Short Film Saturday: The Little Match Seller (1902)

I typically only feature short films on the weekend, and they are not always silent. However, with New Year’s Eve arriving I figured it’d make sense to mark the occasion with a short film.

Stay tuned for a lot of great stuff in 2015 including the BAM Awards and much more. Happy New Year all!

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Mini-Review: 56 Up

Introduction

This is a post that is a repurposing of an old-school Mini-Review Round-Up post. As stated here I am essentially done with running multi-film review posts. Each film deserves its own review. Therefore I will repost, and at times add to, old reviews periodically. Enjoy!

56 Up

56 Up (2012, First Run Features)

It’s a bit difficult to discuss 56 Up in a vacuum. Most of the reason behind that is that it is the 8th installment in a series that ought not be viewed in before the prior films. Starting on the UK’s Granada Television in 1964 the series has revisited its subject every seven years. Starting under director Paul Almond it has since been taken over by renowned director Michael Apted.

As this film touches on, it seems the initial these of the series stated first that the child at seven was a forerunner of the adult, but the more overriding theme of the initial installment was a commentary on the class society in England. I re-introduce the initial concepts because they are touched on by the subjects anew. In fact, of all prior installments this is without question the film that most fully, totally and maturely (with respect to the subjects’ comments) deals with the nature of the series both in terms of the class question and in terms of the odd life of its own that the series has developed over the years, the paradoxical attachment that some subjects have with it no matter how much they may dislike it.

As a follow-up to 49 Up, it’s quite the impressive installment. As always, it’s next to impossible to predict the changes life brings to people, but on the filmmaking end it has perhaps the best order and compartmentalization of subjects yet.

Released in the UK last year it remains to be seen if Apted and the “cast,” a few of whom come and go (look out for a surprising return here),will be back in 2019 with 63 Up, but one can only hope. If only in conception, it’s perhaps the most fascinating long-term documentary project in history. However, many of the installments are about as good as documentaries get. I may take a bit of time to see just how this one stacks up.

8/10

Mini-Review: The Short Game (2012)

Introduction

This is a post that is a repurposing of an old-school Mini-Review Round-Up post. As stated here I am essentially done with running multi-film review posts. Each film deserves its own review. Therefore I will repost, and at times add to, old reviews periodically. Enjoy!

The Short Game (2012)

Netflix has been making waves this year [2013] in good ways, after a string of PR nightmares with its core services. Its role as distributor of original content to streaming platforms, first in television-formats, has been groundbreaking. However, it’s also dipping its toes in the film world picking up a few documentaries. This one debuted in theaters first and is now available to stream.

Perhaps what’s most important in a sports documentary centered on prodigious young athletes is having an interesting cross-section of personalities. Even if one is not familiar with, or a big fan of, a sport (golf, in this case) narrative and cinematic conventions and approaches should keep you engaged. The editing and scoring of this film, as well as the structural approach to the tournament that serves as the climax, is great. What keeps you interested and involved in the build-up is that while they all have golf in common they’re still kids at the core of it and quite different: Jed (A Filipino boy with autism), Alexa (a wunderkind who lives with her dad), Amari (A girl emulating Tiger Woods), Kuang (a Chinese boy who happened on the game by chance as an infant), Allan (A whiz kid who’s Anna Kournikova’s younger brother), Augustin (An intellectual French player of literary pedigree) Zama (A South African boy growing up in a different world than his father seeking a breakthrough) Sky (A Texan girl with a large stuffed bunny collection).

Combining all that, the unexpected twists and turns golf can take, and the volatility of a child’s emotions makes it an engaging, funny, suspenseful and at time even moving film.

10/10

It was awarded a BAM for Best Documentary.

Mini-Review: Into the White

Introduction

This is a post that is a repurposing of an old-school Mini-Review Round-Up post. As stated here I am essentially done with running multi-film review posts. Each film deserves its own review. Therefore I will repost, and at times add to, old reviews periodically. Enjoy!

Into the White

Here’s another case where I had a little inadvertent crossover between months. I saw this film towards the end of June and included it in the BAM Considerations there, then I stalled on writing the review until now so it kicks off July.

This film does a few things that are a little out of the norm that I feel work for it every well: first, though it is a wartime tale it’s not really concerned with battle sequences, but rather with human nature and survival. Two World War II fighter planes, one British and one German, are downed in Norway. The crews of both find refuge in the same abandoned hunting cabin and seek to survive the harsh winter. Second, while there is some of the expected banter, power struggles and a effective chamber drama set-pieces; the film is the latest in a gray-area treatment of World War II inasmuch as it tell not a black-and-white tale but a more involved human character study and psychological approach to those involved. In short, these are people, not types.

