Sunday, March 29, 2009

Tivo & Netflix partnership makes foreign film watching easy, even in Fort Worth

So I found a solution to finding foreign films no matter where you live. Through a partnership, you can instantly watch many Netlflix films on your Tivo. (Blockbuster just announced a similar arrangement, but I don't know the details.)

I also found out through Tivo that you can watch You Tube films on your TV. The quality is not so hot, but you can get access to a lot of films that just aren't available.

During the planning for the Lone Star International Film Festival two years ago, I was trying to get "Kala: Dead Time" as the representative from Indonesia. We never came to terms, and I could never get a screener or view the film. But this week I found in on You Tube and finally go to watch it. Cool film and would have been great to premiere in Fort Worth.

On Netflix I recently watched "Without the King," "The Counterfeiters" and "Rape of Europa".

"Without the King" gives an interesting perspective on the lives of folks in Swaziland. I don't have any idea how accurate it is.

"Rape of Europa" is a great documentary about theft of artwork across Europe during World War II. It's amazing the lengths people went to to save art from theft and destruction. Check it out.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Asian Film Awards

The Japanese film "Tokyo Sonatawon the top award and best screenwriting at the third annual Asian Film Awards in Hong Kong. 

Masahiro Motoki" Masahiro Motoki won the best actor award for his work in "Departures," which won the Academy Award for Foreign Language Film last month. Director Hirokazu Koreeda Hirokazu Kore-eda was honored for his work on "Still Walking." 

Other Best Picture nominees were Chen Kaige's Peking Opera film "Forever Enthralled," Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki's "Ponyo on the Cliff," Director John Woo's Chinese historical epic "Red Cliff" and Indonesia's "The Rainbow Troops."  

"Rainbow Troops" (Laskar pelangi) premiered at Berlinale in the Panorama division. "Departures" won nine Awards of the Japanese Academy in addition to the Oscar. The animated "Ponyo on the Cliff (Gake no ue no Ponyo)" featured an all-star cast with the voices of Cate Blanchett, Matt Damon, Tina Fey, Cloris Leachman, Liam Neeson, Lily Tomlin and Betty White.  "Forever Enthralled (Mei Lanfang)" lead actor Kaige Chen  was nominated for a Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Tivo/Netflix Revelations

So my foreign film watching has escalated ever since I found out you could instantly watch Netflix movies on Tivo.

You can start watching and pause and go on with your life and eventually get around to watching a full movie. Nice to know when you've got kids.

Here are a couple films I found.

Without the King (Swaziland) -- There aren't a lot of Swazi films out there.

My Brother is an Only Child (Italy) -- Still proud to say I brought this to Fort Worth for the film festival two years ago.

Paprika (Japan) -- Better on the big screen.

Kontroll (Hungary) -- Haven't been able to watch yet.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Academy Awards: Foreign Language Nominees Announced

Two of our Sister City countries received nominations for their film entries in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

Germany's "Der Baader Meinhof Komplex" (The Baader Meinhof Complex) and Japan's "Okuribito
おくりびと" (Departures) received nominations. Other nominees were France's "Entre les murs" (The Class), Austria's "Revanche", and Israel's "Vals Im Bashir(Waltz with Bashir).

"Waltz with Bashir" is playing in Dallas at the Angelika.

The rest, we'll have to wait to see.

Mexico submitted "Arrancame La Vida" (Tear This Heart Out). The film made the semifinals, but failed to make the final cut. Italy submitted "Gomorra". As far as I can tell Indonesia had no submission, which is sad because the country is one of only six to receive three or more nominations over the last decade. Controversy has plagued the Indonesia film selection process over the last couple of years.