Sunday, February 18, 2007

Iwo Jima Anniversary

Clint Eastwood’s Letters from Iwo Jima is causing a stir on both sides of the Pacific. The film is up for a fistful of Academy Awards and is pulling audiences into the theater across Japan. Already it’s landed a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film Award. Some 7,000 American soldiers died at Iwo Jima and more than 20,000 Japanese soldiers died there. The battle ranged for more than a month from Feb. 19 to March 26, 1945.
Eastwood’s companion film Flags of Our Fathers, which tells about the battle from an American standpoint, is out now on DVD.
The film has been doing well in Japan, and according to Time Magazine: “the Oscar-nominated Letters has grossed just under $40 million, earning it the top spot during the Japanese cinema industry’s all-important New Year holiday season.”
Now’s a good time to watch both.,8599,1581828,00.html

Let’s Talk About Babel

Babel makes its DVD arrival tomorrow, just in time for pre-Academy Awards viewing.
The movie features an international cast, locations and languages – and it’s a candidate for Best Picture.
Since I’m behind on my film watching, I’ve decided to wait to watch Babel on DVD. So many films left to see.
Stars Cate Blanchett and Brad Pitt lead the Hollywood cast, but not the award list. The Academy instead smiled upon two actresses virtually unknown in the United States: Adriana Barraza and Rinko Kikuchi.
Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu also was nominated for Best Director. Altogether there are seven Academy Award nominations. Inarritu won a Best Actor Award at Cannes Film Festival. The film won Best Picture Award at the Golden Globes and Kikuchi won Best Actress Award from the Chicago Film Critics Association.