Global recog­ni­tion for flag-wa­ver Clint

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - NEWS CHARTS - Michael Dwyer

Pre­sent­ing the tin ear awards

songs from Love Me Ten­der (1956) and A Hard Day’s Night (1964, when Chim Chim Cher-ee took the Os­car), Cur­tis May­field’s Su­per­fly theme (1972, when the award was won by the dreary The Morn­ing Af­ter from The Po­sei­don Ad­ven­ture), Bob Dylan’s Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door (from Pat Gar­rett and Billy the Kid, 1973), and the Bee Gees songs, Night Fever and Stay­ing Alive, from Satur­day Night Fever (1978, when the Os­car went to the sac­cha­rine ti­tle tune from You Light Up My Life).

Pay­back time for Stone

In a set­tle­ment with the US Trea­sury De­part­ment’s Of­fice of For­eign As­sets Con­trol, Oliver Stone’s pro­duc­tion com­pany Ixt­lan has agreed to pay more than $6,000 (¤4,500) in fines to re­solve al­le­ga­tions that the com­pany vi­o­lated the US em­bargo against Cuba when Stone made his Fidel Cas­tro doc­u­men­tary, Com­man­dante, four years ago.

Mean­while, Stone has com­pleted a third ver­sion of Alexan­der, his 2004 epic star­ring Colin Farrell, for DVD re­lease in Fe­bru­ary, even though his “di­rec­tor’s cut” is al­ready avail­able on DVD. The new cut runs to three and a half hours, and ac­cord­ing to Stone, “it’s the best, the clear­est, and it al­lows you the time to im­merse your­self in that world.”

THIS year’s Golden Globe nom­i­na­tions yielded more than a few sur­prises and anom­alies. Even though Clint East­wood takes two of the five places on the short­list for best di­rec­tor, nei­ther of his com­pan­ion war movies, Flags of Our Fa­thers and Let­ters From Iwo Jima, re­ceived a nom­i­na­tion for best pic­ture. In fact, the only other nom­i­na­tion achieved by ei­ther was for Let­ters in the best for­eign-lan­guage film cat­e­gory.

Most un­usu­ally, it is one of two US pro­duc­tions, along with Mel Gib­son’s Mayan-lan­guage Apoca­lypto, vy­ing for that prize and re­duc­ing the num­ber of for­eign pro­duc­tions in con­tention to just three (Volver, Pan’s Labyrinth and The Lives of Oth­ers), even though the Golden Globes are pre­sented by the Hol­ly­wood For­eign Press As­so­ci­a­tion.

An­other sur­prise was the suc­cess of Ale­jan­dro González Iñár­ritu’s Ba­bel, which led the field with the most Golden Globe nom­i­na­tions this year – seven, in­clud­ing best pic­ture, di­rec­tor and sup­port­ing ac­tor (Brad Pitt) – even though it failed to col­lect a sin­gle award from the Cannes Film Fes­ti­val jury this year.

In­ci­den­tally, Ken Loach’s The Wind That Shakes the Bar­ley, which took the Palme d’Or at Cannes, is not el­i­gi­ble in the Os­car or Golden Globe nom­i­na­tions for 2006 re­leases, as it does not open in the US un­til March 2nd.

En­nio gets his Os­car due

Leg­endary Ital­ian com­poser En­nio Mor­ri­cone is fi­nally set to re­ceive recog­ni­tion at the Academy Awards when he is pre­sented with an hon­orary Os­car dur­ing the prize-giv­ing cer­e­mony on Fe­bru­ary 25th. De­spite com­pos­ing the scores for more than 300 movies in his 45-year ca­reer, Mor­ri­cone has never won an Os­car, al­though he has been nom­i­nated five times, for Days of Heaven, The Mis­sion, The Un­touch­ables, Bugsy and Malena.

Mor­ri­cone, who turned 78 last month, re­cently com­pleted an in­ter­na­tional tour as well as the score for Giuseppe Tor­na­tore’s new film, La Sconosci­uta. He also be­gan work on Tor­na­tore’s next pic­ture, Len­ingrad.

Coin­ci­den­tally, this year’s hon­orary Os­car was given to Robert Alt­man, who also was nom­i­nated five times with­out ever win­ning the award. Alt­man, who died last month, is con­sid­ered a con­tender for a post­hu­mous nom­i­na­tion next month for his swan­song, A Prairie Home Com­pan­ion, which opens here on Jan­uary 5th. As the awards sea­son kicks into over­drive, Variety has been not­ing some of the anom­alies in the Os­car cat­e­gory of best orig­i­nal song. Among the el­i­gi­ble com­po­si­tions that failed even to se­cure a nom­i­na­tion have been the ti­tle

A week with­out movies

There are no new re­leases at Ir­ish cine­mas next Fri­day, De­cem­ber 29th, but The Ticket will be pub­lished as usual with The Ir­ish Times and will fea­ture a com­pre­hen­sive guide to the movies open­ing over the first three months of 2007.

Happy Christ­mas. md­wyer@ir­ish-times.ie

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