Archive for the ‘Roman Polanski’ Category

2019 Venice International Film Festival Winners

Venice International Film Festival, known as La Biennale di Venezia takes place annually in late August, early September and is regarded as the oldest Film Festival in the World

Golden Lion (Best Film): Joker directed by Todd Phillips

Grand Jury Prize: An Officer and a Spy directed by Roman Polanski – no poster available at time of publication

Silver Lion (Best Director): Roy Andersson – About Endlessness  – no poster available at time of publication

Best Actor:   Luca Marinelli – Martin Eden

Best Actress: Ariane AscarideGloria Mundi – no poster available at time of publication

Best Screenplay Award – No. 7 Cherry Lane by Yonfan  

56th BAFTA Awards

THE  56TH BAFTA AWARDS /

THE BRITISH ACADEMY FILM AWARDS

Took place on the 23rd February 2003 in London

BAFTA WINNERS IN THE FILM CATEGORY:

The pianist

Best Film: The Pianist

Best Director: Roman Polanski – The Pianist

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Best Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis – Gangs of New York

The hours

Best Actress: Nicole Kidman – The Hours

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Best Supporting Actor: Christopher Walken –Catch Me If You Can

chicago_ver3

Best Supporting Actress: Catherine Zeta-Jones – Chicago

warrior

Best British Film: The Warrior directed by Asif Kapadia

talk_to_her

Best Original Screenplay: Talk to Her (Hable con ella) – Pedro Almodóvar

adaptation

Best Adapted Screenplay: Adaptation. – Charlie and Donald Kaufman

lord_of_the_rings_the_two_towers

Best Visual Effects: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Best Foreign Language Film: Talk to Her (Hable con ella) directed by Pedro Almodóvar (Spain)

56th BAFTA Awards

2010 Berlin Film Festival

2010 Berlin International Film Festival Winners

BIFF 2010

The Berlin International Film Festival known as the Berlinale takes places annually in February and is regarded as one of the most prestigious film festivals in the world.

Winners of the four main prizes at the 2010 Berlin Film Festival were as follows: –

HoneyFilmPoster

Golden Bear (Best Film) – Honey (Bal) directed by Semih Kaplanoğlu

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Silver Bear (Best Director) – The Ghost Writer directed by Roman Polanski

How_I_Ended_This_Summer

Best Actor shared between Grigoriy Dobrygin and Sergei PuskepalisHow I Ended This Summer (Kak Ya Provel Etim Letom)

Caterpillar_film

Best Actress – Shinobu TerajimaCaterpillar

 

2002 Cannes Film Festival

2002 Cannes Film Festival Winners

cannes festival poster 2002

Winners of the five main prizes at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival were as follows:

The pianist

Palm d’Or – The Pianist directed by Roman Polanski

Painted_Fire_movie_poster

Best Directors: Im Kwon-taek for Chi-hwa-seon (Painted Fire) &

punch_drunk_love

Paul Thomas Anderson for Punch-Drunk Love

The_Son_(film)_poster

Best Actor: Olivier Gourmet for Le Fils (The Son)

Man_without_a_past

Best Actress: Kati Outinen for Mies vailla menneisyyttä (The Man Without a Past)

sweet_sixteen

Best Screenplay: Sweet Sixteen by Paul Laverty

Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2002_Cannes_Film_Festival

75th Academy Awards

75th Academy Awards

23rd March 2003

Oscar Winners at the 75th Academy Awards

 chicago_ver1

Best Picture: Chicago

The pianist

Best Director: Roman Polanski The Pianist

Best Actor: Adrien Brody – The Pianist

The hours

Best Actress: Nicole Kidman – The Hours

adaptation

Best Supporting Actor: Chris Cooper – Adaptation

Best Supporting Actress: Catherine Zeta-Jones – Chicago

 talk_to_her

Best Original Screenplay: Pedro Almodovar – Talk to Her

Best Adapted Screenplay: Ronald Harwood – The Pianist

nowhere_in_africa_ver2

Best Foreign Language Film: Nowhere in Africa directed by Caroline Link (Germany)

Best Documentary Feature: Bowling for Columbine directed by Michael Moore

frida_ver2

Best Original Score: Elliot Goldenthal – Frida

road_to_perdition_ver2

Best Cinematography: Conrad L. Hall – Road to Perdition

Best Costume Design: Colleen Atwood – Chicago

Best Film Editing: Martin Walsh – Chicago

lord_of_the_rings_the_two_towers

Best Visual Effects: The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers

Source: – http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/75th_Academy_Awards

 

Claiming the Blood of a Virgin

The Twilight Saga

Teenage Love…

As the thunder rolls and the clouds are slate gray on a dark afternoon, I break my silence on the cinematic phenomenon that is the Twilight Saga, based on the teenaged marketed books by Stephanie Meyer. Starting with Twilight in 2009, and now with the release of Breaking Dawn – Part 1, the Twilight movies have made instant stars out of Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, helped with a great supporting cast including Peter Facinelli, Dakota Fanning, Kellen Lutz and Michael Sheen, this saga has the world divided. You either a fan or your are not. Twilight is similar to the Star Wars phenomenon and more recently the involved and magical Harry Potter films.

