From ‘Carol’ to ‘Tangerine’: This Year’s Independent Spirit Award Nominees

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This morning, Independent Spirit Award nominations were announced, boasting a diverse group of emerging artists and acclaimed filmmakers from Todd Haynes and Ed Lachman to Sean Baker and Cary Joji Fukunaga. The awards will be presented on February 27st so check out a selection of the nominees below and for the full list head here.

Best Feature
Anomalisa
Producers: Duke Johnson, Charlie Kaufman, Dino Stamatopoulos, Rosa Tran

Beasts of No Nation
Producers: Daniel Crown, Idris Elba, Cary Joji Fukunaga, Amy Kaufman, Daniela Taplin Lundberg, Riva Marker

Carol
Producers: Elizabeth Karlsen, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley

Spotlight
Producers: Blye Pagon Faust, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Michael Sugar

Tangerine
Producers: Sean Baker, Karrie Cox, Marcus Cox, Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou

Best Director
Sean BakerTangerine
Cary Joji Fukunaga, Beasts of No Nation
Todd Haynes, Carol
Charlie Kaufman & Duke Johnson, Anomalisa
Tom McCarthy, Spotlight
David Robert Mitchell, It Follows

Best Screenplay
Charlie Kaufman, Anomalisa
Donald Margulies, The End of the Tour
Phyllis Nagy, Carol
Tom McCarthy & Josh Singer, Spotlight
S. Craig Zahler, Bone Tomahawk

Best First Feature
The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Director: Marielle Heller
Producers: Miranda Bailey, Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit

James White
Director: Josh Mond
Producers: Max Born, Antonio Campos, Sean Durkin, Melody Roscher, Eric Schultz

Manos Sucias
Director: Josef Kubota Wladyka
Producers: Elena Greenlee, Márcia Nunes

Mediterranea
Director: Jonas Carpignano
Producers: Jason Michael Berman, Chris Columbus, Jon Coplon, Christoph Daniel, Andrew Kortschak, John Lesher, Ryan Lough, Justin Nappi, Alain Peyrollaz, Gwyn Sannia, Marc Schmidheiny, Victor Shapiro, Ryan Zacarias

Songs My Brothers Taught Me
Director/Producer: Chloé Zhao
Producers: Mollye Asher, Nina Yang Bongiovi, Angela C. Lee, Forest Whitaker

Best First Screenplay
Jesse Andrews, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Joseph Carpignano, Mediterranea
Emma Donoghue, Room
Marielle Heller, The Diary of a Teenage Girl
John Magary, Russell Harbaugh, Myna Joseph, The Mend

Best Male Lead
Christopher Abbott, James White
Abraham Attah, Beasts of No Nation
Ben Mendelsohn, Mississippi Grind
Jason Segel, The End of the Tour
Koudous Seihon, Mediterranea

Best Female Lead
Cate Blanchett, Carol
Brie Larson, Room
Rooney Mara, Carol
Bel Powley, The Diary of A Teenage Girl
Kitana Kiki Rodriquez, Tangerine

Best Supporting Male
Kevin Corrigan
Results
Paul Dano, Love & Mercy
Idris Elba, Beasts of No Nation
Richard Jenkins, Bone Tomahawk
Michael Shannon, 99 Homes

Best Supporting Female
Robin Bartlett, H.
Marin Ireland, Glass Chin
Jennifer Jason Leigh, Anomalisa
Cynthia Nixon, James White
Mya Taylor, Tangerine

Best Documentary
(T)error
Directors/Producers: Lyric R. Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe
Producer: Christopher St. John
Best of Enemies
Directors/Producers: Robert Gordon and Morgan Neville

Heart of Dog
Director/Producer: Laurie Anderson
Producer: Dan Janvey

The Look of Silence
Director: Joshua Oppenheimer
Producer: Signe Byrge Sørensen

Meru
Directors/Producers: Jimmy Chin and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi
Producer: Shannon Ethridge

The Russian Woodpecker
Director/Producer: Chad Gracia
Producers: Ram Devineni, Mike Lerner

Best International Film
Embrace the Serpent
(Colombia)
Director: Ciro Guerra

Girlhood
(France)
Director: Céline Sciamma

Mustang
(France, Turkey)
Director: Deniz Gamze Ergüven

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence
(Sweden)
Director: Roy Andersson

