12:46 p.m. - Some bad buzz at the Spirits after party.
"What happened to Shutters," a prominent filmmaker asked tonight at the bash, referring to the annual IFC post-Spirits party that was a popular spot after the ceremony. The director was bummed to miss the mixing with industry insiders at the soirée now that the show and party are downtown. Some folks danced tonight, while others snacked on sweets. But, the angrier set were bothered when the bar closed without warning at 12:45 p.m. A few minutes later, more dancers moved to the dance floor to try to get the DJ to play just one more song.
No luck. The lights went up on the bash at 12:59 p.m. and die hards began talking about an after after party atop a nearby hotel.
10:50 p.m. - The full list of winners are here at indieWIRE as we make our way over to the after party down the street.
10:15 p.m. - Finally, the last award of the night.... and a complete "Precious" sweep, as the film takes best feature of the year. [Peter Knegt]
10:10 p.m. - "It's a good thing, it's a really good thing," Daniels added, before getting emotional, "I've waited a long time since 'Monster's Ball' to be here." [Eugene Hernandez]
10:08 p.m. - Lee Daniels: "Kathryn Bigelow isn't here tonight. I am." [Peter Knegt]
10:05 p.m. - Jodie Foster and Jeremy Renner give us the fourth "Precious" win of the night in director Lee Daniels (thats four wins for four nominations, if you're keeping track). [Peter Knegt]
9:59 p.m. - We assumed right: Jeff Bridges wins. [Peter Knegt]
9:57 p.m. - I swing the other way, but check out that blistering hot dress with a nice tit tease on Maggie Gyllenhaal. [Brian Brooks]
9:57 p.m. - Maggie Gyllenhaal presentng best male lead to what we can only assume will be her co-star seems tacky to me? [Peter Knegt]
9:55 p.m. - Weiner Dog shout out! [Eugene Hernandez]
9:53 p.m. - Choice Gabby quote #!: "My mom used to pay me $2 to go to school...and i saved up my money for a week so that i could see 'Welcome to the Dollhouse' and thats the first film I saw where I could say 'I could do that." Marry me.... [Peter Knegt]
9:51 p.m. - Gaby! Gaby! Gaby! Gaby! Gaby! [Eugene Hernandez]
9:50 p.m. - Gabby wins!!! [Peter Knegt]
9:47 p.m. - Lone Scherfig, director of "An Education," accepted her best foreign language prize, thanked Sony Pictures Classics for "acquiring masterpieces." She cited "A Prophet" and "The White Ribbon."
Great taste. [Eugene Hernandez]
9:45 p.m. - "An Education" triumphs over "A Prophet," "The Maid," "Mother" and "Everlasting Moments" for best foreign film. Cinephile bloggers are likely not impressed. [Peter Knegt]
9:43 p.m. - For whatever reason, David Spade is presenting best foreign film. "You may not know this, but my movies play in other countries," Spade said. "They're huge in Poland. I can't set foot in Bulgaria." [Peter Knegt]
9:40 p.m. - Worst job at an awards show? Waiting in between winners in the photographers' area. Second worst? When a winner comes in and a few of the alpha photogs know them - or whatever- and they get their 15 seconds. FYI. They may talk shit about them after they leave. [Brian Brooks]
9:38 p.m. - The "(500) Days of Summer" scribes in the press tent, on the inspiration for the character of Summer: "We were facebook friends before the film, but she de-friended me. So I have no idea whether she liked it or not." [Peter Knegt]
9:35 p.m. - "Anvil!" wins best documentary! The band freaks out backstage, and excitedly come out to join the doc's director Sasha Gervasi to accept the award. [Peter Knegt]
9:29 p.m. - Anvil! is performing!! And their rocking out is drowning out the filmmakers Bill Ross & Turner Ross as they attempt to meet the press room for win for “45365."
9:29 p.m. "I'm a high school dropout," proclaimed Dave Grohl, introducing rock band Anvil.
"It's a lesson in preservance, it's a lesson in passion," he said of the doc, "Anvil. The Story of Anvil."
"I feel like, for the second time in my life I'm in the right place at the right time, because I get to introduce Anvil," Grohl said before screaming out their name."
