七先生與艾小姐 Ma chérie et moi
觀賞完這部由約旦導演Amin所執導的愛無盡 夢飛翔（Captain Abu Raed），直覺它其實
七先生與艾小姐 Ma chérie et moi
觀賞完這部由約旦導演Amin所執導的愛無盡 夢飛翔（Captain Abu Raed），直覺它其實
這本精美的動手做遊戲書，包含313張，每一張都可以撕下來做成紙飛機。所有的紙飛機都由《世界紀錄紙飛機大全》（The World Record Paper Airplane Book）作者肯．布拉克伯恩和傑夫．蘭姆設計。
這本遊戲書所有的紙飛機都由《世界紀錄紙飛機大全》（The World Record Paper Airplane Book）作者肯．布拉克伯恩和傑夫．蘭姆設計。作者之一的肯．布拉克伯恩是一位的航天工程師，為美國的F-18黃蜂式戰鬥攻擊機服務。他先後四次創下紙飛機滯空時間最長世界紀錄，也是現任金氏世界紀錄紙飛機滯空時間最長紀錄保持人。他創造的紀錄分別是1983年16.89秒、1987年17.2秒、1994年18.8秒、1998年27.6秒。
"Captain Abu Raed"是約旦首部出品的作品，當然也是約旦首部報名奧斯卡最佳外語片的作品。在我去年看過的外語片中，這是我最喜歡的一部，但卻沒有獲得奧斯卡的青睞。
後來一位因為家暴問題而變得憤世嫉俗的孩子，帶著其他小孩去機場戳破老雷根本不是機長的謊言。我在那個橋段看見了在近年電影中最令我心碎的一幕。老雷發現自己被揭穿時，他那一抹微笑讓我想起了卓別林在 “城市之光” 中最有名的一幕：當卓別林飾演的流浪漢被恢復視力的女孩認出時，他臉上掛著令人心碎的淺淺笑容。我認為"Captain Abu Raed"是一部如果卓別林還在世，也會驕傲參與的作品。
Industry outrage at Captain abu Raed, Gomorra snub
Last year, the Academy's foreign language "phase 1 committee" -- which consists of several hundred Los Angeles-based members who divide up and screen the foreign entries, with minimal attendance requirements and a bizarre vote-tabulation process -- created an uproar by failing to include two critically-acclaimed films, "4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days" (Romania) and "Persepolis" (France), among the 9 films on the shortlist from which they would ultimately select 5 nominees for best foreign foreign language film.
The very public drubbing that the committee received prompted the Academy to make some major changes in the way the shortlist and nominees would be determined this year and going forward. However, as revealed by this morning's announcement of this year's shortlist -- which has the industry up in arms today due to the appalling exclusion of two of the year's most acclaimed foreign language films, "Gomorra" (Italy, d. Matteo Garrone) and "Captain Abu Raed" (Jordan, d. Amin Matalka) -- little seems to have changed.
Who am I to comment on this? Well, for one, someone who saw more of the foreign language entries than many members of "the phase 1 committee." This year, I watched several dozen of the most celebrated (by critics, festivals, etc.) foreign language submissions prior to this announcement so that I could offer an informed opinion when it came. And, in fact, I correctly predicted seven of the nine that were selected this morning (out of 65 that had eligible).
Source: [LA Times - The Feinberg Files]
The nine films chosen for the shortlist are:
1. The Baader-Meinhof Complex (Germany, d. Uli Edel), a star-studded action film adapted from a best-selling book of the same title, examines the evolution and devolution of the West German RAF, the nation's most active domestic terrorists during the 1960s and 1970s.
2. The Class (France, d. Laurent Cantet), a minimalist drama that examines racial and ethnic tensions in modern-day France by focusing on a high school classroom in which a teacher (played by the man whose book inspired the film) and his students (also non-actors) butt heads daily, won the Palm d'Or at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
3. Departures (Japan, d. Yojiro Takita), a visually beautiful, funny, soulful look at an unemployed young man who stumbles into a profession that society and even his own wife regard as taboo, yet everyone employs at one time or another in Japan -- an NK artist, who presides over the ceremonial act of cleansing and clothing the dead.
4. Everlasting Moments (Sweden, d. Jan Troell), the latest film from the Oscar-nominated director of "The Emigrants" (1971), tells the moving story of a woman -- an abused wife and mother of a large brood -- who finds fleeting respites from her personal troubles and creates a meaningful identity of her own through the use of an old camera that she discovers.
5. The Necessities of Life (Canada, d. Benoit Pilon), a deeply moving drama, is about the experience of one victim of the tuberculosis epidemic that swept through the Intuit population in northern Canada during the 1940s and 1950s, who is introduced to the larger world during attempts to treat him at a hospital in Quebec.
6. Revanche (Austria, d. Gotz Spielmann), which means "revenge" in German, is the unlikely yet somehow believable story of a prostitute and her pimp's errand boy who fall in love and decide to run away from him, but first stop to rob a bank, at which point their plans go horribly awry.
