Self-taught photographer Suzanne Opton, whose work we learned about on website Booooooom, photographed American soldiers at Fort Drum, New York between tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. The resulting series, simply titled Soldier, is an intimate, contemplative look at the effects of war. Each horizontal portrait was presented as a billboard in various cities. Some photos find the military figures gazing back at us with blank and soulful expressions. Others stare off into the distance and remind us that these images could have easily been taken in a hospital bed, or worse. See Opton’s unique perspective on soldiers during combat in our gallery. … Read More
Was 2011 the year of the quirky, occasionally dark comedy? That’s certainly the theme of the just-announced Writers Guild Awards nominations. Although many of them are also fairly dark, all five of the WGA’s nominees for best original screenplay are comedies: 50/50, Bridesmaids, Midnight in Paris, Win Win, and Young Adult. Dramas do take up three of the five adapted screenplay slots, but this is still a huge victory for comedies, which are notoriously overlooked for major awards. Last year, for instance, only one of the original screenplay nominees (The Kids Are All Right) was a comedy. See the full list of WGA nods after the jump. … Read More
It’s the most ambivalent time of the year! No, not the holiday season — the awards season, which is now officially underway. The New York Film Critics Circle has just finished announcing this year’s winners via Twitter, and its picks have certainly raised our eyebrows. Of course, it’s a surprise to no one that critics loved Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life, which took home two acting awards for its prolific principals, Jessica Chastain and Brad Pitt, and an incredibly well-deserved cinematography prize. But it was French filmmaker Michel Hazanavicius’ much-loved, just-released silent-era throwback The Artist that earned both their Best Picture and Best Director prizes. Also notable: Lars von Trier’s Melancholia, which we loved, didn’t win anything. Check out the rest of the critics’ favorites after the jump, and feel free to speculate wildly on what this means for the Oscars, Golden Globes, and Independent Spirits (which announced their nominees today) in the comments. … Read More
Yesterday the PEN American Center announced that 17 lucky writers had been chosen to receive an assortment of literary awards, fellowships, grants, and prizes, including three brand new awards: the PEN Emerging Writers Awards, the PEN/E. O. Wilson Literary Science Writing Award, and the PEN/ESPN Lifetime Achievement Award for Literary Sports Writing. Tomorrow evening in Manhattan, the winners and runners-up will be honored at an awards ceremony at the City University of New York. Next year will mark PEN’s 90th anniversary, so we’ll keep you up-to-date on all the events in 2012 that will be worth weighing in on. In the meantime, let’s celebrate a few of the writers who have proven themselves to be worthy of cold, hard cash as well as the esteem of notable judging panels. … Read More
It seems like they’re giving out awards for just about anything these days. But the nominees for the ‘Classy,’ the largest philanthropic award in the country, are definitely worth celebrating. The award recognizes “the most outstanding philanthropic achievements by charities, businesses and individuals nationwide,” with 12 categories ranging from “Charity of the Year”… Read More
Here at Flavorwire, we’re loving the surge of spring-like weather, and plan to take full advantage of morning bike rides free of wind burn and chapped knuckles. And while our bicycles hail from Mom’s garage circa 1984, we can’t help but drool over the winning designs from this year’s International Bicycle Design Competition. Organized by the Cycling and Health Center of Taipei, the competition has featured 10,372 designers from 86 countries over the past 14 years. This year’s winner, Taiwanese Hsi Huang, beat out 719 other contestants and took home a cash prize of $15,745 for his Shopping Bike — a bicycle that can transform into a shopping cart. Check out some of the IBDC designs from their Flickr page after the jump, and try not to poke fun at our rusty… Read More
It may not be the Nobel Prize, but the competition for this year’s “Bad Sex in Fiction” award is just as stiff (cringe — pun intended). Philip Roth is on the Literary Review’s shortlist, and he’s in good company — current nominees include Amos Oz, Nick Cave, and John Banville, while past candidates include such literary giants as Gabriel García Márquez, Isabel Allende, Salman Rushdie, and Tom Wolfe. Now in its 17th year, fiction’s most notorious honor was dreamed up by Auberon Waugh (Evelyn’s son) “with the aim of gently dissuading authors and publishers from including unconvincing, perfunctory, embarrassing, or redundant passages of a sexual nature in otherwise sound literary novels.” … Read More
The nominees for this year’s 18th ANNUAL GOTHAM INDEPENDENT FILM AWARDS were announced earlier this morning, in a rare case of David winning out over Goliath (or at least much bigger Davids), LANCE HAMMER’s self-distributed debut, BALLAST, received the most nods.
Frankly, I’m surprised. Ballast is not the kind of film I imagine playing well with audiences; there’s no soundtrack, mumbled dialogue, and a plot that is hard to follow and depressing once you figure it out.
Gotham’s picks usually skew more viewer-friendly — like last year’s Breakthrough Actor winner, ELLEN PAGE for JUNO.
And then there’s the fact that WOODY ALLEN’s VICKY CRISTINA BARCELONA is mentioned twice. I loved this movie, but I would love to see a comparison of Allen’s budget versus Hammer’s.
Does anyone know what qualifies a film as an independent release for the folks at Gotham?
The full list of nominees after the jump. … Read More