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More Gay Stars and Directors and Screenwriters on TCM: From psychos and psychiatrists to surfers and stage mamas

23 hours ago

On the day a U.S. appeals court lifted an injunction that blocked a Mississippi “religious freedom” law – i.e., giving Christians extremists the right to discriminate against gays, lesbians, bisexuals, transgender people, etc. – not to mention the publication of a Republican-backed health care bill targeting the poor, the sick, the elderly, and those with “pre-conditions” – which would include HIV-infected people, a large chunk of whom are gay and bisexual men, so the wealthy in the U.S. can get a massive tax cut, Turner Classic Movies' 2017 Gay Pride or Lgbt Month celebration continues (into tomorrow morning, Thursday & Friday, June 22–23) with the presentation of movies by or featuring an eclectic – though seemingly all male – group: Montgomery Clift, Anthony Perkins, Tab Hunter, Dirk Bogarde, John Schlesinger, Tennessee Williams, Gore Vidal, Arthur Laurents, and Jerome Robbins. After all, one assumes that, rumors or no, the presence of Mercedes McCambridge in one of »

- Andre Soares

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Sfsff: Amazing Tales of the Archives

21 June 2017 7:35 PM, PDT

Sfsff 2017 featured films by or with Paul Robeson, Sergei Eisenstein, Ossi Oswalda, Clara Bow, Priscilla Dean, Lon Chaney, Douglas Fairbanks, Harold Lloyd, Bessie Love, Lloyd Hughes, Wallace Beery, and The Lost World dinosaurs. Amazing Tales of the Archives Fans of the earliest sound films would enjoy the first presentation at this year's Amazing Tales Of The Archives. George Willeman examined the Thomas Edison Kinetophone process with a wealth of enjoyable film clips. Between 1913-1914, sound-on-cylinder invaded the nascent film industry with a collection of “talkies”. The sound was scratchy and muffled, but recognizable. It was notable that this effort focused on dialog rather than music or sound effects. As with making other recordings at the time, the technology was acoustic. The actors needed to stand perfectly still and shout into horns suspended overhead to make their voices record on a wax cylinder, which played back when the film was shown. As expected, the device was plagued by many synchronization errors. I can only imagine the effect this distorted sound had on the audience. Next up was a look at The Desmet Collection from 1907-1916 from The Netherlands. Film collector, Jean Desmet (1875-1956), managed to save not only film but a wealth of posters, programs and other documents. I think this supports my theory that hoarding and saving are not always pathological. The last presentation I found the most inspiring. A female documentarian. In the 1920's, Aloha Wanderwell Baker (1906-1996) practically circled the globe documenting people and places from Turkey to Africa to China. Photos from the era showed her roughing it on airplanes, boats, and caravans, much to the amusement of the locals. Her enthusiasm for film and social anthropology made itself evident by the fact that she was still reminiscing about her travelogs when she was in her 80's. This article was originally published at Alt Film Guide (http://www.altfg.com/). »

- Danny Fortune

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Bypassed Palme d'Or Contenders Academy Award Chances? From Haneke's Latest to Pattinson Thriller

