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Oscars 2022: Ten African Films Are Eligible for International Feature Film, but Landing Nominations Is Elusive

Oscars 2022: Ten African Films Are Eligible for International Feature Film, but Landing Nominations Is Elusive
In terms of international recognition, this week, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced feature films eligible for consideration in the International Feature Film category for the 94th Academy Awards. Since the African continent first submitted a film for Oscar consideration in 1958, with Egyptian director Youssef Chahine’s “Cairo Station,” the number of African submissions for Best International Film Oscar consideration seems to be stabilizing at an average of around 10 annually. Eight films were submitted for the 2019 awards; 10 for 2020; and 12 for 2021, which marked a record. Ten submissions are in consideration for the upcoming 2022 ceremony.

The history of cinema on the African continent is expectedly complex and brief — unlike other artforms including music and literature, of which there are decades, if not centuries of rich history.

Due to restrictive colonialist structures and a Francophone/Anglophone divide, Africans weren’t always in a position to tell their own stories on film.
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Rushes: Herzog's First Novel, Best of 2021, Gordon Parks, "Bye Bye Bye"

Rushes: Herzog's First Novel, Best of 2021, Gordon Parks,
Get in touch to send in cinephile news and discoveries. For daily updates follow us @NotebookMUBI.NEWSWerner Herzog is set to publish his first novel, a semi-fictional retelling of the story of Hiroo Onda. A friend of Herzog, Onda is a former Japanese soldier known for spending 29 years in the jungle on an island in the Philippines, refusing to surrender at the end of World War II. Penguin Random House states that the novel is written in "an inimitable, hypnotic style—part documentary, part poem, and part dream." Following his erotic nunsploitation film Benedetta, Paul Verhoeven is making the erotic political thriller Young Sinner. The film, according to Verhoeven and RoboCop co-writer Edward Neumeier, will take place in Washington DC and focus on a young staffer "drawn into a web of international intrigue and danger." As this is a Verhoeven film, Neumeir promises that there will be "also be a little sex.
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Slamdance Announces Its Full 2022 Lineup

Slamdance Announces Its Full 2022 Lineup
The Slamdance Film Festival — this year a hybrid festival — announced today its full lineup of features and shorts that will comprise its 2022 edition. The festival will run live in Park City Utah, January 20 -23 and virtually January 20 – 30. The selection contains 13 world premieres, six North American and four U.S. reviews. All competition films are feature-length with budgets under $1 million and without U.S. distribution. “We are anti-algorithm,” said Slamdance President and co-founder Peter Baxter in a press release. “That’s always been true, but it’s more urgent than ever as we continue to celebrate […]

The post Slamdance Announces Its Full 2022 Lineup first appeared on Filmmaker Magazine.
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Warner Bros. Discovery Wants to Be a Streaming Powerhouse, with Theatrical as the ‘Top of the Funnel’

Warner Bros. Discovery Wants to Be a Streaming Powerhouse, with Theatrical as the ‘Top of the Funnel’
When WarnerMedia and Discovery announced their plans to merge earlier this year, one of the biggest benefits cited by executives was the power the combined entertainment giant would have in the streaming space. But that doesn’t mean the new company — Warner Bros. Discovery, as it will be called if and when the deal the deal is finalized next year — is turning its back on theatrical.

In an interview with Variety published Wednesday, Discovery CEO David Zaslav says reinvigorating Warner Bros. is key to his plans at the helm of the conglomerate. Box office will be “the top of the funnel” for drawing eyeballs to his streaming services, including HBO Max and Discovery+, as they charge forward with an existential mission to amass over 200 million subscribers to give Netflix a run for its money.

