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Archive for January 25th, 2011

Jeff Bridges and Hattie Seinfeld in the Coens' "True Grit" which received a surprising 10 Academy Award nominations

by Sam Juliano

     Is the Coen Brothers’ True Grit now officially the “Oscar” film for 2010?  Will the western re-make now lose it’s luster in the eyes of those who look down their nose at anything and everything Oscar and awards shows, and eternally see the embrace of the Golden boy as the artistic kiss of death?  In a heated e mail exchange with several members of the Wonders in the Dark fraternity a few days ago, it was suggested that David Fincher’s The Social Network was an “Oscar” film, because of it’s wide popularity among critics’ organizations.  While that declaration was foolhardy both for the bankrupsy of its implications and for the subsequent nominations announced early this morning on the west coast, it underscores the intense contempt for the annual awards and for those who cast ballots. (more…)

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by Allan Fish

(France 1929 80m) not on DVD

The end of the world

p  Serge Sandberg  d/w  Jean Epstein  ph  Joseph Barth, Gustavo Kottula, Louis Née, R.Tulle  m  Robert Israel

Gibois, Jean-Marie Laot, Malgorn, François Morin,

It’s a commonly accepted belief that the pioneer of the docudrama was Robert Flaherty, that erstwhile traveller and citizen of the world who went from the Inuits of Nanook to the remote outposts of Moana in the twenties.  Man of Aran was the one that really saw the term ‘docudrama’ coined, a tale of remote fisher-folk off the west coast of Ireland; real people, real problems, just ever so slightly staged.  Someone beat him to it, however. 

            Go back a few years to the year of the Crash, to the year when sound finally won out over silent film in Hollywood after an 18 month battle and we find Jean Epstein, fresh from the avant garde delights of La Glace à Trois Faces and The Fall of the House of Usher, setting off for the remote settlement of Bannec, off the farthest western coast of Brittany.  It’s a tiny rock of a place, “an island where winter storms wipe out all kind of life”, where four men, in pairs, farm seaweed over the course of a long summer, only for one of them to get injured during a becalmed period making it impossible to cross the waters without the requisite wind in the sails.  Cue a rescue mission launched from the mother island, Ouessant, to get them back to at least a semblance of civilisation. (more…)

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