20 June 2017 8:14 PM, PDT

'Good Time' with Robert Pattinson: All but completely bypassed at the Cannes Film Festival, Ben and Joshua Safdie's crime thriller – co-written by Joshua Safdie and Ronald Bronstein – may turn out to be a key contender in various categories next awards season. Bypassed Palme d'Or contenders (See previous post re: Cannes winners Diane Kruger & Sofia Coppola's Oscar chances.) The Cannes Film Festival has historically been both U.S.- and eurocentric. In other words, filmmaking from other countries in the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific tend to be ignored either at the awards ceremony or at the very outset – in other words, they don't even get the chance to compete for the Palme d'Or. This year was no different, with a mere two non-u.S., non-European productions (or co-productions) among the 19 films in the Official Competition: Naomi Kawase's Japanese romantic drama Radiance and Hong Sang-soo's South Korean romantic drama The Day After. Both came out empty-handed. Among the other movies that failed to win any of the Official Competition awards, several may have a shot in some category or other come Oscar time. Notably: The socially conscious family drama Happy End, produced by veteran Margaret Ménégoz (Pauline at the Beach, Europa Europa) and a Sony Pictures Classics release in North America. Dir.: Michael Haneke. Cast: Isabelle Huppert. Jean-Louis Trintignant. Mathieu Kassovitz. The mix of time-bending mystery and family drama Wonderstruck, a Roadside Attractions / Amazon Studios release (on Oct. 20) in the U.S. Dir.: Todd Haynes. Cast: Julianne Moore. Millicent Simmonds. Cory Michael Smith. The crime drama Good Time, an A24 release (on Aug. 11) in the U.S. Dir.: Ben and Joshua Safdie. Cast: Robert Pattinson. Jennifer Jason Leigh. Barkhad Abdi. Cannes non-win doesn't mean weaker Oscar chances It's good to remember that the lack of a Cannes Film Festival win doesn't necessarily reduce a film's, a director's, a screenwriter's, or a performer's Oscar chances. Case in point: last year's Cannes Best Actress “loser” Isabelle Huppert for Elle. Here are a few other recent examples of Cannes non-winners in specific categories that went on to receive Oscar nods: Carol (2015), Best Actress (Cate Blanchett) nominee. Two Days, One Night / Deux jours, une nuit (2014), Best Actress (Marion Cotillard) nominee. The Great Beauty / La grande bellezza (2013), Best Foreign Language Film winner. The Hunt / Jagten (2012), Best Foreign Language Film nominee (at the 2013 Academy Awards). The Artist (2011), Best Picture and Best Director (Michel Hazanavicius) Oscar winner. And here's a special case: Amour leading lady and 2012 Best Actress Oscar nominee Emmanuelle Riva could not have won the Best Actress Award at Cannes, as current festival rules prevent Palme d'Or winners from taking home any other Official Competition awards. In other words, Isabelle Huppert (again), Julianne Moore, and Robert Pattinson – and their respective films – could theoretically remain strong Oscar contenders despite the absence of Cannes Film Festival Official Competition victories. Mohammad Rasoulof and Leslie Caron among other notable Cannes winners Besides those already mentioned in this article, notable winners at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival include: Mohammad Rasoulof's A Man of Integrity. Having infuriated Iran's theocracy, in 2010 Rasoulof was sentenced to a year in prison following accusations of “filming without a permit.” He has been out on bail. In 2011, Rasoulof won the Un Certain Regard sidebar's Best Director Award for Goodbye. Two years later, his Un Certain Regard entry Manuscripts Don't Burn won the International Film Critics' Fipresci Prize. Veteran Leslie Caron and her 17-year-old pet rescue dog Tchi Tchi shared the Palm DogManitarian Award for their work in the British television series The Durrells in Corfu / The Durrells. Caron, who will be turning 86 on July 1, made her film debut in Vincente Minnelli's 1951 musical An American in Paris – that year's Best Picture Academy Award winner. She would be shortlisted twice for the Best Actress Oscar: Lili (1953) and The L-Shaped Room (1963). Last year, she was the subject of Larry Weinstein's documentary Leslie Caron: The Reluctant Star and will next be seen in Thomas Brunot's short The Perfect Age. Faces Places / Visages, villages, which offers a tour of the French countryside, won Cannes' Golden Eye Award for Best Documentary. The directors are veteran Agnès Varda (Cléo from 5 to 7, Vagabond), who turned 89 on May 30, and photographer/muralist Jr. Faces Places is supposed to be Varda's swan song, following a career spanning more than six decades. Her 2008 César-winning documentary The Beaches of Agnès was one of the 15 semi-finalists for the Best Documentary Feature Oscar. See below a comprehensive list of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival winners. Leslie Caron in 'The Durrells in Corfu.' TV series a.k.a. 'The Durrells' earned the veteran two-time Best Actress Oscar nominee ('Lili,' 1953; 'The L-Shaped Room,' 1963) and her dog companion Tchi Tchi this year's Palm DogManitarian Award at the Cannes Film Festival. 2017 Cannes Film Festival winners Official Competition Palme d'Or: The Square (dir.: Ruben Östlund). Grand Prix: 120 Beats per Minute (dir.: Robin Campillo). Jury Prize: Loveless (dir.: Andrey Zvyagintsev). Best Screenplay (tie): The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Yorgos Lanthimos & Efthymis Filippou. You Were Never Really Here, Lynne Ramsay. Best Actress: Diane Kruger, In the Fade. Best Actor: Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here. Best Director: Sofia Coppola, The Beguiled. Best Short Film: A Gentle Night (dir.: Qiu Yang). Short Film Special Mention: Katto (dir.: Teppo Airaksinen).   Un Certain Regard Un Certain Regard Award: A Man of Integrity (dir.: Mohammad Rasoulof). Jury Prize: April's Daughter / Las hijas de abril (dir.: Michel Franco). Best Director: Taylor Sheridan, Wind River. Best Actress / Best Performance: Jasmine Trinca, Fortunata. Prize for Best Poetic Narrative: Barbara (dir.: Mathieu Amalric).   International Film Critics' Fipresci Prize Official Competition:  120 Beats per Minute. Un Certain Regard: Closeness (dir.: Kantemir Balagov). Directors' Fortnight: The Nothing Factory / A Fábrica de Nada (dir.: Pedro Pinho).   Directors' Fortnight / Quinzaine des Réalisateurs Prix Sacd (Société des Auteurs Compositeurs Dramatiques) (tie): Lover for a Day / L'amant d'un jour (dir.: Philippe Garrel). Let the Sunshine In / Un beau soleil intérieur (dir.: Claire Denis). C.I.C.A.E. Art Cinema Award: The Rider (dir.: Chloe Zhao). Europa Cinemas Label: A Ciambra (dir.: Jonas Carpignano). Prix Illy for Best Short Film: Back to Genoa City / Retour à Genoa City (dir.: Benoît Grimalt).   Critics' Week Grand Prize: Makala (dir.: Emmanuel Gras). Visionary Award: Gabriel and the Mountain / Gabriel e a Montanha (dir.: Fellipe Barbosa). Gan Foundation Award for Distribution: Version Originale Condor, French distributor of Gabriel and the Mountain. Sacd Award: Léa Mysius, Ava. Discovery Award for Best Short Film: Los desheredados (dir.: Laura Ferrés). Canal+ Award for Best Short Film: The Best Fireworks Ever / Najpienkniejsze Fajerwerki Ever (dir.: Aleksandra Terpinska).   Other Cannes Film Festival 2017 Awards 70th Anniversary prize: Nicole Kidman. Caméra d'Or for Best First Film: Montparnasse Bienvenue / Jeune femme (dir.: Léonor Serraille). Golden Eye Award for Best Documentary: Faces Places / Visages, Villages (dir.: Agnès Varda, Jr). Prize of the Ecumenical Jury: Radiance (dir.: Naomi Kawase). Queer Palm: 120 Beats per Minute. Queer Palm for Best Short Film: Islands / Les îles (dir.: Yann Gonzalez). Cannes Soundtrack Award for Best Composer: Daniel Lopatin, Good Time. Vulcan Prize for Artist Technicians: Josefin Åsberg, The Square. Kering Women in Motion Award: Isabelle Huppert. Palm Dog: Einstein the Dog for The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected). Palm DogManitarian Award: Leslie Caron and the dog Tchi Tchi for The Durrells in Corfu. Chopard Trophy for Male/Female Revelation: George MacKay and Anya Taylor-Joy.   This article was originally published at Alt Film Guide (http://www.altfg.com/). »

