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Winner of the Palme D’or at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, the second for auteur Michael Haneke, much mention has been made about this being Haneke’s warmest, most human film. I agree that the film is quite moving, giving us two cinematic legends at their late career best, Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant (who came out of retirement to do the film), and a moving supporting performance from Haneke favorite, Isabelle Huppert. However, I don’t really agree with classifying this as a warm or even human picture. Haneke’s glacially cold gaze doesn’t warm up at all here, simply showing us a final act of kindness born just as much out of pragmatic selfishness as it could be out of love. This is an unflinching look at the cruelty of life and nature, and those desperately looking for evidence of Haneke losing »
- Nicholas Bell
Chicago – Sean Baker’s “Starlet” is about an incredibly unlikely friendship between two women six decades apart and, like a lot of acclaimed independent films, it plays like an interesting short story adapted to celluloid. The first forty-five minutes of Baker’s debut really work, as the writer/director works with his two talented leads to craft an interesting character study. When the film has to get into more depth regarding its characters futures and pasts, it falters a bit but there’s still a lot to like here.
Jane (the beautiful Dree Hemingway, daughter of Mariel) is a porn star, although that’s not even revealed until well into the film in an explicit way that would earn the flick an Nc-17 if it weren’t unrated. Jane’s life seems relatively empty, smoking down in her non-descript apartment with her two easily distracted roommates, Melissa (Stella Maeve »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Before you can take a breath after the Gotham awards, the Independent Spirit Award nominations have rolled out (here’s the official list), and not without some notable parallels. For the most part, the Best Feature lineup is hardly surprising, perhaps with the exception of Bernie, which was an entertaining film from an excellent director, but this is a slot that could have been filled by something more deserving. The other selections are a bit more typical, with Moonrise Kingdom, The Silver Linings Playbook, and Beasts of the Southern Wild all critical darlings from the past year (though Beasts should really be in the Best First Feature category, but this has more to do with producer credits than director Benh Zeitlin). It’s great to see Ira Sachs’ latest, Keep the Lights On receiving the continued attention as well, one of the very few significant Lgbt related films this year. »
- Nicholas Bell
Chicago – Two acclaimed crowd-pleasers led the nominees for the 2013 Independent Spirit Awards, which were announced November 27th. The quirky ensemble comedies “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Moonrise Kingdom” snagged five nominations apiece. The latter picture recently garnered a Best Feature accolade from the Gotham Independent Film Awards.
At the Indie Spirit Awards, David O. Russell’s “Playbook” and Wes Anderson’s “Kingdom” were joined in the Best Feature category by Ira Sachs’ “Keep the Lights On,” Richard Linklater’s “Bernie” and Benh Zeitlin’s “Beasts of the Southern Wild.” All of the directors whose films were nominated in the top category also received Best Director nominations, with the exception of Linklater, who was replaced by Julia Loktev (“The Loneliest Planet”). Earning nominations for Best First Feature were Rama Burshtein’s “Fill the Void,” Adam Leon’s “Gimmie the Loot,” Colin Trevorrow’s “Safety Not Guaranteed,” Zal Batmanglij’s “Sound of my Voice »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Award season is well underway with a host of efforts hoping they’ll be competing for the big gongs at next years Golden Globes and, of course, the Academy Awards. While we still have a couple of months to see who’ll be amongst those winners, we have a number of smaller events coming up to give us some clues. Here are the nominations for the Independent Spirit Awards which sees multiple nominations for the the likes of Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Silver Linings Playbook and Moonrise Kingdom.
