H’w’d mix at L.A. Crix

Winners joke about buzz, surreal moments

HOLLYWOOD — Spirits were high Tuesday as stars, filmmakers and critics turned out for the Los Angeles Film Critics Assn. Awards, traditionally one of the most casual yet high-brow of the award-season events.

With the awards already announced in December and no television coverage of the ceremony, recipients were free to tell lengthy anecdotes and make in-jokes about the awards.

The critics often choose independent and foreign fare over studio pics. One of the high points came during David Lynch’s acceptance speech for best director, when the “Mulholland Dr.” helmer held up a portable tape recorder playing loud static to the microphone, saying, “This is the sound of the buzz you guys created for my film.”

Jeffrey Katzenberg, accepting the animation award for “Shrek,” quipped, “Who’s more freaked out right now, you or me?”

“Here are two surreal moments,” he continued, “Frodo on the hilltop in New Zealand with Sir Edmund Hillary and Peter Jackson, and Jeff Katzenberg standing in front of the L.A. Film Critics.”

A running joke took hold when Tony Shalhoub appeared to accept Roger Deakins’ cinematography prize for “The Man Who Wasn’t There.” “When Joel and Ethan Coen called me to ask who they should hire to shoot their film, I recommended Roger,” he joked.

From that point on, several honorees implied that Shalhoub’s input had been instrumental in selecting cast and crew for their own films. “I want to thank Tony Shalhoub for suggesting me to Todd Field,” deadpanned Sissy Spacek, best actress winner for “In the Bedroom,” also named best film.

John Cameron Mitchell, winner of the New Generation Award for “Hedwig and the Angry Inch,” told Daily Variety, “If winning the New Generation Award means being a peer to Agnes Varda (winner of the docu award for “The Gleaners and I”), then that rocks!”

The Career Achievment Award went to 93-year-old Disney animation pioneer Joe Grant, who said, “I hope Mr. Katzenberg won’t mind if I say that I hope everyone has seen ‘Monsters, Inc.'”

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