Film Bitch History
Oscar History

The Film Experience™ was created by Nathaniel R. Gemini, Cinephile, Actressexual. All material herein is written and copyrighted by Nathaniel or a member of our team as noted.


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Directors (For Sama)
Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

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Entries in Russia (25)


Cannes 2019 Un Certain Regard Lineup

We already dove into the Cannes Competition Lineup so it's time to look at the other most famous program, Un Certain Regard, which tends to be where a lot of the edgier titles from younger directors go. Some years people actually think this program beats the main competition for quality (since the main competition generally defaults to the "masters," regardless of whether or not they happen to be having a strong year).


Fernanda Montenegro in "Invisible Life"

Here is a bit about all that titles in Un Certain Regard. These films won't get quite as much buzz in May UNLESS they break out and the familiar refrain begins "Why wasn't this in the main competition?" You know how Cannes critics do...

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Berlinale 2019: Juliette Binoche, delights & disappointments, and the festival winners

Seán McGovern concludes his coverage of the Berlin International Film Festival.

Juliette Binoche presents the Golden Bear to Israel's Nadav Lapid for his drama "Synonyms"

There is a bittersweet conundrum with film festivals, that no matter how many films you see, you still only get one colourfully subjective corner of a greater kaleidoscope of stories. But you do get a sense both from the conversations you have in line and the energy on the ground as to what you absolutely must see. Each year we ask the same question, no different for the 69th Berlinale: was it a good year, or a bad year? The answer is... a resounding shrug of the shoulders.

Not that the festival was without worthy winners. In typically pluralistic European style, a veritable bread basket of awards were given to a range of films both in the main competition and beyond, led by our “beautiful” president Juliette Binoche. I don't know if it was a translation thing, but the amount of times that Binoche was referred to as “our beautiful president” during Berlinale was insane...

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Which lower profile films might surprise in the Oscar Animated Feature race?

by Nathaniel R

Early Man was one of the earliest titles released. Will Oscar remember it? They do love Aardman filmsAs Oscar watchers know it requires only 16 eligible animated features to trigger a 5-wide shortlist of nominees for Best Animated Feature. That number is fairly easy to hit, making this category rather more like the Tony Awards than the Oscars or Emmys, in that it's drawing from a very limited pool. You have, statistically, quite a good chance of getting nominated if you exist. The Academy generally reveals the eligibility list between November 6th and the 15th.

Obviously we know that high profile films from studios and animation houses like Pixar (Incredibles 2), Disney (Ralph Breaks the Internet), Warner Animation (Smallfoot, Teen Titans Go!), Fox Searchlight (Isle of Dogs), Universal (The Grinch), Sony Animation (Into the Spider-Verse, Hotel Transylvania 3), Aardman (Early Man -- which was just nominated for the European Film Awards), and Paramount (Sherlock Gnomes) will be hoping to snag one of the five coveted nominations but what of the lower profile titles? History suggests that one or two of them could muscle their way into the shortlist ahead of an arguably less inspiring American option...

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Six More Foreign Film Oscar Contenders

by Nathaniel R

We're now up to 36 entries for Best Foreign Language Film, so  over one-third of the way to the full list. Of the six latest announcements The Heiresses has had the arguably highest profile at festivals but the Russian entry is the most "typically Oscar-like" in subject matter, though that thankfully matters less than it once did, even in the foreign category. 

  • The Great Mystical Circus Brazil
    A century in the life of a family of circus owners. This is the 7th time Brazil has submitted a film by Carlos Diegues. He's their most frequently submitted director but none of his submitted films have been nominated. 
  • Graves Without a Name Cambodia
    Rithy Panh created Cambodia's only Oscar nominee (the brilliant documentary The Missing Picture). This is another doc on the same topic: the Kmer Rouge and genocide
  • Polyxeni Greece 
    The plot sounds intriguing. A young Greek orphan with a lust for life, is adopted and raised by a wealthy Greek-Turkish couple, unaware that people are plotting and after her large inheritance. Greece used to automatically submit the winner of the Thessaloniki Film Festival but those awards have since been abolished. The new big prizes for Greek films are the Hellenic Film Awards (often referred to as "the Iris" like we call the Academy Awards "Oscar"). They began in 2010 with Dogtooth as their first winner but winning the Iris (which Polyxeni did) doesn't automatically get you the Oscar submission since the submission is now decided by a committee. 
  • Sunset Hungary
    It's László Nemes' follow up to his Oscar winning debut Son of Saul. He's gone further back in time from World War II in the previous picture to just before World War I for this story of a young woman who wants to be a milliner in a hat shop previously owned by her parents.
  • The Heiresses Paraguay 
    Lesbian drama about a formerly wealthy woman restarting her life after her longtime partner is imprisoned. Among its several festival prizes is the promising Best Actress win at Berlinale.
  • Sobibor  - Russia 
    A true story of a prisoner uprising at an extermination camp in Russia during World War II.



The European Film Awards Long List

by Nathaniel R

Maria Bäumer plays the famous 1970s actress Romy Schneider in German biopic 3 DAYS IN QUIBERON

Though we only know ten "official" titles for Oscar's foreign film race so far the European Film Awards often hold clues as to other films that might be submitted. Their 49 "suggestions" for nominations (aka finalists) have been announced. Nominations will follow on November 10th with the ceremony to be held December 15th in Seville, Spain. Those 49 films and our thoughts on their Oscar prospects are after the jump... 

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Links: Nutcracker and the Two Directors, Schrader on Selfishness

Gr8ter Days Terence Stamp makes rare US appearance to talk about this career and push his new memoir. The great actor is about to turn 80...
TFE he's still too young for this 100 Oldest Living Oscar Nominees list.
THR Movie attendance has been steadily rising in Russia but the UK and France remain the top European movie markets
/Film Hmmm, The upcoming Disney spectacle Nutcracker and the Four Realms will now have two directors credited after reshoots. Joe Johnston (Captain America: The First Avenger) will be credited after the original director Lasse Hallström
Vulture Director Susan Seidelman on her 80s NYC classics Smithereens and Desperately Seeking Susan 

MNPP Luca Guadagnino has shown Suspiria to Quentin Tarantino who loved it
Moviemaker Paul Schrader on our selfish legacy and environmental disaster (DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVEN'T YET SEEN FIRST REFORMED)
Playbill if you're in NYC in the second half of July there's a lot of 15th anniversary happenings for Avenue Q including an original cast concert
Pajiba Sofia Vergara's ex is making an anti-abortion movie about Roe v Wade and the news about it gets worse and worse
i09 The legal system in The Incredibles 2 is confounding
Pandemonium this video is 90 minutes long but if you're studying to be a screenwriter it's worth a look since Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3) maps out what makes for a great third act of a story
Coming Soon Keri Russell joins Star Wars: Episode IX. Her role is unknown but will involve fight scenes so I'll guess she'll have more to do than Laura Dern did.
Awards Daily the Limited Series race at the Emmys is wide open this year (with 44 programs eligible)  since no single series has been especially dominant with critics or the public this time around 
Film School Rejects the best movies of 2018 thus far
Nick Davis Nick does his beloved "fifties" to detail the best of the movie year thus far