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Alex Deleon

Judd Hirsch opens 12th Jewish Film Festival in Seattle

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The JAC Jewish Film Festival in Seattle opened its gates for the twelfth consecutive year last night at the massive CINERAMA Theater down town, with a slam-dunk opening gala double-header, (films from USA and Israel), and an aimiable audience chat with actor Judd Hirsh, following the screening of his latest film, "Brother's Shadow" which opened the festival. "Brother's Shadow" is an absolutely new film, still in search of a distributor, by first-time director Todd Yellin, telling the story of a...

Impressions on "A little letter to mama"

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"A little letter to mama" A BRIVELE DER MAMENViewed on video, at J.M's Seattle, Wed. nite, March 7, 2007.This one of the great classics of the pre-war Yiddish cinema and one of the great all time films on the subject of immigration to America. It was the culmination of Joseph Green's amazing four film cycle of Yiddish films made between 1937 (Yidl Mitn Fidl) and 1939, on the brink of WW II.This saga of a Jewish family opens in 1912 in Lubin, a little shtetl in the Ukraine and terminates in Ameri...

Academy Awards few surprises...and the losers were...

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THE 79th annual edition of the Awards of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences -- commonly referred to in the vulgate as "THE OSCARS" -- did not offer up many surprises this year, as most of the front runners and odds-on favorites came in first in their respective races. Of course, in some races the fix was on, as in the run for Best Director and Best Picture, where it would have been sheer folly to bet against Marty Scorcese, and his piss-poor but dearly beloved neo-Gangsta flick, "Th...

Alex Deleon predicts Cool Oscar Winners

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2007 0SCARS COMING UP -- AND THE WINNERS MIGHT BE ...by Alex Deleon, HollywoodNo self-respecting film critic can resist the temptation to try to predict who the winners will be on Oscar night, so, for better or for worse, with the big self-congratulation orgy less than a week away -- here are my predictions and conjectures.Helen Mirren(The Queen) and Forest Whitaker (The Dictator) will easily claim the Best Actress and Best Actor prizes, respectively. (The odds of anyone else upsetting the fron...

Posh Santa Barbara Film Festival Draws 31 Oscar Contenders!

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Santa Barbara is a very upscale seaside paradise a scant 90 miles up the coast from Los Angeles, distinguished more for its socio-economic exclusivity, high rents, distinctive Spanish architecture and sprawling beachfront university than for the modest international film festival to which it has been home since 1985. Slowly building year by year and able to draw easily on Hollywood based talent because of its relative proximity to Tinseltown, the Santa Barbara fest has now come into its own and ...

Mirren and Whittaker shine at S.A.G. Awards and Santa Barbara

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MIRREN AND WHITTAKER SHINE AT S.A.G. AWARDS by Alex Deleon, Santa Barbara This is the jolly season of awards in Southern California -- seems like there's a different one every week somewhere in L.A. or vicinity. Following the Golden Globes (Foreign Press Awards) a couple of weeks back we now have the Screen Actors Guild (S.A.G.) awards which are similar and yet a bit different. Both sets of awards go to both film and television personalities, but the Globes recognize all kinds of categories (w...

POSH SANTA BARBARA FILM FESTIVAL DRAWS 31 OSCAR CONTENDERS!

January 25, 2007 Santa Barbara is a very upscale seaside paradise a scant 90 miles up the coast from Los Angeles, distinguished more for its socio-economic exclusivity, high rents, distinctive Spanish architecture and sprawling beachfront university than for the modest international film festival to which it has been home since 1985. Slowly building year by year and able to draw easily on Hollywood based talent because of its relative proximity to Tinseltown, the Santa Barbara fest has now c...

Santa Barbara International Film Festival Draws 31 Oscar Contenders!

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Santa Barbara is a very upscale seaside paradise a scant 90 miles up the coast from Los Angeles, distinguished more for its high rents, distinctive Spanish architecture and sprawling beachfront university than for the modest international film festival to which it has been home since 1985. Slowly building year by year and able to draw easily on Hollywood based talent because of its relative proximity to Tinseltown, the Santa Barbara fest has now come into its own and has staked out its claim as ...

