30 Day Film Challenge: Day 27

Your Favorite Independent Film

Oh look, another opportunity for me to shamelessly promote my thesis on American Independent Cinema! My love for Goodbye Solo is well-documented at this point.

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Bahrani and Herzog: My Favorite Things

Having just completed my thesis (!), it is time that I shared this short film. Directed by Ramin  Bahrani, Plastic Bag features Werner Herzog as the voice of a plastic bag that goes on a journey. I know. It sounds ridiculous. But if there is one thing I have learned about Bahrani during my research on Goodbye Solo, he is brilliant. In this film he has taken one of the most recognizable voices in cinema and create a beautiful and poignant work.

Plastic Bag has been circulating on the internet for a few weeks now. It is a great short. Check it out here:

Here I Go: Thesis Away

Months ago I posted that I was writing a senior honors thesis on film. At the time, I didn’t know what it would be on. But after months of deliberation I finally figured out, more or less, what I am researching: American Identity in post-9/11 American Independent Cinema. (Sometimes I wonder if this topic makes me sound way more intelligent than I really am, but I digress.)

I am focusing on three films: Frozen River (2008), In Between Days (2006), and Goodbye Solo (2008). On the surface, these three films seem completely unrelated but what I have found that they are linked by a foremost a common character and narrative: the immigrant. This films question how American identity and the American Creed are changing in the twenty first century as a result of immigration. Or at least, that is what I am trying to show.

Here are the trailers for Frozen River and Goodbye Solo:

And here is an interview with filmmakers So Yong Kim and Bradley Rust Gray. The more I research their work, the more I admire their dedication to independent filmmaking as a way to produce quality and exceptional stories and works of art.

The Winners: 2008 Film Independent Awards

The last big award show before the Academy Awards was today. And apparently Brangelina “announced” that they’re expecting baby number 5.

For some great pictures from the event including this one of Julian Schnabel and Javier Bardem, follow the link.
A beautiful bromance

Here are the winners:

Best Feature
Juno

Best Director

Julian Schnabel, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Male Lead

Philip Seymour Hoffman, The Savages

Best Female Lead

Ellen Page, Juno

Best Supporting Male

Chiwetel Ejiofor, Talk to Me

Best Supporting Female

Cate Blanchett, I’m Not There

Best Screenplay

Tamara Jenkins, The Savages

Best Cinematography

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly

Best Foreign Film

Once (Ireland)

Best Documentary

Crazy Love

Best First Feature

The Lookout

Best First Screenplay

Diablo Cody, ‘Juno’

Robert Altman Award

I’m Not There
Director: Todd Haynes

Casting Director: Laura Rosenthal
Ensemble Cast: Cate Blanchett, Christian Bale, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger, Ben Whishaw, Marcus Carl Franklin, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Bruce Greenwood, David Cross, Julianne Moore, Michelle Williams

John Cassavetes Award

August Evening

IFC Truer Than Fiction Award

Laura Dunn, Director of ‘The Unforeseen

IFC/Acura Someone to Watch Award
Ramin Bahrani, Director of Chop Shop

Axium Producers Award
Neil Kopp, Producer of Paranoid Park and Old Joy