Selasa, 25 Februari 2014

semua tak sama


First GAME OF THRONES Season 4 posters unveiled

HBO has unveiled its first set of posters for Season 4 of Game of Thrones. These depict the prominent members of the Lannister family: Charles Dance as Tywin, Peter Dinklage as Tyrion, Jack Gleeson as Joffrey, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime and Lena Headey as Cersei.

Valar Morghulis of course means, "All Men Must Die," in High Valyrian. Game of Thrones returns on 6 April in the US and the following day in the UK.

GODZILLA full trailer

I was unimpressed when I first heard about this, but each trailer they release is more and more impressive. It's also good that they're acknowledging the original Japanese films.

The film will be released on 16 May.

Possibly not to scale.

15th Les Étoiles d'Or du Cinéma Award Winners

As every year and just before the awards César ceremony (next Friday) the more than 400 specialized press journalists that belong to l’Académie des Étoiles d’Or du Cinéma Français announced their award winners and as everyone has been expecting Kechiche's master opus won the top awards.

Perhaps what is more interesting is that last year top award was given to Audiard's film instead of Haneke's which did not happen at the César, so does this means that Kechiche will not win next Friday? Well, I do not think so as his movie, La Vie d' Adèle, will surely collect honors at the upcoming César awards.

These are the winners that you can also check at the official site.

Best Film: La vie d’Adèle chapitres 1 & 2

Best Director: Abdellatif Kechiche for La vie d’Adèle chapitres 1 & 2
Best Debut Film: Les garçons et Guillaume, à table !, Guillaume Gallienne

Best Actress: Adèle Exarchopoulos in La vie d’Adèle chapitres 1 & 2
Best Actor: Guillaume Gallienne in Les garçons et Guillaume, à table !
Best Female Newcomer: Adèle Exarchopoulos in La vie d’Adèle chapitres 1 & 2
Best Male Newcomer: Vincent Macaigne in La Bataille de Solférino

Best Screenplay: Albert Dupontel and Laurent Turner for 9 mois ferme
Original Score Compositor: Alexandre Desplat

Best Documentary: La Maison de la Radio, Nicolas Philibert

Industry Awards
Production: Wild Bunch
Distributor: Wild Bunch Distribution

Indeed last year Audiard's film won top award and Michael Haneke won best director, but this year we can clearly see that Kechiche master opus won four awards which undoubtedly suggests that the Cannes Palm d'Or winner has really good chances to be highly honored next Friday. Let's hope so and also let's hope that we can see the live streaming, sigh.

GAME OF THRONES Season 4 fan trailer

A fan's put together a new trailer for Season 4 of Game of Thrones, drawing on the already-released trailers and preview material. The music is New Zealand singer Lorde's cover of Tears For Fears's 'Everybody Wants to Rule the World'.

Season 4 of Game of Thrones starts airing on Sunday 6 April in the United States on HBO and in the UK the following evening on Sky Atlantic.

Senin, 24 Februari 2014

RIP Harold Ramis

Actor, writer, director, producer and comedian Harold Ramis has passed away at the age of 69.

Born in Chicago, Ramis is best-known visually for his performance as Egon Spengler on the two Ghostbusters movies, where he starred alongside Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd. He reprised the role for what would prove to be his final acting appearance, as a voice-over for the Ghostbusters video game in 2009. He also co-wrote both films. Previous to that success, he'd appeared on the successful 1981 comedy movie Stripes and on the Canadian sketch show Second City.

However, Ramis will likely be remembered more for his impressive directing resume, which includes Caddyshack, National Lampoon's Vacation, Multiplicity, Analyze This, episodes of the American version of The Office and, of course, the classic Groundhog Day.

Ramis was expected to reprise his role as Egon, possibly just for a cameo, for the long-in-development Ghostbusters III. Following his passing, it is even more doubtful if the project will ever be made (at least with the involvement of any the original cast).

This is sad news. Like anyone else who grew up in the 1980s, Ghostbusters and its sequel were a huge part of my childhood, whilst Groundhog Day remains a classic take on a difficult-to-make-work science fiction premise. He will be missed.

Update: Ghostbusters fans in New York have been leaving tributes at the 8th Hook and Ladder  Firehouse on North More Street, Manhattan. This was where the firehouse exterior scenes for both movies were filmed. Inevitably, the tributes include Twinkies.

The Vorkosigan Saga Reading Order

As I'm making my way through Lois McMaster Bujold's Vorkosigan Saga, I've run afoul a few times of fact that the chronological, publication and reading orders of the series seem to all differ from one another. So I thought it might be useful to put up the differing lists here to help others planning to read the books.

The cover art for Captain Vorpatril's Alliance, the most recent-published novel in the saga.

Chronological Order

The chronological order is fairly straightforward, though not necessarily the best reading order (that would be omnibus order, posted below).

'Dreamweaver's Dilemma' (short story, set many centuries Before Miles's birth)
Falling Free (200 BM)
Shards of Honor(2-1 BM)
'Aftermaths' (2-1 BM)
Barrayar (1-0 BM)
The Warrior's Apprentice (17th year of  Miles Vorkosigan's life)
'Mountains of Mourning' (20 MV)
The Vor Game (20 MV)
Cetaganda (22 MV)
Ethan of Athos (22 MV)
'Labyrinth' (23 MV)
'Borders of Infinity' (novella version) (24 MV)
Brothers in Arms (24 MV)
Borders of Infinity(framing story) (25 MV)
Mirror Dance (28 MV)
Memory (29-30 MV)
Komarr (30 MV)
A Civil Campaign (30 MV)
'Winterfair Gifts' (31 MV)
Diplomatic Immunity(32 MV)
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (35 MV)
Cryoburn (39 MV)

Ideal reading order by omnibus

This is the easiest, cheapest and best-recommended way of reading the series, a couple of oddities aside. 'Labyrinth' appears twice for some reason and Falling Free (the earliest-set novel) is thrown rather randomly into the middle of the series, but beyond that it's fairly straightforward. It should be noted that Captain Vorpatril's Alliance and Cryoburn are only available as single novels at the moment, although it is assumed that at some point in the future Baen will collect them together. Memory will apparently remain a stand-alone novel due to its position as the biggest gamechanger in the series to date and the thematic awkwardness of combining it with other works.

Cordelia's Honour (Shards of Honour, 'Aftermaths', Barrayar)
Young Miles (The Warrior's Apprentice, 'The Mountains of Mourning', The Vor Game)
Miles, Mystery and Mayhem (Cetaganda, Ethan of Athos, 'Labyrinth')
Miles Errant ('Borders of Infinity', Brothers in Arms, Mirror Dance)
Memory (not part of an omnibus)
Miles, Mutants and Microbes (Falling Free, 'Labyrinth', Diplomatic Immunity)
Miles in Love (Komarr, A Civil Campaign, 'Winterfair Gifts')
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (not yet part of an omnibus)
Cryoburn (not yet part of an omnibus)

Publication order

Publication order sort-of works - it's the order that Bujold wrote the stories in, after all - but she jumps back and forth in Miles's life fairly randomly. Those who prefer a chronological progression are directed to the reading order by omnibus, but publication order works for those who prefer to read the books in - more or less (Barrayar was half-written as the continuation of Shards of Honour, abandoned for several years, and then completed) - the order the author wrote them.

