Best Asian Artist Thailand: Tilly Birds
Best New Asian Artist Mandarin: Anson Lo
Best Hip Hop & Urban Music:  Ash Island “Melody”
 
Best Male Group: BTS
This star-studded hybrid event took place at the new CJ Studio Center at the city of Paju, an hour away from Seoul. K-pop idols and other celebrities were met with 499-strong crowd, armed with light sticks and clappers and an impressive stage setup.
Best Dance Performance Female Group: Aespa “Next Level”
Best Female Group: Twice
Best New Asian Artist Vietnam: Hoàng Duyên
Best Art Director of the Year: Mu:E
Best Producer of the Year: Teddy
Best Asian Artist Mandarin: Accusefive
Best Asian Artist Indonesia: Anneth
Tik Tok Album of the Year: BTS “Be”
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Best Video Director of the Year: Lumpens
Best Collaboration: AKMU “Nakka” (with IU)
Best Female Artist: IU
Best Choreographer of the Year: Lee Jung Lee
Solo singer, IU claimed three awards including “best female artist,” “best vocal performance” and “Best collaboration.”
Best Asian Artist Vietnam: Quân A.P
Tik Tok Artist of the Year: BTS
Best Male Artist: Baekhyun
BTS were the big winners of nine awards, Saturday at the Mnet Asia Music Awards (MAMA), the annual celebration of K-pop. Though the band were not present in person they scooped four grand prizes including “artist of the year,” “song of the year,” “album of the year” and “worldwide icon of the year.”
Best Vocal Performance: IU “Celebrity”
Tik Tok Song of the Year: BTS “Butter”
Though the BTS crew were in quarantine, the boys thanked their ARMY of die-hard fans dedicated awards to them in their acceptance speeches.
Best Band Performance: Jannabi
The emotional moment of the night was the reunion of disbanded boyband Wanna One as they sang familiar tunes, “Energetic,” “Burn It Up” and “Beautiful.” Awards host, Lee Hyori’s collaboration with dance crews from reality competition program “Street Woman Fighter” also left fans in awe.
Best New Asian Artist Japan: Ado
Best Dance Performance Solo: Rosé “On The Ground”
Best New Asian Artist Thailand: Sprite x GuyGeeGee
Best Asian Artist Japan: Jo1
Best Composer of the Year: Yoo Young Jin
Best New Asian Artist Indonesia: Lyodra
Best New Male Artist: Enhypen
Korean Tourism Organization Breakout Artist: Brave Girls
Worldwide Fans’ Choice Top 10 (in order of presentation): Stray Kids, NCT Dream, NCT 127, Enhypen, Tomorrow x Together, BTS, Lisa, Seventeen, Treasure, Twice
Tik Tok Worldwide Icon of the Year: BTS
Best Engineer of the Year: Gu Jong Pil, Kwon Nam Woo
Favorite Asian Artist: Ini
Tik Tok Favorite Moment: BTS
Best Dance Performance Male Group: BTS “Butter”
Best Executive Producer of the Year: Bang Si Hyuk
Favorite International Artist: Ed Sheeran
Best OST: Cho Jung Seok “Like You” from “Hospital Playlist” Season 2
Ed Sheeran, named favorite international artist, sang acoustic versions of “Bad Habits” and “Shivers.” A special segment paying tribute to Korean hip hop, and celebrating the tenth anniversary of reality TV series “Show Me The Money” saw hip hop artists Dynamicduo, Paloalto, Giriboy, Justhis, Lil Boi, Lee Young Ji and Gwangil Jo share the stage performing “Resume +82.”
MAMA full winners' list 2021
Best New Female Artist:  Aespa
Stray Kids, named among the top ten most popular acts, delivered powerful choreographies with “Cheese,” “Thunderous” and “Hey Monster” with hip hop sub-unit 3Racha. Best new male artist Enhypen wowed with their energetic dance performances for “Drunk-Dazed” and “Tamed-Dashed.” The night was not short of performances from many of the acts named as winners. Itzy’s performed “Loco” and “In the morning” with special guest Heo Sung Tae of “Squid Game.” Brave Girls, a special award winner, brought a summery vibe onstage with performance of “Rollin” and “Chi Mat Ba Ram” in white dresses.

He was also the first Fox News anchor to moderate a general-election presidential debate, in 2016. Wallace is the first employee in Fox News Channel’s 25 years of existence to get nominated for an Emmy, for his July 2018 meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Wallace tested negative. He also moderated a debate between then-President Donald Trump and then-challenger Joe Biden before the 2020 election. The debate proved chaotic as the two candidates parried around Wallace's efforts to keep order. But he lent credibility to a network with opinion hosts who often generate controversy. Subsequently, President Trump revealed he had tested positive for coronavirus and Wallace and other Fox News Channel personnel were tested.
“We are extremely proud of our journalism and the stellar team that Chris Wallace was a part of for 18 years. Bret Baier, John Roberts, Shannon Bream, Martha MacCallum, Jennifer Griffin, Neil Cavuto, Dana Perino and Bill Hemmer are among the network's news staffers who are likely to take the Sunday seat in weeks to come, according to a person familiar with the matter. The legacy of 'Fox News Sunday' will continue with our star journalists, many of whom will rotate in the position until a permanent host is named," the network said in a statement. Fox News Channel is expected to staff "Sunday," which has been an integral part of its programing since 1996, when it was launched with moderator Tony Snow, with a rotation of hosts.
CNN has been aggressively hiring for its soon-to-launch streaming effort, a new initiative that comes after many of its rivals have already entered the broadband market. Fox News debuted the subscription-based Fox Nation in 2018, and has since that time launched separate streaming hubs aimed at overseas customers and weather aficionados. NBCUniversal, which backs MSNBC, has also set up a portfolio of streaming products, including bespoke efforts around its "Today" morning franchise; a general-news service, NBC News Now; and a progressive-news outlet, The Choice, that is affiliated with MSNBC.
There is more. ABC News has a new production deal with George Stephanopoulos that has already resulted in two documentary specials for Hulu, and yesterday released coverage of “Good Morning America” co-anchor Michael Strahan’s trip to space with Blue Origin. CBS News intends to bring together its linear newsgathering with that of its streaming outlet, CBSN.
I’m ready for a new adventure. The words will be the last he utters on the program. "I want to try something new, to go beyond politics to all the things I’m interested in. And I hope you’ll check it out," said Wallace. Wallace delivered the news himself, in the last minutes of his "Fox News Sunday," which he has anchored for nearly two decades on the Fox Corporation-owned outlet.
 Fox News last announced a contract extension for Wallace in 2017, and his current agreement with Fox News is believed to have come to an end. CNN confirmed Wallace's jump less than two hours after Wallace announced his departure, and said he would lead a daily show during which he would interview newsmakers from the worlds of politics, business, sports and culture.
The network pushed Shannon Bream's 11 p.m. news show, "Fox News @ Night" to midnight in favor of a late-night program led by Greg Gutfeld, which has proven to be one of its biggest successes in recent years. Since the 2020 election, Fox News has come under scrutiny for the amount of time it devotes to opinion programming, which represents its most popular and most watched offerings, and its news content. Fox News' 7 p.m. Shepard Smith, who led Fox News' breaking-news coverage for years and sometimes challenged opinion hosts like Tucker Carlson on air, parted ways with the network in 2019, and has subsequently taken the reins of an evening-news program on CNBC.” /> hour, which had been led by Martha MacCallum, was made into an opinion-led hour, and is anchored by a rotating array of hosts.
CNN earlier this year hired Kristin Fisher, a Fox News Channel White House correspondent, to cover space and defense. And CNN famously hired Paula Zahn in 2001, and she anchored a handful of different programs until 2007. Alisyn Camerota, a staple of Fox News Channel's daytime schedule, has thrived at CNN in mornings and afternoons. CNN has filled countless minutes of its schedule with criticism of Fox News Channel, but it has benefitted over the years by hiring some of its veteran personnel.
“People know that I’m going to ask probing questions and that it’s not going to be softball,” Wallace told Variety in 2019. He didn't push a particular partisan side, but instead burnished a reputation for challenging authority. Among Fox News' pantheon of on-air personalities, Wallace cut a different figure.
Chris Wallace is leaving Fox News Channel, he announced on his program Sunday morning, and will join the CNN Plus streaming-video outlet, a move that abruptly sunders the cable-news outlet's connection with one of its most recognized and independent journalists.
In July, CNN poached Kasie Hunt, the up-and-coming NBC News congressional correspondent, for CNN Plus, and since that time has also recruited Jenn Suozzo, the former executive producer of "NBC Nightly News." CNN said in July it intended to bolster its new service with original programming that would make it distinct from its flagship cable outlet.

