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David Poland

By David Poland

I've Got Indie Spirit, How About You?

The Spirit Awards are the best they have been in years, in great part because they are the most produced ISAs in years. Someone who is written for and is really a performer is just a better host of a looser show than a comic. And Rainn Wilson has been sublime.
More on the troubles of this being The Searchlight Awards later…
It’s not that I don’t think this movie, Juno, doesnt deserve the love. It just kinda sucks when one film that already has so much eats all indie films.
(The winners…)

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14 Responses to “I've Got Indie Spirit, How About You?”

  1. Noah says:

    It’s hard to believe a film that is directed by the son of Ivan Reitman and has stars like Jennifer Garner, Jason Bateman and others in the cast could really qualify as having an “independent spirit.” Then again, none of the other nominees are much better, except for maybe Paranoid Park.

  2. mutinyco says:

    Well, considering that the winners here were pretty much the anti-Oscars, does that mean Tony Gilroy just won Best Original Screenplay?…

  3. pchu says:

    Glad to see The Lookout win something. A very underrated film.

  4. I agree pchu…
    I’m bummed QUIET CITY didn’t win that phat cash for the Cassavettes Award. I mean, why not give the award to a film that embodies the Cassavettes spirit? Lame. You all should rent QUIET CITY….it’s out on DVD now and is beautiful.
    Other than that, the Indie Spirit Awards continue to make themselves more and more irrelevant by celebrating films that are “sorta indie” enough to seem like cool nominees from the fringe…but are (as Noah so rightly alluded to) really not very indie. In fact can we all just go on the record now as saying….if your film has enough money for a fucking Oscar push, you are NOT indie?
    Oh, and congrats to Schnabel who directed a gorgeous film!

  5. Joe Leydon says:

    I have to confess: When I reviewed The Lookout at SXSW last year, I was convinced it would be much more successful, critically and financially, than it turned out to be. Hope more people catch up with it on homevid and cable.

  6. jeffmcm says:

    Don’t/didn’t the Independent Spirit Awards give an award to Best Film made with less than a certain budget amount? That sounds like the true indie winner (or am I thinking of some festival?)

  7. Aladdin Sane says:

    Well at least Schnabel won Best Director. Guess he ain’t winning tonight.

  8. Jeff, I believe you’re talking about the Cassavetes award.
    Mutinyco, Diablo Cody didn’t actually win Best Screenplay, she won Best First Screenplay. The Savages won Best Screenplay. Although does this mean Page will be struck my the curse?

  9. djk813 says:

    Last year there were 6 winners at the Spirit Awards who were also nominated for the Oscars. Four of them won the Oscar (Alan Arkin, Michael Arndt, Guillermo Navarro, and The Lives of Others). The two that didn’t were Ryan Gosling and Little Miss Sunshine.

  10. Jonj says:

    Had a western weekend (in the East) by finally catching 3:10 to Yuma and TAOJJBTCRF (I wanted to see how silly the title looked by shortening it). Saw them both on Blu-ray. 3:10 can only look so good on Blu-ray because of the way it was filmed. The James movie looked great in that format although I enjoyed 3:10 a little more. Add those to NCFOM and TWBB and it really was a year for great westerns.

  11. mutinyco says:

    Kamikaze, I was being facetious…

  12. David Poland says:

    I don’t think there is any curse or any magic… Best Picture is where “Won on Saturday, Lose on Sunday” is an odd tradition.
    In other categories, the unfortunate reality is that the most popular person wins – even more than Oscar, as voting is open to anyone with 20 bucks, most of whom join FIND not to vote, but for free screenings – and that there is usually one or max two Oscar nominees in each category.
    Julian would be a shocker tonight… but he has won a lot of awards up until now. Janusz is more likely because of the double nods for Deakins, though Elswit may be next in line. Diablo not winning would be a shock for many.
    One thing we know… Once won’t win Foreign Language and Crazy Love won’t win Doc and Phil Hoffman won’t win for The Savages.

  13. RoyBatty says:

    Shame they shoved “Once” into the “Best Foreign” category, where both “The Band’s Visit” and “4 Months, 3 Weeks, 2 Days” were poised to get the extra PR they were denied by the myopic Academy. I like “Once,” but just doesn’t belong in that category (how it didn’t make the cut for the Cassavettes award escapes me)
    Wilson was only so-so as host (those pre-shot bits, especially the one with Hopper) were pretty lame. Silverman was not good last year admittedly, but she was great the year before. What some see as sublime, others find way too understated and boring. And when he went for something more, it was the amateur level that the show ended up with with him “fighting” with Phil Hoffman.
    Anyone know what was up with the woman who was NOT the producer who started speaking for the director who wasn’t there? She looked kinda crazed…

  14. Scott Mendelson says:

    I’m a little mixed on Chiwetel Ejiofor winning for Talk To Me. He’s one of my very favorite actors and I saw the movie purely for him, but I was very disappointed with the picture as a whole.
    Glad to see Crazy Love win though. No End In Sight may be the most important and most impressive documentary of the year, but Crazy Love was easily the most entertaining. I was lucky to know next to nothing about the story (thank you to whomever cut the trailer to avoid second-act spoilers) and I sat there with my jaw open in wonder. It’s a hell of a story.
    Scott Mendelson

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon