Almodovar and BAFTA’s respect for international directors

Here’s the brand new trailer for Pedro Almodovar’s Los Amantes Pasajeros. (thanks to Jesus Alonso)

The question came up on Twitter yesterday, What if Michael Haneke Won the BAFTA for Bes Director. Made me curious to see how often the BAFTA have awarded international directors (directors who aren’t from the UK or US or Aus whose native language isn’t English). The Oscars have only done so 6 times since 1970

1975 – Miloš Forman – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
1984 – Miloš Forman – Amadeus
1987 – Bernardo Bertolucci – The Last Emperor
2002 – Roman Polanski – The Pianist
2005 – Ang Lee – Brokeback Mountain
2011 – Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist

The BAFTAs are much more open to honoring international directors. Twice as frequently as the Oscars, 12 times since 1970 (roughly 29% of the time). BAFTA’s impressive list of International Directors, after the cut.

1973 – François Truffaut – Day for Night
1974 – Roman Polanski – Chinatown
1976 – Milos Forman – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
1980 – Akira Kurosawa – Kagemusha
1981 – Louis Malle – Atlantic City
1984 – Wim Wenders – Paris, Texas
1988 – Louis Malle – Au revoir, les enfants
1999 – Pedro Almodóvar – Todo sobre mi madre
2000 – Ang Lee – Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
2002 – Roman Polanski – The Pianist
2005 – Ang Lee – Brokeback Mountain
2011 – Michel Hazanavicius – The Artist

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15 Comments

  1. Victor Barreto
    February 1, 2013

    Can’t Billy Wilder (2 wins as director) and Fred Zinnemann (also 2) be considered in the list?

  2. Someone
    February 1, 2013

    Yeah, but this happened when only directors’ branch of BAFTA was choosing best director – but this year is the first year of voting for this award by the WHOLE BAFTA and IMO it means that only Affleck and Lee can win it.
    (Yeah, they had different process of choosing the winners than AMPAS – but since this year, they have the same)

  3. Bryce Forestieri
    February 1, 2013

    OT: Benedict Cumberbatch to play Alan Turin in THE IMITATION GAME. The Script is supposed to be on par with Turing’s brilliant but I’ve heard of the director on board. Best Actor nomination at the very least in the bag perhaps? Excited about this tho. *Gay movie*

  4. Jerry
    February 1, 2013

    I’m betting on Ang Lee to take the BD prize at BAFTA.

  5. Bennett
    February 1, 2013

    Yes, but all those films are not “foreign language”… they have american/british cast, crew, producers, etc.

    I think if Haneke wins, this will be the very first time that a “foreign film” does so.

    This obstacle sure will be broken some day.

    Hopefully it will soon.

  6. February 1, 2013

    Yes, but all those films are not “foreign language”…

    Right, Bennett. Obviously. But that’s not the criterion I was applying.

    Tried to be really specific in how I worded the description of what I was listing.

  7. Bennett
    February 1, 2013

    Sure, I was just adding another point of view over your list, Ryan.

  8. KT
    February 1, 2013

    Don’t forget Ang Lee won for CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON too!!

    I also have a feeling he will win here. Either Lee OR Michael Haneke.

  9. Screenguy61
    February 1, 2013

    Wow…it’s been awhile since we had a pure comedy from Almodovar. Looking forward to watching him cut loose.

  10. February 1, 2013

    sorry if that sounded abrupt, Bennett. I was commenting before from phone keyboard. (that explains why I typed ‘Bennerr’ too).

    I know. It’s a good point. I wasn’t trying to shoot it down. I didn’t write the post trying to cover all the angles. Just dashed it off quick so it might serve as springboard for more expansive reaction — and that’s what you gave us! Thank you.

  11. February 1, 2013

    I predict Almodovar is going to take another year off the Awards circuit with this one… it seems he did this one just for himself (something great in my opinion) and it looks exactly as the Almodovar cover version of Airplane! which is one of my 3 fave films of all times. So yes, I’m looking forward for this.

    BAFTA isn’t really careful with the nationality of what they choose, but of course, if you’re british they will probably give you extra attention. They gave Best Director to Almodóvar himself in 99, over Sam Mendes (American Beauty), Shyamalan (6th Sense), Jordan (Angela’s Ashes) and Minghella (Mr. Ripley)… a good example, on paper, Almodovar shouldn’t have stood a chance even for a nom (moreso as they didn’t give him Original Screenplay, making his direction win, double surprising).

    This year, anything can happen, but I expect them to go for Lincoln.

  12. steve50
    February 1, 2013

    Fun trailer – there’s nothing like Almodovar to brighten up a gloomy afternoon (literally – he doesn’t shy away from color!)

    One thing I like about the BAFTAs, in addition to not being anglocentric, is that they are not shy to repeat. If a director is on a two to five year roll with great work, they recognize it, without the self-inficted guilt trip (“he just won two years ago”) that prevails over here. They seem more interested in the work than keeping a tally.

  13. Duncan
    February 2, 2013

    Well as the one who asked the original question on Twitter, all I can say is a lot of BAFTA voters I speak to are voting for Haneke. Strangely the dilemma for them appears to be Best Picture, I’ve heard various members say they are voting for Les Miserables, Argo and Lincoln, not really sure what will happen there.

  14. February 2, 2013

    hey, Duncan, sorry, I forgot where I saw it and couldn’t find the tweet.

  15. Chris
    February 2, 2013

    @ Jesus Alonzo – Angela’s Ashes was directed by Alan Parker (Evita, The Commitments, Mississippi Burning) not Neil Jordan

    @ Bennett – Interestingly, not all the BAFTA Directing winners are in English though: Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Au revoir, Les enfants, All About My Mother and Kagemusha.

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