The crowd inside the tent seem to be mostly ltaking the hard driving Anvil tune in stride. A few are clapping along, many others seem a bit puzzled.
Come on people!
At least everyone is awake now as we head into the final half hour of the ceremony. Attendees have been drinking for about 4 hours, so far, with another 4 to go before the night officially wraps up.
Pace yourself. Hydrate. [Eugene Hernandez]
9:26 p.m. - Nevermind the recession. Just spotted a a plain clothes person with a camera dolly of loot for someone who did a run through in the Piaget tent. - Brian Brooks
9:22 p.m. - "(500) Days of Summer" takes best screenplay... Just a reminder, full list of announced winners here. [Peter Knegt]
9:21 p.m. - "I kept my cyst" - Richard Kind backstage when asked what part of his "Serious Man" wardrobe he decided to keep. And, yes, Stuhlbarg kept his glasses. [Peter Knegt]
9:18 p.m. - "A Serious Man" star and co-winner of the Robert Altman Award Michael Stuhlbarg draws some serious "awes" from the press room when he replies to the question "Where are you going to put your award?" with "at my mother and father's house." [Peter Knegt]
9:15 p.m. - A rousing standing ovation for Roger Ebert, sponsor of the Truer Than Fiction prize with his wife Chaz.
A great man who cares about film is the salute from on stage. Another touching moment tonight in Downtown LA. Cheers, Roger! [Eugene Hernandez]
9:10 p.m - "I don't really know what to say being in front of all of you I've admired all these years," said Kyle Patrick Alvarez, accepting his trophy on stage.
It's a good one, check it out. [Eugene Hernandez]
9:09 p.m. - All I have to say everybody in the tent. Watch your gift bag. It will get stolen! Most likely by someone who doesn't need it. [Brian Brooks]
9:08 p.m. - Lynn Shelton in the press room: "Were not gonna be at the Oscars. So having a forum at this event that's here specifically to honor this canon.. Is really awesome."
She also vouches for Kathryn Bigelow come Sunday night.
9:04 p.m. - Message to my colleague Eugene Hernandez: Bring me more alcohol. [Peter Knegt]
9:00 p.m. - Lots of emotion on stage tonight. Tears from Scott Cooper, Geoffrey Fletcher and now Lynne Shelton accepting her award for "Hump Day." [Eugene Hernandez]
8:59 p.m. - Message to my colleague Peter Knegt who is backstage here at the Spirit Awards, posting these updates at the MacBook Pro, managing the steady stream of electronic updates...
We're halfway done. It's almost 9 p.m., one more hour to go! [Eugene Hernandez]
8:58 p.m. - Lynn Shelton wins the John Cassavetes Award for "Humpday"! [Peter Knegt]
8:54 p.m. - Mo'Nique arrives in the press room to hoots and hollers... A journalist asks if she has made a speech for Sunday night: "Why would I do that? The universe would say you have a lot of nerve." [Peter Knegt]
8:50 - "Heard the first emphatic dissent on the new location. "please write about putting this back on Saturday by the beach..." but he is an agent..." [Peter Knegt]
8:48 p.m. - Roger Deakins wins best cinematography for "A Serious Man." I'm sure recieving an award from Mariah Carey is a crowning achievement for him. [Peter Knegt]
-- continued on page two --
8:45 p.m. - Mariah Carey. [Eugene Hernandez]
8:44 p.m. - The press room gets its first visitor in best first feature winner Scott Cooper. A journalist asks him if he has any predictions for Sunday night's Oscars: "Mo'Nique maybe, Maggie maybe?" Very sweet of you Scott, but... [Peter Knegt]
8:38 p.m. - Choice Mo'Nique quote: "Mary Jones wardrobe comes from ['Precious' producer] Lisa Cortes' closet... What that says about Lisa Cortes, I really don't know. But it comes from my sister's closet." [Peter Knegt]
8:37 p.m. - "Precious" gets it's second prize with the best supporting actress honor for Mo'Nique.
She kept it pretty serious.
"Wow," Mo'Nique said, then singling out Lee Daniels.
