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The Best Animated Films of the 21st Century Ranked, From ‘Anomalisa’ to ‘Spirited Away’

  • Indiewire
The Best Animated Films of the 21st Century Ranked, From ‘Anomalisa’ to ‘Spirited Away’
Pixar and Studio Ghibli tend to spring to mind first when discussing great animation, but there’s a world beyond those two giants. Animated films have grown ever more artful and affecting as more and more folks realize that it’s never just been a medium for kids, with studios and indies alike creating stop-motion marvels, hand-drawn standouts, and CGI spectacles.

The genre has grown so much since we entered the current century, in fact, that it can be easy to forget the Academy Awards didn’t even recognize animation until 2001. As few as three movies were nominated per year until 2010, but since then animation’s increased prominence has been reflected in the race’s competitiveness. Not every worthy movie could make the cut on either the awards circuit or this list, sadly, but rest assured that “The Red Turtle,” “Kubo and the Two Strings,” and “Ernest and Celestine,” to name just a few,
See full article at Indiewire »

Kathryn Bigelow Is Responsible for the Two Best Movies Directed by Women, According to Metacritic — See the Top 25

  • Indiewire
Kathryn Bigelow Is Responsible for the Two Best Movies Directed by Women, According to Metacritic — See the Top 25
After naming Alfonso Cuarón the best-reviewed filmmaker of the 21st century and Jason Friedberg and Aaron Seltzer the worst, Metacritic’s next list explores the 25 best movies directed by women. Unsurprisingly, Kathryn Bigelow takes both the #1 and #2 spots with “Zero Dark Thirty” and “The Hurt Locker,” respectively.

Read MoreAlfonso Cuarón Is the Best Director of the 21st Century, According to Metacritic — See the Top 25

Bigelow became the first woman to win the Academy Award for Best Director with the latter, a painfully tense drama about the Iraq War. (Her latest, “Detroit,” just misses the list by a few points.) Ava DuVernay also shows up twice (with “Selma” and “13th”), as does Sarah Polley (“Away from Her” and “Stories We Tell”), while the likes of Sofia Coppola, Mia Hansen-Løve, and Maren Ade are represented as well. Here’s the data-driven review aggregator’s full list:

Read MoreUwe Boll Isn’t the
See full article at Indiewire »

GKids’ Founder Eric Beckman Champions Independent Voices in Animation

Eric Beckman, founder and head of GKids, looks at animation in a different way than many of his contemporaries. This has made his independent distribution outfit a popular destination for filmmakers who are interested in telling complex stories with a more handmade approach to animation.

“We love what we do at GKids, and much of our passion is born out of the people we choose to work with,” says Beckman, who is receiving the Mifa & Variety Animation Personality of the Year Award at Annecy along with Gebeka Films’ Marc Bonny.

This year, the GKids slate includes “The Breadwinner” and “Birdboy: The Forgotten Children.”

Founded in 2008, GKids rose in stature in 2010 when “The Secret of Kells” received an animated feature Oscar nomination, joining the likes of studio pics “Up,” “The Princess and the Frog,” “Coraline” and “The Fantastic Mr. Fox.”

“The extraordinary success of ‘Kells’ really helped us, both with profitability and exposure,
See full article at Variety - Film News »

2017 Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts Review: Pixar Looms Large, But Many of These Nominees Will Make You Cry

  • Indiewire
2017 Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts Review: Pixar Looms Large, But Many of These Nominees Will Make You Cry
The Oscar for best animated short film may not generate nearly as much attention as other categories, but it strikes an exciting contrast with the more traditional forms of storytelling found throughout other categories.

These films usually celebrate animators from around the world — including a number of up-and-comers — who apply a range of visual techniques and sophisticated concepts only possible in the animated medium. This year is entirely North American, but still features a lot of different approaches — and yet, ironically, the frontrunner in the category is a very familiar name: Pixar.

Read More: 2017 Oscar Nominated Documentary Shorts Review: Humanity Prevails in This Politically Charged Group

Fortunately, the company’s latest short deserves the hype. Of course, just landing a nomination helps bring additional attention to these titles, and anyone seeking them out will discover an exciting range of experiences. While this isn’t the strongest list of nominees in recent years,
See full article at Indiewire »

Watch: Salma Hayek's Passion Project 'Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet' Gets Stunning New Trailer

  • Indiewire
Watch: Salma Hayek's Passion Project 'Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet' Gets Stunning New Trailer
Read More: Salma Hayek's Animated Passion Project 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet' Acquired by Gkids "The Prophet" by Lebanese author Kahlil Gibran, is among the most popular pieces of poetry in the world. Now, the animators behind such masterpieces as "The Lion King," "The Secret of Kells" and "Song of the Sea" have brought the story to animated life, and Gkids, the film's distributor, has just debuted a stunning new U.S. trailer.  Produced and spearheaded by Salma Hayek, "Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet" was an official selection at Cannes and made its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. The script was written by Roger Allers ("The Lion King") and blends together individual sequences based on Gibrain's poems. Each segment is animated by a different filmmaker, including Tomm Moore ("The Secret of Kells," "Song of the Sea"), Nina Paley ("Sita Sings the Blues")...
See full article at Indiewire »

