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2019 Oscar nominations: ‘A Star Is Born’ and ‘Roma’ to vie for best film

The Oscar nominations were announced today in Hollywood, with blockbusters like "A Star of Born" and "Black Panther" up for a swag of major awards. But "Roma" and "The Favourite" topped the nominations with 10 each. Presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for films in 24 categories, nominations for the 91st Oscars saw Ryan Coogler's superhero epic "Black Panther:; Alfonso Cuaron's Mexican drama "Roma", English period comedy drama "The Favourite", Deep South drama "Green Book" and musical "Bohemian Rhapsody" all joining "A Star is Born" as multiple award contenders. "Roma" and "The Favourite" were nominated for 10 awards each. Netflix received its first best picture nomination with "Roma," which was released exclusively through the streaming service. All in all there were eight nominees for best picture, the others including "A Star Is Born," "Green Book," "The Favourite," "Black Panther," "BlacKkKlansman," "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Vice," which won eight nominations. German film "Never Look Away," inspired by the life of artist Gerhard Richter, was nominated for best foreign language film and best cinematography. Star power While award season kicked off with controversy when the host chosen initially for the 2019 ceremonies, Kevin Hart, was forced to withdraw due to previous homophobic tweets — a replacement is yet to be announced — the Academy is celebrating a host of fan and critic favorites. Hot Oscar tip "A Star Is Born," which has already taken in $400 million (€352 million) worldwide at the box office, garnered nine nominations despite faring poorly at the Golden Globes, where it only won best song. Stars Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper are both up for best acting awards on February 24 and the pop star drama will also be a frontrunner for best picture. The film is likewise in contention for best song and best screenplay adaptation. Meanwhile, blockbuster Freddie Mercury biopic "Bohemian Rhapsody," a film that has been panned by critics, is also up for best film after it reigned at the Golden Globes — where it won best film and best actor for Rami Malek. Spike Lee was nominated for best director for the first time since 1989 for "BlacKkKlansman" — which is also contending for best film. Other best director nominees include Alfonso Cuaron for "Roma" (also in the running for best original screenplay), Poland's Pawel Pawlikowski for "Cold War," Adam McKay for political drama "Vice" and Yorgos Lanthimos for "The Favourite." No women were on the list in 2019 after Greta Gerwig last year became only the fifth female nominated for best director. Marvelous breakthrough Other films in the running for film's most prestigious prize include Ryan Coogler's superhero epic "Black Panther." While comic book adaptations are generally shunned by the Academy, the Marvel comics work was both a massive box office hit and was also praised by critics. "Black Panther's" seven nominations also included best production and best song. Another comic book adaptation, "Avengers: Infinity War", which was the highest grossing film of 2018, was also nominated for best visual effects. Meanwhile, Wes Anderson favorite "Isle of Dogs" was nominated for best animated feature. The Oscars award ceremony will be held on February 24, 2019 at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles.

The Oscar nominations were announced today in Hollywood, with blockbusters like “A Star of Born” and “Black Panther” up for a swag of major awards. But “Roma” and “The Favourite” topped the nominations with 10 each. Presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for films in 24 categories, nominations for the 91st Oscars saw Ryan Coogler’s superhero ... Read More »

Film director Michael Haneke turns 75

Golden Palms, an Oscar, Golden Globes, European and German film awards - few directors have been honored for their work as widely as Michael Haneke. The Austrian filmmaker, now 75, is a living legend. At the start, nothing pointed to an exceptional career. No one could have predicted that the man who once directed a few TV films for a German broadcaster would be among the very few film directors to win two Golden Palms in Cannes. Followed by an Oscar. And Golden Globes. And almost a dozen European film prizes. Over the past years, Michael Haneke has been overwhelmed by awards. It wasn't until he began to work as a director for the big screen in 1989 that he really found his own style. He has directed 11 movies since then. Unforgotten: his debut "The Seventh Continent," a movie packed with relentless intensity that borders on the unendurable about a family that deliberately commits suicide. It is utterly disturbing. His next films are also characterized by glacial intensity and razor-sharp analysis. He appears to have little pity for the protagonists. Michael Haneke tells stories on the screen like a pathologist dissects bodies. "This is what it's like, take a look," he seems to be telling the viewer. "Life happens to be just the way I'm showing it to you." Distraction and escapism are not his thing, nor is glossy superficiality. Perception of reality In 2007, Haneke went to Hollywood to film the remake of his 1997 film "Funny Games" - but not before he had made sure he would also be granted the final cut. No one meddles with the likes of Haneke - that was a precondition for the Austrian director for his US stint. The remake of the psychological thriller is not among the director's best films. That was perhaps not such a disappointment because in 2013 the German-born Austrian director won an Oscar for "Amour," the captivating romantic drama about an elderly couple. A few years before he wining an Oscar, his film about a family in northern Germany before World War I, "The White Ribbon," made waves at festivals, award ceremonies and at the box offices. Haneke is one of the very few directors who won Golden Palms at the Cannes Film Festival not just once, but twice. He is bound to be proud of the many honors, but it's unlikely the director has an eye out for sparkling awards. The intellectual with the keen analytical mind is likely to find more gratification in the enthusiasm of a sophisticated movie audience than in a stroll over the red carpet. New movie in the works Hanecke's new film, "Happy End" - starring Isabelle Huppert, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Mathieu Kassovitz - is scheduled to be released on October 12 in Germany and October 18 in France. The film tells the story of a couple that faces the European refugee crisis in the northern French town Calais.

