89.1 WEMU

Cinema Chat: Independent Spirit Awards, Frozen, Homefront and More

Nov 29, 2013

In a special Wednesday, holiday edition, Cinema Chat covered a lot of ground this week! WEMU's David Fair spoke with Michigan Theater Program Director Amanda Bynum about the Independent Spirit Awards, the movies "Frozen",  "Homefront", "A Christmas Story" and the Sing-a-long version of "White Christmas."

Credit Michtheater.org

·  How do the Nominating Committees determine if a film is “independent”?
The Spirit Awards Nominating Committees apply the following guidelines in making their selections:

  • Uniqueness of vision
  • Original, provocative subject matter
  • Economy of means
  • Percentage of financing from independent sources
  • Films that are made with an “economy of means” AND are fully financed by a studio or an “indie” studio division may still be considered independent if the subject matter is original and provocative. In other words, Film Independent does not—as of 1994—define “independent” strictly on the basis of financing. (The first studio film we honored was Darnell Martin’s I Like It Like That from Columbia Pictures in 1994.)

Best Feature
12 Years a Slave

All Is Lost
Frances Ha
Inside Llewyn Davis

Shane Carruth - Upstream Color
J.C. Chandor - All Is Lost
Steve McQueen - 12 Years a Slave
Jeff Nichols - Mud
Alexander Payne – Nebraska

Woody Allen - Blue Jasmine
Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke & Richard Linklater - Before Midnight
Nicole Holofcener - Enough Said
Scott Neustadter & Michael H. Weber - The Spectacular Now
John Ridley - 12 Years a Slave

Cate Blanchett - Blue Jasmine
Julie Delpy - Before Midnight
Gaby Hoffmann - Crystal Fairy
Brie Larson - Short Term 12
Shailene Woodley - The Spectacular Now

Bruce Dern - Nebraska
Chiwetel Ejiofor - 12 Years a Slave
Oscar Isaac - Inside Llewyn Davis
Michael B. Jordan - Fruitvale Station
Matthew McConaughey - Dallas Buyers Club
Robert Redford - All Is Lost

Melonie Diaz - Fruitvale Station
Sally Hawkins - Blue Jasmine
Lupita Nyong'o - 12 Years a Slave
Yolonda Ross - Go For Sisters
June Squibb – Nebraska

Michael Fassbender - 12 Years a Slave
Will Forte - Nebraska
James Gandolfini - Enough Said
Jared Leto - Dallas Buyers Club
Keith Stanfield - Short Term 12

BEST DOCUMENTARY (Award given to the director and producer)
20 Feet From Stardom
After Tiller
Gideon's Army
The Act of Killing
The Square
BEST INTERNATIONAL FILM (Award given to the director)
A Touch of Sin (China)
Blue is the Warmest Color (France)
Gloria (Chile)
The Great Beauty (Italy)
The Hunt (Denmark)

BEST FIRST FEATURE (Award given to the director and producer)
Blue Caprice
Fruitvale Station
Una Noche

Lake Bell - In A World
Joseph Gordon-Levitt - Don Jon
Bob Nelson - Nebraska
Jill Soloway - Afternoon Delight
Michael Starrbury - The Inevitable Defeat of Mister and Pete

JOHN CASSAVETES AWARD - Given to the best feature made for under $500,000.  Award given to the writer, director, and producer.  Executive Producers are not awarded.
Computer Chess
Crystal Fairy
Museum Hours
Pit Stop
This is Martin Bonner

Opening at the Multiplex

In "Frozen," when a prophecy traps a kingdom in eternal winter, Anna (voiced by Kristen Bell) teams up with mountain man Kristoff and his sidekick reindeer on an epic journey to find Anna's sister, Elsa the Snow Queen (voiced by Idina Menzel), and put an end to her icy spell. Encountering mystical trolls, a funny snowman named Olaf, Everest-like extremes and magic at every turn, Anna and Kristoff battle the elements in a race to save the kingdom from destruction.  Todd McCarthy of the Hollywood Reporter says, “This smartly dressed package injects a traditional fairy tale, Hans Christian Andersen's The Snow Queen, with enough contemporary attitudes and female empowerment touches to please both little girls and their moms.” “Frozen” opened Wednesday, November 27th.

“Homefront” follows a widowed ex-DEA agent who retires to a small town for the sake of his 10-year-old daughter. The only problem is he picked the wrong town – and soon sees his quiet family life turned upside down when he crosses paths with a band of drug traffickers.  Starring Jason Statham, James Franco, and Winona Ryder, “Homefront” opened Wednesday, November 27th.


Skip the “Black Friday” lines and enjoy a laugh with friends and family as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig and all of the Looney Tunesgang take over the silver screen of the historic main theater. The Michigan Theater will show a selection of Warner Bros. cartoons for all ages and offer the perfect pit-stop during the start of the busy holiday shopping season. These Warner Brothers shorts play Friday, November 29 at 11:30 AM.

Sing-A-Long White Christmas is back!

Celebrate this Michigan Theater tradition of Sing-A-Long “White Christmas” with on-screen lyrics, interactive props, and more!  Bing Crosby and Danny Kayeplay war buddies turned entertainers who fall for a pair of sisters (Rosemary Clooney and Vera Ellen). The boys follow the girls to a resort, which is owned by their former commanding officer, and he's in danger of losing the place. Sing-A-Long White Christmas plays Saturday, November 30 at 8 PM.

“A Christmas Story” is a humorous and nostalgic look at Christmas in 1940s Indiana.  Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) desperately wishes for a "Red Ryder carbine-action, 200-shot Range Model air rifle with a compass in the stock and a thing which tells time," And wages an all-out campaign to convince his parents (Darren McGavin and Melinda Dillon) the toy is safe.  “A Christmas Story” plays Sunday, December 1 at 1:30 PM and is FREE as part of the Michigan Theater’s Holiday Classic Film Series.