With a common goal of survival this film studies its individual characters both on their own and in relation to one another. Eventually façade come down and they are able to see each other as individuals. One of the pitfalls of a tale like this is that there could be the danger of going too far in the other direction. Things end too well and they get too chummy. The film walks that tightrope well. The performances all around are great by the five central figures particular standouts being Florian Lukas, David Kross and Rupert Grint.

7/10

Mini-Review: The Hunt

This year, as I did both last year and in 2012, I am engaging in something I like to call the Year-End Dash. Basically, its the scramble to get as many eligible titles viewed as possible before the end of the year for the forthcoming BAM Awards.

The Hunt

The extemporaneous reactions to late viewing will be short, but they will be logged. So I thought it would also be a good idea to re-post in standalone form some of the more memorable films I’ve seen in the first few jaunts.

Mads Mikkelsen plays a kindergarten teacher who has been falsely accused via misunderstanding (when you watch you’ll quickly see how) of molesting a student. That’s established early on. There’s not cat-and-mouse mystery about that much because that’s not the point. The film’s really about the snowball effect of a misunderstood notion being repeated, how assumptions are made, hysteria spreads and a witch-hunt begins, and how it affects all those involved.

Mikkelsen turns in a marvelous performance (not that he’s alone in that regard) and the film ends on the right note, as opposed to one that might feel untrue. It’s chillingly, unnervingly realistic portrait of how such a thing can escalate, even without any basis in fact, and takes a naturalistic progression.

10/10

2014 BAM Award Shortlists

Today, aside from being Christmas Eve, is the day where I trim all the possibilities for various BAM Awards categories down. It is not the close of the year. Films seen from this writing through 11:59 PM on December 31st are also eligible, but this is a very necessary step to edit what are overly-long lists to deliberate overnight.

While not quite concrete, the intent of this list is to be a very close portrayal trimming initial considerations down 50% or more.

The nominees will be posted on January 2nd, 2015 and the winners on January 9th, 2015. Stay tuned and note that even getting to these lists took some thinking. Best Picture, Foreign Film, Most Overlooked Picture, and Best Documentary (if included) will have 10 nominees. All other categories will have five (5) at a minimum and six (6) at a maximum.

Best Picture

The Jewish Cardinal (2012, Film Movement)

The Way He Looks
A Birder’s Guide to Everything
Finn
Stations of the Cross
Calvary
The Judge
St. Vincent
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Edge of Tomorrow
The Drop
Oculus
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
The Lego Movie
Joe
The Jewish Cardinal
Chef
Fury
20 Lies, 4 Parents and a Little Egg
The Fault in Our Stars
Into the Woods
The Mystery of Happiness
Big Hero 6

Best Foreign Language Film

App (2013, RAM Releasing)

The Way He Looks
Finn
Stations of the Cross
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Years
20 Lies, 4 Parents and a Little Egg
Misunderstood
Bicycling with Molière
Hide and Seek
App
It’s Not Me, I Swear
Antboy
The Custody
Cannibal
Nymphomaniac: Volume 1
Nymphomaniac: Volume 2
Ida
For a Woman
1,000 Times Good Night
Young and Beautiful
The Opposition
The Rocket
Jack
The Mystery of Happiness
Apaches
A Christmoose Story
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
Labyrinthus

Most Overlooked Picture

The Giver (2014, The Weinstein Company)

20 Lies, 4 Parents and a Little Egg
In Secret
Mission: Sputnik
Interior. Leather Bar.
To Dance Like a Man
Son of God
Joe
Oculus
The Jewish Cardinal
App
Chef
Neighbors
Ping Pong Summer
It’s Not Me, I Swear
The Famous Five 3
The Way He Looks
Bicycling with Molière
The Giver
Antboy
The Boxtrolls
Misunderstood
Dracula Untold
Cannibal
Finn
Blood Glacier
Jack
Stations of the Cross
Into the Woods
A Christmoose Story
I Am Yours
Rhymes for Young Ghouls
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
Labyrinthus

Best Director

The Way He Looks (2014, Strand Releasing)

The Way He Looks
A Birder’s Guide to Everything
Finn
Stations of the Cross
Calvary
The Judge
St. Vincent
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Edge of Tomorrow
The Drop
Oculus
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
The Lego Movie
Joe
The Jewish Cardinal
Chef
Fury
20 Lies, 4 Parents and a Little Egg
The Fault in Our Stars
Into the Woods
Nymphomaniac: Volume 1
Nymphomaniac: Volume 2
The Mystery of Happiness
Boyhood
Big Hero 6

Best Actress

Edge of Tomorrow (2014, Warner Bros.)

