85th Academy Awards 2013: Who’s your winner?

The Oscars are just around the corner (24th February), and with the BAFTAs and Golden Globes under the belt, the odds are as wide open as ever for the juggernaut that is, Best Picture.

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Which film do you think deserves the golden statue? Are the Oscars even relevant any more? And what’s your view of the Oscar campaigning and current category system?

Personally I think Skyfall is a glaring omission from the Best Picture line-up, but what do you think?

Post your comments below or find me on Twitter (@EvieSpachis), I’d love to hear from you!

In the meantime, BBC News have accumulated a brief history of the most successful films and actors in Oscar history: The Oscars in Numbers

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Bradford International Film Festival returns! 11-21 April 2013

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As a Bradfordian and film fan, a shining highlight of the cinematic calendar remains the Bradford International Film Festival (sponsored by Virgin Media for a second-year running). In its 19th incarnation this year, its host, the National Media Museum, have released a sneak-preview of the delights we can expect in April (11th – 21st) 2013.

On the call-list so far are Adam Buxton (comedian and one half of ‘Adam and Joe’ with Attack the Block‘s Joe Cornish) with a special edition of his show BUG! which started out life at the BFI Southbank in 2007. A show bursting with videos, unusual clips and and the wierd and wonderful of the online world, Buxton will continue to do what he does best in his fun and irreverent style!

Also announced is Aidan Goatley who stars in the comedy show ‘Ten Films with My Dad’. An Edinburgh Fringe Festival hit last year, Aidan tells of the ten films most important to this father/son relationship, from Jaws and Star Trek: The Motion Picture, to Avatar via The Blues Brothers. The show includes the ‘reimagining’ of some classic scenes by Aidan’s dog Kimble.

And finally, after a hugely successful appearance at last year’s BIFF 2012, The Dodge Brothers, the UK’s premier skiffle band (starring Radio Five Live’s and The Culture Show’s Mark Kermode) will return for another set and live appearance to play with silent film pianist Neil Brand. This year, they plan to breath life into the 1927 film, The Ghost That Never Returns. 

Below is a series of photos Girl On Film snapped at an impromptu Dodge Brothers gig which took place in the foyer of the National Media Museum during last year’s Bradford International Film Festival.

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Also returning are the Filmmakers’ Weekend and Widescreen Weekend which remain popular year on year.

With further announcements of special guests and award recipients due in the coming weeks, book here now to avoid disappointment!

‘The Girl’ (2012): The Birds, the blonde and Mr Hitchcock.

I don’t know about you, but I rather am intrigued to watch ‘The Girl’ on Boxing Day which is based on a book I read recently, 2009’s ‘Spellbound by Beauty’ by the controversial Hitchcock biographer Donald Spoto.

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Advertised as an insight into a genius’ troubled psyche and it’s dangerous manifestations, I am most eager to seeing how the testimonies of Tippi Hedren are used. Testimonies, which have already caused much heated discussion and derision over the years.

The source material, ‘Spellbound by Beauty’ runs an introduction which tantalisingly declares how the book was only given permission to be published once the eye-witnesses and key sources were deceased and could no longer be party to the speculation which would subsequently arise. It is telling then, that ‘The Girl’ focuses on the now famous ordeal between Alfred Hitchcock and his leading lady, Tippi Hedren, whilst Tippi is very much still alive to reinforce her view of events.

No one doubts (even the most ardent of Hitchcock fans) that Hitch struggled with personal issues which both informed and affected the work we have eventually come to love. Hitchcock’s work breathed life into psychological problems and perversions, both the utterly fascinating and terrifying, and it would be naive of ourselves to assume Hitchcock was over and above these human urges, no matter how repulsive they may seem.

Toby Jones is twinned once again, not with Phillip Seymour Hoffman this time, but with Sir Anthony Hopkins in also playing the Master of Suspense in the big-screen adaptation of the mythologised shooting of Psycho due to be released in the UK in early 2013. We shall wait and see if Toby Jones will trump Sir Anthony’s performance as he did with Mr Hoffman’s own Truman Capote (but with much less fanfare for ‘Infamous’ in 2006).

Together, the two films should make a fantastic double-bill for film fans who wish to see a snapshot of a director’s most daring creative period.

Prosthetics-wars aside, for the ‘The Girl’ at least, it will be great to see Alfred Hitchcock on the small screen once more, a place he made his home just as much as the silver screen.

‘The Girl’ will be shown on Boxing Day on BBC Two at 9pm. A host of Hitchcock classics are also doing the telly rounds during the Christmas period, check TV listings for more details.