The BAFTA (the British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Awards happened over the weekend, and Brendon filed his report on the site. To promote the award show, the BAFTA commissioned illustrator Tavis Coburn of Dutch Uncle to create a series of posters, one for each of the five Best Film nominees of the year (Avatar, An Education, The Hurt Locker, Precious, and Up in the Air). I absolutely love the retro 1960′s/1970′s style. Check out all five posters after the jump.
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James Cameron on MTV
MTV recently sat down with director James Cameron, and the result is a bunch of interesting, but not necessarily newsworthy, bits. I’ve embedded some of the more interesting video clips after the jump.

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82nd Annual Academy Award Nominations Announced

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The nominations for the 82nd Annual Academy Awards have been released, and there are a few small and pleasant surprises in the list. The list of ten films nominated for Best Picture is causing some sensation, as District 9 is among the group. Lest that make you too hopeful, The Blind Side also got a Best Picture nod, though after the success of that film in the past two months that isn’t much of a surprise. Audible cheers went up among the media audience when that and Sandra Bullock‘s Best Actress nomination were announced.

There are some good small surprises: Woody Harrelson got a Best Supporting Actor nod for his excellent work in The Messenger; Joel and Ethan Coen got a Best Original Screenplay nod for A Serious Man and their film is up for Best Picture; and Jeremy Renner got a Best Actor nod for The Hurt Locker. As expected, James Cameron and Kathryn Bigelow both have Best Director Nominations, and their films Avatar and The Hurt Locker are competing for Best Picture. The full list of noms is after the break. Read More »

Kathryn Bigelow

The Guardian published an article over the weekend, asking the question “Why are there so few female filmmakers?”It’s something that most film writers/bloggers have wondered for a while now. And it has come up again just in time for the Academy Awards, where many believe that Hurt Locker director Kathryn Bigelow will have a fighting chance to become the first female director to take home an Oscar.

On Saturday, Bigelow became the first woman to win the DGA award for Outstanding Direction of a Feature Film. And only 6 times in 60 years has the DGA winner NOT won the Oscar for Best Picture, and in 58 of the last 60 years, the DGA winner went on to win the Oscar for best director. Sofia Coppola was the first third woman to ever be nominated for the best director Academy Award, for Lost in Translation in 2003, but of course, she lost to Peter Jackson.

But back to the question at hand: why are there so few female filmmakers? The Guardian says that it was once blamed on the small amount of female applicants entering film school, which is no longer the case. It has often been blamed on a chauvinist culture, or the fact that a lack of female filmmakers means fewer role models and mentors. Coppola’s nomination didn’t inspire a surge of female filmmakers (as far as I can tell), would/can a Best Director win by Bigelow change anything? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Jason Reitman Talks Hurt Locker and District 9

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We love to hear filmmakers talking about their favorite films, great movies, or the best movies of the year. You may have noticed we’ve featured quite a bit of this on /Film over the past few years. Last night, I came across this video recorded by Roger Ebert, with writer/director Jason Reitman talking about some of the best films of the year: The Hurt Locker and District 9. It’s great to hear Reitman’s honest and gracious thoughts on both films, especially when Hurt Locker/Bigelow is being built up to be his direct competition come Oscar-time. Watch the two-minute video embedded after the jump.

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Kathryn Bigelow has become the first woman to win the DGA award for Outstanding Direction of a Feature Film with The Hurt Locker, defeating James Cameron‘s Avatar. This makes Hurt Locker the favorite for at this year’s Academy Awards. As Roger Ebert points out, only 6 times in 60 years has the DGA winner NOT won the Oscar for Best Picture, and in 58 of the last 60 years, the DGA winner went on to win the Oscar for best director.  A full listing of Director’s Guild of America award winners can be found after the jump.

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pga-award

After the past six weeks, there’s no surprise that Avatar is in the Monday box office news. Once again the film is making scads of cash, pushing past The Dark Knight‘s domestic total and closing in on Titanic‘s box office record. High 3D ticket prices help quite a bit, as Avatar is still way behind Gone with the Wind and Star Wars on the list of most-seen films.

But while the Avatar box-office steamroller has made the film look like a lock for the Best Picture Oscar, last night’s Producers Guild of America (PGA) awards have changed the odds. The PGA awarded Best Picture for 2009 to The Hurt Locker, which was a stunning upset for Avatar, and makes The Hurt Locker an Oscar front-runner. Read More »

This Week in DVD & Blu-ray is a column that compiles all the latest info regarding new DVD and Blu-ray releases, sales, and exclusive deals from stores including Target, Best Buy and Fry’s.

Buy It

THE HURT LOCKER
There’s a compelling character moment toward the end of The Hurt Locker that takes place in a supermarket, which is startlingly effective in its contrast to prior events. Much of that, I suppose, is due to it being one of the few scenes in the film where somebody’s limbs aren’t as risk of being blown off their torso. This film isn’t attempting to offer any political insights into the Iraq War, or even realistically examine what it is that soldiers stationed out in Iraq go through every day (if that’s what you’re after, I recommend checking out The Wire-creator David Simon’s most recent televised opus, Generation Kill). This film, like District 9, is an action film. It’s less an intricately structured narrative than it is a series of loosely-fitted action set pieces, directed with such precise pacing and weight that the intensity of them literally left me with a migraine upon my initial viewing. Given the predictability of movies nowadays, I found this forgoing of traditional plotting to be a refreshing change of pace. People don’t see war-based action movies to be lectured; they see them because the subject matter lends itself to terrifyingly believable life-or-death scenarios. The Hurt Locker knows that this is the case, and embraces it. It is easily one of the most thrilling movie-going experiences I’ve ever had, and a definite highlight of ’09.
Available on Blu-ray? Yes.
Notable Extras: DVD & Blu-ray – An audio commentary by director Kathryn Bigelow and writer Mark Boal, and a “Hurt Locker: Behind the Scenes” featurette.

BEST DVD PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$19.99 $17.99 $15.77
Amazon – $17.99

BEST BLU-RAY PRICE
Target Best Buy Fry’s
$24.99 $24.99 $28.99
Amazon – $24.49

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