Golden Palms, an Oscar, Golden Globes, European and German film awards – few directors have been honored for their work as widely as Michael Haneke. The Austrian filmmaker, now 75, is a living legend. At the start, nothing pointed to an exceptional career. No one could have predicted that the man who once directed a few TV films for a ... Read More »

KINO favorites: Top 10 science fiction films from Germany

Dystopian visions, futuristic fairytales and hands down the coolest sci-fi dance scene in movie history made our list of best sci-fi films to come out of Germany. "Metropolis," of course, was the mother of them all. The future, for most German filmmakers, has rarely seemed as interesting as the past. There are German movies, it seems, about every minute aspect of the rise of National Socialism and the horrors of World War II, but good German sci-fi films are hard to find. So for our KINO favorites edition on the best in German sci-fi, we had to go digging through the archives for forgotten gems and scan more recent attempts to imagine the world of tomorrow. What we discovered was cult gold, a midnight-movie goers' delight. Some of KINO's previous favorite lists have tended toward the high-brow, but our sci-fi selection is unabashedly pulp. We've got a silent thriller featuring a pianist possessed by the transplanted hands of a murderer, a paranoid horror tale set on a shuttle in deep space, and a post-apocalyptic drama that plays out on (literally) scorched earth. (Spoiler alert: It also involves cannibals!) Our list includes features from as far back as 1924 and as recent as 2015. If there's a common theme in German sci-fi, past and present, it seems to be fear. The future that awaits us in these films is a catalogue of horrors: environmental disaster and dictatorial mind-control, wars over natural resources and atomic annihilation. Thankfully, with the exception of a few state-of-the-art features (and one amazing low-budget debut from "Independence Day" director Roland Emmerich), our selection also includes some of the cheesiest special effects known to man, and, in one case, a vision of the future of dance that has to be seen to be believed. Check out our picks and let us know what you think. And yes, we have seen Fritz Lang's groundbreaking 1927 sci-fi masterpiece, "Metropolis." It was one of our KINO German drama favorites. But we think "Metropolis," as the mother of all sci-fi movies, is in a class of its own. Without "Metropolis," this list of favorites, and, arguably every other great sci-fi film out there, would never have been the same.

Dystopian visions, futuristic fairytales and hands down the coolest sci-fi dance scene in movie history made our list of best sci-fi films to come out of Germany. “Metropolis,” of course, was the mother of them all. The future, for most German filmmakers, has rarely seemed as interesting as the past. There are German movies, it seems, about every minute aspect ... Read More »