Bruce Cohen, »
- Craig Hunter
Nominees for the 28th Annual Spirit Awards were announced today and in many of the categories, some familiar names seem to be recurring. Best Feature nominees are Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Keep The Lights On, Moonrise Kingdom and Silver Linings Playbook. Sean Baker’s Starlet will receive the Robert Altman Award, given to a film’s director, casting director, and ensemble [...] »
- Joe Gillis
The 28th Annual Film Independent Spirit Award nominations were announced eaelier today and while Moonrise Kingdom and Silver Linings Playbook both grabbed five noms a piece, it is Bernie, Keep The Lights On and Beasts of the Southern Wild who are glowing with their four noms each. Our jeers, cheers and snubs commentary shall be coming soon. Here are the entire list of nominees for the 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards:
- Eric Lavallee
The Independent Spirit Awards are an annual award given in the name of independent film, featuring plenty of those little indies which deserve the honor and recognition that they won't necessarily be receiving at the Oscars - though we always hope they get something. The nominees for the 28th annual Film Indie Spirit Awards were announced today (via Deadline), and can be seen in full below. Sean Baker's Starlet was selected to receive the annual Robert Altman Award, bestowed upon a film's director, casting director and its entire ensemble cast. The winners will be announced on Saturday, February 23rd in Santa Monica. You'll notice an [IMDb] (or trailer) link next to each film. This is so you can discover new films, because there is guaranteed to be at least one you have never heard of. Here is the complete list of 2013 nominees: Best Feature Beasts of the Southern Wild [IMDb] Bernie »
- Alex Billington
Nominations for the 28th Film Independent Spirit Awards were announced today and were led by Moonrise Kingdom and Silver Linings Playbook with five nominations each followed closely by fellow Best Feature nominees Beasts of the Southern Wild and Keep the Lights On as well as Ava DuVernay's Middle of Nowhere, each with four nominations. Richard Linklater's Bernie was the fifth Best Feature nominee while Middle of Nowhere found its four nominations largely in the acting categories with Emayatzy Corinealdi, David Oyelowo and Lorraine Toussant all being nominated and the fourth for the John Cassavetes Award, which goes to the "best" film made for under $500,000. Looking over the list of nominees I can't help but shrug at the screenplay nomination for Ruby Sparks (a film I loathed), but it's nice to see some First Time Feature love for Colin Trevorrow's Safety Not Guaranteed and Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower, »
- Brad Brevet
Having taken home the Best Picture award at last night’s Gotham Independent Film Awards, Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom finds itself nominated in the same category in the upcoming Independent Spirit Awards, with the full list of nominations announced tonight.
Anderson’s latest film has been nominated in a healthy five categories – Best Feature, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Supporting Male, and Best Cinematography – with David O. Russell’s Silver Linings Playbook also racking up an impressive five nominations, adding Best Female Lead and Best Male Lead to Best Feature, Director, and Screenplay.
Also coming in as strong contenders are Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone; Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the Best Female Lead category for her performance in Smashed; Colin Trevorrow in the Best First Feature category for Safety Not Guaranteed, and Derek Connolly in the Best First Screenplay for the same film; director Benh Zeitlin and Beasts of the Southern Wild »
- Kenji Lloyd
With big-screen behemoths like Lincoln, Argo, and Les Miserables dominating Oscar talk, Film Independent’s awards — chosen by filmmakers, actors, critics, and festival programers — cast the spotlight on some smaller films that are nonetheless worthy of consideration this award season.
A little more analysis is on the way, but for now here are the nominees:
- Anthony Breznican
Directors Wes Anderson ("Moonrise Kingdom") and David O. Russell ("Silver Linings Playbook") are also nominated in the best director category along with Julia Loktev ("The Loneliest Planet"), Ira Sachs ("Keep the Lights On"), and Benh Zeitlin ("Beasts of the Southern Wild").
Winners of the 28th Film Independent Spirit Awards will be announced on February 23, 2013 when they will hold their traditional Saturday afternoon awards show »
The nominations for the 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards were announced this morning by actors Anna Kendrick, Zoe Saldana, and Common. Nominees for Best Feature include Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Bernie, Keep The Lights On, Moonrise Kingdom, and Silver Linings Playbook. Starlet was selected to receive the annual Robert Altman Award, which is given one film’s director, casting director and ensemble cast.
Winners will be announced at the Spirit Awards on Saturday, February 23, 2013. The awards ceremony will be held as a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica, and the premiere broadcast will air later that evening at 10:00 pm Et/Pt on IFC.
