Category Archives: News

NYFF Live Panels Announced

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=msko8dyx5Hs]

The 51st New York Film Festival is upon us, bringing some of the world’s best film’s to New York from September 27 – October 13. And with that, the lineup for its annual NYFF Live panels has just been released. These talks are FREE and open to the public.

(Full schedule and more information after the jump.)

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A Movie Palace Reborn in Brooklyn

I love movie palaces, and this summer one will be coming back to my beloved Brooklyn. The current Harvey Theater at the Brooklyn Academy of Music—a performing arts theatre—was the Majestic Theater, a movie palace and vaudeville theatre, more than a century ago. This summer, a new, state-of-the-art screen will be added to the Harvey, bringing it back to its movie palace roots. Currently being used as part of BAMcinemaFest, the theatre will also host epic film screenings and more. It’s going to be a sweet summer in Brooklyn!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tBFAhYq5Ibc]

ARGO Solidifies Front-runner Status for Best Picture

After some high-profile Best Picture wins at the Golden Globes, Critics Choice Awards, and AFI, Argo has come ever closer to solidifying its Oscar front-runner status following last night’s Producers Guild of America (PGA) Award win for Best Picture. The PGA Award is often a reliable indicator of the Best Picture winner at the Oscars. The twist here is that the Oscar winner for Best Picture typically also wins for Best Director, but, as has been repeatedly documented, Argo‘s director Ben Affleck was famously snubbed for a nomination. It’s extremely rare for a film to win Best Picture without its director being nominated. The last movie to achieve this was Driving Miss Daisy 23 years ago. It looks like we’re coming closer to repeating this feat in just a few short weeks.

Although Argo is deserving of the Best Picture honors it’s received to date, Affleck’s Oscar snub is perhaps the best thing to happen to the film. It seems that several awards bodies are quick to remind the Academy of its foolish decision to leave Affleck out of the race, and they’re doing it by awarding him and the movie at their own award shows. Had Affleck been nominated, I question whether the film would be receiving this same attention, especially when competing against other deserving films like Lincoln, Zero Dark Thirty, Les Misérables, and Life of Pi.

So the question persists: If Argo wins Best Picture, who will win Best Director?

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Analysis: The 85th Annual Oscar Nominations

This past Thursday, nominations for the 85th annual Academy Awards were announced. In a new twist, the ceremony’s host, Seth MacFarlane, joined Emma Stone on stage at the Academy’s Samuel Goldwyn Theatre in LA to read the nominations. It’s rare for the ceremony’s host to present the nominations, as that position is usually filled by the Academy’s President, but clearly, AMPAS had something new and original in mind. It paid off. The comedic banter between the two worked well, as their chemistry felt natural and fresh. It also helped to paint the Academy in a younger, more vibrant light. Could this be a shadow of things to come when the golden statuettes are distributed on February 24?

One thing the Oscars definitely has going for itself this year is that many of 2012’s nominated films are movies that the general public have actually seen. The Oscar telecast is likely to see a bump in ratings after several years in decline. On to my analysis …

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CENTRAL PARK FIVE Is Out, PLAGUE Is In: 15 Documentary Features Named to Oscar Shortlist

How to Survive a Plague

Fifteen documentary features have been shortlisted for the 85th Academy Awards. Of these, five will receive nominations, which will be announced on Thursday, January 10 at 8:30am EST. The shortlisted films are as follows:

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
Bully
Chasing Ice
Detropia
Ethel
5 Broken Cameras
The Gatekeepers
The House I Live In
How to Survive a Plague
The Imposter
The Invisible War
Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God
Searching for Sugar Man
This Is Not a Film
The Waiting Room

(Notable snubs include The Central Park Five and Love, Marilyn.)

Record 71 Countries Vie for Oscar’s Best Foreign Language Film Award

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences recently released the official list of qualified films that will vie for this year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. The record 71 nations includes first-time entrant Kenya. To qualify, each country must submit one film that screened in that country before October 1. Though the film does not need to be in the country’s official language, it must be made (director, writer, producer) by a person from that nation. From this list of 71, nine films will be shortlisted and the official five nominations will be revealed on January 10. The winner will be announced at the 85th annual Academy Awards on Sunday, February 24. Early front-runners include Austria’s Amour and France’s The Intouchables. (Continue reading for the full list of entries.)

