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Entries in Middle Eastern Films (52)

Wednesday
Oct022019

Hopelessly devoted to link

CBS Olivia Newton John, our beloved child hero, is battling cancer for the third time. It's stage four this time but she's determined to outlive the statistics.
MNPP Jake Picking cast as young Rock Hudson in Ryan Murphy's upcoming series Hollywood (which takes place in the 1940s). Exactly how many series does Murphy launch at any one time? No wonder people say The Politician is a mess.

After the jump LGBTQ horror, Angelina ❤️ Michelle, advances in de-aging technology, Animated Feature Oscar hopefuls, and more...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Aug262019

Best International Feature: Parasite, The Whistlers, and Denmark's Hopefuls...

by Nathaniel R

Park So-dam and Choi Woo-sik as con-artist siblings in Parasite (2019)

UPDATED SEPTEMBER 2ND 2:00 PM: The titles competing at the 92nd annual Oscars for Best International Feature are coming at us fast and furious now. In the past few days the number has climbed to an "official" 26 submissions...with probably 60ish titles still to come. 

SOUTH KOREA
It was widely expected that South Korea would select Cannes Palme d'Or Winner Parasite to represent them but we've been surprised by the country's selection before (why oh why did they pass on The Handmaiden in its year - argh!). Thankfully they didn't surprise us this year. This is Bong Joon-ho's best movie ever, give or take the also-quite-brilliant but Oscar-shunned Mother (his only other film that was submitted by South Korea) so it would be sweet to see it actually compete for the gold.

Denmark's finalists, Romania's selection, and the official submission chart updates are after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jul302019

The Ophir Nominations. Which film will be Israel's Oscar Submission?

by Nathaniel R

The Ophir Awards, honoring the best in Israeli cinema, were created in 1990. The winner of Best Film always becomes Israel's Oscar submission. Well, almost always. There have been a few exceptions due to eligibility issues --  the most famous example being The Band's Visit (2008) which was hugely successful in US arthouses (and eventually became a Tony-winning Broadway musical) but which could not be submitted because the Israeli and Egyptian characters spoke in English too often due to their language barriers.

After the jump, the nominations for this year's Ophirs  NOW UPDATED WITH THE WINNERS (thank you to longtime reader Yonatan for the hat tip!) and more about Israel's Oscar history...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
May142019

The New Classics - A Separation

Michael Cusumano back again with my new series on great scenes/films of the 21st Century. This week a title we will surely hear often when the best of the decade lists start rolling in...

 

Scene: Razieh is Fired (aka The Incident)
It’s rare for a movie, even a great movie, to sneak up on the audience the way Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation does.

The screenplay is centered around an inflection point. Everything pulling the characters inexorably toward, or ricocheting off of, the moment when a man shoves a woman out his front door. Yet this action is not granted any special emphasis. First-time viewers have no clue they’ve witnessed the action around which the entire story pivots. It is only a few short scenes later, when the man is on trial for causing the miscarriage of the women he pushed (a murder charge in Iran) that the weight of that shove comes crashing home...

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Wednesday
Feb132019

Berlinale 2019: Three queer selections, a doc from the Sudan, and one walkout

Hallo! Seán here reporting from the 2019 Berlinale. It's the first big European film festival of the year, where new work premieres, deals get made, parties go on (and on) and where cinephiles prove their love of film by standing around in the freezing cold. I'm doing my best "Berlinale business bear" I'm here in an offical capacity: getting a first look at the queer TEDDY titles (which we'll talk about after the jump) and the short films for festivals in London and Dublin, but aside from that I'm also here to enjoy the film festival experience i.e. standing in the wrong line and walking in completely cold to something truly bizarre and extraordinary.

The Berlinale has many distinct and diverse sections, each with their own different forms and appeal. As someone who (a year later) is only a year later beginning to figure this out, allow me to impart my knowledge on the sections before we jump into the queer selection...

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Wednesday
Jan302019

Sundance Short Film Winners - clues to *next" year's Oscar list?

by Nathaniel R

Sheila Vand at SundanceWe hope you've been enjoying our coverage of Sundance this year. Our two men on the ground (Murtada and Abe) have already reviewed 10 films. Sundance wraps up next Sunday, February 3rd but we've already got our first bit of award news. A three person jury comprised of Iranian-American actress Sheila Vand (We the Animals, A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night), Obie award-winning playwright/filmmaker Young Jean Lee, and filmmaker Carter Smith (who won at Sundance 12 years ago for his gay short Bugcrush), have picked the winning shorts of the festival. Six of the seven films honored were by people of color, five were from women, and two from filmmakers who identify as LGBTQ. (Yes, Sundance has made huge diversity efforts these past few years... and they've put their money where their mouth is, both in their film selections and in press badges, even subsidizing minority journalists to combat the inequities in entertainment journalism).

Sundance is an Oscar-qualifying festival which means you might hear about a few of these shorts next year about this time if they're very lucky...

Click to read more ...