"Brother, you and (producer) Lisa Cortes showed me what it means to do an independent film." [Eugene Hernandez]
8:34 p.m. - Mo'Nique! As every one on earth suspected, she's taken best supporting female here as one last precursor en route to Oscar. [Peter Knegt]
8:32 p.m. - Jeff Bridges wraps his on stage performance with a song from "Crazy Heart," a good time to pop into the upgraded porta potty just outside the tent. As I'm leaving, who do I run into but Jeff Bridges himself.
"Nice job up there, Sir," I tell Bridges today as he looks to the stall. I'm not sure what else to say in such an intimate moment."
"Thanks very much," Bridges says warmly as he heads for the stall. [Eugene Hernandez]
8:27 p.m. - Best first screenplay..... Geoffrey Fletcher for "Precious" (that's 0 for 2, Tom Ford). Let the "Precious" sweep begin. [Peter Knegt]
8:25 p.m. - It's all about the MySpace tonight (as our commenter already pointed out... does MySpace still exist?), and people on the social networking site were polled as to what their favorite moments from past Spirit Awards were. We're getting the winners throughout the night.
#5: Paul Giamatti circa 2005: "I'm really neither spirited not particularly independent. It's nice to surrounded by folks who are." [Peter Knegt]
8:21 p.m. - "He made it all possible," Robert Duvall said on stage alongside Scott Cooper, winner of the Best First Feature prize, "He never directed a high school play before..
Like Woody Harrelson, on this 25th Anniversary of the Independent Sprit Awards, Cooper saluted the history on indie cinema, singling out John Sayles for "Matewan," the first indie film he ever saw. [Eugene Hernandez]
8:18 p.m. - Best first feature time (care of Emile Hirsch and Regina King!)... one of the most contested of our who will win poll. And the winner is... "Crazy Heart" (which actually came in third in our 'who will win' poll). [Peter Knegt]
8:14 p.m - "It's never felt right to me to declare a winner, we're just actors" Woody Harrelson said, accepting his best supporting actor prize for "The Messenger". Of course, now it feels right!"
Harrelson praised John Cassevetes as the father of independent film, saluting indie filmmaking.
"Thank you all for what you're doing," he said, "Thank you for making great movies and thank you for this award." [Eugene Hernandez]
8:07 p.m. - Rosario Dawson and Colin Farrell present the first award: best supporting male. The first winner of the night is... Woody Harrelson!
8:01 p.m. - Host Eddie Izzard kicks things off: "I feel I am independent... I mean, I am a transvestite with a career. Independence is tattooed on my spine."
He also tells winners that they can have sex in the press room. For someone watching the ceremony on a TV in the press room, this makes me excited. [Peter Knegt]
7:56 p.m. - You know the show's about to start when you start spotting the big names.
Elton John is sitting at the Sundance Channel table, I think alongside channel exec Christian Vesper.
Walking around near the stage I ran into Lee Daniels, he gave John Waters a massive embrace. They hugged and chatted and posed for a quick photo that we'll post later.
And then Monique made a grand entrance. "Is that the 'Precious' zone!" asked Roger Friedman from The Hollywood Reporter. Yup.
"Mariah is in the house!" screamed a FIND staffer moments later.
It's showtime. [Eugene Hernandez]
7:52 p.m.: Overheard outside the press tent (where I will be bringing you comments for the rest of the night, both Eugene Hernandez and Brian Brooks will be in the main tent) as I smoked one last pre-ceremony (eight minutes and counting) was Pierce Brosnan saying to his wife: "People keep asking me about the beach. I never went to the one at the beach. They never invited me to the beach." [Peter Knegt].
7:42 p.m.: As one might expect, we learn that two-time nominee tonight Tom Ford is wearing himself. [Peter Knegt]
7:36 p.m.: Mariah Carey, in one her final legitimate appearances at a film awards ceremony, is asked a random question out of a box (care of Spirit Award fans on Myspace!) on the blue carpet.
Lindsay from Fort Wayne, Indiana asks: "If you could be an animated character in a movie, who would it be?"
Says Mariah: "Bambi." No further explanation is given. [Peter Knegt]
7:32 p.m.: "I'm kinda missing Santa Monica right now," says presenter Jodie Foster on the blue carpet, after reminiscing about when she won a Spirit Award - back in 1987 for "Five Corners." "It was at Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel and it was so tiny and intimate!"
