By MCN Editor

The 2012 Spirits Winners

Best Feature

50/50: Producers: Evan Goldberg, Ben Karlin, Seth Rogen

Beginners: Producers: Miranda de Pencier, Lars Knudsen, Leslie Urdang, Dean Vanech, Jay Van Hoy

Drive: Producers: Michel Litvak, John Palermo, Marc Platt, Gigi Pritzker, Adam Siegel

Take Shelter: Producers: Tyler Davidson, Sophia Lin

The Artist: Producer: Thomas Langmann

The Descendants: Producers: Jim Burke, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor

Best Director

Michel Hazanavicius: The Artist

Mike Mills: Beginners

Jeff Nichols: Take Shelter

Alexander Payne: The Descendants

Nicolas Winding Refn: Drive

Best Screenplay

Joseph Cedar: Footnote

Michel Hazanavicius: The Artist

Tom McCarthy: Win Win

Mike Mills: Beginners

Alexander Payne, Nat Faxon, Jim Rash: The Descendants

Best First Feature

Another Earth: Director: Mike Cahill; producers: Mike Cahill, Hunter Gray, Brit Marling, Nicholas Shumaker

In the Family: Director: Patrick Wang; producers: Robert Tonino, Andrew van den Houten, Patrick Wang

Margin Call: Director: J.C. Chandor; producers: Robert Ogden Barnum, Michael Benaroya, Neal Dodson, Joe Jenckes, Corey Moosa, Zachary Quinto

Martha Marcy May Marlene: Director: Sean Durkin; producers: Antonio Campos, Patrick Cunningham, Chris Maybach, Josh Mond

Natural Selection: Director: Robbie Pickering; producers: Brion Hambel, Paul Jensen

Best First Screenplay

Mike Cahill, Brit Marling: Another Earth

J.C. Chandor: Margin Call

Patrick deWitt: Terri

Phil Johnston: Cedar Rapids

Will Reiser: 50/50

John Cassavetes Award To Best Feature Reportedly Made For Under $500,000

Bellflower: Writer-director: Evan Glodell; producers: Evan Glodell, Vincent Grashaw

Circumstance: Writer-director: Maryam Keshavarz; producers: Karin Chien, Maryam Keshavarz, Melissa M. Lee

Hello Lonesome: Writer-director-producer: Adam Reid

Pariah: Writer-director: Dee Rees; producer: Nekisa Cooper

The Dynamiter: Writer: Brad Inglesby; director: Matthew Gordon; producers: Kevin Abrams, Matthew Gordon, Merilee Holt, Art Jones, Mike Jones, Nate Tuck, Amile Wilson

Female Lead

Lauren Ambrose: Think of Me

Rachael Harris: Natural Selection

Adepero Oduye: Pariah

Elizabeth Olsen: Martha Marcy May Marlene

Michelle Williams: My Week With Marilyn

Male Lead

Demián Bichir: A Better Life

Jean Dujardin: The Artist

Ryan Gosling: Drive

Woody Harrelson: Rampart

Michael Shannon: Take Shelter

Supporting Female

Jessica Chastain: Take Shelter

Anjelica Huston: 50/50

Janet McTeer: Albert Nobbs

Harmony Santana: Gun Hill Road

Shailene Woodley: The Descendants

Supporting Male

Albert Brooks: Drive

John Hawkes: Martha Marcy May Marlene

Christopher Plummer: Beginners

John C. Reilly: Cedar Rapids

Corey Stoll: Midnight in Paris

Best Cinematography

Joel Hodge: Bellflower

Benjamin Kasulke: The Off Hours

Darius Khondji: Midnight in Paris

Guillaume Schiffman: The Artist

Jeffrey Waldron: The Dynamiter

Best Documentary

An African Election: Director-producer: Jarreth Merz

Bill Cunningham New York: Director: Richard Press; producer: Philip Gefter

The Interrupters: Director-producer: Steve James; producer: Alex Kotlowitz

The Redemption of General Butt Naked: Director-producers: Eric Strauss, Daniele Anastasion

We Were Here: Director-producer: David Weissman

Best International Film

A Separation: (Iran) Director: Asghar Farhadi

Melancholia: (Denmark/Sweden/France/Germany) Director: Lars von Trier

Shame: (UK) Director: Steve McQueen

The Kid With a Bike: (Belgium/France/Italy) Directors: Jean-Pierre Dardenne, Luc Dardenne

Tyrannosaur: (UK) Director: Paddy Considine

Piaget Producers Award

Chad Burris: Mosquita y Mari

Sophia Lin: Take Shelter

Josh Mond: Martha Marcy May Marlene

Someone To Watch Award

Simon Arthur: Silver Tongues

Mark Jackson: Without

Nicholas Ozeki: Mamitas

Truer Than Fiction Award

Heather Courtney: Where Soldiers Come From

Danfung Dennis: Hell and Back Again

Alma Har’el: Bombay Beach

Robert Altman Ensemble Award

Margin Call: Director: J.C. Chandor; casting director: Tiffany Little Canfield, Bernard Telsey; ensemble cast: Penn Badgley, Simon Baker, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Mary McDonnell, Demi Moore, Zachary Quinto, Kevin Spacey, Stanley Tucci

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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