“Our job is to grow the right side of the company — the streaming business, the motion
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Why ‘West Side Story’ May Be the Most Critical Release of the Covid Era

Why ‘West Side Story’ May Be the Most Critical Release of the Covid Era
If you are interested in the future of non-franchise, non-comic book films at the movie theater, you’ve got an assignment this weekend: make it a priority to see “West Side Story” (Disney). Still, the film’s post-Thanksgiving, pre-Christmas dead-zone release date will make it riskier than normal to determine whether it is a success, at least initially. The stakes are high indeed for this $100 million feature, and they go beyond just its profitability, so a lot of context should be considered.

2021 was touted as the year of the musical, a rebound after the disaster of “Cats” in 2019, but this year’s results have been underwhelming. “In the Heights” was widely considered to be a disappointment after its $11.5 million opening ($30 million total). “Dear Evan Hansen” was worse: it opened with $7.4 million, made just $15 million during its run, and attracted little PVOD interest when it released there after three weeks. Most recently,
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The 25 Best White Elephant Gifts to Buy Coworkers, Friends, and Anyone Else on Your List

The 25 Best White Elephant Gifts to Buy Coworkers, Friends, and Anyone Else on Your List
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Not quite ready for your White Elephant gift exchange? Whether you’re planning an in-person or virtual gift swap this year, the pressure of finding the right present can feel overwhelming, even though White Elephant exchanges are supposed to be fun and lighthearted. If you don’t feel like going the gift card route this year, we gathered up a list of affordable, thoughtful, and unique White Elephant gift options.

For techies, TV lovers, movie buffs, and more, keep reading for 25 of the best White Elephant gifts to give to your co-workers, family, friends, and anyone else on your list. Of course, you can also use this gift guide for Secret Santa, and Christmas gifts.
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Recommendation Machine: ‘This Way Up’ Has Two of TV’s Most Memorable On-Screen Sisters

Recommendation Machine: ‘This Way Up’ Has Two of TV’s Most Memorable On-Screen Sisters
Welcome to Recommendation Machine, your daily IndieWire destination for TV suggestions of what to watch. Each weekday, we’ll offer up a series we think should be on your viewing radar. Though most of the shows included here are recent offerings from networks and streaming services, this will also be a place to take a look at different chapters in TV history readily available for anyone looking to immerse themselves in an ever-expanding medium.

As everyone with even a passing connection to TV will have happily told you for the better part of the last decade, there are too many shows. They’ll use words like cornucopia or plethora or deluge or glut. Bottom line: There are plenty of options for things to queue up next. So, while we’ll try to provide as many of those as we can from streaming’s heavy hitters like Netflix, Hulu, and HBO Max,
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‘Tick Tick Boom’: Crafting the ‘Sunday’ Diner Scene as a Sondheim Tribute with Broadway Legends

‘Tick Tick Boom’: Crafting the ‘Sunday’ Diner Scene as a Sondheim Tribute with Broadway Legends
The sublime “Sunday” diner scene with the Broadway legends in Netflix’s “Tick Tick Boom” has become even more tear-inducing and meta with the recent passing of Stephen Sondheim, whose “Sunday in the Park with George” musical about French pointillist painter Georges Seurat started it all. First, through Jonathan Larson’s (Andrew Garfield) tribute song, “Sunday,” set in The Moondance Diner in SoHo, where he toils as a waiter and dreams of becoming the next Sondheim. Second, through “Tick Tick Boom” director Lin-Manuel Miranda’s ambitious, even miraculous, staging of the scene in a replica of the ’90s diner on a New York soundstage.

Miranda’s idea was to not only pay tribute to Larson’s heroes of Broadway but also to his own legacy, since he tragically died before the opening of “Rent” and was unable to witness its impact on the theater world. Thus, through strict protocols and safe distancing,
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“Making Black Cinema ‘Palatable’ Does Zero”: Skinner Myers on The Sleeping Negro

“Making Black Cinema ‘Palatable’ Does Zero”: Skinner Myers on The Sleeping Negro
Filmmaker and Cu Boulder Film Professor Skinner Myers is in the middle of writing the long proposal for his dissertation, which will offer “a way of fighting Hollywood from one’s own cultural perspective.” Breaking from First, Second, Third and Fourth cinemas, his “Antagonistic Cinema Theory” eschews a numbered designation. In his feature debut, The Sleeping Negro, which he wrote, directed, produced and starred in, Myers pays respect to the Third and Fourth Cinema filmmakers who laid a path for him to stride—his dissertation records his own footsteps along the way. […]

The post “Making Black Cinema ‘Palatable’ Does Zero”: Skinner Myers on The Sleeping Negro first appeared on Filmmaker Magazine.
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Here’s How You Can Watch Will Smith’s ‘Welcome to Earth’ Adventure Series for Free

Here’s How You Can Watch Will Smith’s ‘Welcome to Earth’ Adventure Series for Free
All products and services featured by IndieWire are independently selected by IndieWire editors. However, IndieWire may receive a commission on orders placed through its retail links, and the retailer may receive certain auditable data for accounting purposes.

Will Smith gets up close and personal with some of the planet’s most breathtaking spectacles in “Welcome to Earth,” a six-part limited series from National Geographic, which premiered on Disney+ December 8.

Guided by elite explorers from all over the world, 51-year-old Smith embarks on the once-in-a-lifetime journey to discover “hidden worlds that sit beyond our senses.”

In the first episode, Erik Weihenmayer, a blind mountaineer, and volcanologist Jeff Johnson lead Smith on a trek to Mount Yasur, an active volcano in the South Pacific. The episode delves deep into the science of sound, and shows Smith doing everything from staring at boiling lava to dodging boulders while climbing into the crater of Mount Yasur.
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AFI’s Top Films and TV of 2021 Include ‘Dune,’ ‘Power of the Dog, and ‘Succession’

AFI’s Top Films and TV of 2021 Include ‘Dune,’ ‘Power of the Dog, and ‘Succession’
The American Film Institute’s annual lists showcasing the top 10 movies and TV shows of the year always include multiple awards frontrunners, and this year is no exception. The jury — which is a mix of critics, academics, and film professionals — always celebrates the best of American cinema and television. The virtual jury awarded three Special Awards this year, to Kenneth Branagh’s festival hit “Belfast” (from the U.K.), Netflix’s global blockbuster “Squid Game” (from South Korea) and Searchlight documentary “Summer of Soul…(Or, When the Revolution Could Not be Televised).”

Last year, Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Disney+ adaptation of Broadway smash “Hamilton” earned a special award; this year, rookie feature director Miranda’s “Tick, Tick, Boom” landed on the Top Ten Films list, along with movies from lauded veterans Adam McKay, Paul Thomas Anderson, Denis Villeneuve, Guillermo del Toro, Jane Campion, Joel Coen, and Steven Spielberg, as well as
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Daniels’ ‘Swiss Army Man’ Follow-Up ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ to Open SXSW 2022

Daniels’ ‘Swiss Army Man’ Follow-Up ‘Everything Everywhere All at Once’ to Open SXSW 2022
The 2022 SXSW Film Festival has announced that “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” the new film from Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, will open the 29th edition of the Austin, Texas, event on March 11. The festival is billing its opening night selection as “a hilarious and big-hearted sci-fi action adventure about an exhausted Chinese American woman who can’t seem to finish her taxes.” Michelle Yeoh stars in the lead role opposite an ensemble cast that includes Stephanie Hsu, Ke Huy Quan, James Hong, Jenny Slate, Harry Shum Jr., and Jamie Lee Curtis.

“We are thrilled to premiere Daniels’ latest work, which is fantastically inventive, entertaining, emotionally grounded, and crammed with the exceptional creativity that makes their projects so satisfying,” said Janet Pierson, Director of SXSW Film, in a statement. “Audiences are going to have their minds blown by this extraordinary feat of filmmaking.”

