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'Happening' & Jane Campion Winners at 2021 Venice Film Festival

Venice 2021 Golden Lion

A remarkable year for female filmmakers! Sian Heder's CODA won the Grand Jury prize at Sundance, Julia Ducournau's Titane won the Palme d'Or at Cannes, and now Audrey Diwan's Happening wins the Golden Lion in Venice. The 78th Venice Film Festival wrapped up this weekend on the sunny Lido island in Venice, and awards were handed out at an awards show complete with masks and empty seats for social distancing. The top prize at Venice is a Golden Lion (in honor of the iconic lion that is the symbol of the city) and it's one of the greatest achievements in cinema along with the Palme d'Or. This year's winner is a French film titled L'événement, which translates to Happening, set in the 1960s following a young woman who attempts to get an abortion despite it being illegal at the time. Not my favorite film of the festival, but it is a brave and important film nonetheless. Kiwi filmmaker Jane Campion also picked up the Best Director award, which she certainly deserves for her new film. The full list of #Venezia78 winners can be seen below.

WB Relaunches Mysterious 'What is The Matrix' Site for 'The Matrix 4'

The Matrix Website

It has begun. It's finally time to kick off the marketing for The Matrix 4, officially known as The Matrix Resurrections. The first glimpse of footage from the sequel was revealed a few weeks ago at the industry event CinemaCon in Las Vegas, a teaser trailer showing what seemed to be lovers Neo & Trinity meeting but having no memory of anything in their past lives. At the moment, Warner Bros still has Lana Wachowski's The Matrix 4 scheduled to debut in theaters December 22nd, 2021 just before the end of this year. There are rumors it could be delayed (again), but nothing has been confirmed or announced yet. Many fans have been wondering why there is no marketing yet – absolutely nothing – not even an announcement about the title. But now it looks like they're finally firing up the marketing machine. Game creator / movie geek Hideo Kojima tweeted about a brand new website for The Matrix called "What is The Matrix?" And here we go…

Julia Ducournau's 'Titane' Wins Palme d'Or Top Prize at Cannes 2021

Cannes 2021 Palme d'Or

Victory for Titane!! Winners of the 2021 Cannes Film Festival awards, including the coveted Palme d'Or, were revealed at a glamorous ceremony in Cannes, France this weekend. The big winner this year is all out punk French film Titane, directed by filmmaker Julia Ducournau, her second feature film after breaking into the scene with Raw a few years ago. She is the second female filmmaker to EVER win the Palme d'or in the festivals 74 year history, and the first female director to ever win entirely on her own. (Jane Campion won the Palme d'Or in 1993 for The Piano, but that was a tie win with Farewell My Concubine that year.) Every other excellent film seemed to pick up an award, all the winners were expected picks. Including the Best Actress choice - Norwegian actress Renate Reinsve in one of my favorites of the fest, a love story film called The Worst Person in the World (read my review). All the major Cannes 2021 winners are listed below.

2021 Cannes Film Festival Selection - Kogonada, Farhadi, Anderson

Cannes Film Festival 2021

Every year, cinephiles wake up early for the announcement from France of the films playing at the Cannes Film Festival. For the 74th Cannes Film Festival taking place this July, they've confirmed an intriguing and compelling set of films made by the finest filmmakers hailing from all over the world. Cannes is ready to return after cancelling last year, despite announcing their 2020 selection anyway, with a focus on safety this year as thousands of movie lovers return to the South of France to watch new films. We'll be there! Wouldn't miss it for anything, except of course a global pandemic. This year's 2021 line-up includes new films by Wes Anderson (The French Dispatch), Sean Baker (Red Rocket), Asghar Farhadi (A Hero), Mia Hansen-Love (Bergman Island), Todd Haynes (Velvet Underground), Justin Kurzel (Nitram), Jacques Audiard (Paris 13th District), and many others. There will likely be a few additions last minute - Thierry Frémaux has also hinted that the big Hollywood blockbuster hasn't been revealed just yet. See the full list of 2021 films below.

