27 February 2010

César Awards 2010

Jacques Audiard's Un prophète (predictably) swept the Césars today, taking home nine awards including Meilleur film (Best Film), Réalisateur (Director) and Scénario original (Original Screenplay). Its heartthrob star Tahar Rahim, already quite the celebrity in France despite appearing in just one film, won two awards for Meilleur acteur (Best Actor) and Meilleur espoir masculin (Best Male Newcomer). Emmanuelle Devos, who starred in Audiard's last two films (and is easily one of the finest actresses in the business), won the Supporting Actress prize for Xavier Giannoli's À l'origine. Radu Mihăileanu's Le concert was the only other film to win in more than one category (for Music and Sound Design). Clint Eastwood was (again predictably) the winner in the Film étranger (Foreign Film) category for Gran Torino. The big winners are below; the full list of winners is here (in French); the nominees can be found here.

Meilleur film [Best Film]: Un prophète [A Prophet], d. Jacques Audiard
Meilleur réalisateur [Best Director]: Jacques Audiard, Un prophète
Meilleur premier film [Best First Film]: Les beaux gosses [The French Kissers], d. Riad Sattouf
Meilleur film étranger [Best Foreign Film]: Gran Torino, d. Clint Eastwood, USA
Meilleur film documentaire [Best Documentary]: L'enfer d'Henri-Georges Clouzot [Henri-George Clouzot's Inferno], d. Serge Bromberg, Ruxandra Medrea
Meilleur acteur [Best Actor]: Tahar Rahim, Un prophète
Meilleure actrice [Best Actress]: Isabelle Adjani, La journée de la jupe [Skirt Day]
Meilleur acteur dans un second rôle [Supporting Actor]: Niels Arestrup, Un prophète
Meilleure actrice dans un second rôle [Supporting Actress]: Emmanuelle Devos, À l'origine [In the Beginning]
Meilleur espoir masculin [Best Male Newcomer]: Tahar Rahim, Un prophète
Meilleur espoir féminin [Best Female Newcomer]: Mélanie Thierry, Le dernier pour la route [One for the Road]
Meilleur scénario original [Original Screenplay]: Un prophète - Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain, Abdel Raouf Dafri, Nicolas Peufaillit
Meilleur scénario adaptation [Adapted Screenplay]: Mademoiselle Chambon - Stéphane Brizé, Florence Vignon
Meilleure photographie [Best Cinematography]: Stéphane Fontaine, Un prophète

25 February 2010

DVD Release Update, 25 February

Included in this DVD update are Catherine Breillat's Bluebeard from Strand, a bunch of Robin Hood films from Sony, Tony Manero from Kino Lorber, Alain Cavalier's Le combat dans l'île from Zeitgeist and Jean Becker's One Deadly Summer [L'été meurtrier] with Isabelle Adjani from a studio I've never heard of called Bayview Films.

