Tuesday, January 24, 2023


By José Alberto Hermosillo

Surprises and, for some, disappointments. The announcement of the Oscars 2023 nominations came as one of the weirdest, wildest, and most uneven in Oscar’s history. 

Films that deserved some Academy love got too little or no love at all -- “The Woman King,” “The Whale,” “Till,” “The Menu,” “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever,” “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio,” “Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths,” “Holy Spider,” “The Territory,” “A Man Called Otto,” “Decision to Leave,” “Nope,” “Bones and All,” “Devotion,” and “Corsage.”

This is the year of the blockbuster nominees. “Avatar: The Way of Water” and “Top Gun: Maverick” combined grossed $4 billion globally at the box office. Another big money maker is “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.” It was not nominated for Best Picture but has been nominated in five other categories, including Angela Bassett for Best Supporting Actress.


Best Picture

All Quiet on the Western Front (Netflix)
Malte Grunert, Producer
Avatar: The Way of Water (20th Century Studios)
James Cameron and Jon Landau, Producers
The Banshees of Inisherin (Searchlight Pictures) 
Graham Broadbent, Pete Czernin, and Martin McDonagh, Producers
Elvis (Warner Bros)
Baz Luhrmann, Catherine Martin, Gail Berman, Patrick McCormick, and Schuyler Weiss, Producers
Everything Everywhere All at Once (A24)⭐⭐⭐
Daniel Kwan, Daniel Scheinert, and Jonathan Wang, Producers 
The Fabelmans (Universal Pictures)
Kristie Macosko Krieger, Steven Spielberg and Tony Kushner, Producers
Tár (Focus Features)
Todd Field, Alexandra Milchan, and Scott Lambert, Producers
Top Gun: Maverick (Paramount Pictures)
Tom Cruise, Christopher McQuarrie, David Ellison, and Jerry Bruckheimer, Producers
Triangle of Sadness (NEON)
Erik Hemmendorff and Philippe Bober, Producers
Women Talking (United Artists Releasing/Orion Pictures)
Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, and Frances McDormand, Producers

Actor in a Leading Role

Austin Butler, Elvis
Colin Farrell, The Banshees of Inisherin
Brendan Fraser, The Whale⭐⭐⭐
Paul Mescal, Aftersun
Bill Nighy, Living

Actor in a Supporting Role

Brendan Gleeson, The Banshees of Inisherin
Brian Tyree Henry, Causeway
Judd Hirsch, The Fabelmans
Barry Keoghan, The Banshees of Inisherin
Ke Huy Quan, Everything Everywhere All at Once⭐⭐⭐

Actress in a Leading Role

Cate Blanchett, Tár
Ana de Armas, Blonde
Andrea Riseborough, To Leslie
Michelle Williams, The Fabelmans
Michelle Yeoh, Everything Everywhere All at Once⭐⭐⭐
Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.
Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever. Photo by Jose Alberto Hermosillo 

Actress in a Supporting Role

Angela Bassett, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Hong Chau, The Whale
Kerry Condon, The Banshees of Inisherin
Jamie Lee Curtis, Everything Everywhere All at Once⭐⭐⭐
Stephanie Hsu, Everything Everywhere All at Once

Animated Feature Film

Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio⭐⭐⭐
Guillermo del Toro, Mark Gustafson, Gary Ungar and Alex Bulkley
Marcel the Shell With Shoes On
Dean Fleischer Camp, Elisabeth Holm, Andrew Goldman, Caroline Kaplan, and Paul Mezey
Puss in Boots: The Last Wish
Joel Crawford and Mark Swift
The Sea Beast
Chris Williams and Jed Schlanger
Turning Red
Domee Shi and Lindsey Collins


All Quiet on the Western Front⭐⭐⭐
James Friend
Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths
Darius Khondji
Mandy Walker
Empire of Light
Roger Deakins
Florian Hoffmeister

Costume Design

Mary Zophres
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever⭐⭐⭐
Ruth Carter
Catherine Martin
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Shirley Kurata
Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris
Jenny Beavan