'Aftermaths' (Spring 1986)
Shards of Honour (June 1986)
The Warrior's Apprentice (August 1986)
Ethan of Athos (December 1986)
Falling Free (serialised in December 1987-February 1988, in Analog)
Brothers in Arms (January 1989)
'The Mountains of Mourning' (May 1989)
'Labyrinth' (August 1989, in Analog)
Borders of Infinity (October 1989)
'Weatherman' (February 1990, in Analog, later integrated as the opening of The Vor Game)
The Vor Game (September 1990)
Barrayar (serialised July-September 1991, in Analog)
Mirror Dance (1994)
Cetaganda (October-December 1995)
'Dreamweaver's Dilemma' (February 1996, in Dreamweaver's Dilemma)
Memory (October 1996)
Komarr (June 1998)
A Civil Campaign (September 1999)
Diplomatic Immunity (May 2002)
'Winterfair Gifts' (February 2004, in the Irresistible Forces anthology)
Cryoburn (October 2010)
Captain Vorpatril's Alliance (November 2012)

Minggu, 23 Februari 2014

50th Cinema Audio Society Award Winners

Last night the group had their award ceremony that honored expected winners, Gravity and Frozen.

Winners are in *BLUE. To check winners in television categories go here.

Today CAS announced the nominees for the current edition of these awards that recognize best sound mixing of 201.

Awards ceremony will be on February 22nd in the Crystal Ballroom of the historic Millennium Biltmore Hotel where Re-recording Mixer Andy Nelson will receive the CAS Career Achievement Award. On the evening of the awards CAS website will be updated in real time as the winners are announced.

These are the nominations for Motion Picture

Live Action
Captain Phillips
Inside Llewyn Davis
Iron Man 3
Lone Survivor

The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Monsters University
Walking With Dinosaurs

To check the names of the nominees in each movie and the television categories go here.

16th Annual Costume Designers Guild Award Winners

Last night the group had their awards ceremony and winners are in *BLUE.

To check winners in all categories go official site later as winners are no yet at their site or read news here.

Today the Costume Designers Guild announced the nominations that will honor 2013 films and the winners of the seven competitive categories will be revealed at a ceremony on Saturday, February 22 at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Also director, writer and producer Judd Apatow and Costume Designer April Ferry will be recognized with honorary awards.

The Nominees for feature films three categories.

Excellence in Contemporary Film
*Suzy Benzinger for Blue Jasmine
Casey Storm for Her
Wendy Chuck for Philomena
Sarah Edwards for The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Excellence in Period Film
*Patricia Norris for 12 Years a Slave
Michael Wilkinson for American Hustle
Kurt & Bart for Dallas Buyers Club
Catherine Martin for The Great Gatsby
Daniel Orlandi for Saving Mr. Banks

Excellence in Fantasy Film
Ann Maskrey, Richard Taylor and Bob Buck for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
*Trish Summerville for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
Gary Jones and Michael Kutsche for Oz: The Great and Powerful

To learn nominees for Television and Commercial categories go here.

More new WILD CARDS cover art

I previously posted the covers for the Gollancz UK reprints of the fourth and fifth Wild Cards books, but Gollancz have now unveiled (via Amazon) the new covers for the sixth and seventh books.

This year's UK Wild Cards publishing schedule runs as follows:

Aces Abroad (Wild Cards #4): 8 May
Down and Dirty (#5): 12 June
Ace in the Hole (#6): 10 July
Dead Man's Hand (#7): 14 August
Lowball (#22): 11 December

Jumat, 21 Februari 2014

2014 Oscar Not So-Late Predictions

Been distracted with the Winter Olympics but what I like the most is over so it is time to turn my attention back to the Oscars and do some predictions in a year that it is NOT easy to guess what Academy members will do as suspect will be very different from what I like.

Was reading the Mojo Box Office figures and can tell that the movie that benefited more from the nomination is none other than American Hustle (!) which is kind of surprising for me as movie has a very appealing cast, for teenagers, young adults and the not so-young. So go figure what the "nomination effect" really does as the movies that really need a push do not get a significant one.

One important thing pops in my mind, this year we have a different kind of Awards Season that could influence the Oscar race. All started with major film critics' groups that had "ties" for the first time since many years. Yes, this year I believe that Oscar could "surprise" us with ties and more than believing, I am hoping will happen as there are some categories were a tie will please many and will be completely understandable.

Have to spend a paragraph to remind you that Academy voters are mainly old, men, white, and living in Los Angeles. So if you are not like them, it is probable that the nominations and awards will not be the ones you will choose, so if you decide to watch the Oscars will NOT be because who wins what but to enjoy a "good" entertaining TV show. That is why producers go beyond their way trying to produce a show to people who do not care much for movies and/or winners but care to be entertained with "celebrities", jokes and some music. Still, there is an "endangered species", people like me (lol) that enjoy great cinema and "still" enjoys the Oscar show for entertainment but most of all, to find who wins what.

Since I'm sort of sarcastic better to go directly to my predictions.

Best Picture

From the nine movies in competition the ones that I favor with a positive review are 12 Years a Slave, Dallas Buyers Club, Gravity, Philomena and the biggest positive surprise of the season: Nebraska. Did not enjoyed much American Hustle, Captain Phillips, Her and The Wolf of Wall Street. So it's no surprise if I still believe that the best from the bunch is 12 Years a Slave and IF any of the first three wins will be alright for me. IF any of the last four wins I will be extremely disappointed and yes, will be upset for a while (lol).

Will Win: 12 Years a Slave
Could Win: Gravity
Should Win: 12 Yeas a Slave, Dallas Buyers Club or Gravity.

Best Animated Feature Film

We all know that Frozen is going to win which is a great shame as truly do not understand what the movie has that is so good to be honored with an Oscar. I believe this award should go to a movie that has Great/Outstanding animation to tell a great story that appeals to the young and older. If that would be true then you have to discard The Croods, Despicable Me 2 and Frozen; plus The Wind Rises that's more for adults. Then you will only have one contender Ernest & Celestine.

Will Win: Frozen
Should Win: Ernest & Celestine

Foreign Language

Why Oscar does not have a tie? Especially for this category, a tie will be the most democratic solution as who could choose between fantastic The Hunt and outstanding The Great Beauty? Two very different movies, one appealing to our melancholy and the other to our moral emotions and precisely because what each movie appeals is why The Hunt is doom and The Great Beauty will win. Sigh. Melancholy touches older people, especially those who are familiar with Fellini -as most Academy members surely are- and Paolo Sorrentino's Fellini homage will prevail from a morally charged pedophile suggested story in The Hunt.

Will Win: The Great Beauty
Could Win: The Broken Circle Breakdown (if votes are split and a third rises)
Should Win: tie between The Great Beauty and The Hunt


Me and my own problems with directing. Sigh. Yes as many of you watch a movie because actors, I watch movies because directors and nowadays is becoming very difficult in American/English-speaking cinema as is not easy to understand what directors are doing in full visual effects movies. Last year Life of Pi helped me to understand some more but Gravity is still confusing for me as what I find really outstanding, unique, in the trend to fast evolution are the many inventions and creations (most tech specs) to make possible the tension in film plus the actors performance.