- Legend of Witches, 1969, d. Malcolm Leigh, VCI, 27 April
- Malice in Wonderland, 2009, d. Simon Fellows, Magnolia, 27 April, w. Maggie Grace, Danny Dyer, Nathaniel Parker
- 9 to 5: Days in Porn, 2008, d. Jens Hoffman, Strand Releasing, 4 May, w. Sasha Grey
- The Bandit of Sherwood Forest, 1946, d. Henry Levin, George Sherman, Sony, 11 May
- Legend of the Tsunami Warrior [aka Queens of Langkasuka], 2008, d. Nonzee Nimibutr, Magnet/Magnolia, also on Blu-ray, 11 May
- One Deadly Summer [L'été meurtrier], 1983, d. Jean Becker, Bayview Films, 11 May
- The Prince of Thieves, 1948, d. Howard Bretherton, Sony, 11 May
- Rogues of Sherwood Forest, 1950, d. Gordon Douglas, Sony, 11 May
- Sword of Sherwood Forest, 1960, d. Terence Fisher, Sony, 11 May
- Tidal Wave, 2009, d. Yun Je-gyun, Magnet/Magnolia, also on Blu-ray, 11 May
- Iscariot, 2008, d. Miko Lazic, Brink DVD, 18 May, w. Gustaf Skarsgård, Michael Nyqvist
- North Face [Nordwand], 2008, d. Philipp Stölzl, Music Box Films, 18 May, w. Benno Fürmann
- Southern Gothic, 2007, d. Mark Young, IFC Films, 18 May
- Tony Manero, 2008, d. Pablo Larraín, Kino Lorber, 18 May
- Toe to Toe, 2009, d. Emily Abt, Strand Releasing, 8 June
- Antarctica, 2008, d. Yair Hochner, Here! Films, 15 June
- Aqua Teen Hunger Force: Volume 7, 2009, d. Matt Maiellaro, Dave Willis, Warner, 15 June
- Sex Positive, 2008, d. Daryl Wein, Here! Films, 15 June
- Bluebeard [Barbe bleue], 2009, d. Catherine Breillat, Strand Releasing, 22 June
- Le combat dans l'île, 1962, d. Alain Cavalier, Zeitgeist, 22 June, w. Romy Schneider, Jean-Louis Trintignant
- Raging Sun, Raging Sky [Rabioso sol, rabioso cielo], 2009, d. Julián Hernández, TLA Releasing, 22 June
- Say Hello to Yesterday, 1971, d. Alvin Rakoff, Scorpion Releasing, 28 June, w. Jean Simmons, Leonard Whiting

Also on the Blu-ray front are individual releases of some of the Mel Brooks titles included in the box set released last year: High Anxiety, History of the World: Part 1 and Robin Hood: Men in Tights on 11 May. Individual releases of Batman Returns, Batman Forever and (cough) Batman & Robin will also be available from Warner on 4 May.

- Apollo 13, 1995, d. Ron Howard, Universal, 13 April
- Elizabeth, 1998, d. Shekhar Kapur, Universal, 27 April
- Elizabeth: The Golden Age, 2007, d. Shekhar Kapur, Universal, 27 April
- Flashbacks of a Fool, 2008, d. Baillie Walsh, Anchor Bay, 25 May
- Spartacus, 1960, d. Stanley Kubrick, Universal, 25 May

23 February 2010

White Material, Making Plans for Lena and Rompecabezas at IFC

Though I didn't find any official announcements of such, it looks as if Claire Denis' White Material and Christophe Honoré's Making Plans for Lena [Non ma fille, tu n'iras pas danser] have landed at IFC Films. BAMcinématek is presenting a three-day spotlight on IFC Films beginning 19 March, and both films are on the line-up along with Ken Loach's Looking for Eric, Elia Suleiman's The Time That Remains, Kim Ji-woon's The Good, the Bad, the Weird, Bruno Dumont's Hadewijch, Johnnie To's Vengeance and Tales from the Golden Age. For those in NYC, both Honoré and star Chiara Mastroianni will be present for a Q&A following the 20 March screening of Making Plans for Lena; this will be the fourth Honoré film that IFC has released following Dans Paris, Les chansons d'amour and La belle personne. More information here. In addition to the films above, IFC did officially announce their acquisition of Puzzle [Rompecabezas], the directorial debut of Natalie Smirnoff who previously worked as an assistant director on Lucrecia Martel's La ciénaga and The Holy Girl and casting director on The Headless Woman. Starring the amazing María Onetto, Puzzle was the sole Latin American film in competition at this year's Berlin International Film Festival.

21 February 2010

Well, Kathryn Bigelow Is Hotter Than James Cameron...

