The Oscar Season Begins With The Gotham Nominations!


Can you guess what my favorite time of year is?

If you guessed November, you’re right!  My birthday is on November 9th, our own Dazzling Erin’s birthday is on November 24th, and then Arleigh’s birthday is on November 27th!  November is a big month here at the Shattered Lens.

My second favorite time of year?  October, of course!  How can you go wrong with so much horror?

And then, of course, my third favorite time of year is December because that’s when I get most of my presents.

Along with being my favorite three months of the year, another thing that all three of those months have in common is that they comprise what is known as Oscar Season.  Oscar Season is the period of time when the majority of the Best Picture contenders are released and all of the critic groups give out their awards in the hope of influencing the Academy’s nominations.  I love movies and I love awards so how can I not love Oscar Season?

Well, I’m happy to say that Oscar Season officially began earlier today when the nominations for the 23rd annual Gotham Independent Film Awards were announced.  The Gotham nominations aren’t exactly the best precursor of what’s going to be nominated in January but, nonetheless, they usually manage to include at least a few legitimate contenders.

This year, for example, Oscar front-runner 12 Years A Slave managed to collect the most Gotham nominations.  Personally, I’m just happy to see that my favorite film of 2013, Upstream Color, collected two nominations.

The Gothams will be awarded on December 2nd.

Here are the nominations:

Best Feature

12 Years a Slave

Steve McQueen, director; Brad Pitt, Dede Gardner, Jeremy Kleiner, Bill Pohlad, Steve McQueen, Arnon Milchan, Anthony Katagas, producers. (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Ain’t Them Bodies Saints

David Lowery, director; Tony Halbrooks, James M. Johnston, Jay Van Hoy, Lars Knudsen, Amy Kaufman, Cassian Elwes, producers (IFC Films)

Before Midnight

Richard Linklater, director; Richard Linklater, Christos V. Konstantakopoulos, Sara Woodhatch, producers (Sony Pictures Classics)

Inside Llewyn Davis

Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, directors; Scott Rudin, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, producers (CBS Films)

Upstream Color

Shane Carruth, director; Shane Carruth, Casey Gooden, Ben LeClair, producers. (erbp)


Best Documentary

The Act of Killing

Joshua Oppenheimer, director; Signe Byrge, Joshua Oppenheimer, producers (Drafthouse Films)

The Crash Reel

Lucy Walker, director; Julian Cautherly, Lucy Walker, producers (HBO Documentary Films)

First Cousin Once Removed

Alan Berliner, director and producer (HBO Documentary Films)

Let the Fire Burn

Jason Osder, director and producer (Zeitgeist Films)

Our Nixon

Penny Lane, director; Brian L. Frye, Penny Lane, producers (Cinedigm and CNN Films)


Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award

Ryan Coogler for Fruitvale Station (The Weinstein Company)

Adam Leon for Gimme the Loot (Sundance Selects)

Alexandre Moors for Blue Caprice (Sundance Selects)

Stacie Passon for Concussion (RADiUS-TWC)

Amy Seimetz for Sun Don’t Shine (Factory 25)


Best Actor

Chiwetel Ejiofor in 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Oscar Isaac in Inside Llewyn Davis (CBS Films)

Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club (Focus Features)

Robert Redford in All Is Lost (Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions)

Isaiah Washington in Blue Caprice (Sundance Selects)


Best Actress

Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine (Sony Pictures Classics)

Scarlett Johansson in Don Jon (Relativity Media)

Brie Larson in Short Term 12 (Cinedigm)

Amy Seimetz in Upstream Color (erbp)

Shailene Woodley in The Spectacular Now (A24)


Breakthrough Actor

Dane DeHaan in Kill Your Darlings (Sony Pictures Classics)

Kathryn Hahn in Afternoon Delight (The Film Arcade and Cinedigm)

Michael B. Jordan in Fruitvale Station (The Weinstein Company)

Lupita Nyong’o in 12 Years a Slave (Fox Searchlight Pictures)

Robin Weigert in Concussion (RADiUS-TWC)


Horror On TV: Twilight Zone 2.23 “The Obsolete Man”

I know that some people will claim that The Obsolete Man really isn’t a horror story but consider this:  What’s more horrifying than a world without freedom of thought or expression?  The Obsolete Man takes place in a world where books have been banned.  As a result, librarian Romney Wordsworth (Burgess Meredith) has been determined to be obsolete and, hence, is now scheduled to be executed.  Wordsworth appears to have accepted his fate but, as the Chancellor (Fritz Weaver) discovers, Wordsworth is far more clever than he originally appears.

This episode of The Twilight Zone was written by Rod Serling and directed by Eliot Silverstein.  It was originally broadcast on June 2nd, 1961.

Trailer: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (Official)


We take a brief break from all things horror here at Through the Shattered Lens to bring to you the first official trailer for Marvel Studios second film in their Phase 2 of their Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier sees the return of Steve Rogers aka Captain America (The first Avenger) post-Battle of New York. He’s now an official member of S.H.I.E.L.D. but soon realizes that his 40’s ideals may not mesh well with the all-encompassing and super-secretive intelligence organization. From the look and feel of the trailer it looks like the film’s directors, Anthony and Joe Russo, are going for the conspiracy thriller tone for this new Captain America entry.

This is a good choice considering that the screenplay has been heavily influenced by Ed Brubaker’s run on the Captain America comics which also introduced the Winter Soldier of the film’s title.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier is set for a Spring, April 4, 2014, release date.

Horror On The Lens: Slugs (dir by Juan Piquer Simon)

Slugs-film-posterFirst released in 1988, Slugs is literally one of the ickiest films ever made.

The plot of this Spanish horror film is pretty simple.  In a rural community, all of the local slugs have mutated into savage, sharp-toothed carnivores.  While the slugs slowly consume the locals, health official Mike Brady (Michael Garfield) wonders if maybe — just maybe — this could all be connected to the nearby toxic waste dump.

Despite some less-than-stellar performances and a plot that makes less sense the more you think about it, Slugs works.  Some of that is because slugs themselves are just naturally creepy.  However, the majority of the credit must go to director Juan Piquer Simon who truly takes this film to its disgusting extreme.  This film is probably most famous for a scene in which one character comes to regret his earlier decision to eat one of the slugs.