Another writer-director with a quarter-century of experience helming features, and the same last name, is Paul Thomas Anderson. While “Licorice Pizza” isn’t as directly autobiographical as “Belfast,” the comic romance might be his most personal. He used the true stories of his friend, producer Gary Goetzman, to capture the mood and feel of 1970s San Fernando Valley better than any film since, well, his 1998 porn industry saga “Boogie Nights.”
When the stars align and the director is a sentimental favorite, too, that’s great.” “The sentimentality is secondary to the question of what [people feel it] would look best to vote for. “My impression is that the Academy has always voted for sentimental favorites in every category, except when people have absolutely no clue about what the meaning of the category is,” such as technical awards, says former New York Film Festival head and DGA voter Kent Jones, who helmed “Hitchcock/Truffaut,” a doc about two auteurs who never won a director Oscar. Does not winning a director Oscar after helming acclaimed features for 25, 32, 43 (Almodóvar) or 44 years (Ridley Scott, whose “House of Gucci” is gaining awards buzz for its performances) and being a sentimental favorite benefit any of these vets?
… Of course, the terrifying challenge is to manifest the whole world of 1925 Montana so that an audience will trust and lean into the experience. [It’s] a harsh environment with such an extraordinary wind factor on location that standing up in some moments was impossible. “This project had a great balance of a whole lot of fear with a whole lot of inspiration,” Campion says. “What was the fear? And the inspiration? There are a lot of big and dangerous animals on the ranch. Always the actors, and supporting their mysterious, subtle work of embodying their characters.” Managing the depiction of a very masculine world.
Almodóvar also dives into his country’s fraught political history for the first time in “Parallel Mothers.” As the film tells the story of two single moms (Penélope Cruz and Milena Smit) whose lives become intertwined after they meet in a maternity ward, it features a subplot about exhuming the graves of citizens who were disappeared during the dictatorship of Francisco Franco.
But Anderson, whose work has been as varied as “There Will Be Blood” and “Phantom Thread,” downplayed the suggestion that he was entering a reflective phase. Don’t worry, I can still be cranky!” he cracked. “But I had a friend, [late AMPAS president] Tom Sherak, a great man, who said [after watching], maybe it was ‘The Master,’ ‘You’re really, really good at this, but you should make one every once in a while that people actually understand.’ I remember putting this together and I thought, ‘This is for you, Tom.’” “This just came like a very generous drop into my lap. It was irresistible and felt important to pursue.
Like Campion, Branagh has arguably done his best work to date with “Belfast.” After helming several Shakespeare adaptations (including his 1989 debut, “Henry V”) and big-budget movies, he revisits his childhood during Northern Ireland’s conflicts for his most intimate project.
But her adaptation of Thomas Savage’s 1967 novel “The Power of the Dog” shifts her focus to a sadistic rancher (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his impact on a near-exclusively male cast of characters. Since her first feature, 1989’s “Sweetie,” Campion has almost solely explored the inner lives of female protagonists.
“Penélope’s character is acting one way but feeling another, and that’s a very difficult thing to manage as a director and as an actor. It’s much more somber and restrained [than my other films], because I needed that kind of containment.” The film marked other firsts for him as well. “It’s a movie with few actors, and it’s very complex because of its complex characters, so I’m really relying on the actors to carry the movie,” he says.
In exclusive new interviews with Campion, Branagh, Almodóvar and Wes Anderson — plus some unpublished thoughts from Paul Thomas Anderson — this reporter discovered how they built on their distinctive histories and tackled new challenges in films that embody their mastery of the form.
I wasn’t really thinking about historical memory; I was more interested in documenting life in the streets, what young people were doing. One of the greatest challenges was [filming] the opening of the graves, because of the sensitive nature of the topic and out of respect for the people. But in the last 20 years, I’ve been more concerned about the social problems of my country. Spain is the country with [the most] missing people after Cambodia. “It represents my biological maturity — I’m getting older,” says the 72-year-old director. “In the ’80s, I thought more about my freedom and the freedom of my characters. I had to shoot in a documentary-like style, and we took great care in constructing the different layers of the graves — these are all special effects.” I think I was political because all of my characters had absolute moral autonomy. I wanted to talk about the mass graves, but I didn’t find the right script [until ‘Mothers’].
It needed to be owned by the actors. Branagh says he also “vacuumed up anything that was real life, including — much more than in my other films — improvisation, making sure that the film was not a navel-gazing exercise. [Yet it’s] my most exposed, vulnerable and possibly my most complete work as a director. A director friend thought it was a surprisingly new tone from me, and if you’re surprising people after 30 years as a director, it’s a lovely thing to hear. I certainly surprised myself.”
“Drawing [that] portrait alongside Ben was an exhilarating exploration, one that we both knew the entire film depended on.” “For Benedict, the challenge was particularly steep; how to create this seething, tormented man,” she says. The latter is very much in Campion’s wheelhouse.
Tackling an anthology is one of several firsts for Anderson. One is sort of about the courage and inspiration and feelings of freedom of young people who follow the impulse to protest or [offer] resistance, [and we] spend a lot of time with writers in this movie. “Our movie is a collection of short stories, so our subject matter veers off down many routes. I don’t know if I have specifically done a sequence that was meant to be a poem before, which I sort of tried to do in one of these little stories.”
“Life is so precious and unsettled now [with COVID], and so reminiscent of the time back then. Not really knowing what the world would be like [made me feel], ‘If not now, when?’ I was compelled to do it.” His goal? “The experience was overwhelming, and my family never spoke about the day that riot [re-enacted in the film] happened or the events that led to our departure from Belfast, [so] it took a very, very long time to obtain any objectivity to be able to consider them,” Branagh says. “To inhabit the perspective of a child handling a nightmare and trying to work it out with his dreams — of football, romance, movies — as a heightened means of escape.”
When asked if his film’s political subject matter might be one reason, Almodóvar points out that he “experienced the same thing 19 years ago with ‘Talk to Her,’ and curiously with the same director and the same actor [Javier Bardem in “Mondays in the Sun”]. Despite “Mothers” being one of the best-reviewed works of his career, Spain chose Fernando León de Aranoa’s comedy “The Good Boss” as its official 2022 selection for international feature. And perhaps you are right — part of the country is against [excavating] the mass graves. I got all the awards you could imagine for that film, but in Spain, the movie [won virtually none]. Perhaps I was too successful for many people there at the time. A phrase that Milena Smit’s character says in the film, ‘This is only good for opening old wounds,’ is almost like a rallying cry from the right … In any case, the answer isn’t nice to me. What I recommend is to see the other movie and compare the two.”
But reaction to the snub could end up benefitting him: it helped “Talk to Her” land Almodóvar his sole director Oscar nomination and a rare original screenplay win for a foreign-language film. The screenplay award is a longstanding consolation prize for writer-directors who lose in other categories, and could benefit someone like Branagh or Campion, who won one for “The Piano.”
Toronto Intl. Film Festival CEO and Academy voter Cameron Bailey says, “There are very few times where there’s a momentum of support for directors because they haven’t won before and they deserve it. Martin Scorsese’s award for ‘The Departed’ was one of a few examples, because he wasn’t onstage collecting the Oscar for ‘Taxi Driver’ and ‘Raging Bull.’”
I was excited to see what happened when it came together, [and] I wanted to experience that impact.” The tension-filled dance between him and the other actors, set against the kind of breathtaking landscapes Campion captured in her 1993 breakthrough “The Piano,” keeps audiences on the edge of their seats. “The content of the story [and] its texture is beautiful to me, because it feels personal, particular and ranges between tenderness and brutality … I like the contrast [of] the formal qualities of story with the mess, beauty and rawness of life. ‘The Power of the Dog’ has that rare balance of form and content that I believe has a fusion that is original and explosive.
We let the environment speak to us.” “COVID protocols and child working hours reduced our shooting time and gave me no time to second guess, so first choices from the gut were the ones we stuck to. His war-torn hometown and scenes of family life are captured in vivid black and white, with many artfully composed shots. And with direct access to something deep inside of me, we were unashamedly poetic: we filmed the rain, the clouds, the leaves.
What new challenges did it present? This was new for me, though [in] my previous movie ‘Isle of Dogs,’ we did play quite a lot with words spoken and seen, and especially translation. “Sometimes one character speaks French and another answers in English. I think we may have taken the art/science of subtitling in an ever-so-slightly new direction!” “I don’t know if you would call it a challenge, but a lot of this movie is in French,” Anderson says. We frankly just mix the languages any way we like. While it’s not a candidate for international feature, Anderson’s anthology “The French Dispatch” — which follows writers, artists and students in the fictitious French town of Ennui-sur-Blasé — plays like one at moments.
“I didn’t exactly have that kind of charisma or that way with words — he’s one of a kind — but the stories he told [offered] an opportunity to enter a world that I remember very well. 11 New York City screening this reporter attended. “You just sort of substitute a movie camera with a waterbed or a pinball palace, and I was probably an extension of Gary,” Anderson said at a Nov. And having [four] children, [it allowed me] to show them the world that I grew up in.”
The deadpan dialogue, elaborate art direction, inventive cinematography and set design all make it unmistakably his creation, yet it’s arguably his most ambitious film to date. His response mirrors the film’s quirky humor, which includes some subtle commentary on the awards season, one of Anderson’s many trademarks. “I always think I am doing something I have never attempted before, but I’m not so sure other people see it that way when they watch my movies,” he says. Each one brings an entirely new voice to the thing in every way.” “I had stupendous experiences with actors new to me and old to me.
They’ve helmed acclaimed films for decades, earned Academy Award nominations and done some of their best work this year … yet they’ve never won a director Oscar. What do Pedro Almodóvar, Paul Thomas Anderson, Wes Anderson, Kenneth Branagh and Jane Campion have in common?
“I think he should stop talking so much.”” /> What’s clear is that this year’s crop of great films from auteurs in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s belies Quentin Tarantino’s recent statement that “most ódirectors have horrible last movies,” implying that they’d be better off retiring early. “Sometimes that’s true, but sometimes somebody makes ‘The Irishman,’” Jones says.
To convey this, Branagh used editing to add “unexpected jolts of color, movement and violence into this largely still world.”

