Tag Archives: La La Land

La La Land at front of Oscar pack after win at Toronto

Posted by Larry Gleeson

By Donald Clarke

 

 

Don’t get too upset. The six-month-long Oscar season will go to sleep for a spell after the Toronto International Film Festival tidies away the bunting. But the loudest of the opening trumpets is sounded with the People’s Choice Award at that festival. There was a time when the gong had little bearing on the Oscars, but, over the last decade, it has pointed to certain success at the awards that matter. Twelve months ago, Lenny Abrahamson’s Room began its march to glory — one big win for Brie Larson and nominations in best picture and director — with a triumph by Lake Ontario. Since 2008, only one film has won (Nadine Labaki’s Where do We Go Now) without receiving a nomination for best picture. Three of the Toronto winners in that time have converted into the Oscar itself.

It thus seemed likely that, rather than some leisurely outhouse puzzler, Damien Chazelle’s La La Land — a musical that has been Oscar favourite ever since opening Venice — would be the honoured picture. So, it has proved. The runners up were crowd-pleasers that, if nothing else, will figure in the conversation until nomination day in January: Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe and Garth Davis’s Lion. (The Academy will be delighted that, after the #oscarssowhite embarrassment and the Birth of a Nation fiasco, both films focus on people of colour.) The many Ben Wheatley fans who were a bit disappointed by High Rise will be happy to hear that his thriller Free Fire won the People’s Choice for Midnight Madness.

There were no triumphs for the Irish at this year’s Toronto. But there have been decent reviews for Gerard Barrett’s Brain on Fire and Lorcan Finnegan’s Without Name. The best notices among the domestic premieres seem to have been for John Butler’s Handsome Devil. We now move on towards the Guild Awards in the winter with Awards appetite whetted (if that’s what you like).

If you’re interested, I have a tenner on Lion to win best picture at 25/1. No, I haven’t seen the picture, but it’s already come in to 20/1. So, I feel like a genius.

AWARDS AT THE 2016 TORONTO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL

People’s Choice Award: “La La Land,” Damien Chazelle

People’s Choice Award For Documentary: “I Am Not Your Negro,” Raoul Peck

People’s Choice Award For Midnight Madness: “Free Fire,” Ben Wheatley

Platform Prize: “Jackie,” Pablo Larrian

Platform Prize, Special Mention: “Hema Hema: Sing Me a Song While I Wait,” Khyentse Norbu

Best Canadian Feature Film: “Those Who Make Revolution Halfway Only Dig Their Own Graves,” Mathieu Denis and Simon Lavoie

Best Canadian First Feature Film: “Old Stone,” Johnny Ma

Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Special Presentations Section: “I Am Not Madame Bovary,” Feng Xiaogang

Prizes of the International Critics (FIPRESCI Prize) for Discovery Section: “Kati Kati,” Mbithi Masya

Dropbox Discovery Programme Filmmakers Award: “Jeffrey,” Yanillys Perez

NETPAC Award For World or International Asian Film Premiere: “In Between,” Maysaloun Hamoud

Best Short Film: “Imago,” Ribay Gutierrez

Best Canadian Short Film: “Mutants,” Alexandre Dostie

(Source: http://www.irishtimes.com)

Wrap Up: 73rd Venice International Film Festival Continues to Mesmerize

 

I attended my first Venice International Film Festival at the Cinema del Palazzo complex in Lido this year from the Pre-Opening Night event August 30th through Closing Night September 10th, 2016 as an accredited media entity.

 

The Venice Film Festival is the oldest film festival in the world with a history dating to 1932. This year was the 73rd edition showing little signs of its age. Steeped in glamor and tradition, the festival remains a testament to the cinematic arts with its viewing venues and its programming.

 

 

Set in Lido with a plethora of screens each only a score or two steps away, these hallowed cinema grounds created a magical setting  adorned with cafes, raised walkways, and abundance of shade trees.

 

 

 

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Last night and final view of the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

 

The real magic, however, took place inside the cinema!

Leading the way were the spell-binding performances of Lily-Rose Depp and Natalie Portman in Planetarium from Director Rebecca Zlotowski.

 

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Planetarium Director, Rebecca Zlotowski. (Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema)

 

Award-winning, Tom Ford’s Nocturnal Animals, took home the Silver Lion Grand Jury Prize  for Best Film.  Nocturnal Animals captured my eye and imagination with it’s captivating story lines, exceptionally rich, mise-en-scene and wildly, powerful acting. Damien Chazelle and crew mesmerized audiences with their dazzling La La Land.  The lovely Emma Stone received the Best Actress Silver Lion Volpi Cup for her heartful, soul-revealing performance as Mia.

 

 

 

 

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Director Lav Diaz, left, with Ang Babaeng Humayo film delegation at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. (Photo courtesy of ASAC Images/Biennale Cinema)

 

This year’s Golden Lion for Best Film went to Lav Diaz for his painstaking drama, Ang Babaeng Humayo (The Woman Who Left), an epic story with a runtime of 226 minutes. The film follows one woman rediscovering her homeland after a 30 year stay in a correctional facility.

For a complete list of winners click here.

 

Other noteworthy films, not already mentioned, included: Paradise, a Russian Federation film, set amidst the Nazi WWII reign of terror (Director Andrei Konchalovsky garnered Silver Lion for Best Director for his Paradise efforts); Terrence Malick’s Voyage of Time: Life’s Journey, winner of the 5th Green Drop Award awarded by Green Cross Italy to films that bring attention to the values of ecology and sustainable development; Jackie, Pablo Larrain’s portrait of the iconic First Lady, Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy (Noah Oppenheim won Best Screenplay for Jackie); and Orecchie, a Biennale College – Cinema Production, directed by Alessandro Aronadio and produced by Costanza Coldagelli.

 

 

A special note of thanks to this year’s ushers for their efforts in ensuring my safety and well-being at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. Until next year, Ciao’!

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Ushers at the 73rd Venice International Film Festival. (Photo credit: Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee)

 

 

*Featured photo courtesy of Larry Gleeson/HollywoodGlee

Australian films on the world stage at Venice and Toronto film festivals

Posted by Larry Gleeson

 

Post by Stephanie Bunburry

With three Australian films screening in the Venice Film Festival and four features and a short film at Toronto International Film Festival, September will be something of a bumper month for the local industry.

Venice is the world’s oldest film festival, with a prestigious competition. Toronto’s only prize is its audience award, but it has set a precedent as the effective launching pad for Hollywood’s awards seasons, with many of the industry’s most Oscar-worthy films screening there first. The mass conversation about movies may have shifted to the internet but, for films that are not part of a critic-proof comic franchise, that has only made the stamp of approval from a top festival more important.

In Venice, the Mel Gibson war drama Hacksaw Ridge, crime thriller Hounds of Love and Boys in the Trees, a supernatural coming-of-age film, will all have their world premieres. Hacksaw Ridge is about an American conscientious objector (played by British actor Andrew Garfield) whose bravery as an unarmed medic on the field of battle earned him a Congressional medal of honour. It was written, financed and filmed in Australia. “It’s an Australian film about America,” said Gibson in a recent interview. “It’s a fully Aussie-funded film. It’s really interesting.”

Hacksaw Ridge is also – along with opening-night film La La Land, directed by Damien Chazelle of Whiplash fame, Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi Arrival and Pablo Larrain’s Jackie, which features Natalie Portman as the former First Lady – one of the few really big-ticket films showing on the Lido. Increasingly, Venice is largely a showcase for European arthouse, with a few high-end Hollywood films adding glitter to the festival’s red carpets in exchange for some take-away Euro gravitas. The studios are not even bothering to do press in Venice for La La Land or Jackie; that all happens in Toronto.

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The Venice festival’s most hotly-anticipated film comes from an experimental American director; coincidentally, it also has its origins in Australia. Derek Cianfrance’s Light Between Oceans, starring Michael Fassbender and Alice Vikander, is based on Western Australian writer M.L. Stedman’s hit historical romance novel of the same name. It is set in a fictional lighthouse somewhere near Cape Leeuwin, although it was shot in New Zealand and Tasmania.

Nicholas Verso’s Boys in the Trees, which is screening in Horizons, the more experimental section, is more the kind of film festivals expect from Australia: smaller, quirky, peopled with ordinary Joes who could be our neighbours. It features a couple of quarrelling skater boys who get lost after a school leaving party unwisely held on Halloween. Hounds of Love, which screens as part of the Venice Days program that runs alongside the main festival, is another story from WA. In a different way from Boys in the Trees, it is also a horror film. It revolves around a young woman abducted by a strange couple who realizes she must play mind-games with her captors to survive.

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Boys in the Trees has been selected for Toronto too, along with three other features. Ivan Sen’s cop drama Goldstone, already seen in Australia, is one of them. Sotiris Dounoukis’ Joe Cinque’s Consolation, which recently screened at the Melbourne Film Festival, is based on Helen Garner’s closely argued examination of the real-life case of a Canberra student whose mounting insanity plans to kill her boyfriend were simply ignored by her circle of friends.

The most prominent film in the Toronto pack is Lion, directed by Garth Davis from Saroo Brierley’s book about his return from his home in Australia to India to search for his birth parents. Nicole Kidman stars as his adoptive mother in Australia; Dev Patel, who rose to international fame in Slumdog Millionaire, is the searching son. The short film Trespass, about an encounter between two women in the bush and directed by Animal Kingdom actor Mirrah Foulkes, rounds out Toronto’s Australian contingent.

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First comes Venice, however, which officially begins on Wednesday night. The usual gala opening party has been cancelled out of respect for the Amatrice earthquake victims; there will be no fireworks over the lagoon this year. The Venice Film Festival, even more than Cannes, has always been unrepentantly glamorous. How much the overall tone of the event will change in the wake of the disaster only 500 kilometres away remains to be seen; it is hard to imagine, however, that the flow of prosecco will stop entirely.

(Source: http://www.smh.com.au)