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Entries in My Life as a Courgette (3)

Wednesday
Mar012017

Interview: Céline Sciamma on "My Life as a Zucchini" and life after "Girlhood"

The past couple of years have featured many conversations about the need for fresh voices of all races and genders and sexual orientations in the movies. Consider it a healthy sign for the future that when this conversation comes up, there are dozens and dozens of young directors out there to champion. Certainly one of the most exciting newish female writer/directors working is Céline Sciamma in France. In the past ten years she's established herself as a revelatory voice in the genre of coming-of-age films, starting with her César nominated debut Water Lilies (2007) and reaching a new level of critical interest and popularity with Girlhood (2014). But, in something of a left turn -- which she says is no left turn at all -- she hasn't been behind the camera this past year but behind the screenplays of two acclaimed pictures.

She cowrote Andre Techine's well received LGBT film Being 17 and this past weekend her latest film, her first to win an Oscar nomination, My Life as a Zucchini, opened in US theaters. You should definitely go see it. She adapted the screenplay for this charming melancholy story about orphans hoping to find a home from a novel by Gilles Paris. Our interview is after the jump...

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Tuesday
Nov292016

Annie Award Nominations: Kubo, Zootopia, The Red Turtle...

Nominations for the 44th annual Annie Awards have been announced. Zootopia leads with 11 nominations with Laika's Kubo and the Two Strings just behind with 10 nominations. Because the Annies have two separate feature categories (the regular one plus an "indie" category which basically means "foreign") you can probably safely assume that the eventual Oscar lineup will be some mishmash between the two.

nominees and more after the jump...

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Sunday
Sep112016

TIFF Animated Wonders: The Red Turtle & My Life as a Courgette

Nathaniel R reporting from the Toronto International Film Festival

In the American landscape of animated features, barring extremely rare indies like Anomalisa, it's always safe to refer to animated films as "a genre" even though it technically isn't one. But you always know the type of film you're going to get. Some of them are magnificent, but even those play safely in-line with expectations: family friendly, cute and colorful, noisy/busy for short attention spans, funny. So long as you meet those four expectations you're allowed to color outside the lines of the actual governing genre (adventure/comedy) used by animation studios and draw from other genres like musicals, fantasy pictures, and horror so long as the horror is cute-grotesque (think Tim Burton's forays into the genre or all of Laika pictures).

For the forseeable future, though, we'll have to keep looking abroad for an understanding of animation as a film medium (what it actually is), capable of telling any type of story that might spring from any kind of genre. Festivals that program animated films are wise. They're often beautiful counterprogramming to more typical art fare. On the first day of the festival I caught two of them, both of which are aiming for Oscar love...

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