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Tag: Foreign language films (11-20 of 32)

Iran will boycott 2013 Oscars due to 'Innocence of Muslims'

Iran’s culture minister said Monday that his country will boycott the 2013 Oscars in the wake of the anti-Islam video made in the United States that denigrates the Prophet Muhammad.

An Iranian film won an Oscar in the foreign film category in February. But Mohammed Hosseini said the Islamic Republic would not field an entry for next year’s awards due to the low-budget video he dubbed “an intolerable insult to the Prophet of Islam,” the semiofficial ISNA news agency reported. Hosseini urged other Islamic countries to also boycott.

He confirmed that the committee in charge of selecting Iran’s entry has already picked Ye Habbeh Ghand, or A Cube of Sugar — a film about a family wedding turning into a funeral when the groom’s relative dies — to compete for best foreign film.

Iranian director Asghar Farhadi won the 2012 Oscar for best foreign film for his movie, A Separation — the first such prize for Iran.  READ FULL STORY

New Motion Picture Academy president Hawk Koch on his top Oscar moments, and getting more members to vote for foreign films

When Hawk Koch was elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences earlier this week, he made history as the first child of a previous president (Howard W. Koch) to also hold the position. He takes on the job after a period of remarkable change at the Academy, including the rejiggering and then re-rejiggering of the Best Picture category and the announcement of an official Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Los Angeles. EW chatted with Koch from his Academy office earlier today, where he shared his thoughts on the best Oscars moments of the past few years, his hope for expanding the voting base for the Best Foreign Language Film category, and his own picks for his favorite films of all time. Check out our conversation below:

ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: You’ve said that the most important thing for you is to get a producer and a host for the Academy Awards. So what have been some of your favorite parts about Academy Awards of the last few years?
HAWK KOCH: I think it was [producers] Larry Mark and Bill Condon’s idea when they produced it — the former Academy winners getting up onstage and looking down on the nominees and telling them what happened to them and what they were feeling and explaining what they felt. I wasn’t as thrilled the next year where we tried to do it a little bit differently, but all the people who had won before — I thought that was great. I really liked Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway dancing. I like a lot of the legacy things, showing the stuff that we’ve done over the years always chokes me up. We now have the honorary awards in a separate dinner, but we really got it right honoring them on the awards show. It really meant a lot I think with Oprah and Dick Smith and James Earl Jones.  READ FULL STORY

Chris Marker, 'La Jetee' director, dead at 91

Chris Marker, the influential French filmmaker whose career spanned six decades, has died, France’s Culture Ministry confirmed Monday. He was 91. President Francois Hollande led tributes to the director, whose large body of work includes the 1962 classic La Jetée — an award-winning post-apocalyptic movie that’s often ranked among the best time-travel films ever made. In a statement, Hollande said the 28-minute black and white film comprised almost entirely of stills “will be remembered by history.”

Set in a post-World War III nuclear-devastated Paris, La Jetée tells the story of a prisoner sent to the past and future to save the present. The film was one of the first to use sci-fi notions of circular time and has since spawned a myriad of references. La Jetée will probably be best remembered as the inspiration behind Terry Gilliam’s 1995 feature Twelve Monkeys, which Marker co-wrote, but many critics say its influence stretches as far as James Cameron’s 1984 and 1991 Terminator movies.

Marker — born Christian François Bouche-Villeneuve and still active into his 80s — was also known for the documentary style seen in his other famous work 1983’s experimental essay-film Sunless, which again takes up the time themes used in his earlier material. In Sunless, the thoughts of a world traveler are narrated and used to look at the failings of human memory; especially in creating world history.

Marker’s work was often politically engaged, and in 1967 he produced Far from Vietnam, a documentary film featuring pieces by Jean-Luc Godard and Alain Resnais that opposed U.S. involvement in southeast Asia.

Cannes Film Festival President Gilles Jacob on Monday called Marker an “indefatigable filmmaker.” READ FULL STORY

'Klown': This year's most-talked-about Danish sex comedy(?) -- VIDEO


Who says they don’t make Danish sex comedies like they used to? Very few people, obviously (at least outside of Denmark, where it may be a constant refrain for all I know). But if anyone did say such a thing we would point them in the direction of the R-rated Klown.

Directed by Mikkel Nørgaard, the film stars Casper Christensen as an adultery-obsessed married man whose dream of enjoying a canoe-based “Tour de p—y” looks in danger of being torpedoed when his vacation buddy, played by Fran Hvam, brings along the nephew of his pregnant girlfriend to prove he is good father material. To say what ensues is rather bawdy is like saying Transformers kind of involves giant, fighting robots.

Earlier this year, Warner Bros. acquired the remake rights and set Danny McBride to work writing the script. But for those who like their Danish comedies really, well, Danish, the original movie will hit cinemas with a lubricious squelch on July 27.

