“Italians concluded two days of voting Monday, with Pier Luigi Bersani seen as winning a strong plurality of the votes, but billionaire media kingpin Silvio Berlusconi likely doing well enough to keep control of the Senate from Bersani while making Berlusconi — and the media empire he controls — the main opposition…more sad new from the Hollywood Report about the politics of Italy”…let’s only hope that the Italian movie industry will not be affected more that it already is…ciao!
1. To know the Oscars is to loathe the Oscars…
Every true movie fan has had their heart broken by Oscar at least once — most more often than that. The short version is that, well, they are very often wrong, giving prizes (particularly Best Picture) to films that are clearly inferior to their fellow nominees, or movies that were left out entirely. Crash winning in 2006 (over Brokeback Mountain, Capote, and Good Night and Good Luck) is the easy go-to example of Academy incompetence, but you can dig deeper than that. Dances with Wolves over GoodFellas in 1991 and Ordinary People over Raging Bull in 1981 always work, and that pair of Scorsese snubs can lead to a snitty off-hand comment about great directors never getting their due (Alfred Hitchcock, Orson Welles, Charles Chaplin, Howard Hawks, Stanley Kubrick, and Robert Altman never won it all). But if you’re gonna do it, go deep: trot out How Green Is My Valley’s Best Picture win over Citizen Kane in 1942, or The Greatest Show on Earth over High Noon and The Quiet Man 11 years later.
2. …but to still know lots of arcane trivia about them.
Those complaints made, being an Oscar buff is kind of like being a Cubs fan — you may live in a state of constant disappointment, but you still know all the stats. Here’s a few good ones to have in the chamber this year: If Argo wins Best Picture (and it’s looking more and more likely that it might), it will the first film in 23 years to win the big prize without its director getting a nomination in that category, and only the fourth film to do so in the entire 85-year history of the Oscars. (The other three were Wings, Grand Hotel, and Driving Miss Daisy.) One of the other un-nominated directors was Zero Dark Thirty’s Kathryn Bigelow, which is a good excuse to talk about the Academy’s execrable record with female directors— Bigelow’s 2009 win for The Hurt Locker was the first time it went to a woman, and she was only the fourth female nominee for the prize, ever, after Lina Wertmüller, Jane Campion, and Sofia Coppola. (No African-American filmmaker has ever won it, and only two have even been nominated. Big category for white dudes!) Also, all of this year’s Best Supporting Actor nominees are previous winners, and the Best Actress category includes both the oldest (Emmanuelle Riva) and youngest (Quvenzhané Wallis) nominees for the prize — you probably already knew that. But did you know that the last movie to score Silver Linings Playbook’s quadruple play of acting nominations was Reds, clear back in 1982? Or that Amour is the first movie since Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in 2001 to get nominations for both Best Picture and Best Foreign Film? Or that John Williams’s richly undeserved nomination for Best Score (for Lincoln) is his 48th? Learn this stuff — the test is Sunday night.
3. Know your producers. And we’re not talking about the producers of the nominated movies — though hey, fun fact, if Argo wins, George Clooney (who produced the film with Ben Affleck and Grant Henslov) will be one of those accepting the little gold guy. No, a real Oscar expert knows that the producer of the evening’s telecast is one of the key factors in determining whether it’s insufferable or merely overlong. This year’s producers are Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, whose primary background is in musicals (they produced the recent Broadway revivals of How to Succeed in Business and Promises, Promises, and executive-produced the film version of Chicago), and as Meron told The Hollywood Reporter, “it will be an evening that celebrates the music of the movies.” So yep, brace yourselves, it’ll be an evening filled with musical numbers, which are always the best part of the Oscars. If those song-and-dances tank, you’ll have an excuse to drop the name of Alan Carr, the eccentric Grease and Can’t Stop the Music producer who was in charge of the 1989 ceremony and its notorious Rob Lowe/Snow White duet. Last year, Brian Grazer stepped in after Brett Ratner dropped out (remember that mess?), and his play-everything-super-safe sensibility meant that Billy Crystal came back for yet another wheezy round as host. And while we’re on that topic…
4. Always complain about the host. The decision to slot in Ted director and Family Guy creator Seth MacFarlane as emcee for the evening had us wondering what the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences was smoking, but in fairness to MacFarlane, coming up with an acceptable host is always a tricky proposition. That’s part of why Crystal got the call again last year; other comics who’d done the job in years after and between his nine shows tended to divide the older Academy membership and the younger viewers at home. This has led to left-field picks like Hugh Jackman and Frankaway, while those old enough to remember will still insist that Johnny Carson and/or Bob Hope were the only ones who knew how to do it right. But movie geeks know their own well enough to presume that nobody liked those guys at the time either. (If you really wanna buck conventional wisdom — which movie geeks love to do — swear up and down that David Letterman was a terrific Oscar host in 1995. Your film editor genuinely believes this. Most people don’t agree!)