Kwan and Scheinert, known collectively as Daniels,
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‘Succession’: Jeremy Strong Knows Kendall Roy Has Always Been Drowning

‘Succession’: Jeremy Strong Knows Kendall Roy Has Always Been Drowning
[Editor’s Note: The following interview contains spoilers for “Succession” Season 3, through Episode 8.]

When, in the course of any given television season, you interview a creative involved with the show, there exists a great power imbalance, with the interviewee knowing the entire narrative arc to come and the interviewer stumbling through, looking for clues to piece together a better understanding of the full story. The interviewee has read — and in some cases written — the entire book, and the interviewer is only on Chapter 3.

Basically, it’s a Sisyphean nightmare because all of these conversations exist sans context.

Such was the case earlier this year when I spoke to Jeremy Strong about Season 3 of “Succession.” Though I had seen the first seven episodes, through “Too Much Birthday,” and the interview went well, it was difficult to shake the feeling that something wasn’t quite right. Strong’s answers were thoughtful and detailed — they always are — but something was missing.

And
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Disambiguating Work

Disambiguating Work
Close-Up is a feature that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Anders Edström and C.W. Winters's The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin) is exclusively showing on Mubi in the U.S. starting December 5, 2021 in the series Mubi Spotlight.“Thanks to Hesiod for providing the title, Works and Days, and to my sister Rosemary for pointing it out to me.” —Bernadette Mayer in her author’s note for Works & Days (2016) The Works and Days (of Tayoko Shiojiri in the Shiotani Basin) is an eight-hour film that takes us through five seasons of a farmer’s life in a Japanese village so small it doesn’t seem to have a proper name. Anders Edström and C.W. Winters’ second collaborative film is arranged in four parts with three intermissions. The first three sections are each prefaced with a Japanese death poem followed by ten minute intervals
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Adam McKay Says Will Ferrell Split ‘Felt Like a Breakup’: I’d Love to ‘Get Back to Our Old Rhythm’

Adam McKay Says Will Ferrell Split ‘Felt Like a Breakup’: I’d Love to ‘Get Back to Our Old Rhythm’
Adam McKay’s recent Vanity Fair profile revealed new details about his professional split from longtime comedy partner Will Ferrell. McKay and Ferrell announced in April 2019 they were ending their partnership, which started at “Saturday Night Live” and extended to comedies such as “Anchorman” and “Step Brothers” and the founding of their Gary Sanchez production company. McKay said that his decision to cast John C. Reilly over Ferrell in his upcoming HBO series about the 1980s Los Angeles Lakers was the final blow to his relationship with Ferrell, although by then the two were already not in agreement on increasing their producing responsibilities.

“It’s kind of crazy to see how much has been reported on this,” McKay told The Hollywood Reporter about the reaction to his Vanity Fair profile. “We made ‘Don’t Look Up’ to hopefully get people talking about the climate crisis — literally the biggest threat to life
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The 27 Best Film and TV Performances of 2021

  • Indiewire
The 27 Best Film and TV Performances of 2021
After a year of will-it-ever-end lockdown, 2021 ushered in some small semblance of normality. Movie theaters reopened and, with the advent of vaccines, people were able to go inside feeling a bit safer than in 2020.

But that’s not to say television didn’t continue to keep us happy and engaged, which is why we’re combining our best performances of the year to comprise both mediums. This year also marked some fantastic performances that reminded us of the raw power of acting in general, whether the screen was big or small. We saw legendary actors doing what they always do best — i.e. leveraging their star power to predictably turn in a performance that tops their last one — and under-the-radar character actors breaking through to deliver idiosyncratic and striking work. There were also comic actors making powerfully dramatic turns, and dramatic actors getting the chance to display their untapped flair for comedy.
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‘BoJack’ Creator Reveals the David Fincher Joke That Netflix Cut Over Fear of Upsetting the Director

‘BoJack’ Creator Reveals the David Fincher Joke That Netflix Cut Over Fear of Upsetting the Director
BoJack Horseman” creator Raphael Bob-Waksberg took to social media this week to reveal a David Fincher joke that he had to cut from his acclaimed Netflix animated series because the streaming giant feared it would upset the “Fight Club” and “Mank” filmmaker. It’s important to remember that Fincher helped bring Netflix into the original content era as an executive producer on “House of Cards,” the first series produced for Netflix, and also directed the first two episodes of the show’s inaugural season. By the time “BoJack” premiered in August 2014, “House of Cards” was already two seasons into its run.