More recently, that was the case with 2017's original musical "The Greatest Showman," which stumbled with a measly $8.8 million start. But audiences fell in love with the music and returned to theaters multiple times for sing-along screenings, eventually propelling domestic ticket sales to $171 million. "In the past, we've seen musicals connect with critics and audiences and go on a run," says David A. Gross, who runs the movie consulting firm Franchise Entertainment Research, in reference to "Chicago," which opened to $10 million and eventually earned $170 million in North America. Though it has timeless numbers like "Somewhere" and "America," it's unlikely that "West Side Story" songs will return to radio's top 10 charts and inspire repeat viewings.
Their romance fuels the area's rival street gangs, the white Sharks and the Puerto Rican Jets. Unfortunately, it will lose most of its placement on PLF screens when "Spider-Man: No Way Home" debuts next weekend. "West Side Story" had a strong turnout on premium large formats (PLF), with IMAX contributing $1 million in domestic ticket sales. Based on the 1957 Broadway musical, "West Side Story" was written by Tony Kushner and features mostly unknown stars in Ansel Elgort and Rachel Zegler, who play ill-fated lovers Tony and Maria. Reception from ticket buyers has been encouraging (it landed an "A" CinemaScore), but "West Side Story" is not expected to replicate "The Greatest Showman"-level staying power because older audiences — the movie's core demographic — haven't been eager to return to the movies. The ensemble cast also includes Ariana DeBose as Anita, David Alvarez as Bernardo, Mike Faist as Riff and Rita Moreno as Valentina, a newly created role.
Most movies that have managed to become commercially successful have been catered to younger males. After October set pandemic box office records, thanks to "Venom: Let There Be Carnage" and "No Time to Die," movie theater attendance has taken a downturn. That will change next week when Sony's comic book sequel "Spider-Man: No Way Home" hits cinemas. What remains clear, though, is that adult crowds have been staying at home.
Moviegoing conditions remain impaired," Gross says. "That was then, and this is now.
Sony's "Ghostbusters: Afterlife" has been another popular option, mostly among male moviegoers. In its fourth weekend of release, the sci-fi comedy sequel landed in third place with $7.1 million from 3,815 screens. At No. That takes its North American tally to a respectable $112 million. The superhero epic, which opened in early November, has collected $161 million to date.” /> Disney and Marvel's "Eternals" rounded out the top five with $3.1 million from 3,030 cinemas. 4, MGM's crime drama "House of Gucci" added $4 million over the weekend, boosting its domestic total to $41 million.
"West Side Story" at least earned more than Universal's recent "Dear Evan Hansen" adaptation, which premiered to $7.4 million, but that's not exactly a high bar considering "Dear Evan Hansen" was skewered by critics. Though every new movie musical has struggled to entice audiences in COVID times, it's worrisome for both theater operators and traditional studios that "West Side Story" — one of the most beloved stories in musical theater history and under the direction of Hollywood's most commercially successful filmmaker — sold fewer tickets in its initial weekend than "In the Heights" ($11.5 million debut), a lesser known song-and-dance property that premiered simultaneously on HBO Max. It may be possible to attract moviegoers between Christmas and New Year's, but it's a bad start for one of the most critically acclaimed films of the year — and one that opened exclusively in theaters. And, "In the Heights" and "Dear Evan Hansen" cost far less to make than "West Side Story."
Audiences didn't open their wallets to see the infamous rivalry between the Sharks and the Jets play out on the big screen.
So far, international audiences haven't been particularly receptive to "West Side Story." The movie has generated $4.4 million from 37 overseas markets, bringing its global tally to $14.9 million. "If 'West Side Story' is going to be profitable, it will need to connect internationally as well domestically," Gross says.
"National Champions" opened at No. It's an embarrassing result, even by COVID-19 standards. After an exclusive run in theaters, STX is positioning "National Champions" to land on premium video-on-demand platforms to coincide with college football's title match in January. "West Side Story" looks like a blockbuster compared to this weekend's other new nationwide release, STX's almost entirely unseen athletic drama "National Champions." The film, starring Stephan James and J.K. 14 on box office charts behind  New Line's "Elf" re-release; the perennial holiday favorite brought in $343,000 from only 630 theaters. Simmons, flopped in its debut, bringing in $300,000 from 1,197 theaters.
Since opening around Thanksgiving, "Encanto" has amassed $71 million in North America and $150 million globally. 1 spot, the animated musical fable has slid to second place with $9.4 million from 3,750 locations. After two weekends in the No. In a positive sign for family-centric movies, Disney's "Encanto" has continued to draw crowds.
"West Side Story," Steven Spielberg's remake of the classic musical, fell flat in its box office debut, collecting a paltry $10.5 million from 2,820 theaters. That's cause for concern because Disney and 20th Century Studios spent $100 million to revive the Shakespearean love story for modern times and stand to lose millions, unless "West Side Story" endures at the box office through the holidays and Oscar season.