While so far in the series, the first film Twilight directed by Red Riding Hood and Lords of Dogtown visionary Catherine Hardwicke, is in my opinion still the best in the series, capturing the full flush of uncertain flirtatious love between local girl Bella Swan and the mysterious and wealthy Edward Cullen, who also happens to be a friendly and nefarious vampire, whilst New Moon and Eclipse start losing their originality and their cinematic focus. The eternal love affair between Bella and Edward is further complicated by Bella’s attraction to Jacob, the hunky Red Indian Washington state local who also happens to be a werewolf.

Whilst Bella becomes the focus of both Edward and Jacob’s love, their mutual competitive hatred transforms into a fraternal bond to protect Bella in the face of all forms of danger from ancient and vicious vampires to ferocious wolves, while maintaining a fragile truce between the two opposing worlds.

Bella, a human caught in a love triangle between the vampire Edward and the werewolf Jacob, is the basis of all narrative conflicts demonstrating the oldest plot in all fairy tales, an innocent maiden caught between the dashing yet mysterious prince and the ordinary but protective woodsman. Whilst Twilight captured the anguish of the original teenage love crush and subsequent bitter feuds, New Moon and Eclipse expand the worlds of the elegant vampires and tribal werewolves respectively.

Blood Red Sky and the Dawn of Immortality

But Bella is far from innocent! She wants the best of both men, and marries one while gaining protection of the other. Breaking Dawn, Part 1 while drawn out in parts follows the progression from the wedding to the creepy honeymoon in Brazil to moonlit impregnation and subsequent labour of her first child, a union between human and vampire. While Bella’s ordeal is really the shedding of virgin blood as part of the price for being a Vampire’s Bride, the Twilight series, whilst tapping into a wealth of mythology about vampires, first love and folklore is essentially a journey of a young girl from purity and innocence to the losing of her virginity at the cost of forsaking her mortality for the love of not one but two men and her transference from her own community to a world of eternal immortality.

Don’t expect brilliant acting from any of the leads, while Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson go through the motions of a seemingly happy newly married couple, not realizing the horror they in for, which is a watered down version of Rosemary’s Baby, Taylor Lautner’s Jacob seems as confused as ever, whether he wants to run with the wolves or protect the baby in the wood is not clearly portrayed. The Twilight saga is popular for its luminous love story set against some brilliant and spectacular Washington state scenery, and like all saga films, the original film is always the best.

The Twilight saga’s hidden message of no sex before marriage is also entwined along with the pitfalls for indecisive teenage girls who are caught between two vastly different male species, the charming seductive and moody prince or the caring and earthy woodsman, a tale as old as the bride of Dracula itself… a love triangle as treacherous as when time began. Whatever the outcome, the goal for the maiden is to lose one’s virginity and shedding blood and purity whilst dialectically opposing tribal forces clash over the loss of innocence and fight to claim the prize of the vanquished virgin. As for Part two, will there be a happily ever after?

 

 

A Hauntingly Lavish Thriller…

The Ghost Writer

ghost_writer_ver3

Director: Roman Polanski

Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Kim Cattrall, Ewan McGregor, Timothy Hutton, Jim Belushi, Olivia Williams, Tom Wilkinson, Morgane Polanski

Polanski’s dark and almost claustrophobic thriller The Ghost Writer adapted from the novel by Robert Harris author of Enigma and Pompeii is an absolute gem reminiscent of his earlier classics like Bitter Moon, Chinatown and the Oscar winning film The Pianist.

Dark and claustrophobic

Balancing a great script with tight directing and creepy use of  stark isolated locations, Polanski keeps the viewer of the Ghost Writer on the edge of their seat.

Highly versatile and underrated Ewan McGregor is wonderfully human as the title character and Olivia Williams shines as the ousted Prime Minister‘s Adam Lang’s wife Ruth with a witty, dark and altogether complex performance which gives tremendous weight to the concept of behind every powerful man lies an equally powerful woman. Pierce Brosnan takes the part of Adam Lang, the Prime Minister with a combination of his charm, ego and slight menace which brought him acclaim in his recent more memorable films Matador and Remember Me.

What is truly thrilling is Polanski’s homage to Alfred Hitchcock making a political and social thriller without compromising on the story and the intricacies of the characters, whilst retaining the claustrophobic atmosphere of a once powerful leader being forced into a lavish exile. Sounds Familiar? As I returned from watching this stunning thriller, Polanski was released from house arrest in Gstaad, Switzerland which is an absolute relief, as it would be a tragedy to keep a filmmaker of this calibre under confinement.

Polanski’s distinctly European perspective on the collusion of Britain and America in foreign wars in the Middle East is his greatest asset  highlighting how a Prime Minister can fall from grace and become a virtual outcast is brilliant in his brittle and subversive vision of how corrupting power and influence can become.

Visually The Ghost Writer is sleek, dark and elegant whilst reminding the viewer that decisions of great international magnitude are often made in secluded locations like Cape Cod or St Andrews far away from the distant nations which will be affected by those choices. For to give the story, location or plot away would be ludicrous, suffice to say… see The Ghost Writer and relish in a masterful director’s return to form with a cinematic homage to the political thriller crackling with suspense, wit and utterly thought-provoking down to the shattering final sequence.

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