- Steph Mont.

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More Cannes Winners: Diane Kruger to Become the New Isabelle Huppert + Best Director Coppola Oscar Chances?

20 June 2017 8:05 PM, PDT

'In the Fade' with Diane Kruger: Fatih Akin's German-language Avenging Woman drama may give its star the chance to become next awards season Isabelle Huppert. Diane Kruger: 2017–2018 awards season's Isabelle Huppert? The 2003 Cannes Film Festival's Female Revelation Chopard Trophy winner, Diane Kruger was Cannes' 2017 Best Actress winner for Fatih Akin's In the Fade / Aus dem Nichts. If Akin's German drama finds a U.S. distributor before the end of the year, Kruger could theoretically become the Isabelle Huppert of the 2017–2018 awards season – that is, in case the former does become a U.S. critics favorite while we stretch things a bit regarding the Kruger-Huppert commonalities. Just a bit, as both are European-born Best Actress Cannes winners who have been around for a while (in Huppert's case, for quite a while). Perhaps most importantly, like Huppert in Paul Verhoeven's Elle, Kruger plays a woman out for revenge in In the Fade. Diane Kruger-Isabelle Huppert 'differences' There is, however, one key difference between the two characters: in Elle, Huppert wants to avenge her own rape; in In the Fade, Kruger wants to avenge the death of her Turkish husband (Numan Acar) and their son (Rafael Santana) at the hands of white supremacist terrorists. Another key difference, this time about the Kruger-Huppert Cannes Film Festival connection: although Isabelle Huppert became a U.S. critics favorite – and later a Best Actress Oscar nominee – for her performance in Elle, her (unanimous) Best Actress Cannes win was for another movie, Michael Haneke's The Piano Teacher / La pianiste back in 2001. At that time, Huppert also became a U.S. critics favorite (winning Best Actress honors in San Diego and San Francisco; a runner-up in Los Angeles and New York), but, perhaps because of the psychological drama's sexually charged nature, she failed to receive a matching Oscar nod. Last year's Cannes Best Actress, by the way, was Jaclyn Jose for Brillante Mendoza's Philippine drama Ma' Rosa. Huppert had been in contention as well, as Elle was in the running for the Palme d'Or. Diane Kruger Best Actress Oscar nomination chances? A Best Actress nomination for Diane Kruger at the German Academy Awards (a.k.a. Lolas) – for her first German-language starring role – is all but guaranteed. Curiously, that would be her first. As for a Best Actress Oscar nod, that's less certain. For starters, unlike the mostly well-reviewed Elle, In the Fade has sharply divided critics. The Hollywood Reporter, for one, summarized Akin's film as a “thriller made riveting by an emotional performance from Diane Kruger,” while The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw called it a “mediocre revenge drama” with “a not particularly good” star turn. Besides, since the year 2000 just one “individual” Best Actress Cannes winner has gone on to receive an Oscar nomination for the same performance: Rooney Mara*, who, though one of the two leads in Todd Haynes' Carol (2011), was shortlisted in the Oscars' Best Supporting Actress category so as not to compete with her co-star and eventual Best Actress nominee Cate Blanchett. Then there's the special case of Penélope Cruz; the 2006 Best Actress Oscar nominee – for Pedro Almodóvar's Volver – was a Cannes winner as part of that family comedy-drama ensemble†. And finally, despite their Cannes Best Actress win for performances in (at least partly) English-language films, no less than seven other actresses have failed to be shortlisted for the Academy Awards this century. Björk, Dancer in the Dark (2000). Maggie Cheung, Clean (2004). Hanna Laslo, Free Zone (2005). Charlotte Gainsbourg, Antichrist (2009). Juliette Binoche, Certified Copy (2010). Kirsten Dunst, Melancholia (2011). Julianne Moore, Maps to the Stars (2014). Coincidentally, that same year Moore starred in Still Alice, which eventually earned her the Best Actress Oscar. Warner Bros. will be distributing In the Fade in Germany later this year. Regarding the Oscars, whether late in 2017 or late in 2018, seems like it would be helpful if Diane Kruger got a hold of Isabelle Huppert's – and/or Marion Cotillard's and Jean Dujardin's – U.S.-based awards season publicists. * Rooney Mara shared the 2011 Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award with Emmanuelle Bercot for My King / Mon roi. † Also in the Cannes-winning Volver ensemble: Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas, Blanca Portillo, Chus Lampreave, and Yohana Cobo. 