While The Hurt Locker isn't exactly my favorite film of last year, it's the perfect "I'm okay with _____ winning so long as ______ and _______ doesn't." I think that's pretty much how most people are with the Oscar nominees this year. Kathryn Bigelow's war drama took home six BAFTAs today (for those not acronym savvy, it's the British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards), setting it as the likely frontrunner for the Best Picture race at the Oscars. Andrea Arnold's wonderful Fish Tank won the prize for Outstanding British Film. The major awards are below; the nominees are here; and the full list of awards are here.

Film: The Hurt Locker, d. Kathryn Bigelow
British Film: Fish Tank, d. Andrea Arnold
Film Not in the English Language: Un prophète [A Prophet], d. Jacques Audiard, France
Animated Film: Up, d. Pete Docter, Bob Peterson
Director: Kathryn Bigelow, The Hurt Locker
Leading Actor: Colin Firth, A Single Man
Leading Actress: Carey Mulligan, An Education
Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz, Inglourious Basterds
Supporting Actress: Mo'Nique, Precious: Based on the Novel Push by Sapphire
Original Screenplay: Mark Boal, The Hurt Locker
Adapted Screenplay: Jason Reitman, Sheldon Turner, Up in the Air
Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer: Duncan Jones, director, Moon

CriterionForum's Poll of the Best Films of the Aughts

Last July, I posted the results of CriterionForum's user poll of the best films of the 1990s, which placed Jim Jarmusch's Dead Man at the top of the rankings. Last month, they caught up with the 00's, and predictably, it went neck and neck between Wong Kar-wai's In the Mood for Love and David Lynch's Mulholland Drive (like so many others). We'll see how things line up in five or so years. Michael Haneke had the most showings on the list, with four of his films representing; he also has claim to the only official 2009 film to make the list as well. Speaking of '00 lists, I had promised a defense/explanation/overview of my own Decade List a while back. I've begun and abandoned it at least three times, and while I have two people barking up my tree in regard to this (you know who you are, and I do thank you), I thought I'd see if that was still of any interest. I would like to complete it, and I'm probably better suited to do so after spending nearly two months away from it. Let me know. The results of the CriterionForum poll are below.

01. In the Mood for Love, d. Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong/France
02. Mulholland Drive, d. David Lynch, France/USA
03. Yi yi, d. Edward Yang, Taiwan/Japan
04. The Royal Tenenbaums, d. Wes Anderson, USA
05. Punch-Drunk Love, d. Paul Thomas Anderson, USA
06. Werckmeister Harmonies [Werckmeister harmóniák], d. Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky, Hungary/Italy/Germany/France
07. The New World, d. Terrence Malick, USA
08. There Will Be Blood, d. Paul Thomas Anderson, USA
09. Zodiac, d. David Fincher, USA
10. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, d. Michel Gondry, USA

11. Spirited Away, d. Hayao Miyazaki, Japan
12. Goodbye, Dragon Inn, d. Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan
13. Caché, d. Michael Haneke, France/Austria/Germany/Italy
14. Dogville, d. Lars von Trier, Denmark/Sweden/Norway/Finland/UK/France/Germany/Netherlands
15. INLAND EMPIRE, d. David Lynch, USA/Poland/France
16. Talk to Her [Hable con ella], d. Pedro Almodóvar, Spain
17. No Country for Old Men, d. Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, USA
18. Elephant, d. Gus Van Sant, USA
19. Memories of Murder, d. Bong Joon-ho, South Korea
20. The Intruder [L'intrus], d. Claire Denis, France

21. Platform, d. Jia Zhang-ke, China/Hong Kong/Japan/France
22. Children of Men, d. Alfonso Cuarón, UK/USA/Spain
23. The Son [Le fils], d. Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France
24. Before Sunset, d. Richard Linklater, USA
25. Y tu mamá también, d. Alfonso Cuarón, Mexico
26. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, d. Andrew Dominik, USA/Canada
27. Memento, d. Christopher Nolan, USA
28. 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days [4 luni, 3 săptămâni şi 2 zile], d. Cristian Mungiu, Romania
29. A.I.: Artificial Intelligence, d. Steven Spielberg, USA
30. Grizzly Man, d. Werner Herzog, USA
30. Still Walking, d. Hirokazu Koreeda, Japan

