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Sound on Film Blog: News From Around the Filmosphere

Hello brave listener. We are saddened to report that due to holiday scheduling there will be no new episode of Sound on Film this week.But the good news is that the long wait will earn you a double-dose next week, with Episode 4 (" American Hustle" & " The Hunt") premiering midweek, followed by Episode 5 (" The Wolf of Wall Street" & " Philomena") on Friday. In the meantime, here are a few stories we have been keeping on our eyes on, with this special edition of News from Around the Flimosphere: Academy Awards Best Foreign Shortlist  

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has released its shortlist of the nine films that will compete for the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. And as with years past, controversy took root almost immediately. The list seems to confirm Denmark’s “The Hunt” as a potential front runner, at the very least to make it to the final five which will be voted upon by Academy members at large, but in thanks largely to some puzzling omissions. Missing in action is Iran’s entry “ The Past” (from the director of the Best Foreign Language winner “ A Separation”), as well as a number of other highly lauded pictures like Yuval Adler's “ Bethlehem” (Israel) and Haifaa Al-Mansour's “ Wadjda” (Saudi Arabia). Also absent are two strong contenders for the Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film, Japan’s “ The Wind Rises” (the final film from acclaimed animator Hayao Miyazaki) and France’s “ Blue is the Warmest Color” (technically disqualified due to a late release date). Scott Feinberg has written a great piece for The Hollywood Reporter, offering a full analysis of each of the Academy’s selections, as well as the contentious and frustratingly opaque process used to decide the shortlist. Paul Rudd is Huge (and Tiny)  

Marvel Pictures made waves with its official confirmation that comedic actor Paul Rudd has been cast to play the titular role in the upcoming film “Antman”. A fan-favorite B-lister from Marvel Comics, Antman is the moniker adopted by several characters throughout the years, all of whom sharing the ability to shrink down to near-microscopic scale, or conversely, grow to giant-size proportion. The development of “Antman” has been the personal crusade of director Edgar Wright ("Scott Pilgrim," "Shaun of the Dead") for years, and represents another example of Marvel’s willingness to expand expectations of what a “comic book movie” can be, alongside 2014’s “ Guardians of the Galaxy”, directed by James Gunn (Super). Rudd can be seen now in “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues,” but he also put forth a refreshingly earnest performance in the indie comedy “ Prince Avalanche,” currently available on Video on Demand. Full details here via slashfilm.com. The Curious Case of Shia LaBeouf Last week saw the online release of actor Shia LaBeouf’s directorial debut “HowardCantour.com”, a charming and promising adaptation of the Daniel Clowes graphic novel "Justin M. Damiano," starring comedian Jim Gaffigan. The problem being that despite using the Daniel Clowes script from "Damiano" verbatim, and being so close in narrative that many critics had assumed it to be a direct adaptation, “HowardCantour.com” was in fact never intended to be an adaptation (at least according to LaBeouf), and was neither approved or even known of by the original author until its release. Jump forward in time through a string of baffling half-apologies from LaBeouf via Twitter and talk of possible legal action from Clowes, and it has been a long, strange affair indeed. Gawker has put out two articles, here and here, detailing the full odyssey as well as other allegations of plagiarism on LaBeouf’s part, while The Hollywood Reporter’s Eriq Gardner has written an interesting piece entitled In Defense of Shia Labeouf, in which he details how, with respect to the law, it would be surprisingly difficult for Clowes to win a case against LaBeouf. But wait, what are you sitting around for? There are movies to be seen. “The Wolf of Wall Street”, “ The Secret Life of Walter Mitty”, “ Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom” and more have all opened wide as of Christmas Day, with Alfonso Cuaron’s “ Gravity” returning to town for a second run at V illage 8. You'll hear from us again next week. Stay tuned. Subscribe to Sound on Film using this link. Find us on Facebook here. Questions? Feedback? Story or guest interview ideas? Contact us at film@wfpl.org. Special thanks to house band Discount Guns.