Mennonite beliefs: Carlos Reygadas psychological drama tops Mexican Cinema’s Oscars
2008 Ariel nominations: Feb. 21. Ariel winners: Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City on March 25.
Writer-director Carlos Reygadas’ drama Stellet licht / Luz silenciosa was the big winner at the 50th Ariel Awards, taking home statuettes for Best Film, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actress (María Pankratz), and Best Cinematography (Alexis Zabé). Stellet licht, which shared the Jury Prize at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival, is set in a Mennonite community where a married man falls in love with another woman.
Also at the 50th Ariel Awards ceremony, veteran Silvia Pinal, 76, the star of Luis Buñuel’s Viridiana (above), The Exterminating Angel, and Simon of the Desert, was given a Golden Ariel for her six decades of film (and TV) work. “Television offers remarkable productions,” Pinal told the Ariel audience, “but they don’t transcend [time]. Film is what lasts, for better or for worse. This [award] is the crowning of my career.” Pinal had previously won three Ariel awards: as best supporting actress for Un Rincón cerca del cielo / A Place Near Heaven (1952), and as best actress for Locura pasional / Passionate Madness (1956) and La Dulce enemiga / The Sweet Enemy (1957). (Ariel photo gallery.)
Best Film / Película
Cobrador: In God We Trust (Salamandra producciones)
Los Ladrones viejos (Artegios)
* Stellet licht / Luz silenciosa (Stilles Licht)
Best Documentary Feature / Documental
Bajo Juárez, Alejandra Sánchez and José Antonio Cordero
* Los Ladrones viejos, Everardo González
Mi Vida Dentro, Lucía Gaja
Best First Film / Opera Prima
Cochochi, Israel Cardenas and Laura Amelia Guzman
* Párpados Azules, Ernesto Contreras
Partes usadas, Aarón Fernández
Best Director / Dirección
Paul Leduc, Cobrador: In God We Trust
Everardo Gonzalez, Los Ladrones viejos
* Carlos Reygadas, Stellet licht
Best Actress / Actriz
Miriam Toews, Stellet licht
Cecilia Suarez, Párpados Azules
* Irene Azuela, Quemar las Naves
Best Actor / Actor
Lázaro Ramos, Cobrador: In God We Trust
* Jorge Zárate, Dos Abrazos
Enrique Arreola, Párpados Azules
Alan Chávez, Partes usadas
Best Supporting Actress / Coactuación Femenina
Mariana Moro, Drama/Mex
Mayra Serbulo, La Zona
* María Pankratz, Stellet licht
Best Supporting Actor / Coactuación Masculina
Alan Chávez, La Zona
* Mario Zaragoza, La Zona
Silverio Palacios, Morirse en domingo
Best Original Screenplay / Guion Original
Cochochi, Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán
* Stellet licht, Carlos Reygadas
Partes usadas, Aarón Fernández
Best Adapted Screenplay / Guion Adaptado
Cementerio de Papel, Xavier Robles
* Cobrador: In God We Trust, Paul Leduc
La Zona, Laura Santullo
Best Animated Feature / Largometraje de Animación
* La Leyenda de la Nahuala, Ricardo Arnaiz
Best Cinematography / Fotografía
Cobrador: In God We Trust, Diego Rodríguez/José Maria Civit/Ángel Goded
* Stellet licht, Alexis Zabé
Morirse en domingo, Guillermo Granillo
Best Editing / Edición
Cobrador: In God We Trust, Juan Carlos Macías
* Los Ladrones viejos, Juan Manuel Figueroa
Stellet licht, Natalia López
Best Original Score / Música Original
Kilómetro 31, Carles Cases and La Lupita
La Leyenda de la Nahuala, Gabriel Villar
* Quemar las Naves, Alejandro Giacoman and Joselo Rangel
Best Production Design / Diseño de Arte
Cobrador: In God We Trust, Barbara Enriquez and Margarida Jussid
* Morirse en domingo, José Luis Aguilar and Lorenza Manrique
Quemar las Naves, Lizette Ponce
Best Costume Design / Vestuario
* Kilómetro 31, Mariestela Fernández
Stellet licht, Nohemí González
Párpados Azules, Gabriela Fernández
