Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Most Beautiful Age (1968)

The Most Beautiful Age • Nejkrásnější věk (1968)
The Most Beautiful Age • Nejkrásnější věk (1968)
Czech New Wave
Genre: Comedy
Director: Jaroslav Papoušek
Starring:  Hana Brejchová, Jan Stöckl, Josef Šebánek, Milada Ježková, Vladimír Šmeral, Jiří Sýkora, Ladislav Jakim, Věra Křesadlová
Language: Czech
Duration: 80 min.
Rating: 7.5
A humorous look at the lives of people from different generations hired to model for a sculpting class.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

2013 LAMMY Awards Eligibility List

Earlier today, the Full Eligibility List for the 6th Annual, 2013 LAMMY Awards was published.

The LAMMYs (not to be confused with the Lammys), are awards held annually by the Large Association of Movie Blogs'—of which this blog is a proud member—to honor and recognize the best it has to offer in 18 different categories.

Currently, the rapidly growing organization represents over 1,000 active blogs, of which a total of 297 were made eligible for this year's awards via a three week long open submission process.

Although this is the third year that my blog is eligible for participation, and I have one previous nomination. This will be the first time in which I'll be actively taking part throughout the entire process.

It's a big personal step, because I'm not at all the type to stand on the podium and campaign for myself. That, and up till now I've never really felt that I was 'the best' out of any of the available categories. But, now that I'm a little more established and comfortable with my place in the blogosphere; and seeing the many positive changes made to the rules and organization of this year's awards, I figure it will be fun to give it a go. At the very least, it will be an excellent opportunity to discover a few blogs I may have overlooked, and maybe get some new readers too.

First I would like to give a huge thank you to my fellow peers who graciously submitted me for consideration:
If you aren't familiar with their blogs, please check them out before you cast your ballots.

Thanks mostly to the names above, Bonjour Tristesse the blog, as well as my blogging alter ego, are in contention for a nomination in seven different categories:
  • Best Blog (78 eligible, 10 nominees)
  • Best Design (35 eligible, 5 nominees)
  • Best Film Festival and Convention Coverage (19 eligible, 5 nominees)
  • Best Awards Coverage (19 eligible, 5 nominees)
  • Best Movie Genre Blog (24 eligible, 5 nominees)
  • Most Knowledgeable Writer (46 eligible, 5 nominees)
  • Best Community Builder (28 eligible, 5 nominees)

Obviously my chances are better for some of these than in others:

The long list for Best Blog has an intimidating lineup of 78 names with some real powerhouses included, I have no illusions or aspirations for that one; I'm just happy somebody out there felt my blog was worthy of inclusion. I feel the same way about Most Knowledgeable Writer. That's an attribute of mine that is strong in certain places but overall I feel is currently no match for most of the other brainiacs in the list.

The ones I'm most confident about are Best Film Festival and Convention Coverage and Best Awards Coverage. I was the runner-up last year, when these two awards were combined into a single category, and I feel my overall coverage has improved since then, especially my comprehensive coverage of VIFF 2012, and my unrivaled look at the Oscars Foreign Film contenders. Additionally, last year's winner, Never Too Early Movie Predictions, is ineligible this year because he is now one of the official LAMMY moderators. The mathematical chances also look pretty good here with only 19 blogs in each category. However, they are certainly not a lock, because there are still several impressive blogs in the running for both categories.

Best Movie Genre Blog is a brand new award this year, and it's an eclectic and unpredictable mix of blogs with a main focus on a specific genre that is not Horror and not Classic Films. I like the concept of this award because it gives all us niche blogs that don't fit into the other more popular categories a chance and also hopefully gain some new like-minded readers. 

Best Design is the only award out of all eighteen, where I think there is one clear front runner: Sati's Cinematic Corner. A popular and absolutely gorgeous looking blog that deserves all the praise and more. The list is also full of other blogs (including last year's winner French Toast Sunday) where it's immediately noticeable, the impressive amount of time and effort put into their layout and design. Nevertheless, design is an aspect of my blog that I am proud of; the unique overall look and feel, the ease of navigation, and particularly the amount of custom widgets and functionality I have implemented to go beyond the limits of a Blogger powered blog.

The final award I am eligible for is Best Community Builder or the "Burman Award", as it has been unofficially dubbed, in honor of The LAMB's Shepherd, Joel Burman. This award is one that's open to a very broad range of interpretation. How do you really quantify and compare community building in a meaningful way? Still, I guess I can list the deeds I've done to help the greater good over the past twelve months while asking and expecting nothing in return:
  • I've donated my time to design and implement the current LAMB site, migrating it from Blogger to a self hosted WordPress installation, and I voluntarily maintain it as well as troubleshoot any problems that may arise.
  • A less visible contribution, but one I think is even more important: I created the database behind the LAMBTable, an application that helps Joel manage the ever growing membership, and frees up his time to improve and promote the LAMB instead of tedious bookkeeping.
  • I also regularly make myself available and try my best to assist any and all who ask for help or advice of a technical nature, whether it be via email, on Twitter, in the LAMB forums, or on my auxilliary blog Stupid Blog Tricks.

In closing I'll leave you with this, my very first FYC poster:

Now get out there, read some blogs, and VOTE!

Monday, March 18, 2013

2013 SXSW Film Awards

The 2013 SXSW Film Festival concluded this weekend. The annual festival held in Austin, Texas, with the goal of showcasing new and independent directing talent.

Winners of the audience awards were announced Saturday evening, and earlier in the week, awards were presented by juries in several categories including: Narrative Feature, Documentary Feature, Shorts, and even Poster Design.

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize was Short Term 12, directed by Destin Cretton. A film starring Brie Larson, as a supervisor at a group foster home for teenagers, who has her own troubled past.

Read on for the full list of 2013 SXSW Film award winners:

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Hijacking (2012)

A Hijacking • Kapringen (2012)
A Hijacking • Kapringen (2012)
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director: Tobias Lindholm
Starring: Søren Mallin, Johan Philip Asbæk
Language: Danish, English, Somali
Duration: 99 min.
Rating: 7.5
A Danish cargo ship headed for Mumbai is hijacked for ransom by Somali pirates in the Indian Ocean.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

The End of a Priest (1968)

The End of a Priest • Faráruv konec (1968)
The End of a Priest • Faráruv konec (1968)
Czech New Wave
Genre: Comedy
Director: Evald Schorm
Starring:  Vlastimil Brodský, Jan Libícek, Jana Brejchová, Zdena Salivarová, Jaroslav Satoranský
Language: Czech
Duration: 96 min.
Rating: 7.4
A bumbling sexton mistaken for a priest, takes over a vacant post in a remote mountain village, to the dismay of the local teacher, a proud atheist.

Monday, March 4, 2013

2013 Canadian Screen Awards: Winners

The inaugural edition of the Canadian Screen Awards, a merging of two awards ceremonies formerly known as the Genie Awards (film) and the Gemini Awards (television), were held Sunday, March 3 at Toronto's Sony Centre for the Performing Arts.

Kim Nguyen's internationally acclaimed drama Rebelle swept the film section of the ceremony, taking home 10 awards including Best Motion Picture, from its 12 nominations.

Read on for the full list of 2013 Canadian Screen Awards (Film) winners:

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Cry (1963)

The Cry • Křik (1963)
The Cry • Křik (1963)
Czech New Wave
Genre: Drama
Director: Jaromil Jireš
Starring: Eva Límanová , Josef Abrhám
Language: Czech
Duration: 77 min.
Rating: 7.6
A day in the life of a young couple; a significant day in which their first child enters the world.