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After a relatively uneventful summer and autumn in the world of cinema, someone has decided that November is finally the time to make up for this cinematic drought with interest. Not even halfway through the month, we’ve had three long anticipated blockbuster releases: Thor: The Dark World, Gravity and Ender’s Game, with Hunger Games: Catching Fire‘ as the fourth, following in a fortnight. Cannes festival winner Blue is the Warmest Colour is also shortly due for release, as is the controversial biopic The Fifth Estate and the remake of the horror classic Carrie. Indie success The Green Bicycle and a Norwegian ski movie Supervention have already been showing for a couple of weeks.

I’m puzzled by the decision to release so many big blockbusters all at (nearly) the same time, particularly two epic sci-fi movies. Gravity and Ender’s Game were both released last Friday (a week after Thor 2), giving the latter a major disadvantage, having received less buzz in advance and only being screened in the smaller cinemas not occupied by screenings of the former. This is something of a personal disappointment, seeing as I’ve been anticipating Ender’s Game for two years now and would have liked to have seen it being given better odds at becoming a success. At any rate, I will make an effort to see as many of these as I can, even if budget alterations will have to be made accordingly.

Happy November!

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The 66th Annual Cannes Festival

Cannes is my favourite arena for movie discoveries big and small, and a few days into the 66th annual festival I’m eagerly taking notes of which movies will be worth looking out for in the coming months.

The great thing about Cannes is the refined blend of well-established talent and new names, not discriminated in either direction the size, genre or recognition of a name or project, which results in a wholesome selection of big and small, familiar and new, English-speaking or foreign, all with picked strictly because of their contribution to the art of cinema.

Last year, despite being considered by some as a weak year at Cannes, we found among the selection ‘The Hunt’, ‘Beasts of the Southern Wild’, ‘Amour’, ‘Moonrise Kingdom’, ‘Killing Them Softly.and ‘Laurence Anyways’. There are still a handful of acclaimed movies from last year’s festival I haven’t had the opportunity to see yet (‘Rust and Bone’, ‘In Another Country’, ‘Like Someone in Love’), and some which still have yet to be released (‘Mud’). Sufficed to say that if this is the reaping of a weak year at Cannes, a lot of high-quality movie time is guaranteed in any given year.

On to this year’s movies. A few of them are already well-known prior to their festival screenings, such as the long-awaited opening movie, Baz Luhrman’s ‘The Great Gatsby’, starring among others Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan, which received all over decent reviews. Another pre-screening favourite is ‘Only God Forgives’, where director Nicholas Winding Refn and actor Ryan Gosling have teamed up again, creating massive anticipation after their last team effort blew the cinematic world away with ‘Drive’. Another movie I’ve already been looking forward to for a while is Steven Soderberg’s ‘Behind the Candelabra’.

Besides the aforementioned, there aren’t many titles I recognised prior to the festival, with the exceptions of ‘Only Lovers Left Alive’, which I’ve heard of because it’s Tom Hiddelston’s newest project, and ‘Inside Llewelyn Davies’ by the Coen brothers, which should also be a given as one to watch. The director behind the hard-hitting ‘A Separation’, Asghar Farhadi, is back with ‘Le Passé’ or ‘The Past’, which is expected to be another intense, lowkey drama. Among the smaller “unknowns” are ‘Fruitvale Station’, which did well at the Sundance Festival, ‘The Selfish Giant’, which is supposedly a modern take on the short story by Oscar Wilde, and the French ‘L’Inconnu Du Lac’ or ‘Strangers by the Lake’, a movie which is sure to divide the audience and which is almost guaranteed not to get screening time in Norwegian cinemas due to its pornographic tendencies, unless Cinemateket steps up to the challenge, as they did with ‘Laurence Anyways’ last year.

So, that’s something to start off with after the first four days of the festival. With a week still remaining, there is bound to be a lot of on-screen goodness yet to come.

New ‘Man of Steel’ trailer, finally with its own music score. Looking good!

Ender's Game (2013)

BAFTA 2013 results

11/02/2013 — 4 Comments

Bafta award

I’m quite satisfied with tonight’s BAFTA ceremony. The lovely and always charming Stephen Fry hosted the show with bravada, leaving me with a couple of quotes and some mental images I won’t soon forget.

There were no great surprises among the award winners. As I said earlier today, I didn’t have many favourites among the nominees, but the few I had all won, and the rest were more or less all of them well-deserved.

The adorable Anne Hathaway gave a charming acceptance speech upon winning the award I was most anxious to see handed out, for her performance in Les Misérables’. The movie also won awards for music and production design. Hugh Jackman didn’t get his, though; the best actor – and coolest speech – award went instead to method actor Daniel Day-Lewis for the title role in ‘Lincoln’. Emmanuelle Riva won the best actress award for ‘Amour’, which was awarded best foreign film. Best supporting actor to Christoph Waltz (what an adorable man!) for ‘Django Unchained’, the same movie which also won Quentin Tarantino the award for best original screenplay. Best adapted screenplay award went to ‘Silver Linings Playbook’.

‘Argo’ and Ben Affleck triumphed with the awards for best film, best director and best editing. ‘Life of Pi’ won the well-deserved prizes for cinematography and special effects. Best British film and best music score went to ‘Skyfall’.

Other awards went to ‘The Imposter’, ‘Searching for Sugar Man’ and, as the only real surprise, ‘Brave’.

So that’s BAFTA and Golden Globes over and done with. Now there’s just Oscars to go before the movie year 2012 is properly dealt with, and it will be held on 24th February. Personally I set more store by BAFTA – and even Golden Globes – than the Oscars, but it’s nonetheless the biggest award in the business, so it can’t be outright ignored.