Best Special Effects / Efectos Especiales
Cañitas, Javier Moreno and Alfonso Moreno
* Kilómetro 31, Alejandro Vasquez
Malos hábitos, Ricardo Arvizu
Best Visual Effects / Efectos Visuales
* Kilómetro 31, Roberto Garcia and Charlie Iturriaga
Malos hábitos, Francisco Muñoz
Morirse en domingo, Prado/Garcia/Iturriaga
Best Sound / Sonido
Cobrador: In God We Trust, Baksh/Hernandez/Muricy/Tendler/Esquenazi
* Kilómetro 31, Cobos/Molina/Gaytan/Cruz
Stellet licht, Diaz/Hernandez/Baksht/Rocatelli
Best Make-Up / Maquillaje
* Kilómetro 31, Ortiz/Legaspi/Benito
Morirse en domingo, Regina Reyes and David Ruiz Gameros
Best Narrative Short / Corto de Ficción (tie)
Destapalo, Eun-Hee Ihm
* Fin de trayecto, Acan Coen
Señas Particulares, Kenya Marquez
* Ver Llover, Elisa Miller
Best Documentary Short / Corto de Documental
* De Motus Cordis, Mariana Ochoa
La Mutilación de San Pedro, según San Xavier, Olivia Portillo
Mago… El misterio de la vida, Angel Estrada Soto
Best Animated Short / Corto de Animación
Balance Cósmico, Francisco Athie
* De la vista nace el amor, Miguel Anaya Borja
Síndrome de línea blanca, Lourdes Villagomez
Golden Ariel / Ariel de Oro
Honorary Golden Ariel / Ariel Honorario de Oro
Fernando Morales Ortiz
Ariel de Oro “to the workers who have brought dedication and honor to the Mexican film industry for more than 50 years”
Adolfo Ramírez, Bertha Chiu, Carlos Horcasitas, Enrique Lechuga, Enrique Morales, Fernando Ramírez, Francisco López, Heriberto Gutiérrez, Laurencio Cordero, Jesús Durán, Marcelino Pacheco, Salvador Serrano, and Juvenal Herrera
Miami Film Festival winners
2008 Miami Film Festival: February 28–March 9, ’08
In Andrzej Jakimowski’s Tricks, a six-year-old boy stretches his luck to the limit in his attempts to get closer to his father, who had abandoned his mother.
Dramatic Features: World Cinema Competition
Knight Grand Jury Prize: TRICKS (SZTUCZKI), Andrzej Jakimowski
Special Mention: IT’S HARD TO BE NICE (TESKO JE BITI FIN), Srdan Vuletic
Special Mention: FOUL GESTURE (TNUAH MEGUNA), Itshak (Tzahi) Gradi
Dramatic Features: Ibero-American Competition
Knight Grand Jury Prize: COCHOCHI, Israel Cárdenas and Laura Amelia Guzmán
Knight Grand Jury Prize: EAT, FOR THIS IS MY BODY, Michelange Quay
Special Mention: THE GIRLS (LAS NIÑAS), Rodrigo Marín
Special Mention: BLUE EYELIDS (PARPADOS AZULES), Ernesto Contrera
Documentary Features: World and Ibero-American Competition
Knight Grand Jury Prize: SANTIAGO, João Moreira Salles
Special Mention: SANTA FE STREET (CALLE SANTA FÉ), Carmen Castillo
Special Mention: A PAPER TIGER (UN TIGRE DE PAPEL), Luis Ospina
Knight Grand Jury Prize: HOMECOMING, Connie Diletti
Honorable Jury Mention: TRAUMOLOGY (TRAUMOLOGIA), Daniel Sánchez ArÉvalo
Special Mention for Best Animated Short Film: MADAME TUTLI PUTLI, Chris Lavis and Maciek Szcerbowski
Special Mention for Best First-Time Director: OVERNIGHT A ROSE, Viv Koh
Dramatic Features: World Cinema Competition: BLISS (MUTLULUK), Abdullah Oguz
Dramatic Features: Ibero-American Cinema Competition: LA ZONA, Rodrigo Plá
Documentary Features: World & Ibero-American Competition: STRANDED: I’VE COME FROM A PLANE THAT CRASHED IN THE MOUNTAINS (VENGO DE UN AVIÓN QUE CAYÓ EN LAS MONTAÑAS), Gonzalo Arijón
FIPRESCI International Critics Award
FOUL GESTURE (TNUAH MAGUNA), Itshak (Tzahi) Gradi
Tiburon (Calif.) International Film Festival – 2008 Golden Reel Awards
2008 Tiburon International Film Festival: March 13-21.
Set in the arid landscape of Algerias Aurès mountains, The Yellow House revolves around the plight of a couple whose son was recently killed in an ambush. The films director, Amor Hakkar, plays the bereaved father who does everything in his power to help his despairing wife.
