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Academy Announced Oscar Presenters 2017

Posted by Larry Gleeson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

HALLE BERRY, JAMIE DORNAN, CHRIS EVANS, GAEL GARCÍA BERNAL, SAMUEL L. JACKSON, SCARLETT JOHANSSON, DAKOTA JOHNSON,
KATE MCKINNON, SHIRLEY MACLAINE, HAILEE STEINFELD WILL BE PRESENTERS ONSTAGE

LOS ANGELES, CA – Producers Michael De Luca and Jennifer Todd today announced the second slate of presenters for the 89th Oscars® telecast.  Hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, the Oscars will air live on Sunday, February 26, on the ABC Television Network.

“These actors are why we love to go to the movies,” said De Luca and Todd.  “From blockbusters to art house films, these artists deliver every time and we’re thrilled to welcome them to the 89th Oscars stage.”

The presenters, including past Oscar® winners and nominees, are Halle Berry, Jamie Dornan, Chris Evans, Gael García Bernal, Samuel L. Jackson, Scarlett Johansson, Dakota Johnson, Shirley MacLaine, Kate McKinnon and Hailee Steinfeld.

Berry won an Oscar for Actress in a Leading Role for “Monster’s Ball” (2001).  Her feature credits also include “X-Men: Days of Future Past” (2014), “Cloud Atlas” (2012), “Frankie & Alice” (2010), “X-Men The Last Stand” (2006), “X2” (2003), “Die Another Day” (2002) and “X-Men” (2000).  She will next appear in “Kingsman: The Golden Circle” and “Kings.”

Dornan’s film credits include “Fifty Shades Darker” (2017), “Fifty Shades of Grey” (2015) and the Oscar-winning film “Marie Antoinette” (2006).  Additionally, he has appeared in “Anthropoid” (2016) and “The Siege of Jadotville” (2016).  His upcoming films include “Fifty Shades Freed,” “Robin Hood” and “Untogether.”

Evans is known for “Captain America: Civil War” (2016) and the Oscar-nominated features “Captain America: The Winter Solider” (2014) and “Marvel’s The Avengers” (2012).  His film credits also include “The Iceman” (2013), “Puncture” (2011), “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” (2010) and “Fantastic Four” (2005).  Evans will next appear in “Gifted,” “Avengers: Infinity War” and “Jekyll.”

García Bernal’s credits include the Oscar-winning films “Babel” (2006) and “The Motorcycle Diaries” (2004) as well as the Oscar-nominated films “Y Tu Mamá También” (2001) and “Amores Perros” (2000).  Additionally, he has appeared in “Neruda” (2016), “Desierto” (2016) and “Bad Education” (2004).  His upcoming films include “Z” and the animated feature “Coco.”

Jackson earned an Oscar nomination for Actor in a Supporting Role for “Pulp Fiction” (1994).  Notably, he also appeared in the Oscar-winning films “The Hateful Eight” (2015), “Django Unchained” (2012) and “Inglourious Basterds” (2009).  Jackson will next appear in “Kong: Skull Island,” “The Hitman’s Bodyguard,” “Avengers: Infinity War,” “The Incredibles 2” and “Inversion.”

Johansson appeared in the Oscar-winning features “Her” (2013), “Vicky Cristina Barcelona” (2008) and “Lost in Translation” (2003) as well as the Oscar-nominated films “Iron Man 2” (2010), “Match Point” (2005) and “Girl with a Pearl Earring” (2003).  Her credits also include “Captain America: Civil War” (2016) and “Lucy” (2014).  Johansson will next be seen in “Ghost in the Shell,” “Rock That Body” and “Avengers: Infinity War.”

Johnson’s credits include “Fifty Shades Darker” (2017), “Fifty Shades of Gray” (2015) and the Oscar-winning feature “The Social Network” (2010).  Her other credits include “How to Be Single” (2016), “A Bigger Splash” (2015) and “Black Mass” (2015).  Johnson will next appear in “Fifty Shades Freed” and “Suspiria.”

MacLaine won an Oscar for Actress in a Leading Role for “Terms of Endearment” (1983).  Additionally, she garnered nominations for her leading roles in “The Turning Point” (1977), “Irma La Douce” (1963), “The Apartment” (1960) and “Some Came Running” (1958).  She also received a Documentary Feature nomination for “The Other Half of the Sky: A China Memoir” (1975).  Her notable credits also include “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty” (2013), “Bernie” (2012), “The Evening Star” (1996), “Postcards from the Edge” (1990) and “Steel Magnolias” (1989).  MacLaine will next appear in “The Last Word.”

McKinnon’s feature credits include “Ghostbusters” (2016), “Masterminds” (2016), “Office Christmas Party” (2016) and the animated features “The Angry Birds Movie” (2016) and “Finding Dory” (2016).  In addition, she has appeared in “Sisters” (2015) and “Ted 2” (2015).  McKinnon will appear next in “Rock That Body.”

