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Thread: The Academy Awards

  1. #31
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    Foreign-Language

    I only listed the PRC & HK entries for the Academy Awards Foreign film entries because I think the only two of these that we've discussed have been Hidden Man and Operation Red Sea, right? Follow the link to the article if you want to see the full list.

    NOVEMBER 8, 2018 8:45AM PT
    Oscars: A Guide to the 2018 Foreign-Language Entries Accepted by the Academy
    By ALISSA SIMON
    Film Critic


    CREDIT: COURTESY OF TRIGON-FILM

    Among the 87 entries this year, down five from 2017’s whopping 92, there are more documentaries than ever, plus two African countries submitting for the first time: Malawi and Niger. Here’s a guide to the films, including logline, sales, and production contact.

    ...



    China
    “Hidden Man”
    Director: Jiang Wen
    Logline: A martial arts-infused spy thriller set in 1930s Beijing in which a young man gets revenge on bad guys who killed his family in his youth.
    Key Cast: Eddie Peng, Liao Fan
    Intl. Sales: Warner Bros. China

    ...


    CREDIT: T.NOR

    Hong Kong
    “Operation Red Sea”
    Director: Dante Lam
    Logline: When a terrorist plot to obtain nuclear materials is hidden under the cover of a violent coup, the Chinese Navy’s elite Jiaolong Assault Team has to handle the situation.
    Key Cast: Zhang Yi, Huang Jingyu
    U.S. Distributor: Well Go USA

    Gene Ching
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  2. #32
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    Honorary Oscar for Lalo Schifrin

    Composer Lalo Schifrin Says Oscar Is an 'Amazing Honor'
    'Mission: Impossible ' composer Lalo Schifrin has been nominated for six Academy Awards and gone home empty handed every time until now.
    Nov. 16, 2018, at 11:28 a.m.


    FILE - In this Nov. 10, 2016 file photo, Argentina's composer Lalo Schifrin gestures as he arrives before being awarded Commandeur in the Arts and Letters order by French Culture and Communication minister Audrey Azoulay in Paris. Schifrin has been nominated for six Academy Awards and gone home empty handed every time until now. The Argentinian musician behind the iconic themes for "Mission: Impossible" and "Dirty Harry" will be accepting an honorary Oscar this Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, at the Governors Awards in Hollywood, alongside actress Cicely Tyson and publicist Marvin Levy. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, File) The Associated Press

    By LINDSEY BAHR, AP Film Writer

    LOS ANGELES (AP) — Composer Lalo Schifrin has been nominated for six Academy Awards and gone home empty handed every time until now.

    The Argentinian musician behind the iconic themes for "Mission: Impossible" and "Dirty Harry" will be accepting an honorary Oscar this Sunday at the Governors Awards in Hollywood, alongside actress Cicely Tyson and publicist Marvin Levy .

    The 86-year-old has been studying music his entire life. Although he focuses more on classical compositions now instead of film scores, Schifrin says he has enjoyed the enduring popularity of his "Mission: Impossible" theme.
    So deserved if for Enter the Dragon alone.
    Gene Ching
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  3. #33
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    I want an Oscar

    Two Best Picture Oscars to Be Auctioned Off in Rare Sale
    12:31 PM PST 11/19/2018 by the Associated Press


    Christopher Polk/Getty Images

    Auctions of Oscar statuettes are very uncommon because winners from 1951 onward have had to agree that they or their heirs must offer to sell it back to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for $1 before selling it to anyone else.

    Two Academy Awards for best picture are going up for sale in a rare auction of Oscars.

    Auction house Profiles in History announced Monday that an Oscar awarded to Mutiny on the Bounty in 1936 and another given to Gentleman's Agreement in 1948 will go up for auction in Los Angeles starting Dec. 11.

    The Mutiny on the Bounty best picture statuette is expected to go for between $200,000 and $300,000. Frank Capra presented the award to Irving Thalberg at the Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles when the Academy Awards were less than 10 years old. The Oscar is being put up for sale for the first time by the family of Thalberg, an essential figure in the early history of Hollywood.

    The best picture Oscar for Gentleman's Agreement, the 1947 film starring Gregory Peck that took on anti-Semitism and won three Academy Awards, is expected to fetch between $150,000 and $200,000. Its seller wants to remain anonymous.

    Hans Dreier's art direction Oscar for 1950's Sunset Boulevard and Gloria Swanson's Golden Globe for best actress in a drama for the film are also on offer in the December auction, along with other historic movie awards.

    Auctions of Oscar statuettes are very uncommon because winners from 1951 onward have had to agree that they or their heirs must offer to sell it back to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for $1 before selling it to anyone else. The Academy has said it firmly believes Oscars should be won, not sold.

    Still, occasionally Oscars beyond the reach of the rules go up for sale and sell for large sums of money.

    The late Michael Jackson acquired David O. Selznick's Gone With the Wind Oscar for a record $1.5 million in 1999.

    Orson Welles' Citizen Kane statuette sold for $861,542 in 2011.

    And in 2014, James Cagney's best actor Oscar for 1942's Yankee Doodle Dandy failed to sell when no one would meet the minimum bid demand of $800,000.
    Well, not at those prices. I was thinking more like $1.
    Gene Ching
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  4. #34
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    2019 nominees

    THE 91ST ACADEMY AWARDS | 2019
    Dolby Theatre at the Hollywood & Highland Center
    Sunday, February 24, 2019
    Honoring movies released in 2018

    NOMINEES

    ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
    NOMINEES
    YALITZA APARICIO
    Roma
    GLENN CLOSE
    The Wife
    OLIVIA COLMAN
    The Favourite
    LADY GAGA
    A Star Is Born
    MELISSA MCCARTHY
    Can You Ever Forgive Me?

