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David Poland

By David Poland

I've Got Spirit, How About You?

A rather odd list from the Indie Spirit crew this year. No one can really accuse the group of pandering to celebrity with its version of Best Picture

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

  1. swordandpen says:

    I get to vote in this every year and the randomness of the nominations baffle me. I remember when “The Sweet Hereafter” was considered a foreign film, but now “Diving Bell” isn’t, but “Once” is?
    They also have a tendency for nominating unexceptional performances while ignoring great ones. How do you nominate “The Savages” in all those categories and omit Picture and even worse, Laura Linney, for Actress when her performance was what made the movie for me? Or was Marisa Tomei the only performance in “Before The Devil” worth nominating?

  2. movieman says:

    It’s beginning to look like The Golden Globes have more integrity than the ISP awards. Frigging nuts.
    But it was nice to see “Lake of Fire” get some love. That is hand’s-down the best doc I’ve seen all year.

  3. jeffmcm says:

    Perhaps even the Indie Spirit people found the premise of Lars and the Real Girl off-putting. Or, the flip side, they found it not off-putting enough (I personally wish it had been made by Cronenberg with all that entails).

  4. David Poland says:

    You really CAN’T be suggesting Lars is Cronenberg material if you have seen it, J-Mc. Can’t.

  5. jeffmcm says:

    I’m saying I would have liked it better if it had been.

  6. errolmorrisfan says:

    To qualify for the Spirits, a film has to be “American” in the same way, I suppose, that a foreign Oscar selection has to be “from” the submitting country. By which they mean the creative principals (director/writer/producer) are from that country. That’s why Diving Bell is American (Schnabel/Kennedy) and not French. I guess that’s also why Away From Her (Canada) and Once (Ireland) aren’t eligible in any category other than foreign film. Crazy, I know.

  7. HUGE HUGE HUGE PROPS to Aaron Katz/QUIET CITY getting a Cassavettes Award nomination!!!!! Holy shit….that’s HUGE!! Such an outstanding little film…

  8. Christ the ISAs are so stupid. On one hand it’s utterly baffling that they didn’t nominate Linney (or Kidman for that matter), but I’m glad Sienna Miller is getting some awards love. It really is bizarre though.
    Maybe they can finally get around to releasing Paranoid Park though. I’m slightly desperate for new Van Sant.

  9. kelzeek says:

    For my money, Manufactured Landscapes was the best movie of 2007. Should please fans of Baraka and An Inconvienient Truth. The opening tracking shot of a Chinese iron making factory is one of the most stunning openings I’ve ever seen.

  10. doug r says:

    Why doesn’t Lars get nominated for best foreign picture? It was shot in Canada, after all-even though they hint at Michigan in the office.
    That seems to be the quintessential Canadian story.
    You leave someone alone, mostly. When he responds by getting weird, everyone adjusts a little until he heals.

  11. Dave, you’re selling Juno short!! The Academy that in recent years honored Eminem, The Departed, Three Six Mafia, and Crash is not going to be turned off by a teenage pregnancy… especially one as heartwarming and well done as Juno. If anything, I think it stands a better chance at winning than last year’s lighter BP nominee, Little Miss Sunshine, because it is the ONLY real feel-good film that is likely to make the nomination cut. People of all ages respond to it–laughing, crying, whatever–in large part because the joke is that Ellen Page is a smartass adult stuck in a 20 year old body. And Dave… she is SO good. When voters walk out of that screening drying their tears and with a big smile on their face… I’m telling you, man! 🙂

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“I always thought that once I had lived in Chicago for a while, it would be interesting to do a portrait of the city – but to do it at a significant time. Figuring out when would be the ideal time to do that was the trick. So when this election came around, coupled with the Laquan McDonald trial, it seemed like the ideal time to do the story. Having lived in Chicagoland for thirty-five-plus years and done a number of films here, I’ve always been struck by the vibrancy of the city and its toughness. Its tenderness too. I’ve always been interested in the people at the center of all the stories. This is a different film in that regard, because we’re not following a couple of individuals over the course of the project in the way that a lot of the films I’ve done have, but I still feel like people’s voices and aspirations and hopes are at the center of this series.

It wasn’t easy. We started back in July 2018, it was actually on the Fourth of July – that was our first shoot. It’s like most documentaries in that the further you go along the more involved and obsessed you get, and you just start shooting more and more and more. We threw ourselves into this crazy year in Chicago. We got up every day and tried to figure out if we should be out shooting or not, and what it is we should shoot. We were trying to balance following this massive political story of the mayor’s race and these significant moments like the Laquan McDonald trial with taking the pulse of people in the city that we encounter along the way and getting a sense of their lives and what it means to live here. By election day, Zak Piper, our producer, had something like six cameras out in the field. You could double-check that, it might have been seven. We had this organized team effort to hit all the candidates as they were voting, if they hadn’t already voted. We hit tons of polling places, were at the Board of Elections and then were at the parties for the candidates that we had been able to follow closely. Then of course, we were trying to make sure we were at the parties of the candidates who made it to the runoff. So, yeah, it was kind of a monster.”
~ Steve James On City So Real

“I really want to see The Irishman. I’ve heard it’s big brother Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece. But I really can’t find the time. The promotion schedule is so tight, there’s no opportunity to see a three and a half-hour movie. But I really want to see it. In 2017, right before Okja’s New York premiere, I had the chance to go to Scorsese’s office, which is in the DGA building. There’s a lovely screening room there, too, with film prints that he’s collected. I talked to him for about an hour. There’s no movie he hasn’t seen, even Korean films. We talked about what he’s seen and his past work. It was a glorious day. I’ve loved his work since I was in college. Who doesn’t? Anyone involved with movies must feel the same way.”
~ Bong Joon-ho