All of the above to say that we all know that Alfonso Cuarón will win the category and I will still be confused trying to find the reason why he won. Sigh. Yes, you know it by now, my choice is excellent Steve McQueen that since his first movie has shown incredible directing skills.

Will Win: Alfonso Cuarón
Should Win: Steve McQueen

Actress in a Leading Role

Nobody doubts that this is Cate Blanchett year and IF she doesn't get the Oscar I will be VERY disappointed with the oblique Academy members that mix professional and personal lives. Yes there are strong rumors, high buzz about Woody Allen personal life influencing Cate Blanchet professional life, which I find atrocious but very possible as most Academy members live in Los Angeles and are much exposed to Celebrity gossip, at least more than you and me. Sigh. Blanchett performance is outstanding and out of the ordinary in many levels.

Then you have pundits calling for Amy Adams winning. Absolutely unacceptable as not only Adams "stole" the nomination spot from much deserving Emma Thompson but I did NOT enjoy her performance AT ALL in American Hustle and please recall that I have appreciated her great performances in movies NOT related to David O. Russell. As a matter of fact I believe that Amy Adams and Christian Bale were strong casting mistakes, perhaps with a different type of actors movie would have been different and more appealing.

Will Win: Cate Blanchett (It is an emotional decision)
Could Win: Amy Adams (NO WAY!!!)
Should Win: Cate Blanchett

Actress in a Supporting Role

Allow me to share that I did enjoy all five performances, some more than the others BUT the one performance that jumps out of the ordinary ABSOLUTELY is what Jennifer Lawrence did in American Hustle. She is the only reason I continued watching American Hustle and believe it or not, did not complained about film. She pops-out of the screen with her fantastic performance.

But later in the Oscar race another actress has been getting much more attention as she is being heavily promoted as Red Carpet darling. Yes I'm talking about Lupita Nyong'o. She did an acceptable performance in 12 Years a Slave BUT this film is nothing about females as ALL female roles disappear in the jungle of great performances by male actors. 12 Years a Slave is a Male/Men/Testosterone movie and most actors give outstanding performances no matter how small their role is.

Will Win: Jennifer Lawrence (HAS TO - okay is an emotional decision)
Could Win: Lupita Nyong'o (Academy members like to honor newcomers with this award)
Should Win: Jennifer Lawrence (This young actress does a highly superior performance when compared to other nominees and should NOT be "punished" for doing blockbuster movies.)

Actor in a Leading Role

Do not understand what Christian Bale and Leonardo DiCaprio are doing in this category as their characters were not pleasant BUT their performance made them unwatchable; Bruce Dern was a pleasant positive surprise (now understand why he won the Cannes Palme d'Or) and yes, I do not mind at all if Chiwetel Ejiofor or Matthew McConaughey win as both delighted us with great performances. This another category were a tie will please many, including me.

Will Win: Matthew McConaughey
Could Win: Leonardo DiCaprio (Awful performance)
Should Win: Chiwetel Ejiofor

Actor in Supporting Role

We all know that this year the award HAS to go to one -and only one- impressive performance by Jared Leto. Probabilities tell us that he will and the big surprise will be IF Academy members decide to vote otherwise because the "racy" movie theme and the character Leto performs. There is another great performance, Michael Fassbender but believe this is not his year and know he will get an Oscar sooner than later.

Will Win: Jared Leto
Could Win: Barkhad Abdi (Gosh he barely acted! and recall that I enjoy performances by non-actors)
Should Win: Jared Leto

That's all. Next week will do my "very late" predictions that will include ALL the categories. Hope you had fun reading at least as much fun as I had writing.

Kamis, 20 Februari 2014

Waterstones fail to recognise female fantasy authors

Fantasy author Foz Meadows recently published this article, in which she challenged the failure of Waterstones (the UK's only remaining nationwide chain of bookstores) to recognise female fantasy authors - or SF authors for that matter - in their 2012 literature on the SFF genre. No less than 113 authors are listed in the booklet but only nine of them are female, which is rather an eyebrow-raising imbalance.

Could do better.

Juliet E. McKenna expands on this by claiming to have seen lots of "If you like George R.R. Martin, why not try..."-style lists in bookshops, almost invariably consisting solely of male authors. Apparently, when she challenged one bookshop on why this was so, she was told "Women don't write epic fantasy." This is blatantly untrue, and it was rather idiotic of them to say so to an author with no less than fifteen epic fantasy novels under her belt. Indeed, when people have asked me what authors they should be reading after getting hooked on the likes of Martin or Abercrombie or Lynch, I often surprise myself with how many of the recommendations that come to mind are women.

So, without further ado, here is a brief list of female epic fantasy authors you should check out if you've gotten hooked on the genre via Martin or Game of Thrones:

Robin Hobb

Robin Hobb, aka Megan Lindholm (both pen-names of Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden), writes trilogies featuring epic battles and magical creatures (including dragons), but is resolutely focused on her characters. She enjoys writing characters who have their own motivations which make sense to them, no matter how they are painted as heroes or villains by others. Martin is a huge fan, as is Steven Erikson, and she has enjoyed a lengthy and prolific career. In fact, Martin has cited Hobb's use of animal magic as one of several influences on the warging in A Song of Ice and Fire.

Her best-known works are the five sub-series set in the Realm of the Elderlings, comprising the Farseer, Liveship Traders and Tawny Man trilogies and the Rain Wild Chronicles quartet, plus a forthcoming series currently planned to be a trilogy, The Fitz and the Fool. Hobb broke away from this series to write an unrelated work, The Soldier Son Trilogy, which was not as well-received. Writing under the pen name Megan Lindholm, she also wrote ten earlier books, mostly aimed at younger readers.

Key works
The Farseer Trilogy: Assassin's Apprentice (1995), Royal Assassin (1996), Assassin's Quest (1997)
The Liveship Traders Trilogy: Ship of Magic (1998), The Mad Ship (1999), Ship of Destiny (2000)
The Tawny Man Trilogy: Fool's Errand (2001), The Golden Fool (2002), Fool's Fate (2003)
The Soldier Son Trilogy: Shaman's Crossing (2005), Forest Mage (2006), Renegade's Magic (2008)
The Rain Wild Chronicles: Dragon Keeper (2009), Dragon Haven (2010), City of Dragons (2011), Blood of Dragons (2011)
The Fitz and the Fool: The Fool's Assassin (2014)

Kate Elliott

Kate Elliott is the pen-name of Alis A. Ramussen, under which name she published a fantasy, The Labyrinth Gate and an SF series, The Highroad Trilogy. After apparently disappointing early sales, she changed her writing name and returned with the SF Jaran series in the early 1990s. This was more successful and she has followed it up with a series of epic fantasies, including her more recent work, the Crossroads and Spiritwalker series.

However, Elliott's largest and best-known series is Crown of Stars, a seven-volume epic published between 1997 and 2006. If Martin's Song of Ice and Fire depicts a world set at the tail end of the medieval period, with armies in the tens of thousands, shining knights and full plate armour, Crown of Stars is set at the opposite end, when any army larger than a thousand is huge and kings tour their countries on endless processions rather than being tied to single capitals. Heavily influenced by real medieval European history (to the point where Crown of Stars can also be called an alternate history based on 9th and 10th Century Germany and Eastern Europe), Elliott weaves a large number of storylines focusing on themes such as war, chivalry religion and gender issues without dialling back (though also not over-emphasising) on the brutality of the period. Perhaps slightly overlong, but also genuinely thought-provoking.