Spielberg first expressed interest in the project in 2014. Trump had launched his run for office on a toxic wave of anti-immigration rhetoric. Latin racial strife was something that Spielberg believed struck a timely chord. But not as divided as we find ourselves today. Where does "West Side Story" fit into all this? The new "West Side Story" was conceived, in no small part, as a liberal message movie designed to address and heal those racial divisions. In 2015, the year that Trump announced his presidential campaign, the director issued a statement saying, "The divisions between the Sharks and the Jets in 1957, which inspired the musical, were profound. But there’s no question that the musical’s theme of white vs. It turned out that in the middle of the development of the script, things widened, which I think in a sense, sadly, made the story of those racial divides — not just territorial divides — more relevant to today's audience than perhaps it even was in 1957." Spielberg has discussed how when he was growing up, "West Side Story" was the first piece of popular music allowed into his home and how he fell in love with it.
Yet even knowing all that, the returns on "West Side Story" were an eyebrow-raiser. Even when you consider all the factors working against mass movie attendance in the age of COVID, there was a wish — and a solid if not quite certain expectation ­— that a musical this grand, this entrenched in the bones of the culture, reimagined by an artist with a name as mythical as Steven Spielberg, was a gotta-see-it proposition, one that could transcend the usual pandemic stumbling blocks. Surely families would go!
There’s an ecstatic tone wafting through the reviews. I liked Steven Spielberg’s emotionally energized, visually bustling "West Side Story" just fine, though I’m not as over the moon about it as some of my critical colleagues. I raise the issue because you would have expected that collective hosanna to be one of many things that inspired people to go out and see the movie.
The adaptation of a 64-year-old Broadway musical, offered up as a vigorous remake of the beloved 1961 Oscar-winning film, is a movie whose success was always going to depend on the turnout of older viewers — and during the pandemic, a good portion of that audience, ruled by safety concerns and with streaming at its disposal, has been choosing to stay home. Without tapping into that powerful youth demo, a 2021 movie is operating at a major disadvantage. Sure, there were hopes that younger folks would show up to see "West Side Story." But the numbers only proved what many have long believed: that Gen Z doesn’t much like musicals, certainly not classic older musicals (though some of them dug "The Greatest Showman," and with good reason). The shocking disappointment of "West Side Story’s" opening-weekend box-office take — a total of just $10.5 million, $1 million less than what "In the Heights" made and only $3 million more than "Dear Evan Hansen," and both of those were considered lackluster performers — can be chalked up to the litany of explanations that everyone is giving it.
Sure, it’s more authentic, but part of the very thing that people cherish about the older film is its backlot corniness. Instead, those cataclysms seem to have spoken back to it and to have crushed it.” /> People have seen the 1961 version countless times, they’ve seen high-school productions, maybe they’ve seen one of the Broadway revivals — and the music is so famous that it's as if it's never stopped playing. But the "new" part, aside from the racially authentic casting and the swirling camera moves, was supposed to be that this film about the tragedy of tribal ethnic antagonism could speak, in fresh ways, to the cataclysms of our time. The whole premise of Spielberg’s "West Side Story" is that it was going to be old and new at the same time. I guess I’m asking: As rousing a movie as "West Side Story" sometimes is, why, apart from Spielberg’s name, would anyone have expected a remake of this musical to be a surefire hit? I don’t agree with critics who say that the new version is simply "better" than the 1961 original. (I would argue that it’s got a more indelible neon color scheme.) And though the fact that "West Side Story" is such a classic in our culture would seem to be a key selling point, perhaps it’s one that also works against the movie.
Or was he making a movie that would turn out to be perilously behind the times? Nothing wrong with that. There’s been quite a gap, extended by the pandemic (which delayed the film's release by a year), between Trump’s original despicable bursts of racist rhetoric and the arrival of "West Side Story." And while Trump never let go of the racism, the whole build-the-wall era was, in Trump time, 17 scandals ago. They feel more like a hippie flower stuck in a gun barrel. Yet in thinking of "West Side Story" on those terms, was Spielberg making a movie that would, in fact, be galvanizingly topical? (He has more Hispanic support now than he did then.) The truth is that we now occupy an era so scalded, so torn by division, when not just racial enlightenment but democracy itself is threatened, that the pieties of "West Side Story" don’t even qualify as a Band-Aid.
In 2005, he made two movies — one pop, one serious —that added up to a sidelong commentary on the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath. And "Munich," which I consider to be one of Spielberg’s five greatest films (along with "Jaws," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind," "Schindler’s List" and "Saving Private Ryan"), was his hypnotic thriller meditation on the seductions and perils of vengeance. "War of the Worlds" was his disruption-from-another-world movie, with a chaos that channeled our own sense of how America had been ripped asunder. (At this point, it's beyond forgotten.) And "The Post," the newsroom drama about the Pentagon Papers that Spielberg made the year after Donald Trump’s election, was the director’s timely comment on what freedom of the press really means and how insidiously the crackdowns against it can work. "Lincoln" (2012), made just when if felt like our frayed political system was starting to crumble, was Spielberg’s pointed portrait of how a great president has to work in tandem with his political adversaries — the very thing we were forgetting how to do.
To find the answer to that, I think you have to look at why the remake of "West Side Story" exists in the first place, what its appeal was always intended to be, and why that appeal, as envisioned by Spielberg, may have evaporated. As a critic, I can’t pretend to be inside a filmmaker’s head, yet reading the intuitions of directors is part of what critics do; it’s part of how we interpret popular culture. And my reading of Spielberg is that over the last 20 years, he has worked, numerous times now, in a self-styled obsessive genre that I would call the Metaphorical Topical Statement.
Were they all 28-year-old Lady Gaga fans? Sorry, but I don’t think that’s the only explanation for why the movie has connected. It’s a depressing fact of our moviegoing moment that when it comes to prestige dramas pitched to adults, one title after another ("Belfast," "Spencer," "King Richard") has drastically underperformed. It may still be an uphill climb for that movie to make a profit (though the international returns should help), but what’s undeniable is that "House of Gucci" found an audience. Yet one such film has, in fact, succeeded: "House of Gucci," which actually had to fight its way through a blizzard of critical derision (all of it shortsighted, in my opinion). Adults have shown up; the numbers indicate that with the right film, reaching that audience is still possible. Besides, if Lady Gaga is the not-so-secret weapon of "House of Gucci's" success, that still begs a question: Why couldn’t the name Steven Spielberg be the not-so-secret weapon of "West Side Story's"?

