20 items from 2015
The 18th edition of the Montreal Festival International du Film pour Enfants begins on February 28th, just in time for Spring Break offering a wide range of films for children, teens and families alike. With events at Cinema Beaubien, Cinema du Parc and the Imperial theatre, there is a little something for everyone, with a wide variety of international premieres and showcases.
One of the highlights of this year’s edition of the festival is a showcase called “Focus Japan”, highlighting some of the very best children’s films from Japan. This comes as the Fifem collaborates for the first time with the Tokyo Kinder Film Festival (the next edition in August 2015 will see the fest taking on a new name, Kineko). Focus Japan will feature great Japanese films new and old, including the ever-popular works of Hayao Miyazaki (Kiki’s Delivery Service, My Neighbour Totoro, Howl’s Moving Castle »
- Justine Smith
Good evening and welcome to the 87th Academy Awards, live from the Dolby Theater in Hollywood, Los Angeles.
The biggest movie event of the year is with us once more, and Digital Spy will be bringing you comprehensive live coverage, from the first Manolos on the red carpet to the last teary speech from the stage.
Refresh your memory with this list of all the nominations and compare your prediction cards with our guesses for who will win all the major gongs.
21:15What were your favourite moments from tonight? And what do you think of all the big winners, especially Birdman's victory over Boyhood? Do let us know in the comments box below, and stick around on DS for our full reaction to the ceremony.
21:14Neil Patrick Harris was undoubtedly a bit hit and miss, lacking confidence in the middle more than anything else, but there were »
Photo: AMPAS Oscar Musts: Predictions | Nominees | Presenters | Printable Ballot It's that time of year again and I welcome you to the 2015 Oscars Live Blog with up-to-the-minute live winners, commentary, red carpet coverage and overall merriment. We are kicking this thing off around 4 Pm Pst or so and carrying on until 9 Pm Pst or whenever this thing ends, which means you better have food, water and perhaps a tasty beverage or two because it's going to be a long night. I've already posted my predictions and have collated the reader polls into one, easy-to-read place along with my predictions as well as my Oscar-blogging co-hort and podcast partner Laremy Legel. You can find all three, one after another with the differences highlights right here. As far as my predicting prowess is concerned, last year I went 21 for 24 and I always shoot for at least 20 correct... we'll see how this year turns »
- Brad Brevet
With its nomination for Best Animated Feature at this Sunday’s Oscars, the film represents the end of an era in many ways. The legendary production house, which has pioneered the dying art of line-drawn animation against increasing competition from CGI, is losing its co-founder Hayao Miyazaki. His absence is clearly seen as a heavy blow – Miyazaki’s contribution to Ghibli’s output was incalculable. Indeed, entries such as Spirited Away ensured a presence for this singular approach to filmmaking amongst the big hitters of Hollywood. Yet when he departs, replacement Toshio Suzuki is unsure of any future direction.
So as Princess Kaguya lines up to take her place for the forthcoming ceremony, now is a good time to look back at other notable movies from »
- Steve Palace
Chicago – Just in time for its potential win of the “Best Animated Feature” Oscar this Sunday, the Irish animated film “Song of the Sea” opens this weekend at Chicago’s Music Box Theater. A grab-bag myth come to storytelling life, this film is vitalized by its gorgeous animation as much as the heart within its narrative.
This animated treasure from the “Secret of Kells” director Tomm Moore is an original story, but based on the Irish folklore of Selkies, creatures that live as seals in the sea, but humans on land. Moore angles his Selkie tale to focus on themes of humans dealing with burrowed grief. In “Song of the Sea,” a father (Conor, voiced by Brendan Gleeson) cares for his children, his pre-teen Ben (David Rawle »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
The great Hayao Miyazaki may no longer be calling the shots on Studio Ghibli’s animated features but the studio is still ticking along nicely. Its latest, The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya, is the work of his co-founder Isao Takahata (Grave Of The Fireflies) and promises a typically loving, hand-drawn interpretation of a folk tale, The Tale Of The Bamboo Cutter. Take a look at its new poster by clicking on the image below. Joining other great movie princesses (Leia, Belle, Buttercup… Padmé, to a lesser extent) on the big screen, Kaguya is a tiny discovery made by a curious man who finds her inside a bamboo stalk. She’s raised by him and his wife to become a beautiful young woman who finds herself the subject of many suitors. She alone, however, is privy to a secret that will affect her life. The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya »
With its exquisitely drawn style that recalls washed-out Japanese watercolours, the film is a strong contender to win the Oscar this weekend, having already won several international awards. It faces stiff competition however from fellow nominees The Boxtrolls, Big Hero 6, How To Train Your Dragon 2 and Song Of The Sea. We have faith in Ghibli though as they don’t seem capable of putting a foot wrong.
