Saturday, September 8, 2007

Hungary Selects 'Taxidermia' Academy Award Entry

LONDON (Hollywood Reporter) - Taxidermia, a controversial Hungarian film that both shocked and delighted critics and audiences when it premiered in Budapest last year, has been chosen as the Central European country's nomination for best foreign-language Oscar.
Gyorgy Palfi's second feature is a strange and disturbing parableAbout post-World War II Hungarian history featuring graphic representations of masturbation, overeating in the name of competitive Olympic "speed eating" and a shocking conclusion in which a man performs machine-assisted taxidermy on himself.
Taxidermia was the main prize winner at last year's Hungarian Film Week, and its world premiere came as part of Cannes' Un Certain Regard sidebar that same year.
Produced by Budapest-based Eurofilm Studio, headed by Peter Miskolczi and Gabor Varadi, the film also has picked up awards at the Chicago and Antalya Eurasia film festivals.The film, which is handled for world sales by Netherland's Fortissimo Films, has seen theatrical releases in parts of Europe and the U.K., with releases in the United States, the Far East and Middle East planned soon, Hungarian film body Filmunio said Thursday.

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Oscar-winner Miyoshi Umeki dead at 78

TOKYO (Hollywood Reporter) -- Miyoshi Umeki, the first Asian to win an Oscar, died Aug. 28 at a nursing home in Licking, Mo. She was 78.
Umeki won the Academy Award for best supporting actress in 1957 after playing opposite Red Buttons in Sayonara, the screen version of the James Michener novel about a U.S. soldier who falls in love amid the chaos at the end of World War II.
Fated to be parted when he is ordered to return to the U.S., the pair commits suicide.
"This is a major loss to the Japanese movie industry," said Yuko Nakano, a spokeswoman for the Motion Pictures Producers Association of Japan.
Born in the northern city of Otaru in 1929, Umeki began her performing career by singing jazz numbers at military camps during the occupation.
After spells on radio and TV in Japan, she moved to the United States in 1955, when she quickly caught the attention of Sayonara director Joshua Logan.
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