While she wasn't as strong in the live comedy segments, the ones that fell flat — primarily a pair of largely incomprehensible holiday-themed skits — did so more for their overly complicated concepts ("Hip-Hop Nativity"?) than her execution.
Eilish said she was joking, called her mom her "best friend" and brought her onstage — wearing a pullover that read "Finneas' mom." Mentioning that both of her parents were actors, she said that her mother decided to make a film about her own life, casting herself as the mother and Billie’s older brother Finneas as her son — and no daughter. Also on theme, Eilish's family — which is deeply involved in her career — made multiple appearances, with mother Maggie coming out during the monologue. Eilish said her acting dream "died" when she was only nine years old — because of her mother.
 
In the broader “SNL” context, it’s fair to say that Eilish ended up pretty high on the non-actor scale — not high enough to encourage quitting her day job, but definitely a few steps above “hey they did okay”s like Kim Kardashian’s recent hosting gig, and quite a few above “they survived it”s like Elon Musk.” />


Apparently, NBC’s sales team didn’t do badly from the appearance either, with no less than four ads involving Eilish or her songs appearing during the show, including three in the first half hour (one for her album, one for “The World’s a Little Blurry” and one for the James Bond film “No Time to Die,” which features her title track; there was also one of her songs in a “Sing 2” ad later in the show).
And although Eilish may not be quitting her day job just yet, she pulled off her debut stint as "SNL" host and musical guest with — to use some appropriately lofty critic terms — elan and aplomb. As if all of the above weren’t challenging enough, Billie Eilish, who turns 20 this coming Saturday, elected to take it on during her penultimate week as a teenager.
As she did on her first appearance on the show in 2019, Eilish nailed her musical performances: The first, a take on “Happier Than Ever” that started off introspective in a bland bedroom setting before pulling away to reveal the audience and finishing in a punk-rock fury, and a more chill version of “Male Fantasy.”
It was appropriately but not overtly self-referential — she came out in a puffy white number she called her “Mrs. As an artist who trained for fame like an Olympic athlete from the age of 14 and was followed around by camera crews for upward of two years (for her “The World’s a Little Blurry” documentary), Eilish is no stranger to cameras, and it showed as she sailed through her opening monologue. Claus” dress, making light of the baggy clothing she famously rocked earlier in her career.

For "SNL"-hosting musicians, there are also the imposing precedents of natural comics like Justin Timberlake and Adele, who’ve crushed hosting gigs even without being the musical guest, or recent double-duty vets like Harry Styles, whose personal charisma could probably carry him through a State of the Union address; Miley Cyrus (who even made a brief cameo last night); or Chance the Rapper, who, in a probable “SNL” first, nailed his comedy but fell short musically. And of course there's the gold standard, Donald Glover, who not only showed off his formidable acting chops in nearly every skit and nailed two songs, but dropped his epochal video for “This Is America” during the show.