2021 Academy Awards Winners - And 'Nomadland' Wins Best Picture

Academy Awards

The 93rd Academy Awards are finally upon us and it's time to watch the show and discover the winners of the most prestigious award in Hollywood. The Oscar ceremony is two months later than normal this year, to allow time for more films to show due to the shut downs last year. There are eight Best Picture nominees, and I'm looking forward to finding out who wins. The frontrunner is Chloe Zhao's Nomadland, picking up numerous wins throughout the awards season. It's one of my favorite films from 2020, so I'm all for it. I'm also just so happy to see so many other worthy nominees - including Sound of Metal, Minari, Wolfwalkers, The Mole Agent, My Octopus Teacher, and Judas and the Black Messiah. Each deserving of accolades. With the pandemic raging it has been a strange year, but there's still great films to celebrate. Now it's time to find out who is taking home the Oscars this year, and who isn't, at the annual Academy Awards. The full list of nominees below will be updated with the winners highlighted once revealed live on air - refresh for updates.

PICTURE:
Nomadland
Nomadland
DIRECTOR:
Chloe Zhao
Chloé Zhao for
Nomadland
ACTOR:
Anthony Hopkins
Anthony Hopkins
in The Father
ACTRESS:
Frances McDormand
Frances McDormand
in Nomadland

Read on for a complete list of #Oscars2021 nominees & winners. Let us know what you think of the results!

This will be updated throughout the night to reflect the winners as revealed. Additionally, I might be adding a small bit of personal commentary beneath each category. Winners are highlighted in BOLD below.

2021 Indie Spirit Awards: 'Nomadland', 'Sound of Metal', 'Crip Camp'

2021 Indie Spirit Awards Winners

The Independent Spirit Awards are an annual award given in the name of independent film, featuring all of the indie films which deserve the honor and recognition that they usually don't receive - celebrating their 36th year. The 2021 winners of the Spirit Awards were announced Thursday evening just before the Oscars in a virtual ceremony, still filled with all kinds of excitement and surprises. The two main winners this year: Chloe Zhao's Nomadland, heading home with four wins in total, and Sound of Metal, winning for Best First Feature, and both the Best Male Lead & Supporting Male. The rest of the nominees from 2020 included many outstanding little films that everyone has been talking about all year (like Minari!), but they deserve this extra attention anyway. These are always a nice counter-balance to the Oscars, especially with lots of films that didn't get any noms there (e.g. First Cow). Read on for the list of 2021 Indie Spirits results.

PosterSpy is Releasing This Gorgeous 'The Art of Movie Posters' Book

The Art of Movie Posters Book

Movie poster fans, this one is for you!! Our friends at PosterSpy.com are about to launch their second art book featuring a remarkable collection of art and details from many illustrators / creators from around the world. Their new book is called The Art of Movie Posters, and it's not just a collection of art, but also a behind-the-scenes look at the process and how posters are made. Jack Woodhams, founder of PosterSpy, states: "I'm delighted to finally release a new book full of incredible art by valued members of the PosterSpy community and beyond… When trying to figure out the type of book this would be, it was clear from the start that I wanted to showcase sketches and include personal artist commentary, ensuring the book is not only great to look at, but one that can educate and inspire too." It will sell for about £45 (~$62 USD), but you can pre-order it online now for -£10 less and it will begin shipping at the end of the summer. And yes, it ships worldwide and features talented artists from around the world. Get a first look at the new book below.