5. Know your Honorary Oscar recipients. It never hurts to do a little research on the industry favorites who are getting the three honorary Governors Awards and the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Awards. Here’s a good summary of all four on The Playlist; mainly, you’ll just need to remember that Hersholt honoree Jeffrey Katzenberg was CEO of Disney when it turned itself around, after which he left to start Dreamworks SKG with Steven Spielberg and David Geffen (he’s the “K”); D.A. Pennebaker is one of the most influential documentary directors of all time, the guy behind Monterey Pop, Primary, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, The War Room, and everybody’s favorite Bob Dylan movie, Don’t Look Back; George Stevens Jr. is the founding director of the American Film Institute; and legendary stuntman Hal Needam also directed a whole mess of Burt Reynolds’s lesser action/comedies, meaning that, at long last, the director of Stroker Ace and the Cannonball Run movies is an Oscar recipient.
So there’s your cheat sheet for Sunday night.”
The Berlin International Film Festival has ended but a lot of movies from the program are still being discussed. Indiewire polled critics from their Criticwire network who attended the festival…very interesting!
Today, remember to kiss…
La Fondazione Erri De Luca è stata costituita a Roma il 1 luglio 2011 per iniziativa di Erri De Luca e Paola Porrini Bisson. Non ha scopo di lucro e persegue finalità di solidarietà sociale avvalendosi di diversi strumenti comunicativi abbinati alle diverse discipline artistiche.
La fondazione ha in particolare lo scopo di perseguire la gestione dell'archivio dello scrittore Erri De Luca nell'ambito della regione Lazio, dove lo stesso archivio ha sede stabile.
2013 has arrived and with it, my yearly list of foods you may want to consider adding (or have more of) this year. All of them have been around for ages but — like clothing, music, and celebrities — certain foods come and go in terms of popularity. Here are 13 that may help you improve your health, assist your weight-loss efforts, or just give you the chance to give your taste buds something new!
If white rice is a staple in your diet, you’re missing out on a whole new rice world. Black rice has been around for thousands of years, but only now getting the attention it deserves. Evidence suggests that black rice may have more cancer-fighting antioxidants than blueberries or blackberries. It’s also loaded with fiber and B-vitamins.
Orange is in, and the orange in these tasty treats come from beta-carotene, a powerhouse carotenoid that converts to vitamin A in the body. A recent study found that low levels of beta-carotene are associated with dementia.
Soy has remained one of the most controversial foods of the past few years but, the truth is, it really shouldn’t be! That’s because the overwhelming amount of evidence for soy shows beneficial, as opposed to adverse, health effects. Soy may play a role in lowering blood pressure, early intake of soy in life appears to play a protective role against breast cancer, and some studies now indicate that consistent soy intake may actually help to decrease the decorrence of breast cancer among certain patient populations. They key, however,in attaining these benefits is to focus on whole soy foods such as miso, tempeh, tofu and soybeans. That means your soy chips and that soy energy bar may not cut it!
If you think all potatoes are the downfall to your weight-loss plans, think again! A recent study in theJournal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that eating a moderate serving of purples potatoes twice a day helped to lower blood pressure in obese individuals without causing weight gain. Additionally, the more color a fruit or vegetable has, the better it is for you. That’s because vibrant hues in whole foods are created by powerful phytochomeicals that help to reduce inflammation and overall disease risk.
