Paul Mazursky: Los Angeles Film Critics Career Achievement Award
Paul Mazursky, among whose efforts as writer-director are Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969), Harry and Tonto (1974), An Unmarried Woman (1978), and Enemies: A Love Story (1989), will receive the Los Angeles Film Critics Association’s 2010 Career Achievement Award at the LAFCA awards dinner next Jan. 15, at the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City.
Throughout his three or so decades as a writer-director, Mazursky earned five Oscar nominations: four for writing/co-writing the screenplays of the aforementioned four titles; one as a producer of Best Picture nominee An Unmarried Woman.
He also helped six performers earn Academy nods: Elliott Gould, Dyan Cannon (both for Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice), Art Carney (who won the Best Actor Oscar for Harry and Tonto), Jill Clayburgh (An Unmarried Woman), and Anjelica Huston and Lena Olin (both for Enemies: A Love Story).
Following a number of acting gigs, including supporting roles in Stanley Kubrick’s first feature, Fear and Desire (1953), and Richard Brooks’ The Blackboard Jungle (1955), the Brooklyn-born Mazursky, 80, made his feature-film screenwriting debut with I Love You, Alice B. Toklas! (1968), a comedy-drama about the late 1960s culture clash directed by Hy Averback.
Mazursky’s directorial debut took place in 1969 with Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice, another comedy-drama he wrote, this one about swinging couples.
Among the other movies Mazursky wrote and directed are Alex in Wonderland (1970), Blume in Love (1973), Next Stop, Greenwich Village (1976), Moscow on the Hudson (1984), and Enemies: A Love Story (1989).
“It’s impossible to imagine American independent cinema in its current form without Paul Mazursky, in all his multi-hyphenate glory,” LAFCA president Brent Simon said in a statement.
In addition to the aforementioned Oscar-nominated actors, Mazursky also directed Natalie Wood, Robin Williams, Robert Culp, Bette Midler, Woody Allen, Margot Kidder, Alan Bates, Richard Dreyfuss, Raul Julia, Molly Ringwald, Vittorio Gassman, Nick Nolte, Harry Hamlin, Ellen Burstyn, Geraldine Fitzgerald, Susan Sarandon, Donald Sutherland, Shelley Winters, John Cassavetes, and Gena Rowlands.
Janus Metz’s Armadillo, Joonas Berghäll and Mika Hotakainen’s Steam of Life, and Patricio Guzmán’s Nostalgia for the Light are the three documentaries nominated for the 2010 European Film Awards’ Prix Arte, the European Film Academy announced today.
Cannes 2010 Critics Week winner Armadillo, which caused a furor in Denmark, shows the brutality and viciousness of the war in Afghanistan, where Danish soldiers may have been guilty of war atrocities. As one soldier puts it, they “liquidated wounded people and piled up the dead to take pictures of ourselves as heroes.”
In Steam of Life, naked Finnish men discuss just about everything while sweating away in many of Finland’s multifarious saunas.
Set in Chile’s Atacama desert, Nostalgia for the Light presents three disparate sets of activities in the region: astronomers try to uncover the origins of the universe, geologists dig for prehistoric remains, and women search for what’s left of relatives and loved ones murdered by Gen. Augusto Pinochet’s right-wing military regime and later buried in the desert.
The nominated films were selected by EFA Board Member Despina Mouzaki (Greece), EFA Members Pierre-Henri Deleau (France) and Francine Brücher (Switzerland), in addition to Claas Danielsen (International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film), Ally Derks (director IDFA, the Netherlands), and Jacques Laurent (producer, Belgium).
For the first time, all 2,300 members of the European Film Academy will be able to vote for the nominated documentaries. In years past, a panel selected the winner.
In association with the European culture channel ARTE, the winner will be announced at the 23rd European Film Awards on December 4 in Tallinn, Estonia.
directed by Janus Metz
produced by Ronnie Fridthjof & Sara Stockman
MIESTEN VUORO (Steam of Life), Finland/Sweden
written & directed by Joonas Berghäll & Mika Hotakainen
produced by Joonas Berghäll
NOSTALGIA DE LA LUZ (Nostalgia for the Light), France/Germany/Chile
written & directed by Patricio Guzmán
produced by Renate Sachse
‘Animal Kingdom’ Tops Australian Film Institute Nominations
Animal Kingdom, referred to by some as the Australian The Godfather, topped the Australian Film Institute’s 2010 nominations announced today.
Featuring James Frecheville, Ben Mendelsohn, Jacki Weaver, Guy Pearce, Joel Edgerton, Sullivan Stapleton, and Laura Wheelwright, all of whom were nominated in the acting categories, David Michod’s debut feature film about a dysfunctional Melbourne crime family received a total of 18 nods. (Jacki Weaver’s nomination is her third overall, and her first since winning as Best Supporting Actress for Caddie in 1976.)