They won the Best Animated Feature Oscar in 2001 with Spirited Away. This film directed by the legendary Hayao Miyazaki (another co-founder of Studio Ghibli) mesmerised audiences with its stunning animation and unique story, becoming one of the highest grossing films in Japanese history and appearing in the »
- Kat Smith
Last year's live action short films were a bit better than this year's crop and none of this year's films can live up to writer/director Anders Walter's Helium, which ended up winning the live action Oscar last year and Shorts HD is now presenting it for free to watch directly below. The film, for me, was essentially like watching a live action Hayao Miyazaki feature. It's extraordinarily touching and almost magical as it centers on a dying young boy (Pelle Falk Krusb?k) who finds comfort in through the stories about the titular fantasy world as told told by the hospital's janitor Enzo (Casper Crump). Like pretty much everything the Oscar shorts have to offer, this one is a bit sad, but its sadness of overwhelmed by greatness. Marijana Jankovic also stars. Watch the short below and for my thoughts on all of this year's short film contenders »
- Brad Brevet
Through his films Princess Mononoke, My Neighbor Totoro, Spirited Away, and more, Hayao Miyazaki has constantly placed humanity at odds with nature, sometimes making us an outright antagonist and other times placing us at its mercy. It’s a theme common to his work, and none exemplify the message quite as literally as Pom Poko, which he created the story for but didn’t direct or write. Instead, the directorial and screenwriting duties went to Isao Takahata who took Miyazaki’s theme and ran with it to tell the story of a clan of tanukis (also known as Japanese raccoon dogs – not actual raccoons despite what the English dub would have you believe) who wage a fantastical war against the humans seeking to turn their beloved Tama Hills forest into a housing development. Though Pom Poko bursts with humor and the fantastical elements that Miyazaki loves, the pacing of its story stops and starts, »
- Lex Walker
Though Hayao Miyazaki made a graceful retirement from the world of hand-drawn animated features in 2013 with The Wind Rises, eschewing many of the fantastical elements that had become his signature in favor of a more realistic approach to the life and legacy of Jiro Horikoshi, many of his films are just now finding their way to Blu-ray, both in Japan and the United States. One of the recent high-definition upgrades is Porco Rosso, the film that first gave us some insight into Hayao’s love of aeronautical engineering and which, like The Wind Rises, plays down the fantastic in favor of highlighting the majesty air travel used to embody in a bygone era. Throw in some sky pirates, a protagonist cursed with the face of a pig, and some beautiful animation and you have a film worthy of addition to any Blu-ray collection.
- Lex Walker
Mamoru Hosoda’s animated tale “The Boy and the Beast,” which is repped by Gaumont, has attracted distributors across Europe.
Produced by Studio Chizu and Nippon TV, “The Boy and the Beast” has pre-sold to Studiocanal in the U.K., Lucky Red in Italy, Madman in Australia and A Contracorriente in Spain. Gaumont’s deputy head of sales Yohann Comte said the company was closing Switzerland and is sifting through offers for Germany and the U.S..
“The fact that we’ve almost closed most of Europe underscores the rising profile of Mamoru Hosoda, who is perceived by many as the heir of Hayao Miyazaki,” said Comte. “Since Miyazaki has announced he was (retiring), buyers are particularly interested in showcasing another Japanese animation talent.”
“Beast” is a coming-of-age tale about Kyuta, a lonely Japanese boy living in Shibuya, and Kumatetsu, a lonesome beast inhabiting Jutengai, an imaginary world. One day, »
- Elsa Keslassy
How much would you love to visit the worlds of Hayao Miyazaki? Who wouldn’t want to stay at the Hotel Adriano from Porco Rosso or the Aburaya Bathhouse from Spirited Away? Japanese artist Takumi has dreamed up a Studio Ghibli Theme Park we can only wish were real — its not gonna happen but imagine if […]
The post See The Studio Ghibli Theme Park We Wish Were Real appeared first on /Film. »
- Peter Sciretta
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has been under fire for the lack of racial and gender equality in Oscar nominations, but there’s one area where the org can freely boast about diversity: this year’s international contenders. There are non-u.S. nominees in 22 out of 24 categories.
The long list includes two of the five directors — Norway’s Morten Tyldum (“The Imitation Game”) and Mexico’s Alejandro G. Inarritu (“Birdman”) — as well as all five nominees in the music-score category, the first time that’s ever happened.
The roster also includes contenders in two “mainstream” categories for their foreign-language work: cinematographers Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski for Poland’s “Ida” and Marion Cotillard with a French-lingo performance in Belgium’s “Two Days, One Night.”
Academy honchos have been working hard to broaden the organization’s makeup, to better reflect the international film business. AMPAS president Cheryl Boone Isaacs, »
- Tim Gray
You might not know who Gary Rydstrom is, but you've certainly heard him before. This is a man whose pioneering sound work has won him seven (!) Academy Awards and brought to life groundbreaking technological advancements like the first film presented in DTS sound ("Jurassic Park") and re-crafting sound mixes in 5.1 surround (after his breakthrough work on "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," he and James Cameron created a new multi-channel mix for the original "Terminator"). He's also directed a pair of Pixar short films ("Lifted" and "Hawaiian Vacation") and overseen the English language dubs of four Studio Ghibli movies ("Tales from Earthsea," "From Up on Poppy Hill," "Arrietty," and last year's Oscar-nominated masterpiece "The Wind Rises"). In short: he's kind of the coolest dude around.