'The Beguiled' trailer: Colin Farrell cast in the old Clint Eastwood role in Sofia Coppola's readaptation of Civil War-set, lust & circumstance drama. Sofia Coppola ends Cannes female drought About 13 years ago, Sofia Coppola became the first American woman to be shortlisted for the Best Director Academy Award – for the Tokyo-set drama Lost in Translation, starring Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. Coppola eventually lost in that category to Peter Jackson for the blockbuster The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, but she did take home that year's Best Original Screenplay Oscar statuette. There haven't been any other Oscar nominations since, but her father-daughter drama Somewhere, toplining Stephen Dorff and Elle Fanning, was the controversial Golden Lion winner at the 2010 Venice Film Festival. This year, Coppola has become only the second woman to win the Cannes Film Festival's Best Director Award – for The Beguiled, an American Civil War-set drama based on Thomas P. Cullinan's 1966 novel of the same name (originally published as A Painted Devil). With shades of Rumer Godden's Black Narcissus, The Beguiled follows a wounded Union soldier as he finds refuge at a girls' boarding school in Virginia. Sexual tension and assorted forms of pathological behavior ensue. Tenuous Cannes-Oscar Best Director connection From 2000 to 2016, 20 filmmakers† have taken home the Cannes Film Festival's Best Director Award. Of these, only four have gone on to receive matching Best Director Oscar nominations – but no wins: David Lynch, Mulholland Dr. (2001). Alejandro González Iñárritu, Babel (2006). Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (2007). Bennett Miller, Foxcatcher (2014). Four other Cannes Best Director winners were bypassed by the Academy even though their movies featured – at least a sizable chunk of – English-language dialogue: Joel Coen, The Man Who Wasn't There§ (2001). Paul Thomas Anderson, Punch-Drunk Love (2002). Gus Van Sant, Elephant (2004). Nicolas Winding Refn, Drive (2011). In other words, a Best Director Cannes Film Festival win is no guarantee of a Best Director Academy Award nomination. Ultimately, Sofia Coppola's chances of an Oscar nod in the Best Director category depend on how well The Beguiled is received among Los Angeles and New York film circles, and how commercially successful – for an “arthouse movie” – it turns out to be. † During that period, there were three Cannes Film Festival Best Director ties: 2001: Joel Coen for The Man Who Wasn't There§ & David Lynch for Mulholland Dr. 2002: Im Kwon-taek for Painted Fire & Paul Thomas Anderson for Punch-Drunk Love. 2016: Cristian Mungiu for Graduation & Olivier Assayas for Personal Shopper. Both films opened in the U.S. in spring 2017 and may thus be eligible for the upcoming awards season. § Ethan Coen co-directed The Man Who Wasn't There, but didn't receive credit in that capacity. 'The Beguiled' with Nicole Kidman. The Best Actress Oscar winner ('The Hours,' 2002) had two movies in the Cannes Film Festival's Official Competition; the other one was 'The Killing of the Secret Deer,' also with Colin Farrell. Moreover, Kidman was the recipient of Cannes' special 70th Anniversary Prize. 'Sly' & 'elegant' Also adapted by Sofia Coppola, The Beguiled will be distributed in the U.S. by Oscar veteran Focus Features (Brokeback Mountain, The Danish Girl). The film has generally received positive notices – e.g., “sly” and “elegant” in the words of Time magazine's Stephanie Zacharek – and could well become a strong awards season contender in various categories. The cast includes The Killing of a Sacred Deer actors Nicole Kidman and Colin Farrell, in addition to Kirsten Dunst (the star of Coppola's Marie Antoinette), Somewhere actress Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence, Addison Riecke, Angourie Rice, and Emma Howard. As an aside, Cullinan's novel also served as the basis for Don Siegel's The Beguiled (1971), a Southern Gothic effort adapted by Irene Kamp and former Hollywood Ten member Albert Maltz. In the cast of what turned out to be a major box office flop: Clint Eastwood, Geraldine Page, Elizabeth Hartman, and Jo Ann Harris. Women directors at Cannes & the Oscars For the record, Soviet filmmaker Yuliya Solntseva was the Cannes Film Festival's first Best Director winner, for The Story of the Flaming Years back in 1961. The only woman to have directed a Palme d'Or winner is Jane Campion, for The Piano (1993). Early in 1994, Campion became the second woman to be shortlisted for an Academy Award in the Best Director category. The first one was Lina Wertmüller for Seven Beauties (1976). 'A Gentle Night' & 'Montparnasse Bienvenue' Qiu Yang's short film Palme d'Or winner A Gentle Night should be automatically eligible for the 2018 Academy Awards. But competition, as usual, will be fierce. In the last decade, the only short film Palme d'Or winner to have received an Oscar nomination is Juanjo Giménez Peña's Timecode (2016), in the Best Live Action Short Film category. This article was originally published at Alt Film Guide (http://www.altfg.com/). »

