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Entries in sports (50)

Monday
Dec052016

Interview: Director Juho Kuosmanen on Finnish Oscar Entry 'The Happiest Day in The Life Of Olli Mäki'

By Jose Solís.


In 1962, a young Finnish boxer faced featherweight champion of the world Davey Moore in a match that would go down in sports history as one of the most bittersweet for the tiny European country. Director Juho Kuosmanen has captured the event from the perspective of the challenger (played by Jarkko Lahti in a breakthrough) who finds himself vanishing among the excitement and pressure of the fight. The Happiest Day In The Life Of Olli Mäki is a bittersweet tale about our need to create larger than life personalities that help us fulfill our desires, but fail to fulfill those who are actually participating in the experience. We see the sensitive, but quiet, Olli light up when he’s with his girlfriend Raija (Oona Airola), even though his manager Eelis (Eero Milonoff) suggests she will only make him lose the fight. Despite that the film is about a boxer, it has more in common with melancholy romances like Jules and Jim and Roman Holiday, than with Raging Bull. The film premiered at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival where it picked up the Prize Un Certain Regard, since then it went on to become the Finnish Oscar entry, so I spoke to director Kuosmanen about the parallels between the film and his life, shooting in black and white, and entering the craze of awards season.

Read the interview after the jump.

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Dec032016

Interview: Pavel Giroud on Cuban Oscar Submission 'The Companion'

By Jose Solis.

Cuba’s Oscar entry The Companion, will surely be seen with new eyes with the recent death of Fidel Castro, as more stories about his decades long regime will come to the surface. Directed by Pavel Giroud, the film is set in a sanatorium in the outskirts of Havana, where HIV positive people were sent to live in the 1980s in an effort of the government to try and contain the epidemic. Each of the patients was assigned a companion, who would report on their behaviors and habits (no smoking or drinking allowed!), one of them is former boxer Horacio (Latin Grammy winner Yotuel Romero) who seeks another chance at glory, while he has to look after the rebellious Daniel (Armando Miguel). The two men develop an unlikely friendship which helps as the channel through which we see other subplots unfold, all of which contribute to helping audiences come up with a more complete portrait of what it was like to live in Cuba. Without resorting to sensationalization, the film both celebrates the country and criticizes the regime in which health came at the price of liberty. I spoke to director Giroud about cult Cuban musicals, his research for the film, and what it’s like to be the first Oscar submission after Cuba and the US have normalized diplomatic relations.

Read the interview after the jump. 

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Sep282016

Review: Queen of Katwe

by Eric Blume

Usually adjectives like “inspirational” and “crowd-pleasing” make most serious moviegoers want to go running straight for the hills, and indeed the trailer for Disney’s Queen of Katwe made me shudder.  This true story of a poor Ugandan girl (played here by newcomer Madina Nalwanga) who becomes a candidate master at chess has all the markers of the usual Disney underdog story, and you expect all the typical manipulation that comes with it. 

But most films aren’t directed by Mira Nair, and she turns Queen of Katwe into something rare:  a true story that plays authentically and simply.  Nair shot this film in the actual slums of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda, and her love for the place, the people, and the culture is unmistakable...

Click to read more ...

Friday
Aug192016

Links: Nate Parker, Ben-Hur, and Donald Trump as Film Critic

Variety Amber Heard donates her entire divorce settlement from Johnny Depp to charity
Pajiba ... she also apparently passed on receiving residuals from his movies
Monkey See funny talk about the new Ben-Hur and the long shadow of its 1959 Best Picture predecessor
Kenneth in the (212) alerts us to a new webseries on Woody Allen movies. 10 things about Interiors this time 

Olympic play, Nate Parker controversy, and Donald Trump as movie critic after the jump...

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Aug162016

Team Experience: The Olympics in IMAX 3D

We've been hoping to return to our group posts from our fabulous Team Experience, so what better way to return than this: Team Experience is going to the Olympics!

