14 December, 2009

European Film Awards 2009: Winners

OK, OK, so I got it completely wrong, I'm here to have a giggle at just how bad a pundit your faithful reviewer is. :-)

In the end, it was Michael Haneke's Das weiße Band - Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (The White Ribbon) that dominated the 22nd edition of the European Film Awards, collecting three prizes.

Set in northern Germany on the eve of World War One, the black-and-white film won the best film, best director and best screenwriter prizes at the 2009 EFA ceremony in Bochum, Germany, and also took the prestigious Palme d'Or at the 2009 Cannes Film Festival.

I can't stand the pain any more - get thee hence to the new European Film Awards website for the complete list of winners. Me, I am going to spend a few days in a darkened room somewhere, NOT watching films...


11 December, 2009

And The Winners Might Be...

This reviewer, during the 13 years or so he has been watching films for a living, has gained something of a reputation for himself as a passionate (though not always particularly accurate) pundit, when it comes to predicting the winners of the big film awards - check out a couple of his earlier efforts here and here.

This, to be fair, is the first time I have had a bash at the European Film Awards so, as is my customary modus operandi, I will be restricting my predictions to the 'big five' categories. These are European Film, European Director, European Actor, European Actress, European Screenwriter, plus there's a special 'bonus guess' thrown in for the Carlo Di Palma European Cinematographer 2009. You can check out the complete nominations here - on with the show, and best of luck to all the nominees, who will be in their finery in Bochum, Germany tomorrow (12 December 2009) for the awards ceremony.

And the predictions are:

This is going to go to Låt den Rätte Komma In (Let the Right One in), Swedish director Tomas Alfredson's marvellous, moving and genuinely creepy reboot of the vampire myth. You heard it here first.

A genuine toughie, this one - for me, it's a toss-up between Michael Haneke for Das Weisse Band (The White Ribbon) and Lars von Trier for Antichrist, but I think that Haneke will hold sway.

The young, excellent thesp David Kross (who was also lucky enough to get up close and personal with Kate Winslett) will lift this for his performance in Stephen Daldry's The Reader (Der Vorleser).

For my money, nobody else but Charlotte Gainsbourg should grab this - her performance in Von Trier's Antichrist was simply amazing.

Going for a gamble here - it is this reviewer's belief that director Gianni di Gregorio will take it with his sugar-sweet but sassy script for his charming Pranzo di ferragosto (Mid-August Lunch).


And finally - the crisp, idyllic, black-and-white cinematography that hides wheels within wheels and fires within fires will take the gong for Christian Berger's work in Das Weisse Band.

Well, you haven't got much time to disagree with my predictions - all part of my plan, heh, heh, heh. I look forward to the 13 December backlash, naturally. :-)

For further information concerning all the EFA 2009 nominations, click here.


09 December, 2009

The 22nd European Film Awards: Presenters and Guests

When the doors open for the 22nd European Film Awards on Saturday, 12 December, the world of European cinema will step onto the red carpet at the spectacular venue of the Jahrhunderthalle in Bochum. Winners, nominees and EFA members - altogether, 1,400guests will be welcomed by German comedy star Anke Engelke who will be host for the evening.

An impressive line-up of actors and actresses will present the individual awards, among them Victoria Abril(Spain), Caterina Murino (Italy), Johanna ter Steege (the Netherlands), and María Valverde (Spain), as well as Detlev Buck (Germany), Jesper Christensen (Denmark), Sir Ben Kingsley (UK), Maciej Stuhr (Poland), and Anatole Taubman (Switzerland).

Joining them will be documentary director Nino Kirtadzé (France/Georgia), actor/director Aksel Hennie (Norway) who was part of the European Film Promotion's SHOOTING STARS programme in 2004, and director/actor Branko Djuric (Bosnia & Herzegovina).

The list of presenters is completed by Dr. Gottfried Langenstein, President of ARTE, EU Information Society and Media Commissioner Viviane Reding and EFA President Wim Wenders.

Among the guests this year will be actresses Hannelore Elsner (Germany), Krystyna Janda (Poland), Julia Jentsch (Germany), directors Roland Emmerich and Sönke Wortmann. Award winners already announced include Peter Liechti (EFA Documentary 2009: Prix ARTE), Diana Elbaum and Jani Thiltges (European Co-production Award: Prix EURIMAGES), Andrzej Wajda (EFA Critics' Award 2009: Prix FIPRESCI) and honorary awards recipients Ken Loach and Isabelle Huppert.

04 December, 2009

European Film Academy Critics' Award 2009: Prix FIPRESCI

Prix FIPRESCI goes to Andrzej Wajda

The European Film Academy, EFA Productions, and the International Federation of Film Critics FIPRESCI have announced that the Prix Fipresci goes to Andrzej Wajda, for Tatarak (Sweet Rush) (2009).

As FIPRESCI's General Secretary Klaus Eder explained: "For we critics it is without doubt a big pleasure to honour Wajda, who wrote European film history already with his first films ( A Generation (1955), Kanal (1957), Ashes and Diamonds (1958)) and who has influenced generations of filmmakers. We are therefore pleased and honoured to show him all our respect as critics. Our award also honours his latest film Tatarak. It's not at all what you would call a 'later work' - on the contrary, it is the film of a young spirit, with which Wajda in a risky and courageous way undertakes to open new and very personal perspectives for the European authors' cinema of today."

Andrzej Wajda will be attending the 22nd European Film Awards Ceremony on 12 December in Bochum to accept the award on stage.