Swedish film A Pigeon Sat On A Branch Reflecting On Existence has won the coveted Golden Lion award at Italy's Venice Film Festival.
Director Roy Andersson picked up the prestigious trophy for his offbeat comedy-drama at a ceremony on Saturday (06Sep14) ahead of the other 19 titles in the official competition, including Birdman starring Michael Keaton and Ethan Hawke's Good Kill.
Girls star Adam Driver was named Best Actor for his role in Hungry Hearts and his co-star Alba Rohrwacher won Best Actress.
The Silver Lion prize for Best Director went to Andrei Konchalovsky for Russian film The Postman's White Nights and the Grand Jury Prize was handed to Joshua Oppenheimer for his documentary The Look of Silence, a follow-up to his Oscar-nominated factual film The Act of Killing.
A co-director of BAFTA-winning film The Act Of Killing fears he will never be able to return to Indonesia as the hard-hitting documentary has put his life at risk. The movie shocked audiences with first-hand accounts of the murder and torture of alleged Communists in the 1960s as it is told from the perspective of unflinching killers.
One of the moviemakers behind the film has chosen not to reveal his name over fears of reprisals, and co-director Joshua Oppenheimer fears he also faces the prospect of retaliation if he sets foot back in the country.
Oppenheimer tells the BBC, "I would love to be able to go back. The film is, in a way, my love letter to Indonesia. At the same time one of the saddest things for me about releasing the film is that I can't safely go back now."
The film, which was also directed by Christine Cynn, won the Best Documentary prize at the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards ceremony on Sunday (16Feb14), and Oppenheimer paid tribute to the anonymous third director as he accepted the trophy, saying, "(He) risked his safety knowing that he could not stand with me to accept this award until there is major change in Indonesia".
The documentary will also compete for an Academy Award at next month's (Mar14) Oscars ceremony.
The co-director of Oscar-nominated documentary The Act Of Killing has vowed to stay away from the glitzy Hollywood ceremony to maintain his anonymity. The film documents mass killings in Indonesia which followed a failed coup in 1965 and it was directed by American moviemaker Joshua Oppenheimer and Christine Cynn, as well as an anonymous co-director, who has chosen not to reveal his name amid fears of reprisals.
The Act of Killing is nominated for an Academy Award in the Documentary Feature category, but the anonymous Indonesian moviemaker, who spent eight years working on the project, is adamant he will stay away from the ceremony in Los Angeles to protect his identity.
He tells Britain's The Independent newspaper, "It is not possible for me to go to the Oscars, it is too much publicity and it is not really safe for me to be openly seen as the co-director of the film. I'm not the kind of person that likes to brag about my achievement... anonymity suits my personality... We thought about what should be written - our real names? A pseudonym? - and we decided it best to remain anonymous because actually we didn't know what would happen."
Paramount via Everett Collection
With so many different awards organizations announcing their nominations one after the other, it's difficult to remember how heavily to weigh each one's picks when filling out your Oscar pool sheet. Generally speaking, the BAFTAs are a fairly safe guide when it comes to the Best Picture category. Since 2008, the British Academy of Film and Television Arts has accurately predicted the Academy's top winners, with (even more impressively) only two discrepancies in Best Picture nominations throughout those five years (both in 2012, interestingly enough). Looking at this latest batch of BAFTA's chief nominees — which includes...
American Hustle,Captain Phillips,Gravity,Philomena,and 12 Years a Slave
— we're not especially surprised by any of the films included in as much as we are a bit displaced over the absence of one of this past year's biggest titles: The Wolf of Wall Street. By now, everyone with his ear close to the conversation is predicting that Steve McQueen's 12 Years a Slave is a lock for the Best Picture Oscar, but the consideration rarely comes without honorable mention of Martin Scorsese's Wolf. Still, the satirical picture is far from awards fodder. Called far too "extreme" for the Academy's liking, the 3-hour tour de force of mortifying hedonism would be a far cry from an Oscar even without the competition of 12 Years. Instead, as suggested by BAFTA's list of Best Picture nods, organizations are leaning towards the safer, sweeter, more palatable, less controversial, and effectively less good spiritual counterpart to Wolf of Wall Street: American Hustle.
Hustle is a fine movie all its own — it's fun, dynamic, well-acted, and does indeed feel "lived in." But it falls shy of the artistic reach represented by fellow con man epic Wolf, to which comparisons are inevitable (you can hear a terrific discussion on the matter on the latest episode of Fighting in the War Room). While we'd be hard pressed to deny David O. Russell's funny, campy, emotionally charged picture its due recognition of quality, the choice to nominate it for Best Picture over Wolf of Wall Street seems like a statement of fear: "We don't want to nominate that large, messy, outrageous picture that's got everybody all in a huff," mutters a nervous BAFTA. "But what about the one with the hair? That's sorta like Wolf of Wall Street, but cleaner. Jolly good!"
The choice is a scary one, if only that it suggests the possibility that BAFTA has veered away from Wolf of Wall Street due to the volatility associated with the movie rather than due to the quality therein. By this token, would a few more Armond Whites have robbed 12 Years a Slave of its nomination? How about a few more Neil deGrasse Tysons stealing the nod from Gravity?
Hopefully, the Academy will not emulate this aversion to Scorsese's movie — one that more than deserves mention, and would even take home a few trophies in a just system. Peruse the rest of BAFTA's nominations below (which also, obscenely, omit Her in the Original Screenplay category) and share your thoughts on the matter.
BEST FILM12 YEARS A SLAVE Anthony Katagas, Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Steve McQueenAMERICAN HUSTLE Charles Roven, Richard Suckle, Megan Ellison, Jonathan GordonCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Scott Rudin, Dana Brunetti, Michael De LucaGRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón, David HeymanPHILOMENA Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan, Tracey Seaward
DIRECTOR12 YEARS A SLAVE Steve McQueenAMERICAN HUSTLE David O. RussellCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Paul GreengrassGRAVITY Alfonso CuarónTHE WOLF OF WALL STREET Martin Scorsese
ORIGINAL SCREENPLAYAMERICAN HUSTLE Eric Warren Singer, David O. RussellBLUE JASMINE Woody AllenGRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón, Jonás CuarónINSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Joel Coen, Ethan CoenNEBRASKA Bob Nelson
ADAPTED SCREENPLAY12 YEARS A SLAVE John RidleyBEHIND THE CANDELABRA Richard LaGraveneseCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Billy RayPHILOMENA Steve Coogan, Jeff PopeTHE WOLF OF WALL STREET Terence Winter
LEADING ACTORBRUCE DERN NebraskaCHIWETEL EJIOFOR 12 Years a SlaveCHRISTIAN BALE American HustleLEONARDO DICAPRIO The Wolf of Wall StreetTOM HANKS Captain Phillips
LEADING ACTRESSAMY ADAMS American HustleCATE BLANCHETT Blue JasmineEMMA THOMPSON Saving Mr. BanksJUDI DENCH PhilomenaSANDRA BULLOCK Gravity
SUPPORTING ACTORBARKHAD ABDI Captain PhillipsBRADLEY COOPER American HustleDANIEL BRÜHL RushMATT DAMON Behind the CandelabraMICHAEL FASSBENDER 12 Years a Slave
SUPPORTING ACTRESSJENNIFER LAWRENCE American HustleJULIA ROBERTS August: Osage CountyLUPITA NYONG’O 12 Years a SlaveOPRAH WINFREY The ButlerSALLY HAWKINS Blue Jasmine
OUTSTANDING BRITISH FILMGRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón, David Heyman, Jonás CuarónMANDELA: LONG WALK TO FREEDOM Justin Chadwick, Anant Singh, David M. Thompson, William NicholsonPHILOMENA Stephen Frears, Gabrielle Tana, Steve Coogan, Tracey Seaward, Jeff PopeRUSH Ron Howard, Andrew Eaton, Peter MorganSAVING MR. BANKS John Lee Hancock, Alison Owen, Ian Collie, Philip Steuer, Kelly Marcel, Sue SmithTHE SELFISH GIANT: Clio Barnard, Tracy O’Riordan
OUTSTANDING DEBUT BY A BRITISH WRITER, DIRECTOR OR PRODUCERCOLIN CARBERRY (Writer), GLENN PATTERSON (Writer) Good VibrationsKELLY MARCEL (Writer) Saving Mr. BanksKIERAN EVANS (Director/Writer) Kelly + VictorPAUL WRIGHT (Director/Writer), POLLY STOKES (Producer) For Those in PerilSCOTT GRAHAM (Director/Writer) Shell
FILM NOT IN THE ENGLISH LANGUAGETHE ACT OF KILLING Joshua Oppenheimer, Signe Byrge SørensenBLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOUR Abdellatif Kechiche, Brahim Chioua, Vincent MaravalTHE GREAT BEAUTY Paolo Sorrentino, Nicola Giuliano, Francesca CimaMETRO MANILA Sean Ellis, Mathilde CharpentierWADJDA Haifaa Al-Mansour, Gerhard Meixner, Roman Paul