Son of Saul
(Hungary)
Director: László Nemes 

Best Cinematography
Beasts of No Nation, Cary Joji Fukunaga
Carol, Ed Lachman
It Follows, Michael Gioulakis
Meadlowland, Reed Morano
Songs My Brothers Taught Me, Joshua James Richards

From ‘Carol’ to ‘Heaven Knows What’: 2015’s Gotham Award Nominations

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This morning, the 2015 Gotham Awards nominations were announced and the nominees look to highlight a potpourri of some the year’s most beloved films from both renowned directors like Todd Haynes (Carol) and brilliant filmmakers on the rise like John Magary (The Mend). The ceremony will be held on November 30 at Cipriani Wallstreet with tributes to celebrated artists Robert Redford, Helen Mirren. and Haynes. Check out the full nominees list below.

Best Feature

Carol— Todd Haynes, director; Elizabeth Karlsen, Tessa Ross, Christine Vachon, Stephen Woolley, producers (The Weinstein Company)

The Diary of a Teenage Girl— Marielle Heller, director; Anne Carey, Bert Hamelinck, Madeline Samit, Miranda Bailey, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

Heaven Knows WhatJosh and Benny Safdie, directors; Oscar Boyson, Sebastian Bear-McClard, producers (RADiUS)
+ read our interview with Safdie brothers here

SpotlightTom McCarthy, director; Michael Sugar, Steve Golin, Nicole Rocklin, Blye Pagan Faust, producers (Open Road Films)

TangerineSean Baker, director; Darren Dean, Shih-Ching Tsou, Marcus Cox & Karrie Cox, producers (Magnolia Pictures)
+read our interview with Baker here

Best Documentary

Approaching the ElephantAmanda Rose Wilder, director; Jay Craven, Robert Greene, Amanda Rose Wilder, producers (Kingdom County Productions)
+ read our interview with Wilder here

Cartel LandMatthew Heineman, director; Matthew Heineman, Tom Yellin, producers (The Orchard and A&E IndieFilms

Heart of a DogLaurie Anderson, director; Dan Janvey, Laurie Anderson, producers (Abramorama and HBO Documentary Films)

Listen to Me MarlonStevan Riley, director; John Battsek, RJ Cutler, George Chignell, producers (Showtime Documentary Films)

The Look of SilenceJoshua Oppenheimer, director; Signe Byrge Sørensen, producer (Drafthouse Films)
+ read our interview with Oppenheimer here

Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

Desiree Akhavan for Appropriate Behavior (Gravitas Ventures)
+ read our interview with Akhavan here

Jonas Carpigano for Mediterranea (Sundance Selects)

Marielle Heller for The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics)

John Magary for The Mend (Cinelicious Pics)
+ read our interview with Magary here

Josh Mond for James White (The Film Arcade)

Best Screenplay

Carol, Phyllis Nagy (The Weinstein Company)

The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Marielle Heller (Sony Pictures Classics)

Love & Mercy, Oren Moverman and Michael Alan Lerner (Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and River Road Entertainment)

Spotlight, Tom McCarthy and Josh Singer (Open Road Films)

While We’re Young, Noah Baumbach (A24)

Best Actor*

Christopher Abbott in James White (The Film Arcade)

Kevin Corrigan in Results (Magnolia Pictures)
+ read our interview with Corrigan here

Paul Dano in Love & Mercy (Roadside Attractions, Lionsgate, and River Road Entertainment)

Peter Sarsgaard in Experimenter (Magnolia Pictures)

Michael Shannon in 99 Homes (Broad Green Pictures)

Best Actress*

Cate Blanchett in Carol (The Weinstein Company)

Blythe Danner in I’ll See You in My Dreams (Bleecker Street)

Brie Larson in Room (A24 Films)

Bel Powley in The Diary of a Teenage Girl (Sony Pictures Classics)

Lily Tomlin in Grandma (Sony Pictures Classics)

Kristen Wiig in Welcome to Me (Alchemy)

Breakthrough Actor

Rory Culkin in Gabriel (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Arielle Holmes in Heaven Knows What (RADiUS)