Crossroads, which will eventually encompass at least seven novels set across three generations, is also interesting. Set in a world not based explicitly on any period of real history, it features a number of carefully-created original cultures clashing for control of a land called the Hundred. The original Crossroads trilogy will be followed by a new book later this year, The Black Wolves, set some years later.

Key works
The Golden Key (1996, with Melanie Rawn and Jennifer Roberson)
The Jaran Series: Jaran (1992), An Earthly Crown (1993), His Conquering Sword (1993), The Law of Becoming (1994)
Crown of Stars: King's Dragon (1997), Prince of Dogs (1998), The Burning Stone (1999), Child of Flame (2000), The Gathering Storm (2003), In the Ruins (2005), Crown of Stars (2006)
Crossroads: Spirit Gate (2007), Shadow Gate (2008), Traitors' Gate (2009), The Black Wolves (2014)
Spiritwalker: Cold Magic (2010), Cold Fire (2011), Cold Steel (2013)

Elizabeth Bear

Elizabeth Bear is an author I'm only recently acquainted with, thanks to her superb Eternal Sky Trilogy. However, she has published many novels in several different subgenres (including SF and urban fantasy), including her acclaimed Iskryne series, co-written with Sarah Monette.

The Eternal Sky trilogy is an epic fantasy set on an alternate version of the central Asian steppes, with a race of nomadic tribesmen who recall George R.R. Martin's Dothraki. However, whilst the Dothraki are (partly) based on the Asian nomads at the very start of their expansion and rise to power, Bear's series deals with a far more sophisticated and subtle people, depicted as intelligent warriors and capable engineers rather than just hordes of plunderers and rapists. It also features some intriguingly weird magic (the skies over each nation and culture are somehow different) and deliciously rich characterisation.

Key works
The Eternal Sky Trilogy: Range of Ghosts (2012), Shattered Pillars (2013), Steles of the Sky (2014)

J.V. Jones

Julie Victoria Jones hit the ground running with The Baker's Boy in 1995. Boosted by a Robert Jordan cover quote, it rapidly became one of the biggest-selling fantasy novels of the year and propelled her onto the bestseller lists. It was a rough novel, not unexpectedly for a debut, and she improved in leaps and bounds over the remainder of the Book of Words trilogy and a further stand-alone novel, The Barbed Coil. However, Jones found a different and far more sophisticated level of writing ability with her Sword of Shadows series, a decade and a half in the making and still incomplete.

Sword of Shadows is a (very loose) sequel to The Book of Words and picks up the story of the daughter of the previous trilogy's hero, as well as a whole host of new characters. It is set beyond the northern mountains in a bleak subarctic wilderness, heavily influenced by Scandinavia and the Inuit tribes. If you enjoyed those parts of A Song of Ice and Fire set beyond the Wall, this series is for you, with descriptions of snow and ice so vivid you may want to wrap up warm before reading. Unfortunately, Jones also seems to be emulating Martin's five-year gaps between volumes, but this is one of those series where the books are worth the long waits.

Key works
The Barbed Coil (1998)
The Book of Words: The Baker's Boy (1995), A Man Betrayed (1996), Master and Fool (1997)
The Sword of Shadows: A Cavern of Black Ice (1999), A Fortress of Grey Ice (2002), A Sword from Red Ice (2007), Watcher of the Dead (2010), Endlords (forthcoming)

N.K. Jemisin

N.K. Jemisin is a relative newcomer, but made her mark on the genre with The Inheritance Trilogy (no, not that one) and the Dreamblood duology. The latter - which regrettably is so far all I've read - is set in a fantasised take on Egypt that completely avoids cliche: no cat-headed people fighting sphinxes, thankfully. Instead, it's a well-thought-out, intelligent take on the fantasy genre and its conventions about religion, power and gender roles, whilst also being a kick-arse adventure story set in a fantasy world refreshingly not based on Medieval Europe. Her next book, The Fifth Season, is out later this year.

Key works
The Fifth Season (2014)
The Inheritance Trilogy: The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms (2010), The Broken Kingdoms (2010), The Kingdom of Gods (2011)
The Dreamblood: The Killing Moon (2012), The Shadowed Sun (2012)

K.J. Parker

Okay, a slightly controversial one given that K.J. Parker's true identity and therefore gender is not known ('K.J. Parker' is a pseudonym for another, known author). I've certainly been told by one of Parker's publishers that she is a she, whilst someone else I know has been told by a different one of Parker's publishers that he is a he. Proceeding on the balance of proof (what the publisher told me plus old interviews with Parker), I'm assuming that Parker is in fact female.

Parker's first novel was Colours in the Steel, published in 1997. It depicted the siege and assault on an advanced city by a collection of plains-dwelling nomads fed up with the city impugning on their existence. The novel was notable for featuring an epic fantasy take on legal systems (with sword-wielding lawyers defending their clients in single combat) as well as a tremendously detailed account of engineering matters, such as how to build siege engines. The novel's two sequels, however, opened up this story into a more ambitious story about families, revenge and insanity. The Fencer Trilogy is a good read, and is notable for plot twists and unexpected deaths that even Martin might think are a bit on the bloody side.

After two further trilogies, Parker switched gears in 2007 to write a series of stand-alone novels instead (although there are some hints that all thirteen of her novels to date are set on the same world). These new books featured a mercenary company (The Company), a setting influenced by Ancient Rome (The Folding Knife) and a new take on sword-fighting and fencing (in Sharps). A new novel, Savages, will arrive next year.

Parker is bloody, brutal and cynical, but her books are also well-written, impressively-characterised and surprisingly subtle, not to mention often laugh-out-loud hilarious, in a very dark kind of way.

Key works
The Company (2008)
The Folding Knife (2010)
The Hammer (2011)
Sharps (2012)
Savages (2015)
The Fencer Trilogy: Colours in the Steel (1998), The Belly of the Bow (1999), The Proof House (2000)
The Scavenger Trilogy: Shadow (2001), Pattern (2002), Memory (2003)
The Engineer Trilogy: Devices and Desires (2005), Evil for Evil (2006), The Escapement (2007)

Juliet E. McKenna

Juliet E. McKenna is a prominent member of the UK SFF community, noted for her role in the writing collective The Write Fantastic. She has penned (as mentioned above) fifteen fantasy novels in four series, though all set on the same world.

I read her debut novel, The Thief's Gamble (featuring a female thief and rogue), when it was first released and found it highly enjoyable. Unfortunately, I haven't read the rest of her books but look forward to doing so.

Key works
The Tales of Einarinn: The Thief's Gamble (1999), The Swordsman's Oath (1999), The Gambler's Fortune (2000), The Warrior's Bond (2001), The Assassin's Edge (2002)

The Aldabreshin Compass: Southern Fire (2003), Northern Storm (2004), Western Shore (2005), Eastern Tide (2006)
The Chronicles of the Lescari Revolution: Irons in the Fire (2009), Blood in the Water (2010), Banners in the Wind (2010)
The Hadrumal Crisis: Dangerous Waters (2011), Darkening Skies (2012), Defiant Peaks (2012)

J.K. Rowling

You may have heard of her. And yes, I count her books as epic fantasy.