Steinfeld received an Oscar nomination for Actress in a Supporting Role for “True Grit” (2010).  Her recent credits include “The Edge of Seventeen” (2016), “Ten Thousand Saints” (2015), “Barely Lethal” (2015), “Pitch Perfect 2” (2015), “Begin Again” (2014), “The Homesman” (2014) and “Ender’s Game” (2013).  Steinfeld will next appear in “Pitch Perfect 3.”

The 89th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be broadcast live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m.
ET/4 p.m. PT.  The Oscars, produced by De Luca and Todd and hosted by Jimmy Kimmel, also will be televised in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

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ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 7,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which is under construction in Los Angeles.

FOLLOW THE ACADEMY
www.oscars.org
www.facebook.com/TheAcademy
www.youtube.com/Oscars
www.twitter.com/TheAcademy

MEDIA CONTACT
Steve Rohr
Steve.Rohr@oscars.org

(Source: oscars.org)

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The First Edition of Asian Brilliant Stars launched

Posted by Larry Gleeson.

Press Release – 12 Feburary 2017

The first edition of Asian Brilliant Stars launched on February 12th in Berlin. Three influential Chinese Talents received recognition for their recent works i : Xu Haofeng won the Best Director Award for The Final Master, Jerry Ye won the Best Producer Award for The Wasted Times and Liu Zhenyun was awarded the Best Screenwriter for Someone to talk to. Numerous guests were present on the red carpet, including representatives of Berlinale (Kathrin Schafroth), European Film Market (Jana Wolff), European Film Promotion (MartinSchweighofer), Beijing Film Academy (Hou Guangming), 2017 European Shooting Stars Winners and Asian Talents (Yan Geling, Nansun Shi, Ouyang Baoping etc.).

Asian Brilliant Stars is organized by Asian Film & Television Promotion (AFTP), Beijing Film Academy and Actor Committee of the China Radio and Television Association (CRTA). Modeled on the longstanding European Shooting Stars, the program aims to bring international exposure to Asian emerging and established talents, including directors, actors producers and screenwriters.

 

bestdirectoe_asianstarsXu Haofeng is one of the most influential wuxia (martial arts) author, screenwriter and director in China. He wrote Wong Kar-wai’s The Grandmaster and directed The SwordIdentity, Judge Archer and The Final Master. In these films, Xu Haofeng develops a unique and personal aesthetics of martial arts. Xu Haofeng new film The Hidden Sword is expected in 2017. Xu Haofeng said while handing his award : “I started making films at the adult age, an age to do responsible things. That’s why I do  wuxia  films, a genre I can master.”

 

Jerry Ye is the CEO of Huayi Brothers, one of China’s leading film companies. Ye was previously VP of Wanda Culture. Ye’s credits as a producer include blockbusters The Taking of Tiger Mountain (2014), Mojin: the Lost Legend (2015) and critically acclaimed Go Away Mr. Tumor (2015) and The Wasted Times (2016). Jerry Ye deliverd a speech in fluent English: “I hope we can create bridges between Europe and Asia, work with the European Shooting Stars to do films in Chinese for the Chinese movi(e)goers.”

Liu Zhenyun is one of the most popular novelists in China. His first success Cellphone was adapted for a film directed by Feng Xiaogang. His recent I am not Madam Bovary was also adapted for a film directed by Feng Xiaogang. The film premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and won the Best Film and Best Film Awards at San Sebastian International Film Festival in 2016. Liu Zhenyun expressed his hope for Chinese cinema, “We can’t do films as pure financial products, we need to tell stories about ordinary lives.That’s what we did in I am not Madam Bovary, the story of a woman who stands 20 years to assert one phrase, “I am not Madam Bovary.”

 

AsianStars.jpg
Richard Shen, winners of 2017 Asian Brilliant Stars and European Shooting Stars

 

As well as the awards, Asian Brilliant Stars is also co-organizing a panel on Casting Chinese Actors for Co-productions with the European Film Market (EFM) and Bridging the Dragon on February 15 during the Sino-European Production Seminar. Richard Shen, Secretary-General of the AFTP, said during the ceremony : “It’s a great honor to be a strategic partner of the Berlinale and to host the first Asian Brilliant Stars awards ceremony during this year’s Berlinale. The quick development of Asian economies has brought increasing opportunities for Asian films, and the European market has shown a growing interest in Asian Film markets. In the future, Asian Brilliant Stars will collaborate with more Asian countries such as South Korea, Japan, and Thailand.”

(Source: Press materials courtesy of Yang Pei, Go Global)

Berlinale FILM CAPSULE: Spoor (Holland, 2017): Poland

Posted by Larry Gleeson.

