Paul Mazursky Career Achievement Award + Afghanistan Atrocities & Naked Men in Saunas

Elliott Gould Natalie Wood Dyan Cannon Robert Culp Bob + Carol + Ted + Alice
Natalie Wood, Elliott Gould, Robert Culp, Dyan Cannon, Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice

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.

The nominees:

ARMADILLO, Denmark/Sweden
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.
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1 Comment to Paul Mazursky Career Achievement Award + Afghanistan Atrocities & Naked Men in Saunas

  1. Diego Vallone

    Congratulations Paul, a gentleman on the court and out, amazing sense of humor, a great man with his feet on the ground, we spent many weekends playing tennis doubles at TennisPort New York with my dear friend Sam Cohn.
    Cheers to the wonderful moments we shared.
    Love, Diego Vallone.