"Tharze Gold in Them Thare Hills"
Is February 2004 the Time for the Return of the King ?
Sit Back with a Big Hamburger on the 29th and Watch the Glittering Prizes
Expanded Cinema Explodes in The Hague
Stapel Steams Up Sauna in Cosmic Amsterdam
Dutch Film Stirs Up Snow in Austrian Hills
Sheridan Gets Ready to Revive the "Kennedys"

(February 2004)

The official poster for the 76th annual Academy Awards®
Designer: Burton Morris
Poster © 2003 A.M.P.A.S
Oscar ® Statuette © A.M.P.A.S. ®

  • Ben Sombogaart, director of "De Tweeling" ("Twin Sisters") will be participating in a symposium on Saturday, February 28th at 10 a.m. in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' Samuel Goldwyn Theater. Directors of the five films nominated for Best Foreign Language Film ("The Barbarian Invasions," "Evil," "The Twilight Samurai," "Twin Sisters" and "Zelary") have been invited to participate. They include Canada's Denys Arcand, Sweden's Mikael Hafstrom, Japan's Yoji Yamada, and the Czech Republic's Ondrej Trojan. The event will be will moderated by Mark Johnson (Academy Award®-winning producer, chair of the Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee and member of the Academy Board of Governors) and is free to the public. The two-hour session will include film clips from each of the nominated pictures and a question-and-answer session with the audience. Although the event is already sold out, those waiting in a standby line will be admitted for any available seats ten minutes before the event begins. Location: Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 8949 Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills.

  • Fatty Arbuckle was one of the biggest (i.e. popular) comedians of his time. Want some evidence? Well, it'll be on offer when three of his films, namely "Camping Out" (1919), "Hello, Sailor" (1927, with Lupino Lane), and "A Raspberry Romance" (1925, with Ben Turpin), are screened at the Filmmuseum in the Vondelpark on Sunday, February 28th (at 3:30 & 7:45 PM) and Wednesday, March 3rd (at 7:45 PM). A rare chance to see the man in action. I'll drink to that!

  • The Oscar® statuettes that will be handed out on Sunday, February 29th at the 76th Academy Awards® ceremony will be on display at the Hollywood & Highland® entertainment complex beginning Friday, February 20.

    The exhibit, "And the Oscar® Goes To...," will consist of fifty statuettes which will arrive in Los Angeles on February 19th, on United Airlines' "Flight of the Oscars®," fresh from their public exhibition at the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry (see January's TGH Buzz).

    "The exhibition in Chicago has received an overwhelming response from the public so we thought why not put the Oscars® on display here in Los Angeles," said Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' President Frank Pierson. "If the positive reaction continues we will seriously consider taking Oscar® on tour next year."

    Both the 76th Academy Awards® poster and the 75th Anniversary Best Picture poster will be available for purchase at the Hollywood & Highland® exhibit.

    On Saturday, February 28, under heavy security, the Oscars® will be on parade as each statuette will be carried from the exhibit space down the red carpet on Hollywood Boulevard to the Kodak Theatre where they will be polished for Oscar® Night the following evening.

  • Two exhibitions, one of film posters from the Czech Republic and the other focusing on the career of famed silent film director F.W. Murnau, which opened last month continue at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

    Designs for film posters by artists from what is now known as the Czech Republic have long been noted world-wide for the sophistication and creativity of artistic expression in the field of graphic design. This application of this high standard has resulted in some spectacular results for the cinema. The Academy's exhibition features 70 posters dating from 1910 through 2000, highlighting the work of many of the most important artists working in this field. Posters created for Czech, American, Russian, European and Scandinavian films are included. Among the titles represented are "Nosferatu," "Erotikon," "King Kong," "Wild Strawberries," "Closely Watched Trains," "Easy Rider," "The Great Dictator" and "One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest."

    "Czech Film Posters of the 20th Century" is presented in association with the Consulate General of the Czech Republic in Los Angeles and the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic. The posters are from the collections of the Moravian Gallery in Brno, Czech Republic, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Prague, and several private collections.

    "F.W. Murnau: Film Pioneer" is an installation of video clips, documents, photographs, production designs, costumes and set models that provides insight into the legendary silent film director's work. Organized by the Berlin Film Museum, the exhibition was originally presented as part of the 2003 Berlin Film Festival. The Academy will be the only American stop on a multi-city international tour.

    Born in 1888, Murnau had made ten feature films in Germany by 1921. It was his next, "Nosferatu," that became an instant classic, with its influence over the genre of vampire film (and horror film in general) continuing even to this day. After making several more films for UFA Studios, including "Der Letzte Mann" (released in the U.S. as "The Last Laugh") and "Faust," Murnau was signed to a contract with Fox Studios, and he left Berlin for Hollywood.

    Murnau's first project in the United States was "Sunrise," which went on to earn Academy Awards at the very first ceremony for actress Janet Gaynor and cinematographer Karl Rosher, as well as a special award for Unique and Artistic Picture (1927/28).

    During the production of "City Girl" (1929), which was plagued with difficulties, Murnau became friendly with acclaimed documentary filmmaker Robert Flaherty, which led them to travel to the South Pacific to make "Tabu" (1931), financed by Murnau himself. Toward the end of filming, with his resources exhausted, Murnau was offered a ten-year contract by Paramount, which also bought the rights to "Tabu." But prior to the film's New York premiere, the director was killed in an automobile accident. Mourned by the top talents of the German film industry and eulogized by director Fritz Lang, Murnau was buried in Berlin in April 1931.

    "F.W. Murnau: Film Pioneer" is presented in association with the Goethe Institut - Los Angeles, which, along with Lufthansa Cargo, has provided generous support for the exhibition.

