2009 BAFTA Winners

This past Sunday the BAFTA Awards were handed out, with The Hurt Locker winning Best Film and Best Director awards (Kathryn Bigelow), plus Original Screenplay (Mark Boal), Cinematography (Barry Ackroyd), Editing (Bob Murawski, Chris Innis), and Sound (Ray Beckett, Paul N.J. Ottosson), whereas the monster hit Avatar grabbed awards for Production Design (Rick Carter, Robert Stromberg, Kim Sinclair) and Special Visual Effects (Joe Letteri, Stephen Rosenbaum, Richard Baneham, Andrew R. Jones).

Of the British productions, Fish Tank won the Outstanding British Film Award, and Duncan Jones won the Outstanding Debut by a British Writer, Director or Producer for Moon.

The French film A Prophet won in the oddly titled Film Not in the English Language category, and Pixar’s Up (perhaps unsurprisingly) won the Animated Film and Music (Michael Giacchino) awards.

For the complete list of nominees and winners, as well as clips of the winners’ glee, click on the official BAFTA link.

The Hurt Locker’s wins may convince fence-sitters to check out the film on DVD, whereas those wanting Avatar I at home will have to wait until it debuts “flat” in non-3D DVD/BR versions April 22.

In an interview with The Wall Street Journal last week, James Cameron alluded to a 3D home video release in November of 2010, but that may be wishful thinking for the time being, since Avatar may well go through the Multiple Version Syndrome, starting with a bare bones release, then a 3D version, then in a Super Happy Magic Deluxe Edition, and then maybe something else in 2011, requiring a new 3D TV, custom chair for long-term 3D exposure, non-dimensional paint for optimum DVD/BR display in a home environment, a special 3800 Volt converter for the new gear that should protect against non-failure of your street’s electrical needs, protective laminate for nearby aquariums to inhibit Spasmodic Fish Syndrome, monophonic ear plugs for cats and dogs sensitive to 48.5 channel Surround Sound reproduction (plugs for budgies are still in the works), and the new Eye-No-Pe Beer made from genetically enhanced hops which delay the need to micturate for 2.5 hours.

Next week may be the last chance for Torontonians to catch Avatar in IMAX 3D, so I have to set aside 2.5 hours of my life to catch the blue people re-enacting Cameron’s version of Dances with Wolves. Tied to that will be some film reviews of primordial 3D movies, including Bwana Devil, Hollywood’s first commercial 3D feature film, a sort-of technical ‘Avatar’ from 1952.

I specify ‘Hollywood,’ though, because in 1946 Aleksandr Andriyevsky directed Robinzon Kruzo, a Soviet production of Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe that was shot in colour and 3D. Instead of a flat screen with anaglyph spectacles, the film was reportedly projected onto a louvered screen called Stereokino.

I first read of the film in an ancient edition of the Penguin Film Guide, and the movie is available as a non-3D, Russian DVD, although the disc has no alternate audio tracks, nor subtitles. (It apparently has no distribution in English language markets, but some private venders on Amazon.com list them for sale).



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