The Hurt Locker causes reality check friction from armed forces

The Hurt Locker has been praised by film critiques and industry insiders for its truthful depiction of a bomb disposable unit in Iraq. But there’s truth and Hollywood truth and it is the latter that has caused some consternation with Iraqi armed forces and veterans. Many who have seen the film have found the maverick tendencies of its main character, played by Jeremy Renner, to be unthinkable with such a dangerous profession.

This criticism comes just days before Tuesday’s Oscar ballot deadline but will fail to dent director’s Kathryn Bigelow’s roll as the movie remains Oscar favorite to win best picture and best director awards. Writer Mark Boal was himself part of a bomb disposal team stationed in Iraq and consequently earned his qualification in depicting his own experiences over there. These experiences are then transferred to the big screen and follow film conventions in story telling. Make no mistake this is a Hollywood film and one that is close to the real deal but even documentaries have to entertain.

Kathryn Bigelow triumphs at the BAFTAS

Photograph: Dave M Benett/Getty Images

It was Kathryn Bigelow’s night at the 2010 Orange British Academy Film Awards this evening. Bigelow won awards for best director for “The Hurt Locker” which also won best film, best cinematography, editing and sound and best original screenplay for Mark Boal.

Colin Firth won best actor for “A Single Man,” while newcomer Carey Mulligan won best actress for “An Education.” Christoph Waltz won best supporting actor for “Inglourious Basterds,” and Mo’Nique won best supporting actress for “Precious: Based on the Novel ‘Push’ by Sapphire.

“Up” won for best animated film and music,  and Jason Reitman and Sheldon Turner won for best adapted screenplay for “Up in the Air.”

Colin Firth and Tilda Swinton are Cinephile Society Winners

The International Cinephile Society awarded its top honor to the Coen Brothers’ “A Serious Man” for best film of 2009. Colin Forth also won a best actor gong for his portrayal of a man in mourning after his lover of 16 years passes away in “A Single Man.”

Runner-up awards for best film and director went to Michael Haneke’s “The White Ribbon.”

Elsewhere, Christoph Waltz continued to charm the awards circuit with a best supporting actor win for his memorable performance in “Inglourious Basterds.” Tilda Swinton won best actress honors for one of the best performances of the year in “Julia.” While Vera Farmiga won best supporting actress honors for “Up in the Air.”

Here’s the full list of winners:

Best Picture: 01. A Serious Man 02. The White Ribbon 03. Fantastic Mr. Fox 04. Inglourious Basterds 05. Tokyo Sonata 06. 35 Shots of Rum 07. The Hurt Locker 08. District 9 09. Bright Star 10. Up In The Air

Best Director: Ethan & Joel Coen – A Serious Man runner-up: Michael Haneke – The White Ribbon

Best Film Not In The English Language: 01. The White Ribbon 02. Tokyo Sonata 03. 35 Shots of Rum 04. Summer Hours 05. Broken Embraces 06. Still Walking 07. Lorna’s Silence 08. The Beaches of Agnes 09. Ponyo 10. O’Horten 11. The Headless Woman

Best Actor: Colin Firth – A Single Man ?runner- up: Michael Stuhlbarg – A Serious Man

Best Actress: Tilda Swinton – Julia runner-up: Abbie Cornish – Bright Star

Best Supporting Actor: Christoph Waltz – Inglourious Basterds runner-up: Peter Capaldi – In the Loop

Best Supporting Actress: Vera Farmiga – Up In The Air runners-up: Mo’Nique – Precious and Penelope Cruz – Broken Embraces

Best Original Screenplay: A Serious Man – Ethan & Joel Coen runner-up: Inglourious Basterds – Quentin Tarantino

Best Adapted Screenplay: Fantastic Mr. Fox – Wes Anderson & Noah Baumbach runner-up: In the Loop – Jesse Armstrong, Simon Blackwell, Armando Iannucci & Tony Roche

Best Cinematography: The White Ribbon – Christian Berger runner-up: Inglourious Basterds – Robert Richardson

Best Editing: The Hurt Locker – Chris Innis & Bob Murawski runner-up: Broken Embraces – Jose Salcedo

Best Production Design: Fantastic Mr. Fox – Nelson Lowry runner-up: A Serious Man – Jess Gonchor

Best Original Score: A Single Man – Abel Korzeniowski runner-up: Fantastic Mr. Fox – Alexandre Desplat

Best Ensemble: In the Loop runner-up: The White Ribbon

Best Animated Film: Fantastic Mr. Fox runner-up: Ponyo

Best Documentary: The Beaches of Agnes runner-up: Anvil! The Story of Anvil

Thanks to Indiewire

Fewer than 50 Wild Tigers Left in China, Says Wildlife Conservation Society

Photograph: Barry Bland/Barcroft Media

This is serious. What can we do in the entertainment, media and arts world to make a difference?

Here’s what Treehugger has to say:

“Wild tigers in China are on the Brink of Extinction. Xie Yan, the China Country Program Director for the Wildlife Conservation Society, estimates that fewer than 50 South China Tigers are left in the wild, with about “10 still live in the southwestern province of Yunnan, some 15 in Tibet, and 20 or so in northwestern Jilin and Heilongjiang provinces.” Even if take a step back and look at 12 Asian countries and Russia, it is estimated that only about 3,500 tigers are left in the wild, compared to around 100,000 at the beginning of the 20th century.”

The Guardian. 
”China marks year of tiger with drive to save biggest cat.”

Wildlife Conversation Society.

“Help Reverse the Wildlife Extinction Crisis 
The window for protecting the world’s remaining natural areas is rapidly closing. Urge Congress to help reverse the wildlife extinction crisis and conserve the last of the wild.”

Baiji or Yangste Dolphin

Caspian Tiger

Javan Tiger

China is going through the same industrialization as Europe and the USA: destroying wildlife and environments. The USA has the largest recorded list of endangered indigenous wildlife. It is perhaps a little early to compile China’s long list.

Do something: get the word out through social networks; make a film; write a song; take a picture, make some art; write a book; join a group or write to your leaders. Or you can do nothing and continue to watch bad television and kiss those animals goodbye -FOREVER.