29 November 2009

Nicholas Ray's Final Film to Be Restored; Plus More Awards, UPDATED with Gotham Winners

Via Variety, Nicholas Ray's final (solo-directed, feature) film We Can't Go Home Again, a little-seen "experimental" film he made with his wife Susan and a group of his film students at the time, will undergo a $500,000 restoration funded by the Nicholas Ray Foundation with the Venice Film Festival. The restoration will be supervised by Susan and will bow at the 2011 Venice Film Festival, "to mark the centennial of Ray's birth." Variety also says: "The Ray celebration will include a series of DVDs, an installation, an educational film titled "Nicholas Ray Master Class" and an interactive website." What that means, I have no clue, especially as it relates to the number of Ray films still MIA on DVD in the US: 55 Days at Peking, Johnny Guitar, Bigger Than Life (which is coming from Criterion, reportedly), Born to Be Bad, Hot Blood, Knock on Any Door, The Lusty Men, Run for Cover, The Savage Innocents, Wind Across the Everglades, A Woman's Secret, et al. For those curious, there are a number of clips from We Can't Go Home Again in Wim Wenders' Lightning Over Water, aka Nick's Movie.

Now for some awards from around the world, both national and festival related. Warwick Thornton's Samson and Delilah, which was awarded the Caméra d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival, took the top prize at the Asia Pacific Screen Awards, held on 26 November. It's also Australia's official submission in the Foreign Oscar competition. Sergei Dvortsevoy's Tulpan from Kazakhstan was the Best Picture winner last year. The rest of the awards are below:

Best Feature Film: Samson and Delilah, d. Warwick Thornton, Australia
Jury Grand Prize (tie): The Time That Remains, d. Elia Suleiman, Palestine/France/Italy/Belgium/UK; About Elly, d. Asghar Farhadi, Iran
Best Actor: Masahiro Motoki - Departures
Best Actress: Kim Hye-ja - Mother
Best Director: Lu Chuan - City of Life and Death
Best Cinematography: Cao Yu - City of Life and Death
Best Screenplay: Asghar Farhadi - About Elly
Best Documentary: Defamation, d. Yoav Shamir, Israel/Denmark/USA/Austria
Best Animated Feature: Mary and Max, d. Adam Elliot, Australia
Best Children's Feature: A Brand New Life, d. Ounie Lecomte, South Korea/France

Taiwan's Oscar submission, Leon Dai's No puedo vivir sin ti [Not Without You], was the big winner at the Golden Horse Awards, Taiwan's biggest annual award ceremony. Any film, whether from Taiwan, Hong Kong or China, primarily in Chinese is eligible. As the Film Experience Blog reported, Maggie Cheung made a rare appearance to deliver the ceremony's top award. Last year's Best Picture was awarded to Peter Chan's The Warlords (which Magnolia should be releasing soon in the US). The Awards are below:

Best Film: No puedo vivir sin ti, d. Leon Dai, Taiwan
Best Director: Leon Dai - No puedo vivir sin ti
Best Actor: (tie) Nick Cheung - The Beast Stalker; Huang Bo - Cow
Best Actress: Li Bingbing - The Message
Best Supporting Actor: Wang Xueqi - Forever Enthralled
Best Supporting Actress: Kara Hui - At the End of Daybreak
Best Documentary: KJ: Music and Life, d. Cheung King-wai, Hong Kong
Best Cinematography: Cao Yu - City of Life and Death
Best Action Choreography: Sammo Hung - Ip Man
Best Art Direction: Lee Tian-jue, Patrick Dechesne, Alain-Pascal Housiaux - Visage [Face]
Best Original Screenplay: Chen Wen-pin, Leon Dai - No puedo vivir sin ti
Best Adapted Screenplay: Guan Hu - Cow
Best Original Score: Dou Wei, Bi Xiaodi - The Equation of Love and Death

The 20th Annual Stockholm Film Festival finished up today, awarding Yorgos Lanthimos' Dogtooth its top prize; Courteney Hunt's Frozen River claimed that title last year. On a side note, I originally reported that Dogtooth would be representing Greece for the Foreign Oscar category, but that apparently was (not surprising considering its subject matter) false. Instead, Adonis Lykouresis' Slaves in their Bonds was named Greece's official selection. About the prizes below, the Telia Film Award is a newly created award for films without local distribution. Read more about it here. Awards below:

Best Film: Dogtooth, d. Yorgos Lanthimos, Greece
Best First Film: Sin Nombre, d. Cary Fukunaga, Mexico/USA
Best Actress: Mo'Nique - Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Best Actor: Edgar Flores - Sin Nombre
Best Screenplay: Eran Creevy - Shifty
Best Cinematography: Christophe Beaucarne - Mr. Nobody
Jameson Film Music Award: Krister Linder - Metropia
Telia Film Award: Miss Kicki, d. Håkon Liu, Sweden/Taiwan
FIPRESCI Prize: Sin Nombre
FIPRESCI Honorable Mention: Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire, d. Lee Daniels, USA