    In conjunction with the Academy's installation, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art Film Department will present a screening series of Murnau's films. The kick-off to the series will be the March 25 Los Angeles premiere of the newly-restored version of "Sunrise," completed by the Academy Film Archive, 20th Century Fox and the British Film Institute. Details of the series and the "Sunrise" screening will be announced separately.

    Admission to the two new exhibitions, which will continue at the Academy through April 18th, is free. Gallery viewing hours are Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and weekends, noon to 6 p.m. The Academy is located at 8949 Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills. For more information, call 310-247-3600.

  • "See[h]ear 2004 #2", a festival of expanded cinema, will commence its synthesis of image and sound with combined music, film, video and multi-media art experiences, on February 14th and continue to run through February 21st at the Filmhuis Den Haag, Spui 191 in The Hague.

    The "see[h]ear festival 2004" is divided into two parts:

    1. Installations to be viewed, experienced, or interactively participated in, from Saturday to Saturday, from 6 PM to 10 PM, absolutely free. These installations, which are open from the 14th till the 21st, include:
      • "Down Through" / Peter Bogers (NL 2003)
      • "Realtime" / "Currency Exchange" / Lisa DeLillo (USA, 2001)
      • "Attend to Your Configuration" / Lisa De Lillo (USA 2001)
      • "In Infinito Erat Principium" / Candela 2 (DL 2002)
    2. Evening performances with 'expanded cinema' on Friday the 20th and Saturday the 21st at 8 PM.
    Further information also at www.dhfvf.nl .
    Further information also available at www.haagsfilmhuis.nl .

    Amongst the interesting items to be found this year is the Guerrilla News Network formed by media revolutionaries who have emerged from the heart of the American beast. A collage of western news reports and governmental propaganda about 911, Washington DC, and the wars in Afghanistan and Irak, all tossed together in attempting a style reminiscent of William Burroughs' work. These pieces are planned to serve eventually as the basis for a new film. Check out GNN right now at www.gnn.tv .

  • Pim van Hoeve's "Snowfever", which starts principle photography in Austria next month, and is expected to glide across screens this coming autumn, will star Egbert Jan Weeber alongside Daan Schuurmans. The story is about three girls who battle each other for the attentions of a manipulative snow board jockey named Ryan (Schuurmans). Producers are Johan Nijenhuis and Alain de Lavita. previously noted for their efforts in such films as "Costa!" and "Volle Maan" ("Full Moon"). Weeber, who portrays Ryan's younger brother Erik in the film, comments " I've never been on a snowboard before, but I think it's cool and I've always wanted to learn. Being able to combine it with making a new movie is totally bitchin'."

  • During a series of special screenings of Marijke Jongbloed's documentary "Smile & Wave", a film about the Dutch soldiers (ISAF) who take part in the peacekeeping mission of postwar Afghanistan, will enjoy a series of special screenings at "Het Ketelhuis" cinema in Amsterdam this month to which various groups of professionals have been invited on various evenings to see the projection of a digital film on a DLP projector. "Smile & Wave" will be screened in MPEG2 MP@HL. Holland has, to date, never seen a release in this format. Professionals have been invited during the period between the 12th and the 25th of February, but it is possible that tickets will also be available for sale to other interested viewers, depending on the availability of seats. DocuZone has arranged this two-week event, which includes a series of forum discussions on certain evenings following the screenings, in collaboration with Het Ketelhuis. For this and other information regarding documentaries on the big screen check out Docuzone.nl . The Ketelhuis cinema site ( www.ketelhuis.nl ) offers extensive information regarding this cinema which specializes in screening both Dutch feature films as well as Dutch documentaries which all too often reach a more limited audience through the commercial cinema houses.

  • Never heard of Morgan Spurlock? You probably will, soon enough. Morgan made a documentary called "Super Size Me" in which he eats nothing for thirty days except items on the MacDonald's menu. It has already had a very successful run at the Sundance Festival this year (where Spurlock won the directing award for documentaries). Of course, it might conceivably take some time before his name becomes more widespread, since he will most likely have to deal with clearances and permission before the film is released).

  • A series of monologues will open this month at the Cosmic Theater on the Nes in Amsterdam. Included among the performances is "Spong" starring film actor Huub Stapel and directed by Khaldoun Elmecky. Further information regarding this and the other four monologues ("Gümüs", "Hirsi", "Jahjah", and "Tuur") in the series, as well as scheduled times and dates, is available at www.cosmictheater.nl . Performances continue through March 4th.

  • The long awaited Hermitage Amsterdam located on the Amstel will finally have it's grand opening on Tuesday, February 24th in the presence of Prince Willem Alexander. The public is invited as of Saturday, the 28th. Further information at www.hermitage.nl .

  • Jim Sheridan, whose "In America" has been enjoying vast critical success, is busy making plans for his next film. Provisionally titled "The Mark of Cain" and (allegedly) loosely-based on the lives of the Kennedy clan, the film will span the generations of an Irish-American family who migrated after the Famine. The focus is said to be on the difficulties endured by the family during the first half of the twentieth century. The Jim Sheridan film "In America" has received three Oscar® nominations; Samantha Morton for Best Actress, Djimon Hounsou for Best Supporting Actor; and Jim Sheridan and his daughters, Kirsten and Naomi, in the Original Screenplay category.

  • Julie le Brocquy was one of the producers who shared the 2004 Golden Globe award for Best Foreign-language Film awarded to "Osama", which tells the story of a 13-year-old girl in Afghanistan. The film, which was shot in Kabul after the fall of the Taliban, is a collaborative effort between Ireland, Afghanistan and Japan.

  • And, as you watch the golden boys passing from hand to hand this year, remember, as you sip at your glass of whisky or cocktail, that not only has the King returned, but so has the true meaning op Epic!

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