Lola Kirke in Mistress America (Fox Searchlight Pictures)
+ read our interview with Kirke here

Kitana Kiki Rodriguez in Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures)

Mya Taylor in Tangerine (Magnolia Pictures)

 

Fashion’s Crushing Hard on ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ Style

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Regardless of how you rank Wes Anderson’s fantastical filmography, there’s no denying that just about every twee-happy piece has offered some sort of trend-triggering takeaway for the fashion world. From Louis Vuitton’s love for Margot Tenenbaum’s striped pique polo dresses and faux fur coat in The Royal Tenenbaums to Mulberry creating a full collection inspired by the cute animal stuff in The Fantastic Mr. Fox, all is chic in the land of Anderson. The latest film to spark stylish fanfare is Moonrise Kingdom, which hit theaters last Friday.

Besides the retro khaki scout uniforms (which this film is chock-full of), the blogosphere is most obsessed with the ’60s school girl vibe of young Suzy, played by Kaya Hayward. Demure dresses with contrasting collars and cuffs, knee-high socks, classic black-and-white saddle oxfords—Alexa Chung, is that you? Here’s a roundup of some blogs that have already jumped on Moonrise‘s many fashion moments via "Get the Look" type stories or otherwise:

modelina

Modelina‘s take on Suzy’s style might be my favorite simply because they tracked down items that look pretty damn close to the film’s original costumes, like this Asos dress and these Bass shoes. They also sprinkled the feature with some imagery ("As she lounged on the lake shore with her scout listening to French Pop records and soaking up sun…"), which was a cute way to illustrate the character’s appeal.

topshop

Topshop loves them some Tilda Swinton, declaring that the avant-garde style icon "looks amazing in some of the promo shots!" Something tells me that a variation of the actress’ superior cape game from the film will hit the international retailer’s racks come this fall.

mod

Modcloth declares that the film’s scout uniforms are sure to take the place of the aforementioned Margot Tenenbaum costumes this year, praising costume designer Kasia Walicka Maimone’s inclusion of "yellow piping on the khaki and pea soup colors."

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Ralph Lauren even got in on the action and narrowed down RL items that match their favorite trends from the film, like the patchwork pants worn by the ever-cool, ever-kooky Bill Murray. 

Fourth of July Nightlife: Behind the Scenes

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The Fourth of July weekend looms, ready to empty Manhattan of its denizens of the night. Quite a few people have cut out already, leaving club operators in a quandary. With so many of their regulars away in exotic lands, how do they generate income to pay their bills, and how do they make staffing decisions? In an age of instant awareness, clubs that are crowded will become known to people who find themselves in empty rooms. A text, a tweet, or a call has them scurrying to find the crowds, and a well-run and established club has a leg-up on competitors.

The smart clubs employ PR companies that get the name and image of their clients to the masses both locally and throughout the world. While Manhattanites are off to vacation hovels, New York City becomes a destination for millions who want to see the fireworks and enjoy the hot town. These tourists with no job to wake up to want to go out to party. They almost always have only a name from a celebrity sighting, a synopsis in a city guide, or the word of their hotel concierge to steer them to the right nightclub. These concierges are heavily swayed by what they read in Page Six and New York Magazine.

PR companies worth their salt keep the name of their clients out there. Nightlife sections of lifestyle magazines and blogs are constantly updated with images and blurbs to attract those not normally looped in. Concierge outreach programs are used by the smart venues. A rep from the club visits chic hotels regularly and establishes relationships.

During the normal course of business throughout the year, the guests of these concierges are given preferred treatment for entrance and often other incentive-filled deals, like discounts on bottles. These concierges are sometimes tipped back by clubs for sending spenders their way but get much of their loot from satisfied customers. On weeks like this, when tourist dollars are the salvation, these concierge programs can save the day. Tourists don’t have work for days to come and are raring to go, eager to spend beaucoup bucks in places they have been convinced are ultra exclusive.

