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8 items from 2017


Santa Barbara Film Festival Announces 2017 Award Winners

11 February 2017 9:30 AM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival announced the winners of the 32nd fest on Saturday.

Eleven awards were doled out at the annual breakfast, all leading up to the audience prize, which went to “My Hero Brother.” Director Yonatan Nir’s touching movie follows a group of young people with Down syndrome who embark with their siblings on a trip through the Himalayas. The film also received the best documentary award.

Three awards were handed out for short films. Cameron Fay’s “It’s Been Like a Year” nabbed the Bruce Corwin Award for live action short film, while “Confino,” directed by Nico Bonomolo, received the same prize for animated short film. Documentary short film went to two films with nearly identical titles: “Refugee,” a portrait of a West African woman who leaves her children to come to the U.S. in pursuit of the American Dream, directed by Joyce Chen »

- Sarah Ahern

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Santa Barbara Film Festival Winds Up Starry Session with Indie Prizes (Videos)

11 February 2017 9:30 AM, PST | Thompson on Hollywood | See recent Thompson on Hollywood news »

Under Executive director Roger Durling, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival has flourished by riding the awards season wave via starry onstage interviews with Oscar contenders.

Every year, screenwriters, directors and producers promote their causes on panels, and the likes of Jeff Bridges (a local), Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, Denzel Washington, and Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams submit to in-depth tributes from Leonard Maltin and Pete Hammond, among others. This year I had the pleasure of a wide-ranging conversation with Best Actress Oscar-nominee Isabelle Huppert. (See video excerpts below.)

And Saturday, the festival wound up its 32nd edition by handing out its annual jury prizes. All eleven are listed below.

The Audience Choice Award went to Yonatan Nir’s “My Hero Brother,” which also took home the Best Documentary Award. It tells the story of a group of young people with Down syndrome who embarking on an arduous trek through the Himalayas. »

- Anne Thompson

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Santa Barbara Film Festival Winds Up Starry Session with Indie Prizes (Videos)

11 February 2017 9:30 AM, PST | Indiewire | See recent Indiewire news »

Under Executive director Roger Durling, the Santa Barbara International Film Festival has flourished by riding the awards season wave via starry onstage interviews with Oscar contenders.

Every year, screenwriters, directors and producers promote their causes on panels, and the likes of Jeff Bridges (a local), Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling, Denzel Washington, and Casey Affleck and Michelle Williams submit to in-depth tributes from Leonard Maltin and Pete Hammond, among others. This year I had the pleasure of a wide-ranging conversation with Best Actress Oscar-nominee Isabelle Huppert. (See video excerpts below.)

And Saturday, the festival wound up its 32nd edition by handing out its annual jury prizes. All eleven are listed below.

The Audience Choice Award went to Yonatan Nir’s “My Hero Brother,” which also took home the Best Documentary Award. It tells the story of a group of young people with Down syndrome who embarking on an arduous trek through the Himalayas. »

- Anne Thompson

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John Hurt: Remembering the Master of Outsiders

30 January 2017 5:35 AM, PST | Rollingstone.com | See recent Rolling Stone news »

For a man whose first claim to screen immortality came when an extraterrestrial freak of nature ripped a hole in his chest and screeched bloody murder in Alien, John Hurt was a hell of an actor. "The alien won the Oscar," a laughing Hurt told me nearly three decades later, referring to the Academy Award that Ridley Scott's 1979 film took home for H.R. Giger's visual effects. It might be the only time in his 55-year career that anyone, let alone a creature that looked like a penis with teeth, »

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Sir John Hurt obituary

27 January 2017 9:41 PM, PST | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Versatile actor who starred in the television film The Naked Civil Servant, the 1980 classic The Elephant Man and the BBC TV series I, Claudius

Few British actors of recent years have been held in as much affection as Sir John Hurt, who has died aged 77. That affection is not just because of his unruly lifestyle – he was a hell-raising chum of Oliver Reed, Peter O’Toole and Richard Harris, and was married four times – or even his string of performances as damaged, frail or vulnerable characters, though that was certainly a factor. There was something about his innocence, open-heartedness and his beautiful speaking voice that made him instantly attractive.

Related: A life in pictures: John Hurt

Continue reading »

- Michael Coveney

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John Hurt, Oscar-Nominated Star of ‘The Elephant Man,’ Dies at 77

27 January 2017 6:45 PM, PST | Variety - Film News | See recent Variety - Film News news »

John Hurt, the wiry English actor who played a drug addict in “Midnight Express,” Kane in “Alien,” the title character in “The Elephant Man,” and Winston Smith in “1984” has died. He was 77.

He died on Wednesday at home in Norfolk, his widow, Anwen, confirmed in a statement to Variety. Hurt had disclosed in 2015 that he had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Anwen wrote as a tribute, “John was the most sublime of actors and the most gentlemanly of gentlemen with the greatest of hearts and the most generosity of spirit. He touched all our lives with joy and magic and it will be a strange world without him.”

Mel Brooks, executive producer of “The Elephant Man,” tweeted that he was a “truly magnificent talent.”

It was terribly sad today to learn of John Hurt's passing. He was a truly magnificent talent.

Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) January 28, 2017

No one could have »

- Carmel Dagan

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Criterion Reflections – If…. (1968) – #391

16 January 2017 6:34 PM, PST | CriterionCast | See recent CriterionCast news »

David’s Quick Take for the tl;dr Media Consumer:

If…. is an important film of its time, occasionally droll and inspiring in its provocation of middle-class establishment values but more often charged with unsettling anger and resentment toward the intense pain registered by its various characters. Focusing through a darkly comedic lens on the torments inflicted by authorities on a trio of misfits in a regimented, highly traditional English boarding school, viewers are prodded to answer the question asked in the above poster: which side will you be on? When If…. reaches its explosive conclusion, our response is likely to be urgently felt and quickly resolved, but it’s not the kind of answer that’s likely to rest all that comfortably on our conscience if we let its implications sink in.

Director Lindsay Anderson had already established himself as a creative trailblazer in the British theater and cinema scenes, »

- David Blakeslee

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Digital Damnation, or Denying Dignity to the Dead with Computer Generated Doppelgangers

13 January 2017 9:20 AM, PST | Flickeringmyth | See recent Flickeringmyth news »

Anghus Houvouras on digital resurrection…

No. Hell no. This needs to stop and needs to be stopped in its infancy. Snuffed out before this demon baby matures into a fully grown ideological hellspawn that feasts on our cinematic souls.

I might be one of the few people who was genuinely irked at seeing the late, great Peter Cushing dragged through the uncanny valley in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. And it wasn’t about the dodgy realism but the idea of taking a great, charismatic performer and trying to replicate that magic digitally. The more I thought about it, the angrier I became. Peter Cushing was a legend. A presence. And the idea that someone so compelling and iconic could be replaced by a digital doppelgänger is an affront to the concept of performance.

This morning I read that Disney iss ‘negotiating’ with Carrie Fisher’s family about her »

- Anghus Houvouras

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8 items from 2017


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