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Films to Match the Weather at Cannes

Séamas McSwiney is our guest film correspondent with decades of experience in film journalism, and work published in some top international publications. Here he looks at three difficult but brilliant films that have perfectly matched this year's dark, wet Cannes film festival:

"After a somewhat stuttering start, over the weekend, the Cannes Competition delivered three hard-hitting quality films from three directors who have also shone darkly in the past. Their individual subject matter springs from the banal and the quotidian, but is cruel and sometimes difficult to watch. There is hardly a joke made or a smile raised during their combined running time of over six hours.

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Bollywood: Facts and History

For India Week we are focusing on Indian Entertainment, Music and Film today. It is impossible to look at such a topic without looking at Bollywood. Bollywood IS Indian entertainment in many aspects. So if you don't know too much about India's Hollywood, then here is a short introduction for you.

History and Style

Bollywood is basically the informal name for the Hindi Film Industry based in Mumbai, which is one of the largest centres of film production in the world. Although it is the largest in India, it is only part of the total Indian film industry, despite the term Bollywood often incorrectly referring to the whole of Indian cinema.

It all started way back in 1913 with the first silent feature film made in India, called Raja Harishchandra. Over the next twenty years the Indian film industry grew so quickly that by the 1930s, the country was producing over 200 films a year. It was in 1931 when Alam Ara became the first Indian film with sound, but not until the late 1950s when films started to regularly be made in colour.

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Oscars 2012: Winners, Highlights and Best Dressed

The movie awards season reached its grand finale last night, with the 84th Academy Awards, or as we know them, the Oscars. As an evening traditionally filled with huge stars, long speeches and few surprises, it didn't disappoint.

The big winner was silent film The Artist, which took home Best Picture, Actor and Director. Predictably, Meryl Streep won Best Actress for her portrayal of Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, meaning she joins an elite group of actors to have won three Oscars. The other success story of the evening was Martin Scorsese's Hugo, which claimed 5 awards, mainly for its sound and visuals.

With few surprises, there is little point reeling off all the details about each winner. We've done it all before after the Golden Globes here, and the Baftas here. Instead simply enjoy having a look at some beautiful people and check out the full list of winners below:

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The 2012 Baftas: Winners, Speeches and Stephen Fry

With Stephen Fry hosting, the Baftas promised to be a charming, light-hearted and very British night of entertainment, and did not disappoint. The annual film and television awards were held last night at Covent Garden's Royal Opera House, and attracted some of the biggest names in cinema. Whilst the audience was littered with such stars as Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Meryl Streep, it was a silent, black and white French film which swept the awards.

The Unexpected Film of the Year

The film that is so surprisingly dominating the awards season is The Artist. Set in 1927, it tells the story of a silent movie actor whose career begins to wane just as his lover's career takes off in the ‘talkies'. After already winning big at the Golden Globes and gaining ten Oscar nominations, the movie won a massive seven awards last night. In total it won (deep breath): Best Film, Director, Original Screenplay, Leading Actor, Original Music, Cinematography and Costume Design.

The overjoyed (but slightly embarrassed) director and writer Michel Hazanavicius (pictured on the right above) had to come up on stage and make several different speeches, revealing "I know that I will have some bad days because I'm a director but I will remember this day, today, as a good day".

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The Golden Globes' Winners and Losers

Movie award season started this weekend with the Golden Globes being held in Los Angeles. Presented by English comic Ricky Gervais for the third year running, the big winner from the night was, unusually, a black and white silent movie called The Artist.

The Winners and Losers

The Artist tells the tale of a declining silent actor who is starting to lose his celebrity as talking films gain in popularity. On the night, it was named best comedy and its star Jean Dujardin (pictured above) took home the best male comedy actor award. On the drama side, George Clooney won best actor for his role in The Descendents, which also won Best Film Drama.

Other big winners included hotly-tipped Meryl Streep for her role as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady, and Michelle Williams who plays Marilyn Monroe in My Week with Marilyn, both of whom won Best Actress awards. On the international scene, Iran's A Separation, which tells the simple tale of a couple's break up, won best foreign language film.

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