Imitation of Life

A journal about film, music, literature and any other form of imitation of life. Seeing through a glass darkly…

Blake Edwards, 1922-2010

Filmmaker and screenwriter Blake Edwards died on Wednesday, December 15 in Santa Monica, California, aged 88.

Although universally remembered as a comedy director, mostly due to his work in the Pink Panther series with actor Peter Sellers, he also excelled in drama in films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s (with Audrey Hepburn) and Days of Wine and Roses (with Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick). Read the rest of this entry »

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Belle and Sebastian to perform at Ancienne Belgique

A few months ago, while chart-topper James Morrison delighted his mostly adolescent fans with his sugar-coated tunes at the Ancienne Belgique’s Main Hall, I enjoyed Glasgow-based Camera Obscura’s brilliant concert in the upstairs more intimate Club Hall.
Ancienne Belgique will now roll out the red carpet for Belle and Sebastian, Camera Obscura’s artistic precursors and main representative of Scottish indie pop. Read the rest of this entry »

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2010 Golden Globes Nominations Predictions

The Golden Globes render the film awards season excitingly open-ended. The drama/comedy split in the Best Picture and in the leading acting categories paves the way to the acknowledgment of films and performers that would otherwise be ignored only because of their attachment to a genre which is shortsightedly but universally considered less worthy of award recognition. Read the rest of this entry »

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LAFCA unveils its 2010 picks

Yesterday I posted my predictions for the 2010 LA Film Critics Association Awards. Here is the official list of winners and, for the sake of accuracy and visibility, the choices I had predicted. Read the rest of this entry »

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2010 LAFCA and NYFCC Awards Predictions

I am well aware that Imitation of Life has acquired a dangerously repetitive film awards bent as of late and I intend to go back to more general film analysis and commentary soon, but we are just some hours away from the announcement of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association (LAFCA) Awards and the New York Film Critics Circle (NYFCC) Awards, arguably the two most prestigious critics’ groups in America.

 Add to that the Golden Globe nominations, which will be announced on Tuesday, and we can say straight out that we are entering the most intense three-day period in the film award season, so I cant’ help trying my luck in that pointless but fascinating game called Awards Predictions. Read the rest of this entry »

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The NBR aftermath: Lesley Manville, Jacki Weaver and Buried

You have to take with a pinch of salt any conclusion drawn from the announcement of the 2010 National Board of Review Awards. As traditional starting gun of the film awards season they manage to gather a lot of attention but the clout they have on the rest of the awards race is limited at best.

The Oscar hopes of many films start and end in the NBR and, as a rule of thumb, one might argue that films that win here won’t fare well later in the season, especially on the big night at the Academy Awards. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Ghost Writer sweeps the 2010 European Film Awards

Roman Polanski’s The Ghost Writer swept the 23rd European Film Awards, which were presented in a sadly inconspicuous ceremony held last night in Tallinn, Estonia.

The Ghost Writer was named Best European Film of the year, while Polanski and Ewan McGregor reaped kudos as Best Director and Best Actor, respectively. The film won 6 of the 7 awards it was nominated for. Read the rest of this entry »

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2010 National Board of Review Awards announced

 The 2010 National Board of Review Awards have been announced. I’ll post soon an analysis of the results in Imitation of Life. Until then, here is the complete list of winners. You can compare it against my predictions, which are available in the previous entry of the blog.

Just one comment. Lesley Manville and Jacki Weaver have been named best actress and supporting actress, respectively. Does it get any better? Read the rest of this entry »

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2010 National Board of Review Awards Predictions

The 2010 National Board of Review Awards will be announced in a couple of hours.

Here are my predictions (not my wishes) in the main categories: Read the rest of this entry »

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Winter’s Bone leads 2011 Spirit Awards with 7 nominations

Yesterday I posted an entry in Imitation of Life with my predictions of the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards nominations.
I’ve been following the livestream broadcast of the announcement of the nominations by Eva Mendes and Jeremy Renner and, to my own surprise, it turns out that I got right 24 out of the 45 nominees I predicted.
Earlier in the day I had informed of Winter’s Bone’s win at the Gotham Independent Awards. With 7 nods, it leads now the Spirit Awards nominations and strengthens its position as a serious Oscar contender. Read the rest of this entry »

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Winter’s Bone wins Gotham Independent Film Award

As we wait for the of 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards Nominations, which will be announced in a couple of hours, here are the winners of the 20th Gotham Independent Film Awards, which were presented last night in New York. Read the rest of this entry »

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Rabbit Hole trailer: Nicole is back

The trailer of Rabbit Hole is now available. The film will be  commercially released in the US on December 17.