Do you often find yourself looking for something crunchy and savory midway through the afternoon, but don’t want to have yet another fat-free snack that fails to fill you up? Tortilla chips may be just what you’re looking for! They are 100 percent whole grain and a good source of fiber, but perhaps the most impressive fact about this simple snack is that they are, in a word, simple! That means many tortilla chip options at the stores have only two or three ingredients, a far cry from some of the competitive chip offerings on the shelf that can contain more than 10 ingredients. If you are a dip-lover, pair it with salsa or hummus for extra nutrients without the aging fat that other dips (think French onion, cheese, etc.) tend to supply.
Looking for a condiment that will give kick to your food while kicking cancer risk as well? Then turn up the heat in 2013 by adding some horseradish to a sandwich or salad dressing. The horseradish plant is from the same family as cancer-fighting superstars broccoli, cabbage, kale and cauliflower. Two studies in 2012 found that horseradish contained high amounts of glucosinolate, a natural compound that has been found to be a powerful dietary ally in cancer prevention.
Move over blueberries, blackberries may have you beat! Blackberries have been found in one study to be higher in antioxidants than their blue counterparts. While both berries are fabulous in terms of fighting off disease, blackberries are often the understudy to blueberries. This year, why not make them center stage? Their anti-inflammatory effects not only may help to prevent cancer, but may do wonders for your skin, as well!
So many fabulous nutrients stored in such a small little bean. This plant-based source of protein is high in fiber and iron — giving new meaning to the term “nutrient density,” and making it a dream food staple for individuals hoping to shed a few pounds!
Bran — it’s not just for the constipated! Brans of any kind (corn, rice, wheat and oat) are loaded with fiber(about 12 grams per serving) and if you thought fiber was only good for cleaning out the digestive pipes, you’re missing out on a lot more benefits! Studies have shown that fiber may help to reduce the progression of prostate cancer in mice, promote gastrointestinal health, and reduce your risk of heart attack and stroke by helping in the fight toward lower cholesterol. Mix bran into muffins, yogurt, or even soups to get a fiber boost!
With new and exciting super fruits being introduced to the market, sometimes it’s easy to forget that some simple fruit staples are still some of the best. Pears are high in fiber and vitamin C and may be a perfect snack if your New Year’s resolution is to reduce your risk of cancer. A study in 2009 found that pears may help reduce the incidence of gastric cancer by decreasing bile acids in the intestinal tract.
Onions are not only a great way to add taste to your meals, but may also help to reduce your risk of stroke as well. A 2012 animal study in the Journal of Clinical Investigation found that a flavonoid known as rutin (found in fruits, vegetables and teas) helped to reduce the formation of blood clots.
Love Indian food but don’t love the fact that you typically eat three pieces of white flour naan at your favorite restaurants? Next time choose a better and healthier Indian bread — roti. Found at all Indian restaurants, roti provides something that’s hard to find when you’re dining out: a 100 percent whole-grain bread option. Enjoy roti over the white rice to soak up those delicious Indian sauces. You’ll get lots of health benefits and may avoid the after-meal bloat, as well!
A few sprinkles of black pepper not only adds great flavor to your foods — it may also help to block fat! A 2012 study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that a compound in pepper, known as piperine, helped to block the formation of fat cells in the body. If you’re going to spice up your food, why not choose something that will help you keep weight down, as well!
Brigid Titgemeier contributed to this article
“The Nightshift Belongs to the Stars….
“The Night Shift Belongs to the Stars” is the story of Matteo (Enrico Lo Verso), and Sonia (Nastassja Kinski). Their friendship starts in a hospital on the eve of their respective open heart surgeries. Matteo receives the gift of a new life through a heart transplant while Sonia undergoes an open heart operation to put in a new mitral valve. The path to recovery will be connected to the passion they both share for mountaineering and the promise to climb together a peak on the Dolomites, in Trentino, Italy. Will their hearts survive the challenge? While Sonia’s husband, Mark (Julian Sands), worries about his wife and feels threatened by the complicity between Sonia and Matteo, the two aim for the summit, opening the route to a new beginning and a second chance at life.