Here’s a brief look at this week’s new Blu-ray releases:
The nominations for the 85th Academy Awards have been announced, and it’s quite a whirlwind of nominees. As expected, Lincoln landed the most nominations with 12, followed with Ang Lee’s Life of Pi which nabbed 11. The big story here, though, is the Best Director category. Shockingly, only two (two!) of the DGA nominees for Best Director made the Oscar cut: Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg. The rest of the category was filled out by Benh Zeitlin for Beasts of the Southern Wild, David O. Russell for Silver Linings Playbook, and Michael Haneke for Amour. It was almost guaranteed that Ben Affleck and Kathryn Bigelow would be landing nominations for Argo and Zero Dark Thirty, respectively, but shockingly neither made the cut. Apparently those films just directed themselves. Based off today’s nominations, it now looks like it’s (surprisingly) down to Lincoln vs. Silver Linings Playbook for the big win.
Hit the jump to check out the list of nominees, and click here to check them against my predictions (somehow I predicted the Best Picture and Supporting Actor categories perfectly). The 85th Academy Awards will take place on February 24th.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced tonight the 15 films that made the shortlist for Best Documentary at the 85th Academy Awards, narrowed down from 126 qualifying submissions. Some of the notables include Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry, Bully, Chasing Ice, The Imposter, Searching for Sugar Man, and This Is Not a Film.
Hit the jump for the full list. For more on the Oscar nominee landscape, check out our previews for Best Picture/Director, Best Actor/Actress, Best Supporting Actor/Actress, and a rundown of the animated/screenplay/technical awards.
Chasing Ice, a new documentary by Jeff Orlowski, follows award-winning environmental photographer James Balog on his journey to capture rapidly-eroding glaciers in the Arctic. Balog was once a skeptic about climate change and a cynic about the nature of academic research. But through his Extreme Ice Survey, he discovers undeniable evidence of our changing planet. In the film, Balog deploys revolutionary time-lapse cameras to capture a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers. His hauntingly beautiful videos compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. Chasing Ice premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, where it won for Excellence in Cinematography, and was recently awarded the 2012 Environmental Media Award for Best Documentary.
At the film’s press day, Balog and Orlowski talked about how their pioneering film makes global warming visual and emotional in a way that has never happened before. Balog discussed what spurred his interest in climate change in the Artic and how the retreat and thinning of glaciers are symptomatic of a much greater global condition of human disturbance of the natural environment. Orlowski revealed why he wanted to work with Balog and how he prepared and met the challenges of shooting his first feature film in extreme conditions. Hit the jump to read more about what they had to say:
The 2012 SXSW Film Festival has announced some exciting additions to their already-stellar line-up. The Sundance flicks Searching for Sugar Man, Chasing Ice, Monsieur Lazhar (my review), Safety Not Guaranteed (my review), Shut Up and Play the Hits, and Sleepwalk with Me will all be showing up at this year’s SXSW. I heard nothing but good things about Chasing Ice and Sleepwalk with Me, and I’m glad I’ll have a second chance to see them. SXSW 2012 will also have the world premiere of Steve Taylor‘s Blue Like Jazz, and Todd Rohal‘s Nature Calls starring Patton Oswalt, Johnny Knoxville, and Rob Riggle.
Hit the jump for more on all of the new additions. The 2012 SXSW Film Festival runs from March 9 – 17th.
Going into the final three days of Sundance 2012, a horror title had yet to be acquired. All that changed with the Magnolia Pictures pick up of domestic rights to V/H/S for $1 million plus. Other gets included the Rough House Pictures presentation of The Comedy and National Geographic’s documentary acquisition for TV, Chasing Ice. Check out the details here:
- V/H/S is a found footage horror anthology about petty thugs tasked with searching a ramshackle house for a VHS tape which holds horrific recordings. V/H/S will have a pre-theatrical on-demand release on Magnolia’s Ultra VOD, with the theatrical release to follow after 30 days.
- The Comedy, directed by Rick Alverson and starring Tim Heidecker, will be presented by Danny McBride’s Rough House Pictures. The dark comedy follows Swanson (Heidecker) after he inherits his father’s estate and stumbles into reckless situations in hopes of freeing him from his desensitization.
- Climate-change documentary Chasing Ice by Jeff Orlowski follows photographer James Balog as he sets up time-lapse cameras on glaciers to document Earth’s melting ice. Film is also from Paula DuPre’ Pesmen, the award-winning producer of The Cove.
Hit the jump for more on each project.
I had a blast at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and I can’t wait to go again next year. Today, Sundance announced their In-Competition line-ups for 2012 and already I’m trying to plan out how I’m going to see all of them (which is impossible, but it’s nice to dream). The U.S. Dramatic Competition features For Ellen, Nobody Walks, Safety Not Guaranteed, Smashed, and more. There are also some interesting-sounding films in the U.S. Documentary Competition including Finding North, The Invisible War, and The Other Dream Team.
Hit the jump to check out the full press release, which includes the in-competition line-ups for U.S. Dramatic Competition, U.S. Documentary Competition, World Cinema Dramatic Competition, and World Cinema Documentary Competition. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 19 – 29th.