32. 35 Shots of Rum [35 rhums], d. Claire Denis, France/Germany
33. A Christmas Tale [Un conte de Noël], d. Arnaud Desplechin, France
34. Syndromes and a Century, d. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand/France/Austria
35. Tropical Malady, d. Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand/France/Germany/Italy
36. The World, d. Jia Zhang-ke, China/Japan/France
37. A History of Violence, d. David Cronenberg, USA/Germany
37. The White Ribbon [Das weiße Band], d. Michael Haneke, Austria/Germany/France/Italy
39. Summer Hours [L'heure d'été], d. Olivier Assayas, France
40. The Headless Woman [La mujer sin cabeza], d. Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/France/Italy/Spain

41. What Time Is It There?, d. Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan/France
42. Russian Ark, d. Aleksandr Sokurov, Russia/Germany
43. Nobody Knows, d. Hirokazu Koreeda, Japan
44. You the Living [Du levande], d. Roy Andersson, Sweden/Germany/France/Denmark/Norway/Japan
45. La ciénaga, d. Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/France/Spain
46. Millennium Mambo, d. Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan/France
46. The Piano Teacher [La pianiste], d. Michael Haneke, Austria/France
48. Friday Night [Vendredi soir], d. Claire Denis, France
48. The Gleaners & I [Les glaneurs et la glaneuse], d. Agnès Varda, France
50. Lost in Translation, d. Sofia Coppola, USA/Japan
50. Three Times, d. Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan/France

52. 2046, d. Wong Kar-wai, Hong Kong/China/France/Germany
53. Let the Right One In [Låt den rätte komma in], d. Tomas Alfredson, Sweden
54. Miami Vice, d. Michael Mann, USA/Germany
55. The Return, d. Andrei Zvyagintsev, Russia
56. The Squid and the Whale, d. Noah Baumbach, USA
57. Lilya 4-ever [Lilja 4-ever], d. Lukas Moodysson, Sweden/Denmark
58. 25th Hour, d. Spike Lee, USA
59. Bad Education [La mala educación], d. Pedro Almodóvar, Spain
60. Amélie [Le fabuleux destin d'Amélie Poulain], d. Jean-Pierre Jeunet, France
60. Virgin Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, d. Hong Sang-soo, South Korea

62. Adaptation., d. Spike Jonze, USA
63. Code Unknown [Code inconnu: Récit incomplet de divers voyages], d. Michael Haneke, France/Germany/Romania
64. The Death of Mr. Lăzărescu [Moartea domnului Lăzărescu], d. Cristi Puiu, Romania
65. L'enfant, d. Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne, Belgium/France
66. The Man Who Wasn't There, d. Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, USA/UK
67. In the City of Sylvia [En la ciudad de Sylvia], d. José Luis Guerín, Spain/France
68. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, d. Wes Anderson, USA
69. Antichrist, d. Lars von Trier, Denmark/Germany/France/Sweden/Italy/Poland
69. Birth, d. Jonathan Glazer, USA/Germany

71. WALL•E, d. Andrew Stanton, USA
72. The Hurt Locker, d. Kathryn Bigelow, USA
73. Still Life, d. Jia Zhang-ke, China/Hong Kong
73. Who's Camus Anyway?, d. Mitsuo Yanagimachi, Japan
75. Margot at the Wedding, d. Noah Baumbach, USA
76. Woman Is the Future of Man, d. Hong Sang-soo, South Korea/France
77. Synecdoche, New York, d. Charlie Kaufman, USA
78. demonlover, d. Olivier Assayas, France
79. Kill Bill (Volumes 1 and 2), d. Quentin Tarantino
79. The Man Without a Past [Mies vailla menneisyyttä], d. Aki Kaurismäki, Finland/Germany/France