This is only scratching the surface here, so hit me with some more epic fantasies (or, sod it, fantasy in general) written by women in the comments.

Rabu, 19 Februari 2014

Marvel releases first GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY trailer

Disney and Marvel have unveiled the first full trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy, their big summer Marvel Cinematic Universe film and the most 'out there' of their films to date.

Set in space, Guardians will chronicle the adventures of five mismatched 'heroes' who get into conflicts with evil forces etc. The movie will be more tangentially connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe than their other films (i.e. don't expect Iron Man to show up halfway through) but will partly set things up for Avengers: Age of Ultron, which will follow in 2015.

I am not acquainted with the Guardians as a superhero team, although I did thoroughly enjoy the Rocket Raccoon solo strip in the 1980s (when it ran as the back-up strip in the Marvel UK Transformers comic), which was enough to make me want to check this out. The trailer is also pretty cool. It's good to see Marvel embracing full SF craziness for once.

Take-Two Interactive shut down Irrational Games

Take-Two Interactive has closed down the Irrational Games studio, which it owns. Irrational are the creators of the BioShock franchise, most recently responsible for creating and releasing BioShock Infinite and its expansions.

The head of Irrational, feted game designer Ken Levine, announced the move on the company's website. The move stunned both gamers and critics, as BioShock Infinite had been both a critical and apparently a commercial success upon its release a year ago. According to Levine's announcement, the move had been taken as he wished to re-focus on narrative-driven games and needed only a small team of 15 or so people to do that. This led to speculation from the press, as the move meant making 185 people jobless. Questions were raised about whether it would have been easier to Levine to simply leave Irrational and leave the team intact for other projects (such as future BioShock games, with Take-Two confirming it is interested in pursuing the franchise with new games in the future).

However, an alternative possibility is that BioShock Infinite's success was overstated. Though the game sold 3.7 million copies in its first two months on sale, that came after a development period lasting more than five years (since BioShock's release in 2007; BioShock 2 had been created by a different studio) and costing anything up to $200 million (including marketing), although that figure was later denied by Levine. In comparison, the game Skyrim from Bethesda took only about two and a half years to make, cost less than $80 million and sold 7 million copies in its first month on sale. Take-Two's biggest 2013 release, Grand Theft Auto V, has sold over 32 million copies to date and made $1 billion in just its first three days on sale. Compared to these figures (though admittedly outliers), it looks like BioShock Infinite underperformed and, given its long development time and budget, failed to turn a profit, certainly not before the end of that financial year.

Regardless, this is regrettable news. Irrational were one of several companies to splinter off from the legendary Looking Glass Studios. At Looking Glass Levine worked on a series of iconic games, including System Shock and Ultima Underworld. After leaving to found Irrational in 1997, Levine continued to work on Looking Glass titles such as System Shock 2 (a co-production with Irrational) and Thief: The Dark Project. In 2002 Irrational released their first solo game, a superhero RPG called Freedom Force, which was well-reviewed and praised for its art style and humour. A sequel, Freedom Force vs. the Third Reich, followed in 2005. Irrational also released Tribes: Vengeance in 2004 and SWAT 4 in 2005, both of which were also well-received. In 2007 Irrational released BioShock, a 'spiritual successor' to System Shock 2 which focused on narrative and political themes fused to a memorable art style and an emphasis on combat. Irrational passed on making the 'quickie' sequel, BioShock 2 (instead released by 2K Marin, themselves rendered defunct last year by Take-Two), to focus on a more ambitious project, BioShock Infinite. This game was repeatedly delayed and was not released until early 2013.

Irrational focused on narrative and story-driven games with strong, recognisable characters and offbeat atmospheres not quite like anything else out there. Their loss from the gaming world is regrettable.

Selasa, 18 Februari 2014

New SONG OF ICE AND FIRE covers for the UK

HarperCollins Voyager have unveiled new cover art for the Song of Ice and Fire novels by George R.R. Martin.

Click to embiggen.

The new books emphasise landforms and geography, unlike the previous covers which featured military and medieval iconography.

They're striking, but to my mind don't quite capture the feel of the series. In particular, A Clash of Kings featuring (presumably) the Red Waste on the cover is a little odd given that only one chapter takes place there. It's also mildly disappointing that Voyager still haven't recombined A Storm of Swords and A Dance with Dragons into a single paperback volume each, given how many larger or comparable novels out there are available in one paperback volume (The Wise Man's Fear, The Naked God, Atlas Shrugged, The Lord of the Rings, Diana Gabaldon's novels etc). I'm also hoping that the Game of Thrones tie-in note are stickers and not part of the cover, as they are rather incongruous. The current paperback set rather subtly and elegantly notes the GoT reference in a small section on the back cover, which is a better idea.

The new covers will be available alongside the previous ones and will not replace them outright.

Senin, 17 Februari 2014

2014 Swiss Film Award Nominations

The contenders for the 2014 Swiss Film Award have been revealed. The official announcement was made during “Nominations Night” in Solothurn concert hall. Some 600 invited guests from the Swiss film industry attended the gala evening.

Around 240 members of the Swiss Film Academy viewed and rated the 118 film entries that were deemed eligible for the competition. The results of the anonymous vote serve as a recommendation for the Swiss Film Award jury whose task it is to select the final award nominees. This year, the awards are divided into 11 categories and come with prize money totalling CHF 435,000. The key role of editors in the filmmaking process will be officially recognized, with the introduction of the new “Best Film Editing” Award. In addition, the 2014 Swiss Film Award will be the first time that the “Best Animated Film” Award will be bestowed annually instead of every two years.

The 17th Swiss Film Award ceremony will take place on 21 March 2014 at the Schiffbau, Zurich. This gala event, which officially recognizes the work of the Swiss film industry, is co-produced by the Federal Office of Culture and its official partners, SRG SSR and the Association "Quartz" Genève Zürich, and is organized in collaboration with SWISS FILMS, the Swiss Film Academy and the Solothurn Film Festival.

Best Fiction Film
Der Goalie bin ig, Sabine Boss
Left Foot Right Foot, Germinal Roaux
Les grandes ondes (à l'ouest) (Longwave), Lionel Baier
Mary Queen Of Scots, Thomas Imbach
Traumland, Petra Volpe

Best Animated Film
Hasta Santiago, Mauro Carraro
The Kiosk, Anete Melece
Vigia, Marcel Barelli

Best Documentary Film
Der Imker, Mano Khalil
L'escale, Kaveh Bakhtiari
L'expérience Blocher, Jean-Stéphane Bron
Neuland, Anna Thommen
Vaters Garten - die Liebe meiner Eltern, Peter Liechti

Best Actress
Ursina Lardi in Traumland
Sonja Riese in, Der Goalie bin ig
Bettina Stucky in Traumland

Best Actor
Stefan Kurt in Akte Grüninger
Patrick Lap in Les grandes ondes (à l’ouest)
Marcus Signe in Der Goalie bin ig

Best Performance in a Supporting Role
Leonardo Nigro in Die Schwarzen Brüder
Pascal Ulli in Der Goalie bin ig
Dimitri Stapfer in Left Foot Right Foot

To check nominees in all 11 categories please go here.  Seems I'll have to catch-up my Swiss film viewing as all films are "new" for me and there is a couple that seem to be worth-watching.