7. Tear This Heart Out (Mexico, d. Roberto Sneider), which turns a popular book into the most expensive movie ever made in Mexico ($6.5 million), is a story about post-revolution Mexico (1930s and 1940s) as witnessed by a teenage bride.
8. Three Monkeys (Turkey, d. Nuri Bilge Ceylan), a stark drama in which a dislocated family tries to block out the truth about their dark past in order to stay together, won Ceylan the Best Director award at this year's Cannes Film Festival.
9. Waltz with Bashir (Israel, d. Ari Folman), a pioneering animated-documentary about the merits, shortcomings, and long-term implications of the 1982 Israel-Lebanon War, won the Golden Globe for best foreign language film earlier this week.
All nine are, to varying degrees, solid choices. You will find few who dispute that. You will find many, however, who believe that "Gomorra" and "Captain Abu Raed" are as good if not better than any of them. While it's surprising that they weren't among the phase 1 committee's six selections, it's unconscionable that they also weren't among the three additions to that list made by the 30 members of the foreign language film award executive committee, which was ostensibly created to prevent egregious oversights like these.
"Gomorra" is the higher-profile snub. The film, which was adapted from a controversial best-selling book, shows the inner-workings of the Camorra, the oldest organized criminal organization in Italy, which originated in Campania and now operates in and around much of Naples, as well. It's gritty realism and use of young non-actors is evocative of some of the most celebrated Italian films of the post-WWII era. It was one of the most critically-acclaimed and top 10-listed films of the year (our own Kenneth Turan is a big backer).
It was nominated for the Palm d'Or and won the Grand Prix at Cannes, won the best film prize at the European Film Awards, and was nominated for best foreign language film at the Golden Globes. Additionally, it came from Italy, a country that has received more foreign language Oscars than any other (13), and more foreign language nominations than all others except France (34 to 27). This year, it was widely considered a sure-thing that it would pick up at least another one of the latter, if not the former, as well.
When I spoke this evening with Jonathan Sehring, the president of IFC Entertaiment -- the studio behind both "4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days" and "Gomorra," as well as two of the films that were included on this year's shortlist, "Everlasting Moments" and "The Necessities of Life" -- he was still reeling from the news. "I know I speak for the entire country of Italy and a lot of people in the critical community when I say that it just doesn't make sense and there's something wrong with the foreign language committee as a whole," he told me. "It's still broken."
Sehring noted that despite the endorsements the film had received from festivals, critics, and even Martin Scorsese, he was never confident that the rules changes had corrected the foreign language committee's underlying problems or that the committee would pick "Gomorra" for the shortlist. "I was hoping they would. Did I think they would? No, we were concerned. We got messages that the initial screening didn't go well, so you figure you're vying for one of three slots," he said, referring to the executive committee's slots. "It just demonstrates the foreign language committee's aversion to graphic violence, I guess. I mean, I don't know -- I look back at 'City of God' not getting a nomination. I look back at our experience with '4 Months' not getting a nomination. And now this?"
Asked for suggestions about how the foreign language selection process might be improved, Sehring added, "You would hope that they would pay attention to the critical response around the world. You would hope that they would take into account world cinema awards. I don't know. How can they get it so wrong two years in a row? It's a real disappointment, and we're sort of dismayed, but it's not gonna stop us from distributing movies like '4 Months' or 'Gomorra,' and we'll soldier on."
The exclusion of "Captain Abu Raed" -- the first film ever submitted for Oscar consideration by Jordan -- stings even more on a personal level, as it was my favorite of all the foreign language films that I screened this year. The film, which was made on a shoestring budget of just $2 million, tells the story of Abu Raed (Nadim Sawalha, a 73-year-old who is the only professional actor in the film), a humble airport janitor who finds a pilot's hat in the garbage, wears it home, and is mistaken for a real pilot by the local children (all real orphans). After initially insisting to them that he is not a pilot, an assertion they refuse to accept, the aging widower decides to embrace the identity as a way of encouraging them to do big things with their lives, while adding meaning to his own.
The scene in which one of the older children (whose father's abuse has made him angry and cynical) leads some of the others to the airport to expose Abu Raed as a fraud is one of the most heartbreaking I've ever seen on film. His pained smile upon being exposed is eerily reminiscent of Charlie Chaplin's in the most famous scene in film history, in "City Lights" (1931), when his tramp is recognized by a once-blind girl as the man who paid to restore her sight. "Captain Abu Raed" is the sort of movie Chaplin would have been proud to be a part of.
David Pritchard, the Emmy-winning producer of the film, told me this evening, "I'm disappointed, clearly, and I'm a little bit confused, if not a lot confused, and it's kind of one of these things where you don't know where to go with your emotions because you've invested so much in it." He is frustrated with the foreign language committee -- "Each year there's a controversy. Every year a couple of films get overlooked that deserved to be included" -- but is trying to take the news in stride. "I think our film was better than some of them, but that's me. And to be in the company of 'Gomorra' and other films from the past that got snubbed? I'm actually in pretty good company."