Film Bitch History
Oscar History
Welcome

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.

 

Powered by Squarespace
Don't Miss This!

Review: Ready or Not

Comment Fun

Yes Not Maybe So: Bombshell

" I am not liking this trend of portraits of terrible women, like Meghan and Phyliss Schafly, unless it's camp." - Jane

"Miss Charlize is like, "Do I need to remind you guys again who is the baddest bitch around here?." I just can'ttttt! She looks like Megan Kelly's twin -- that makeup work is insanity!!!" - Jono

"if Nicole doesn't wear a bad wig in a movie.....is it really a must see event?" -Chris

Keep TFE Strong

We're looking for 500... no 461 Patron SaintsIf you read us daily, please be one.  Your suscription dimes make an enormous difference. Consider...

I ♥ The Film Experience

THANKS IN ADVANCE

Interviews

Directors of For Sama


recent
Lulu Wang (The Farewell)
Ritesh Batra (Photograph)
Schmidt & Abrantes (Diamantino)
Wanuri Kahiu (Rafiki)
Jia Zhang-ke (Ash is Purest White)

What'cha Looking For?
Subscribe

Entries in The Grandmaster (12)

Thursday
Nov172016

Wong Kar-wai Aligns with Annapurna for Gucci Movie

A piece of advice for these turbulent, trying times in America: appreciate beauty and take good news where you can find it. Luckily for fans of master director Wong Kar-wai, Indiewire just reported a lovely blend of both. Poised to bring his eleventh film to the big screen with the help of Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures, Wong’s follow-up to 2013’s elegant wuxia The Grandmaster will be a (no doubt, very nice looking) movie centered around the Gucci dynasty and the murderous, complicated family drama swirling around it. There’s absolutely nothing surprising about hearing the names Gucci and Wong Kar-Wai within the same breath; style recognizes style.

In the interim between now and whenever the film’s release – and in the spirit of swooning more and swooning often – I recommend watching this scrumptious interlude from In the Mood for Love on a loop until you melt into the iconic pot of noodles that Maggie Cheung so gracefully swings. What's your favorite Wong Kar-wai?

Wednesday
Mar192014

Asian Film Awards: Snowpiercer, The Grandmaster, and More

The youngest of film awards for Asian cinema (they have quite a few) is the Asian Film Awards which are now in their 8th year. Unlike the prestigious Golden Horse which (mostly) goes to Chinese language cinema, these encompass just about anything Asian: Japan, China, India, South Korea, The Phillipines and so on. Their best picture nominees this year:

The near misses, we assume, are Ilo Ilo from Singapore (Oscar submission last year) and Hirokazu Koreeda's Like Father Like Son from Japan (the one Spielberg might remake) since they did well with nomination tallies in major categories.  If you're interested you should look at their official site because they smartly include photos of everyone - you can even see what the cinematographers, editors and costume designers look like.

Saturday
Mar012014

But who did Zhang Ziyi vote for?

I know you. You woke up this morning desperate to know what Zhang Ziyi's Oscar ballot looked like. I am here, as ever, to improve your day with answers and actressness.

The Chinese superstar wasn't* nominated for  Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon (2000) or Memoirs of a Geisha (2005, around the time AMPAS invited her to join) despite plentiful US media attention. (I imagine teen and early 20something readers aren't super familiar with her since it's been 9 years since she was a regular fixture in the US entertainment press???) The Grandmaster raised her profile a bit again and she obviously helped the costumes and cinematography to their Oscar nominations on account of good god she's photogenic.

She discussed her ballot with fans on her Weibo account  though she was cleverly vague about whether she was talking votes or predictions (AMPAS members aren't supposed to reveal their actual votes).

She wrote [translated for TFE - thanks Tony!]:

Quite a chaotic year. Voted without taking any precursor awards into account. Some simple predictions based on experience and personal feeling.  

Best picture: Gravity. Animated feature: Frozen. Not just great movies but both female-centric.  Blanchett best actress. J.L. best supporting actress. Leto best supporting actor. For best actor I loved Matthew's performance but voted for DiCaprio, he deserves this no matter what.

For art department and cinematography I'm rooting for the home team of course. Good luck to them. A tip: Mr. Sunglasses** will walk the red carpet

 

In the spirit of Zhang Ziyi's social media sharing you know you want to share this ballot on Facebook or twitter

*As I've stated numerous times Asian actors don't have much luck with the Academy or Hollywood. They don't get invited to present very often at the big show, you rarely seen them in color blind casting decisions, and they rarely get nominated for Oscars even when they have a high profile year like Ziyi or Gong Li before her. In fact, no Asian has ever been nominated for Best Actress (unless you count "Dark Angel"'s Merle Oberon who was half Indian but hid her heritage in the less diverse Hollywood of the 1930s)

** "Mr Sunglasses" would be her director Wong Kar-Wai

Wednesday
Feb052014

More Kudos for The Grandmaster

The awards journey of Wong Kar Wai's long-gestating martial arts history epic continues. Though The Grandmaster didn't win a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar nomination, it nevertheless became one of those rare subtitled pictures to become a multiple Oscar nominee even without that honor. Though it's not likely to win either of its Oscar nominations, more trophies might be coming its way. It lost the Golden Horse for Best Picture, Asia's most prestigious film trophy, but now it leads the Hong Kong Film Award nominations with 14 nominations. Its nearest rival is Unbeatable, a fight tournament movie with 11 nominations which is really much closer to a Hollywood style inspirational sports drama like Warrior. (I reviewed the latter at TIFF last year.) 

