2013 Gotham Awards: 'Inside Llewyn Davis,' 'Fruitvale Station,' 'Short Term 12,' 'Dallas Buyers Club'; Lee Daniels Talks Racism: “I Became Very Angry At White People”

IFP's 23nd Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards - ShowThe Coen brothersInside Llewyn Davis won Best Feature tonight at the fourth annual IFP Gotham Independent Film Awards but lost some of the spotlight to presenter Lee Daniels, who made some eyebrow-raising remarks. Kicking off awards season in NYC, the trophy show propelled the CBS period folk music drama and Fruitvale Station, Dallas Buyers Club, and docu The Act of Killing toward the Oscars. The raucous audience at Cipriani Wall Street chattered so loudly during Daniels’ tribute speech his The Butler star Forest Whitaker that he tried to shush them with a few f-bombs. Gotham Awards 2013“Forest would like to hear all you talking through my speech, so shut the f*ck up,” admonished Daniels. He wasn’t the only presenter to complain onstage about the Gothams crowd, as Julie Delpy threatened to set herself on fire to get their attention while presenting another tribute, to Before Midnight helmer Richard Linklater.

Jared Leto GothamsBig wins went to Fruitvale Station, which nabbed Best Breakthrough Director and Actor for Ryan Coogler and Michael B. Jordan, respectively. Dallas Buyers Club star and Oscar hopeful Matthew McConaughey won the Gothams’ inaugural Best Actor award and accepted via iPhone through co-star Jared Leto with his signature “All right, all right, all right.” Short Term 12‘s Brie Larson nabbed Best Actress honors, boosting the SXSW winner’s awards profile. Presenting Best Documentary, Morgan Spurlock took a shot at public television (“PBS: We pay more money than IFC”) before presenting the Gotham to Joshua Oppenheimer’s Oscar hopeful The Act of Killing.

Related: OSCARS: An Early Look At The Best Picture Race – Frontrunners In A Crowded Field

Host Nick Kroll (Kroll Show, The League) struggled with the ambivalent room early on with a roast of the indie scene: “To the people from L.A. or abroad, I hope you’re enjoying your tiny hotel room you had to pay for out of pocket because Magnolia or IFC wouldn’t pony up.” Riffing on the night’s nominees, he quipped, “A common theme in this year’s movies are the horrors we inflict upon one another – slavery, war, folk music… .” Unfortunately for Kroll, he was upstaged by New York Mayor Bloomberg. “Independent filmmakers and New York have a lot in common… We both want Harvey Weinstein to be nice to us.” Boosting local filmmaking versus runaway production to neighboring Canada while presenting the tribute to his Media and Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver, Bloomberg joked, “For the record: the mayor of Toronto and the mayor of New York do not have a lot in common.”

Gotham Awards 2013: Steve Buscemi, Forest Whitaker, Michael B. JordanElsewhere during the night, Steve Buscemi paid tribute to the late James Gandolfini, whom he directed on The Sopranos and later acted alongside when he joined the cast. Buscemi and Gandolfini also co-starred in Romance & Cigarettes and the recent The Incredible Burt Wonderstone. “I did not know the meaning of intimidated until those first few takes, and I felt as a director obligated to say something. … Jimmy was very gracious and patient with me. Tony Soprano did not come easy to him. He couldn’t just turn it on and off, but when he got there it was incredible.”

Related: James Gandolfini Eulogized By David Chase

During his tribute to Linklater, Hawke said:  “As a director he’s singular. Many directors will give you the opportunity to share his vision but Rick asks you to have vision.” Said Delpy: “I think you got the best of me. I could die right now because you got the best. I want to thank you from the bottom of my big fat French heart,” she added.

“The truth is, none of us are doing it alone,” said Linklater as he accepted tribute honors by thanking his past and present collaborators — and Buscemi, for letting him crash on his couch years ago.

Gotham Awards: Forest WhitakerAfter telling the Gothams crowd to STFU, Daniels shared high praise for friend and collaborator Whitaker. “When I did research for The Butler I became very angry at white people. That shit ain’t funny because it’s not funny what happened. … The lesson I learned when I did The Butler was that Forest told me to keep my anger in, to not be a stereotypical angry black man. Because if I were angry and I saw racism, then it became real. I had to step above it and pretend it wasn’t there. How do you tell your 17-year-old son that you can’t go into a 7-Eleven because you’re African-American and a dude? But Forest helped me through that. He taught me a lot.”