    CINEMATOGRAPHY
    NOMINEES
    COLD WAR
    Łukasz Żal
    THE FAVOURITE
    Robbie Ryan
    NEVER LOOK AWAY
    Caleb Deschanel
    ROMA
    Alfonso Cuarón
    A STAR IS BORN
    Matthew Libatique

    COSTUME DESIGN
    NOMINEES
    THE BALLAD OF BUSTER SCRUGGS
    Mary Zophres
    BLACK PANTHER
    Ruth Carter
    THE FAVOURITE
    Sandy Powell
    MARY POPPINS RETURNS
    Sandy Powell
    MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS
    Alexandra Byrne

    DIRECTING
    NOMINEES
    BLACKKKLANSMAN
    Spike Lee
    COLD WAR
    Paweł Pawlikowski
    THE FAVOURITE
    Yorgos Lanthimos
    ROMA
    Alfonso Cuarón
    VICE
    Adam McKay

    FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
    NOMINEES
    CAPERNAUM
    Lebanon
    COLD WAR
    Poland
    NEVER LOOK AWAY
    Germany
    ROMA
    Mexico
    SHOPLIFTERS
    Japan

    MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
    NOMINEES
    BORDER
    Göran Lundström and Pamela Goldammer
    MARY QUEEN OF SCOTS
    Jenny Shircore, Marc Pilcher and Jessica Brooks
    VICE
    Greg Cannom, Kate Biscoe and Patricia DeHaney

    MUSIC (ORIGINAL SCORE)
    NOMINEES
    BLACK PANTHER
    Ludwig Goransson
    BLACKKKLANSMAN
    Terence Blanchard
    IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK
    Nicholas Britell
    ISLE OF DOGS
    Alexandre Desplat
    MARY POPPINS RETURNS
    Marc Shaiman

    MUSIC (ORIGINAL SONG)
    NOMINEES
    ALL THE STARS
    from Black Panther; Music by Mark Spears, Kendrick Lamar Duckworth and Anthony Tiffith; Lyric by Kendrick Lamar Duckworth, Anthony Tiffith and Solana Rowe
    I'LL FIGHT
    from RBG; Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
    THE PLACE WHERE LOST THINGS GO
    from Mary Poppins Returns; Music by Marc Shaiman; Lyric by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman
    SHALLOW
    from A Star Is Born; Music and Lyric by Lady Gaga, Mark Ronson, Anthony Rossomando and Andrew Wyatt
    WHEN A COWBOY TRADES HIS SPURS FOR WINGS
    from The Ballad of Buster Scruggs; Music and Lyric by David Rawlings and Gillian Welch

    BEST PICTURE
    NOMINEES
    BLACK PANTHER
    Kevin Feige, Producer
    BLACKKKLANSMAN
    Sean McKittrick, Jason Blum, Raymond Mansfield, Jordan Peele and Spike Lee, Producers
    BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
    Graham King, Producer
    THE FAVOURITE
    Ceci Dempsey, Ed Guiney, Lee Magiday and Yorgos Lanthimos, Producers
    GREEN BOOK
    Jim Burke, Charles B. Wessler, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly and Nick Vallelonga, Producers
    ROMA
    Gabriela Rodríguez and Alfonso Cuarón, Producers
    A STAR IS BORN
    Bill Gerber, Bradley Cooper and Lynette Howell Taylor, Producers
    VICE
    Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Adam McKay and Kevin Messick, Producers

    PRODUCTION DESIGN
    NOMINEES
    BLACK PANTHER
    Production Design: Hannah Beachler; Set Decoration: Jay Hart
    THE FAVOURITE
    Production Design: Fiona Crombie; Set Decoration: Alice Felton
    FIRST MAN
    Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Kathy Lucas
    MARY POPPINS RETURNS
    Production Design: John Myhre; Set Decoration: Gordon Sim
    ROMA
    Production Design: Eugenio Caballero; Set Decoration: Bárbara Enríquez

    SHORT FILM (ANIMATED)
    NOMINEES
    ANIMAL BEHAVIOUR
    Alison Snowden and David Fine
    BAO
    Domee Shi and Becky Neiman-Cobb
    LATE AFTERNOON
    Louise Bagnall and Nuria González Blanco
    ONE SMALL STEP
    Andrew Chesworth and Bobby Pontillas
    WEEKENDS
    Trevor Jimenez

    SOUND EDITING
    NOMINEES
    BLACK PANTHER
    Benjamin A. Burtt and Steve Boeddeker
    BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
    John Warhurst and Nina Hartstone
    FIRST MAN
    Ai-Ling Lee and Mildred Iatrou Morgan
    A QUIET PLACE
    Ethan Van der Ryn and Erik Aadahl
    ROMA
    Sergio Díaz and Skip Lievsay

    SOUND MIXING
    NOMINEES
    BLACK PANTHER
    Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor and Peter Devlin
    BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
    Paul Massey, Tim Cavagin and John Casali
    FIRST MAN
    Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño, Ai-Ling Lee and Mary H. Ellis
    ROMA
    Skip Lievsay, Craig Henighan and José Antonio García
    A STAR IS BORN
    Tom Ozanich, Dean Zupancic, Jason Ruder and Steve Morrow

    VISUAL EFFECTS
    NOMINEES
    AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR
    Dan DeLeeuw, Kelly Port, Russell Earl and Dan Sudick
    CHRISTOPHER ROBIN
    Christopher Lawrence, Michael Eames, Theo Jones and Chris Corbould
    FIRST MAN
    Paul Lambert, Ian Hunter, Tristan Myles and J.D. Schwalm
    READY PLAYER ONE
    Roger Guyett, Grady Cofer, Matthew E. Butler and David Shirk
    SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY
    Rob Bredow, Patrick Tubach, Neal Scanlan and Dominic Tuohy

    WRITING (ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY)
    NOMINEES
    THE FAVOURITE
    Written by Deborah Davis and Tony McNamara
    FIRST REFORMED
    Written by Paul Schrader
    GREEN BOOK
    Written by Nick Vallelonga, Brian Currie, Peter Farrelly
    ROMA
    Written by Alfonso Cuarón
    VICE
    Written by Adam McKay
    Roma
    Black Panther
    Bao
    Gene Ching
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  5. #35
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    I long ago ceased to see any relevance the Oscars have to how good a movie or actor's/actress's performance truly is. It's absolutely ridiculous that the Oscars snubbed the movie Hereditary and star Toni Collette. Sure, horror movies on the whole don't do well at the Oscars (which also shows the whole show is a snob-fest), but Hereditary is a great film with great performances. And it's FAR superior to the generic horror movies nowadays, with their over-exaggerated, screaming entities and cheap 'jump scares' that you can see coming from a mile away. All the actors in Hereditary are excellent, and Toni Collette's performance is phenomenal.

  6. #36
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    Stunt Awards...if only

    The New Category That Could Save the Oscars
    Jack Gill has been campaigning for a stunt-category Oscar for decades, one that surely would highlight blockbuster films that audiences care about. Too bad the Academy keeps ignoring his pleas.
    by CRAIG TOMASHOFF
    JANUARY 18, 2019 9:00 AM


    Stuntman Jack Gill in 1980's The Exterminator.
    Photographs courtesy of Jack Gill.