8th Asian Film Awards Nominations

On February 11 the Asian Film Awards Academy announced its establishment as the official organizer of the annual Asian Film Awards. To remind you readers, during the past seven years the awards were organized by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society.

The newly established Academy will be based in Hong Kong and is chaired by Dr. Wilfred Wong Ying-wai, who is also the chairman of the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society. Committee members include Mr. Lee Yong-kwan, Director of the Busan International Film Festival in South Korea, and Mr. Yasushi Shiina, Director General of the Tokyo International Film Festival and TIFFCOM market from Japan.

The AFA Academy also announced that the 8th Asian Film Awards will be presented by an innovative collaboration with Asia’s leading integrated entertainment resort City of Dreams Macau. The award ceremony will be held on March 27, 2014 at the state-of-the-art Dancing Water Theater, home to the world’s largest water-based extravaganza “The House of Dancing Water”.

Wong Kar-wai's The Grandmaster leads the nominations with 11 nominations and to check nominees in all categories please go here or here.

Best Film
無人區 Wu ren qu (No Man's Land), Hao Ning, China
一代宗師 Yi dai zong shi (The Grandmaster),Wong Kar-Wai, China and Hong Kong
舟を編む Fune wo amu (The Great Passage), Yûya Ishii ,Japan
Dabba (The Lunchbox), Ritesh Batra, India, France, Germany and USA
Snowpiercer, Joon-ho Bong, France, Korea and USA
郊遊 Jiao you (Stray Dogs), Ming-liang Tsai, France and Taiwan

Best Director
Bong Joon-ho for Snowpiercer, France, Korea and USA
Anthony Chen for Ilo Ilo, Singapore
Koreeda Hirokazu for Soshite chichi ni naru (Like Father, Like Son), Japan
Tsai Ming-liang for Jiao you (Stray Dogs), France and Taiwan
Wong Kar-wai for Yi dai zong shi (The Grandmaster), China and Hong Kong

Best Actress
Eugene Domingo in Barber's Tales, Philippines
Han Hyo-joo in Cold Eyes, South Korea
Paw Hee Ching in Rigor Mortis, Hong Kong
Maki Yoko in The Ravine Of Goodbye, Japan
Zhang Zi Yi in The Grandmaster, Hong Kong and China

Best Actor
Fukuyama Masaharu in Like Father, Like Son, Japan
Irrfan Khan in The Lunchbox, India
Lee Kang Sheng in Stray Dogs, France and Taiwan
Tony Leung Chiu Wai in The Grandmaster, Hong Kong and China
Song Kang-ho in The Attorney, South Korea

Jury List
Jury President: Peter Ho-Sun Chan, Hong Kong
Celebrity Jury: Donnie Yen, Hong Kong
Ronald Arguelles, Philippines
John Baldalu, Indonesia
Patricia Cheng, Hong Kong
Kenji Ichizaka, Japan
Christian Jeune, France
Eric Khoo, Singapore
Lee Yong-Kwan, South Korea
Kong Rithdee, Thailand
tien-hisang Wen, Taiwan
Jacob Wong, Hong Kong

Have seen some movies but in general believe there are some great movies that will be honored this year.

61st MPSE Golden Reel Award Winners

Last night organizers had their award ceremony but unfortunately the official twitter account did not tweet winners, the official site has no winners update and most movies news related sites did not posted winners. It was not until this moment that found a news source that you can find here to check winners in all categories besides film. Eventually winners will be at the official site.

There was no surprises as category most related to what Oscar honors went to the expected Gravity.

Winners are in *BLUE.

Recently the Motion Picture Sound Editors announced the nominations for the current edition that recognize outstanding achievement in sound editing in 22 categories encompassing feature films, television, animation, computer entertainment and student work. The 61st MPSE Golden Reel Awards will be held February 17, 2013 at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel and Suites in Los Angeles.

These are the nominees for Feature Film categories

Best Sound Editing: Sound Effects and Foley in an English-Language Feature
12 Years a Slave
All Is Lost
Captain Phillips
Fast & Furious 6
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Iron Man 3
Lone Survivor

Best Sound Editing: Dialogue and ADR in an English-Language Feature
12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
August: Osage County
*Captain Phillips
Inside Llewyn Davis
Lone Survivor

Best Sound Editing in an Animated Feature (English or Foreign-Language) (Includes ADR, Dialogue, Sound Effects and Foley)
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2
The Croods
Despicable Me 2
Ernest & Celestine
Monsters University

Best Sound Editing in a Foreign-Language Feature (Includes ADR, Dialogue, Sound Effects and Foley)
Blue is the Warmest Color
*The Grandmaster
The Past

Best Sound Editing - Music in a Musical Feature (English or Foreign-Language)
Inside Llewyn Davis
Justin Bieber's Believe
Metallica Through the Never

Best Sound Editing - Music in a Feature (English or Foreign-Language)
12 Years a Slave
47 Ronin
American Hustle
*The Great Gatsby
The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
World War Z

Best Sound Editing in a Documentary Feature - Foreign Languague
20 Feet from Staradom
*Dirty Wars
Good Ol' Freda
Muscle Shoals
Rising from Ashes
Sound City

To check nominees at official site go here and later today nominees in other categories will be announced, so if you wish to check them go here.

Minggu, 16 Februari 2014

2014 BAFTA Award Winners

Awards ceremony will start in a few minutes. BAFTA will NOT be broadcast live -so NO live stream- but BAFTA twitter account will announce winners live.


Right now BBC One is broadcasting the awards ceremony so if you wish to enjoy the fantastic British peculiar great humor, suggest you watch it. In a bit the video will be available and will post it here for you to enjoy.

I'm extremely pleased with the top awards winners BUT as always there is an exception as was hoping Steve McQueen to win Best Director as he was superior to all the other nominees but already confessed that I have a hard time with directors of films crowded with special visual effects, sigh.

Think that there are some winners in non-top categories that will duplicate their win in Oscar but as we all know, this year will not be easy to guess what American Academy members will vote for and Bafta did NOT do much to help us guessing!!! Now what follows is an exercise to extrapolate what I like from what Academy members could do, maybe then I can guess right.

Nevertheless in the other categories my biggest disappointment was that the "Public" did not recognized the fantastic work of Léa Seydoux beyond her Cannes Palm award win, but then this was England and perhaps Brits still do not like that much the French (LOL!).

Then we go to the Foreign Language film category and the most difficult decision as most, including BAFTA, prefer The Great Beauty above Kechiche's oeuvre; I understand as Paolo Sorrentino with this movie had to do an homage to one of my most adored directors, Federico Fellini. Yes, La Grande Bellezza is decadent, as decadent as Fellini and that's why I simply loved this film. But Kechiche film is a fantastic incredible simple, told (narration+visuals) very straight-forward, very realistic romance that hits viewers HARD. Anyway my point is that in Oscar THERE SHOULD BE A TIE. (LOL).

Peter Greenway gets an award for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema. Dame Helen Mirren wins the Academy Fellowship.

Winners are in *BLUE. If you wish to read the winners at the official site go here.

See you next year!!!

Today the British Academy announced the nominations for the current edition with no real surprises, except finding that nods look quite similar to what Oscar nominations could be but somehow was expected as most movies with Oscar buzz have something British. Gravity leads the pack with 11 nominations closely followed by 12 Years a Slave and American Hustle with 10 each. Captain Phillips follows with 9 nominations. So indeed by the numbers is a close race.