81. Eureka, d. Shinji Aoyama, Japan/France
82. I'm Not There, d. Todd Haynes, USA/Germany
83. Linda Linda Linda, d. Nobuhiro Yamashita, Japan
84. Paranoid Park, d. Gus Van Sant, France/USA
85. George Washington, d. David Gordon Green, USA
86. Morvern Callar, d. Lynne Ramsay, UK
87. Ghost World, d. Terry Zwigoff, USA/UK/Germany
88. The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada [Los tres entierros de Melquiades Estrada], d. Tommy Lee Jones, USA/France
88. Woman on the Beach, d. Hong Sang-soo, South Korea
90. All the Real Girls, d. David Gordon Green, USA

91. Mysterious Skin, d. Gregg Araki, USA/Netherlands
91. Wendy and Lucy, d. Kelly Reichardt, USA
93. Tokyo Sonata, d. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan/Netherlands/Hong Kong
94. Pan's Labyrinth [El laberinto del Fauno], d. Guillermo del Toro, Mexico/Spain/USA
95. Brand Upon the Brain!, d. Guy Maddin, Canada/USA
95. The Diving Bell and the Butterfly [Le scaphandre et le papillon], d. Julian Schnabel, France/USA
95. Songs from the Second Floor [Sånger från andra våningen], d. Roy Andersson, Sweden/Norway/Denmark
98. Café Lumière, d. Hou Hsiao-hsien, Japan/Taiwan
98. Innocence, d. Lucile Hadzihalilovic, Belgium/France/UK
98. Pulse, d. Kiyoshi Kurosawa, Japan

Surpringly (or maybe it isn't), only five of the 100 aren't yet on DVD in the US. Though naturally, The White Ribbon and Still Walking are on their way; and Lilya 4-ever, while not for purchase, is available to rent through Netflix, leaving Eureka and In the City of Sylvia as the remaining two.

The 3rd Annual Saint Louis Qfest

One of the things I have been working on these past two months in assisting in putting together the local gay and lesbian film festival, otherwise known as Qfest which is now in its third year. Qfest picked up where the Saint Louis International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival left off when it ended in 1999. This year's program will feature eleven features (8 features, 3 docs) and four shorts, one of which, Heartland Transplant, was directed by my friend Cody Stokes and played at this year's Big Sky Documentary Film Festival. The festival runs from 28-31 March at the Landmark Tivoli Theatre.

While I haven't seen all of the films screening this year, I can safely recommend three of the ones I have watched. Leo's Room [El cuarto de Leo], the feature debut from Enrique Buchichio, is a compelling, often quite beautiful portrait of two former primary school classmates, who run into one another in their mid-twenties. Leo (Martín Rodríguez), dumped by his "beard," cruises online chat rooms for men; Caro (Cecilia Cósero) spends most of her day in bed, downing anti-depressants. While it doesn't break a whole lot of new ground, Leo's Room does have a number of rich, expressive moments that set it apart from your average coming-out/coming-of-age tale. Leo's Room is part of the 2010 Global Lens Collection.

Haim Tabakman's exceptional Eyes Wide Open, which premiered at Cannes last year in the Un Certain Regard section, follows a taboo love/lust affair between two Orthodox Jews (Zohar Shtrauss, Ran Danker) in Jerusalem. Ella Lemhagen's Patrik, Age 1.5 [Patrik 1,5] takes a farcical premise (a gay couple looking to adopt a baby get stuck with a fifteen-year-old homophobe due to a clerical error) and gives it dramatic weight, aided by two outstanding performances from Gustaf Skarsgård (Stellan's son, Eric from True Blood's brother) and Torkel Petersson (Old Men in New Cars) as the daddies-to-be. Tickets for all the films are now available; check the Cinema Saint Louis website for more information. Hopefully, if you're in the area, I'll see you there. I'll also be posting longer reviews of the three films mentioned above (and maybe a few of the others) closer to the festival date.