    In his 40-plus years as a stunt performer, coordinator, and second-unit director on such movies as Venom, Jumanji, and several entries in the Fast and Furious franchise, Jack Gill has dropped cars from a plane hovering at 10,000 feet (for 2017’s Furious 7) and sped through the streets of Puerto Rico in a muscle car dragging a 9,000-pound vault (2015’s Fast Five). He’s broken his back twice and his neck once. He’s accumulated 23 other broken bones, eight concussions, one punctured lung, and a finger that was sewn back on. Gill, in other words, is not easily rattled. But that changes when it comes to the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which for almost three decades Gill has lobbied to add an Oscar category for stunt work.

    “Dealing with the Academy has been more dangerous for me than any stunt I’ve done, because I have no idea which way this is going to go,” Gill says, standing inside a massive garage on his Agoura Hills, California, ranch that’s filled with career souvenirs such as the driving suit he used to double for Will Ferrell in Talladega Nights. “When I’m designing an action sequence, I can break it into three pieces so each part is safe and we get the results we want. With the Academy, I can’t break it into any pieces. I just have no idea how to change their minds about what we do to get the result we want.”

    What Gill and the rest of the film-stunt community want is pretty straightforward: recognition of their work by their industry on its biggest stage. The Television Academy honors TV stunt people at the Emmys. The Screen Actors Guild has a stunt-ensemble category at its awards ceremony that a SAG Awards spokesperson says was created specifically to recognize how stunt people not only ensure safety on set, but also “create the same characters as the actor-performers are bringing to life.” And yet, the Academy will have nothing to offer stunt people when it hands out Oscars in some two dozen categories during its ceremony on February 24. (The Academy declined to comment for this story.)

    The Oscar ceremony has paid tribute to the stunt community a handful of times over the years. The Academy gave a 1966 honorary award to Yakima Canutt, a stuntman and second-unit director who doubled for the likes of John Wayne and designed the chariot-race sequence in Ben Hur. Hal Needham, who did stunt work in more than 90 films before becoming a director of films like Smokey and the Bandit, received a 2012 honorary award for his work.

    Still, if ever there was a year to pay tribute to stunt people in the thick of their careers, this would be it. In an era when it’s far more convenient to stay home and watch films on Netflix, Amazon Prime, or Hulu, the movies that get audiences into theaters tend to feature the sorts of spectacular stunts that beg to be seen on a big screen. Eight of the top 10 movies at the box office so far this year feature extensive, intricate action sequences, including Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, and Mission: Impossible—Fallout. That might explain why, earlier this summer, the Academy floated—and then quickly retracted—the idea of adding an award for what it called “outstanding achievement in popular film.”

    “I understand giving an honorary Oscar for one exceptional career, but as a regular category, it doesn’t make sense,” says one Academy member who declined to be identified. “I look at Mission: Impossible, and it was chockablock with stunts and great visual and mechanical effects, but I wouldn’t know how to single it out and award it.”

    In the early days of film, stunt performers were generally regarded as “the ones you brought in to fall off a horse or a wagon,” says Gill. “This started out as a roughneck type of thing. I’ve talked to the older guys, who told me when they got into the business they had no idea what was going to happen when they did a scene. [Producers] would say, ‘Raise your hand if you want to turn this car over.’ And if you were man or woman enough, you raised your hand. One guy said, ‘A lot of times I’d get into a car with an open top, turn it over, and try to leap free. Sometimes you made it. Sometimes you didn’t.’ ”

    “They look at us like we’re a bunch of dumb cowboys.”
    Things weren’t much better when Gill got his first stunt job, working on the 1976 Burt Reynolds movie Gator. He’d been a champion motocross racer up to that point, and took a friend’s suggestion to visit the set, where he met Needham, the film’s second-unit director. Needham, who at one point was the highest-paid stuntman in town, took a liking to Gill and brought him on board to do some motorcycle scenes. He also introduced his new protégé to what was at the time an important stunt person’s tradition.
    continued next post
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  7. #37
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    Continued from previous post


    Top: Jack Gill consults Vin Diesel on the set of 2017’s The Fate of the Furious. Bottom: a scene from the film.

    Courtesy of ©Universal Pictures/Everett Collection.
    “He showed me what he called his stunt bag and said, ‘This is how you do it, kid,’ ” Gill recalls. “I looked in there and saw all these pills to take pain away, and a bottle of Jack Daniels.”

    Gill dove right in, working on such movies as First Blood and TV shows like Knight Rider and The Dukes of Hazzard. After more than four decades and around 200 TV shows and films, he remains one of the most sought-after stunt coordinators in the business. “There’s nobody better at this sort of thing,” says director Tim Story, who worked with Gill on Ride Along and Ride Along 2.

    Courtesy of Gill’s advocacy for an Oscar category, he also has become his profession’s most passionate promoter. His quixotic quest for Oscar recognition began nearly three decades ago while working on Sidney Lumet’s A Stranger Among Us in 1991. The Serpico director told him, “You [stunt] guys have really come up from what you were in the 60s and 70s. You need an Oscar category. You’re department heads just like production designers and directors of photography.”

    Lumet was so earnest in his belief that he helped Gill gain membership in the Academy after they worked together in 1991; Gill was eventually made a member in 1996, making him one of 14 stunt coordinators who were members at the time. There are now 68 stunt coordinators in the Academy, which has 17 membership branches and two categories covering everything from actors to makeup artists—but none for stunt workers.

    Later in 1991, heartened by Lumet’s enthusiasm, Gill met with Bruce Davis, then executive director of the Academy. He says Davis seemed encouraging, explaining it could take three to five years to persuade the Board of Governors to, first, create an action branch in the Academy, and then to get them to O.K. an award.

    “Then it just stagnated,” says Gill, 63, whose lean frame and deep tan give him the air of the Marlboro Man’s tougher brother. “They kept moving the request further down the line, with excuse after excuse that was different from whatever they told me the year before. At first, it was that they weren’t going to add new categories because the show was too long. We said we didn’t care about the show. Just bring us in during the [Scientific and Technical Awards], or do it during the red-carpet, before the show is televised.” (Stunt performers are not alone. Since Gill started his quest, casting directors—who have their own Academy branch—have asked to add a casting category; they were denied.)

