June 11, 2003 |
Better late than never might make a good tag line for "Herod's Law," a film that is finally being released in the United States this weekend -- three years after it debuted in its native Mexico. The scathing political satire on Mexico's former ruling party, the PRI (Institutional Revolutionary Party), tied for the Sundance Film Festival's Latin American Film Prize in 2000 and went on to become one of Mexico's highest-grossing movies. Despite its accolades, no U.S. distributors were interested.
November 23, 1993 |
"Like Water for Chocolate" ("Como Agua Para Chocolate"), the slice of Mexican magic realism that last May broke the North American box-office record for a Latin American film, is poised to reach another milestone. In fact, it may already be the highest-grossing foreign-language movie ever to play in this country. The success of "Chocolate" is especially noteworthy, given the realities of today's marketplace.
February 27, 2003 |
Back in the '70s, Bruce Lee's "Enter the Dragon" pushed the embryonic American craze for martial arts movies into high gear. Hundreds of titles that had previously shown here only in Chinese neighborhood theaters suddenly started appearing in urban movie houses, often marred by cutting and always marred by truly horrible dubbing. Outside of the beautiful fight scenes, it was hard to take these films seriously: The dubbing reduced other qualities to mere campiness.
January 15, 1999 |
First, the heroine gets robbed at knifepoint in an opulent home in Hancock Park. Next, she and a friend waltz into the middle of a violent holdup at a trendy Pasadena restaurant. After that, the hapless pair inadvertently get caught in a bust of an L.A.-based illegal-immigrant smuggling ring. "Don't move," Liu Yuan warns his frightened companion, Li Qing, as immigration officers swarm in, automatic rifles waving. "American cops will shoot." Just your typical Los Angeles experience?
February 12, 2001 |
As the Oscar nominations are announced Tuesday in Los Angeles, a director in Croatia will be holding his breath. There's a jittery producer in Morocco and a sleepless director in Iran who will feel the same anxiety, desperately hoping their movies will be mentioned following four magical words: "And the nominees are . . . ."
February 14, 2001 |
We don't have the Oscars to kick around anymore. At least not this year. If the nominations for the 73rd Academy Awards announced Tuesday demonstrate anything, it's the academy's increasing willingness to look beyond the traditional kind of ponderous studio-produced Oscar pictures and venture into the headier arena of independent and even foreign-language films.
October 26, 2005 |
Movies from a record 58 countries are in contention for this year's foreign-language Academy Award, including the first entries from Iraq, Costa Rica and Fiji. The previous record was 56 films for the 2003 Oscars. Each country is allowed to submit one film. Oscar nominations will be announced Jan. 31 and awards will be presented March 5. From Associated Press
January 26, 2005 |
Year after year, it's one of the most difficult choices facing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. And this year was no exception. Selected from a pool of 49 eligible films submitted by representatives of their respective countries, this year's nominees for best foreign language film are "As It Is in Heaven" from Sweden, "The Chorus" from France, "Downfall" from Germany, "The Sea Inside" from Spain and "Yesterday" from South Africa.
September 11, 2005 |
THE imagination of Hollywood often seems limited next to the offerings of filmmakers elsewhere in the world, and this fall an influx of foreign films will give movie lovers a chance to take in the differences. There are few familiar names among the directors, but there are several whose work is always anticipated. One of the most bleakly amusing films of the last decade is Thomas Vinterberg's "The Celebration," a mordant take on an extravagantly dysfunctional family.
September 20, 2007 |
France has chosen "Persepolis," a black-and-white animated film about a young girl growing up in Iran during the Islamic revolution in the late 1970s, as the nation's entry for best foreign language film at the Oscars. Based on Marjane Satrapi's graphic novel, the autobiographical tale shared the jury prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and will close the New York Film Festival on Oct. 14. Sony Pictures Classics will release the film in the U.S. on Dec. 25. -- Sheigh Crabtree