Best Film: La Maison jaune / The Yellow House, directed by Amor Hakkar (Algeria)
Best Director: Zoltan Kamondi, for Dolina (Hungary)
Best Actor: Jan Decleir, for A Perfect Match (Belgium)
Best Actress: Minnie Driver, for Take (US)
Best Documentary: Behind Forgotten Eyes, directed by Anthony Gilmore (US/Korea/Japan)
Best Cinematography: Laszlo Kovacs and Zoltan Honti, for Torn from the Flag (Hungary)
Humanitarian Award: Welcome Europa, directed by Bruno Ulmer (France)
Best Musical: The Samba Poet, directed by Ricardo Van Steen (Brazil)
Best Short: Julieta, directed by Raul Antonio Caballero Carreto (Mexico)
Best Dance Short Film: The Rain, directed by Pontus Lidberg (Sweden)
Best Animation: One Night in a City, directed by Jan Baledj (Czech Republic)
Best Sports Film: Row Hard, No Excuses, directed by Luke Wolbach (US)
Federico Fellini Award: Miaoyan Zhang for Xiaolin Xiaoli (China)
Orson Welles Award: In the Name of the Son, directed by Harun Mehmedinovic (US)
Best Experimental Film: Agnieszka 2039, directed by Martin Gauvreau (UK)
Best Student Film: The Vaudevillian, directed by Bryan Nest (US)
Best Comedy: American Fork, directed by Chris Bowman (US)
Best Childrens Film: The Flyboys, directed by Rocco DeVilliers (US)
Best Music Video: Gone, directed by Andrew Watson (US)
Audience Choice Award: Spine Tingler! The William Castle Story, directed by Jeffery Schwarz (US)
Ann Arbor Film Festival Special Guests
The 46th Ann Arbor Film Festival will be held from March 25–30. More than 100 independent filmmakers from around the world are expected to attend, in addition to several special guests on a night devoted to freedom of speech issues. Among those guests are Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt, cinematographer-filmmaker Ellen Kuras, and artist Steve Kurtz.
Larry Flynt will join producer-director Joan Brooker-Marks for the screening of her documentary Larry Flynt: The Right to be Left Alone, which plays on Saturday, March 29 at 7:30 p.m. at the Michigan Theater.
From the Ann Arbor festival website:
“Both hero and villain, purveyor of pornography and tireless civil rights advocate, the always controversial publisher of Hustler magazine Larry Flynt is the subject of Joan Brooker-Marks new tell-all documentary Larry Flynt: The Right to be Left Alone.
“In a timely response to a current political situation where the fundamental civil rights of Americans are being challenged, the film offers an eye-opening and authoritative overview of Flynt’s long-standing struggles to expand the parameters of free speech and expose the hypocrisy of this country’s elected leaders. Featuring rarely seen documentary and television footage, as well as in-depth interviews with Flynt himself, the documentary focuses on the self-confessed smut peddler’s usually contentious entanglements with politics – from his precedent-setting Supreme Court case against evangelist and adulterer Jerry Falwell, to his prison sentence for refusing to name his source for the tapes documenting the FBI’s entrapment of John DeLorean, to his campaign runs for both California governor and President.
“Brooker-Marks also profiles Flynt’s confrontation of the current administration of George W. Bush on the issues of civil liberties and government transparency. Flynt exposed the administration’s staged rescue of Army Private Jessica Lynch – choosing not to publish naked photographs taken of the 19-year-old, which Flynt felt, would add to her victimization. Additionally, he successfully sued Donald Rumsfeld and the Pentagon for press access to the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan.”
(Now, Flynt is the smut peddler? Not Falwell, Bush, or Rumsfeld? Hm…)
The screening will be followed by a (must-see) Q&A with Flynt and Brooker-Marks.
Also at the Ann Arbor festival, Ellen Kuras, best known for her cinematography work (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Shine a Light), and Thavisouk Phrasavath will present their documentary The Betrayal at 5:00pm on Saturday, March 29.
Filmed over a 23-year period, The Betrayal tells the story of the Phrasavath’s family escaping from Laos and then struggling to adapt to life in the United States.
A brief synopsis from the Ann Arbor festival website:
“Thavisouk Phrasavath narrates this deeply personal and poetic memoir of himself as a young man struggling to survive war and life as an immigrant, revealing the hidden, human face of war’s ‘collateral damage.'”
Later that same evening, Steve Kurtz will make a rare public appearance in conjunction with a screening of Lynn Hershman Leeson’s Strange Culture at 10:00 p.m. As per the festival’s press release, “the film mixes genres to tell and re-create the surreal story of Buffalo, NY artist Steve Kurtz whose F.B.I. arrest for bio-terrorism sent shockwaves through the art community in May 2004.”