    The Academy’s “Sci-Tech” Awards, handed out at a separate ceremony before the main Oscars telecast, honor the role that science and technology play in making movies. According to Gill, a stunt award would fit right in because of all the rigging and technical aspects that go into creating a modern action sequence. The Academy has rejected every one of his suggestions with as many lines of reason as he has broken bones. He says he was told that stunt coordinators didn’t have enough potential members to give them their own group in the roughly 9,000-person Academy. There was the assertion that stunt people should remain in the background because moviegoers want to believe that actors are really performing the action. Then, there was the sentiment that, if stunt people got awards, they’d start doing more dangerous action sequences in an effort to win an Oscar.

    Stunt work is dangerous. While it’s tough to pin down the number of safety-related injuries, in 2017 two stunt people were killed in on-set accidents on Deadpool 2 and The Walking Dead.

    “There are more stunt people in the workplace today, creating more possibilities to get injured,” Gill says. “But the accident-rate percentage has gone down dramatically. . . . We now have safety advisers on all sets, and we include the entire crew in meetings before each and every action sequence so everyone is aware of what’s going to happen.”




    Car action scenes shot in Pikes Peak, Colorado, for 2015’s Furious 7.

    Courtesy of David Graves/©Universal Pictures/Everett Collection.
    Gill scoffs at the idea that a stunt Oscar would reverse this trend, and figures it was born from the Board of Governors not understanding the work of stunt coordinators—the ones who would receive his proposed award. In 2012, he sent the board a 20-page booklet outlining the difference between coordinators—the ones who work with a director to map out the logistics of every action sequence—and stunt performers, who actually do the work once cameras start rolling.

    “Stunt coordinators come up with storyboards to show every action scene we’re going to do, every frame we’re going to shoot,” Gill says. “We will even do animated versions of the stunts. . . . We sit on set and ask if anyone has any questions. We do the rehearsals. We know it will work. But we still say, ‘Tell me if there is anything we’re doing that bothers you.’ ”

    Gill has also sent the board a registered letter almost every year for the past 27 years before its annual Oscars postmortem, requesting an opportunity to present his case. He says he is always denied. He is also involved with an online petition that currently has more than 90,000 signatures. “There really should be an Oscar for stunt work,” Helen Mirren told a U.K. Web site earlier this year. “Those guys are incredible and they’re so careful and so professional. And they’re artists. They do amazing things.”

    None of this has had any effect, which has left Gill and many of his peers convinced the Academy has something against stunt performers.

    “They look at us like we’re a bunch of dumb cowboys, even though we don’t do much with horses anymore,” says Conrad Palmisano, a veteran stunt performer and former president of the Stuntmen’s Association of Motion Pictures. “It’s pure snobbiness. It’s disrespect.”

    Story thinks some level of ignorance about the work might also be a factor. “I know what they go through, so with all the other categories we acknowledge, why not them?” the director says.

    Gill insists the last thing he wants to do is make the Academy look bad. But that just might happen in February. “Most of the stunt people I talk to want to stage a protest because they’re so tired of this,” Gill says. “Every year for probably the past 15 years, before the awards, I go through a million e-mails and calls from people saying they want a protest, and I’ve been able to quash that. This year, I may not be able to do that. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t see a way to turn this around.”

    Whether a protest helps or hurts his cause, Gill insists he’s “at a point in my career where I’ve dug in my heels. I’ve said, ‘That’s it. I’m not going to give up. I don’t care what happens.’ If this goes past when I’m done living, I’ll have somebody else ready to start the process again.”
    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo View Post
    I long ago ceased to see any relevance the Oscars have to how good a movie or actor's/actress's performance truly is.
    It's relevant in the big picture (no pun intended) in terms of how the Academy works. Of course, whenever there's a contest for anything artistic, whether it be movies, TV, music, even martial arts tournaments, there's a huge element of subjectivity and politics involved. There's so much that happens behind the scenes. Many call 'foul' or finger-point to cheats, and that's part of it all for sure. But in the end, like my old Fencing coach used to say 'no one ever remembers who takes second, except maybe their moms.'

    Plus I like the evening gowns.
    Gene Ching
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  8. #38
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    And the winner is...

    Oscars winners 2019: See the full list of winners
    By Chloe Melas, CNN
    Updated 4:09 AM ET, Mon February 25, 2019



    (CNN)The 91st Academy Awards was a night marked by historic firsts, inclusiveness and a final twist.

    The following is a list of nominees and the winners.

    BEST PICTURE
    "Black Panther"
    "BlacKkKlansman"
    "Bohemian Rhapsody"
    "The Favourite"
    "Green Book" *WINNER
    "Roma"
    "A Star Is Born"
    "Vice"

    ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
    Amy Adams, "Vice"
    Marina de Tavira, "Roma"
    Regina King, "If Beale Street Could Talk" *WINNER
    Emma Stone, "The Favourite"
    Rachel Weisz, "The Favourite"

    ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE
    Mahershala Ali, "Green Book" *WINNER
    Adam Driver, "BlackKKlansman"
    Sam Elliott, "A Star Is Born"
    Richard E. Grant, "Can You Ever Forgive Me"
    Sam Rockwell, "Vice"

    FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM
    "Capernaum"
    "Cold War"
    "Never Look Away"
    "Roma" *WINNER
    "Shoplifters"

    DOCUMENTARY (SHORT)
    "Black Sheep"
    "End Game"
    "Lifeboat"
    "A Night at the Garden"
    "Period. End of Sentence." *WINNER

    DOCUMENTARY FEATURE
    "Free Solo" *WINNER
    "Hale County This Morning, This Evening"
    "Minding the Gap"
    "Of Fathers and Sons"
    "RBG"

    ORIGINAL SONG
    "All The Stars" - "Black Panther"
    "I'll Fight" - "RBG"
    "Shallow" - "A Star Is Born *WINNER
    "The Place Where Lost Things Go" - "Mary Poppins Returns"
    "When A Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings" - "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"

    ANIMATED FEATURE FILM
    "Incredibles 2"
    "Isle of Dogs"
    "Mirai"
    "Ralph Breaks the Internet"
    "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" *WINNER

    ADAPTED SCREENPLAY
    "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"
    "BlacKkKlansman" *WINNER
    "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"
    "If Beale Street Could Talk"
    "A Star Is Born"

    ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY
    "First Reformed"
    "Green Book" *WINNER
    "Roma"
    "The Favourite"
    "Vice"

    ACTOR IN A LEADING ROLE
    Christian Bale, "Vice"
    Bradley Cooper, "A Star Is Born"
    Willem Dafoe, "At Eternity's Gate"
    Rami Malek, "Bohemian Rhapsody" *WINNER
    Viggo Mortensen, "Green Book"

    ACTRESS IN A LEADING ROLE
    Yalitza Aparicio, "Roma"
    Glenn Close, "The Wife"
    Lady Gaga, "A Star Is Born"
    Olivia Colman, "The Favourite" *WINNER
    Melissa McCarthy, "Can You Ever Forgive Me?"