Rabbit Hole premiered in September at the Toronto Film Festival and was received with a standing ovation. Critics are raving about Nicole Kidman’s performance as a woman dealing with the grief of a terrible loss. Read the rest of this entry »

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2011 Spirit Awards Nominations Predictions

The film award season will officially kick off on Tuesday, November 30, with the announcement of the 2011 Film Independent Spirit Awards.
Since they are the first awards to be announced, the Spirit Awards are hard to predict, not least because the nominated films are chosen from submissions which are not publicly available. If a production company does not submit a film, it cannot be elegible. Read the rest of this entry »

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A leap of faith or why The Illusionist is a better film than Toy Story 3

In religion, a revelation is commonly understood as an act of disclosure or communication from a higher, divine force. Depending on its significance and momentousness, it can trigger a change in one’s beliefs or, more simply, a conversion. For a non-believer, however, a revelation can only be ascribed to a deceptive perception leading to a false impression of reality – in other words, to an illusion.

Until very recently I was a resilient cartoon atheist, an agnostic of the non-live action image. With the notable exception of Hayao Miyazaki’s masterpieces I have always remained curiously untouched by the beguiling pleasures animation feature films seem to provide to most people around me, children and adults alike. Although it is as enjoyable and worthy genre as any other, I believe it needs certain qualities and a very specific pace and mood to sustain the viewer’s attention for more than an hour. Read the rest of this entry »

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Ana María Matute receives this year’s Premio Cervantes

Ángeles González-Sinde, Minister of Culture of Spain, has announced today writer Ana María Matute as this year’s recipient of Premio Cervantes, the most prestigious literary award in Spanish language.
Born in Barcelona in 1925, Matute is one of the most utterly original authors to emerge in the Spanish literary landscape after the Spanish Civil War. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jerzy Skolimowski at Cinematek

When Jerzy Skolimowski presented his film Four Nights With Anna in the Directors’ Fortnight section of the Cannes Film Festival in 2008 to general critical acclaim, 17 years had elapsed since the biggest fiasco in his career, the film adaptation of Gombrowicz’s masterpiece Ferdydurke, which Truffaut famously called “un grand film malade”.

Born in Lódz (Poland) in 1938, Skolimowski attended the prestigious film school of his hometown with the likes of Roman Polanski, whose first film A Knive in the Water he scripted. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Best Concerts of Brussels’ Music Winter Season

The period between October and May is traditionally the time when the best musical acts hit the tour circuit out of the festival season. Brussels, with two of the best indoor concert venues in Europe, is the perfect place to look forward to the great music events ahead of us.

Here is IMITATION OF LIFE’s choice of the best concerts in Brussels for the next months. Some of them are already sold out. Touting on the day of the concert is, however, a friendly and affordable tradition in Belgian music scene. Read the rest of this entry »

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Spanish cinema in mourning after Berlanga’s death

Luis García-Berlanga died on Saturday, November 13, at his home near Madrid, aged 89.

Berlanga made his directing film debut in 1951 with Esa Pareja Feliz (That Happy Couple), written and directed in collaboration with Juan Antonio Bardem.

Berlanga and Bardem were to become two of the main representatives of the so-called Spanish film dissidence, a movement of ideological and political opposition to the monolithic culture imposed by Franco’s regime. Later in his life, Berlanga ironically declared that to a certain extent Bardem and himself could be considered the originators of censorship in the Spanish film industry, since nobody before them had ever tried to include in their films anything which could challenge the dominant power. Read the rest of this entry »

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Sofia independent (IV): Teenage Paparazzo, All that Paris Allows

It is certainly striking that the wisest line in a documentary that features academics, professional photographers and reflective film stars comes, of all people, from Paris Hilton. I quote from memory, but somewhere in the middle of Adrian Grenier’s Teenage Paparazzo the world’s most famous heiress says with her usual rigid composure: “They [the paparazzi] are annoying and all in your everyday life, but doing what we do in LA, we couldn’t live without them either”. It may not be the height of philosophical sophistication, but few sentences could better sum up the cautionary tale to which this highly entertaining but inconclusive documentary film boils down to: the tabloid culture is a dangerous snake pit of mutual exploitation where victims and chasers make the rules according to their circumstances and where all you need is a camera to cross the blurred line that separates the ones from the others. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Way Back trailer

Although Peter Weir never equalled the quality of his sophomore effort Picnic at Hanging Rock (1975), his filmography, which includes films like The Years of Living Dangerously (1982), Witness (1985), Green Card (1990) or The Truman Show (1998), is interesting enough to pay attention to anything he does. Read the rest of this entry »

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