Martin McDonagh, The Banshees of Inisherin
Daniel Kwan and Daniel Scheinert, Everything Everywhere All at Once⭐⭐⭐
Steven Spielberg, The Fabelmans
Todd Field, Tár
Ruben Östlund, Triangle of Sadness

Documentary Feature Film

All That Breathes
Shaunak Sen, Aman Mann and Teddy Leifer
All the Beauty and the Bloodshed
Laura Poitras, Howard Gertler, John Lyons, Nan Goldin, and Yoni Golijov
Fire of Love
Sara Dosa, Shane Boris,, and Ina Fichman
A House Made of Splinters
Simon Lereng Wilmont and Monica Hellström
Daniel Roher, Odessa Rae, Diane Becker, Melanie Miller, and Shane Boris
The Martha Mitchell Effect, Netflix

Documentary Short Film

The Elephant Whisperers⭐⭐⭐
Kartiki Gonsalves and Guneet Monga
Evgenia Arbugaeva and Maxim Arbugaev
How Do You Measure a Year?
Jay Rosenblatt
The Martha Mitchell Effect
Anne Alvergue and Beth Levison
Stranger at the Gate
Joshua Seftel and Conall Jones

Film Editing

The Banshees of Inisherin
Mikkel E.G.,, Nielsen
Matt Villa and Jonathan Redmond
Everything Everywhere All at Once⭐⭐⭐
Paul Rogers
Monika Willi
Top Gun: Maverick
Eddie Hamilton

International Feature Film

All Quiet on the Western Front⭐⭐⭐
Argentina, 1985
The Quiet Girl
The Batman⭐⭐⭐
The Batman makeup⭐⭐⭐ 

Makeup and Hairstyling

All Quiet on the Western Front
Heike Merker and Linda Eisenhamerová
The Batman
Naomi Donne, Mike Marino,, and Mike Fontaine
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Camille Friend and Joel Harlow
Mark Coulier, Jason Baird, and Aldo Signoretti
The Whale⭐⭐⭐
Adrien Morot, Judy Chin, and Anne Marie Bradley

Music (Original Score)

All Quiet on the Western Front⭐⭐⭐
Volker Bertelmann
Justin Hurwitz
The Banshees of Inisherin⭐
Carter Burwell
Everything Everywhere All at Once
Son Lux
The Fabelmans
John Williams

Music (Original Song)

“Applause” from Tell It like a Woman
Music and Lyric by Diane Warren
“Hold My Hand” from Top Gun: Maverick
Music and Lyric by Lady Gaga and BloodPop
“Lift Me Up” from Black Panther: Wakanda Forever
Music by Tems, Rihanna, Ryan Coogler, and Ludwig Goransson; Lyric by Tems and Ryan Coogler
"Naatu Naatu" from RRR⭐⭐⭐
Music by M.M. Keeravaani; Lyric by Chandrabose
“This Is A Life” from Everything Everywhere All at Once
Music by Ryan Lott, David Byrne, and Mitski; Lyric by Ryan Lott and David Byrne

Production Design

All Quiet on the Western Front⭐⭐⭐
Production Design: Christian M. Goldbeck; Set Decoration: Ernestine Hipper
Avatar: The Way of Water
Production Design: Dylan Cole and Ben Procter; Set Decoration: Vanessa Cole
Production Design: Florencia Martin; Set Decoration: Anthony Carlino
Production Design: Catherine Martin and Karen Murphy; Set Decoration: Bev Dunn
The Fabelmans
Production Design: Rick Carter; Set Decoration: Karen O’Hara

Animated Short Film

The Boy, the Mole, the Fox, and the Horse⭐⭐⭐
Charlie Mackesy and Matthew Freud
The Flying Sailor
Amanda Forbis and Wendy Tilby
Ice Merchants
João Gonzalez and Bruno Caetano
My Year of Dicks
Sara Gunnarsdóttir and Pamela Ribon
An Ostrich Told Me the World Is Fake, and I Think I Believe It
Lachlan Pendragon

