Chris Knipp Writing: Movies, Politics, Art


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2011 9:39 pm 
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From Pa negre/Black Bread (Agustí Villaronga)

Wikipedia gives a List of submissions to the 84th Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film.

Of the 65 in the list I've seen just over a dozen, and these are the ones and where I saw them:

FINLAND Le Havre (Kaurismäki, NYFF)
GEORGIA Chantrapas (Osseliani, SFIFF)
GERMANY Pina (Wenders, NYFF)
GREECE Attenberg (Tsangari, ND/NF)
HUNGARY The Turin Horse (Tarr, NYFF)
IRAN A Separation (Farhadi NYFF)
ISRAEL Footnote (Cedar, NYFF)
LEBANON Where Do We Go Now? (Labaki, Paris)
MEXICO Miss Bala (Naranjo, NYFF)
NORWAY Happy, Happy (Sewitsky, ND/NF)
PERU October (Vega and Vega, ND/NF)
SPAIN Black Bread (Villaronga SFIIFF)
TURKEY Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (Ceylan NYFF)


I would say Black Bread is my favorite. But then I saw Miss Bala. For me it would be a toss-up between those two. Footnote is interesting: a rousing psychological and political drama about a Talmudic scholarship isn't something you run into every day. The Turin Horse and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia are cinephile favorites by prestigious directors, but I don't personally like them. I go against the pack also on A Separation. It seems to be universally admired by those who see it and I can grant its cunning construction and its very Iranian vision, but it does not appeal to me. One notes, by the way, that the New York Film Festival seems to be very good at picking national bests. Of course this is a list from a much longer list but will be narrowed down to only five by the Academy. And then they'll pick one. Is that fair? and does it make sense? Not very; and not so much.

Black Bread is not just Spanish, by the way: it's Catalan.

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