Jeremy Hartley Sims’ World War I drama Beneath Hill 60 followed with 12 nominations, including Best Film, Best Director, and a Best Actor nod for star Brendan Cowell.
Jane Campion’s period romantic drama Bright Star, which last year was snubbed both at Cannes and at the BAFTAs/Oscars (it received only one nod for Best Costume Design in the UK/US), scored 11 nominations, including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Actress (Abbie Cornish).
Directed by Stuart Beattie, the adaptation of John Marsden’s bestselling novel Tomorrow When the War Began garnered eight nominations, including Best Picture and Best Adapted Screenplay (Beattie). Rachel Hurd-Wood plays one of several teenagers who must fend off a foreign army that has taken control of Australia.
Directed by Julie Bertuccelli, the French-Australian psychological family drama The Tree earned seven nominations, including Best Film and Best Director. The film stars Best Actress nominees Charlotte Gainsbourg and Morgana Davies as a girl who believes her recently deceased father lives in a fig tree next to the family house.
And finally, also with seven nominations including Best Film, Rachel Perkins’ 1960s-set musical Bran Nue Dae, about a young aborigine (Rocky McKenzie) who takes the long road back home after fleeing from a strict religious school.
Of the six Best Film nominees, Tomorrow When the War Began and Bran Nue Dae were the only two without a matching Best Director nod.
Among the other AFI nominees are Clive Owen, up for Best Actor for The Boys Are Back; Kodi Smit-McPhee up for Best Supporting Actor for Matching Jack and for Best International Actor for The Road; and, in the international category, Mia Wasikowska for Alice in Wonderland, Naomi Watts for Mother and Child, and Sam Worthington for Avatar.
The AFI Awards will be handed out in Melbourne on December 10 (“industry” awards) and 11 (top awards).
‘How I Ended This Summer’ & ‘Armadillo’: London Film Festival Winners
Alexei Popogrebsky’s drama How I Ended This Summer was named the Best Film at the 54th BFI London Film Festival at a ceremony hosted by journalist and broadcaster Sue Perkins at London’s LSO St Luke’s this evening.
On behalf of the jury, Chair Patricia Clarkson declared:
“With elemental themes of isolation, alienation and the power of misunderstanding, How I Ended This Summer is a visceral psychological drama set in the immersive landscape of the windswept Arctic.
“Director Alexei Popogrebsky has combined stunning cinematography with painterly attention to production detail and drawn intense and subtle performances from actors Grigory Dobrygin and Sergei Puskepalis. The film turns the hunter-versus-hunted narrative on its head to provoke powerful questions about life and death, resilience and human compassion. Tense, moving and universal in its scope, this is a cinematic tour de force.”
Earlier this year, How I Ended This Summer earned stars Dobrygin and Puskepalis a shared Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, in addition to an Outstanding Artistic Achievement award given to cinematographer Pavel Kostomarov.
A little over a week ago, How I Ended This Summer was chosen as the Best Film at the 2010 Chicago International Film Festival.
How I Ended This Summer can also be found in this year’s European Film Awards longlist, but the internationally acclaimed drama is not a contender for the 2011 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Russia opted to submit Alexey Uchitel’s The Edge instead.
The London Film Festival jury also gave a special commendation to Joanna Hogg’s Archipelago, praising the film’s performances and visual grandeur.
Photo: BFI London Film Festival
The 2010 BFI London Film Festival’s Grierson Award for Best Documentary went to Janus Metz’s Afghanistan War-set Armadillo, which became a cause célèbre in its native Denmark as it exposes the brutal, inhuman side of not only the war itself but of the Danish warriors fighting it.
Earlier today, Armadillo was named one of the three documentary feature contenders for the 2010 European Film Awards.
Other winners at the London Festival were Best British Newcomer and Sutherland Award winner Clio Barnard, director of the unusual biopic/documentary The Arbor, the story of alcoholic playwright Andrea Dunbar’s uneasy relationship with her daughter, Lorraine (lip-synced by Manjinder Virk), convicted of killing her two-year-old son.
Best British Newcomer jury member Tony Grisoni called The Arbor both “genre-busting,” and “innovative, eloquent and emotionally resonant. … A stunning debut.” (The Guardian‘s David Cox wasn’t too crazy about the experiment.)
The Sutherland Award is given to the “most original and imaginative feature debut.” Michael Winterbottom and Olivia Williams presented Barnard with the award.
The Sutherland Award jury also praised the poetic imagery of Phan Dang Di’s Don’t Be Afraid Bi!, and the story-telling and performances found in Michael Rowe’s Leap Year (nothing in common with the Amy Adams vehicle).