‘Mechanic: Resurrection’: German filmmakers take on Hollywood

Plenty of German filmmakers have tried their luck in Hollywood. Some have made blockbusters; others went back home. Now, Dennis Gansel is throwing his hat in the ring with "Mechanic: Ressurection." It's got popular US stars, exciting backdrops, a fast-paced storyline, and a hero with a dark side that seems clean and does everything he can to save his girlfriend from the bad guys. "Mechanic: Resurrection," which opens Friday in US cinemas, has everything you'd expect from a typical Hollywood action film. With its restless jumps from one exotic location to the next, it even seems a bit like a James Bond film - an association that wasn't coincidental. Hollywood hasn't lost its pull The $40-million film received some funding from France and was directed by German filmmaker Dennis Gansel. Born in 1973 in Hanover, Gansel is the latest young German director to try his luck in Hollywood: The movie capital hasn't lost its magnetic power. Gansel is in good company. The number of German-speaking filmmakers that have gone to Hollywood over the decades is impressive. However, not all of them came voluntarily; some were forced to flee the Nazis in the 1930s and 1940s. Not all of them found happiness and were fortunate in Los Angeles. Many were artistic, sensitive characters that later decided to turn their back on Hollywood. Others, like Roland Emmerich, managed to establish themselves and rise to fame. It's not surprising that Dennis Gansel was also drawn to Hollywood. After completing his studies at the University of Television and Film Munich, he made six films in Germany, trying his hand at a variety of genres. Dennis Gansel has talent in many genres His debut film, "Das Phantom" (The Phantom), was a fast-paced police-terror thriller made for television. He followed it up in 2001 with a money-making teen comedy called "Mädchen, Mädchen" (Girls, Girls). Three years later came a Nazi drama, "Before the Fall." In 2008, Gansel made the sociopolitical thriller "The Wave," which also enjoyed success in cinemas. Although his 2010 vampire film "We Are the Night" was a box-office flop, he showed that he was capable of understanding the popular horror genre. In 2012, "The Fourth State" was a media and political thriller set in Moscow. Despite its poignantly current theme - terrorism and the East-West conflict - Gansel had difficulty financing the film. Entertainment and action don't go over well with Germany's film sponsorship authorities. It looks like a James Bond film, but it's not So it's not surprising that Dennis Gansel, who's more than proven his technical directing skills, looked around for other options. In 2014, he began extensive filming for "Mechanic: Resurrection" - in Thailand, Brazil, Australia and Bulgaria. In addition to Jason Statham and Jessica Alba in the leads, Gansel was able to get stars like Tommy Lee Jones and Michelle Yeoh on board as well. Even though his Hollywood debut has gotten off to a good start, Dennis Gansel - who recently married his girlfriend Ann-Kristin - doesn't want to settle down in the US permanently. His next project, a polit-thriller based in Brussels, is already in planning. He is also working on the project "Berlin, I Love You," with directors and conductors like Oren Moverman, Marjane Satrapi, Giuseppe Tornatore and Ai Weiwei. Gansel also has yet another film in the works - a family fantasy tale based on the famous children's book series, "Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver." Shirly MacLaine has been cast in the lead. Filming for the puppet classic will start in October, in Berlin and Munich. After that, Hollywood will certainly come knocking on Gansel's door again.

Plenty of German filmmakers have tried their luck in Hollywood. Some have made blockbusters; others went back home. Now, Dennis Gansel is throwing his hat in the ring with “Mechanic: Ressurection.” It’s got popular US stars, exciting backdrops, a fast-paced storyline, and a hero with a dark side that seems clean and does everything he can to save his girlfriend ... Read More »

Will Bollywood lure Germans?