The best joints in town will lower their standards to fill their rooms. It is an opportunity for those allergic to the Hamptons and other cricket-heavy lands to get into places that normally exclude them. It can set the tone for a relationship with a doorman and club staff and ease entry going forward. Door people welcome familiar faces who have proven themselves to behave "correctly.” A borderline "no" can become a consistent "yes" if an effort to impress is made. Operators have a hard time staffing long weekends. Their employees, like most people, have other places they’d rather be. Staff are told in advance to not even think about being MIA, as operators can’t predict how busy or not they will be.

I will see the fireworks from the roof of the Tribeca Grand Hotel where there are stirrings of a rebirth of its traditionally vibrant nightlife culture. I have attended a couple of swell events there recently and I hear word of more to come. It has always worked for me. Multiple rooms, great sound, delicious drinks and even food, and the sexiness of the atrium and rooms up above have made me a regular over many years.

On another note, I was completely captivated by the new Wes Anderson flick, Moonrise Kingdom. I advise you stop reading this right this second, leave your house, and head over to your nearest cinema and see this film. Hell, quit your job…go now. Yes, I am that age. Yes, I had one of those Davy Crockett hats and I was the nerdiest, bespeckled scout. The world of my New England summer youth is there to be seen. I even had an eternal love that lasted an entire summer. I camped out, was bullied and fought back, and thought I knew everything about the trees and the winds and the animals of my wooded universe by the infinite lake of our seasonal retreat.

I’ve gotta go…I’m gonna see it again.

See New Photos From the Set of Wes Anderson’s ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

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After Moonrise Kingdom swept people away with its whimsical meditation on first love, the sartorially-minded autuer has been working hard on his next ensemble feature, The Grand Budapest Hotel. Wes Anderson and his slew of handsome stars have been shooting in Germany since the new year and whatever sector of Wes’ world this film falls into, he’s surely rounded up quite a cast. With Alexandre Desplat scoring the film, the synopsis tells us that The Grand Budapest Hotel will follow, "The troubles and tribulations of Mr. Gustave, who serves as the hotel’s perfectly composed concierge." Everyone from Bill Murray and Jeff Goldblum to Ralph Fiennes and Adrien Bordy to Willem Dafoe and Harvey Keitel are in the mix, and thanks to The Film Stage we now have a nice roundup of images from on set, as well as a behind the scenes clip. Enjoy.

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The Interactive ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ Script Is Better Than Your ‘For Your Consideration’

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The Academy Award nominations are done and dusted, and one of our favorite movies of 2012 and one of Wes Anderson’s best film in years, Moonrise Kingdom, got the shaft when it came to Best Picture voting. (We think perhaps the powers that be need look deep inside themselves and ask themselves if Les Misérables was really *that* good or if it just captured that period-drama grandeur that Oscar loves ever so much.)

Anyway, what Moonrise did get is the bone usually thrown to delightful, original but (ugh, sorry) "quirky" cinematic feats, a nod for Best Original Screenplay. And it’s up against the likes of Amour, Zero Dark Thirty and category Golden Globe winner Django Unchained. But that doesn’t mean Anderson and co-writer Roman Coppola are gonna try their damnedest to court Oscar voters before the final count in February. 

And what a beautiful campaign it is. Anderson, Coppola and Focus Features have released an interactive screenplay for the film, featuring a map of New Penzance Island, original sketches of set pieces and shot setups, including Suzy’s home, Camp Ivanhoe and the very precarious treehouse, the ark for the church presentation of Noye’s Fludde and Sam Shakusky’s Khaki Scouts registration card. It’s a neat look into the process, well-designed and if you start now, before you know it you’ll be at the wedding scene and it will also be mid-afternoon and you will have gotten nothing done. Click through the whole thing if you have some time today. 

This Is an Alexandre Desplat Appreciation Post

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Best Original Score, for most, is one of those categories at the Golden Globes (and, by proxy, the Academy Awards) that you just kind of gloss over. Many of the same names cycle annually as nominees (John Williams, Gustavo Santaolalla, the Danna brothers, etc.) and it usually falls by the wayside to its more popular, eclectic cousin, Best Original Song, this weird and wonderful space responsible for Oscars for “Blame Canada” and Three Six Mafia (and a lot of snubs we found unfortunate). Last night, Mychael Danna, who scored the tigers-and-shipwrecks tale Life of Pi, took home the Globe for his lovely score, but today, we salute another workhorse of film composition.