Kim van Kooten In the Heart
Juliette Binoche 1,000 Times Good Night
Rosamund Pike Gone Girl
Marieke Heebink 20 Lies, 4 Parents and a Little Egg
Kate Winslet Labor Day
Elizabeth Olsen In Secret
Lindsay Beamish Forgetting the Girl
Karen Gillan Oculus
Hannah Hoekstra App
Marine Vacth Young and Beautiful
Shailene Woodley The Fault in Our Stars
Emily Blunt Edge of Tomorrow
Emily Blunt Into the Woods
Charlotte Gainsbourg Nymphomaniac: Volume 2
Stacy Martin Nymphomaniac: Volume 1
Inés Estévez The Mystery of Happiness
Patricia Arquette Boyhood
Amrita Acharia I Am Yours
Jennifer Lawrence The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Devery Jacobs Rhymes for Young Ghouls
Essie Davis The Babadook

Best Actor

The Drop (2014, Fox Searchlight)

Oscar Isaac In Secret
Brendan Gleeson Calvary
Nicolas Cage Joe
Brenton Thwaites Oculus
Laurent Lucas The Jewish Cardinal
Heon-ju Son Hide and Seek
Ansel Elgort The Fault in Our Stars
Eric Bana Deliver Us From Evil
Ghilherme Lobo The Way He Looks
Fabrice Luchini Bicycling with Molière
Lambert Wilson Bicycling with Molière
Tom Hardy Locke
Phillippe Doucet The Custody
Tom Hardy The Drop
Michael Parks Tusk
Bill Murray St. Vincent
Jae-hyun Jo Moebius
Robert Downey, Jr. The Judge
Matthew McConaughey Interstellar
Ben Affleck Gone Girl
James Corden Into the Woods
Stellan Skarsgård Nymphomaniac: Volume 1
Stellan Skarsgård Nymphomaniac: Volume 2
Fabián Arenillas The Mystery of Happiness
Ethan Hawke Boyhood
Eddie Redmayne The Theory of Everything

Best Supporting Actress

The Amazing Catfish (2014, Strand Releasing)

Melissa McCarthy St. Vincent
Eun-woo Lee Moebius
Vera Farmiga The Judge
Meryl Streep August: Osage County
Ellen Burstyn Flowers in the Attic
Anneke Blok 20 Lies, 4 Parents and a Little Egg
Jessica Lange In Secret
Emma Watson Noah
Yvonne Catterfeld Mission: Sputnik
Audrey Dana The Jewish Cardinal
Géraldine Pailhas Young & Beautiful
Laura Dern The Fault in Our Stars
Ximena Ayala The Amazing Catfish
Maya Sansa Bicycling with Molière
Charlotte Gainsbourg Misunderstood
Anna Kendrick Into the Woods
Meryl Streep Into the Woods
Charlotte Gainsbourg Nymphomaniac: Volume 1
Stacy Martin Nymphomaniac: Volume 2
Lucie Aron Stations of the Cross
Luise Heyer Jack
Jessica Chastain Interstellar

Best Supporting Actor

A Birder's Guide to Everything (2014, Screen Media Films)

Logan Lerman Fury
Jan Decleir Finn
Robert Duvall The Judge
Mark Ram 20 Lies, 4 Parents and a Little Egg
Marcel Musters 20 Lies, 4 Parents and a Little Egg
Greg Hicks Son of God
Adrian Schiller Son of God
Ben Kingsley A Birder’s Guide to Everything
Aurélien Recoing The Jewish Cardinal
John Leguizamo Chef
Zac Efron Neighbors
Edgar Ramirez Deliver Us From Evil
Fabio Audi The Way He Looks
Ethan Hawke Boyhood
Mandy Patinkin Wish I Was Here
James Gandolfini The Drop
Stacy Keach If I Stay
Gabriel Garko Misunderstood
Chris Pine Into the Woods
Jamie Bell Nymphomaniac: Volume 2
Florian Stetter Stations of the Cross
Alejandro Awada The Mystery of Happiness
Arjan Everdeen A Christmoose Story
Josh Hutcherson The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1

