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Spirited Stars

Spirited Stars

The Independent Spirit Awards, held the day before Oscars in a gigantic tent in Santa Monica, provides a great opportunity to meet and greet movers and shakers in the world of film, as well as journalists, actors, and anyone who likes to schmooze in the sunlight. It should be clear by now that I am not a professional photographer, but I did take a few snapshots of people with whom I had a chance to chat. There is little if any of the tension associated with Oscar night at this afternoon ceremony, so the feeling is relaxed and upbeat. That’s why I enjoy hanging out, just outside the tent.

Here’s one of the past year’s breakout stars, Elizabeth Olsen (Lizzie to her friends), who gave such a fine performance in Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene.

Another discovery of 2011 who deserves more attention: Adepero Oduye, the radiant star of Dee Rees’ Pariah, which won the John Cassavetes Award.

Although he works in mainstream films as well, John C. Reilly also works the independent beat, as in last year’s Cedar Rapids and the even smaller-scale (but worthy) feature Terri.


Two great actors whom I persuaded to pose together: Kathy Baker and William H. Macy. They add so much to any film in which they appear.

A creative couple: Jim Taylor, who co-produced The Descendants with his longtime writing partner Alexander Payne, and his wife Tamara Jenkins, the writer-director of Slums of Beverly Hills andThe Savages.


Following the Independent Spirit Awards I dropped by the pre-Oscar party held every year by the Society of Composers and Lyricists. Here, all of the year’s music nominees are celebrated in fine fashion, and I snapped two longtime friends and colleagues (who worked together on 1973’s Tom Sawyer), John Williams and Richard Sherman.

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