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Spirited show for New Line

“Bad Lieutenant,””Gas Food Lodging,””Mississippi Masala,””One False Move” and “The Player” are the best-feature nominees for the eighth annual Independent Spirit Awards, announced yesterday by the Independent Feature Project/West.

Pacing the field of Spirit Award-nominated pix were “Gas Food Lodging” and “One False Move,” with five nominations apiece. Both were distributed by IRS Releasing, which has set its sights on offering cutting-edge alternatives to the typical studio fare.

With a first-feature nomination for “My New Gun,” the distrib notched 11 nods in all.

The leader among distributors, however, was New Line Cinema, which garnered 14 nominations in 10 categories from a mix of eight New Line and Fine Line releases.

Industry stalwart Miramax Films scored nine nominations.

Skedded for presentation March 27 on the beach in Santa Monica, the Spirit Awards honor outstanding achievements in independent film.

Films are eligible if they are at least 70 minutes long and played at least one day in 1992 at a commercial theater in the United States.

As independents, Spirit Award-nominated movies must have been produced outside the studio system, without major studio financing.

The IFP/West selected an eclectic mix of 1992 nominees, including such art-house and multiplex stalwarts as “Passion Fish,””Jumpin at the Boneyard, “”Deep Cover,””Laws of Gravity,””My New Gun,””Reservoir Dogs,””Swoon,””The Waterdance,””A Midnight Clear,””Johnny Suede,””Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me” and “Poison Ivy.”

Selections were made by the IFP/West nominating committee, with the IFP’s national membership to vote on the winners.

It is the second consecutive year that New Line has been the top-ranked distributor of Spirit nominated product.

Its top nominated pic was Fine Line’s “Swoon,” which grabbed bids for best first feature, director (Tom Kalin), actor (Craig Chester) and cinematography (Ellen Kuras).

New Line distribution president Mitch Goldman said the nominations are “confirmation that we have been successful in maintaining our independent status.”

However, New Line was shut out for two of its major indie releases, the Jack Lemmon/Al Pacino starrer “Glengarry Glen Ross” and director Louis Malle’s “Damage.”

As always, the Spirit Awards threw some curveballs across its nomination plate.

Nominations in many categories bypassed the higher-profile indies and went to more obscure titles that would benefit more from the recognition.

One of the biggest independent hits of 1992, “The Player” received a best feature nomination, but lead actor Tim Robbins and director Robert Altman were overlooked.

The omission of the pic from a wide range of categories was a surprise because it fit the Spirit Award criteria perfectly, received accolades from critics and attacked the studio system in its storyline to boot.

The other big indie hits of 1993, Sony Pictures Classics’ “Howards End” and Miramax’s “The Crying Game,” will square off in the foreign-film category, along with “Close to Eden,””Danzon” and “Raise the Red Lantern.”

African-American talent was well represented in six Spirit categories, including best director Carl Franklin (“One False Move”), actress Cynda Williams (“One False Move”) and actor Larry Fishburne (“Deep Cover”).

Also among the African-American nominees supporting actresses Danitra Vance (“Jumpin at the Boneyard”) and Alfre Woodard (“Passion Fish”) and supporting actor Wesley Snipes (“The Waterdance”) as well as in the best-feature category for “One False Move” and “Mississippi Masala.” A major omission was “Mississippi Masala” star Denzel Washington.

The Spirit Awards event has emerged as one of the hottest tickets in the days leading up to the Academy Awards. At last year’s event, Oliver Stone, Jodie Foster and Francis Ford Coppola delivered controversial “gonzo” speeches on the state of Hollywood.

The nominees:

FEATURE

“Bad Lieutenant”– executive producers, Patrick Wachsberger, Ronna B. Wallace; producers, Edward R. Pressman, Mary Kane, Randall Sabusawa; Aries Films Releasing

“Gas Food Lodging”– executive producers, Chris Henkel, Carl-Jan Colpaert; producers, Daniel Hassid, William Ewart, Seth M. Willenson; IRS Releasing

“Mississippi Masala”– executive producer, Cherie Rodgers; producers, Michael Nozik, Mira Nair; Samuel Goldwyn Co.

“One False Move”– executive producers, Miles A. Copeland III, Paul Colichman , Harold Welb; producers, Jesse Beaton, Ben Myron; IRS Releasing

“The Player”– executive producers, Cary Brokaw; producers, David Brown, Michael Tolkin, Nick Wechsler; Fine Line Features

FIRST FEATURE

“Laws of Gravity”– executive producer, Larry Meistrich; producers, Larry Meistrich, Bob Gosse; RKO Pictures Distribution

“My New Gun”– executive producers, Miles A. Copeland III, Paul Colichman, Harold Welb; producer, Michael Flynn; IRS Releasing

Reservoir Dogs”– executive producers, Richard N. Gladstein, Ronna B. Wallace, Monte Hellman; producers, Lawrence Bender, Harvey Keitel; Miramax Films

“Swoon”– executive producers, Lauren Zalaznick, James Schamus, Christine Vachon; producers, Tom Kalin, Peter Wentworth; Fine Line Features

“The Waterdance”– executive producer, Guy Riedel; producers, Gale Anne Hurd, Marie Cantin; Samuel Goldwyn Co.

DIRECTOR

Allison Anders, “Gas Food Lodging”

Abel Ferarra, “Bad Lieutenant”

Carl Franklin, “One False Move”

Tom Kalin, “Swoon”

Quentin Tarantino, “Reservoir Dogs”

SCREENPLAY

Keith Gordon, “A Midnight Clear”

Allison Anders, “Gas Food Lodging”

Paul Schrader, “Light Sleeper”

Billy Bob Thornton, “One False Move”

ACTRESS

Fairuza Balk, “Gas Food Lodging”

Edie Falco, “Laws of Gravity”

Catherien Keener, “Johnny Suede”

Sheryl Lee, “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me”

Cynda Williams, “One False Move”

ACTOR

Craig Chester, “Swoon”

Larry Fishburne, “Deep Cover”

Peter Greene, “Laws of Gravity”

Harvey Keitel, “Bad Lieutenant”

Michael Rapaport, “Zebrahead”

SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Brooke Adams, “Gas Food Lodging”

Sara Gilbert, “Poison Ivy”

Karen Silas, “Simple Men”

Danitra Vance, “Jumpin at the Boneyard”

Alfre Woodard, “Passion Fish”

SUPPORTING ACTOR

Steve Buscemi, “Reservoir Dogs”

William Forsythe, “The Waterdance”

Jeff Goldblum, “Deep Cover”

Wesley Snipes, “The Waterdance”

David Strathairn, “Passion Fish”

CINEMATOGRAPHY

Jon Jost, “All the Vermeers in New York”

Jean DeSegonzac, “Laws of Gravity”

Ed Lachman, “Light Sleeper”

Frederick Elmes, “Night on Earth”

Ellen Kuras, “Swoon”

ORIGINAL SCORE

Jon A. English, “All the Vermeers in New York”

Peter Haycock, Derek Holt, “One False Move”

Maureen McElheron, “The Tune”

Angelo Badalamenti, “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me”

Taj Mahal, “Zebrahead”

FOREIGN FILM

Miramax Films, “Close to Eden”

Sony Pictures Classics, “Danzon”

Sony Pictures Classics, “Howard’s End”

Miramax Films, “Raise the Red Lantern”

Miramax Films, “The Crying Game”

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