DOCUMENTARYTHE ACT OF KILLING Joshua OppenheimerTHE ARMSTRONG LIE Alex GibneyBLACKFISH Gabriela CowperthwaiteTIM’S VERMEER Teller, Penn Jillette, Farley ZieglerWE STEAL SECRETS: THE STORY OF WIKILEAKS Alex GibneyANIMATED FILMDESPICABLE ME 2 Chris Renaud, Pierre CoffinFROZEN Chris Buck, Jennifer LeeMONSTERS UNIVERSITY Dan Scanlon
ORIGINAL MUSIC12 YEARS A SLAVE Hans ZimmerTHE BOOK THIEF John WilliamsCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Henry JackmanGRAVITY Steven PriceSAVING MR. BANKS Thomas Newman
CINEMATOGRAPHY12 YEARS A SLAVE Sean BobbittCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Barry AckroydGRAVITY Emmanuel LubezkiINSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Bruno DelbonnelNEBRASKA Phedon Papamichael
EDITING12 YEARS A SLAVE Joe WalkerCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Christopher RouseGRAVITY Alfonso Cuarón, Mark SangerRUSH Dan Hanley, Mike HillTHE WOLF OF WALL STREET Thelma Schoonmaker
PRODUCTION DESIGN12 YEARS A SLAVE Adam Stockhausen, Alice BakerAMERICAN HUSTLE Judy Becker, Heather LoefflerBEHIND THE CANDELABRA Howard CummingsGRAVITY Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin, Joanne WoodlardTHE GREAT GATSBY Catherine Martin, Beverley Dunn
COSTUME DESIGNAMERICAN HUSTLE Michael WilkinsonBEHIND THE CANDELABRA Ellen MirojnickTHE GREAT GATSBY Catherine MartinTHE INVISIBLE WOMAN Michael O’ConnorSAVING MR. BANKS Daniel Orlandi
MAKE UP & HAIRAMERICAN HUSTLE Evelyne Noraz, Lori McCoy-BellBEHIND THE CANDELABRA Kate Biscoe, Marie LarkinTHE BUTLER Debra Denson, Beverly Jo Pryor, Candace NealTHE GREAT GATSBY Maurizio Silvi, Kerry WarnTHE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Peter Swords King, Richard Taylor, Rick Findlater
SOUNDALL IS LOST Richard Hymns, Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor, Micah Bloomberg, Gillian ArthurCAPTAIN PHILLIPS Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro, Oliver TarneyGRAVITY Glenn Freemantle, Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead, Niv Adiri, Chris MunroINSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS Peter F. Kurland, Skip Lievsay, Greg OrloffRUSH Danny Hambrook, Martin Steyer, Stefan Korte, Markus Stemler, Frank Kruse
SPECIAL VISUAL EFFECTSGRAVITY Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould, Nikki PennyTHE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric ReynoldsIRON MAN 3 Bryan Grill, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Dan SudickPACIFIC RIM Hal Hickel, John Knoll, Lindy De Quattro, Nigel SumnerSTAR TREK INTO DARKNESS Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton, Patrick Tubach, Roger Guyett
BRITISH SHORT ANIMATIONEVERYTHING I CAN SEE FROM HERE Bjorn-Erik Aschim, Friederike Nicolaus, Sam TaylorI AM TOM MOODY Ainslie HendersonSLEEPING WITH THE FISHES James Walker, Sarah Woolner, Yousif Al-Khalifa
BRITISH SHORT FILMISLAND QUEEN Ben Mallaby, Nat LuurtsemaKEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES Megan Rubens, Michael Pearce, Selina LimORBIT EVER AFTER Chee-Lan Chan, Jamie Stone, Len RowlesROOM 8 James W. Griffiths, Sophie VennerSEA VIEW Anna Duffield, Jane Linfoot
Imagine a big, block-lettered MEANWHILE... in the top corner of this post, as you are about to be privy to all of the Marvel Studios information that is underway. Below is an assembly of info on all of the developments regarding several in-the-works Marvel projects... Iron Man 3 is said to begin shooting in Wilmington, NC this coming March, several weeks prior to previously reported schedule dates, which were set close to The Avengers release (May 4). Comingsoon reports that a source involved with the NC production has stated, "[Marvel] will have staff in Wilmington as early as mid-March, with shooting scheduled to begin the last week of April or the first week of May." A Marvel Studios source confirmed somewhat nebulously, "It is not April for sure." The script for the developing Doctor Strange film has been completed by writers Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (Conan The Barbarian, Sahara). A director is currently being sought. Production on the film is expected to begin this year, with a target release date in 2013. Marvel Studios has set release dates for two other unspecified projects. One is Apr. 4, 2014, and the other is May 16, 2014. Thor 2 is set for Nov 15, 2013, ruling that out. Suggested possibilities include Captain America 2, which is shooting for production by the end of 2012, and Nick Fury.Source: Comingsoon