You can check out the trailer below. READ FULL STORY

Oscar-nominated 'Bullhead': Belgian gangster movie with a beef -- EXCLUSIVE CLIP

In Bullhead, the Belgian film nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, Matthias Schoenaerts plays Jacky, a ‘roid-headed cattle farmer who gets tangled up in the illegal growth hormone trade. Schoenaerts beefed up for the thick-necked role, packing on more than 60 pounds, and his intense performance has been recognized at the Palm Springs International Film Festival and AFI Fest.

It’s a very unique gangster film, one in which first-time writer/director Michaël R. Roskam, a classically trained painter, spent five years writing and fine-tuning the theme that you can’t change the past. In the exclusive clip below, Jacky confronts Bruno, a vicious bully he grew up with who’s now living in a mental health facility. READ FULL STORY

Angelina Jolie responds to 'Blood and Honey' lawsuit

Two days after Croatian journalist James J. Braddock filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against Angelina Jolie over her directorial debut In the Land of Blood and Honey, the actress has responded. According to the L.A. Times, Jolie said in a recent interview, “It’s par for the course. It happens on almost every film.” Though Braddock claims he met several times with Jolie’s producer Eden Sarkic (also named in the suit), Jolie (who also co-wrote Honey‘s script) insisted she’s never read A Soul Shattering, Braddock’s 2007 account of the Bosnian War. “There are many books and documentaries that I did pull from. It’s a combination of many people’s stories,” she said. “But that particular book I’ve never seen.” Braddock is seeking an emergency injunction against the film’s Dec. 23 release.

Read more:
Angelina Jolie sued for copyright infringement over her directorial debut
Is the ‘In the Land of Blood and Honey’ poster one of the year’s best?
Angelina Jolie talks ‘heavy, darker times’ on ’60 Minutes’

Angelina Jolie sued for copyright infringement over her directorial debut

In the Land of Blood and Honey is Angelina Jolie’s directorial/screenwriting debut. Unfortunately it’s also cast her in another new role: defendant. On Dec. 2, papers were filed in Illinois suing Jolie and the producers of the film for copyright infringement.

James J. Braddock, a Croatian journalist, maintains that the movie — due in theaters Dec. 23 — takes its plot from his book, The Soul Shattering, which was published in 2007. The lawsuit maintains that Braddock met with co-defendant Edin Sarkic (a producer on the film) three different times in 2008 and that The Soul Shattering and the finished film share the following similarities (SPOILER ALERT, for those who hope to see the film): READ FULL STORY

'Flowers of War' to receive late-December Oscar-qualifying release

Flowers of War, director Zhang Yimou’s Chinese epic about the brutal Japanese 1930s invasion and occupation, will receive an Oscar-qualifying release in late December, a spokesperson for the film said. In the U.S., Wreckin Hill will distribute the movie, which premieres in China on Dec. 16 and is already that country’s foreign-language selection for the Best Foreign Film Oscar. The limited American run, however, will enable award campaigns for Best Actor and Best Director. In the film, Christian Bale stars as a stranded American who pretends to be a priest to protect himself and others from the Japanese army. It’s not the first time Bale has played a character in such circumstances: In Steven Spielberg’s Empire of the Sun, he played a boy separated from his family in China during the same Japanese assault.

Watch the trailer for the new film, which blends English and Mandarin speaking roles, below: READ FULL STORY

'1911' trailer: Jackie Chan leads the Chinese against the Last Emperor

Bernardo Bertolucci told the story of The Last Emperor in 1987, but now Chinese filmmakers are celebrating the 1911 revolution that ended the corrupt Qing Dynasty and ushered China into the modern age from their own perspective. In 1911, Jackie Chan stars as a soldier who reluctantly takes up arms against the royal family, and Winston Chou (Ang Lee’s The Wedding Banquet) plays Chinese nationalist hero Sun Yat-sen. The trailer feels like a Chinese version of Pearl Harbor, what with all the explosions and blatant flag-waving. Take a look. READ FULL STORY

Pedro Almodovar to headline AFI Fest 2011

Pedro Almodóvar will serve as Guest Artistic Director for this November’s AFI Fest 2011, the festival announced today. The Spanish director will present a 25th anniversary screening of his Laws of Desire and curate a program of films that have inspired him. “Pedro Almodóvar is a modern master,” AFI president and CEO Bob Gazzale said. “His genius inspires artists and audiences alike, and it is an honor for the American Film Institute to celebrate him and his singular voice at AFI Fest.”

Almodóvar’s next film, The Skin I Live In, arrives Oct. 14. AFI Fest 2011 runs Nov. 3-10.

Read more:
‘The Skin I Live In’ trailer
‘The Descendants’ to close New York Film Festival

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