2013 Film Independent Spirit Award Nominations
Best Feature (Award given to the Producer, Executive Producers are not awarded)
- Michelle McCue
As much as she'd probably like to avoid it, the first line in Dree Hemingway's biography probably would note that she is the great-granddaughter of famed writer Ernest Hemingway and the daughter of actress Mariel Hemingway. But with a few more movies like Starlet, her first leading feature role, that just might change. Hemingway, 25, plays Jane, a flighty, listless woman in her early 20s living in Los Angeles with her friend and the friend's boyfriend. She flits about through her days, smoking weed and shopping and taking her Chihuahua wherever she goes. She might seem like a low-
- Jordan Zakarin
“We have been expropriated from our own language by education, from our songs by reality TV contests, from our cities by surveillance, from our friends by wage-labour and from our flesh by mass pornography.”
—Invisible Committee in The Coming Insurrection.
Mass pornography, more than love, will tear us apart. By pornography we intend here the (post-)industrial and addictive apparatus obsessively consumed online, for the filming of a sexual intercourse is as ‘sinful,’ voyeuristic and ‘indecent’ as any other filmed act, and it is in fact as old as cinema itself. Far from being a transgressive genre, mass-mediated pornography is the ultimate act of subjugation, insofar as it monopolises sexual urges to shelve them in the digital supermarket of desire. Providing us with an unspoken but shared vocabulary, the pervasive and instantly available rule of virtual sex can erase experience, libidinal exploration and, most unforgivably, shared carnal bliss. The almost utopian aspect of sex, »
- Celluloid Liberation Front
Though the plot of Starlet may sound formulaic—an aimless, young woman forms an unlikely friendship with a crotchety, elderly woman—the film is handled with a level of care and understatement that elevates it. Buoyed by strong performances, particularly from newcomer Dree Hemingway, Starlet nearly has as much charm as the cute, canine character after which it’s named. »
One thing that's interesting about watching a film at a festival early in the year is paying attention to the way reviews trickle in over the rest of the year for the same film. At some festivals, it seems to be embraced, and at other festivals, it seems like no one's buying it, and it's hard to imagine why there's such a wide range of reactions to the same film in different places. That's how it's been this year for me and Sean Baker's film "Starlet." The movie played at SXSW, which is where I saw it, and I was quite »
- Drew McWeeny
Have you ever wondered what are the films that inspire the next generation of visionary filmmakers? As part of our monthly Ioncinephile profile (read here), we ask the filmmaker the incredibly arduous task of identifying their top ten list of favorite films. Sean Baker (Four Letter Words (’00), Take Out (’04), Prince of Broadway (’08) and the just released Starlet), provided us with his all time top ten film list (dated: November 2012).
“Gus Meins and Charley Rogers’ masterpiece. The comedic timing and images have passed the test of time… that poor monkey playing a bastard Mickey Mouse. And even in this age of advanced make-up and computer effects, show a child that Bogeymen sequence and I guarantee there will be nightmares.“
“Ferrara’s masterpiece. I love NYC films and this truly captured the city’s vibe of the late 80′s, »
- Eric Lavallee
This week on Toh!, we kept coverage coming on AFI Fest, jumped into awards season with Best Actress speculations and the Britannias, look at this weekend's large and small cinematic offerings, and much more! Interviews: Exclusive Clip & Interview with "Starlet" Director Sean Baker on Keeping it Vérité With Dree Hemingway Mendes Talks Bond Resurrection in "Skyfall" Oscar Watch: Spanish Sleeper "The Impossible," McGregor Talks True Survival Saga Cotillard and Schoenaerts Talk the Mystery of Audiard's "Rust and Bone" (Exclusive Video) Festivals & Reviews: AFI Mid-Fest Report: On the Red Carpet with "On the Road" & "Silver Linings"; "The Hunt," "Hitchcock," "Our Children" & "War Witch" Reviews Weekend Preview: Go Big with "Skyfall" & "Lincoln," but "Starlet" is »
You may have never heard of Sean Baker, but he's one of the most astute and least sentimental chroniclers of life on the fringes working in film today. His earlier films "Prince of Broadway" and "Take Out" dealt with immigrants hustling to make a living in a wintry, bustling New York City. With "Starlet," he shows that his aesthetic works just as well in the sun-bleached San Fernando Valley. That's where Florida transplant Jane (Dree Hemingway, daughter of Mariel) lives with her dog, Starlet, and two somewhat unsavory housemates, Melissa (Stella Maeve) »
- Alonso Duralde
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