Tuesday, January 29, 2008

movie mania---it's that time of year

I know a lot of people who are trying to cram as many Oscar-nominated flicks as they can into their busy schedules before the big show on February 24th. I'm not a huge movie buff, but there's something about this time of year---these handful of movies being the chosen ones, these actors and actresses having achieved something special, the behind-the-scenes work that goes into these epic films, like There Will Be Blood, which I saw last night. It was violent and grimy and agitating, but also magnificent. Two hours and forty minutes of being transported to the early twentieth century---feeling the highs and lows of new industry, of opportunity, of having everything to lose.

And though these blockbusters get the crazy attention, there's also big news for women coming out of Sundance this year. More than 25 prizes for independent filmmaking were delivered last Saturday night. And though only 25% of the nominated films were directed by women, they won 50% of the top prizes. So put 'em in your Netflix: Lisa Jackson's THE GREATEST SILENCE won the Special Jury Prize: Documentary; Courtney Hunt's FROZEN RIVER garnered the Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic; and Tia Lessin and Carl Deal's TROUBLE THE WATER took the Grand Jury Prize: Documentary. Also, two of the festival's four directing awards went to films by women: AMERICAN TEEN by Nanette Burstein (Directing Award: Documentary) and MERMAID by Anna Melikyan (World Cinema Directing Award: Dramatic).

Way to go, gals!


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