20 February 2010

Things That Happen When You're Away

For the past two months or so, I've taken myself off the radar, cinema-wise, focusing on... well, nothing in particular. This week I've been trying to catch up on all the film/media news I've been missing/ignoring, and Christ, a lot has happened. Here are some of the highlights. Thanks to Jordany, Jason H, Blake and all the sources I culled the material from.

1. New Yorker Films comes back to life after closing its doors a year ago. Does that mean Céline and Julie will hit DVD this year?

2. Michael Haneke scraps the "old age" project he was set to shoot with Isabelle Huppert and Jean-Louis Trintignant.

3. Though rumors had been circulating for a while, I guess the untimely death of you-know-who has shifted Amy Heckerling's focus from a Clueless sequel onto a vampire film (hmm), which will reteam her with Alicia Silverstone.

4. Carlos Reygadas announced his next film, something of an auto-biopic, entitled Post Tenebras Lux. I also overlooked the omnibus film he took part in, Revolución, which commemorated the centennial of the Mexican Revolution. Revolución screened at Berlin last week; the other directors who took part in the film are Mariana Chenillo (Cinco días sin Nora), Fernando Eimbcke (Lake Tahoe), Amat Escalante (Los bastardos), Gael García Bernal, Rodrigo García (Mother and Child), Diego Luna, Gerardo Naranjo (Voy a explotar), Rodrigo Plá (La zona) and Patricia Riggen (La misma luna).

5. Penélope Cruz was tipped as starring in Lars von Trier's upcoming Melancholia, but the rumor was later denied. Too bad she's opting for the Pirates of the Caribbean sequel.

6. Speaking of Lars von Trier and rumors, there was a lot of hoopla over von Trier making a Five Obsctructions-esque dare to Martin Scorsese and Robert DeNiro to remake Taxi Driver. But that apparently wasn't exactly true either.

7. Mariah Carey wore this outfit.

8. Beautiful, weird mystery and intrigue surround the release of these video teasers, by apparently a well-known pop star. "Christina Aguilera? Kylie Minogue? Little Boots? Röyskopp?" I was asked. "Goldfrapp? Sally Shapiro?" I replied. More speculation here.

9. Three truly exceptional albums hit record stores (or, really, iTunes and the like). And one I'm still confounded about (listen to it here).

10. Lucrecia Martel saw all three of her films on Cinema Tropical's list of the 10 best Latin American films of the decade. I can't say I'm surprised.

In DVD news, Tony Palmer and Frank Zappa's 200 Motels will make its overdue debut on DVD via Palmer through MVD. The release date? April 20, naturally. I was browsing Breaking Glass Pictures' Facebook page and was more than pleased to see that they've picked up the DVD rights to Gabriel Fleming's The Lost Coast, a haunting, outstanding film about four friends over Halloween night in San Francisco. The Lost Coast was previously available as a DVD-R on Amazon; it's still available to watch on Hulu (with commercial breaks) as well as streaming on Netflix (sans commercials). Breaking Glass will release it on 4 May, and it comes highly recommended.

I should also be attending the 7th annual True False Film Festival (which also slipped my mind). It begins on Thursday, and as I live two hours away I figure I may as well. Let me know if I should pay specific attention to anything screening there, as I haven't given the line-up a close examination yet. Another great documentary festival, Big Sky, announced their awards the other day, which you can find here. My good friend Stewart Copeland's new film Let Your Feet Do the Talkin' made its world premiere at Big Sky as well.

