January 25, 2012 |
It's a small, small world that's depicted in several Oscar nominees for best foreign and best documentary films — and getting even smaller and more inter-connected. The nominees in those two categories, from countries as disparate as Belgium and Iran, as well as Middle America, reflect what some say is an unusually international spirit to this year's nominees in many categories. "It's sort of a more global feeling here," said Wim Wenders, the German director, L.A. habitué and nominee for his pioneering 3-D documentary "Pina," about the late avant-garde choreographer Pina Bausch, speaking by phone from Berlin.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 26, 2012 |
"The Artist," produced by Thomas Langmann, won best feature at the Film Independent Spirit Awards on Saturday. The black-and-white homage to silent cinema, which is also nominated for 10 Oscars, is considered a best picture front-runner heading into Sunday's 84th Academy Awards ceremony. The top prizes for the independent film community, the Spirit Awards trophies are handed out in 14 competitive categories. The afternoon affair is designed to be a more casual answer to the motion picture academy's lavish Oscar gala.
February 10, 2012 |
Peyman Moadi, the star of Asghar Farhadi's Oscar-nominated Iranian domestic drama "A Separation," is finally at peace with himself and his career. Along the way, though, he gave up his youthful ideas of studying film in New York, heeded his parents' advice by getting a degree in a subject he didn't care for — engineering — and wrote five very commercial movies in Iran. "But I was suffering all the time because I didn't even like these movies," said Moadi, 41, during a recent visit to Los Angeles.
February 9, 2013 |
Abbas Kiarostami is one of the pillars of Iranian cinema, but because of the turbulent climate at home and his own artistic inquisitiveness, he has recently traveled outside Iran to make his films, in a manner he parallels to the recent vagabond works of Woody Allen. Kiarostami's 2010 film, "Certified Copy," was an enigmatic romance starring Juliette Binoche and opera singer William Shimell set against the timeless beauty of Tuscany. His newest, "Like Someone in Love," which opens Feb. 15 in Los Angeles, finds him further exploring the slippage of identity, this time in a story set in Tokyo.
May 15, 2013 |
- Invariably, the Cannes Film Festival chooses a striking image for its official annual poster. But the 2013 version can be seen as a particularly apt metaphor for the dual nature of the world's most essential cinema event. Paris-based graphic designers have adroitly repurposed a black-and-white photo from 1963's "A New Kind of Love" featuring Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward in an embrace. As sinuously as they are entwined, that's how fluidly the American and international components of the film world come together at Cannes, which opens Wednesday night with the big Warner Bros.
December 22, 2011 |
Although its U.S. theatrical opening is still two weeks away, Iran's official Oscar submission, the gripping domestic drama "A Separation," has already gathered such a head of award season steam that it appears a virtual shoo-in for a foreign-language film nomination. The hoopla — which includes a recent win for its screenplay from the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. in addition to top foreign film nods from the National Board of Review and the New York Film Critics Circle — has also helped put the movie's writer-producer-director, Asghar Farhadi, on the radar to compete for such top Academy Awards as director and original screenplay.
August 18, 2012 |
Bernie Millennium, $28.99;Blu-ray, $29.99 Available on VOD beginning Tuesday Based on a true story, the wry docudrama "Bernie" stars Jack Black as a charismatic, dandyish small-town mortician who murders a cantankerous local millionaire played by Shirley MacLaine, and then tries to hide the crime from the authorities, including Matthew McConaughey's dogged district attorney. Writer-director Richard Linklater and his co-writer Skip Hollandsworth (who also wrote the magazine article on which the movie is based)
December 19, 2013 |
It's been many years since I interviewed the late producer Daniel Toscan du Plantier, then the president of Unifrance, the key promoter of French films overseas, but I always remember a comment he made. Toscan, as everyone called him, was talking about the fate of his country's films in the world marketplace as well as in the U.S., but what he said could be applied to foreign-language cinema in general. "If you are on a street full of hamburger shops, you finally want to eat something else.
May 26, 2013 |
The French lesbian love story “Blue Is the Warmest Color” won the Palme d'Or at the Festival de Cannes. In an unprecedented step, jury president Steven Spielberg announced that the prize had been given not only to director Abdellatiff Kechiche but to costars Adele Exarchopoulos and Lea Seydoux as well. The film, which French critics adored but the foreign contingent had mixed feelings about, got a rapturous reception from the Palais de Festival crowd, and both actresses were in tears by the time they reached the stage.