She then goes on plugging her new film "The Beaver" and I'm shocked the commentators are keeping a straight face. [Peter Knegt]
7:20 p.m.: All-but-assured-winner Mo'Nique has arrived on the blue carpet, and is asked what advice she'd give to someone that looks up to her as a role model.
"Baby, dream. Dream the impossible and dream as big as you can. I'm nothing but that little girl who was just dreaming... Don't let 'no' be your stop. Let 'no' be your pushing forward." [Peter Knegt]
7:13 p.m. - Laura Dern plays the random question out of a box game on the blue carpet (noted below regarding Ms. Sidibe). The question's from Mickey from Santa Fe, New Mexico: "Fill in the blank... I'd be extremely happy if I won a year's supply of ______." Says Laura? Organic produce. [Peter Knegt]
6:46 p.m. - Everyone is talking about the new venue, on the top floor of a giant downtown parking structure in Los Angeles.
"This is kinda awesome," I just overheard Gregg Araki tell producer Midge Sanford, hanging out at the IFC lounge upstairs just outside the big ceremony tent, "I miss the beach but this is kinda fun!"
Blaring music is drawing people to the lounge here, as are the drinks. The DJ's playing an appropriate tune: "The Freaks Come Out at Night." [Eugene Hernandez]
6:37 p.m. - Roger Ebert asked on the blue carpet to do a thumbs up/thumbs down for a variety of Spirit nominees, and all five get the former: "The Messenger," "Precious," "Crazy Heart," "A Single Man" and "Paranormal Activity." [Peter Knegt]
6:32 p.m. - The blue carpet is a bit of a free-for-all. A long row of interviewers and photographer line the sidewalk downstairs from the tent where the show will take place. The number of bystanders and fans seems to be smaller than past shows on the beach in Santa Monica.
But, the carpet is lively with nominees, press and publicists. One publicist escorting nominees through the maze of media told me quietly, "After this interview we're going in, I'm mad at the other press!" [Brian Brooks]
6:25 p.m. - The endlessly charming Gabourey Sidibe has hit the blue carpet, being told by reporters that she has been the most consistently pleasant presence this awards season. "Wait until the Oscars are over... I'll show up drunk everywhere," Sidibe deadpanned back.
She then picked a random question from a box that "Josh from Venice Beach" had submitted to a special MySpace page: "If you could be invisible for one day, what would you do?"
"I would either hang out at banks beside vaults because that's the smart thing to do," Sidibe said. "Or I'd follow around my boyfriend..." [Peter Knegt]
5:45 p.m. - On the blue carpet chatting chatting with arriving filmmaker's and celebs. Jameson cocktails are being served as folks arrive, before they hit the press line, just to spice things up a bit.
Just ran into "Crazy Heart" director Scott Cooper, he seems just thrilled.
Johnny Weir, star Olympic skater is decked out and interviewing arrivals. Nguyen Tran and Dusty Smith are live tweeting from the scene. [Eugene Hernandez]
5:03 p.m. - A pair of guys are vacuuming the blue carpet to kick off the red carpet arrivals here at the Spirit Awards. A Film Independent insider touted the fact that LG is a new sponsor of the event this year and are showcasing their new product. Wonder if a new vacuum cleaner might be in gift bag tonight? [Eugene Hernandez]
5:01 p.m. - It's happy hour in Los Angeles where the Independent Spirit Awards have moved downtown for their 25th Anniversary. The show is taking place on a Friday evening ahead of this weekend's Academy Awards, a big change from recent years when the ceremony was held on the beach in Santa Monica on the Saturday afternoon before the Oscars.
"1 hour in traffic to spirit awards?" reported one attendee on Twitter a few minutes ago. While tonight's cocktail party begins now -- continuing until 8 p.m. local time when the show begins -- don't expect a big crowd drinking at the party just yet. Watching the traffic on the 110 Freeway from a window on the 18th Floor of the new Marriott hotel above the LA Live complex, it seems like folks may be in their cars for awhile. [Eugene Hernandez]