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Fiascos and fumbles: Oscar organizers stumble to restore glory

LOS ANGELES — First it was the furor over a proposed new “popular” film category, then it was the fiasco over planned host Kevin Hart, and last month the organizers of the Oscars were accused of intimidating celebrities not to present at rival award shows.

Israeli director’s film Synonyms wins Berlinale

BERLIN — Nadav Lapid’s Synonyms, an anarchic story about an Israeli who tries to suppress his origins after moving to Paris, won the Berlin Film Festival’s coveted Golden Bear award on Saturday.

Netflix row riles Berlin Film Festival

BERLIN — A row over whether films produced for streaming platform Netflix should be shown at the Berlin Film Festival has overshadowed the premiere of Elisa & Marcela, Isabel Coixet’s tale of two Spanish lesbians.

Watergate movie was meant to be funny. Then came Trump

BERLIN — The makers of Watergate, a film about the scandal that brought down Richard Nixon, first intended to make a lightly humorous study of the affair. Then came Donald Trump.

FDCP unveils plans for box-office tracking system, film archives

THE Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) has unveiled plans to create an online box office tracking system in order to “take the guesswork out of box office grosses,” according to the council’s chief executive.

The Favourite rules BAFTAs with most wins; Roma takes top prize

LONDON — Costume romp The Favourite was the biggest winner at the BAFTAs on Sunday, taking seven awards, but Netflix black and white film Roma picked up the Best Film prize, as well as Director, at Britain’s top movie honors.

High box office stakes for Alita: Battle Angel

LOS ANGELES — Manga-inspired action epic Alita: Battle Angel begins its worldwide cinema roll out this week but with a hefty budget and years in the making, producer James Cameron and director Robert Rodriguez acknowledge the stakes are high at the box office.

Berlinale unrolls green carpet for politically charged film festival

BERLIN — A mother fleeing her violent husband, a serial killer who preys on women, and famine in 1930s Ukraine are among the weighty social and political themes explored in films showcased at this year’s Berlin Film Festival.

Oscars to go hostless for only second time

LOS ANGELES — This year’s Oscar ceremony will go ahead without an official host for only the second time in its history, an ABC television executive said on Tuesday.

Odd couple

A FARRELLY movie up for the Oscars?

Manila then and now, seen through Brocka and Bernal

MANILA in 2019 is a bustling concrete jungle where the middle class and urban poor strive to have decent life, but in reality its streets are riddled with victims of extrajudicial killings, nine-year-old street urchins used by drug peddlers, inefficient public transport, and other inequalities and injustices.

Cuaron wins at Directors Guild for Roma, Cooper empty-handed

LOS ANGELES — Alfonso Cuaron was named best director by his peers on Saturday for his semi-autobiographical film Roma, cementing his front-runner status ahead of the Oscars in three weeks time.

Ang Pangarap Kong Holdap: Wa-is Guys

PERHAPS the MTRCB wasn’t in on the jokes between the wonderful ensemble cast and their brilliantly demented director and screenwriter Marius Talampas. That may have been why this puckishly politically incorrect feature got the R-16 rating which also effectively restricted its access to screens nationwide. When God closes off a cineplex, Mama Mary opens a cinematheque, and it is along the art house circuit that Mr. Talampas’ first full length feature has found its destination audience.

Smile Train’s Aldrian in the LA film fest

SMILE TRAIN’ s short film, Aldrian, has been included in the LA Under the Stars Film Festival 2019, announced the world’s leading cleft organization, which is marking its 20th anniversary.

Goodbye Hello: Unseen Beatles footage becomes movie project for Peter Jackson

LONDON — Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson is making a movie about The Beatles with previously unseen studio footage, the band’s website said on Wednesday — 50 years to the day after the Fab Four performed live together for the final time.

Universal is the first big Hollywood studio to sign the female-director...

UNIVERSAL PICTURES, part of Comcast Corp., became the first major movie studio to commit to the “4% Challenge,” a bid to rectify the lack of female directors in Hollywood.

Michael Jackson’s family calls new docu ‘public lynching’

LOS ANGELES — The family of Michael Jackson on Monday described reaction to a new documentary about alleged child sex abuse by the late singer as a “public lynching” and said he was “100% innocent” of such accusations.

Black Panther’s SAG win boosts chances at Oscars

LOS ANGELES — Superhero movie Black Panther, a film heralded for its predominantly black cast and vibrant celebration of African culture, won the top award from Hollywood’s Screen Actors Guild on Sunday, boosting its chances in this year’s Oscars race.

Jackson docu puts star back under microscope

MICHAEL JACKSON, whose music remains ubiquitous nearly a decade after his death, is under fresh scrutiny.

Oscar body distances itself from UK controversy on child murder film

LOS ANGELES — The body that hands out the Oscars on Friday sought to distance itself from a furor over the Academy Award nomination of a film about two boys who murdered a British toddler in 1993.

Goyo: The Boy General now streaming

BRASH ladies’ man Gregorio “Goyo” del Pilar rises to become one of the Philippines’ youngest generals in this historical epic sequel to Heneral Luna which is now streaming on Netflix.