Best Cast

Into the Woods (2014, Disney)

Antboy
The Drop
The Maze Runner
Misunderstood
St. Vincent
Moebius
1,000 Times Good Night
Fury
Finn
The Judge
August: Osage County
20 Lies, 4 Parents and a Little Egg
2 Autumns, 3 Winters
A Birder’s Guide to Everything
22 Jump Street
The Fault in Our Stars
It’s Not Me, I Swear
Deliver Us From Evil
The Way He Looks
Bicycling with Molière
Wish I Was Here
Guardians of the Galaxy
Into the Woods
Nymphomaniac: Volume 1
Nymphomaniac: Volume 2
Stations of the Cross
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
The Mystery of Happiness

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Leading Role

In Bloom (2013, Big World Pictures)

Straight to nominations. Not many to consider here. Last year’s winner pictured.

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Leading Role

It's Not Me, I Swear (2008, First Run Features)

Jaeden Lieberher St. Vincent
Mels van der Hoeven Finn
Conner Chapman The Selfish Giant
Nils Verkooijen 20 Lies, 4 Parents and a Little Egg
Finn Fiebig Mission: Sputnik
Garrett Ryan Oculus
Kodi Smit-McPhee A Birder’s Guide to Everything
Antoine L’Écuyer It’s Not Me, I Swear
Teo Halm Earth to Echo
Quirin Oettl The Famous Five 3
Antoine L’Écuyer The Custody
Ivo Pietzcker Jack
Alián Emanuel Devetac The Third Side of the River
Ellar Coltrane Boyhood
Dennis Reinsma A Christmoose Story
Noah Wiseman The Babadook
Spencer Bogaert Labyrinthus
Raúl Rivas Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
Daniel Cerezo Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang

Best Performance by a Young Actress in a Supporting Role

Maleficent (2014, Disney)

Emma Tremblay The Judge
Adrianna Cramer Curtis 1,000 Times Good Night
Valerie Pos 20 Lies, 4 Parents and a Little Egg
Elle Fanning Maleficent
Emmi Shockley Ping Pong Summer
Catherine Faucher It’s Not Me, I Swear
Lorelei Linklater Boyhood
Amelie Kruse Jensen Antboy
Anna Lou Castoldi Misunderstood
Lilla Crawford Into the Woods
Sara Goldberg A Christmoose Story
Emma Verlinden Labyrinthus

Best Performance by a Young Actor in a Supporting Role

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes (2014, 20th Century Fox)

Art Parkinson Dracula Untold
Shaun Thomas The Selfish Giant
Jadon Sand The Lego Movie
John Paul Ruttan RoboCop
Emil von Schönfels Mission: Sputnik
Tye Sheridan Joe
Alex Wolff A Birder’s Guide to Everything
Emjay Anthony Chef
Myles Massey Ping Pong Summer
Fantin Ravat Young and Beautiful
Reese Hartwig Earth to Echo
Kodi Smit-McPhee The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Justus Schlingensiepen The Famous Five 3
Peter DaCunha Tormented
Pierce Gagnon Wish I Was Here
Samuel Ting Graf Antboy
Blake Cooper The Maze Runner
Andrea Pittorino Misunderstood
Daniel Huttlestone Into the Woods
Moritz Knapp Stations of the Cross
Georg Arms Jack
Jacob Matschenz Jack
Tomás Omacini The Third Side of the River
Dylan Agostini Vandenbosch The Third Side of the River
Leonard Proxauf Halbeschatten
Felix Maesschalck Labyrinthus
Mace Coronel Santa Hunters
Fran García Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
Marcos Ruiz Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang

Best Youth Ensemble

Misunderstood (2014, Orange Films)

1,000 Times Good Night
Finn
The Selfish Giant
20 Lies, 4 Parents and a Little Egg
Mission: Sputnik
Noah
A Birder’s Guide to Everything
Hide and Seek
Ping Pong Summer
The Famous Five 3
Wish I Was Here
Antboy
Misunderstood
Stations of the Cross
Jack
The Third Side of the River
Boyhood
A Christmoose Story
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
Santa Hunters
Labyrinthus

Best Original Screenplay

Finn (2013, Attraction Distribution)