I was so busy with the film festival, I didn't even get around to posting the Documentary Short-list for the 2010 Academy Awards. It's now down to 15, with a number of glaring snubs from Michael Moore's Capitalism: A Love Story (though I've heard its omission is justified), James Toback's Tyson, Ondi Timoner's We Live in Public, R.J. Cutler's The September Issue and Kimberly Reed's Prodigal Sons. Someone on another site mentioned Terence Davies' Of Time and the City, but I'm never really sure which films are eligible in terms of year with the Documentary category. The 15 are below:

- The Beaches of Agnès [Les plages d'Agnès], d. Agnès Varda, France
- Burma VJ, d. Anders Ostergaard, Denmark
- The Cove, d. Louie Psihoyos, USA
- Every Little Step, d. Adam del Deo, James D. Stern, USA
- Facing Ali, d. Pete McCormack, USA/Canada
- Food, Inc., d. Robert Kenner, USA
- Garbage Dreams, d. Mai Iskander, USA
- Living in Emergency: Stories of Doctors Without Borders, d. Mark N. Hopkins, USA
- The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers, d. Judith Ehrlich, Rick Goldsmith, USA
- Mugabe and the White African, d. Lucy Bailey, Andrew Thompson, UK
- Sergio, d. Greg Barker, USA
- Soundtrack for a Revolution, d. Bill Guttentag, Dan Sturman, USA/France/UK
- Under Our Skin, d. Andy Abrahams Wilson, USA
- Valentino: The Last Emperor, d. Matt Tyrnauer, USA
- Which Way Home, d. Rebecca Cammisa, USA

Cinema Eye also announced their nominees for achievements in non-fiction cinema. The complete list of nominees can be found on their website (last year, Man on Wire took the top honors), but here are the 5 listed for Outstanding Achievement in Non-Fiction Feature Filmmaking:

- Burma VJ, d. Anders Ostergaard, Denmark
- The Cove, d. Louie Psihoyos, USA
- Food, Inc., d. Robert Kenner, USA
- Loot, d. Darius Marder, USA
- October Country, d. Michael Palmieri, Donal Mosher, USA

And, finally, the Gotham Awards will have their ceremony tomorrow in New York City. The Gotham Awards, an extension of the Independent Film Project, recognize the achievements in "independent cinema." I remember a lot of confused reactions to some of their omissions and inclusions when the nominees were announced in October. Courteney Hunt's Frozen River won the Best Picture last year. So, since I didn't post it previously, here are the nominees in the big categories: [UPDATED: The winners are in red; I didn't think a separate blog post was necessary to name them]

Best Feature Film

Amreeka, d. Cherein Dabis, USA/Canada
Big Fan, d. Robert Siegel, USA
The Hurt Locker, d. Kathryn Bigelow, USA
The Maid [La nana], d. Sebastián Silva, Chile/Mexico
A Serious Man, d. Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, USA

Best Documentary

Food, Inc., d. Robert Kenner, USA
Good Hair, d. Jeff Stilson, USA
My Neighbor My Killer [Mon voisin, mon tueur], d. Anne Aghion, France/USA
Paradise, d. Michael Almereyda, USA
Tyson, d. James Toback, USA

Breakthrough Director

Cruz Angeles - Don't Let Me Drown
Frazer Bradshaw - Everything Strange and New
Noah Buschel - The Missing Person
Derick Martini - Lymelife
Robert Siegel - Big Fan

Breakthrough Actor

Ben Foster - The Messenger
Patton Oswalt - Big Fan
Jeremy Renner - The Hurt Locker
Catalina Saavedra - The Maid
Souleymane Sy Savane - Goodbye Solo

Best Ensemble Performance

Adventureland - Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Martin Starr, Kristin Wiig, Bill Hader, Ryan Reynolds
Cold Souls - Paul Giamatti, Dina Korzun, Emily Watson, Katheryn Winnick, David Strathairn
The Hurt Locker - Jeremy Renner, Anthony Mackie, Brian Geraghty, Ralph Fiennes, Guy Pearce, David Morse, Evangeline Lilly
A Serious Man - Michael Stuhlbarg, Richard Kind, Fred Melamed
Sugar - Algenis Perez Soto, Rayniel Rufino, Michael Gaston, Andre Holland, Ann Whitney, Richard Bull, Ellary Porterfield, Jaime Tirelli

Best Film Not Playing at a Theater Near You

Everything Strange and New, d. Frazer Bradshaw, USA
Guy and Madeline on a Park Bench, d. Damien Chazelle, USA
October Country, d. Michael Palmieri, Donal Mosher, USA
You Wont Miss Me, d. Ry Russo-Young, USA
Zero Bridge, d. Tariq Tapa, India/USA

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