The sixty-three films eligible for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Oscars have been culled down to nine movies, and the resulting list is a bit surprising. Not making the cut is The Flowers of War, with Christian Bale, or Miss Bala, the Mexican film that did well at festivals last year.

Meanwhile the Belgian film Bullhead, which got a good reception at Fantastic Fest, did make the list, as did likely favorite to win A Separation, which took home a Golden Globe this past weekend.

Get the full list after the break. Read More »

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Every single year come awards season, it’s always upsetting to see the blatant misfires on the Academy’s short list of films eligible for the Best Documentary Oscar. Just last year, the big story wasn’t so much that Exit Through the Gift Shop or Restrepo were up for the award, it was that films like Catfish, Best Worst Movie and Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work were snubbed.

This year it’s more of the same. Much more. Fifteen films have been chosen that will be narrowed down to five to tangle for the Oscar itself and on that list are several exceptional documentaries: Bill Cunningham New York, Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory and Project Nim (above) just to name a few.

Not on the list, however are Constance Mark’s Being Elmo: A Puppeteer’s Journey, Steve James’s The Interrupters, Werner Herzog‘s Into the Abyss, Errol Morris’ Tabloid, Ian Palmer’s Knuckle, Morgan Spurlock’s The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, Andrew Rossi’s Page One: Inside the New York Times, Michael Rapaport’s Beats, Rhymes and Life, Disney’s African Cats, Jon Chu’s Justin Bieber Never Say Never, Cameron Crowe’s Pearl Jam Twenty, Peter Richardson’s How To Die In Oregon, Mark Landsman’s Thunder Soul, Kevin Macdonald’s Life In A Day and, most notably out of all of those, Asif Kapadia’s extraordinary Senna. Just to name a few.

Those films didn’t make the cut. Read what did after the jump. Read More »


On day two of the 38th annual Telluride Film Festival and I caught the amazing new Pixar film LA Luna, Wim Wenders 3D documentary Pina about the famous modern dance choreographer, and the first surprise premiere screening of the festival, Jim Field Smith‘s dark dramedy Butter, a top Black List screenplay about a midwest butter carving championship which stars Jennifer Garner, Ty Burrell, Olivia Wilde, Ashley Greene, Alicia Silverstone, Rob Corddry and Hugh Jackman.
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The Telluride Film Festival, a presentation of the National Film Preserve which takes place beginning tomorrow, Friday Sept 2 and runs through Monday Sept 5, is an unusual beast as far as film festivals go. The core film lineup is not announced until the day before the festival begins, so attendees have to commit to the fest without knowing any of the movies that will definitely play.

Now the first list of films is out, and it has some expected inclusions such as David Cronenberg‘s A Dangerous Method (trailer) and the Cannes fave The Artist (trailer). In addition there are some good surprises, such as Steve McQueen and Michael Fassbender‘s reunion, Shame (pics), and the Dardenne BrothersThe Kid With a Bike.

More films will be announced at the last minute over the next couple days. One addition, for example, according to Kris Tapley, is Butter. Peter is arriving in Telluride later today so he’ll have coverage of the festival during the holiday weekend. Check out the announced lineup below. Read More »

Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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