Sean Penn looked like he just rolled out of bed at the 11 AM press conference following the media screening of his second competition film of the week, This Must Be The Place, the first English-language film from Italian director Paolo Sorrentino ( Il Divo). He probably did, considering I spotted him having a great time in the wee hours at the Eden Roc afterparty following the big Cinema Against AIDS event at Hotel Du Cap Thursday night. These Cannes hours can be rough. He did well enough, though, trying to explain what drew him to Sorrentino’s entertaining if quirky but oddly touching story of a washed-up-at-age-50 rock star from the 1980s named Cheyenne who suffers from depression and malaise until he gets a chance at renewal upholding his late father’s honor. Early reviews I’ve read on the film range from “transformative” to “embarrassing” — in other words, mixed — with general consensus that David Byrne’s songs are keepers. Also, Penn’s go-for-broke performance, a risky and engaging and right-on-the-nose turn, is one for the ages even if you don’t personally think this movie must be the place to be.
ESPN led the field with 36 nominations — including 10 for its coverage of the FIFA World Cup during the summer — as the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences unveiled nominees for the 32nd annual Sports Emmy Awards, which will be presented May 2 in New York. NBC’s coverage of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver last year had the most individual nominations with 11. During the ceremony, Michaels, the longtime sportscaster currently the voice of NBC’s Sunday Night Football franchise, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award. He has called every sport in the book but certainly is best remembered for the “Do you believe in miracles?” call as the U.S. hockey team upset the favored Soviet Union during the Cold War-tinged 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid.
LOS ANGELES (March 17, 2011) – The Producers Guild of America (PGA) announced today that the 23rd Annual Producers Guild Awards, honoring excellence in motion picture and television production, will take place on Saturday, January 21st, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza.
They’re still called the SAG Awards. But the upcoming 17th Annual Screen Actors Guild show on January 30th could just as easily be called the AFTRA Awards in terms of television. That’s because an increasing number of categories, especially among comedy series, are dominated by AFTRA shows. On December 16th when the SAG Awards nominations were announced, AFTRA put out a congratulatory note listing all nominees from AFTRA shows. And while SAG still represents movies and such TV heavy hitters as Mad Men, Dexter, Breaking Bad, 30 Rock, Glee, The Office, and The Big Bang Theory as well as hot awards prospects like Boardwalk Empire and The Walking Dead, AFTRA now boasts top awards TV contenders such as Modern Family, The Good Wife, Curb Your Enthusiasm, and Nurse Jackie as well as Parks & Recreation and Community.
I’m now hearing that this could be the last SAG Awards. If even the most optimistic merger scenarios come true, then by the end of 2011 and just in time for the 18th SAG Awards, Hollywood may have a single actors union that would replace SAG and AFTRA. And therefore a newly conceived awards show for the combined actors’ union. The awards telecast would reflects what’s been happening union-wise on the TV side over the past couple of years. Where once TV was populated by virtually 100% SAG-designated series, the pendulum has swung to AFTRA in primetime since the writers strike.
Here I am, only for informational purposes, posting the 2011 Golden Globes nominations held by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association with the awards to be broadcast live on NBC on January 16th. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: it’s a completely meaningless awards show by a scandal-riddled organization on a network desperate for ratings. That’s why I opt out of analyzing the nominations every year: because the Golden Globes have zero integrity. Studios and networks who lavishly lobby the HFPA almost always score nominations. Stars win in direct correlation to their glamour quotient. Everything about the awards is geared towards hyping the media’s interest and the telecast’s ratings. Even the small motley group of 85 mostly freelancers who belong to the HFPA won’t grant membership to the real foreign journalists at the prestige newspapers across the world. That’s because the clique don’t want to dilute the financial bonanza they receive from the studios and networks who arrange exclusive interviews about the year’s movies and TV shows. NBC and Dick Clark Productions could clean up the Globes but choose not to.
