Monday, March 01, 2010

The weather in Europe has taken a turn for the worst: there has been gale force winds and torrential rains in Portugal, Spain, and France; France has declared a national catastrophe. And now the cold is creeping into Germany (again) with the temperatures dipping close to freezing by the weekend. Plus freezing rain and light snow. The storms in western France is reported as responsible for over 50 deaths; people were caught by surprise when the storm hit in the middle of the night. Plus pictures from Frankfurt show how the winds have ripped through parts of that city, which is why the airports were closed for a while. Oh, well...

BBC News just ran a little interview with Tomm Moore, the director of the animated feature "The Secret of Kells" which was a surprise nominee for Best Animated Film. There were clips, and it certainly looks good.

Eugene Hernandez sent a ballot about the Independent Spirit Awards and the Acadeny Awards: those of us who are listed on the critics page of IndieWire are invited to give our opinions on the awards, i.e., who we think will win, and who we think should win. The New York Times started to do that a few years ago. (Is it true that the New York Times film critics are still not allowed to participate in the New York Film Critics Circle and the National Society of Film Critics? How is that possible, when Andre Sennwald and Bosley Crowther were stalwarts of the New York Film Critics Circle for decades, and Sennwald was one of the people who started the organization, and they were the primary New York Times film critics of the 1930s and 1940s?) I'd like to participate, but i feel as if i haven't seen enough. In categories like Costume or Set Design: i'm not sure i've seen anything that was nominated in some of those categories. And i don't (as a rule) see animated features. Not because of any antipathy, but because i never get invited to those screenings. I wind up seeing animated features on TV or when they're released on DVD.

Did i miss something or did A.O. Scott, Manohla Dargis and Stephen Holden already do their Academy Award round-up? Though i think it's amusing (i always think it's amusing), the Academy Awards really have nothing to do with me, and i don't really pay attention. In the past few years, Larry and i got out of the habit of watching the telecast. It's usually tedious, and so much of the telecast is inane, and we preferred watching "The L Word" (which was usually on opposite). We were a niche market (and proud of it). The Independent Spirit Awards started to get bogus as well; i liked it when it was just people gathered in a tent on the Santa Monica beach, getting drunk and saying outrageous things. But as "independent" films and Hollywood films really overlap now, some of the irreverence has seeped out of the Spirit Awards.

But i won't know, because they've moved the awards to Friday night (rather than Saturday afternoon) and so it seems as if Film Independent is trying to go for a more formal atmosphere, but i won't be able to see it. Not in Berlin, anyway.

I got a series of e.mail notifications from the IFP: there's a new website, logging in is different (new passwords, etc.) and everyone has a new membership number. But no one answers the question: what is happening at the IFP? Michelle Byrd is supposed to have left as Executive Director, but has that post been filled, or are they still involved in the search process? Certainly, the members have not been given any indication.

The BBC business news reports that Australia is now the fastest growing economy in the Asian market. Well, that's good news, and i hope that people i know in Australia are able to take advantage of the current boom.

The Euro continues to stall as the US economy shows signs of recovery.


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