    DIRECTOR
    Spike Lee, "BlacKkKlansman"
    Pawel Pawlikowski, "Cold War"
    Yorgos Lanthimos, "The Favourite"
    Alfonso Cuarón, "Roma" *WINNER
    Adam McKay, "Vice"

    PRODUCTION DESIGN
    "Black Panther" *WINNER
    "The Favourite"
    "First Man"
    "Mary Poppins Returns"
    "Roma"

    CINEMATOGRAPHY
    "Cold War"
    "The Favourite"
    "Never Look Away"
    "Roma" *WINNER
    "A Star Is Born"

    COSTUME DESIGN
    "The Ballad of Buster Scruggs"
    "Black Panther" *WINNER
    "The Favourite"
    "Mary Poppins Returns"
    "Mary Queen of Scots"

    SOUND EDITING
    "A Quiet Place"
    "Black Panther"
    "Bohemian Rhapsody" *WINNER
    "First Man"
    "Roma"

    SOUND MIXING
    "Black Panther"
    "Bohemian Rhapsody" *WINNER
    "First Man"
    "Roma"
    "A Star Is Born"

    ANIMATED SHORT FILM
    "Animal Behaviour"
    "Bao" *WINNER
    "Late Afternoon"
    "One Small Step"
    "Weekends"

    LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM
    "Detainment"
    "Fauve"
    "Marguerite"
    "Mother"
    "Skin" *WINNER

    ORIGINAL SCORE
    "Black Panther" *WINNER
    "BlacKkKlansman"
    "If Beale Street Could Talk"
    "Isle of Dogs"
    "Mary Poppins Returns"

    VISUAL EFFECTS
    "Avengers: Infinity War"
    "Christopher Robin"
    "First Man" *WINNER
    "Ready Player One"
    "Solo: A Star Wars Story"

    FILM EDITING
    "BlacKkKlansman"
    "Bohemian Rhapsody" *WINNER
    "Green Book"
    "The Favourite"
    "Vice"

    MAKEUP AND HAIRSTYLING
    "Border"
    "Mary Queen of Scots"
    "Vice" *WINNER
    THREADS
    The Academy Awards
    Roma
    Black Panther
    Bao

    So nice to get some of the films we've discussed here recognized.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  9. #39
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    And the oscar goes to...

    ...China!

    FEBRUARY 25, 2019 9:08PM PT
    U.S. Drama ‘Green Book’ Touted as Oscar Win for China
    By PATRICK FRATER and BECKY DAVIS


    CREDIT: PATTI PERRET

    Chinese companies have been quick to claim their share of Oscar glory since Sunday’s ceremony, despite an awards season that largely shut out films from or about Asia, including “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Shoplifters.”

    Alibaba Pictures, the heavily loss-making film financing and production arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, is busily talking up its involvement in best picture winner “Green Book.” The production company boarded the movie as an investor alongside Participant Media, Dreamworks Pictures and Amblin Partners (of which Alibaba is a minority owner) last summer. The film was nominated for five Oscars and won three Sunday, including best original screenplay and best actor in a supporting role. It will hit Chinese theaters on Friday.

    “Even though Alibaba Pictures is a relatively new entrant into Hollywood, we have a track record of choosing quality projects that not only have high entertainment value, but also have positive messages we believe in,” said Zhang Wei, president of Alibaba Pictures. The company also made investments in two other awards contenders, “Capernaum” and “On the Basis of Sex.”

    Another Chinese player, Perfect World Entertainment, which has interests stretching from games to movies, claimed its share of reflected glory with “BlacKkKlansman” (six nominations, including one win in the adapted screenplay category) and “First Man” (four nominations, including one win for best visual effects). Both were co-funded by Perfect World through its five-year finance deal with Universal Pictures.

    China’s propaganda apparatus has gone a step further, including several Oscar winners that have Chinese involvement of some kind as examples of Chinese excellence. On Monday, China’s state-owned news agency Xinhua pronounced Pixar-produced “Bao” a Chinese-centric Oscars triumph.

    “The short is written and directed by Chinese-born Canadian director Domee Shi,” who, Xinhua helpfully explained, “is the first woman and first Chinese writer and director of a Pixar short.” The news agency noted that “Bao” beat “One Small Step,” a “Chinese-American short film, directed by Zhang Shaofu…[which] tells the story of a young Chinese-American protagonist who dreams of being an astronaut.” In the documentary category, Xinhua claimed Chinese success through winner “Free Solo,” directed by Jimmy Chin and Elisabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, and through nominee “Minding the Gap,” directed by Chinese-American Liu Bing.

    While there is much celebration on Chinese social media that “Bao” – a touching, realistic story about Chinese food and family – won such a high-profile accolade, several nationalistic state media reports champion a narrative that the wins, despite originating in other countries, are wins for China itself. The reports play up an old but recently much more prominent idea that people with Chinese heritage all over the world are connected to China by their ethnic identity. “Each of them is connected to China in its own way,” said Xinhua.

    “It is a remarkable success given [U.S. President] Trump’s relentless China bashing,” said another commentator.

    Beyond the rhetoric, however, there is increasing industrial synchronization between Hollywood and China. “The 91st Academy Awards can be viewed as the starting point for a new period of growing influence for China in the international film industry,” said Xinhua. The assertion is only inaccurate in that the movement quietly started several years ago.

    The current dynamics are subtly different from those made in the 2012-2016 period, when Chinese companies were making aggressive and highly visible moves at the corporate level, like Alibaba and Wanda’s serious discussions about buying a piece of Sony Pictures Entertainment. Wanda bought Legendary Entertainment and unsuccessfully bid $1 billion for Dick Clark Productions. Video platform Le Vision/Le Eco made lavish slate announcements in Hollywood as recently as 2016, before gravity and Chinese regulators dragged them back to reality.