Hungarian films highlights of 2006

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SZABO FLAP FLUSTERS FIRST-NIGHTERS IN BUDAPEST AT MAGYAR FILMSZEMLE February 6, 2006 The opening night of the Hungarian film week at the Budapest Congress Centre turned out to be more of a political than a cinematic event. "Rokonok" (Relatives), the eagerly awaited new film by Hungary's leading filmmaker, Istvan Szabo -- his first Hungarian language film since 1992 -- was scheduled to open the festivities, but just a few days prior to the opening an article appeared in a prestigious literary mag...

Long verboten DDR films surface in Cottbus

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The 16th Cottbus International Film Festival festival closed its five day run on Saturday November 18th with the distribution of the prizes and the premiere of the new German film "Herzentöter" (Heartbreaker) by Cottbus born director Bernd Heiber. This absurd slap-sticky comedy set completely in the local Spreewald area, went over well with the local audience but is not likely to travel very far from Lusatia. The main prize, 25,000 €, for Best Film went to the Serbian competition entry "Sutra...

Goran Paskaljevic 's Optimists sweeps Geneva prizes

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PASKALJEVIC SWEEPS GENEVA PRIZESby Alex Deleon, for www.filmfestivals.comThe CINEMA TOUT ECRAN festival which concluded its one week run on November 5 distributed its major prizes as follows:The Cinema Tout Ecran Reflet d’Or (Golden Reflection) cash awardfor the Best (theatrical) Film, (10,000 CHF) offered by the City ofGeneva, went (incomprehensibly) to the Dutch film "DIEP"(Deep) directed bySimone van Dusseldorp (The Netherlands). The jury's remark; A film "Which relates with conviction th...

"All screens Fest" in Geneva broadens the view

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"ALL SCREENS FEST" CINEMA TOUT ECRAN IN GENEVA BROADENS THE VIEW The 12th edition of the Cinéma Tout-Ecran Film and Television Festival took place in Geneva from October 3O to November 5, 2OO6. I must admit that never having been much of a TV fan and having to my credit (or discredit) an almost encyclopedic ignorance of TV sitcoms and famous long-running series (I never saw a single installment of "Dallas"), it was with a certain trepidation that I signed up for Tout-Ecran, wondering whether s...

9 days that shook the film world

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THE FIRST ROME FILM FIESTA, OCT. 13 – 21, 2OO6 The whole report day by day from day one. In less than a week, on the fateful FridayThe Thirteenth of the current month (October 13, 2OO6), the First International Film Festival ever held in Rome will open the gates of the Eternal City to a floodtide of media representatives, journalists, film professionals, actors, directors, film fans, and just plain curious stargazers of all stripes and colours. Whether this new festival turns out to be a blas...

Rome awards: and the winner is...Roma Festa

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A magical week in Rome has finally reached a semi-conclusion with a wonderful concert in the state-of-the -art Santa Cecilia Philharmonic Audirorium preceeding the offiicial awards ceremony. The concert under the energetic baton of resident conductor Antonio Pappano at the unusually early hour of 11 AM opened with a rousing rendition of Rossini's William Tell Overture which brought the house down in an explosion of enthusiastic applause and cheers. This was followed in rapid succession by a m...

Rome glorious sendoff: the cup is full

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The opening star salvos have now slacked off temporarily which allows more time to get around to the business of actually seeing some motion pictures. Howecver -- not to worry -- more Hollywood star power in the wings ready to give this festa a glorious sendoff in the final days. Robert de Niro will be here tomorrow to introduce a film from trobecam which enjoys a "special relation" with this fest, and it will be a "meet the public2 show rather than a press conference as such. The closing gala ...

Harrison For hits town for Rome Fest honour

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Harrison Ford and his agent, Jim Berkus, are here today to receive a special agent's award created just for this festival to honour the memory of Ford's long-term industry personal rep, Pat Ki..., (somebody) -- who passed away last year..Harrison looked quite weary and jet-lagged out but managed to give good press conference in a low serious voice. Among points covered... the environment, the function of the agent in an actor's career, how he works with other actors such as Tommy Lee Jones, po...