From the festival’s website:
“The surreal nightmare of internationally-acclaimed artist and professor Steve Kurtz began when his wife Hope [played by Tilda Swinton in the documentary] died in her sleep of heart failure. Police who responded to Kurtz’s 911 call deemed Kurtz’s art suspicious and called the FBI. Within hours the artist was detained as a suspected ‘bioterrorist’ as dozens of federal agents in Hazmat suits sifted through his work and impounded his computers, manuscripts, books, his cat, and even his wife’s body. Today Kurtz and his long-time collaborator Dr. Robert Ferrell, Professor of Genetics at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, await a trial date. The screening will be accompanied by the world-premiere exhibition of objects left behind by the FBI upon the raid on Kurtz’ home.”
Even Kafka couldn’t have come up with something that bizarre. (And those are your tax dollars at waste…)
Kurtz will be joined by Lucia Sommer, of the Critical Art Ensemble Defense Fund, who will be able to answer questions which Kurtz, still on trial, cannot because of legal constraints.
Former University of Michigan art professor Rich Pell will also join the festival, premiering the installation “Body of Evidence,” showcasing the legions of trash left behind from the F.B.I’s investigation of Kurtz.
Also on Saturday, Jim Finn will be in attendance for the world premiere of his new film The Juche Idea. “Mixing together North Korean archival propaganda films, the Juche teachings of Kim Jong-il, and a documentary exploration of a modern-day Korean artist residency, Finn has created a masterful work examining the underpinnings of North Korean culture and media.”
Ann Arbor Film Festival: Alternative Films
More than 40 programs will showcase new work from filmmakers, performers, and artists from 20 countries at the 46th Ann Arbor Film Festival (AAFF), which runs from March 25-30.
On the avant-garde front, the AAFF will present the U.S. premiere of Pip Chodorov’s Faux Mouvements (Wrong Moves) in the Cracking the Space/Time Continuum program “of perception-shifting experimental films”; a “live projector performance” by Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder; and Nathaniel Dorsky’s Devotional Songs, consisting of three 20-minute shorts.
As per the AAFF website, Dorsky “has developed a language of cinema that concerns itself with light, mass, color and movement through the frame. He achieves an unusual kinetic energy in his editing, each image mobile yet imbued with a gravity that imparts a sense of almost mystical levitation to scenes routine and everyday.”
“Films from the Live Earth” series will address global warming and assorted environmental issues. As part of that series, Jim Trainor will present “The Animals and Their Limitations,” described as “a dark and humorous program of his remarkable animated films.”
“Out Night” will feature several shorts (see below) in the compilation “Queer Realities: Fact and Fiction!” while film professor Dan Herbert will present the lecture “A Brief History of Time Travel in Cinema.”
The “Queer Realities” shorts, selected by curator Debra Miller, are:
Featuring (in screening order):
- Worst Case Scenario: Butch Edition (Thomas Miller).
- King County (David Quantic).
- Trans-Neptune (or, The Fall of Pandora, Drag Queen Cosmonaut) (Matthew Long).
- In Twilight’s Shadow (Tina Scorzafava).
- Make a Wish (Cherien Dabis).
- The Saddest Boy in the World (Jamie Travis).
- Seventy Times Seven (Charlotte Young Bowens).
- Filled With Water (Elka Kerkofs).
- Members Only (Carolina Roca-Smith).
- Dish (David Quantic).
Full Frame Film Festival Film Line-Up
The documentary-focused Full Frame Film Festival, to be held in Durham, North Carolina, from April 3–6, has announced its 2008 film line-up.
Among the entries are James Marsh’s Man on Wire, about Frenchman Philippe Petite’s balancing act between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in 1974, and the winner of the World Cinema Jury Prize Documentary at Sundance earlier this year; Peter Jordan and John Kane’s 12-minute short Left in Baghdad, the story of Iraq War veteran Ross Graydon’s search for the right left-arm prosthesis; and Tanaz Eshaghian’s Be Like Others, about gays in Iran who are coerced into having sex-change operations in order to be “cured” of their homosexuality.
Also, Amanda Micheli and Isabel Vega’s Academy Award-nominated short La Corona / The Crown, about a beauty pageant in Colombia’s Good Shepherd women’s prison; Alexandra Westmeier’s Alone in Four Walls (above), set in a reformatory school for Russian boys; Beate Arnestad’s My Daughter the Terrorist, about two women trained as Tamil Black Tiger suicide bombers; and Tamar Yarom’s To See If I’m Smiling, which depicts the psychological and emotional damage suffered by six young Israeli women who served in the West Bank.