Spirit Awards to rock out to Anvil
The Independent Spirit Awards will go beyond 11 -- they're taking it all the way to Anvil.
The annual Oscar-weekend fete to all things indie film will bring Robb Reiner, Lips Kudlow and the rest of those heavy-metal Canadian crazies to perform a set at the awards show, organizers said. The performance will come on the heels of a recent set of concert dates in Australia and an upcoming swing to the East Coast.
Anvil is, of course, the pioneering -- but until recently mostly forgotten -- band that came back to fame this year with the release of Sacha Gervasi's excellent "Anvil! The Story of Anvil" (a return to fame that eventually saw the band open stadium shows for the likes of AC/DC). There's a direct connection between the Spirits and the movie: Rebecca Yeldham, the director of the Los Angeles Film Festival (which, like the Spirits, is under the auspices of Film Independent), produced the picture.
The Spirits are historically known for their musical presentations. But as part of this year's retooling -- which also sees the show moving from Saturday to Friday and to a venue in downtown Los Angeles and away from the beach in Santa Monica -- it will scuttle a different musical element, the song parodies that riff on the best picture nominees. "If the show is the same every year, we risk it becoming rote," Film Independent chief Dawn Hudson told 24 Frames.
The show also announced today that the Truer Than Fiction Award, a $25,000 documentary prize handed out annually by the group, will this year be sponsored by Roger Ebert and his wife, Chaz, through their nonprofit foundation. According to a statement from the show organizers, the prize is given to "an emerging director of non-fiction features who has not yet received significant recognition." Here's hoping they find more Anvils.
-- Steven Zeitchik
Photo: Lips Kudlow of Anvil. Credit: Brent J. Craig / "Anvil! The Story of Anvil"