20 Lies, 4 Parents and a Little Egg
The Lego Movie
Oculus
A Birder’s Guide to Everything
The Jewish Cardinal
Chef
Edge of Tomorrow
The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Bicycling with Molière
Locke
The Custody
The Boxtrolls
St. Vincent
Finn
The Judge
Stations of the Cross
Jack
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
Nymphomaniac: Volume 1
Nymphomaniac: Volume 2
The Mystery of Happiness
The Babadook
Labyrinthus

Best Adapted Screenplay

Dracula Untold (2014, Universal)

August: Osage County
RoboCop
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Joe
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Gone Girl
Dracula Untold
Alexander and the Terrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
The Drop
Guardians of the Galaxy
Deliver Us From Evil
22 Jump Street
Into the Woods
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
A Christmoose Story
Pants on Fire
To Kill a Man
Interstellar
Big Hero 6
A Life in Dirty Movies
The Babadook
Labyrinthus

Best Cinematography

Boxtrolls (2014, Laika)

August: Osage County
20 Lies, 4 Parents and a Little Egg
Labor Day
In Secret
Mission: Sputnik
Joe
Oculus
Bears
App
1,000 Times Good Night
Fury
Finn
The Drop
The Boxtrolls
Misunderstood
Locke
The Custody
The Way He Looks
The Empty Hours
Wish I Was Here
Young and Beautiful
It’s Not Me, I Swear
Into the Woods
Stations of the Cross
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
The Third Side of the River
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
Ida
The Mystery of Happiness
A Christmoose Story
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
The Theory of Everything
The Babadook
Big Hero 6

Best Editing

Moebius (2013, Ram Releasing)

Ping Pong Summer
Edge of Tomorrow
It’s Not Me, I Swear
The Way He Looks
Boyhood
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Drop
The Boxtrolls
Misunderstood
Moebius
Finn
App
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Oculus
A Birder’s Guide to Everything
The Lego Movie
Into the Woods
Stations of the Cross
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
The Mystery of Happiness
A Christmoose Story
The Theory of Everything
The Babadook
Stop the Pounding Heart
Labyrinthus
Big Hero 6

Best Visual Effects

X-Men: Days of Future Past (2014, 20th Century Fox)

Edge of Tomorrow
Earth to Echo
The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Boxtrolls
App
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Into the Woods
Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
A Christmoose Story
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Interstellar
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
The Babadook

Best Sound Editing/Mixing

Maze Runner (2014, 20th Century Fox)

How to Train Your Dragon 2
22 Jump Street
Edge of Tomorrow
The Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
The Purge: Anarchy
Hercules
Guardians of the Galaxy
Locke
The Maze Runner
The Boxtrolls
Fury
Finn
The Judge
Dracula Untold
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Oculus
300: Rise of an Empire
RoboCop
The Lego Movie
Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit
Into the Woods
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Interstellar
Big Hero 6
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
The Babadook
Labyrinthus

Best Makeup

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014, marvel)

Pompeii
Lizzie Borden Took an Ax
In Secret
Noah
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Oculus
Maleficent
X-Men: Days of Future Past
In the Heart
Fury
The Judge
Gone Girl
Guardians of the Galaxy
Edge of Tomorrow
Into the Woods
A Christmoose Story
I Am Yours
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
The Theory of Everything
The Babadook
Labyrinthus

Best Costume Design

Mission: Sputnik (2013, Attraction Media)

Ping Pong Summer
It’s Not Me, I Swear
The Famous Five 3
Bicycling with Molière
Guardians of the Galaxy
Antboy
The Boxtrolls
Misunderstood
Cannibal
Finn
Dracula Untold
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Mission: Sputnik
Son of God
Labor Day
In Secret
Flowers in the Attic
Into the Woods
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
A Christmoose Story
Interstellar
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
Labyrinthus

Best Art Direction

Cannibal (2013, Film Movement)

August: Osage County
Labor Day
Monuments Men
Lizzie Borden Took an Ax
Noah
Captain America: The Winter Soldier
Oculus
X-Men: Days of Future Past
Moebius
Cannibal
Finn
Antboy
The Boxtrolls
Misunderstood
Guardians of the Galaxy
The Hundred Foot Journey
Bicycling with Molière
Ping Pong Summer
Edge of Tomorrow
It’s Not Me, I Swear
Into the Woods
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies
The Strange Color of Your Body’s Tears
A Christmoose Story
Interstellar
Big Hero 6
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang
The Theory of Everything
The Babadook
Labyrinthus

Best Score

Joe (2013, Roadside Attractions)

Michael Giacchino Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
Ramin Djawadi Dracula Untold
Fons Merkies Finn
Christophe Beck Edge of Tomorrow
Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross Gone Girl
A.R. Rahman The Hundred-Foot Journey
Jeff McLlwain and David Wingo Joe
Alexandre Desplat Monuments Men
Mark Mothersbaugh The Lego Movie
Pino Donaggio Patrick
Michael Montes Ping Pong Summer
Clinton Shorter Pompeii
Stephen Sondheim, et al. Into the Woods
Jorrit Kleijnen, Alexander Reumers A Christmoose Story
Hans Zimmer Interstellar
Henry Jackman Big Hero 6

Best (Original) Song

The Lego Movie (2014, Warner Bros.)

