The Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking today announced the five nominees for its fourth annual Cinema Eye Heterodox Award, sponsored by Filmmaker Magazine. The Cinema Eye Heterodox Award honors a narrative film that imaginatively incorporates nonfiction strategies, content and/or modes of production.
The five films nominated for the 2014 Heterodox Award are: Andrew Bujalski’s Computer Chess, Randy Moore’s Escape From Tomorrow, James Franco and Travis Mathews’ Interior. Leather Bar., Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Neighboring Sounds and Carlos Reygadas’ Post Tenebras Lux.
These films illuminate the formal possibilities of nonfiction filmmaking while raising provocative questions about on-going documentary orthodoxy and the perceived boundaries between fiction and nonfiction filmmaking. Previous winners of the award were Matt Porterfield’s Putty Hill (2011), Mike Mills’ Beginners (2012) and Jem Cohen’s Museum Hours (2013).
The 2014 Heterodox Award will be presented at the 7th Annual Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking on January 8, 2014, at the Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, New York.
“The 2014 Cinema Eye Honors Heterodox nominees prove once again that the contested space between narrative and documentary is the ideal cinematic environment to delve deep into our most modern tensions,” said Esther Robinson, Chair of the Cinema Eye Honors. Bringing us to settings as diverse as rural Mexico, dystopian Disneyland, and a forgotten leather bar, these films break convention to move us thrillingly out of our doctrinaire cinema comfort zone.”
Ten finalists for the Heterodox Award were selected in voting by the Cinema Eye Honors Nominations Committee. The ten finalists were then viewed and five nominees selected by the writers and editors of Filmmaker Magazine. A jury will watch the five nominees and choose a winner that will be announced on January 8.
“This years Heterodox nominees are a formally audacious bunch as they allow their fictions to be shaped and remixed by historical, economic and technological currents,” said Filmmaker Magazine Editor-in-Chief Scott Macaulay. “From within their cinematic hybrid spaces, these films cast a compelling, critical eye on the changing world around us.”
The Five Nominees for the 2013 Cinema Eye Heterodox Award:
Directed by Andrew Bujalski
Masterfully evoking the nerdy world of artificial intelligence engineers at a weekend computer chess convention, Andrew Bujalski’s 1980-set feature feels like a low-fi emissary from a pre-networked age. Shot in black-and-white on vintage video cameras, Computer Chess’s near-anthropological recreation is enormously witty — a loopy commentary on social ritual mediated by technology.
Escape From Tomorrow
Directed by Randy Moore
The copyrighted images of the Walt Disney Corporation are deliciously appropriated by Randy Moore for his comic fantasia, Escape from Tomorrow. Shot secretly using consumer DSLRs and a stealth crew at real Disney theme parks, the film is both a hilarious psychosexual comedy and, with its legal provocation, a demonstration of how our childhood memories are the stuff of intellectual property disputes.
Interior. Leather Bar.
Directed by James Franco and Travis Mathews
Some 40 minutes of gay S&M footage was purportedly deleted from William Friedkin’s 1980 feature Cruising, and it is this lost material that inspires Travis Matthews and James Franco’s Interior. Leather Bar. What initially feels like a behind-the-scenes documentary about the recreation of these scenes turns into something very different as the film plumbs issues of sexual anxiety, the cinematic history of gay representation and the power of celebrity.
Directed by Kleber Mendonça Filho
The social strata of a Brazilian seaside high-rise are depicted with a hallucinatory tension in Kleber Mendonça Filho’s Neighboring Sounds. When a wealthy apartment complex — the director’s own — is hit by a series of crimes, a private security firm creates its own unease in a film that cooly captures a society amidst economic and cultural transformation.
Post Tenebras Lux
Directed by Carlos Reygadas
Boundaries between documentary and fiction, myth and autobiography are elided in Post Tenebras Lux, a seductively mysterious feature from Carlos Reygadas. A rich family moving to a mountainside home in a poor Mexican village face a series of psychic disruptions in this visually ravishing, deeply experimental work.