Oscar nominee Amy Adams to receive Vanguard Award tonight

With four Oscar nominations to her name, Amy Adams may finally be in line to grab that golden statue next month. Her performance in Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master,” as the wife of a Scientology-style guru, has again raised her profile. Ms. Adams has a broad range and means serious business.

When she sits down at the Arlington tonight to receive the Cinema Vanguard Award, it will be the first time Ms. Adams has watched her career unspool in front of her and a crowd.

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DRINK OF THE WEEK: Reds’ bloody mary

NIK BLASKOVICH/NEWS-PRESS
NIK BLASKOVICH/NEWS-PRESS

When Dana Walters of Red’s Bar & Tapas, 211 Helena Ave., traveled back to her home state of Wisconsin she saw one of the craziest, gnarliest, most wonderfullest Bloody Mary’s possibly ever in the history of mankind. Boasting a serious amount of garnishes, it was half meal, half hangover cure. And it came in a glass boot. With a beer chaser. The memory was so epic that once she returned to Santa Barbara, she decided to set about creating her own version.

Now, as Super Bowl Sunday approaches, Walters has put the finishing touches on her Bloody Mary to end all … unless you travel to Wisconsin.

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SBIFF honors six Virtuosos of 2012 at the Arlington

The Virtuosos Award evening at the Arlington Theatre Tuesday night brought in six actors who had breakout roles last year in everything from indie features to big-budget Hollywood films.

It was the kind of evening that showed the Santa Barbara International Film Festival brings in not only superstars, but also actors who may turn out to be stars in their own right. See for example, previous years’ honoring of Marion Cotillard and Viola Davis.

The six for this year, each interviewed in separate 20-minute segments, were Ann Dowd, Elle Fanning, Ezra Miller, Eddie Redmayne, Omar Sy and Oscar-nominated Quvenzhané Wallis

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Feel the waves: SBIFF’s Sunday night premiere immersed viewers in 3D surfing

The red carpet leads into the Arlington Theatre for Sunday's showing of "Storm Surfers 3-D." NIK BLASKOVICH/NEWS-PRESS PHOTOS
The red carpet leads into the Arlington Theatre for Sunday’s showing of “Storm Surfers 3-D.”
NIK BLASKOVICH/NEWS-PRESS PHOTOS

“If you’re not a surfer after seeing this film, you’re going to feel like you are.”

Sunday night’s SBIFF event at the Arlington, “Storm Surfers 3-D” was a much mellower event than the previous two. No Hollywood, no ravenous banks of paparazzi, no screaming, adoring fans holding up posters. But the Arlington was modestly packed with serious surf fans waiting to see this breakthrough surfing documentary made all the more remarkable with its use of?3D.

The night was made even more special with the announcement that the film had just won the Australian Oscars —the coveted AACTA — for Best Documentary Feature. That made the journey to Santa Barbara for its two directors — Justin McMillan and Christopher Nellius — and its three stars — famous big-wave surfers Tom Carroll and Ross Clarke-Jones and surfing forecaster Ben Matson — all that more special. As the directors said just before the screening, the Arlington was the best theater they’d ever screened in.

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It’s all in the script: SBIFF offers an in-depth look at screenwriting with Oscar nominees

 Discussing screenwriting in a Santa Barbara International Film Festival panel were, from left, moderator Anne Thompson; Stephen Chbosky, "The Perks of Being a Wallflower"; Roman Coppola, "Moonrise Kingdom"; John Gatins, "Flight"; Rian Johnson, "Looper"; and David Magee, "Life of Pi." MIKE ELIASON/NEWS-PRESS

Discussing screenwriting in a Santa Barbara International Film Festival panel were, from left, moderator Anne Thompson; Stephen Chbosky, “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”; Roman Coppola, “Moonrise Kingdom”; John Gatins, “Flight”; Rian Johnson, “Looper”; and David Magee, “Life of Pi.”
MIKE ELIASON/NEWS-PRESS

Saturday afternoon’s “It Starts with the Script” panel at SBIFF was an even-handed affair, giving six of the Oscar-nominated screenwriters time to discuss craft, take questions from the audience (mostly good ones), and offer encouragement to those hoping to make it in the industry.

Critic Anne Thompson returned once again to host the event at the Lobero, bringing on Stephen Chbosky (“The Perks of Being A Wallflower”); Roman Coppola, (“Moonrise Kingdom”); John Gatins (“Flight”); Rian Johnson (“Looper”); and David Magee (“Life of Pi”). “Zero Dark Thirty” writer Mark Boal was a no-show.

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Rule breakers: SBIFF directors panel entertaining but uneven

The directors panel, from left, moderator Peter Bart; Tom Hooper, "Les Miserables"; Rich Moore, "Wreck-It Ralph"; David O. Russell, "Silver Linings Playbook"; Benh Zeitlin, "Beasts of the Southern Wild"; Malik Bendjelloul, "Searching for Sugar Man"; and Mark Andrews, "Brave." NIK BLASKOVICH/NEWS-PRESS
The directors panel, from left, moderator Peter Bart; Tom Hooper, “Les Miserables”; Rich Moore, “Wreck-It Ralph”; David O. Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”; Benh Zeitlin, “Beasts of the Southern Wild”; Malik Bendjelloul, “Searching for Sugar Man”; and Mark Andrews, “Brave.”
NIK BLASKOVICH/NEWS-PRESS

Six of this year’s Oscar contenders for best director from the narrative, documentary and animation fields sat for a panel discussion on their craft early Saturday morning at the Lobero.

