By David Poland firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s be clear from the start… I embrace all the movies that the Independent Spirit Awards have selected for their Best Feature award… and I am a little disgusted that an award for independent spirit has become, almost, a studios-only thing. Two for Focus, two for Searchlight, one for Roadside Attractions, which with its $6m-plus indie success with Winter’s Bone is “the outsider” in this group with the two surviving studio Dependents.
But hey, if you’re making your first feature or made a movie for under $500,000, you get to be part of this “independent” event as well.
Four of Five of the ISA nominees making the Oscar BP list, which is very possible, doesn’t signal the health of the indie business, but the failure of FIND to find a way to get serious about supporting truly independent film. With due respect, it has become a joke.
Can we really take The King’s Speech winning Best Foreign Film at an award’s show seriously?
So, here is your list of Indie Spirit winners, to be given out a couple of nights before the Oscars…
Natalie Portman or Nicole Kidman
Dale Dickey for Winter’s Bone
Can’t call Sppt Actor – could be Hawkes, Murray, or Ruffalo
Debra Granik, Anne Rosellini or Stuart Blumberg, Lisa Cholodenko for Screenplay
Exit Through the Gift Shop
And congratulations to Lena Dunham for winning Best First Screenplay and probably the Best First Feature award… unless the profile of Get Low take over that Best First Feature vote.
Again, I don’t want to be unkind to the many deserving people that have been nominated for an award this morning. Awards are nice. I am thrilled that Black Swan is going to get some statues, with Portman and Libatique the only ones likely to be in serious competition to win on Sunday night. I want all the recognition for Get Low that it can have, even if the the feature nominating committee preferred Greenberg in every way, even making a sixth slot in Best Actress so it could get Greta Gerwig in… and not Julianne Moore… and not any of them dang foreigners that The American Independent Spirit Award ignores no matter what their contribution each year.
Couldn’t FIND create an award for the middle class of indie… maybe films that won’t ever be on 1000 screens or more. Keep the Show Us The Money awards if you need to… Dick Clark Productions – Creator of the Golden Globes myth – would not like it if you pulled them.
You know, the day (or night) at the beach is a lot of fun. It is another large gathering of people who work around each other all year long, year after year, and a pre-Oscar reunion for all of us who trudge through the award season. FIND dredges up the same crew, with some annual variations for new FIND insiders, to do their nominations, year after year, and then leaves it open to a voting group that has no qualifications except for the money to buy a pass to a bunch of “free” screenings, turning it from a vote of the insider elite to a popularity contest. Weak play on both sides of that equation.
It wouldn’t much matter, except that indie really needs the support right now. And unless you are one of the Chosen Ones, you won;’t get that from FIND at the Indie Spirits.
There is nothing quite as sad as a great earned opportunity (what FIND has built in the ISAs) turned into another brick in the wall. But I guess I shouldn’t use that metaphor… The Wall would not qualify for an ISA, except as a Foreign Film.