Awards at Berlin, 2010

The awards for the 60th Berlin International Film Festival were delivered this afternoon (Sunday in Germany), with the most-talked about award going to Roman Polanski, who claimed a Silver Bear award for Best Director for The Ghost Writer. Like Polanski's Academy Award win, this seems incredibly suspect, something of a lifetime achievement meets "Sorry for all your legal troubles" accolade. I'll still end up watching it, though my faith in his abilities isn't strong these days (I am, however, one of the few who likes Death and the Maiden; however, both Jim Beluschi and Kim Cattrall make it hard to get too amped about this one). The Golden Bear went to Turkish director and playwright Semih Kaplanoğlu's Bal [Honey], the third part of a trilogy entitled Yusuf Üçlemesi, or Yusef's Trilogy, which began with Süt [Milk] and Yumurta [Egg]. Claudia Llosa's La teta asustada [The Milk of Sorrow], now up for the Oscar for Best Foreign Film, was last year's top winner. The awards are listed below, including the main jury prizes, as well as those of the Ecumenical Jury, FIPRESCI and the Teddy Jury (given to queer films):

Golden Bear: Bal [Honey], d. Semih Kaplanoğlu, Turkey/Germany
Silver Bear, Jury Grand Prix: Eu când vreau să fluier, fluier [If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle], d. Florin Şerban, Romania
Silver Bear, Best Director: Roman Pokanski, The Ghost Writer
Silver Bear, Best Actress: Shinobu Terajima, Caterpillar
Silver Bear, Best Actor: (tie) Grigori Dobrygin, Sergei Puskepalis, How I Ended This Summer
Silver Bear, Outstanding Artistic Achievement: Pavel Kostomarov, cinematographer, How I Ended This Summer
Silver Bear, Screenplay: Wang Quan'an, Na Jin, Apart Together
Alfred Bauer Prize (given to a work of particular innovation): Eu când vreau să fluier, fluier [If I Want to Whistle, I Whistle], d. Florin Şerban
Best First Feature: Sebbe, d. Babak Najafi, Sweden


- Competition: En familie [A Family], d. Pernille Fischer Christensen, Denmark
- Panorama: Parade, d. Isao Yukisada, Japan
- Forum: El vuelco del cangrejo [Crab Trap], d. Oscar Ruiz Navia, Colombia/France

Prizes of the Ecumenical Jury

- Competition: Bal [Honey], d. Semih Kaplanoğlu
- Panorama: Kawasakiho růže [Kawasaki's Rose], d. Jan Hřebejk, Czech Republic
- Forum: Aisheen (Still Alive in Gaza), d. Nicolas Wadimoff, Switzerland/Quatar

Teddy Awards

- Best Feature Film: The Kids Are All Right, d. Lisa Cholodenko, USA
- Best Documentary: La bocca del lupo [The Mouth of the Wolf], d. Pietro Marcello, Italy
- Best Short Film: The Feast of Stephen, d. James Franco, USA
- Jury Award: Open, d. Jake Yuzna, USA

18 February 2010

The 2010 Rendez-vous with French Cinema

The 15th annual Rendez-vous with French Cinema, presented by The Film Society of Lincoln Center and UniFrance, was announced recently, though the line-up isn't much to get excited over. Rendez-vous with French Cinema usually highlights the previous year's Gallic offerings that hadn't already premiered at the New York Film Festival. Last year's series screened the new films from Claire Denis, Agnès Godard, Claude Chabrol, Costa-Gavras, André Téchiné and Benoît Jacquot. While there are some big(-ish) names represented this year like François Ozon, Michel Gondry, Christophe Honoré and Claude Miller, the line-up as a whole doesn't read as "thrilling" by any stretch (keep in mind I haven't actually seen any of the films yet). On the bright side, Alain Guiraudie's Le roi de l'évasion [The King of Escape] will make its US premiere at the festival (and, really, I am quite anxious to see the new Ozon and a couple of the others).