And she did get the giggles on a pair of occasions, particularly a skit with MacKinnon in which they portrayed employees at the most boring hotel in history.

She was best in the pre-recorded skits, one a hilarious holiday-themed number where she exchanged written messages through the window of an apparently shut-in elderly neighbor (played by Kate MacKinnon) who turned out to be not only rabidly right-wing but possibly psychotic; a cover of the Smiths’ “Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want,” possibly sung by Eilish, plays in the background. Throughout the rest of the show, Eilish’s best appearances played to her strengths. In another, she plays a nurse dancing for a TikTok video while a patient flatlines in the background.
And being a musician, who is usually comfortable in front of a live audience but may be less adept at comic timing, arguably equips a person for the role even less. It should go without saying that hosting “Saturday Night Live” is one of the most daunting roles in television. Being a trained actor isn’t enough because you also have to be funny and comfortable in a high-pressure live setting; being a reality-TV or internet celebrity is even less effective training for the same reasons.
The family affair continued throughout the show: Maggie made a second appearance, accompanied by husband Patrick, to introduce Billie's first musical performance, and Finneas, Billie's co-writer and producer and a solo artist on his own, performed both songs with her and made appearances in two skits.

“This is hard to say for me, but the real reason I wore big oversized clothes back then is I was actually two kids stacked on top of each other trying to sneak into a R-rated movie." That mention also referenced what is apparently the end of the blonde, more glam look that accompanied Eilish's latest album, “Happier Than Ever” — her hair is now dyed brown and she wore more casual clothing in her musical performances. It wasn’t just for comfort or for style,” she joked. "Some people wonder why I started wearing baggy clothes, and there was actually a good reason.

Daily COVID-19 testing of everyone at the Steven Sondheim Theatre allows for the opportunity for those who test positive to isolate to help ensure the safety of cast, crew, theater staff and audience members.
Broadway theaters began to mount a reopening effort in August after spending more than a year shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with ticket buyers required to present proof of vaccination to attend shows. Breakthrough cases have occurred over the past few months, forcing some productions to temporarily shut down. In November, "Chicago," the longest-running revival in Broadway history, also canceled a performance over breakthrough cases. Disney's "Aladdin" halted performances for two weeks due to a positive COVID test.
Now, the production is expected to resume performing on Tuesday for a 7 p.m. show. The musical was set for two performances at N.Y.'s Steven Sondheim Theatre on Sunday – a matinee at 2 p.m. and an evening show at 7:30 p.m..
"Mrs. Doubtfire," a new stage musical adaptation of the 1993 comedy starring Robin Williams, has canceled its Sunday performances this week due to overnight detection of positive COVID test results in the production's company. Ticket buyers will be contacted by Telecharge.com for exchanges and refunds.
The production also stars Jenn Gambatese, Peter Bartlet, Charity Angél Dawson, Mark Evans, J. Harrison Ghee, Analise Scarpaci, Jake Ryan Flynn, Avery Sell and Brad Oscar.” /> Doubtfire" features a book by Karey Kirkpatrick and John O'Farrell and music and lyrics by Wayne Kirkpatrick and Karey Kirkpatrick, the creative team behind "Something Rotten!." The musical stars Tony Award nominee Rob McClure as Daniel Hillard, a divorced father who dresses as a nanny to stay close to his children. Helmed by four time-Tony Award winning director Jerry Zaks, "Mrs.

In that atmosphere, and with a press corps unwilling to broach a contentious subject in an inconvenient forum, Elgort has navigated the "West Side Story" release without ever having to address what could have been a career-killing allegation.
It’s helped that Elgort has been an enthusiastic participant in the "West Side Story" press tour. Instead, Disney has engaged in a dexterous press strategy to put Elgort in the public eye in a way that has minimized any possible fallout. Along with talking with James Corden, Elgort appeared on "The Drew Barrymore Show," presented on the American Music Awards, participated in dozens of interviews during the global press junket and walked the full press line at the New York City premiere.
Reproducing virtually all of the vast, intricate sets in “West Side Story” would have been cost prohibitive. Reshooting Elgort's role — like Christopher Plummer did for Kevin Spacey's role in 2017's "All the Money in the World" and Tig Notaro did for Chris D'Elia's role in 2021's "Army of the Dead" — was a non-starter: Unlike Plummer and Notaro, Elgort is not a supporting performer. Elgort's limited presence in the movie’s trailers led some observers to conclude that the studio's strategy would be to severely curtail the actor's media exposure.
"Ask him why he preys on high school sophomores/juniors."
Still, Elgort has been talking, and, to date, no one has asked him about the allegation, including in a brief interview with Variety at the New York premiere.
Other women have since posted to Twitter alleging that Elgort made inappropriate overtures to them over social media when they were underage, with screengrabs that appear to support their claims. Within days of her original post to Twitter, the woman deleted the tweet, shut down her account and has not posted about it since. Elgort also deleted the Instagram post with his response. Another complicating factor is that the entire episode unfolded exclusively over social media. But Elgort has not commented on those allegations; no one else has accused Elgort of anything similar to the original assault allegation; and none of the allegations against him have been independently corroborated.
(Representatives for Elgort and Disney declined to comment for this story.) At first, it seemed like something similar would happen with Elgort and "West Side Story," especially considering that, aside from Rita Moreno, he is the most famous face in the cast — thanks to his breakout roles in "The Fault in Our Stars" and "Baby Driver." Disney's decision to push the December 2020 release a year due to COVID-19 bought the movie some time, at least, but it didn't change the fact that the leading man of one of cinema's most beloved and iconic love stories had been accused of sexually assaulting a teenage girl.
But as for the woman's allegation of assault, Elgort wrote that "her description of events is simply not what happened. I have never and would never assault anyone."
A small sample:
"What about the accusations against Ansel?"
(Hammer has denied any wrongdoing.) Since the #MeToo era began, allegations like this have totally derailed careers and upended the release plans for major films. The allegations of sexual abuse against Armie Hammer at the start of 2021, for example, caused him to be recast in several projects and put the release of his last studio film, 20th Century Studios' ensemble mystery "Death on the Nile," into question.
The comments all stem from an allegation a woman posted to Twitter on June 19, 2020, that Elgort "sexually assaulted" her when she was 17 and he was 20. "So when it happened, instead of asking me if I wanted to stop having sex, knowing it was my first time and I was sobbing in pain and I didn't want to do it, the only words that came out of his mouth were 'we need to break you in.'" The woman said she had messaged Elgort over social media and they connected via Snapchat. "I was just a kid and was a fan of him," she wrote.
Elgort better hope, however, that no one posts the moment to the internet. There’s not nearly as much applause there.” />
The following day, Elgort, now 27, posted to Instagram that he did have a "brief, legal and entirely consensual relationship" with the woman, and that he ghosted her after they broke up, which he said was "an immature and cruel thing to do to someone." The allegation instantly went viral.
"Everyone who made this happen… should be extremely disappointed and disgusted with themselves."
In other words, it was a standard, harmless late night talk show segment. Unless, that is, you looked at the comments for Elgort's appearance on the show's YouTube page.
And while he has posted a few times to Instagram about “West Side Story,” he’s stayed off Twitter entirely, preventing him from promoting the film to his 3.3 million followers there. He has not, however, sat for the kind of in-depth, one-on-one interviews one would expect of the star of a movie of this stature: no feature profiles or cover stories, no lengthy podcast interviews, nothing in which he would almost certainly have been asked about the assault allegation. His junket interviews were also grouped with other actors, further protecting Elgort from the potential of uncomfortable questions.
"Hollywood waited a year hoping everyone would forget to try and bring Ansel back into the Hollywood scene. They think we're dumb?"
But it is at least clear that Elgort’s professional life does not appear to have been harmed. He received an enthusiastic standing ovation. And after "West Side Story" screened for members of SAG-AFTRA the day before the New York City premiere, Elgort was the first member of the cast to step to the stage for the follow-up Q&A. The actor spent much of 2021 shooting the first season of the HBO Max series "Tokyo Vice" with directors Michael Mann and Destin Daniel Cretton. It’s impossible to know what impact these efforts have ultimately had on the movie, which debuted this weekend with an estimated $10.5 million domestically — a striking disappointment that likely has as much to do with consumer reticence to return to movie theaters amid the Omicron COVID-19 variant as any other reason.
When "West Side Story" star Ansel Elgort appeared on "The Late Late Show with James Corden" on Dec. 8, he gushed about attending the lavish New York City premiere for the Steven Spielberg film at Lincoln Center. And he gamely demonstrated how, as a kid, he'd parade around his home performing music from "Fiddler on the Roof." He shared the advice the late Stephen Sondheim, who wrote the lyrics for the show, gave him after a recording session for the movie didn't go well.