Slumdog Millionaire and 127 Hours filmmaker Danny Boyle was honored with the BFI Fellowship, “awarded to an individual whose body of work has made an outstanding contribution to film culture.” Stephen Daldry presented Boyle with the trophy.
Starring James Franco and touted as a potential Oscar contender, 127 Hours is the London Film Festival’s closing night film.
And finally, Martin Scorsese attended the ceremony in order to deliver a special tribute to the work of the BFI National Archive, which celebrates its 75th birthday this year.
Jurors present at the ceremony included:
- Best Film jurors Patricia Clarkson, Gabriel Byrne, Sandy Powell, Shekhar Kapur and John Hillcoat;
- Sutherland Trophy jurors Stephen Poliakoff, Rebecca O’Brien, Esther Freud and Will Gompertz;
- Best British Newcomer judges Andrea Calderwood, Antonia Bird, Tony Grisoni;
- Grierson Award jurors Mandy Chang and Christo Hird of the Grierson Trust, Charlotte Moore, Head of Documentary Commissioning at the BBC and Dick Fontaine of the NFTS.
Leonardo Sbaraglia + Helena Bonham Carter & Bob Hoskins: International Emmy Awards
Leonardo Sbaraglia, Helena Bonham Carter and Bob Hoskins are three film personalities nominated for the 2010 International Emmy Awards, announced Monday, Oct. 4.
Sbaraglia, one of the stars of Marcelo Piñeyro’s unusual crime drama Burnt Money, received a best actor nomination for his copycat serial killer in HBO Latin America’s Argentinean mini-series Epitafios, which is also in contention for best drama series.
Bonham Carter is up for best actress for the BCC4’s biopic Enid, in which she plays author Enid Blyton, whose life wasn’t nearly as rosy as the stories found in her children’s books.
Hoskins’ nomination was for best actor for his role as a sobered-up alcoholic who takes on the neighborhood’s top thug in BBC1’s The Street, which also received a nod for best drama series.
Additionally, Sebastian Koch, one of the leading men in the Oscar-winning The Lives of Others, is a best actor nominee for playing Jack London’s Wolf Larsen in the German production Sea Wolf.
Fifteen countries are competing in 10 categories for the International Emmys. The United Kingdom tops the list with nine nominations, followed by Brazil with five, and Germany and the Netherlands with three.
The winners will be announced Nov. 22 in New York, at a ceremony hosted by Jason Priestley of Beverly Hills 90210 fame.
Photo: HBO Latin America
Morgan Freeman to Receive AFI Life Achievement Award
Morgan Freeman, who won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance as Clint Eastwood’s wise old pal in the boxing melodrama Million Dollar Baby (2004), will be the 39th recipient of the American Film Institute’s Life Achievement Award.
Freeman, 73, became a star playing wise, dignified black men – the skin color of his (nearly interchangeable) characters is usually emphasized, however subtly – in a whole array of movies, from Glory (1989) and Driving Miss Daisy (1989) to the aforementioned Million Dollar Baby and Invictus (2009).
The timing of the AFI announcement couldn’t have been more propitious, as it provides free publicity for Red, which opens next Friday, and in which Freeman appears opposite Helen Mirren and Bruce Willis.
Freeman, I should add, is the second black performer to receive the AFI Life Achievement Award, following Sidney Poitier in 1992. Women haven’t fared much better – only six winners since 1973.
The AFI ceremony honoring Freeman will take place on June 9.
Previous recipients of the AFI Life Achievement Award include John Ford, Orson Welles, Bette Davis, Lillian Gish, Al Pacino, James Cagney, Barbra Streisand, James Stewart, Alfred Hitchcock, Kirk Douglas, Mike Nichols, Jack Lemmon, Martin Scorsese, and Barbara Stanwyck.
Colin Firth & Werner Herzog: AFI FEST
AFI FEST 2010 presented by Audi has announced its Centerpiece Galas: Diego Luna’s Abel, Richard J. Lewis’ Blarney’s Version (perhaps best known as the movie that cost Rachelle Lefevre the role of the evil vampire Victoria in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse), Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine, George Hickenlooper’s Casino Jack, John Wells’ The Company Men, and an ensemble tribute to The King’s Speech with director Tom Hooper and actors Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush.
The Special Screenings will be the U.S. premiere of John Sayles’ Amigo, Werner Herzog’s Cave of Forgotten Dreams in 3-D, Nigel Cole’s Made in Dagenham, and John Cameron Mitchell’s Rabbit Hole.
AFI FEST 2010 will open with Edward Zwick’s Love and Other Drugs, starring Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway, and will come to a close with Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, with Natalie Portman.