Live Action Short Film

An Irish Goodbye, Tom Berkeley and Ross White⭐⭐⭐
Ivalu, Anders Walter and Rebecca Pruzan
Le Pupille, Alice Rohrwacher and Alfonso Cuarón
Night Ride, Eirik Tveiten and Gaute Lid Larssen
The Red Suitcase, Cyrus Neshvad⭐


All Quiet on the Western Front, Viktor Prášil, Frank Kruse, Markus Stemler, Lars Ginzel, and Stefan Korte
Avatar: The Way of Water, Julian Howarth, Gwendolyn Yates Whittle, Dick Bernstein, Christopher Boyes, Gary Summers, and Michael Hedges
The Batman, Stuart Wilson, William Files, Douglas Murray, and Andy Nelson
ElvisDavid Lee, Wayne Pashley, Andy Nelson, and Michael Keller
Top Gun: Maverick,⭐⭐⭐ Mark Weingarten, James H. Mather, Al Nelson, Chris Burdon and Mark Taylor

Visual Effects

All Quiet on the Western Front, Frank Petzold, Viktor Müller, Markus Frank, and Kamil Jafar
Avatar: The Way of Water, ⭐⭐⭐Joe Letteri, Richard Baneham, Eric Saindon, and Daniel Barrett
The Batman, Dan Lemmon, Russell Earl, Anders Langlands, and Dominic Tuohy
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, Geoffrey Baumann, Craig Hammack, R. Christopher White, and Dan Sudick
Top Gun: Maverick, Ryan Tudhope, Seth Hill, Bryan Litson, and Scott R. Fisher

Writing (Adapted Screenplay)

All Quiet on the Western Front, Screenplay by Edward Berger, Lesley Paterson & Ian Stokell
Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery, Written by Rian Johnson
Living, Written by Kazuo Ishiguro
Top Gun: Maverick, Screenplay by Ehren Kruger and Eric Warren Singer and Christopher McQuarrie; Story by Peter Craig and Justin Marks
Women Talking, ⭐⭐⭐Screenplay by Sarah Polley
Writing (Original Screenplay)
The Banshees of InisherinWritten by Martin McDonagh
Everything Everywhere All at Once, ⭐⭐⭐ Written by Daniel Kwan & Daniel Scheinert
The Fabelmans,  Written by Steven Spielberg & Tony Kushner
Tár, Written by Todd Field
Triangle of Sadness, Written by Ruben Östlund


92 years have passed since the American movie based on Erich Maria Remarque’s novel “All Quiet on the Western Front” won the Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. Now, the German version has 9 nominations, including Best Picture. If the war movie succeeds, it will be the second film based on a previously published material to win, after Martin Scorsese’s “The Departed” won in 2006. Also, the Netflix production will be the second streaming studio to win Best Picture, after Apple TV+ won for “CODA” a year before.

90 years old, music composer John Williams gets a nomination for “The Fabelmans” for Best Original Score, becoming the oldest living person with most nominations.

53 times John Williams has been nominated. He is near reaching Walt Disney’s record of 59.

42 years have passed since Judd Hirsch got nominated for the first time for “Ordinary People” in 1981. At 87, he gets his second Oscar nomination for “The Fabelmans.”

16 out of the 20 performers in the 4 acting categories were nominated for the first time.

11 Oscar nominations for Irish Cinema, four in the acting categories. “The Banshees of Inisherin” has 9, including Best Picture. “The Quiet Girl” is up for Best International Feature Film. And “The Irish Goodbye” for Best Live Action Short.

4 Oscar nominations for Asian performers in the acting categories -- including the first nomination for an Asian leading lady for Best Actress, Michelle Yeoh, for “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Supporting Actor Ke Huy Quan in “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” Also, for Supporting Actress Stephanie Hsu, “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” And the extraordinary performance of Hong Chau for Best Supporting Actress in “The Whale.”

4 European movies are nominated in the Best International Feature Film category, Germany, Ireland, Belgium, and Poland. One from Latin America, Argentina. No Asian or African films are represented at this time. If Argentina wins, it will be the second time the South American country has won the Soccer World Cup and the Oscar in the same year. ‘The Official Story” won in 1986, as their soccer team won the World Cup in Mexico ’86.