Key nods for the 2019 Oscar Awards

NOMINATIONS for the 2019 Oscars, or Academy Awards, the highest honors in the movie industry, were announced on Tuesday. The awards will be handed out on Feb. 24 at a ceremony in Hollywood.

Angerman

PANOS COSMATOS’ Mandy is a trip through a tabletop landscape dotted with scenic views and sudden detours, with long sessions of intravenous pleasure, with jolts of hilarity and horror.

History-making Oscar nominations leave top prize up for grabs

LOS ANGELES — Netflix movie Roma and British historical romp The Favourite from Fox Searchlight led nominations for the Oscars on Tuesday in a history-making lineup that left the best picture race wide open.

Green Book boosts Oscar odds with big win at producers awards

IN A surprise win on Saturday, Hollywood producers named Green Book the best film of 2018, boosting its profile just days before nominations are announced for the annual Academy Awards.

Netflix movie Bird Box draws 80 million viewers

LOS ANGELES — Netflix Inc. on Thursday said more than 80 million member households will have watched its thriller movie Bird Box in its first four weeks, but the streaming giant gave no viewing data for Oscar hopeful Roma.

Quebec slams use of crash footage in Bird Box

QUEBEC urged entertainment giant Netflix Inc. to remove footage of a deadly rail disaster from two of its productions, including new horror movie Bird Box.

Rambo producer Vajna, 74

BUDAPEST — Andrew G. Vajna, the Hungarian movie producer behind Rambo, Evita and other international hits, died in his Budapest home on Sunday following a long illness, the Hungarian National Film Fund said.

Exhibit honors Brocka, Bernal

THE legacies of the iconic auteurs Lino Brocka and Ishmael Bernal, both Philippine National Artists for Film, will be honored a special exhibition called Brocka, Bernal and the City, at the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) School of Design and Arts (SDA) Campus starting Jan. 25.

The hate list

FROM WHERE I’m standing it’s been a fearful year, an angry year, a hateful year; a rollercoaster ride, a terror-filled plunge, a horror show.

Alternative movie, video entries solicited

THOSE who think that the annual Metro Manila Film Fest is rubbish, full of recycled formulaic films, here is their chance to create their own better and smarter movies: they can join a contest for alternative films and videos.

Aquaman swims past Batman into record books

TURNS OUT Superman and Batman have nothing on Aquaman.

Captain Marvel advance tickets may shatter series record

ADVANCE-TICKET sales for Walt Disney Co.’s Captain Marvel are off to a strong start, a sign of pent-up demand for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s first film with a female lead.

MMFF 2018 breaks box office record

THE 44th Metro Manila Film Festival drew to a successful close on Jan. 7, with the festival’s chairman announcing that they had not only surpassed last year’s gross but also recorded the highest ever take in the film festival’s history.

Sweet as a spoonful of sugar

Now that’s what I call a fantastic follow-up of a pop-in.

Costume drama The Favourite leads BAFTA awards nominations

LONDON — The Favourite led the nominations for the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) awards on Wednesday, with 12 nods for the costume drama that has already won its leading actress Olivia Colman critical acclaim and several prizes.

The immortal story

ORSON WELLES died in October 1985; his latest film, The Other Side of the Wind, was released in November 2018.

Margot Robbie to play Barbie in live action film

LOS ANGELES — Australian actress Margot Robbie is to play Barbie in the first live-action feature movie about the iconic and controversial doll, who has enjoyed multiple careers in her 60-year lifetime.

Bohemian Rhapsody, Green Book win Globes on night of upsets

LOS ANGELES — The Golden Globes gave Queen musical Bohemian Rhapsody its top prize on Sunday in an unexpected victory over romance A Star is Born, and named 1960s segregation-era roadtrip Green Book the best comedy or musical film.

Bandersnatch: a good introduction to interactive films but not the best

A FEW days before 2018 ended, global internet streaming service Netflix and the people behind sci-fi series Black Mirror decided to release their most ambitious project yet — an interactive film called Bandersnatch, which immediately, it caught viewers’ fancy. It presents an intriguing, yet familiar, proposition, especially for those who grew up reading Choose Your Own Adventure books published by Bantam Books from 1979.

2 reports show women still struggle in Hollywood, black men make...

LOS ANGELES — African-American men made measurable progress in gaining top jobs in Hollywood last year, though women — and particularly non-white women — continue to miss out.

This year, Oscar is more likely to go to a film...

THIS YEAR’S Oscar race is one of the most wide open in recent memory, giving some big-studio blockbusters a shot at the best-picture crown after years of victories by indie darlings.

Superhero movies prove indestructible, lift N. American box office to record...

DESPITE THREATS from streaming services and an overall feeling that Hollywood is bereft of new ideas, the movie industry turned in its best year ever in 2018, with the US leading the way to almost $42 billion in global ticket sales.

China’s 2018 movie box office revenue growth slows

BEIJING -- China’s movie box office revenue rose 9% in 2018 to 60.98 billion yuan ($8.87 billion), state media reported, a slower pace than the 13.45% clocked for the previous year.