    However, what has replaced that five-year surge of Chinese mad money has been a quieter drive to invest, learn, and integrate China into Hollywood. The initiative has been conducted by a smaller number of companies – Alibaba Pictures, Tencent, and Perfect World – which each have long-term game plans and have quietly opened offices in L.A.

    Perfect World’s deal with Universal is largely a passive investment, but the company is simultaneously behaving like a Hollywood indie and developing its own material and scripts. (In China, Perfect World is further partnered with Hollywood names Village Roadshow and WME in Perfect Village Entertainment, a local production venture.)

    “Both luck and persistence are very important. Alibaba Pictures will do everything in its power to support every young director to go global and vie for the Oscars,” said chairman and CEO of Alibaba Pictures Fan Luyan.
    THREADS
    The Academy Awards
    Bao
    Alibaba
    Chollywood rising
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  10. #40
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    I feel this guy

    It's kinda like if a blog got 'best magazine article' - I'd be put out too.

    Giving Awards to 'Roma' Is a "Devaluation of the Oscars," Say European Exhibitors
    7:16 PM PST 2/25/2019 by Scott Roxborough


    Courtesy of TIFF
    'Roma'

    Theater owners complain of Netflix “buying the Oscars” and call for the Academy to honor only “films designed for cinemas and released in cinemas.”
    If you thought that Roma losing out to Green Book for this year's best picture Oscar would mean the end of Netflix bashing, think again.

    The winners of the 91st Academy Awards barely had time to start in on the champagne before theater owners — particularly in Europe — began to weigh in with criticism of the decision to award Alfonso Cuaron's Netflix production Roma the Oscar for best director, best cinematography and best foreign-language film.

    “We consider giving three awards to Roma a devaluation of the Oscars,” Detlef Rossmann, president of art house cinema association CICAE, told The Hollywood Reporter, adding that because Roma wasn't “visible in most cinemas worldwide,” the Oscars have become another version of the Emmys, honoring “television productions.”

    CICAE called on the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences to “redefine the Oscar nomination rules and terms to clarify the difference between film and television.”

    It was a sentiment echoed by exhibitors across Europe, where the majority of theater owners have been united in their opposition to Netflix and to Roma being given pride of place at film festivals and cinema awards ceremonies.

    Exhibitors in France last year successfully lobbied to get the Cannes Film Festival to ban Netflix films from its official competition, a move that led Roma to skip Cannes and premiere in Venice, where Cuaron won the Golden Lion for best film, kicking off the movie's award campaign. But at every stage, theater owners have protested Netflix's decision to not give Roma a “proper” theatrical bow.

    Francois Ayme, president of France's art house cinema association AFCAE, welcomed the Academy's decision to award Green Book the best picture Oscar over Roma, noting it was a way to say “that Roma is not 'totally' a film because it lacked a theatrical release.”

    Ayme also noted Netflix's costly Oscar campaign, saying the streaming giant “spent an astronomical sum promoting Roma to the Academy, well beyond the cost of the film itself.” The money, Ayme argued, would have been better spent promoting a proper theatrical release for Cuaron's movie.

    "The Oscars proved correct in defending the theatrical release," added Francesco Rutelli, president of ANICA, Italy's national association of producers and distributors. "Green Book's victory indirectly reasserts the power of cinema halls even as the value chain is becoming increasingly integrated."

    “Netflix obviously didn't care about the film Roma, they just wanted to use the Oscars as a way to promote their brand,” Christian Brauer, chair of German exhibitors association AG Kino, told THR. “And to try and force their strategy of bypassing theatrical releases onto the industry.” He noted, however, that Roma's failure to clinch the best picture Oscar shows “that money can't buy everything.”

    While united in their opposition to Netflix, European exhibitors all praised the film itself, and most welcomed the Academy's decision to give Cuaron the best director Oscar.

    Some also held out hope that the debate surrounding Roma would lead to Netflix reassessing its theatrical strategy.

    “We saw a film like Cold War — also foreign-language, also black-and-white — did extremely well theatrically,” said Brauer. “Roma could have been a box office success, and Netflix could have benefited from that.”

    Added Tim Richards, CEO of British-based cinema chain Vue International: “Netflix should not underestimate the value and impact of a full theatrical release for the content it owns and we are hopeful they will be open to discussing how to reach a broader audience with exhibitors in the future.”

    Jason Chae, CEO of South Korean indie distributor Mirovision, was a dissenting voice, however, arguing that in many markets the streamer is filling a market gap.

    “Netflix allows smaller and more experimental films to reach larger audiences in more territories,” he said. “I myself was happy to find a film I had missed at Sundance to be available on Netflix. Consumption patterns are changing, and it’s about time the industry does, too.”
    THREADS
    The Academy Awards
    Roma
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
    Support our forum by getting your gear at MartialArtSmart

  11. #41
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    And the noms are...

    Eager to see Parasite. I enjoy Bong's work.

    Oscars: South Korea Selects ‘Parasite’ for International Feature Film Category
    8:39 PM PDT 8/21/2019 by Danny Kim


    Courtesy of TIFF
    'Parasite'

    Bong Joon-ho’s black comedy, which won the Palme d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival this year, follows a low-income family working their way into a rich family’s lives as household employees.

    South Korea has selected Bong Joon-ho's Parasite as its entry for the best international feature film category at the 2020 Oscars.

    Parasite won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year. The genre-busting black comedy is Bong’s second shot at the Oscars after Mother was selected by the Korean Film Council (KOFIC) in 2006, but didn't make the final shortlist.

    The film follows unemployed driver Kim Ki-taek (Song Kang-ho), his wife, Choong Sook (Jang Hye-jin), and their college-age children as they struggle financially and aspire to live a rich life. Things look up for the Kim family when the children are hired as a tutor and art therapist to the rich Park family.

    "I believe a director’s job is to reflect the times he or she lives in," says Bong, pictured here on the set of 'Parasite.'

    A richly layered film touching on socioeconomic issues, The Hollywood Reporter's review described Parasite as "generally gripping and finely crafted, standing up well as Bong’s most mature state-of-the-nation statement since Memories of Murder in 2003."

    Parasite sold worldwide via CJ Entertainment and Neon and is scheduled for North America release on Oct. 11 in New York and Los Angeles ahead of the awards seasons.

    Despite its strong homegrown film industry and stellar names such a Lee Chang-Dong (Burning) and Park Chan-wook (The Handmaiden), South Korea has never won the international feature film category or made the final shortlist.

