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Oscars snub Asian pix — again

January 17, 2007 | 12:55 pm


As usual, Asian films got gypped by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which just released its list of nine finalists for the foreign-film category. But there was good news among normally stiffed pix — a rare fantasy film got in: the much beloved "Pan's Labyrinth," which was recently voted best picture of the year by the National Society of Film Critics.

The final nine are: "Days of Glory" (Algeria), "Water" (Canada), "After the Wedding" (Denmark), "Avenue Montaigne" (France), "Lives of Others" (Germany), "Pan's Labyrinth" (Mexico), "Black Book" (Netherlands), "Volver" (Spain) and "Vitus" (Switzerland).

These contenders were whittled down from a full list of 61 rivals — to see the complete rundown CLICK HERE!

Among Asian snubbees, a notable omission was China's "Curse of the Golden Flower." Korea has never had an Oscar contender, but there was hope that "The King and the Clown" might get in. Other slighted Asian flicks: "Rang de Basanti" (India), "Hula Girls" (Japan) and "The Banquet" (Hong Kong).

Academy voters haven't been totally stingy to Asian films in the past, by the way. After all, Taiwan's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" won best foreign film and was nominated for best picture of 2000.

Considering how prominent Kazakhstan became on the film front this year, there was hope that its entry "Nomad" might get in and thus participate at the same Oscars where "Borat" will probably be nominated in the screenplay race and maybe best actor, too. Alas, it was snubbed.

Other nations that had strong entries not included: Brazil ("Cinema, Aspirins and Vultures"), Bosnia ("Gbarvica"), the Philippines ("The Blossoming of Maximo Oliveros"), Russia ("Ninth Company"), Sweden ("Falkenberg Farewell"), Egypt ("The Yacoubian Building"), Iraq ("Dreams"), Iran ("Transit Cafe") and Belgium ("Someone Else's Happiness").

Photo: Right now there is especially strong buzz among academy members enthused over "Pan's Labyrinth."

The comments to this entry are closed.


Actually, Chinese cinema DO have a range of different subject matters, considering that they did put out 300+ films last year (if you're referring to China, not Hong Kong), unfortunately, international audiences are more likely to embrace some big budget martial arts piece than some good contemporary drama (or rather, the latter seem to be the ones to secure international distribution).

Hong Kong is no different, the selection of The Banquet as their Oscar representative was controversial, considering the lukewarm response it had back home (and that it wasn't really that much a Hong Kong film, the director, main actress and majority of the crew being from Mainland China and all), and that there were so many other actual Hong Kong films better than it last year. Like Johnnie To's two Election films and Exiled (guy's on a roll, been achieving a combination of artistic and commercial success that Wong Kar Wai, Tsui Hark and John Woo would have envied, yet he remains unknown outside Hong Kong).

RBB, I give the list of the 9 finalists in this item. Then linked to the original list from which it was pared down. I don't understand your question. The link is properly identified.

And just where, Tom, is the official list of the nine finalists? It ain't on the Academy's website; your link only covers the 61 submitted films. But then the Academy didn't publish its disqualifications for Beyoncé in Best Original Song, which Beyoncé's publicist confirmed; nor "Arthur and the Invisibles" in Best Animated Feature Film, even though that reduced the number of nominations from five to three.

CURSE OF THE GOLDEN FLOWER snubbed?? Well, face it...It's pretty much the same ole reduntant martial arts, empire/dynasty period piece like all other Chinese films of late...been there, seen that. Chinese cinema needs to put out more original material than usual martial arts period stuff. Just like Holocaust gets mighty tired of the same subject matter.



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