The EE British Academy Film Awards take place on Sunday 16 February at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London. The ceremony will be hosted by Stephen Fry and will be broadcast exclusively on BBC One and BBC One HD, preceded by a red carpet show on BBC Three. The ceremony is also broadcast in all major territories around the world.

Best Film
*12 Years a Slave
American Hustle
Captain Phillips

Outstanding British Film
Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
Saving Mr. Banks
The Selfish Giant

Film Not In The English Language
The Act of Killing
Blue is the Warmest Color
*The Great Beauty
Metro Manila

*The Act of Killing
The Armstrong Lie
Tim's Vermeer
We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks

Animated Film
Despicable Me 2
Monster University

Steve McQueen for 12 Years a Slave
David O. Russell for American Hustle
Paul Greengrass for Captain Phillips
*Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity
Martin Scorsese for The Wolf of Wall Street

Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer
Colin Carberry (Writer) and Glenn Patterson (Writer) for Good Vibrations
Kelly Marcel (Writer) for Saving Mr. Banks
*Kieran Evans (Director/Writer) for Kelly + Victor
Paul Wright (Director/Writer) and Polly Stokes (Producer) for Those in Peril
Scott Graham (Director/Writer) for Shell

Leading Actress
Amy Adams in American Hustle
*Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine
Emma Thompson in Saving Mr. Banks
Judi Dench in Philomena
Sandra Bullock in Gravity

Supporting Actress
*Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle
Julia Roberts in August: Osage County
Lupita Nyong'o in 12 Years a Slave
Oprah Winfrey in The Butler
Sally Hawkings in Blue Jasmine

Leading Actor
Bruce Dern in Nebraska
*Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave
Christian Bale in American Hustle
Leonardo DiCaprio in The Wolf of Wall Street
Tom Hanks in Captain Phillips

Supporting Actor
*Barkhad Abdi in Captain Phillips
Bradley Cooper in American Hustle
Daniel Bruhl in Rush
Matt Damon in Behind the Candelabra
Michael Fassbender in 12 Years a Slave

Original Screenplay
*Eric Warren Singer and David O. Russell for American Hustle
Woody Allen for Blue Jasmine
Alfonso Cuarón and Jonas Cuarón for Gravity
Joel and Ethan Coen for Inside Llewyn Davis
Bob Nelson for Nebraska

Adapted Screenplay
John Ridley for 12 Years a Slave
Richard LaGravenese for Behind The Candelabra
Billy Ray for Captain Phillips
*Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope for Philomena
Terence Winter for The Wolf of Wall Street

Original Music
Hans Zimmer for 12 Years a Slave
John Williams for The Book Thief
Henry Jackman for Captain Phillips
*Steven Price for Gravity
Thomas Newman for Saving Mr. Banks

Sean Bobbitt for 12 Years a Slave
Barry Ackroyd for Captain Phillips
*Emmanuel Lubezki for Gravity
Bruno Delbonnel for Inside Llewyn Davis
Phedon Papamichael for Nebraska

Joe Walker for 12 Years a Slave
Christopher Rouse for Captain Phillips
Mark Sanger and Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity
*Dan Hanley and Mike Hill for Rush
Thelma Schoonmaker for The Wolf of Wall Street

Production Design
Adam Stockhausen and Alice Baker for 12 Years a Slave
Judy Becker and Heather Loeffler for American Hustle
Howard Cummings for Behind The Candelabra
Andy Nicholson, Rosie Goodwin and Joanne Woodlard for Gravity
*Catherine Martin and Beverly Dunn for The Great Gatsby

Costume Design
Michael Wilkinson for American Hustle
Ellen Mirojnick for Behind the Candelabra
*Catherine Martin for The Great Gatsby
Michael O'Connor for The Invisible Woman
Daniel Orlandi for Saving Mr. Banks

Make Up & Hair
*Evelyne Noraz and Lori McCoy-Bell for American Hustle
Kate Biscoe and Marie Larkin for Behind the Candelabra
Mauricio Silvi and Kerry Warn for The Great Gatsby
Debra Deson, Beverly Jo Pryor and Candance Neal for The Butler
Peter Swords King, Richard Taylor and Rick Findlater for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug

Richard Hymns, Steve Boeddeker, Brandon Proctor, Micah Bloomberg, Gillian Arthur for All Is Lost
Chris Burdon, Mark Taylor, Mike Prestwood Smith, Chris Munro, Oliver Tarney for Captain Phillips
*Glenn Freemantle, Skip Lievsay, Christopher Benstead, Niv Adiri, Chris Munro for Gravity
Danny Hambrook, Martin Steyer, Stefan Korte, Markus Stemler, Frank Kruse for Rush
Peter F. Kurland, Skip Lievsay, Greg Orloff for Inside Llewyn Davis

Special Visual Effects
Joe Letteri, Eric Saindon, David Clayton, Eric Reynolds for The Hobbit: The Desolation Of Smaug
*Tim Webber, Chris Lawrence, David Shirk, Neil Corbould, Nikki Penny for Gravity
Bryan Grill, Christopher Townsend, Guy Williams, Dan Sudick for Iron Man 3
Hal Hickel, John Knoll, Lindy De Quattro, Nigel Sumner for Pacific Rim
Ben Grossmann, Burt Dalton, Patrick Tubach, Roger Guyett for Star Trek Into Darkness

British Short Film
Island Queen
Keeping Up with the Joneses
Orbit Even After
*Room 8
Sea View

British Short Animation
Everything I Can See From Here
I Am Tom Moody
*Sleeping With The Fishes

Rising Star in 2014
Dane Dehaan
Lupita Nyong’o
George Mackay
*Will Poulter
Léa Seydoux

To see nominees in BAFTA's site go here. Perhaps where these nominations differ from the Oscars is with the inclusion of Philomena in the Best Picture category and more beyond Judi Dench Best Actress nomination plus I'm still not sure if Leonardo DiCaprio will make it to the five Oscar nominees but he did make it to BAFTA as Matthew McConaughey is not in as well as anyone from Dallas Buyers Club, but I'm almost sure Christian Bale will not make it to Oscar.

Notorious is the absence of Meryl Streep which allowed Amy Adams to be included in the five nominees, with this snub now believe that Best Actress Oscar category is locked and winner is highly predictable. In the supporting categories Oprah Winfrey now has good chances of getting an Oscar nod as well as Daniel Bruhl.

Most notable is that BAFTA's five nominees in the Director category are exactly the same as the nominees announced yesterday by the Directors Guild, but still have the feeling that in Oscar one director will be different.

Interesting trivia, Judi Dench becomes BAFTA film awards' most-nominated actress in history and Woody Allen becomes the most-nominated director in BAFTA history.

The Nominations Announcement video

Sabtu, 15 Februari 2014

64th Berlin International Film Festival Award Winners

With a normal awards ceremony 2014 Berlinale closes their sixty-four edition with "unexpected" top awards (which is fantastic) and some emotions expressed mainly by filmmakers and actors from Asian countries, which is highly unusual.

There are some films that won no awards and are must be seen for me because the excellent directors and yes, I'm very curious about the winners from Japan and China. So let's hope they become available near me before the Berlinale next edition. Sigh.