San Sebastian post-mortem on split prize

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AN SEBASTIAN POST-MORTEM SPLIT TOP PRIZE QUESTIONED AND LACK OF STARS LAMENTEDIn my last report I got so carried away by the phenomenom of Bahman Ghobadi's second straight Golden Concha Best-Film prize, that I failed to mention that the award was an "ex-aequo" or shared award. I did, however, note that it might come in for some discussion in the post-festival press -- which, in fact, it did ---Bigtime!The top prize was shared with Mr. Ghobadi by Martial Fougeron of France for "Mon fils à moi" (...

Harris delivers a heavy duty Beethoven (from San Sebastian)

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In the handsome press book for the new Agnieszka Holland musical biopic "Copying Beethoven" writer/producer Christopher Wilkinson, regarding the appearance of actor Ed Harris in the title role, is quoted as having said on a visit to the set, "I see Beethoven standing there -- but what have they done with Ed Harris?" If Ed Harris does to some extent disappear into the skin of the composer in this not-to-be-denied bravura acting job, and if the trompe l'oeil maquillage really does makes it hard ...

The party of the week and honors to von Sydow in San Sebastian

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Nursing a bit of a "resaca" (aka "jengober", or just plain hangover) ... after the JAMAN reception yesterday at the Hotel Londres, which has leapt to the fore as a hot contender for the unofficial "BDPW" Concha, or "Best Damn Party of the Week Award. The thing that characterized this reception -- which started at eight and went on until well after midnight -- was, understated class and a quality mix of people, exquisite "amuse-gueules" (bitey snacks or 'pintxos'), and an endless supply of tasty...

Cuarón-- San Seb Zabaltegi perlas - asks if we have a future

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The attention grabbing film on day number three was "Children of Men", a British pic directed by Mexican helmer Alfonso Cuarón and starring Clive Owen, Julianne Moore and Michael Caine. The film, projected in the special side-bar, ZABALTEGI- PERLAS or "Pearls of the Open Zone", is set in the not too distant future, one generation from now, and presents the possibility that humanity could die out if the last pregnant woman on Earth does not give birth. In the film all females in the world (all ...

Moreau Presides at 54th San Sebastián Fest

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“Help Wanted: Mature, well-known movie actresses to preside over juries at major film festivals. Temporary work, well paid, five-star hotel accommodations with many extras and fringe benefits. French or English speaking preferred. Under sixty need not apply”.While I did not actually see this ad anywhere except in my mind’s eye, this seems to be the year in which such a theoretical ad might have been circulated in the cinema “trade papers”.. With legendary French actress Jeanne Morea...

Venice "Mother of all Film Festivals" activity day by day

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With a couple of hours still left to go until the official kick-off of this "Mother of all Film Festivals" activity is feverish along the short stretch of the Lido known as Viale Marconi, the actual location of this oldest of all world film festivals --Now that was rather a mouthful, calling for a bit of elucidation. The first Venice film festival took place way back in 1932 when the Fascist government under Benito Mussolini, taking a page from Lenin, realized that film was a powerful propaganda...

Hollywoodland edges Dahlia in Lido Noir Derby

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The 63rd edition of the Venice film festival has opened with a salvo of noir or noirish films during which the 'dark horse' "Hollywoodland" has upstaged the odds-on favorite "Black Dahlia" which arrived with far more ballyhoo. While Dahlia, with its high-powered cast, name director Brian De Palma, and big time writer James Ellroy all on hand, was rather tepidly received at various screenings, "Hollywoodland” or 'the Death of Superman’ as the press has dubbed the film, was roundly applauded...

Infamous hits Venice on day two

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The Italian press on the morning after Opening Night was was, as expected, politely dismissive of De Palma's "Black Dahlia" and seemed to be much more concerned with the late arrival on the red carpet of the film's heroine, new American Diva -- (or should we say "Divette") -- Scarlett Johansson. For whatever reason, La Scarlett was more than half an hour unfashionably late for the opening ceremony which had to start without her. Nevertheless, all the papers, including the two largest national d...

Run up to the 63rd Venice Festival

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With a couple of hours still left to go until the official kick-off of this "Mother of all Film Festivals" activity is feverish along the short stretch of the Lido known as Viale Marconi, the actual location of this oldest of all world film festivals. Now that was rather a mouthful, calling for a bit of elucidation. The first Venice film festival took place way back in 1932 when the Fascist government under Benito Mussolini, taking a page from Lenin, realized that film was a powerful propagand...
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