    An independent jury led by Kim Young-Jin, programming director at Jeonju International Film Festival (JIFF) picked Parasite from a short list of eight features to represent Korea in the Oscars race.

    After the successful opening in June, Parasite grossed over $71.3 million domestically and is the first Cannes-winning film that broke 10 million in ticket sales at the Korean box office, a symbolic figure in the country.

    The 92nd Academy Awards will be held Feb. 9, 2020.
    THREADS
    The Academy Awards
    Cannes
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  12. #42
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    Dang, now I really gotta see this...


    Oscars: Vietnam Picks 'Furie' for International Feature Film Category

    4:16 AM PDT 9/25/2019 by Mathew Scott


    Courtesy of Studio 68
    Furie

    Veronica Ngo from ‘Star Wars - the Last Jedi’ stars in and produced box office record-breaker.
    Vietnam has chosen the actioner Furie as its submission for the international feature film category at the 2020 Oscars.

    The film stars and was produced by Veronica Ngo (Star Wars – the Last Jedi) and tells the story of a former gangster fighting to retrieve her daughter from the clutches of child traffickers.

    The Le-Van Kiet-directed production showcases the unique skills of Vietnam’s national martial art known as vovinam and became the country’s biggest-ever box office earner with a collect of $8.6 million (200 billion dong) from its domestic release.

    Produced by Studio 68, it was also distributed across 600 cinemas in the U.S. by Well Go USA Entertainment, adding $600,000 to its coffers, while it also picked up a streaming deal with Netflix.

    Vietnam has been submitting films to the Oscars since 1993 when Trần Anh Hùng’s The Scent of Green Papaya picked up a nomination. That film remains the only Vietnamese production to make the shortlist in the foreign — or now international — category.

    The 92nd Academy Awards are set to take place Feb. 9, 2020.
    THREADS
    Furie
    The Academy Awards
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
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  13. #43
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    And the winner is...



    After Breaking Records at Home, “Nezha” Is Taking Aim at the Oscars
    China's second biggest film of all time is now its nomination for the 2020 Oscars
    By JAKE NEWBY 2 days ago

    Having smashed a whole host of box office records, China’s biggest-ever animated movie, Nezha, now has Oscars glory in its sights. Enlight Pictures’ revamped tale of the titular havoc-causing god-child has reportedly been chosen as China’s entry into the International Feature Film category (previously called Best Foreign-Language Film) for the 2020 Academy Awards.

    But there’s still some way to go before director Yu Yang (aka Jiaozi) can think about getting his hands on an Academy statuette. China is one of a record 93 countries to have submitted movies for the category and the final shortlist for the awards won’t be released until January 13, ahead of a glitzy ceremony to crown the winners on February 9.

    Although China’s influence on the Oscars can be said to be growing thanks to an array of funding projects and co-productions, last February’s Academy Awards nominees didn’t feature any Chinese filmmakers. The country’s pick for Best Foreign Language Film, Jiang Wen’s Hidden Man, didn’t even make the 2019 shortlist; the last such Chinese film to do so was Zhang Yimou’s Hero back in 2002.



    Does Nezha stand more of a chance? It’ll be tough. The film has demolished records in the domestic box office, becoming the country’s second-biggest film of all time (animated or otherwise) based on its ticket sales. But its performance overseas — including on a limited run in US cinemas — hasn’t been quite so explosive.

    It’ll certainly be interesting to see whether the China entry will resonate with Academy judges, especially as it faces competition from the likes of Makoto Shinkai’s Weathering With You from traditional Asia animation powerhouse Japan.
    THREADS
    Nezha
    The Academy Awards
    Gene Ching
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  14. #44
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    Refuse to bend

    COLUMNS OCTOBER 31, 2019 10:20AM PT
    Refusal to Compromise Hasn’t Hurt ‘Farewell,’ ‘Lighthouse’ Filmmakers’ Oscar Chances
    By MARC MALKIN
    Senior Film Awards, Events & Lifestyle Editor
    @https://twitter.com/marcmalkin


    CREDIT: COURTESY OF CASI MOSS/A24

    Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell” is based on a true story about her own family.

    Observing a Chinese tradition of not telling elders when they’ve been diagnosed with a fatal disease, Wang’s relatives reunited in China in 2013 to visit with her grandmother after the family learned she had incurable cancer. Her grandmother was kept in the dark, told instead that everyone had traveled to China for a cousin’s wedding.

    In “The Farewell,” Awkwafina stars as Billi, a first-generation Chinese American writer based on Wang, who struggles to find the balance between her Western upbringing and her Eastern roots. Wang’s pitch, which included a mostly Chinese-language script, wasn’t immediately embraced by producers and financiers. “It’s what you’d expect,” she tells me. “It was like, ‘What is this film? It’s all Chinese and it’s about a grandmother? How is that high stakes? What does it matter if [you] tell her or not, because she’s 80 and she’s going to die anyway?’”

    Naturally, Wang wanted to have direct creative input in the project. “It was a very tough sell especially because I wanted to maintain authenticity in the casting and in the language.”

    At one point, she met with a potential Chinese investor who was excited, but also suggested that the Billi character bring a boyfriend to China with her, a white guy “who can’t even use chopsticks.”

    Wang refused to bend: “That was not the movie I wanted to make.”

    She cobbled together $3 million to make the film, which premiered at Sundance in February. Indie distributor A24 subsequently bought the rights for more than $6 million.

    The film’s release in July was met with glowing reviews from critics and has a 99% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. As of Oct. 24, the domestic box office totals more than $17.6 million.

    On top of the critical and financial success, “The Farewell” is a strong awards season player. Wang could very well earn Oscar noms for best picture, director and screenplay. Awkwafina has a strong shot at a lead actress nom. Zhao Shuzhen may earn a supporting nom for her work as the grandmother.

    “I actually worry about that stuff,” Wang says about the Oscar buzz. “I have Chinese parents and a Chinese mother whom whenever things are too good, she’s like, ‘Keep your head down and be careful.’ It was always ‘One step at a time and one foot in front of the other.’”

    Wang may have just taken one step closer to Oscar gold, gaining more momentum last week when her movie picked up Gotham Award nominations for best feature, actress (Awkwafina) and screenplay (Wang).

    Robert Eggers is another writer-director who wouldn’t let commercial pressures get in the way of his vision for “The Lighthouse.” While it may not be a box office hit like “The Farewell,” Eggers’ second feature after his indie breakout “The Witch” could attract Oscar love come nominations time.