3 are the projects nominated for the famous three Mexican directors known as the “Three Amigos.” They are getting a nomination in the same year, and the last time it happened was in 2007 with “Pan’s Labyrinth,” “Babel,” and “Children of Men.” The Mexican director Guillermo del Toro only earned one nomination for Best Animated Feature for “Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio” (the animated film was expected to have the same success as in the BAFTAS with at least three more nominations). Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s project is up for Best Cinematography for “Bardo: False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths.” Alfonso Cuarón co-produced the Live Action Short made in Italy, “Le Pupille.”

3 are the projects representing India this year with nominations, and all with strong possibilities to win, “RRR” for Best Original Song, “All that Breaths” for Best Documentary Feature, and “The Elephant Whisperers” for Best Documentary Short Subject.

One Oscar nomination for Cuban performer Ana de Armas for her provocative interpretation of Marilyn Monroe in “Blonde.” Never a Latina actress has won this category.

One is the nomination for an actor playing a superhero in a Marvel Studios, and it is the first time a character from that company gets nominated. The honor goes to Angela Bassett for “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”

One is the Oscar nomination under scrutiny. The Academy is reviewing the Best Actress nomination of Andrea Riseborough for “To Leslie” and whether their Oscar campaign promoting the movie followed the rules or intentionally alternated the algorithms. That nomination may be revoked, even if other actors campaigned for her. The controversy grew bigger for other people in the industry who were making allegations based on race - staying that other colored actors with quality projects, who campaigned intensively and followed the rules, did not get in, such as Viola Davis for “The Woman King” and Danielle Deadwyler for “Till.”


Everything Everywhere All at Once, 11
All Quiet on the Western Front, 9
The Banshees of Irisherin, 8
Elvis, 8
The Fabelmans, 7
Tàr, 6
Top Gun: Maverick, 6
Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, 5
Avatar: The Way of Water, 4
The Whale, 3


  1. A24, 17
  2. NETFLIX, 16
  3. WARNER BROS, 11
  4. DISNEY + 20TH CENTURY, 10
  9. NEON, 3
  10. APPLE TV +, 2
Winners will be announced during the 95th Oscars ceremony on Sunday, March 12, hosted by Jimmy Kimmel.
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Festival in LA ©2023

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Fire of Love: The Everlasting Stars of Volcanology

 By José Alberto Hermosillo

Dangerously real and transcendental. “Fire of Love” ignites the lover’s passion for Earth Studies 101 enormously. 

“Fire of Love” is a complete recompilation of materials related to volcano studies collected deep from the archives of Katia & Maurice Krafft. The French couple discovered their magnetism for each other and volcanoes. Attracted by the powerful energy emanating from the Earth’s interior, they defied nature to fulfill their hunger for knowledge. This Academy Award-nominee documentary can be used to save lives in communities surrounding volcanoes around the globe.

The daredevils of volcanoes are here to enlighten humanity with their amusing discoveries and heart-pounding missions, leaving us with an everlasting legacy.

This eye-opening documentary summarizes hundreds of hours of invaluable footage, original materials, incredible photos, specific samples collected from locations, and millions of questions.

Before 1966, all we knew about volcanoes was generic. Geology classified volcanoes by region, age, and size—until the Kraffts came with their exhaustive research, studying every volcano individually.


Since they met in a coffee shop in Paris, the French couple could not live apart and embarked on a series of expeditions overseas to study each volcano individually. When they were children, their parents took them separately to visit the volcanoes in Italy – they started with the Stromboli.

In 1970, they married. Their honeymoon was in Santorini, the mythical city of Atlantis. They devoted their lives to their volcano studies and decided not to have children. The newlyweds were the first and probably the only volcanologist couple in the world, and they revolutionized every previous theory about volcanoes and tectonic plates. 

Once they start their journey, the film's visuals and environmental sounds blend, complementing everything with “Je Me Sens Vivre,” a romantic French song by Dalida.