Even the HFPA’s 17-year publicist Michael Russell who no longer has an association with the GGs sent a letter to HFPA president Philip Berk back in March (and only recently sent to me and others) accusing the organization of “a number of questionable business practices of the HFPA which we have brought directly to your attention this year that need to be changed or they …
The International Animated Film Society, ASIFA-Hollywood, announced the nominations and award recipients for the 38th Annual Annie Awards scheduled for February 5th at UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles:
2010 ANNIE AWARD NOMINATIONS
Best Animated Feature
Despicable Me – Illumination Entertainment and Universal Pictures
How to Train Your Dragon – DreamWorks Animation
Tangled – Disney
The Illusionist – Django Films
Toy Story 3 – Disney/Pixar
Best Animated Short Subject
Coyote Falls – Warner Bros. Animation
Day & Night – Pixar
Enrique Wrecks the World – House of Chai
The Cow Who Wanted To Be A Hamburger – Plymptoons Studio
The Renter – Jason Carpenter
Best Animated Television Commercial
Children’s Medical Center – DUCK Studios
Frito Lay Dips “And Then There Was Salsa” – LAIKA/house
‘How To Train Your Dragon’ Winter Olympic Interstitial “Speed
Skating” – DreamWorks Animation
McDonald’s “Spaceman Stu” – DUCK Studios
Pop Secret “When Harry Met Sally” – Nathan Love
Best Animated Television Production
Futurama – The Curiosity Company in association with 20th Century
Kung Fu Panda Holiday – DreamWorks Animation
Scared Shrekless – DreamWorks Animation
Star Wars: The Clone Wars “Arc Troopers” – Lucasfilm Animation,
The Simpsons “The Squirt and the Whale” – Gracie Films
Best Animated Television Production for Children
Adventure Time – Cartoon Network Studios
Cloudbread – GIMC
Fanboy & Chum Chum – Nickelodeon, Frederator
Regular Show – Cartoon Network Studios
SpongeBob SquarePants – Nickelodeon
Best Animated Video Game
Heavy Rain – Quantic Dream
Kirby’s Epic Yarn – Good-Feel & HAL Laboratory
Limbo – Playdead
Shank – Klei Entertainment Inc.
INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT CATEGORIES
Animated Effects in an Animated …
Extravagant film producer Alexander Korda first broached the idea of establishing a British equivalent of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences over a suitably lavish dinner he was hosting for his fellow film swells at swank Claridge’s Hotel on May 13, 1947. Those sitting round the table included directors David Lean and Carol Reed and Ealing Comedies creator Michael Balcon. Having worked their way through sole with Liebfraumilch followed by steak and kidney pie, Korda compared their dessert of hot whipped meringue concealing a frozen ice cream heart to Russian women of his acquaintance. That’s when the conversation abruptly turned to why didn’t Britain have its own film academy giving awards? There had never been a British equivalent of the Oscars, so Lean was appointed the first chairman and donated his royalties. At the inaugural awards on May 29, 1949, Laurence Olivier presented just four categories. Now the British Academy Of Film & Television Arts presents 22 at its televised film–only awards show.
If you think the Oscars are overly complicated, then the BAFTAs will positively baffle. That’s because the current push is for their increasing democratization. Only the 6,350 film members are allowed to vote for the motion picture awards. They used to wade through every film released in Britain but that changed in 2005 when it became the responsibility of each pic’s producer and distributor to decide submissions which close on November 18 for the 2011 BAFTAs. The longlist will be published on December 3.
BAFTA’s management has long debated
LOS ANGELES, November 22, 2010 — Academy Award®-winning Production Designer and Costume Designer Patricia Norris will be presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Art Directors Guild’s 15th Annual Excellence in Production Design Awards on February 5, 2011, it was announced today by Thomas A. Walsh, ADG Council President, and Awards co-producers Dawn Snyder and Tom Wilkins. The award will be presented at a black-tie industry gathering at the Beverly Hilton Hotel.
Honorary Award recipient Kevin Brownlow, Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award recipient Francis Ford Coppola, and Honorary Award recipient Eli Wallach at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences’ 2010 Governors Awards in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood on Saturday. Honorary Award recipient Jean-Luc Godard declined to attend:
EXCLUSIVE: (Screening schedule below) Although the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences has yet to officially announce it, their official Best Foreign Language Film Award screening schedule has begun circulating and I’ve obtained a copy (see below). It contains a total of 65 movies competing, each selected as the sole entry from their home countries per Academy rules. AMPAS breaks the unwieldy process into four different color groups: Red, White, Green, and Blue with each section assigned 16 films (although RED gets an extra one as it is currently laid out). Screenings for the large volunteer committees will begin Friday at 7:30 PM with the Canadian entry Incendies and end Thursday January 13 with a 9:40 PM screening of Latvia’s Hong Kong Confidential (not to be confused with Hong Kong’s Echoes Of The Rainbow screening November 12). After this 3-month process is completed, and the top six scoring movies are selected, another uber-Academy committee presided over by Foreign Language committee head Mark Johnson will choose 3 more movies from the initial 65 entries. Then these 9 films will be judged by specially selected groups in LA and NY who will whittle the list down to the 5 official contenders. After years of controversy over glaring omissions from the big committee like Brazil’s City Of God among others, the Academy reverted to this 3-step nomination process in order to protect some of the more internationally well-regarded, but perhaps edgier, entries from embarrassing slights in the Oscar process.