Salma Hayek-Produced 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet' Gets Us Release Date (Video interview)

Salma Hayek-Produced 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet' Gets Us Release Date (Video interview)
Gkids, the American distributor behind 2015 animated Oscar nominees "The Tale of the Princess Kaguya" and "Song of the Sea," will release "Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet" in NY and La on August 7 before expanding wide the following week. This animated telling of Gibran's bestselling 1923 book, which premiered at Cannes, unfolds through standalone chapters by ten directors including Tomm Moore ("Song of the Sea"), Nina Paley ("Sita Sings the Blues") and Bill Plympton ("Cheatin'"). Co-producer Salma Hayek fought hard to bring the celebrated Lebanese poet's work to the screen, and helped close this deal. Salma Hayek on Why She's Passionate About "Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet" The voice cast includes Liam Neeson, Salma Hayek, Quvenzhané Wallis, John Krasinski, Frank Langella and Alfred Molina. The score is by Oscar winner Gabriel Yared (The English Patient), with additional music by songwriters Damien...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Alert the Kiddies! The New York International Children’s Film Festival (Nyicff) is now front and center.

  • SoundOnSight
Youngsters and oldsters alike…here is the reel deal: The New York International Children’s Film Festival (Nyicff) will be making its presence known in the upcoming days. On tap for the 18th annual event will be a noted variety of creative animated films and shorts for all ages to enjoy and relish. The New York International Children’s Film Festival promises to serve up an array of animated showcases that boasts all styles and formats that should prove imaginative and appealing to our past and present childhood memories.

Please note that the Nyicff will run its operation from February 27, 2015 to March 22, 2015. Additionally, the majority of these impressive feature-length and short films have experienced critical acclaim overseas. Therefore, the impact of the Nyicff’s cinematic selections should be rewarding for ardent fans of animated film fodder designed to capture the spirit of its enthusiastic viewers.

Among the films being displayed
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Sketchy Episode 155 – ‘Sita Sings The Blues’

  • SoundOnSight
Sketchy welcomes back Nafeeza Hussain to discuss Nina Paley’s 2009 animated feature “Sita Sings The Blues” featuring the lovely voice of Annette Hanshaw. Enjoy!

Listen on iTunes!

Music

Daddy Won’t You Please Come Home

by Annette Hanshaw

Follow Sketchy

facebook.com/SketchyPodcast

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SketchyPodcast@gmail.com

The post Sketchy Episode 155 – ‘Sita Sings The Blues’ appeared first on Sound On Sight.
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Salma Hayek Passion Project 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet' Goes to Gkids

Salma Hayek Passion Project 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet' Goes to Gkids
Gkids, the American distributor behind 2015 animated Oscar nominees "The Tale of the Princess Kaguya" and "Song of the Sea," has picked up North American rights to "Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet." This animated telling of Gibran's bestselling 1923 book played the festival circuit, including a Cannes premiere, last year. It has been slated for a summer 2015 release. The film unfolds across standalone chapters by ten directors including Tomm Moore ("Song of the Sea"), Nina Paley ("Sita Sings the Blues") and Bill Plympton ("Cheatin'"). Co-producer Salma Hayek fought hard to bring the celebrated Lebanese poet's work to the screen, and helped close this deal. Watch: Salma Hayek on Why She's Passionate About "Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet" The voice cast includes Liam Neeson, Salma Hayek, Quvenzhané Wallis, John Krasinski, Frank Langella and Alfred Molina. The score is by Oscar winner Gabriel Yared (The English...
See full article at Thompson on Hollywood »

Salma Hayek's Animated Passion Project 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet' Acquired by Gkids

  • Indiewire
Salma Hayek's Animated Passion Project 'Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet' Acquired by Gkids
Gkids, a distributor of award-winning animation for both adult and family audiences, has acquired the North American rights to "Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet," a film inspired by the beloved classic book by Kahlil Gibran.  The gorgeously-animated story was crafted in a collaboration with artists, animators and musicians. The film was written and directed by Roger Allers ("The Lion King"), and individual "chapters" based on Gibran's poems have been designed and directed by various acclaimed animators from around the world, including Tomm Moore (Oscar nominee for "The Secret of Kells" and "Song of the Sea"), Joan Gratz (Oscar winner for "Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase"),  Bill Plympton (Oscar nominee for "Guard Dog" and "Your Face"), Nina Paley (Annecy winner for "Sita Sings the Blues"), Joann Sfar (Cesar winner for "The Rabbi's Cat"), Paul and Gaetan Brizzi...
See full article at Indiewire »