Dalida -- Je Me Sens Vivre

They brought down every theory and myth about volcanoes, even the truths and fragments of history already set in books. As they went deeper, more questions arose. They traveled to different countries, continents, and Islands, starting with Mt. Edna and the Stromboli in Italy to begin their investigation. They knew that every mystery had to be solved. They lived every new adventure to the fullest.

TV appearances witnessed their studies, and it was an excellent opportunity to let the world know that studying volcanos must be done individually, not as a generic classification. Every volcano is a different animal. And they were more excited to show their findings when the TV became color.

They had their strengths—Katia worked on still pictures, printing books, chemistry, soil composition, gases, and physics. Maurice filmed everything on location, including eruptions, and kept the records and archives in order. 

Both complemented each other exceptionally well. The closer they got to the volcanos, the more they saw and became volcano runners. Even local people helped them with supplies and guidance to reach the craters.

Contemplating the devastating landscape surrounding a volcano, Maurice and Katia stated, “We are not religious; we are scientists, but we have our short life to return to the ground.” They romanticized their job following their passion for volcanoes and each other. Katia observed 170 volcanos, Maurice 150, 20 less than her.

Maurice prefers an intense and short life to a monotonous, long one. In his existentialist philosophy, he feels his life is a kamikaze in the beauty of volcanic things and the strenuous sounds of the volcano explosions. 

They developed a new classification theory for volcanos: Red and Grey. They named Red Volcanoes because of their red magma moving plates underneath and Grey Volcanoes after the grey smoke and ashes. Red volcanoes produce the most fertile soil for plant and vegetable growth. But these were the more explosive, the monster volcanoes, the killer volcanoes, such as Mount St. Helens in the US near Vancouver, Canada.

“Volcanology is a science of observation. The closer they get, the more they see.” With new gear, they could get closer to the edge. In their fascination for danger, the unknown is not to be feared, but something is not torn. When the Krakatoa erupted in Indonesia in 1971, they studied chemistry and water composition, the acidity that kills every organism surrounding the volcanoes. In 1973, they visited one of the most active volcanoes in the world. Mt. Nyiragongo in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo, will continue the studies of lava and soil composition.

The signs before a blast are the alteration of minerals, gases, soil temperature, and tremors that ignite an eruption, but there is no certainty to know when or at what time. “Going to the site of a volcano eruption is like playing Russian roulette - you never know when you will be killed,” said Maurice.  

In 1985, the volcano Nevado del Ruíz erupted in Colombia, killing around 25,000 people while they were sleeping. The government ignored the warnings for evacuation, and Katia arrived to testify about the damage. Since then, the Kraffts’ film has been used as educational material to warn the communities close to the volcanos to evacuate and save lives because timing is everything.

Independent writer, producer & director Miranda July narrates “Fire of Love.” FestivalinLA ©2011

Independent filmmaker Miranda July's narration (“Kajillionaire,” “Me You and Everyone We Know,” “The Future”) is descriptive and evocative. 

Sara Dosa, Fire of Love
Sara Dosa, director of "Fire of Love." Photo by José Alberto Hermosillo. FestivalinLA ©2023

The documentary, co-written and directed by Sara Dosa (producer of the Academy-nominated “The Edge of Democracy”), powerfully portrays the well-selected material. Dosa did a marvelous job assembling this gigantic puzzle on Krafft’s materials, studies, and discoveries.

Legendary German filmmaker Werner Herzog worked on a few projects focused on the Kraffts - “The Fire Within” and “Into the Inferno.” Still, nothing compares with the force that “Fire of Love” has through imagery and consistent structure.

The material selected can be compared with the fabric of other Academy Award-winning music discoveries, such as “Summer of Soul” or the story of “Amy” about the life of Amy Winehouse, where the home videos are sticking material for the world to connect with the legendary singer.

What keeps us watching the documentary is the fantastic material and the lives of those two passionate French investigators who pursue their dreams and dare, like no one else, to go further. Katia, Maurice, and the Volcanos love story. 

Fire of Love Trailer | National Geographic

Sara Dosa, director of “Fire of Love.” Film critic José Alberto Hermosillo. FestivalinLA ©2023

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