The opener, Denis Villeneuve’s Incendies, is one of the most anticipated this year after highly successful showings in this Fall’s film festival trifecta of Venice, Telluride and Toronto. Perhaps the best known film on the list is Mexico’s entry, Biutiful, from 3-time Oscar-nominee Alejandro Gonzalez Innaritu. It was in the official Cannes competition and won Best Actor for star Javier Bardem. After several tense months, it was finally picked up for American distribution by Roadside Attractions and will open on December 29th in time to compete in other categories as well. With a January 11th official screening, it will be one of the last to show for the foreign language committee as well as the only entry not currently scheduled as part of a double feature. At 148 minutes, it sports the longest running time, too. The shortest is Uruguay’s La Vida Util at a breezy 66 minutes.
Other anticipated entries include Thailand’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (screening Nov 15), France’s Cannes Grand Prize winner, Of Gods And Men (Nov 13), the controversial Cannes entry Hors La Loi from Algeria (Dec 4), another Cannes discovery, South Africa’s Life, Above All (Jan 6), Greece’s Dogtooth (Dec 4), Spain’s Tambien La Liuvia (Dec 3), China’s earthquake drama, Aftershock (Oct 25), Romania’s When I Want To Whistle, I Whistle (Jan 6), and Danish director Susanne Bier’s In A Better World (Jan 13). Germany’s When We Leave (Oct 29) just screened at this weekend’s Hamptons Film Festival to acclaim and will be paired with Iraq’s Son Of Babylon (Oct 29). Israel will also have the chance to continue it’s hot streak of 3 nominations in a row (Beaufort, Waltz With Bashir, Ajami) by going for a 4th with the tragi-comedy, The Human Resources Manager (Oct 18). Kazakhstan’s Strayed (Dec 18) could be one to watch along with India’s Peepli (Oct 16) as both those countries have had recent contenders. But with 65 entries, it’s anybody’s guess where this is going. Discoveries will always be made and American distribution scouts will be checking out those lesser known films that are still up for grabs.
Of course, as I’ve already detailed previously, controversy has reared its head in the selection of some entries, as it always does, including Italy’s well-reviewed The First Beautiful Thing (Dec 6), selected over the international Tilda Swinton hi, I Am Love, sparking outrage from Love’s American distributor Eamonn Bowles of Magnolia and disappointment from the producers of another well-regarded italian possibility, The Man Who Will Come. Some also accused politics in playing a part in Brazil’s selection of the glowing biography of its current popular President, Lula, The Son Of Brazil (Dec 11). Eyebrows have also been raised over South Korea’s snubbing of its highly regarded Cannes competition selection, Poetry which was thought in many quarters to be a sure thing and has received an American distribution deal from Kino. Instead South Korea chose the less buzzed-about A Barefoot Dream (Oct 22).
Of course the hottest titles going in are not necessarily going to be the big winners in the end. Remember that 2008’s eventual foreign language champ, Japan’s Departures, and even last year’s crowd pleaser from Argentina, The Secret In Their Eyes, ( were big surprises to many when the envelope was finally opened (although I managed to correctly predict both). Members who vote in this competition often tend to shun the heavier stuff and go for the more accessible alternative. Screening schedules follow:
LOS ANGELES, October 11, 2010- Roger Deakins, ASC, BSC will receive the 2011 American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) Lifetime Achievement Award. The presentation will be made during the 25th Annual ASC Outstanding Achievement Awards celebration here at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza Hotel on February 13, 2011.
“The Lifetime Achievement Award is a reflection of the impact that a cinematographer has made on the art of filmmaking rather than the capping of a career,” says ASC President Michael Goi. “It is our way of acknowledging a true artist in his prime. Roger Deakins raises the artistic profile of our profession with every movie and he will continue to do so for many years.”
LOS ANGELES, CA, October 11, 2010 – Morgan Freeman has been selected by the American Film Institute’s (AFI) Board of Trustees to receive the 39th AFI Life Achievement Award, the highest honor for a career in film, it was announced today by Sir Howard Stringer, Chair of the AFI Board of Trustees. The award will be presented to Freeman at a gala tribute on Thursday, June 9, 2011 in Los Angeles, CA. TV Land will broadcast the 39th AFI Life Achievement Award tribute on TV Land PRIME later in June 2011.
LOS ANGELES, CA (October 11, 2010) The Producers Guild of America announced today that the award-winning producing team, Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman will receive the Producers Guild’s 2011 Norman Lear Achievement Award in Television. The award will be presented to Hanks and Goetzman at the 22nd Annual Producers Guild Awards ceremony on Saturday, January 22nd at the Hyatt Regency Century Plaza in Los Angeles. “Tom and Gary are extraordinarily talented producers who have changed the television landscape with extremely unique, award-winning programming,” said Paula Wagner, Chair of the 2011 Producers Guild Awards.