AFI FEST 2010 will take place in Hollywood at the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Mann Chinese 6 theatres, the Egyptian Theatre and the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel from November 4-11, 2010. Filmmaker David Lynch is the festival’s first-ever Guest Artistic Director.
Schedule and synopses form the AFI FEST press release:
OPENING NIGHT SELECTION:
November 4, 7:30 p.m., Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
LOVE AND OTHER DRUGS: Edward Zwick’s satiric romp through the world of cutthroat Viagra sales stars Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal as mismatched lovers who discover that love is the ultimate drug. DIR Edward Zwick. SCR Charles Randolph and Edward Zwick & Marshall Herskovitz. CAST Jake Gyllenhaal, Anne Hathaway, Oliver Platt, Hank Azaria, Josh Gad, Judy Greer, Gabriel Macht. World Premiere.
November 5, 7:30 p.m., Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
THE KING’S SPEECH: Colin Firth stars as the stuttering King George VI and Geoffrey Rush as his maverick Australian speech therapist. DIR Tom Hooper. SCR David Seidler. CAST Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush, Guy Pearce, Timothy Spall. UK/Australia.
CENTERPIECE GALA SELECTIONS:
November 6, 6:30 p.m., Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
BLUE VALENTINE: Flooded with romantic memories of their courtship, Dean and Cindy use one night to try and save their failing marriage. DIR Derek Cianfrance. SCR Derek Cianfrance, Joey Curtis and Cami Delavigne. CAST Ryan Gosling, Michelle Williams. USA.
November 6, 8:00 p.m., Egyptian Theatre
BARNEY’S VERSION: A wise and witty tale of a seemingly ordinary man who lives an extraordinary life. DIR Richard J. Lewis. SCR Michael Konyves. CAST Dustin Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Rosamund Pike, Minnie Driver, Rachelle Lefevre, Scott Speedman. Canada/Italy.
November 7, 7:30 p.m., Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
ABEL: In his feature directorial debut, Diego Luna offers a strange, alluring fable of a disturbed child attempting to become his own father. DIR Diego Luna. SCR Diego Luna, Augusto Mendoza. CAST Christopher Ruíz-Esparza, José María Yazpik, Karina Gidi, Carlos Aragón, Gerardo Ruíz-Esparza, Geraldine Alejandra. Mexico.
November 8, 7:00 p.m., Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
CASINO JACK: Notorious lobbyist Jack Abramoff finds himself in bed with mafia assassins in this fact-inspired film. DIR George Hickenlooper. SCR Norman Snider. CAST Kevin Spacey, Barry Pepper, Kelly Preston, Rachelle Lafevre, Jon Lovitz. Canada.
Details to be announced soon.
November 10, 7:30 p.m., Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
THE COMPANY MEN: Bobby Walker is living the American dream when corporate downsizing forces him and two co-workers to re-define their lives. DIR/SCR John Wells. CAST Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Maria Bello, Rosemary DeWitt. USA.
CLOSING NIGHT SELECTION:
November 11, 7:30 p.m., Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
BLACK SWAN: Darren Aronofsky’s stunningly operatic film stars Natalie Portman as a rising ballet star pushing her body and soul to the limit. DIR Darren Aronofsky. SCR Mark Heyman & Andres Heinz & John McLaughlin. CAST Natalie Portman, Vincent Cassel, Mila Kunis, Barbara Hershey, Winona Ryder. USA.
SPECIAL SCREENING SELECTIONS:
AMIGO: Parallels to current events abound in John Sayles’ compelling drama about the moral quandaries facing U.S. soldiers and local cooperators a century ago in the Philippine-American War. DIR/SCR John Sayles. CAST Garret Dillahunt, Joel Torre, Chris Cooper, DJ Qualls, Brian Lee Franklin. USA/Philippines. U.S. Premiere.
RABBIT HOLE: A vivid, honest, hopeful and unexpectedly witty portrait of a family searching for what remains possible in the most impossible of all situations. DIR John Cameron Mitchell. SCR David Lindsay-Abaire. CAST Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart, Dianne Wiest, Miles Teller, Tammy Blanchard, Sandra Oh. USA.
MADE IN DAGENHAM: Alongside 55,000 men, 187 women work as machinists in a car assembly plant and are paid a fraction of what the men earn. The women go on strike, eventually leading to a national crisis. DIR Nigel Cole. SCR William Ivory. CAST Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins, Miranda Richardson, Geraldine James, Rosamund Pike. UK.
CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS: Visionary director Werner Herzog takes us on a 3-D journey into the most distant past of human history as his camera encounters the 35,000-year-old paintings of the Chauvet Cave. DIR Werner Herzog. USA.