Prize list from festival organizers is at bottom of post. Enjoy!

Sehen im nächsten Jahr!!!


Golden Bear for Best Film: 白日焰火 Bai Ri Yan Huo (Black Coal, Thin Ice), Yinan Diao, China

Silver Bear Jury Grand Prix: The Grand Budapest Hotel, Wes Anderson, UK and Germany

Silver Bear Alfred Bauer Prize: Aimer, boire et chanter (Life of Riley), Alain Resnais, France

Silver Bear for Best Director: Richard Linklater for Boyhood, USA

Silver Bear for Best Actress: Haru Kuroki in  小さいおうち Chiisai Ouchi (The Little House), Yôji Yamada, Japan
Silver Bear for Best Actor: Fan Liao in 白日焰火 Bai Ri Yan Huo (Black Coal, Thin Ice), Yinan Diao, China

Silver Bear for Best Script: Dietrich Brüggemann and Anna Brüggemann for Kreuzweg (Stations of the Cross), Dietrich Brüggemann, Germany
Silver Bear for Outstanding Artistic Contribution in the categories Camera, Editing, Score, Costume Design or Set Design: Zeng Jian for 推拿 Tui Na (Blind Massage), Ye Lou, China and France

Best First Feature Award: Güeros, Alonso Ruizpalacios, Mexico


Generation Kplus

Children's Jury
Crystal Bear for Best Film: Killa, Avinash Arun, India
Special Mention: Hitono Nozomino Yorokobiyo (Joy of Man's Desiring), Masakazu Sugita, Japan
Crystal Bear for Best Short Film: Sprout, Ga-eun Yoon, South Korea
Special Mention: Sepatu Baru (On Stopping the Rain), Aditya Ahmad, Indonesia

International Jury
Grand Prix for Best Film: Ciencias Naturales (Natural Sciences), Matías Lucchesi, Argentina and France
Special Mention: Killa, Avinash Arun, India
Special Prize for Best Short Film: Moy lichniy los' (My Own Personal Moose), Leonid Shmelkov, Russia
Special Mention: el (Away), Roland Ferge, Hungary

Generation 14Plus

Youth Jury

Crystal Bear for Best Film: 52 Tuesdays, Sophie Hyde, Australia
Special Mention: ärtico (artic), Gabri Velàzquez, Spain

Crystal Bear for Best Short Film: Mike, Petros Silvestros, UK
Special Mention: Emo (the musical), Neil Triffett, Australia

International Jury
Grand Prix: Violet, Bas Devos, Belgium and Netherlands
Special Mention: Einstein and Einstein, CAO Baoping, China

Special Prize for the Best Short Film: Vetrarmorgun (Winter Morning), Sarakis Stórá, Faeroes
Special Mention: Søn (Son), Kristoffer Kiørboe, Denmark

Short Films

Golden Bear: Tant qu'il nous reste des fusils à pompe (As long as shotguns remain), Caroline Poggi, Jonathan Vinel, France
Silver Bear Jury Prize: Laborat, Guillaume Cailleau, Germany
DAAD Short Film: Person to Person, Dustin Guy Defa, USA
Berlin Short Film Nominee for the European Film Awards: Taprobana, Gabriel Abrantes, Portugal, Sri Lanka and Denmark, 24'

Collateral Awards - Prizes Independent Juries

Competition: Aimer, boire et chanter (Life of Riley), Alain Resnais, France
Panorama: Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho (The Way He Looks), Daniel Ribeiro, Brazil
Forum: Forma, Ayumi Sakamoto, Japan

Ecumenical Jury Awards
Competition: Kreuzweg (Stations of the Cross), Dietrich Brüggemann, Germany and France
Special Mention: '71, Yann Demage, UK
Panorama: Calvary, John Michael McDonagh, Ireland and UK
Special Mention: Triptyque (Triptych), Robert Lepage and Pedro Pires, Canada
Forum: Sto Spiti (At Home), Athanasios Karanikolas, Greece and Germany

Label Europa Cinemas: Blind, Eskil Vogt, Norway and Netherlands (Panorama)

NETPAC Prize (tie)
Cheol-ae-kum (A Dream of Iron), Kelvin Kyung Kun Park, USA and South Korea
Non-fiction Diary, Jung Yoon-suk, South Korea

Prize of the Guild of German Art House Cinemas: Boyhood, Richard Linklater, USA

Confédération Internationale des Cinémas d’Art et d’Essai (C.I.C.A.E.)
Panorama: Kuzu (The Lamb), Kutlug Ataman, Turkey and Germany
Forum: She's Lost Control, Anja Marquardt, USA

FGYO-Dialogue en Perspective: Anderswo (Anywhere Else), Ester Amrami, Germany
Special Mention: nebel (fog), Nicole Vögele, Germany

Caligari Film Prize: Das große Museum (The Great Museum), Johannes Holzhausen, Austria

Teddy Awards
Best Film: Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho (The Way He Looks), Daniel Ribeiro, Brazil
Special Jury Prize: Pierrot Lunaire, Bruce LaBruce, Germany and Canada
Best Documentary: Der Kreis (The Circle), Stefan Haupt, Switzerland
Best Short Film: Mondial 2010, Roy Dib, Lebanon, 19'

Peace Film Prize: We Come as Friends, Hubert Sauper, France and Austria
Amnesty International Film Prize: Al Midan (The Square), Jehane Noujaim, Egypt and USA
Cinema Fairbindet Prize: Concerning Violence, Göran Hugo Olsson, Sweden, USA and Denmark

Made In Germany - Perspektive Fellowship (tie)
Sandra Kaudelka for Intershop
Sebastian Mez for 274

Heiner Carow Prize: Meine Mutter, ein Krieg und ich (My Mother, a War and Me), Tamara Trampe and Johann Feindt, Germany

Think:Film Award: Provenance, Amie Siegel, USA

Arte International Prize: Emir Baigazin for The Wounded Angel, Kazakhstan
VFF Talent Highlight Pitch Award: Bavo Defurne for Souvenir, Belgium
Dolby Atmos Policy Trailer: Yulia Glukhova, Russia

Honorary Golden Bear: Ken Loach
Berlinale Camera: Karl "Baumi" Baumgartner, producer and distributor

Readers' Juries and Audience Awards

Panorama Audience Awards
Feature Film
First Place: Difret, Zeresenay Berhane Mehari, Ethiopia
Second Place: Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho (The Way He Looks), Daniel Ribeiro, Brazil
Third Place: Patardzlebi (Brides), Tinatin Kajrishvili, Georgia and France
First Place: Der Kreis (The Circle), Stephan Haupt, Switzerland
Second Place: Finding Vivian Maier, John Maloof and Charlie Siskel, USA
Third Place: Meine Mutter, ein Krieg und ich (My Mother, a War and Me), Tamara Trampe and Johann Feindt, Germany

The Berliner Morgenpost Readers' Jury Award: Boyhood, Richard Linklater, USA
The Tagesspiegel Readers' Jury Award: Zamatoví teroristi (Velvet Terrorists), von Pavol Pekarčík, Ivan Ostrochovský and Peter Kerekes, Slovakia, Czech Republic and Croatia
ELSE -The Siegessäule Readers' Jury Award: 52 Tuesdays, Sophie Hyde, Australia

The following is the official Prize List from festival organizers.