You know who had a great year in award-fodder movies? Alexandre Desplat. Sure, Danna got the win and the Oscars love John Williams and biopics so the big one will probably go to Lincoln, and it’s just an honor to be nominated what are these awards anyway etc., but dude was pretty much killing it this whole time, and it was about time he got his own appreciation post.

 For sheer volume of work alone, all the writing and rehearsing and recording for three of the most acclaimed movies of 2012, as well as some others. Did he sleep at all? Did he remember to bathe? Or was he just so immersed in quickening the pulse of Argo armed with ouds and beats and some a cappella that would have been tacky in most places but worked here? Or was he too busy cultivating that stomach-dropping, ominous feel for Zero Dark Thirty, or giving Wes Anderson another earworm of a leitmotif for Moonrise Kingdom? A score is everything, and for three of the most celebrated filmmakers of the year and the three most celebrated films, there was only one composer for the job.

Desplat has been nominated five times for Best Original Score for the Oscars and has gone 1-for-6 with Golden Globes. This may not be his year, but he’s a winner in our hearts. Listen to some choice selections from Moonrise Kingdom, Argo and Zero Dark Thirty below.  

 

The Best of BlackBook’s 2012 Film Coverage

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2012 was an interesting year for cinema—whether it be Hollywood franchise blockbusters, independent stage-play-turned-comedies , or haunting and heartbreaking foreign dramas. In the first half of the year, we saw young filmmakers such as a Brit Marling, Benh Zeitlin, and Leslye Headland debut their innovative and fresh take on modern stories, with films that established them as unique new voices of independent American cinema. Hollywood staples David O. Russell, Quentin Tarantino, Wes Anderson, and Whit Stillman once again pleased audiences and won critical praise for their idiosyncratic features. And then there were the beautifully guttural foreign films from Michael Haneke, Miguel Gomes, and Leos Carax that constantly reinvent, not only what film can be, but the experiential nature of cinema as well. 

So as the year draws to a close and we begin to anticipate next year’s film slate, here’s the best in BlackBook’s film coverage of the past twelve months—highlighting our favorite films of 2012 that will linger on in history and the one’s to breakout next year’s biggest stars.


Holy Motors
Amour
Silver Linings Playbook



Damsels in Distress

Django Unchained

Moonrise Kingdom
The Deep Blue Sea
The Queen of Versailles
Beasts of the Southern Wild


Cosmopolis
Sound of My Voice
Wuthering Heights

Bachelorette
The Loneliest Planet
Sleepwalk with Me


Beware of Mr. Baker
Anna Karenina
The Imposter

The Snowtown Murders
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Tabu

Now That Kanye Wes Anderson Exists, We Can Officially Be Done With Mashup Tumblrs

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Much like death, taxes, backpacking Australians ,and bad slash fiction of any cultural enterprise ever, the mashup Tumblr for every possible combination of pop culture items has become something of an inevitability. Arrested Development alone has Arrested Downton, Arrested Westeros, and Lucille and Mitt—a celebration of Mitt Romney quotes juxtaposed with well-chosen images of Lucille Bluth, along with a host of others. And let’s not forget Downton Abbeyoncé, Punx & Recreation, Parks & Meth, Sterling Archer Draper Pryce, and the gold standard mashup Tumblr, Slaughterhouse 90210. The market is a bit, well, oversaturated. And although there are sterling individual examples, the jokes are wearing thin overall.

The mere thought of one more mashup Tumblr may make you want to throw your computer out a 20-story window, but just hear us out on Kanye Wes Anderson. This could have easily been really shoddily done and have the icky cultural appropriation-ey feelings of an earnest frat boy doing a folk cover of “Ain’t Nuthin’ But A G Thing,” but it turns out the two work well together most of the time. Most entries are Anderson films with West’s lyrics—far and away the best is “All of the Lights’” “can’t see my daughter / her mother, brother, grandmother hate me in that order” in yellow Futura alongside an image of Royal Tenenbaum. But the reverse still works—for example, an entry where West looks at one of his dancers in the “Runaway” video with Moonrise Kingdom quote ‘No… what kind of bird are you?’ attached. So yeah, after this, no more mashup Tumblrs, no matter what happens at the debate tonight.