“Still mystified that apparently Dave Chapelle’s deal is that he says whatever he wants and Netflix just has to air it, unedited. Is that normal, for comedians?” Bob-Waksberg asked on Twitter. “Because Netflix once asked me to change a joke because they were worried it might upset David Fincher.
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From ‘Reservation Dogs’ to ‘Love and Fury,’ Sterlin Harjo’s Goal Is to ‘Humanize’ the Native Experience

From ‘Reservation Dogs’ to ‘Love and Fury,’ Sterlin Harjo’s Goal Is to ‘Humanize’ the Native Experience
Just as colonists forcibly displaced Indigenous people centuries ago, Native Americans have also been long maligned by an American film industry in which ugly stereotypes have persisted. Even today, Native artists struggle to carve out mainstream spaces for expression. It is against that troublesome backdrop that filmmakers such as Sterlin Harjo operate, bent on taking control of the Native narrative and “normalizing” the variety within the experience, even if incrementally.

That’s certainly what he’s achieved in 2021, with both the successful first season of FX’s “Reservation Dogs” (already renewed for a second season) and freewheeling new film “Love and Fury.” The Oklahoma-based Harjo’s fifth feature film, it’s a globetrotting documentary that follows Native artists as they navigate their careers, finding camaraderie with Indigenous people everywhere.

“I think there is a humanizing that we as Native Americans have to do for non-Native people, as we’re trying
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‘Don’t Look Up’ Review: Adam McKay’s Depressing Netflix Comedy Slogs Toward the Apocalypse

‘Don’t Look Up’ Review: Adam McKay’s Depressing Netflix Comedy Slogs Toward the Apocalypse
In the beginning, there was light. And then, there were movies. And then, not long after that, there were people who watched those movies and snarked, “Well, that’s two hours I’ll never get back”. As Charlie Kaufman is fond of pointing out, however, every two hours is two hours that you’ll never get back. It doesn’t matter if a movie is good or bad or anything in between: At the end of the day, we cannot hoard our time.

And yet, for all of the truth contained in that wisdom, certain films make it almost impossible to shake the feeling that cinema — the most palpably fourth-dimensional of all popular art forms — possesses an unrivaled ability to make us appreciate how we can waste it. Adam McKay’s “Don’t Look Up” is nothing if not one of those films.

A star-studded comedy of terrors that boasts more A-list celebrities than actual laughs,
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Bond Boss Wants Cary Fukunaga Back, Says Next 007 Is British Male of ‘Any’ Ethnicity or Race

Bond Boss Wants Cary Fukunaga Back, Says Next 007 Is British Male of ‘Any’ Ethnicity or Race
Barbara Broccoli shares control of the James Bond movie franchise with her half-brother Michael G. Wilson, which means she’s got a lot of questions to answer about the future of the franchise. Daniel Craig has delivered his 007 swan song with “No Time to Die.” Who will be the next Bond? Those conversations won’t begin until next year, so Broccoli is tuning out all the social media rumors. All Broccoli knows is that Bond will continue to be played by a British male.

“I think it will be a man because I don’t think a woman should play James Bond,” Broccoli said in her recent The Hollywood Reporter profile. “I believe in making characters for women and not just having women play men’s roles. I don’t think there are enough great roles for women, and it’s very important to me that we make movies for women about women.
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