Award season continues with SAGs
Quentin Tarantino’s World War Two movie “Inglourious Basterds” won its biggest award so far on Saturday, taking the top prize at the Screen Actors Guild awards. Jeff Bridges and Sandra Bullock were hailed as best movie actor and actress of 2009 on a night where no single movie dominated but which lined the two stars up for likely Oscar glory in March. “Inglourious Basterds,” a violent and darkly comic revenge fantasy, won for best ensemble for a multinational cast that included American Brad Pitt, Germany’s Diane Kruger and Austrian Christoph Waltz, who also added the SAG best supporting actor trophy to his slew of awards. The Tarantino movie had already won a string of film critics’ awards but none as prestigious as the award chosen by the 120,000 members of the Screen Actors Guild. Bullock, previously best known for romantic comedies, plays a wealthy white mother who takes a downtrodden black high school football player into her home in “The Blind Side.” Bridges’ performance as a drunken country singer in “Crazy Heart” has brought the best accolades of a career that started when he was a baby.
BAFTAs boost hopes of Oscars for ‘Avatar,’
Two of the front-runners at this year’s Oscars – “Avatar” and “The Hurt Locker” as well as home-grown favorite “An Education” – lead the pack at the BAFTAs with eight nominations each, including best picture nods. Another two of the top Oscar contenders — “Up in the Air” and “Precious” – fared less well, though they count best picture nods among their six and four BAFTA bids, respectively. Another favorite at the Oscars — “Inglorious Basterds” – also earned six BAFTA nominations, including directing and screenplay nods for Quentin Tarantino, but was bumped from the best picture race. Among the other Oscar hopefuls, “District 9” landed seven nominations, including directing and screenplay bids while “Star Trek” earned just two tech nods. “Up” contends in four categories, including animated film and original screenplay. That latter category is also where “The Hangover” and “A Serious Man” each earned their only BAFTA bids. “Nine” was nominated only for hair and makeup while “Invictus” was shut out.
Though the BAFTA laurels have foreseen only three best-picture Oscar winners – Gladiator” (2000), “The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King” (2003) and “Slumdog Millionaire” (2008) – since these kudos were moved up in 2000 to take place while academy members are still voting, they do far better at predicting the acting awards.
Born in the USSR, exhibition at Mora Gallery
‘Born in the USSR’, a painting exhibition by Valeriu Schiau was opened at the Mora gallery last week. The display can be seen through February 12. According to the author, the painting subject is the ‘Socialist period of the Soviet empire from its beginning and up to 1989, as the generations who were born and lived into a system different than today’s lacked the opportunity to express themselves freely’ . The Valeriu Schiau exhibit denounces the ‘process of killing people’s souls through direct blows applied to children,’ a fine arts statistics of a black period in human history: ‘the socialist period of the Soviet empire,’ as the author himself calls it. According to critics, ‘Schia’s works illustrate in a direct, tender and unexpected way Stalin’s words that a human’s death is a tragedy, yet the death of millions of people is but a statistics.’ ‘Schiau paints: his figurative art is an open wound. Schiau tests in silence, embraces the tragic, both he instability of the private memory and any future projection. His obsession with the embrionary structure motive triggers not only an army of spectral appearances, but also a deep, meditative mood focused on the balance between life and death’, according to art critic Aurelia Mocanu. ‘Born in the USSR’ is Mora Gallery’s first artistic project in the ‘MORA 2010’ exhibiting program part of which there will be shown art works by Romanian and foreign artists. It illustrates various techniques of painting, installations, photography, video and performances. The 11 projects by Romanian and foreign artists are developed based on topics chosen according to the ideas and desires of any artist, without being brokered by any curatorial element whatsoever. The projects were picked following a Projects Appeal Mora Foundation launched in 2009.
Romanian top artists vying for Eurovision entry
Some of the best known Romanian artists have expressed their wish to represent Romania in this year’s Oslo Eurovision contest, due in May. Among them, Marcel Pavel, Paula Seling, Rona Hartner or Anda Adam, in a competition that has already enlisted no more, no less than 111 artists for the March national competition selection. A jury was to decide yesterday who the 15 finalists are. This is also mainly due to the fact that Romania has been constantly occupying the lagging positions in the European contest over the past years, last year Elena Gheorghe came 19, while in 2008, Nico& Vlad Mirita came on 20th position. In 2005, singer Luminita Anghel and System had the best performance our country has had in Eurovision, the third place with “Let Me Try.” Another notable performance was Marcel Pavel’s in 2002, who came 9th with “Tell Me Why”. Whoever will get to perform this year in the Oslo best song competition, they will have to compete against Goran Bregovic, who was recently confirmed by Serbia as composer as their Eurovision entry.
Award season continues with SAGs