Archive for Festivals

Oscars 2014This year’s Oscars ceremony turned out to be more about a picture taken on a phone than about the actual winners. Saying that, there was sufficient discussion about a few of the winners to ensure that, if you hadn’t heard the films 12 Years a Slave and Gravity before the event, then you certainly would have afterwards.

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Didn’t Danny Boyle do well putting together the Olympics opening ceremony, splicing together music and films we were sick to death of already to create one great big patriotic spectacle? Well over the next two weeks, the nation’s only Olympian film director will be putting together a more nuanced selection of British film and music at St Clement’s Social Club in Bow, east London, which looks well worth a visit.

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Cannes Film Festival is one of the most glamorous celebrity events of the year. Set in the South of France, the location alone makes it seem more alluring than the usual LA hotspots.
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International Film Festival of MarrakechThe 9th International Film Festival of Marrakech is being held these days in the Moroccan city, gathering some important names of the film industry. Personalities within the jury panel this year are Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami as president, Italian actress Isabella Ferrari, Argentinian director Pablo Trapero, French actress Fanny Ardant and British director Mike Figgis among others.

The festival has been an annual event since 2000, put in place thanks to the promotion of Prince Moulay Rachid and the patronage of HM King Mohammed VI. Over the years, the Festival has been gaining further visibility on the international landscape, thanks to the important cinema personalities invited but also to the impeccable organisation of the event.

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The Oscar awards night of 2009 was the night of glory for Slumdog Millionaire. The film won 8 Oscar awards: Best Film Award, Best Director, Original Song, Best Sound Mixing, Best Adapted Screenplay – Simon Beaufoy, Cinematography – Anthony Dod Mantle, Best Film Editing and Best Original Song.

The Lead Actor is Sean Penn in Milk, Lead actress – Kate Winslet in “The Reader”. The Best Supporting Actor was awarded post-mortem to the late actor Heath Ledger. Best supporting actress is Penelope Cruz for her role in “Vicky Cristina Barcelona”.

Best original screenplay – Dustin Lance Black for “Milk”.

The Art Direction Award was won by “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”, the Best Costume Design was awarded to Michael O’Connor for “The Duchess”, Best Visual Effects: Eric Barba, Steve Preeg, Burt Dalton and Craig Barron for “The Curious Case of Benjamin Button”.

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BAFTA Nominations 2009

BAFTA is giving awards for people in film, television and video games and they’ve been doing this for 60 years now and they continue to go strong. They help support the people in the moving images art to continue developing better movies and shows for people to watch and enjoy.

The Orange British Academy Film Awards for 2009 will be held on Sunday, February 8th and it’s going to be the 12th year that BAFTA is in partnership with Orange to give a better awards night for all people to enjoy.

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There have been several documentaries recently about Iraq. It’s probably Michael Moore’s doing with Farenheit 911, which gave documentary star status and brought it closer to reality TV than quality film making. That sparked lots of low budget on line documentaries, some indeed involving the war in Iraq, and it also sparked a more general interest in documentaries, both on the side of the film makers, as well as that of  audiences.

Most documentaries dealing with this war (Farenheit 911, Iraq For Sale, Taxi To The Dark Side, etc.) may have small elements of comedy, in order to break the string of extremely serious issues being discussed, but for the most part are solemn affairs, dealing with death, lies and manipulation. Surprisingly enough, death, lies and manipulation (and the Iraq war) seem to be the main themes of Full Battle Rattle, however they make it funny. And poignant. But mostly funny. Read the rest of this entry »