Led by longtime moderator Peter Bart, the annual “Directors on Directing” panel was an entertaining look into their craft, dealing with actors, theories of editing, and working with audiences.

On the other hand, it was an uneven panel in terms of speaking time, and occasionally let down by snark from Mr. Bart.

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SBIFF: A man of two worlds

 Two-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis is a Best Actor nominee for his performance in "Lincoln." Below, he speaks with moderator Scott Feinberg of the Hollywood Reporter on Saturday at the Arlington Theatre, before being presented the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's Montecito Award. MIKE ELIASON/NEWS-PRESS PHOTOS

Two-time Oscar winner Daniel Day-Lewis is a Best Actor nominee for his performance in “Lincoln.” Below, he speaks with moderator Scott Feinberg of the Hollywood Reporter on Saturday at the Arlington Theatre, before being presented the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s Montecito Award.
MIKE ELIASON/NEWS-PRESS PHOTOS

For an actor known for his intensity and physicality, Daniel Day-Lewis seems modest and shy in real life, even when taking time to chat with fans gathered Saturday night outside the Arlington Theatre.

The evening was the long-awaited arrival of the Oscar-winning actor to Santa Barbara and SBIFF’s second tribute, the Montecito Award, in its 28th annual fest.

Introduced by director Michael Mann, who worked with the actors on 1992’s “The Last of the Mohicans,” and presented the award by his “Lincoln” co-star, Sally Field, Mr. Day-Lewis sat down with the Hollywood Reporter’s Scott Feinberg for a career-spanning, introspective interview.

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Hitting the bullseye: SBIFF Honors Ben Affleck for both acting and directing

Above, actor, director and screenwriter Ben Affleck arrives Friday at the Arlington Theatre to receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival's 2013 Modern Master Award. Mr. Affleck's latest film, "Argo," is a nominee for Best Picture in the Academy Award. MIKE ELIASON/NEWS-PRESS PHOTOS
Above, actor, director and screenwriter Ben Affleck arrives Friday at the Arlington Theatre to receive the Santa Barbara International Film Festival’s 2013 Modern Master Award. Mr. Affleck’s latest film, “Argo,” is a nominee for Best Picture in the Academy Award.
MIKE ELIASON/NEWS-PRESS PHOTOS

The Santa Barbara International Film Festival kicked off its tribute week with Friday night’s celebration of actor, writer, and director Ben Affleck, held before a packed crowd at the Arlington Theatre.

Mr. Affleck was in town to receive the Modern Master Award and to sit down with film critic Leonard Maltin to look back on a career that, for awhile, looked like it was heading toward action films until Mr. Affleck turned to directing. After that point, in the words of Mr. Maltin, Mr. Affleck hit “three bull’s-eyes.”

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Young Oscar nominee, Quvenzhane Wallis, takes it all in stride

Quvenzhane Wallis COURTESY PHOTO
Quvenzhane Wallis
COURTESY PHOTO

Actress Quvenzhane (pronounced Kwa-ven-sha-nay) Wallis was five years old when she auditioned for the lead role in “Beasts of the Southern Wild,” six years old when she filmed it, eight years old when she watched it premiere at Sundance and go on to gather acclaim and her own record-breaking Best Actress Oscar nod, and nine when she talked to this interviewer a week before she sits down Tuesday at the Arlington to do the exact same thing. (It’s a part of the Why, she must be thinking, do these adults keep asking me about this film?)

Because it’s a phenomenal performance of grit and daring and honesty, that’s why. But one can imagine the star is unfazed by all this. When she heard about her nomination, she was in her hotel room half asleep, she says. “And my mom told me to wake up, and I woke up and I really wasn’t that excited because I was asleep. But I was very excited on the inside.”

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Big Behn – Elements Theatre Company returns with a modern Restoration comedy

Phillip Van Nostrand photo
Phillip Van Nostrand photo

Ophra Behn holds a historical position as one of the first female English dramatists, a novelist, playwright and poet who was also once a spy for the monarchy. She’s not a household name, but her adventures in the court of Charles II makes for fine drama. In the hands and pen of contemporary playwright Liz Duffy Adams, Behn’s story results in the farcical “Or,” (the comma is intentional), a 2009 play set to open as part of Elements Theater Collective’s current season.

Sara Rademacher’s Elements brings theater to pop-up locations to put on their small-cast, minimal-set productions. For “Or,” they’ll be playing at Carpinteria’s Women’s Club, Java Station in Goleta, Santa Barbara’s Pescadrome, and many other locations, culminating in a final show at the Library’s Faulkner Gallery.

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