Independent Spirit: The Brokeback Mountain avalanche continues

Brokeback Mountain? continued its sweep of the major awards today, winning the Best Picture trophy at the Independent Spirit Awards in Santa Monica. Ang Lee was named Best Director.

But the Spirits shared the wealth, awarding Crash? two statues Best First Feature for Paul Haggis and Best Supporting Actor (Matt Dillon) and two to Capote:? Best Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and Best Screenplay (Dan Futterman). Hoffman seemed to be wearying of collecting all the honors: Ive been given enough,? he said.

Felicity Huffman won Best Actress love for Transamerica,? and Amy Adams of Junebug? was named Best Supporting Actress. Paradise Now? was named Best Foreign Film and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room? won Best Documentary honors.

Im not sure about this and am way too lazy to research it, but this may be the first time in the Independent Spirit Awards 21 years where all of the winners were also Oscar nominees.

Independent Spirit Awards: Merely a reminder

In the past, the Independent Spirit Awards served as an alternative Oscar ceremony for those who, reasonably, couldn’t bear the idea of things like “Titanic” or “Gladiator” or “Braveheart” getting officially declared the best film of any given year. This year, not so much — “Brokeback Mountain,” “Good Night, and Good Luck.”, and “Capote” are Best Picture nominees for both ceremonies.

The Independent Spirit Awards will take place Saturday at 2 p.m. and you can watch them on IFC, the Independent Film Channel (which will repeat the ceremony repeatedly over the weekend). Sarah Silverman, who is so funny that if she plays her cards right — or wrong, depending on your sensibility — might be hosting the Oscars within a decade, will host. Usually, this award is a terrible barometer of the Academy Awards; this year, that might not be the case.

The Voice of Independent Artistry

Queen Latifah — former host of The Independent Spirit Awards, celebrating cutting-edge, low-budget filmmaking (not to mention, although I’m about to, a former Grammy host) and onetime political firebrand — is now the spokeswoman for big-box discounters Wal-Mart, whose public-relations woes are fairly well documented at this point (which is why Inglewood voted a while back to keep it out). In one spot, she fairly bullies a “friend” into using the Wal-Mart gift-card she gave said friend to buy one of her crummy movies on DVD (probably “Taxi,” though I must confess to not paying great gobs of attention to TV commercials). Now that’s the Independent Spirit. Wal-Mart declines to sell even mainstream books, DVDs and CDs it deems controversial. Wonder how many Independent Spirit winners (not to mention nominees) are available in Wal-Mart’s DVD bins?