Spanish Cinema—Beginning in March and continuing through May, the National Hispanic Cultural Center (1701 Fourth Street SW) will host the Spanish Civil War Film Series. The series kicks off Thursday, March 2, with Vacas, Julio Medem's drama about the rivalry between two Basque families between 1870 and 1932. The film nabbed Medem “Best New Director” honors at the 1992 Goya Awards (Spain's equivalent to the Oscars). Future films in the series include Fernando Trueba's Belle Epoque (March 23), Jose Luis Cuerda's La Lengua de las Mariposas (April 6) and Juan Antonio Bardem's Lorca: Muerte de una Poeta (April 20). All screenings begin at 7 p.m. in the NHCC's Wells Fargo Auditorium. Films will be presented in Spanish with English subtitles and are free (entrada gratuita!) to the public.
Middle East thriller stirs up controversy
Coming out at the time that it does, it's probably no wonder that the Palestinian film Paradise Now has been so controversial. The film has been nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Film category. Though the nation of Israel never raised any formal complaints, the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences has received a number of “individual requests” to stop saying the film is from Palestine. (Israel does not recognize the sovereignty of the nation.) So far, the Academy has not budged. But, if you hear the presenter announce on Oscar night that the film originates from the “Palestinian Authority,” then you know the pressures got bigger.
Bruce plays cat-and-mouse with a convict and a mustache in tow
Bruce Willis has long been an advocate of the “hair style” of acting. That is the fine art of using one's chosen hairstyle to express character. Often--but not always--it works like this: Shaved-bald Bruce is an action star (see Armageddon, Tears of the Sun), hairpiece-wearing Bruce is a dramatic actor (see Bandits, The Sixth Sense). For his newest film, 16 Blocks, Bruce rocks a bad mustache and his natural receding hairline, indicating a character somewhere between Action Bruce and Dramatic Bruce.
“The 78th Annual Academy Awards” on ABC
Odds are pretty good that--no matter who takes home Oscar gold this year--the 78th Annual Academy Awards telecast will suffer a ratings dip. For starters, it's part of an overall trend. Oscar ratings have gone down steadily since runaway smash Titanic swept through the categories at the 1997 kudocast. Some blame it on the length of the show. Some blame it on the caliber of films chosen. (Almost as many people saw last year's Best Picture winner Million Dollar Baby as saw all five Best Picture nominees this year.) But the bottom line is this: For true film fans, there is no night more exciting than Oscar night.
The Week in SlothHighlights from around the dial. Except no one has dials anymore.