When David O'Russell officially came on board Sony Pictures adaptation of the beloved and best-selling video game Uncharted: Drake's Fortune, I knew what was coming. It might've taken a few months, but eventually Mark Wahlberg was going to announce his involvement in the film. Though my co-workers (and many on the internet) lobbied for the always-on-the-cusp-of-breaking-out-but-never-does Nathan Fillion for the role, you just can't deny the facts: Wahlberg is O'Russell's muse and this project is a PERFECT fit for the seasoned actor.
Uncharted follows a rugged, Indiana Jones-like treasure hunter who believes he's learned the location of the fabled golden city of El Dorado. Upon venturing to the South American destination, he encounters rival hunters and all sorts of antagonists, making for an epic action adventure. The cinematic potential of this grand story is pretty amazing and it has long been a film that I've said I'd line up to see. As a gamer, I can safely say that I've had more fun playing this game (and it's stellar sequel) than any other in recent memory, so I'm stoked.
Regarding Wahlberg: many will come out against his casting and I don't deny that his personality and the pitch of his voice won't exactly match Drake's, but there aren't many actors out there who could handle a David O'Russell production. Wahlberg is one tough son of a bitch, because this will be his fourth collaboration with the hot-headed helmer (following Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees and The Fighter). We also know that he can handle the heavy amounts of action that the film will call for and Sony Pictures is happy to be back in business with him following the unlikely success of The Other Guys. It's full steam ahead for Uncharted now, which has a screenplay from Thomas Dean Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer (Sahara, upcoming Conan reboot). A 2013 release is targeted, but based on MTV's interview with the actor, that could get pushed up to 2012 if the film does indeed lense next year. Check out the interview below:
Since Disney purchased Marvel Studios, speculation has run wild over which Marvel superhero Disney would bring to the big screen. It turns out that hero may be Doctor Strange. Screenwriting duo Thomas Donnelly and Joshua Oppenheimer, of Sahara and the upcoming Conan, have been hired to script a film about the mysterious magician for Marvel and Disney.
The Marvel series, originally written by comics God Stan Lee, tells the story of Dr. Stephen Strange, a neurosurgeon who has his hands irreparably injured in a car crash. He travels the world searching for a cure, and in the process learns sorcery from a hermit in the Himalayas, which he uses to combat the forces of evil and do the usual superhero type things.
Strange is one of a number of superhero films Marvel has in the works, but the tale of the mysterious magician will be the first produced in collaboration with Disney studios. Marvel franchise films Iron Man 3, Thor, The First Avenger: Captain America, and The Avengers are being produced through Paramount, while adaptions of The Runaways and Ant-Man are being developed independently.
Columbia, Dimension and Paramount have each planned unsuccessful adaptations of Dr. Strange in the past, with writers and directors from Wes Craven to Guillermo Del Toro attached. Marvel’s choice of screenwriters isn’t as exciting or evocative as others who’ve been considered for the franchise, but a more conservative take on the project could ensure that it actually gets made. While Strange could be a very interesting project- it requires a slightly older male lead, and will have mental and mystical fight scenes over the usual punch-and-fly fare- superhero fatigue may kill this project before it gets off the ground. Which would spare us from the inevitable Dr. StrangeHate jokes if the movie sucks.
Sources: Deadline, Cinema Blend