    “The Lighthouse” is a psychological thriller starring Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe as lighthouse keepers in the 19th century who begin to mentally unravel while stationed on a remote New England island hit by a howling winter storm.

    The two-hander was shot on 35mm black-and-white film with an early-sound era aspect ratio of 1.19:1.

    The film was backed by A24, RT Features and New Regency, but Eggers recalls, “I think everyone was excited by the prospect of collaborating, and then they got the script and the look book, and they were like, ‘Oh, this is what you want to do? Can you shoot it on color digital format or even color negatives so we can have a color version so we can sell it to certain foreign markets that won’t accept black-and-white movies?’”

    Like Wang, Eggers wasn’t willing to budge.

    “This is how we had to do it,” he says. “And once we had further conversations, they were incredibly supportive and got why it was so important.”

    Pattinson remembers Eggers hosting a party about halfway through filming. “They were showing us [footage] and I was watching it and I was like, ‘This does look absolutely crazy,’” the actor says, laughing. “‘This is nothing like I have ever seen before in theaters. Do people even put this in theaters?’”

    “The Lighthouse” premiered in May at Cannes, where it won the critics’ award for best first or second features in Directors’ Fortnight and Critics Week. Dafoe could be on his way to earning his third consecutive Oscar nomination for supporting actor following last year’s lead nod for “At Eternity’s Gate” and a supporting nom in 2018 for “The Florida Project.” He is among the Gotham Award nominees for best actor.

    While the lead actor category continues to be this year’s most competitive, Pattinson is certainly in the game.

    “I think if there was any compromise whatsoever on this, it would have no audience at all,” he says. “You have to take the gamble.”
    It will be awesome if The Farewell gets an Oscar nom.
    Gene Ching
    Publisher www.KungFuMagazine.com
    Author of Shaolin Trips
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  15. #45
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    I've seen Parasite and will post a review soon...

    ASIADECEMBER 5, 2019 1:25AM PT
    ‘Parasite’ Leads Asian Charge in International Oscar Race
    By NAMAN RAMACHANDRAN


    CREDIT: NEON

    For most awards observers, the Asian Oscars race narrative in the international feature category begins and ends with Bong Joon Ho’s South Korean contender “Parasite.” That said, there are other notable submissions from around the continent that might spring a surprise or two.

    The deliciously surgical dissection of Korean society that is “Parasite” has rightly won acclaim and awards around the planet, beginning with its unanimous Palme d’Or victory at Cannes. Neon is distributing the film in the U.S. and its impressive box office will do the film’s prospects no harm. A nom seems certain.

    Tiny Singapore has been punching well above its weight in recent years and this year’s submission from the country, Yeo Siew Hua’s “A Land Imagined,” has been garlanded with awards since it exploded onto the global festival circuit with three trophies at Locarno, including the Golden Leopard, in 2018. The investigation of insomnia and identity at a construction site in the city-state has since won gongs at El Gouna, Pingyao, Rotterdam and Valladolid, among many others. The other Asian film to be lauded at a major European festival is Raymund Ribay Gutierrez’s battered wife drama “Verdict,” which won the special jury prize at Venice’s Horizons strand, and is the Philippines entry.

    Malaysia is taking a punt with political doc “M for Malaysia” in which Ineza Roussille, with Dian Lee, provides a personal and intimate look at the historic elections of 2018 when her 92-year-old grandfather, former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, returned to power, overthrowing a long ruling government.

    Politically, Hong Kong has been in the news the past several months for its political upheaval, and voters will have the territory in their minds front and center. However, political disruption is not the theme of Hong Kong’s entry Herman Yau’s “The White Storm 2 — Drug Lords,” which seems unlikely to be headed for Oscar glory, unless voters choose to reward a hugely entertaining high-octane action film. If action, of the martial-arts variety, is what voters are after, they need look no further than Vietnam’s entry, Le Van Kiet’s “Furie,” in which Veronica Ngo Thanh Van cuts a swathe across gangsters, after her daughter is kidnapped.

    Indonesian vet Garin Nugroho has made a career of exploring diverse themes, and “Memories of My Body,” the country’s submission, conforms to that, following as it does a male dancer specializing in female appearances, juxtaposed against social and political upheaval.

    From Australia, Rodd Rathjen’s powerful “Buoyancy,” which casts a harsh spotlight on modern slavery, has been wrenching hearts and winning awards since its debut in Berlin, where it picked up the Ecumenical Jury Prize.

    China appears to have taken a break from submitting jingoistic films, and this year’s entry, Jiaozi’s “Ne Zha,” the country’s highest-grossing animated film of all time, could wow voters with its combination of cutting-edge Hollywood style animation and the lovable scamp that is the lead character. Also submitting animation is Japan, with Makoto Shinkai’s anime “Weathering With You,” in which a teenage boy runs away to Tokyo and befriends a girl who appears to be able to manipulate the weather. The director previously helmed “Your Name,” one of the highest-grossing anime films of all time. It is worth noting the region’s previous win in the category formerly came from Japan a decade ago — Yojiro Takita’s “Departures.”

    Mag Hsu and Hsu Chih-yen’s “Dear Ex,” in which a son’s relationship with his mother is strained after it emerges that his late father’s insurance payout is to go to his lover, is Taiwan’s submission. The film won big locally at the Golden Horse Awards and at the Taipei film kudos, and voter visibility will be via Netflix, where it is streaming. Sitisiri Mongkolsiri’s horror “Krasue: Inhuman Kiss,” Thailand’s entry, also was a local success and is also dependent on Netflix for voter eyeballs.

    From South Asia, all the entries deal with characters from the fringes of society. Zoya Akhtar’s Indian entry “Gully Boy,” a smash hit at the Berlin festival, is the most likely contender if only because voters will be familiar with the theme of a rapper from the wrong side of the tracks, aiming to make it big. Amazon has U.S. distribution.

    Pakistan’s entry, Kamal Khan’s “Laal Kabootar,” is concerned with a petty criminal who aims to escape his circumstances, while from Nepal, Binod Paudel’s “Bulbul” follows the travails of a woman who drives a tempo truck in Kathmandu. Bangladesh’s submission, Nasiruddin Yousuff’s “Alpha,” centers on an impoverished painter who lives in the middle of a polluted lake on the outskirts of Dhaka. While these films are thematically remarkable, their campaigns will depend on the level of funds available.
    THREADS
    Parasite
    Furie
    Nezha
    The Academy Awards
    Gene Ching
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