Agnieszka Holland screened her film, Spoor (Pokor), at the 67th Berlinale, February 12th, 2017. The film is centered around a Stephen King, Misery Chastain-like character, Duszejko, a supposed retired civil engineer. Duszejko is a vigilante at heart who professes to be an astrologist. Holland gives little evidence to Duszejko’s proficiency in either of these areas. Nevertheless, Spoor is a film that catches the eye and attacks the viewer’s sensibilities of right and wrong.

The film opens with a narrative voiceover espousing a person’s date of birth points to a person’s day of death. Somber non-diagetic music accompanies character Duszejko’s enlightening epiphany. The camera, meanwhile reveals a pre-dawn mountain landscape with fog billowing up and the diagetic sounds of birds chirping and dogs barking. A

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Photo credit: Robert Paeka

transition is made revealing jeeps rolling up into a small glen where a group of hunters are meeting. A lone jeep is seen leaving as another transition takes the viewer inside a sleeping Duszejko’s home via an extended tracking point-of-view take. Frantic dogs bark rousing Duszejko from a slumbering sleep. Duszejko’s rises, quickly dresses and sets out into the pasture with her beloved dogs. She stretches and raises her arms skyward in a back shot as a new day is dawning. A cut is made to a hen house full of abused, caged foxes and a brute of a man cursing and racking the cages with a metal bar.

Admittedly, Holland sets the tone for what is a wild and wily ride. After her dogs have gone missing, Duszejko sets out to correct a world gone mad (albeit her world). Spoor is set in a rugged region with hunting seasons corresponding with nature’s cyclical seasons. Despite her best attempts to thwart the hunting of living creatures including a consultation with the local priest who tells to Duszejko to pray not for the animals or for the hunters but for herself.Spoor is set in a rugged region with hunting seasons corresponding with nature’s cyclical seasons and the priest proselytizes man is meant to subdue the animals of the earth At wits end, Duszejko takes matters into her own hands finding a vindication in her supposed astrological indicators and support from an unlikely network like-minded sympathizers. Utilizing flashbacks the truth is revealed in the film’s denouement.

At its core, Spoor is a semi-stylistic film advocating vigilantism to protect the inherent sacredness of our planet’s ecological system from a microcosmic perspective. In my opinion, Holland delivers an important message in a very dark manner pitting formal religion and community against purported astrological insight and personal vendetta. Not recommended!

*Featured photo credit: Robert Paeka

UPDATED: Berlinale FILM CAPSULE: On Body and Soul (Enyedi, 2017): Hungary

By Larry Gleeson

On Body and Soul (Testről és lélekről) from Budapest Writer/Director Ildikó Enyedi captured the hearts and minds of the audience early this morning at the spacious Berlinale Palast Theater.

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Director lldiko Enyedi on set during On Body and Soul. (Photo courtesy of Berlinale.de)

Director Enyedi manages to weave together a narrative with parallel story lines for the first half of the film. Beautifully shot, Enyedi’s On Body and Soul showcases a stunning mise-en-scen with the woods setting. The other setting is a slaughterhouse. No details are left out. Everything from immobilizing cattle for fattening to gutting the animals with their entrails and blood pouring from their opened undersides. These, however, are just the details. The real story takes place in the moments in between.

Two co-workers, Maria and Endre, have a thing for each other. Neither one can seem to find the right words or make an appropriate move. Endre is the company’s Director of Finance and acts more like a site general manger. Maria, on the other hand, is relatively new, and operates as a quality control inspector. She is referred throughout as Doctor. She’s smart like an idiot savant and manages to portray aspects of an awkwardness somewhere between addled and autistic. She’s also obsessive compulsive.

One day, a burglary has taken place and a large amount of mating powder has been lifted. The ensuing investigation borders on the macabre. Without credible physical evidence, a annual mental health assessment is ordered to begin immediately. A shapely, auburn woman with a rather sassy hair style conducts interviews with all the employees. Most of the questions revolve around sexual and reproduction issues and histories. Based on the responses, she makes a conclusion about who the thief probably is. One aspect of the study, however, is skewered, and sets in motion a lovely sequence bringing the two awkward co-workers into relationship.

Filled with subtle humor and adult idiosyncrasies, On Body and Soul, is making an early case for the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival. Stay tuned for more. In the meantime, I’ll see you at the cinema!

*UPDATE: On Body and Soul received the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival’s Golden Bear, the festival’s top prize for a film.

Chicago Film Fest CineYouth Challenge 2017 – Entries Now Open

Posted by Larry Gleeson

CineYouth Film Challenge
Do you know an aspiring young filmmaker? We’ve got a great opportunity for students ages 10-18 to participate in a single day filmmaking experience. Join us for CineYouth Film Challenge on Saturday, April 22, at Columbia College Chicago, where students will collaborate on making a short film from start to finish. The completed films will go on to screen at CineYouth Festival, May 4-6.
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The Film Challenge is generously supported by sponsor Allstate Insurance and partner Columbia College Chicago.