- Steph Mont.

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Cannes Winning Best Actor and Lanthimos' Quirky 'Family' Thriller Academy Award Chances?

20 June 2017 7:38 PM, PDT

'120 Beats per Minute' trailer: Robin Campillo's AIDS movie features plenty of drama and a clear sociopolitical message. AIDS drama makes Pedro Almodóvar cry – but will Academy members tear up? (See previous post re: Cannes-Oscar connection.) In case France submits it to the 2018 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, screenwriter-director Robin Campillo's AIDS drama 120 Beats per Minute / 120 battements par minute, about the Paris Act Up chapter in the early 1990s, could quite possibly land a nomination. The Grand Prix (Cannes' second prize), international film critics' Fipresci prize, and Queer Palm winner offers a couple of key ingredients that, despite its gay sex scenes, should please a not insignificant segment of the Academy membership: emotionalism and a clear sociopolitical message. When discussing the film after the presentation of the Palme d'Or, Pedro Almodóvar (and, reportedly, jury member Jessica Chastain) broke into tears. Some believed, in fact, that 120 Beats per Minute »

- Steph Mont.

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Rare Cannes Swedish Favorite, AIDS Drama and Best Actor Winner Phoenix Oscar Chances?

20 June 2017 7:16 PM, PDT

Palme d'Or winner 'The Square' with Claes Bang: 'Gobsmackingly weird' Cannes Film Festival favorite may have a tough time landing a Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award nomination. Ruben Östlund's comedy-drama is totally unrelated to Jehane Noujaim's 2013 Oscar-nominated political documentary of the same title, which refers to downtown Cairo's Tahrir Square. Cannes' Palme d'Or winner 'The Square' & other Official Competition favorites' Oscar chances Screenwriter-director Ruben Östlund's The Square was the Palme d'Or winner at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, which wrapped up on May 28. (See list of Palme d'Or and other 2017 Cannes winners further below.) Clocking in at about 2 hours and 20 minutes, Östlund's unusual comedy-drama revolving around the chaotic p.r. campaign to promote the opening of the titular installation – a symbolic square of light – at a contemporary art museum in Stockholm has been generally well-received by critics. In the opinion of The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw, »

- Steph Mont.

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