Video: Open Source Epic Sita Sings The Blues

  • Keyframe
Adaptation and appropriation are important subtexts to Nina Paley’s award-winning animated epic, Sita Sings the Blues. Paley herself became a cause célèbre among Fair Use activists seeking reforms to copyright law during her struggle to secure rights to jazz vocalist Annette Hanshaw’s recordings. With this video essay, I look at how Paley took inspiration from both the tragic story of Sita in the Ramayana and Annette Hanshaw's bittersweet torch songs to deal with her own breakup>>> - Kevin B. Lee
See full article at Keyframe »

An Operatic Cartoon Short Film Shows the Bloody History of the Holy Land

Why Watch? In the spectrum of using an inappropriate platform to deliver an important social message, this short film from Nina Paley (Sita Sings the Blues) reaches Monty Python levels of purity and dedication. Eschewing the typically dry, somber way that profound conflict is often portrayed (while utilizing the absurdity of action movie violence), This Land is Mine strips away everything except murderous domination in order to color a history of a land with many names. Israel, Palestine, The Levant. This short doesn’t exactly offer illumination on the current crisis happening in Gaza, but it condenses thousands of years to show one angle on and beyond the devastation. Again, wacky animation with Andy Williams boldly crooning “The Exodus Song” and a body count rising is a teaching method with teeth. It’s aggressive, semi-satirical and proves you can laugh with your jaw on the floor. There’s a read on this movie that it crassly shares
See full article at FilmSchoolRejects »

Quvenzhané Wallis Joins Voice Cast Of Salma Hayek's Animated Adaptation Of 'The Prophet'

  • ShadowAndAct
First announced early last year, Salma Hayek has teamed up with the Doha Film Institute and Participant Media to adapt Khalil Gibran’s classic novel The Prophet as an animated feature for the big screen. It was said that each of the chapters in the novel would be directed by a different filmmaker, including: Animation director Roger Allers (The Lion King), who'll be in charge of the through-line narrative, while individual chapters will be handled by filmmakers like Tomm Moore (The Secret Of Kells), Joan Gratz (Mona Lisa Descending A Staircase), Bill Plympton (Guard Dog And Your Face), Nina Paley (Sita Sings The Blues), Joann Sfar (The...
See full article at ShadowAndAct »

‘The Prophet’ Animated Project Add Salma Hayek, Liam Neeson & Quvenzhané Wallis

The cast list is growing ever stronger for the new animated project from the man behind such movies as The Lion King and Aladdin. Salma Hayek, Liam Neeson and Quvenzhané Wallis are just three of the names attached to this movie; the rest of the cast list includes John Krasinski (‘The Office’), Frank Langella (Robot And Frank) and Alfred Molina.

Roger Allers will write and direct the narrative and he’s no stranger to big animation projects; he’s directed The Lion King, written for Beauty And The Beast and Aladdin and been on the animation team for The Little Mermaid and The Rescuers Down Under.

The Prophet, inspired by the book by Kahlil Gibran, will feature individual chapters based on Gibran’s poems and each chapter will be lead by a different director. Lined up so far are Tomm Moore (The Secret Of Kells), Joan Gratz (Lost And Found
See full article at The Hollywood News »

Liam Neeson, Salma Hayek, John Krasinski, Frank Langella, Alfred Molina and Quvenzhané Wallis Lend Voices to The Prophet

  • Collider.com
Am ambitious animated undertaking of one the bestselling inspirational works of all time has landed an impressive voice cast. Liam Neeson, Salma Hayek, John Krasinski, Frank Langella, Alfred Molina and Quvenzhané Wallis will lend their voices to The Prophet, an adaptation of Kahlil Gibran's collection of writings. Roger Allers (The Lion King) will write and direct an original narrative story based on Gibran's work. The picture is scheduled to be complete by spring of 2014. Hit the jump for more. Deadline reported on the voice cast of The Prophet, as well as some additional animation directors who will be tackling the film's individual chapters. The international team of directors includes Tomm Moore (The Secret of Kells), Joan Gratz (Mona Lisa Descending a Staircase), Bill Plympton (Guard Dog and Your Face), Nina Paley (Sita Sings the Blues), Joann Sfar (The Rabbi’s Cat), Paul and Gaetan Brizzi (Fantasia 2000), Michal Socha
See full article at Collider.com »

Salma Hayek’s Animated Passion Project ‘The Prophet’ Draws Liam Neeson, John Krasinski, Quvenzhane Wallis And Others