(Source: Chicago Press Office)

Drafthouse Films acquires “R100”

Posted by Larry Gleeson

R100 one was a midnight favorite at the American Film Institute’s AFIFEST 2013. I ventured out with a Japanese exchange student/cohort. We were in stitches and the audience was rollicking. I went on to review the film initially at the Santa Barbara City College SBCC Film and Media Studies site before posting it here earlier this year. In addition, at a recent Art Cinema Seminar/Class led by Santa Barbara International Film Festival Program Director Michael Albright, R1oo, received noteworthy mention. This is a film I highly recommend from a nationally renowned and esteemed Japanese director, Hitosi Matsumoto. Please enjoy the excerpt from Austin360.com!

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Editor’s note: This article was originally published September 26, 2013.

Drafthouse Films, the film distribution arm of the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema, has acquired of North American rights to Japanese director Hitoshi Matsumoto’s “R100,” a lunatic tale of male self-destruction. R100 premiered at Toronto International Film Festival’s Midnight Madness section and made its US premiere at Fantastic Fest last weekend. A VOD/Digital and theatrical release is planned for 2014.

It is not suprising that Drafthouse is picking this one up. Drafthouse and Fest founder Tim League introduced the completely gaga “R100” himself, nothing that it was the last film booked but that League, a huge Matsumoto fan, wasn’t going to let it get away. “If you don’t like this movie, you are (expletive) stupid,” League said…

fl20131006cub“R100” (The title is itself a play on the Japanese movie ratings R-15 and R-18) is an almost early-Woody Allen-esque comedy (think “Without Feathers” era or “What’s Up, Tigher Lilly?”) about Takafumi Katayama (Nao Ohmori, the star of “Ichi The Killer” fame) whose life has gone a bit pear-shaped. His department store job is mindless, his father-in-law is helping Katayama raise his young son while his wife is in a coma in the hospital and things are just looking kind of rough for the guy (the color palette for much of the film is all browns, tans and neutrals, washed out and quite 70’s looking in spots).

No wonder the guy feels the need to contact a dominatrix service and gets more than he bargained for. To wit: he never knows exactly when the doms (called “Queens,” each with a special, uh, talent) are going to show up to beat or humiliate him. At first, things seem to go fine. Then the wheels start to come off and things start to get very, very strange.

Matsumoto masterfully switches tones, almost from scene to scene. There are quiet, tender scenes that could hail from an earnest indie movie. There is old school silent movie boffo comedy. There are a couple of solid runs at the fourth wall. As League noted in his introduction, Matsumoto takes his time to set up a joke, but the payoffs are tremendous. And it features the best use of the “Ode to Joy” since “Raising Arizona.”

(Source: Excerpted from austin360.com)

OSCAR NOMINEES TO BE HONORED AT ACADEMY LUNCHEON

Posted by Larry Gleeson

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

LOS ANGELES, CA – More than 165 Oscar® nominees will come together at noon on Monday, February 6, at the Beverly Hilton when the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences honors this year’s Oscar contenders at its annual Nominees Luncheon.

Among the Lead Actor and Actress nominees, Casey Affleck, Ryan Gosling, Isabelle Huppert, Viggo Mortensen, Ruth Negga, Natalie Portman, Emma Stone, Meryl Streep and Denzel Washington are expected to attend the pre-Oscars® event.  Supporting Actor and Actress nominees Mahershala Ali, Jeff Bridges, Viola Davis, Naomie Harris, Lucas Hedges, Nicole Kidman, Dev Patel, Octavia Spencer and Michelle Williams also will join in the celebratory lunch.

All five nominees in the Directing category – Damien Chazelle, Mel Gibson, Barry Jenkins, Kenneth Lonergan and Denis Villeneuve – are expected to attend as well.

The 89th Oscars will be held on Sunday, February 26, 2017, at the Dolby Theatre® at Hollywood & Highland Center® in Hollywood, and will be televised live on the ABC Television Network at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT.  The Oscars also will be televised live in more than 225 countries and territories worldwide.

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ABOUT THE ACADEMY
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a global community of more than 7,000 of the most accomplished artists, filmmakers and executives working in film. In addition to celebrating and recognizing excellence in filmmaking through the Oscars, the Academy supports a wide range of initiatives to promote the art and science of the movies, including public programming, educational outreach and the upcoming Academy Museum of Motion Pictures, which is under construction in Los Angeles.

FOLLOW THE ACADEMY
www.oscars.org
www.facebook.com/TheAcademy
www.youtube.com/Oscars
www.twitter.com/TheAcademy

MEDIA CONTACT
Natalie Kojen
nkojen@oscars.org

(Source: Academy Publicity Department)