The Indian entry this year, P. S. The South Asian regional powerhouse India has flattered to deceive with just three nominations since the category began and in some years the country’s choice of entry has been baffling. The Tamil-language film, which looks at the relationship between a boy and his abusive, alcoholic father, won the top prize at Rotterdam and has displayed robust legs on the festival circuit. Vinothraj’s “Pebbles,” is a sound choice.
"Parasite" won the Palme D'Or, which "Drive My Car" did not, with that honor going to Julia Ducournau's "Titane," which became France's entry to the category. It also recently won at the New York Film Critics Circle. The drama with a theater world backdrop follows the trajectory of South Korean four-statuette winner "Parasite" in that it began its winning ways at Cannes and is festooned with awards en route to the Oscars.
From Thailand, Banjong Pisanthanakun's supernatural horror mockumentary "The Medium," is a box office success, but it remains to be seen if the genre is embraced by Oscar voters. The chances of Singapore's entry, Wayne Peng's "Precious Is The Night," an elegant mystery thriller, and Malaysian entry, Muzzamer Rahman's "Hail Driver!" set in the world of illegal cabs, depend entirely on the awards campaigns mounted by the film teams.
While Korean Ryoo Seung-wan’s “Escape From Mogadishu,” in which North and South Korean embassy staff try to flee war-torn Somalia, does not have quite the momentum that “Parasite” did, the country is very much the flavor du jour as the resounding success of “Squid Game” and the growing popularity of “Hellbound” proves.
From Southeast Asia, the frontrunner is undoubtedly Kamila Andini's girl empowerment tale "Yuni," which won a prize at Toronto, while the Cambodian entry "White Building," Kavich Neang's nostalgic look at a demolished iconic Phnom Penh structure won a top award at Venice.
From Southeast Asia, the frontrunner is undoubtedly Kamila Andini’s girl empowerment tale “Yuni,” which won a prize at Toronto, while the Cambodian entry “White Building,” Kavich Neang’s nostalgic look at a demolished iconic Phnom Penh structure, won a top award at Venice.
The film's theme, that of a teacher on a remote posting who braves the elements and the facilities, is awards friendly and it won big at Palm Springs in 2020. It could therefore find favor with academy voters too provided it has enough visibility.” /> After several years of submitting entries, Pakistan does not have a contender this year and nor does Nepal. Bhutan had submitted Pawo Choyning Dorji's "Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom" last year, but it was disqualified and has been resubmitted this year.
Ryûsuke Hamaguchi's "Drive My Car," Japan's entry to the Academy Awards' international category, looks to be the odds on favorite from Asia to win the category.
Oscar voters are well familiar with the filmmaker as the only two times China has secured nominations are for his “Ju Dou” and “Hero.” While “Cliff Walkers” is nowhere near as jingoistic as some recent efforts from the Middle Kingdom, it is still staunchly nationalistic. China has its best opportunity in years with spy thriller “Cliff Walkers,” which has a globally respected filmmaker in Zhang Yimou.
Over in South Korea, while by Ryoo Seung-wan's "Escape From Mogadishu," where North and South Korean embassy staff try to flee war-torn Somalia, does not have quite the momentum that "Parasite" did, the country is very much a flavor in demand as the resounding success of "Squid Game" and the growing popularity of "Hellbound" proves.
The 2008 win for Yōjirō Takita's "Departures" remains Japan's only wiRyûsuke Hamaguchi’s “Drive My Car,” Japan’s entry to the Academy Awards’ international category, looks to be the odds-on favorite from Asia to win the category. Nevertheless, "Drive My Car" won three awards at Cannes and has the added advantage of U.S. distribution, where it is currently on theatrical release.
China has its best opportunity in years with spy thriller "Cliff Walkers," which has a globally respected filmmaker in Zhang Yimou. Oscar voters are well familiar with the filmmaker as the only two times China has secured nominations are for his "Ju Dou" and "Hero." While "Cliff Walkers" is nowhere near as jingoistic as some recent efforts from the Middle Kingdom, it is still staunchly nationalistic.
Taiwan's entries to the category are typically strong and this year it is no different with Chung Mong-hong's "The Falls," which bowed at Venice and is also topical, being a drama set amidst COVID-19 quarantine.
The film debuted at Cannes and has been a mainstay on the festival circuit. Bangladesh also has a strong contender in Abdullah Mohammad Saad’s “Rehana,” featuring a towering central performance from Azmeri Haque Badhon as a teacher in a deeply patriarchal society who raises her voice against a sexual assault she has witnessed.
Vinothraj's "Pebbles," is a sound choice. The South Asian regional powerhouse India has flattered to deceive with just three nominations since the category began and in some years the country's choice of entry has been baffling. The film, which looks at the relationship between a boy and his abusive, alcoholic father, won the top prize at Rotterdam and has displayed robust legs on the festival circuit. S. The Indian entry this year, P.
However, Afghanistan is the setting of the Australian entry, Granaz Moussavi’s “When Pomegranates Howl,” which follows a 9-year-old boy who works on the streets of Kabul. The strong global interest in Afghanistan and its exiled artists, coupled with the poignant subject matter could mean that the film is in with a shout. In South Asia, there isn’t an entry from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan where films are frowned upon.
The drama with a theater world backdrop follows the trajectory of South Korean four-statuette winner “Parasite” in that it began its winning ways at Cannes and is festooned with awards en route to the Oscars. The 2008 win for Yōjirō Takita’s “Departures” remains Japan’s only win since the category was made competitive in 1956. distribution, where it is currently on theatrical release. “Parasite” won the Palme D’Or, which “Drive My Car” did not, with that honor going to Julia Ducournau’s “Titane,” which became France’s entry to the category. Nevertheless, “Drive My Car” won three awards at Cannes and like Neon’s “Titane,” has U.S.
Bhutan had submitted Pawo Choyning Dorji’s “Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom” last year, but it was disqualified and has been resubmitted this year. It could therefore find favor with Academy voters too provided it has enough visibility. After several years of submitting entries, Pakistan does not have a contender this year and nor does Nepal. n since the category was made competitive in 1956. The film’s theme, that of a teacher on a remote posting who braves the elements and the facilities, is awards friendly and it won big at Palm Springs in 2020.
Taiwan’s entries to the category are typically strong and this year is no different with Chung Mong-hong’s “The Falls,” which bowed at Venice and is also topical, being a drama set amidst COVID-19 quarantine.
The film debuted at Cannes and has been a mainstay on the festival circuit. Bangladesh also has a strong contender in Abdullah Mohammad Saad's "Rehana," featuring a towering central performance from Azmeri Haque Badhon as a teacher in a deeply patriarchal who raises her voice against a sexual assault she has witnessed.
The strong global interest in Afghanistan and its exiled artists, coupled with the poignant subject matter could mean that the film is in with a shout. Across in South Asia, understandably there isn't an entry from Taliban-controlled Afghanistan where films are frowned upon. However, Afghanistan is the setting of the Australian entry, Granaz Moussavi's "When Pomegranates Howl," which follows a nine-year-old boy who works on the streets of Kabul.
If it is inspirational fare that Academy voters are after, they need look no further than the Hong Kong entry, Jimmy Wan’s “Zero to Hero,” which traces the journey of So Wa Wai, the territory’s first athlete to win gold at the Paralympic Games.
If it is inspirational fare that Academy voters are after, they need look no further than the Hong Long entry, Jimmy Wan's "Zero to Hero," which traces the journey of So Wa Wai, the territory's first athlete to win gold at the Paralympic Games.
The chances of Singapore’s entry, Wayne Peng’s “Precious Is the Night,” an elegant mystery thriller, and Malaysian entry, Muzzamer Rahman’s “Hail Driver!” set in the world of illegal cabs, depend entirely on the awards campaigns mounted by the film teams. From Thailand, Banjong Pisanthanakun’s supernatural horror mockumentary “The Medium,” is a box office success, but it remains to be seen if the genre is embraced by Oscar voters.

