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Mr. Turner

Filmmaker Mike Leigh's biography of the landscape painter J.M.W. Turner is what critics call "austere"—which means it's slow and grim and deliberately hard to love—yet…

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Annie

The new version of "Annie" is fashionably artificial and not very well directed, but its unabashed good cheer is very welcome.

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Ballad of Narayama

"The Ballad of Narayama" is a Japanese film of great beauty and elegant artifice, telling a story of startling cruelty. What a space it opens…

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Monsieur Hire

Patrice Leconte's "Monsieur Hire" is a tragedy about loneliness and erotomania, told about two solitary people who have nothing else in common. It involves a…

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Congratulations on Motion Picture Academy's Historic Election of African-American President


For the first time in its 86 year history, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, which produces the Oscars, elected an African-American President, Cheryl Boone Isaacs. 

Ms Boone Isaacs is very familiar with AMPAS, having previously served as a governor representing the public relations branch of the Academy for 21 years. She also served as Academy first vice president during the past year, and in 2012 produced the Governors Awards. She will replace the outgoing president, Hawk Koch.

She is technically the third woman president of the Academy. Bette Davis was the first woman president in 1941, but resigned after two months. Fay Kanin served several terms as president from 1979-1983. 

Ms Boone Isaacs' election brings some much needed diversity to AMPAS. A survey by the Los Angeles Times last year concluded that the Academy was 94% white and 77% male. The Executive Director, Dawn Hudson set as one of her goals to broaden the base of representation in the industry.

Last month Paris Barclay was named the first African-American president in the Directors Guild of America's 77 year history.

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