Jules Dassin's The Law [La loi], a French/Italian co-production from 1959 with Gina Lollobrigida, Marcello Mastroianni, Melina Mercouri and Yves Montand, is the only feature more than a year old that screens this year. Recently remastered in a new 35mm print, The Law will make the rounds theatrically and on DVD later this year from Oscilloscope Pictures. Thierry Frémaux, artistic director of the Cannes Film Festival, will also bring a collection of newly restored shorts from the Lumière brothers. The selection of short films will include a film called The Girls, the directorial debut of actress Anna Mouglalis. Of the 2009 features, four currently have US distribution (with Lorber Films announcing their acquisition of L'armée du crime earlier today). The complete line-up is below, but click here for short synopses, screening dates and online ticketing.

- À l'origine [In the Beginning], d. Xavier Giannoli, w. François Cluzet, Emmanuelle Devos, Gérard Depardieu
- L'affaire Farewell [Farewell], d. Christian Carion, w. Emir Kusturica, Guillaume Canet, Alexandra Maria Lara, Fred Ward, Willem Dafoe, Diane Kruger, Benno Fürmann
- L'armée du crime [The Army of Crime], d. Robert Guédiguian, Lorber Films, w. Simon Abkarian, Virginie Ledoyen, Robinson Stévenin, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Grégoire Leprince-Ringuet, Yann Trégouët, Adrien Jolivet
- Les beaux gosses [The French Kissers], d. Riad Sattouf, w. Noémie Lvovsky, Valeria Golino, Irène Jacob, Emmanuelle Devos, Marjane Satrapi, Christophe Vandevelde
- Le bel âge [Restless / L'insurgée], d. Laurent Perreau, w. Michel Piccoli, Pauline Etienne, Eric Caravaca
- L'épine dans le cœur [The Thorn in the Heart], d. Michel Gondry, Oscilloscope Pictures
- La famille Wolberg [The Wolberg Family], d. Axelle Ropert, w. Serge Bozon
- Le hérisson [The Hedgehog], d. Mona Achache, w. Josiane Balasko
- Huit fois debout [8 Times Up], d. Xabi Molia, w. Julie Gayet, Denis Podalydès, Frédéric Bocquet
- Je suis heureux que ma mère soit vivante [I'm Glad That My Mother Is Alive], d. Claude Miller, Nathan Miller
- La loi [The Law], d. Jules Dassin, Oscilloscope Pictures, w. Gina Lollobrigida, Yves Montand, Marcello Mastroianni, Melina Mercouri, Pierre Brasseur
- Mademoiselle Chambon, d. Stéphane Brizé, w. Vincent Lindon, Sandrine Kiberlain
- Non ma fille, tu n'iras pas danser [Making Plans for Lena], d. Christophe Honoré, w. Chiarra Mastroianni, Marina Foïs, Jean-Marc Barr, Louis Garrel, Julien Honoré
- OSS 117: Rio de répond plus [OSS 117: Lost in Rio], d. Michel Hazanavicius, w. Jean Dujardin, Louise Monot, Rüdiger Vogler
- Rapt, d. Lucas Belvaux, w. Yvan Attal, Anne Consigny, Alex Descas
- Le refuge [The Refuge], d. François Ozon, Strand Releasing, w. Isabelle Carré, Melvil Poupaud
- Les regrets, d. Cédric Kahn, w. Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, Yvan Attal
- Le roi de l'évasion [The King of Escape], d. Alain Guiraudie, w. Ludovic Berthillot, Hafsia Herzi
- Welcome, d. Philippe Lioret, Film Movement, w. Vincent Lindon

17 February 2010

Berlinale in Posters, 2010, Part 2

And now for the world premieres (or close enough) from the 2010 Berlin International Film Festival. It is absolutely within the realm of possibility that one or two of these aren't even showing in Berlin this year and bowed at Sundance or will premiere at SXSW. All the posters/films started running together after a while. While I would have preferred to stick to official posters, some of these are ugly market one-sheets, some look to be the covers of press booklets and others might just be wallpapers for your desktop. The standards weren't high. Unfortunately, I came out empty-handed with the new films from Angela Schanelec, Anahí Berneri and Rosa von Praunheim. But here are the rest; I hope you enjoy.