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James Franco, Carlos Reygadas, Andrew Bujalski and More Are Cinema Eye Heterodox Nominees for Blurring Narrative-Nonfiction Lines

Photo of Beth Hanna By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood November 25, 2013 at 2:34PM

The Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking have unveiled the five nominees for its fourth annual Cinema Eye Heterodox Award, honoring a narrative film that imaginatively incorporates nonfiction strategies, content and/or modes of production.
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Computer Chess

The Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking have unveiled the five nominees for its fourth annual Cinema Eye Heterodox Award, honoring a narrative film that imaginatively incorporates nonfiction strategies, content and/or modes of production.

Travis Mathews directing 2012's 'Interior. Leather Bar.'
Travis Mathews directing 2012's 'Interior. Leather Bar.'

The 2014 Heterodox Awards 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 New York.

The Five Nominees for the 2013 Cinema Eye Heterodox Award:

Computer Chess

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 Matthews

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.

 

Neighboring Sounds

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.

"Escape from Tomorrow."
"Escape from Tomorrow."

This article is related to: Awards, Awards, Cinema Eye Honors, James Franco, Andrew Bujalski, Andrew Bujalski


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.