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Daily Briefing. "The Artist" Sweeps the BAFTAs

Also: Raquel Welch in New York, Michael Almereyda at Harvard — and remembering Whitney Houston.
The DailyThe Artist

Michel Hazanavicius's The Artist has won just about every BAFTA Award it was nominated for — and it was nominated for plenty, including Best Film, Best Director, Leading Actor (Jean Dujardin) and more. We've got the complete list of all the winners and nominees right here.

More awards. "Rodrigo García's Albert Nobbs and John Michael McDonagh's The Guard were the big winners at the 9th annual Irish Film and Television Awards (IFTAs), winning four recognitions each," reports Naman Ramachandran for Cineuropa.

Myra Breckinridge

New York. Miriam Bale introduces an interview for GQ: "Raquel Welch was a singing and dancing bombshell and one of the last in a long line of actresses piped through the studio's star-making system before she was thrust into 1970s New Hollywood. Thanks to that revolution, the bombshell became a trailblazer, starring in some of the more fascinating and unlikely cult hits of the era." Cinematic Goddess: The Films of Raquel Welch runs at the Film Society of Lincoln Center through Tuesday. Alt Screen has a roundup on Myra Breckinridge (1970), screening tomorrow evening.

Cambridge. The Boston Phoenix's Peter Keough recommends spending An Evening with Michael Almereyda tomorrow at the Harvard Film Archive.

In the works. Aleksandr Sokurov has received $20,000 (€15,000) toward the development of The Louvre Under the Occupation, "a feature billed as exploring "the relationship between art and power,'" notes Scott Roxborough in the Hollywood Reporter. Also: "Tahar Rahim, star of Jacques Audiard's Oscar-nominated A Prophet, will play the lead in The Cut, the final entry in the famed Love, Death and the Devil trilogy from German director Fatih Akin that includes Berlinale Golden Bear winner Head-On (2004) and Cannes best screenplay winner The Edge of Heaven (2007)."

Tahar Rahim will also be appearing along with Niels Arestrup and Émilie Dequenne in Joachim Lafosse's Our Children, "the story of a doctor who brings a young Moroccan boy back to Belgium to raise him as his own son," reports Jorn Rossing Jensen at Cineuropa.

DVD. "The chances are that few people even with a good knowledge of silent films will have heard of Niranjan Pal," writes Luke McKernan, "though you may have started to hear about his films. The release on DVD of the film A Throw of Dice (Prapancha Pash) (1929) [from the BFI in the UK and Kino in the US] has brought to our attention the three silent films on Indian themes directed by Franz Osten: The Light of Asia (Prem Sanyas) (1925), Shiraz (1928) and A Throw of Dice, whose production history and whose very existence strike a fascinating, almost jarring note in film history. Where and how did these non-Indian Indian films get made, and who was behind them? Well, the person behind them was, to large degree, Niranjan Pal."

Whitney Houston

Obit. "With the weird blend of investment and helplessness that typifies kin, we've watched Whitney Houston die in front of us, slowly and unmistakably, for more than a decade," writes the New Yorker's Sasha Frere-Jones. "Now that she is dead at the age of 48, found at the Beverly Hilton, we face a new and weirder blend: the grief you feel for someone you didn't really know but are unable to pretend you weren't tied to, and the awkward truth that they've met the end you expected."

Jody Rosen at Slate: "At her peak, in the 1980s and early-90s, Houston was as formidable a physical force as American popular music has produced. She was an outrageously talented singer. She had a bright, bold, rippling voice, full of pop sheen and gospel flavor. It was dexterous: Houston leaped across octaves, at full sprint, with the grace of an Olympic hurdler."

And, while the Alt Film Guide's Andre Soares looks back on her career in film, Joe Leydon wonders whether "future film historians will describe [The Bodyguard (1992)] as the first post-racial on-screen romance." He recalls writing in his review at the time that "'the moviemakers are refreshingly casual about the racial element in the relationship between Farmer [[Kevin] Costner's character] and Marron [Houston's character]. In fact, nobody in the entire movie ever mentions race.' Trust me: Such nonchalance was not so common back in the day."

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