And this weekend he adds another accomplishment to his already unfathomably long list, when his debut feature film "Strange Magic" debuts in theaters nationwide. This bizarre, George Lucas-produced animated fairy tale, »
- Drew Taylor
By Anjelica Oswald
When the 87th Oscar nominations for best animated feature were announced Jan. 15 and excluded The Lego Movie, the Internet exploded with confusion and disbelief. The film, which was largely expected by many pundits to win the Oscar, was a critical (holding a 96 percent positive score on Rotten Tomatoes) and commercial hit (earning $257.7 million stateside). It also earned Golden Globe and BAFTA Award nominations and won the Critics’ Choice Award for best animated film. It seemingly had everything going in its favor, so what went wrong?
One sentiment is that the animation branch of the Academy, which chooses the nominations, admire hand-drawn traditional animation and want to celebrate and preserve a fading craft rather than nominate solely computer animated and digital films.
The first computer animated film was Toy Story, which was released in 1995 and was nominated for original screenplay, original song and original score. Director »
- Anjelica Oswald
Sony Pictures Animation has brought on Homeland star Mandy Patinkin to voice Papa Smurf in their Untitled Smurfs Movie. Unlike 2011's The Smurfs and 2013's The Smurfs 2, which were live action/CGI animation hybrids, this Smurfs project will be fully animated, sticking closer to the original designs by creator Peyo. The project will give a new origin story to the Smurfs, and, while Papa Smurf is supposed to be "the wise paternal leader" of these tiny blue creatures, that will not always be the case.
Jonathan Winters voiced Papa Smurf in The Smurfs and The Smurfs 2, with Don Messick voicing the character in the original Smurfs animated TV series. Kelly Asbury (Gnomeo and Juliet, Shrek the Third) is directing from a script by Karey Kirkpatrick (The Secret World of Arrietty, Over The Hedge) and Chris Poche (Over The Hedge). Jordan Kerner is producing with Mary Ellen Bauder serving as co-producer. »
Studio Ghibli is having a good day since its hand-drawn coming-of-age "Tale of the Princess Kaguya" officially became one of five films vying for the Best Animated Feature Oscar (and possibly at the expense of expected frontrunner "The Lego Movie"). As the revered Japanese animation house starts to pull back from production in the wake of is-he-or-isn't-he-retired figurehead Hayao Miyazaki's turn toward manga-making, its latest "When Marnie Was There" has landed Us release (Deadline reports). A summer 2014 box office hit in Japan, "Marnie" will be distributed stateside in English in Spring 2015 by Gkids, the studio that opened "Kaguya" to the best reviews of any animated film last year. Directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, this ghost story centered on a 12-year-old orphan's mysterious new friendship could be the last film we see from Ghibli for awhile. It's based on a children's novel from the 1980s by Joan G. »
- Ryan Lattanzio
The film is based on the nonfiction book “13 Hours: The Inside Account of What Really Happened in Benghazi,” by Mitchell Zuckoff with the Annex Security Team. It’s a factual account of the attack on the U.S. Special Mission Compound and a nearby CIA Annex in Benghazi, Libya, Sept 11, 2012.
Also Read: TheWrap’s 25 Most Anticipated Movies of 2015: From ‘Fifty Shades’ to ‘Star Wars’ and ‘Spectre’
The attack left four Americans dead, including U.S. »
- Linda Ge
U.S. animated film distributor Gkids has reached yet another deal with Hayao Miyazaki's Studio Ghibli -- this time to handle the North American distribution of "When Marnie Was There." Based on Joan G. Robinson's children's novel of the same name, "When Marnie Was There" is a story about friendship with elements of the fantastic woven into it. Currently, Gkids is in the midst of running an awards campaign around the 2014 Studio Ghibli film "The Tale of The Princess Kaguya." The company also has the film "Song of the Sea" in theaters. Read More: Isao Takahata's 'The Tale of Princess Kaguya' Takes Top Prize at Fantastic Fest »
- Shipra Gupta
One of the most disappointing realities about 2014 was that as box office shrank compared to last year, independent films were often hit the hardest. Despite stellar reviews, even festival darlings like “Whiplash,” “Foxcatcher,” “The Skeleton Twins” and “Dear White People” each grossed less than $10 million domestically. Here are the 17 most underrated movies of 2014 that deserve a second look in the opinion of Variety’s film critics and reporters.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s biggest, most buzzed-about performance of 2014 may have been in “Nightcrawler,” but his best work could be found in “Prisoners” director Denis Villeneuve’s existential thriller about a mild-mannerded Toronto history professor who discovers he has a doppelganger in the form of a bad-boy bit-part movie actor. Virtually a solo — make that dual — performance piece, with Gyllenhaal playing most of his scenes opposite himself (and, in one case, a giant tarantula), this freewheeling mash-up of Davids Cronenberg and Lynch »
- Peter Debruge, Ramin Setoodeh, Scott Foundas and Jenelle Riley
20 items from 2015
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