Charged with overseeing Israel’s war on terror – both Palestinian and Jewish – the head of the Shin Bet, Israel’s secret service, is present at the crossroad of every decision made. For the first time ever, six former heads of the agency agree to share their insights and reflect publicly on their actions and decisions. The Gatekeepers, which was recently nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary, offers an exclusive account of the sum of their successes and failures. It validates the reasons that each man individually and the six as a group came to reconsider their hard-line positions and advocate a conciliatory approach toward their enemies based on a two-state solution.
At the film’s recent press day, director Dror Moreh sat down with me to talk about what inspired him to make the film, how he was able to gain unprecedented access and convince the former heads of Shin Bet to talk candidly about their professional work and personal views, and how he shaped thousands of hours of filmed interviews, re-creations and archival footage into a 97-minute film. He also discussed what he learned personally from making the film, the overwhelmingly positive reaction The Gatekeepers has received since it opened in Israel, the film’s Oscar nomination, and his upcoming dramatic project. Hit the jump to read more:
As the saying goes, “Knowledge is power.” Dror Moreh‘s documentary The Gatekeepers shows that it’s nothing more than a saying. Knowledge is only power if you know how to use it, and if you’re allowed to use it properly. Moreh goes inside Israel’s intelligence service, the Shin Bet, and by talking with its former directors, the documentary uncovers the futility of intelligence in the face of terrorism, politics, and human nature. Moreh attempts to show how the agency has to keep shifting its identity and purpose but still manages to come up short when tasked with stopping the major attacks. However, in exploring the past, The Gatekeepers ultimately reveals nothing new about the present.
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.
Director Kathryn Bigelow’s drama Zero Dark Thirty continues its dominant critics awards path, as it has picked up two more Best Picture wins from the New York Film Critics Online and Boston Society of Film Critics groups, adding to its previous wins from the New York Film Critics Circle and National Board of Review. Bigelow also won Best Director from both organizations, while Daniel Day-Lewis took home Best Actor for Lincoln. Emmanuelle Riva won Best Actress from New York and Boston, while she shared the award in a tie with Jennifer Lawrence for Silver Linings Playbook in the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
Los Angeles broke from the mold a bit by naming director Michael Haneke‘s devastating French-language film Amour the Best Film of the year. They also awarded Paul Thomas Anderson Best Director for The Master and Beasts of the Southern Wild’s Dwight Henry the Best Supporting Actor honor in a couple of pleasant surprises. Hit the jump for the full list of winners from all three critics groups.
The latest release date information for the following films:
- Before there was Django Unchained, there was Django, Sergio Corbucci’s 1966 Western starring Franco Nero in the title role. Rialto will re-release Django starting December 21st.
- The George Clooney-directed The Monuments Men, starring Clooney alongside Daniel Craig, Matt Damon and Cate Blanchett, opens December 20, 2013.
- Dustin Hoffman’s directorial debut, Quartet, starring Maggie Smith, Michael Gambon and Billy Connolly, moves from December 28th to January 11, 2013.
Sony Classics has also announced new release dates for:
- Love Is All You Need, starring Pierce Brosnan, opening May 3, 2013.
- At Any Price, with Zac Efron and Dennis Quaid, opening April 26, 2013.
- The Company You Keep, a Robert Redford film starring Redford himself alongside Shia LaBeouf, opens April 5, 2013.
- No, starring Gael Garcia Bernal, will open February 15, 2013.
- The Gatekeepers, a documentary directed by Dror Moreh, opens February 1, 2013.
Hit the jump for synopses and images from each picture.
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.
The Sundance Film Festival recently announced the first round of programming, and we have the first images from a few of the movies playing in the Spotlight category:
- Fill the Void – Written and directed by Rama Burshtein, starring Hadas Yaron, Yiftach Klein, Irit Sheleg, and Chaim Sharir.
- Gangs of Wasseypur – Directed and co-written by Anurag Kashyap, co-written by Zeishan Quadri, starring Manoj Bajpai, Nawazuddin Siddique, Richa Chadda, and Huma Qureshi.
- Mud – Written and directed by Jeff Nichols, starring Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, and Reese Witherspoon.
- No – Directed by Pablo Larraín, written by Pedro Peirano, starring Gael García Bernal, Alfredo Castro, Antonia Zegers, and Luis Gnecco.
Hit the jump for the images and synopses. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs January 17 – 27.
Yesterday the 2013 Sundance Film Festival announced the lineup for films competing in the Dramatic and Documentary categories, and today they’ve unveiled the films that will screen in the Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, and New Frontier programs. Films of note include Take Shelter director Jeff Nichols’ new film Mud starring Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, the U.S. premiere of Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers, the Robert Ben Garant/Thomas Lennon comedy Hell Baby, and the horror anthology sequel S-VHS.
Hit the jump to see the full lineup, and click here to check out all of our Sundance coverage thus far. The 2013 Sundance Film Festival runs January 17 – 27.
The line-up for the 2012 Telluride Film Festival has been announced. The program will include Michael Haneke’s Palm d’Or-winning Amour, the Bill Murray-fronted Hyde Park on Hudson, Michael Winterbottom’s Everyday, the Michael Shannon crime thriller The Iceman, Sarah Polley’s Stories We Tell, and many more. The festival will also include some special surprise screenings, with Ben Affleck’s highly anticipated drama Argo rumored to appear. Additionally, the 2012 Silver Medallion Awards will be given to Roger Corman, Marion Cotillard, and Mads Mikkelsen.
Hit the jump to read the full press release which includes the entire line-up. The 2012 Telluride Film Festival runs from August 31 – September 3rd.
The full line-up for the 2012 New York Film Festival has been announced. I’ve been impressed with the line-ups for the Venice Film Festival and the Toronto International Film Festival, but they both have a surprising omission: Michael Haneke‘s Amour, which one the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. However, it won’t be bypassing the fall festival circuit entirely, and it will make its North American debut at NYFF. The festival will also open with Ang Lee‘s Life of Pi and Robert Zemeckis‘ Flight. In between, you have other exciting films like David Chase‘s Not Fade Away, Noah Baumbach‘s Frances Ha, Roger Michell‘s Hyde Park on Hudson, Brian de Palma‘s Passion, and more.
Hit the jump for the full line-up. Tickets for the 2012 New York Film Festival go on sale September 9th. The festival runs from September 28 – October 14th.
Last week, the Toronto International Film Festival announced the movies playing in its Special Presentations and Galas programs. Today, they’ve provided the line-up for their other programs, and they’ve got some strong flicks in the Documentary category. This year’s line-up includes new movies from Ken Burns‘ The Central Park Five (co-directed by David McMahon and Sarah Burns), Alex Gibney‘s Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God, Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing, and Marina Zenovich’s Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out (the follow-up to her great 2008 documentary, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired).
Hit the jump for the full documentary line-up and synopses. The 2012 Toronto International Film Festival runs from September 6 – 16th. Click here for the Midnight Madness line-up.