38)

Monday
Oct242016

APSA Nominations: Lion, Cold of Kalandar, and More

The Asia Pacific Screen Awards has announced its nominations for the film year. The organization is in its 10th year -- and we should note that our own Glenn Dunks works for them behind the scenes. They basically cover the whole continent so that includes Asian countries, Australia, Russia, you name it. Their definition is loose enough that it even covers films with creative teams that qualify even if the film is a co-production made elsewhere. Their nomination procedure is elaborate -- 303 films from 43 countries were in the mix this year -- and whittled down throughout the year. The results are certainly a unique barometer of the region.

Cold of Kalandar, Turkey's Oscar submission, has 3 nominations

The nominations with commentary are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Oct182016

Reviews: "Desierto" and "Under the Shadow"

by Nathaniel R

Jeffrey Dean Morgan & Gael García Bernal in "Desierto"

Two more Oscar submissions are now in limited release in the US: Mexico's Desierto and the UK's Tehran set film Under the Shadows. Both are what you might call horror films though one suspects only the latter would accept the label. 

Desierto
We'll go anywhere with Gael García Bernal, who has blessed us with a number of fine road trip / travel movies in his career like Y Tu Mama Tambien, The Motorcycle Diaries , and The Loneliest Planet. In short, he's the perfect choice as a protagonist if you want us to sign up for a gruelling journey...

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 ...

Friday
Sep302016

Foreign Watch: Two Oscar Favorites Join the Fray

We've been faithfully updating the Oscar charts daily to reflect the submissions in one of our favorite categories. We'd call it our favorite but then how would Cinematography, Production Design, both Actress categories, and Costume Design feel? The deadline for submission is just a few days away so in a week or two the Academy will make the list official. Generally speaking, there are one or two surprises from our charts once they do -- a sudden addition or replacement and maybe a single disqualification. But if this list holds we are just short of the all time record number. The are currently 82 submissions, which is one shy of the record from 2014 (the Ida year).

90 year old legend Andrezj Wajda with his film trophies

Among the newly announced films are After Image, a biopic of an avant garde artist, by Andrzej Wajda for Poland and The Idol, the true story of a man who competed on "Arab Idol," from Hany Abu-Assad of Palestine. Oscar loves these two directors so they're surely threats for the finalist list. Poland has submitted films by Honorary Oscar winner Andrzej Wajda a total of nine times in their history and four of those were nominated: The Promised Land in 1975, The Maids of Wilco in 1979, Man of Iron in 1981, and Katyn in 2007. Meanwhile both of Palestine's nominations in the Best Foreign Language Film category come from Hany Abu-Assad: Paradise Now in 2005 and Omar in 2013.  Can these men work their Oscar-hooking magic again?

Updates to the charts (part 1, part 2, part 3) also include new contenders from Argentina, Bangladesh, Jordan, Kazakhstan, South Africa, and Turkey.

Wednesday
Apr272016

New Actor Obsession: Dominic Rains

Confession: I normally remember actresses names with their faces straightaway even if they've only had a bit role that impressed me. Sometimes actors take a few roles to reel me in as if I'm face blind. And so it was at Tribeca where Dominic Rains took the Best Actor prize for his strong sympathetic work as Osman, an Afghani journalist transplanted to rural California in Ian Old's The Fixer (2016). All throughout the picture I was like "who is this guy?" like I'd never seen him before only to discover thereafter that I'd already seen him AND loved him in two other movies. In my defense the Iranian-American actor, born in Tehran and raised in Texas, looks different in each of his key roles. But still! I'd never let this talent slip by me with an actress no matter what they did with their hair and costumes.

Rains was the mohawked punk rocker in the little-seen but high-energy Taqwacores (2010) and the sleazy drug-addled pimp in the stunning Iranian vampire picture A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014).

More after the jump...

Click to read more ...