SAG Awards 2021 Winners Include Viola Davis & Chadwick Boseman

SAG Awards 2021

Even though 2021 continues to be as strange and meandering as 2020, the awards season rolls on. The 27th annual SAG Awards (Screen Actors Guild Awards) honor the greatest performances from 2020, as chosen by other actors which means this is one of the most definitive lists of the best performances. Actors know their profession better than anyone and are very particular about good performances. The four individual winners are an impressive set of people of color winners, the first time in SAG history that has happened. The other major winner was The Trial of Chicago 7 - taking home the coveted "Best Ensemble Cast" award. Overall, the nominees across all the categories are more impressive than any one winner. Read on for more.

 Posted April 5 in Awards, Movie News | 1 Comment

Contest: Win a Copy of This Adorable 'Godzilla vs. Kong' Kids Book

Godzilla vs. Kong Kids Book

Let them fight…! And then become best friends…! The moment I got this email, I knew I had to feature this book somehow. It's just the most adorable, cutest, funniest movie tie-in I've seen and I totally love it and I want everyone to get copies of it. So here we are! It's time for a contest! FirstShowing is proud to giveaway three copies of the new Godzilla vs. Kong tie-in kids book titled Godzilla vs. Kong: Sometimes Friends Fight: (But They Always Make Up). Yes, this is real, and if you don't win here you can easily get your own copy on Amazon or Bookshop or wherever books are sold near you. It has been a long time since we've hosted a contest, but this one is worth it. Especially because I can't wait to see Godzilla vs. Kong! It opens (in theaters + on HBO Max at the same time) very soon and it's going to be an epic rumble. More info below.

93rd Academy Awards Nominations Announced - Full List for 2020

Academy Awards Nominations

The complete list of nominees for the 93rd Academy Awards, the most prestigious award in Hollywood, have been announced today (from Oscars.org). The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences revealed the nominees via live broadcast. With 2020 being a pandemic year, cinemas shut down worldwide, and all kinds of different release strategies (streaming, PVOD, drive-ins) The Academy made some big changes to accept a complete selection of eligible movies no matter how they debuted. And they accepted releases from January & February of this year as well. All things considered and with many delays, it was still a solid year of movies. Let's get into it! This year, The Academy chose a total of eight Best Picture nominees, including: Minari, Mank, Sound of Metal, Nomadland, and Judas. Without further ado, check out the full list of noms.

Berlinale 2021 Awards: Prizes for Radu Jude & Ryusuke Hamaguchi

Berlinale 2021 Awards

"The Golden Bear goes to a film which has that rare and essential quality of a lasting art work. It captures on screen the very content and essence, the mind and body, the values and the raw flesh of our present moment in time." The 71st Berlin Film Festival (also known as just Berlinale) has wrapped up, and the small set of prizes were revealed this weekend, including the winner of the coveted Golden Bear for Best Film. That top prize was given to a Romanian dark comedy film called (in English) Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn, directed by Radu Jude. The festival, usually held in February, transitioned to a virtual press + industry only event this past week, showing premieres online and in the cinema for the jury only. Jude's film is a clever, wacky, made-during-the-pandemic-so-everyone-wears-masks critical commentary about sex and society. It's a good win for originality, though not my fave film of the fest. Full list of 2021 prizes below.

2021 Golden Globe Awards Winners - 'Borat 2' + 'Nomadland' Winners

2021 Golden Globe Winners

The winners of the HFPA's 78th Annual Golden Globe Awards, the precursor to the Academy Awards, have been announced tonight at a ceremony held virtually on Zoom + in Los Angeles, co-hosted by Tina Fey & Amy Poehler. It seems these awards get less and less relevant every year, but the winners are still worthy nonetheless. Here's hoping the HFPA chose wisely. The list below will update with all film-related winners as they're revealed during the live broadcast. The nominees from 2020 are actually a good selection of films, though they are a bit too fond of The Trial of the Chicago 7 this time. But it's still great to see Mank, Borat 2, Palm Springs, Over the Moon, The Mauritanian, and On the Rocks among the nominees. It's time to start the show, we're curious to find out which films they've picked. Let's see who is taking home Globes this year.

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1. Nine Days
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5. Feels Good Man
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