12.January.2012 Reuters reports that Steve James’ The Interrupters took home best nonfiction film and best director at last night’s Cinema Eye Honors, an award show dedicated to nonfiction cinema. Other winners: The Arbor won best debut, Senna for editing, and Wim Wender s and Gian-Piero Ringel were cited for Outstanding Achievement in Production for their 3-D dance film Pina.
Ahead of the Oscars, the Academy has announced that it will give its Gordon E. Sawyer Award to Douglass Trumbull, the singular visual effects guru Terrence Malick wooed out of retirement to impress The Tree of Life with the cosmos. Trumbull’s other credits include 2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Mekado Murphy interviews Trumbull about Tree of Life’s technical revelations; Phelim O’Neill did the same for the Guardian last summer. Meanwhile, The Film Society of Lincoln Center announced that French actress Catherine Deneuve will receive the 39th Chaplin Award on April 2. Among many screen credits, Deneuve starred in Manoel de Oliveira’s 2003 film A Talking Picture.
The American Society of Cinematographers changed the award season calculus a bit by including Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy and The Tree of Life among its nominees, but Warhorse continues to be snubbed. Tinker Tailor led the pack of an especially strong year in British cinema (also see Attack the Block, Weekend, and major triumphs for Ben Rivers and Tacita Dean), but the BBC reports that Prime Minister David Cameron while generally praising the primarily state-funded industry also thinks the country needs to direct money towards more “commercially successful pictures.” Oliver Lyttleton quotes Julian Fellowes, writer of Gosford Park and a member of the board reviewing the government’s film policy: “Historically, a disproportionate amount of public money was directed at a type of art house production. Some were excellent, but they were aimed almost entirely at minority markets. This cannot continue.” Lyttleton adds the provision that the forthcoming report may not be so gloomy for independent production as that, but he’s still worried about smaller productions like Weekend getting lost in the shuffle.
New Yorker film critic Richard Brody picks up on a news story that designer Jason Wu was inspired by actresses Anna Karina and Jean Seberg for his new Target line to write about an underappreciated element of Jean-Luc Godard’s films: their sense of fashion. Brody writes, “Godard styled and dressed and directed his actresses to reflect his own desires and ideals, which, no less than his ideas, are part of his distinctive sensibility, which his movies so thoroughly embody.” He concludes by invoking a few of the most striking fashion statements in Godard’s Film Socialisme, one of Fandor’s featured films of the week: “a little boy’s T-shirt, a young woman’s striped dress, a camerawoman’s spare tenue, and, above all, Patti Smith’s hieratic garb.” It remains to be seen whether Target will begin stocking hieratic garb.
Finally, Sight & Sound publishes the full results of its poll of 23 critics and curators as to their favorite DVDs of the year. Among the many titles selected were Salt for Svanetia, Poetry and Henri-Georges Clouzot’s Inferno.