  • Deadline
Salma Hayek’s Animated Passion Project ‘The Prophet’ Draws Liam Neeson, John Krasinski, Quvenzhane Wallis And Others
Exclusive: Liam Neeson, Salma Hayek, John Krasinski, Frank Langella, Alfred Molina and Quvenzhané Wallis have all joined the voice cast of Khalil Gibran’s The Prophet, the animated feature film written and directed by Roger Allers, whose animation credits include directing Disney’s The Lion King and Open Season and whose writing and storyboard work encompasses such films as Aladdin, Beauty And The Beast, and The Little Mermaid. The film is being produced by Hayek, Clark Peterson, and Ron Senkowski. Participant Media and Doha Film Institute are financing and are exec producers. Allers’ script was inspired by The Prophet, the iconic book that is one of the biggest sellers in history, north of 100 million copies in over 40 languages since it was first published by Alfred Knopf in 1923. Allers is directing the narrative story, while individual chapters based on Gibran’s poems are being helmed by animation directors from around the world,
See full article at Deadline »

Greatest Films Directed By Women – Individual Staff List

Justine Smith

Bright Star, Jane Campion

Orlando, Sally Potter

Trouble Every Day, Claire Denis

Cleo 5 a 7, Agnes Varda

A New Leaf, Elaine May

The Night Porter, Liliana Cavani

American Psycho, Mary Harron

Anatomy of Hell, Catherine Breillat

Point Break, Kathryn Bigelow

Everyone Else, Maren Ade

Ricky D

Connection, Shirley Clarke

Wuthering Heights, Andrea Arnold

35 Shots of Rhum, Claire Denis

Meshes of the Afternoon, Maya Derin

Seven Beauties, Lina Wertmuller

The Hitch-Hiker, Ida Lupino

Lina Wertmuller- Swept Away

Meek’s Cutoff, Kelly Reichardt

Headless Woman, Lucrecia Martel

Xxy, Lucía Puenzo

Special mention:

SkyscraperShirley Clarke

WaspAndrea Arnold

On Dangerous GroundIda Lupino (uncredited)

Wanda

Chris Clemente

Little Miss Sunshine, Valerie Faris

American Psycho, Mary Harron

Lost in Translation, Sofia Coppola

We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lynne Ramsay

Fish Tank, Andrea Arnold

Monster, Patty Jenkins

A League of Their Own, Penny Marshall

Wayne’s World, Penelope Spheeris

Clueless, Amy Heckerling

Point Break,
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Great Films Directed by Women Pt. 2

(In Alphabetical order)

Meek’s Cutoff

Directed by Kelly Reichardt

Kelly Reichardt had a stellar if hushed 2000s, and then she commenced the current decade with a film that is already beginning to feel like an unsung modern classic. Meek’s Cutoff is one of those exhilarating instances in which a marriage of disparate styles produces something tricky to imagine, but perfect to behold: a period piece set in mid-1800’s Oregon, shot in academy ratio and classically beautiful for it, but with Reichardt’s signature severe naturalism. The result is so stark and understated that it begins to feel graceful, weirdly epic. A small caravan of settlers (featuring Michelle Williams and a once again devout Paul Dano) hires a guide, big-talking Stephen Meek, to help them navigate the Oregon Trail. As the terrain grows less forgiving and water evermore scarce, the settlers begin to wonder if the route Meek
See full article at SoundOnSight »

Coming To DVD? Jonas Mekas DVD Box Set?

It was only through an enigmatic public Facebook post that it was revealed that a nearly comprehensive DVD box set of the films of Jonas Mekas was in the works. The post only showed the above image with the words “Coming Soon!” But, coming soon from whom and for where?

On Facebook, there was also a link to a DVD page on Mekas’ official website that offered a bit more clues. The release appears to be a collaboration between the French fashion designer agnes b., the French independent DVD label Potemkine and the French distributor Re:Voir, which has released Mekas’ work on VHS for years.

The Potemkine website lists Mekas’ films as individual upcoming DVD releases with no set dates. There appears to be no listing for the box set image that was posted to Facebook.

Most disappointingly, though, is that the Potemkine product pages indicate that the DVDs will be Zone 2, i.
See full article at Underground Film Journal »

Salma Hayek Makes The Prophet

It was first published in 1923 and remains one of the best-selling books of all time, so it seems extraordinary that nobody has attempted a film adaptation of Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet before. That's about to change, in an ambitious project being shepherded by Salma Hayek and producers Clark Peterson and Ron Senkowski.Gibran's book is a long-form poem (written in English, although Gibran generally wrote in Arabic), the narrative of which sees the prophet Al-Nabi about to embark on an ocean voyage, but waylaid on his way to the docks by a succession of people who prompt him into discussions of life, the universe and everything. It's a "spiritual classic", but adaptable to all faiths, whether deeply or casually held, since it doesn't adhere to any specific religion. As a film, the plan is to make an animated anthology delivered by multiple directors. Among the contributors are Marjane Satrapi
See full article at EmpireOnline »
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