Well not literally. But like many of you, we've also been glued to the games in Rio. As with any Olympic year, the games have been filled with spectacle and showmanship - but the increasing production values and drama  is simply too much for our television sets to contain. So what if we could watch the Olympics on the biggest screen?

Top 10 Olympic Moments We'd Like to See in IMAX 3D 

 

Honorable Mention
Leslie Jones Olympic Tweets
Tweets so good, even NBC had to give her a gig. Can we get a full IMAX Olympics documentary narrated by her? - Chris

10. Gisele Bundchen's strut
Can you imagine that leggy 5'11" beauty sky high? Attack of the 75 foot woman! That dress was the shiniest shiny but Gisele's joy was even more radiantly blinding. - Nathaniel

9 more after the jump

Click to read more ...

Tuesday
Jun282016

Doc Corner: 'O.J.: Made in America' a Compelling Success

Glenn here with our weekly look at documentaries from theatres, festivals, and on demand. This week we're looking at ESPN's much-buzzed five-part documentary about O.J. Simpson.

Even more coincidental than the release of ESPN’s O.J.: Made in America so soon after Ryan Murphy’s star-studded FX mini-series, The People v. O.J. Simpson, is that the rise to fame of their subject coincided so precisely with the rise to prominence of the African American civil rights movement. The irony was not lost on Simpson with the handsome man who everyone thought “had it all” never being able to out-run the shadow that his own meteoric ascent cast over seemingly the United States’ entire black population. Nor is it lost on director Ezra Edelman who makes the parallels the structural spine of this exceptionally thorough, exquisitely compiled, and exhaustively compelling five-part documentary. It’s not called “Made in America” for nothing – another coincidence it’s worth noting, Made in America is also the name of a pretty good 2008 documentary about the Crips and Bloods war in L.A. by Stacy Peralta – and across 463 minutes, Edelman and his collaborators have crafted a powerful demonstration of the dichotomy of race, fame, and justice in America.

Starting in the 1960s with Simpson’s rise in college football, Edelman’s film wisely doesn’t focus exclusively on the murder of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman and the trial that followed. In fact, it takes until the third episode to even bring it up, instead preferring to spend time examining these early passages of his life for clarity and for clues. Unlike the FX series, O.J.: Made in America is more concerned with attempting to find out how a man like Simpson and the country came to be. [more...]

Click to read more ...

Thursday
Apr142016

First Look: Battle of the Sexes

Murtada here. So you have a new movie about a very popular internationally recognizable person, what to do to announce that your film has started shooting? Why get Billie Jean King herself to tweet a photo of your two stars, right next to the two real life people they are playing. Get everyone talking about the uncanny likeness. Easy peasy, the internet ate it up!

Battle of the Sexes is about the 1973 tennis match between King and Bobby Riggs that made headlines worldwide and still stands in the culture as encapsulation of 1970s changing social attitudes about sport and feminism. Emma Stone is King and Steve Carrell is Riggs and boy do they look the part. Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris (Little Miss Sunshine) are directing, the supporting cast includes Sarah Silverman, Alan Cumming, Elisabeth Shue and in a Birdman reunion Andrea Riseborough as Marilyn Barnett, King’s girlfriend at the time. It was surprising to see Danny Boyle's name as a producer, although not so much when seeing his Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours partner Simon Beaufoy as the screenwriter.

Barnett during the alimony trial.

Riseborough’s casting hopefully means that the movie will explore the tumultuous relationship between King and Barnett. Their relationship became public in 1980 when Barnett sued for alimony, outing King and putting her in the path of LGBT rights advocacy. That was 7 years after the battle of the sexes, so we are keeping hopes tempered.

The film just started shooting, so we have a long wait before we can see it, perhaps in the second half of 2017. However since this is an awards site, it’s never too early to speculate. We know that playing a real life person - with that person making the campaign rounds alongside the actor - is a surefire way to win an Oscar. The movie has to be good of course, this one at least has the pedigree. Will this be Emma’s moment?