It is now representing Iceland in the best international feature Oscar race. Rapace said it was a "very personal film, close to (her) heart" and added that she was pleased to have it played at Les Arcs, surrounded by a "beautiful snowy landscape" which "filled (her) with joy and inner strength." Vladimar Jóhannsson’s feature debut, "Lamb," world premiered in the Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival.
"All those difficulties have made this edition even more important and we hope it will bring you some light and hope," said Fleurantin. "The pandemic has revealed the vulnerability of societies and has changed the way we view the world, has made us more aware of the impact of our actions. That's why I believe this period of transition is positive," he added.
Unlike many similar initiatives, the work-in-progress in Les Arcs selects only projects that have never been shown before. He said out of 570 industry guests which had registered for the professional event, only 70 had canceled due to the pandemic. Frederic Boyer, the artistic director of both Tribeca and Les Arcs film festivals, curates the work-in-progress which this year includes 14 movies in post-production, spanning 18 countries across Europe. "We're interested in projects that are in a very early stage of editing, have never been shown before and have a strong festival potential," said Boyer, who works hand-in-hand with filmmakers for one month prior to the showcase to help them edit their eight-minute clips and prepare their pitch.
The festival's industry sidebar, the Coproduction Village and Work-in-Progress, also beat the odds by gathering more than 500 participants from all around Europe, said Jeremy Zelnik, who co-founded Les Arcs Film Festival and heads professional events whose alumni include “Lamb,” Lukas Dhont’s “Girl” and Nora Fingscheidt’s “System Crasher.”
"We've been having a very large presence in international festivals, with seven projects at Cannes, three at Venice and three at Locarno within the last year," said Zelnik.
Highlights include “Opponent,” a drama by Swedish up-and-comer Milad Alami (“The Charmer”) and produced by Sweden’s Tangy and Norway’s Ape&Bjørn; “Silver Haze,” helmed by Sacha Polak and produced by Dutch banner Viking Film and the U.K.’s Emu Films; and “Summer to Come,” directed by Hungarian filmmaker György Mór Kárpáti and produced by Proton Cinema and Café Film.
Pierre-Emmanuel Fleurantin, the festival's CEO, who is also a producer on Filippo Meneghetti's award-winning "Two of Us" and the Cannes-premiering documentary "The Velvet Queen," said putting together the festival amid the pandemic had felt like an "uphill battle." "It was surely the most complicated edition to organize but we were committed to make it happen after canceling last year 20 days before the start," said Fleurantin. The festival set up a full lab where guests can get quick PCR or salivary tests and asked everyone to present a negative test dating from within 24 hours, as well as a proof of vaccination upon arrival.
10 with a festive opening night ceremony highlighted was the presence of Swedish star Noomi Rapace who introduced her film "Lamb" on stage. In spite of a new wave of COVID-19, a snow storm and train cancelations, Les Arcs European Film Festival kicked off its 13th edition on Dec.
Les Arcs's jury is presided by "The Artist" director Michel Hazanavicius and includes Tania de Montaigne, Laeticia Dosch, Eric Judor and Sidse Babett Knudsen.” />
"Festivals play an increasingly vital role for arthouse films at a time when theatrical distribution has become scarce in many territories, and in many cases movies can't exist without a festival slot, a prize and reviews," said Boyer.