Eddie Peng and Nick Cheung in UNBEATABLE

For those who, like me, are confused at the amount of different film awards for the Chinese film industry, I have asked and it works out something like so. There are three major regions (Taiwan, China, Hong Kong) and they each have film awards; The Golden Horse are from Taiwan and are considered the most prestigious because they have the widest open playing field (all three major regions are eligible for prizes plus places like Singapore -- which took Best Picture for Ilo Ilo if you'll recall) and they are the oldest and thus an institution; the Hong Kong Film Awards concentrate on Hong Kong cinema and China's Golden Rooster concentrates on mainland China... though in all three cases certain films work around the rules. It was ever so in film awards from anywhere, yes?

The nominee list, with more commentary, is after the jump

Click to read more ...

Saturday
Jan182014

The Curious Case of The Grandmaster

Dancin' Dan here with a fun bit of Oscar trivia after nominations. When Wong Kar-Wai's gorgeous The Grandmaster didn't make it into the Best Foreign Language Film category. I wasn't surprised. Wong hasn't had much luck with the category (his masterpiece In The Mood for Love was also submitted but Oscar passed on it) and the new film, based on the life and work of Ip Man, has been divisive. I feared that this would spell doom for Philippe Le Sourd's stunning cinematography, thought Nathaniel had been predicting its nomination there for some time, but was heartened by its somewhat surprise inclusion in the ASC's seven-wide field. To my delight, upon looking at the full list of nominations, not only was Le Sourd nominated, but so was William Chang for the film's sumptuous costumes!

Which sets the mind racing... How many films that missed out on a Best Foreign Film nomination been nominated in other categories?

Click to read more ...

Friday
Dec202013

Foreign Film Frenzy... The Finalist List 

Though I love the constant excitement of December as much as anyone if there is one single element of awards season I could seize control of, it would be the annual Best Foreign Language Film race. Every year at about this time I've managed to procure 15 or so screeners from the 60+ entries and they're neatly stacked near my TV waiting for a marathon holiday watch & write session. And then most of them get the axe and they're never seen. I'm not proud of this -- you shouldn't skip a movie simply because Oscar isn't interested -- but I am also a human being who lives on planet earth and writes about the Oscars so my time is naturally extremely limited and compartmentalized and stretched thin every November through February. Would that the studios and AMPAS could spread out the timing a little. So my apologies to films from Latvia, Turkey, Croatia, India and the rest that I really had every intention of investigating. 

The other thing I would instantly change is Oscar's obsession with the number nine - ten is so much more symmetrical! Ten is a better number because it would also soften the blow to the eventual snubbees who wouldn't feel (correctly) like the majority of their peers got the part when they didn't. 

THE FINALISTS

 

  • The Broken Circle Breakdown (Belgium)
    currently in release in the States
  • An Episode in the Life of an Iron Picker (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
    from the director of the Oscar winner in this category for 2001, No Man's Land
  • The Missing Picture (Cambodia)
    unceremoniously dumped from the documentary finals, it now has a second shot at Oscar
  • The Hunt (Denmark)
    from the director of The Celebration which was one of Oscar's most infamous snubs in this always crowded category
  • Two Lives (Germany)
    Liv Ullman appears!
  • The Grandmaster (Hong Kong)
    Wong Kar Wai and his Asian superstar actors. 
  • The Notebook (Hungary)
    Hungary's best shot in ages to return to Oscar after a very long drought 
  • The Great Beauty (Italy)
    which just cleaned up at the European Film Awards 
  • Omar (Palestine)
    from the director of Paradise Now, nominated in this category in 2005

 

NOTICEABLY ABSENT
Saudia Arabia's Wadjda, which was a hit in arthouse theaters, widely tipped to be a frontrunner for the Oscar won't even be nominated now. That's got to hurt. It wasn't a good year for childhood narratives, actually, despite Oscar's tendency to reward that in foreign language films. They also passed on moving forward with Australia's The Rocket and Singapore's awards magnet Ilo Ilo. With all the other leading kids dropping out of contention this year, Hungary's tale of two boys will look singular. I'm also bummed that they skipped Nepal's entry here if only because I fear I'll never have the opportunity to see it now (no screener).

PERSONAL PET 
But the one I'm gutted bout is Chile's Gloria which is top ten list worthy in any language. I fully expected it to be nominated because it's just so delightful but with depth. Now it will be deprived of a much wider audience which is terribly sad. I don't know how committed the distributor is as it's due in January but I've seen it happen all too often that when a film fails to be nominated it suddenly disappears from future release scheds. IF you get a chance to see it, do!  (If Annette Bening or [insert name of any charming 50something movie star] isn't snapping up the remake rights, she's insane.)

MY PREDICTIONS