Continue reading Record 71 Countries Vie for Oscar’s Best Foreign Language Film Award

Why Searchlight Slipped HITCHCOCK into This Year’s Oscar Race (Analysis)

(Re-posted from The Hollywood Reporter)

by Scott Feinberg

September 20, 2012

The drama about the making of “Psycho” joins “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” “The Sessions” and “The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel” on the Searchlight slate.

Hitchcock Movie Poster - P 2012

Fox Searchlight just shook up this year’s awards race by announcing that Hitchcock, which had been looking like a 2013 release, will now open on Nov. 23.

First of all, the facts: Hitchcock is a dramedy about the relationship between kinky master filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock and his trusted wife, Alma Reville, during the making of his seminal 1960 film Psycho.

The film was adapted by Black Swan co-screenwriter John McLaughlin from film historian/Playboy contributing editor Stephen Rebello’s book Alfred Hitchcock and the Making of Psycho. It marks the feature directorial debut of Sacha Gervasi, who is best known for his 2008 hit doc Anvil: The Story of Anvil, and was produced by Tom Pollock and Ivan Reitman’s Montecito Picture Co., which also handled 2009 best picture Oscar nominee Up in the Air.

Continue reading Why Searchlight Slipped HITCHCOCK into This Year’s Oscar Race (Analysis)

Oscars Change Rule for Best Original Song Nominees

(Re-posted from Yahoo! News)

  • LOS ANGELES (AP) — There will be more songs vying for Oscars at next year’s Academy Awards.

The motion picture academy said Thursday that there will be a minimum of five nominees in the original song category at next year’s ceremony.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences says that the five nominated songs receiving the highest number of votes from music branch members will be up for the final award. The voting process previously only allowed songs that earned an average score to be nominated.

Only two songs were nominated for the trophy earlier this year for the first time in Oscar history, with “Man or Muppet” from The Muppets winning the prize.

The 85th annual Academy Awards will be presented Feb. 24, 2013, at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.

Craig Zadan, Neil Meron to Produce Oscars

(Re-posted from The Hollywood Reporter)

Craig Zadan and Neil Meron Headshot - P 2012

They will oversee the the 85th Annual Academy Awards on Feb. 24.

Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron have been named to produce the 85th Annual Academy Awards, the Motion Picture Academy said Thursday.

The veteran producers, whose work spans TV, film and Broadway, had not been involved with the Oscar show before, though they had a major Academy Award winner in Chicago, which they executive produced. The musical was named best picture of 2002 and also took home trophies in five other categories. Together, their film credits also include Hairspray and The Bucket List, and Zadan was one of the producers of 1984’s Footloose.

They are currently represented on TV by NBC’s Smash, which they executive produce, and have produced such TV films as A Raisin in the Sun and the upcoming Steel Magnolias. On Broadway, they have produced the musical revivals of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying and Promises, Promises.

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At 80, LEGO’s Never Been So Animated

(Re-posted from Tweed)

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdDU_BBJW9Y]

On a recent episode of ConanLord of the Rings actor Dominic Monaghan stated that he and fellow Hobbit Elijah Wood shared a goal of building the Millennium Falcon together. In true-to-life size, this would be a lofty achievement, but don’t let their ambition be undercut by the fact that they plan on building the famed Star Wars ship out of LEGOs. If nothing else, this is a testament to the fact that this 80-year-old company and its classic plastic bricks appeal to people of all ages—and is as relevant today as it has ever been.

In celebration of its 80th anniversary, LEGO has released a short, animated film that celebrates its heritage by chronicling the company’s humble beginnings, growing pains, and successes in narrative form. Narrated by a character that represents Kjeld Kirk Kristiansen, former President and CEO of LEGO Group and grandson of company founder Ole Kirk Kristiansen, “The LEGO® Story” provides a whimsical glance at how the world’s third-largest manufacturer of play materials came to be.

Continue reading At 80, LEGO’s Never Been So Animated