A new TV channel is bringing Indian films packed with singing and dancing, as well as flamboyant TV shows, to German viewers. But it's unclear if the channel will be able to entice Germans into watching its programs. For most Germans, the word Bollywood is associated with Indian films featuring colorful costumes, lavish musical numbers and extravagantly choreographed dances. One of India's largest TV networks, Zee TV, now aims to bring these films and other Indian programs into the living rooms of Germany. Zee, which claims to have viewers in over 165 countries, is starting a new channel from Thursday, July 28, in the European country. The channel - which will be available for free via cable and satellite - is broadcast round the clock, and it is part of the network's strategy to expand its presence internationally. Talking to DW earlier this year, Zee TV chairman Subhash Chandra said the channel's programming would primarily be made up of Bollywood content. "However, it will be specifically tailor-made for the German market and adapted for the country," he noted. Germany already boasts a vast number of TV channels and has a reputation as a difficult market for foreign media content. Still, Chandra remains confident viewers in Germany would want to watch Zee TV as "the positioning of our content is happy and celebratory, and it caters to people of all ages." The channel particularly wants to target women audiences in the 19-59 age group, who it believes would be more receptive to Bollywood, filled with emotional drama involving elaborate stories of love and longing as well as dance sequences and songs. Growing presence Few German TV channels and cinemas currently show Indian movies. However, a few years ago, Germany witnessed a surge in interest for Bollywood films when a private German TV station, RTL II, began airing them on a regular basis. At present, Germany is considered to be the second-biggest market in Europe for the films, trailing only the UK. And Indian movie personalities such as Shah Rukh Khan enjoy a significant fan base in cities like Berlin. In 2012, for instance, when Khan was due to arrive for the premiere of his film "Don 2" in Berlin, a crowd of over 1,000 people waited passionately in freezing temperatures outside the Friedrichstadtpalast in the German capital to catch a glimpse of the actor. But overall, the number of Germans interested in watching Indian films continues to remain very limited, as many are not excited by the prospect of watching three-hour long emotional sagas interrupted by dance numbers. Friederike Behrends, CEO of the new channel in Germany, told the DPA news agency that Germans have so far known only a very small part of Bollywood. But it's actually one of the largest film industries in the world, boasting a wide variety of offerings, she stressed, adding: "And that is what we want to offer our audience in Germany." Bollywood vs Hollywood Bollywood, a term that apes Hollywood, refers to the Hindi-language film industry based in the western Indian city of Mumbai (previously called Bombay). Films are also produced in other parts of the country in various languages like Tamil, Telugu and Kannada. Overall, India produces more films than any other country in the world, with the South Asian nation estimated to churn out about 2,000 films a year, nearly four times that of Hollywood. However, when it comes to box office revenue, the Indian film industry lags far behind its American counterpart, with US films earning around five times as much as the total revenue of Indian movies. Nevertheless, over the past several years, Bollywood has been following in Hollywood's footsteps when it comes to doing business, striving to push for more professionalization and corporatization of the industry. It's also increasing efforts to expand the sources of revenue with the help of in-cinema advertising, merchandising and the sale of cable and satellite rights. At the same time, there has been growing interest from Hollywood studios to co-produce films in India and partner with Indian production houses. In recent years, Bollywood has also focused more on expanding its worldwide presence, with attempts to woo foreign viewers in overseas markets to watch its films. 'A difficult market' As a result of these developments, Bollywood films have become more popular outside of the Indian subcontinent, and Indian celebrities are making their presence felt at international film events. Overseas revenue collection for Indian movies rose as high as 11.5 percent last year, according to the FICCI-KPMG Indian Media and Entertainment Industry Report 2016. However, the growth is predominantly driven by Indian expatriates, who are ferocious consumers of Indian entertainment products, including films. This is where the challenge for Zee TV lies on the German market - because unlike a country such as the US, where over 2 million Indians live, Germany has a far smaller Indian community, which stood at around 80,000 in 2014. That means in order to succeed, Zee will have to win over the German audience and cannot rely solely on Indians living in the country. Chandra, the network's chairman, underlined that they are aware of the likes and dislikes of the German viewers and "we will select interesting content for them." "Germany is very important, because it is a difficult market for foreign media content. Hence, we feel that if we can succeed in this market, then we can succeed in any other market across the world." Additional reporting by Murali Krishnan from New Delhi.

A new TV channel is bringing Indian films packed with singing and dancing, as well as flamboyant TV shows, to German viewers. But it’s unclear if the channel will be able to entice Germans into watching its programs. For most Germans, the word Bollywood is associated with Indian films featuring colorful costumes, lavish musical numbers and extravagantly choreographed dances. One ... Read More »