“I’m Sexy and I Know it” 20 Lies, 4 Parents and a Little Egg
“Everything is Awesome” The Lego Movie
“Untitled Self Portrait” The Lego Movie
“We’re Doing a Sequel” Muppets Most Wanted
“Friends Forever” Ping Pong Summer
“All of the Stars” The Fault in Our Stars
“The Boxtrolls Song” The Boxtrolls
“Quattro Sabatino” The Boxtrolls
“Little Boxes” The Boxtrolls
“Some Kids” The Boxtrolls
“The Bald Guy” (“Skallaman”) from The Bald Guy in Fun in Boys Shorts
Considerations from Into the Woods
“Acuarela” The Mystery of Happiness
“Reyo por Ti” The Third Side of the River
“Immortals” Big Hero 6

The Robert Downey, Jr. Award for Entertainer of the Year

Iron Man 3 (2013, Marvel/Disney)

TBA. Winner to be announced January 9th. Explanation above.

The Ingmar Bergman Lifetime Achievement Award

Ingmar Bergman

TBA. Winner to be announced January 9th. Explanation at hyperlink above.

Neutron Star Award

Vincent Price

TBA. First winner pictured. Award explained at hyperlink above.

Jury Award

The Confession (2010, NFTS)

If applicable this category’s winner will be announced on the 9th. Explanation at hyperlink above.

Tarkovsky Thursday: Nostalghia (1983)

If you’re not already aware of Open Culture you should bookmark or follow them for they are great resource. One post on their site notified me to the fact that the films of Andrei Tarkovsky are online legitimately. In the case of his last student film: the great The Steamroller and the Violin it’s been taken down, but the others are good to go. Be sure to click on the “cc” for subtitles.

It’s hard to believe that Tarkovsky authored but six features. What he lacked prolifically he made up for with his impact.

Tarkovsky Thursday, as it turned out, was slated to end on Christmas. So have a merry one and enjoy at your leisure.

The BAM Shortlists Are Coming…

Hello all,

This is just a quick update to indicate that although December 24th has come and gone the BAM Shortlists will arrive shortly. They were nearly done (Or so I thought), and then I realized I had to reconcile a bookkeeping SNAFU. I will continue to work towards getting the shortlists out today (12/25), tomorrow (12/26) at the latest.

Thank you.

Bernardo Villela, The Movie Rat

P.S. This first trimming down should allow for the nominees to be released on the 2nd and the winners announced on the 9th. In the meantime go here to view previous awards.

Mini-Review: The Broken Circle Breakdown

This year, as I did both last year and in 2012, I am engaging in something I like to call the Year-End Dash. Basically, its the scramble to get as many eligible titles viewed as possible before the end of the year for the forthcoming BAM Awards.

The Broken Circle Breakdown

The extemporaneous reactions to late viewing will be short, but they will be logged. So I thought it would also be a good idea to re-post in standalone form some of the more memorable films I’ve seen in the first few jaunts.

There has been the occasional resurgence of bluegrass music into popular culture via cinema over the past decade or so. Many of those instances, while they are films where I’ve heard the music, they are movies I did not happen to see.

Perhaps what’s most interesting here is that The Broken Circle Breakdown is a film that’s not even ostensibly about the music. The music is there, it plays a role, it functions as a part of the characters, it underscores the emotions of the story (usually counter-intuitively) but it’s only a musical quantitatively. The film is a fractured chronology of a couple’s relationship. It begins in a present where their six-year-old is battling cancer. The film then backtracks, and goes back and forth to tell the story of these two and where they head as new challenges face them.

The toe-tapping heart of the film is its pair portrayed by Veerle Baetens and Johan Heldenbergh. Through their earnest performances, and the music, you’re left on a tightrope walking through the end of this sad tail without spinning completely into despair yet completely absorbed within it.

9/10