Actor with a thousand faces: Mario Adorf turns 85

His on-screen characters are notorious - often rogues and villains - and he's starred in over 200 roles. At 85, German actor Mario Adorf remains a much-loved screen legend. Yes, he was the murderer of popular Native American hero Winnetou - and, to this day, many viewers have never forgiven him for that. But controversy was never far away from many of Mario Adorf's characters, whether it is beating up his foes, or even assassinating them. He was loud and brash, hard and foul-mouthed. And yet, he is much adored by audiences far and wide. Mario Adorf - who celebrates his 85th birthday on September 8 - is quite the phenomenon. He is certainly not the only actor who has accompanied film and television audiences through the decades, but who else can claim to have been part of postwar German film - often mocked as "grandpa's cinema" - as well as inspiring the work of contemporary directors such as Rainer Werner Fassbinder and Volker Schlöndorff? Adorf a man of the world From kitsch Italian spaghetti westerns and classical Italian mafia flicks to big-budget Hollywood productions and European art-house films - Adorf has graced the lot. However, the multifaceted actor is hardly looking back, remaining active on the stages and sets of the world. Adorf was born in Zurich, Switzerland, to a German mother and an Italian father, and grew up in the Eifel, a mountainous region in western Germany. His mother was a radiographer, and his father a surgeon. The young Adorf would go on to study criminology. He broke off his studies to become a stage actor, before turning to film. In 1957, he played a killer in the classical movie "Nachts, wenn der Teufel kam" ("The Devil Strikes at Night") under the direction of Robert Siodmak - who had by now returned home from Hollywood. The film would become his breakthrough. The role, however, also type-casted the young actor to playing rogues, villains and gunslingers. The happy villain "When reading the scripts, I tend to find the role of the villain interesting," he confessed early on in his career. "It's not that I love the bad guys as people or characters, but I know how they come across. And that's why I lend them my body, my face." It was his role of Santer," however, which brought him notoriety, namely for shooting and killing the noble Winnetou in 1963. From then on, he portrayed the villain in many spaghetti westerns, and Italy became his second home, personally and professionally. Adorf also acted in a number of Italian mafia films. He returned to German cinemas during the inspired era of German filmmaker Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Some of his most memorable performances were in "Lola" directed by Fassbinder, in "Die Verlorene Ehre der Katharina Blum" ("The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum") by Schlöndorff, and namely in "Die Blechtrommel" ("The Tin Drum"). A trip to Hollywood proved less successful: He starred in the western "Major Dundee" by Sam Peckinpah, however his role was later edited out almost completely. Cast of characters Adorf had more luck working with European directors, such as Claude Chabrol, Damiano Damiani and Billy Wilder, plus ambitious TV directors such as Helmut Dietl and Dieter Wedel. In various German television productions, Adorf was able to put his full spectrum of talents to the test, playing businessmen, gaffers and egocentric maniacs. Once asked about his multicultural roles, he replied that the concept of being a European did not mean much to him, specifying, "I resist a little against the easiness with which people talk about 'Europeans.'" Yes, he was born in Switzerland, grew up in Germany, and has lived in Italy with a French woman. Nevertheless: "If all that were so easy, then all these countries would long since have been replaced by a single state of Europe - but obviously, it's not that easy," he opined. Adorf's first love in Germany Although he has spent most of his time in recent decades in his home in St. Tropez, he has always maintained a love for his home region in the Eifel - a place he visits regularly. In spite of his successful career, the term "movie star" does not quite fit this actor, who appears both genial and modest. But undoubtedly, Mario Adorf remains one of the most outstanding performers in European film and television. He has received countless awards for his work and, in perhaps the greatest birthday gift of all, has been invited to star in a remake of the "Winnetou" saga, as the father of Winnetou's murderer. Adorf never strays too far from the action.

His on-screen characters are notorious – often rogues and villains – and he’s starred in over 200 roles. At 85, German actor Mario Adorf remains a much-loved screen legend. Yes, he was the murderer of popular Native American hero Winnetou – and, to this day, many viewers have never forgiven him for that. But controversy was never far away from ... Read More »

Hollywood movie composer James Horner dies in plane crash, aged 61

Celebrated movie composer James Horner has died in a plane crash in California, aged 61. The Oscar-winning musician wrote the scores for numerous box-office hits including "Titantic," "Avatar" and "A Beautiful Mind." The Federal Aviation Administration said on Monday that a single engine Tucano MK1 crashed at 9:30 a.m. local time (1630 UTC) near Cuyama, California. Horner was the only passenger on board his private aircraft. The cause of the crash was not immediately known. Tributes to the Hollywood composer poured in following the news of his untimely death, with many top actors and directors in the film and television world paying tribute to the Oscar-winner on social media websites. Horner's personal assistant, Sylvia Patrycja wrote on Facebook: "We have lost an amazing person with a huge heart, and unbelievable talent. He died doing what he loved. Thank you for all your support and love and see you down the road." The late musician won two Oscars for his work on James Cameron's 1997 blockbuster "Titanic" - one for its theme song "My Heart Will Go On", performed by Celine Dion, and another for the film's score which sold 30 million copies worldwide. Having started learning to play the piano at the age of five, Horner received his first big break in 1982 with the score for "Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan." He leaves behind a wife and two daughters.

Celebrated movie composer James Horner has died in a plane crash in California, aged 61. The Oscar-winning musician wrote the scores for numerous box-office hits including “Titantic,” “Avatar” and “A Beautiful Mind.” The Federal Aviation Administration said on Monday that a single engine Tucano MK1 crashed at 9:30 a.m. local time (1630 UTC) near Cuyama, California. Horner was the only ... Read More »

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