Said Whitaker of his craft: “I’m just trying to remove the veil in front of my eyes … to discover. … The truth is not finite, it’s an infinite thing. Then I surrender to the fact that even if I live on some foundation of truth, that I think I’m discovering something. It continues to expand. Physicists talk about the universe is expanding… I’m going to continue to place my attention with you in unveiling the complexity of the human experience, the human soul.”

Here is the full list of winners:

BEST FEATURE
Inside Llewyn Davis
Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, directors; Scott Rudin, Joel Coen, Ethan Coen, producers (CBS Films)

BEST ACTRESS
Brie Larson in Short Term 12
(Cinedigm)

BEST ACTOR
Matthew McConaughey in Dallas Buyers Club
(Focus Features)

BINGHAM RAY BREAKTHROUGH DIRECTOR
Ryan Coogler for Fruitvale Station
(The Weinstein Company)

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

BEST DOCUMENTARY
The Act of Killing
Joshua Oppenheimer, director; Signe Byrge, Joshua Oppenheimer, producers (Drafthouse Films)

AUDIENCE AWARD
Jake Shimabukuro: Life on Four Strings
Tadashi Nakamura, director; Donald Young, producer
(Center for Asian American Media and PBS)

EUPHORIA CK SPOTLIGHT ON WOMEN FILMMAKERS LIVE THE DREAM GRANT
Beneath the Harvest Sky
Gita Pullapilly, director

      1. Re Mr Daniels remarks: first except for Whittaker and Jane Fonda, The Butler was a big failure in my view.

        Second about his racist tirade–tell young black “dudes” to stop stealing from 7/11’s and maybe people would stop being so suspicious.

        1. I suspect that young men wearing khakis and polo shirts don’t have a problem but young men with low slung pants, dirty hair, and hoodies (in 90 degree weather) do have a problem. If I’m walking down a public street, I don’t care what color a person is but I do care if their clothing is what I consider “inappropriate”. Yes, alternative fashion is perfectly fine which could include tattoos and piercings.

      1. I SO agree with you. I have gotten to the point where I refuse to see films that try to capitalize on the “based on a true story” baloney when they also try to make a point by falsifying so much more than they try to accurately instill. I won’t see the Butler for this reason.

      2. I agree. How can you get so angry at a work of Fiction? He’s now just trying to drum up publicity.

      3. Absolutely. It is a shame so many people seem to get their information about history from fictional sources, especially movies. The actual butler upon whom this movie was “based” has debunked much of what is in it.

        The director in particular should know that.

      4. Perhaps I’m confusing the statement at the beginning of the movie with another movie but I thought a read at the beginning of the Butler that it was “inspired” by historical events. Unfortunately, many Americans don’t understand the nuances of the English language and confuse “inspired” with actually being a true story.

    1. Maybe he would then be interested in going to africa and visiting Mogadishu whre blacks are cutting off the hands of uncooperative women and forcing 10 year olds to kill innocents. Better yet maybe he would like to volunteer to go where the brave 50% white or more marines put their lives on the line to stop these atrocities. I am always amused by the hypocrits that point out eggregious behavior of the past without mentioning that White Americans fought to gut piles in a fierce and succesfull effort to stop slavery. Who won, you seem to be the kind of person that cant live in the present and who blames the american public for the behaviors of the enemies who were defeated by white Americans blood. What gives here, is it Hollywood disease or is it black racism doing all it can to make war between races all the time with their friends the jealous subversive cowardly white guys that throw their worthless arms around them and pat hem on the back like long time buddies? Remember the song “The Backstabbers”. This is what race baiters have become, jealolus of success between the races with a battle plan of hanging guilt on whites to keep the blood boiling…
      Your walls are crumbling and your names are noted. You are making a list thats getting checked twice. You are “RACE BAITERS” and the people that make wars by lying in whispers in the ears of others. Quite a character resume, eh?

      1. You, sir, are mentally unbalanced. (And commenting on your own post by using different pseudonyms is kind of sleazy.)

  1. Get ready for what’s going to happen at the Oscars, 12 Years a Slave. Not to say that Inside Llwellyn Davis is going to win, but just that 12 Years a Slave has been massively overhyped in terms of its Oscar potential. I actually think its a good movie, but its just too cold and emotionally distant to win when its main reason for winning is “importance.”

      1. Didn’t say it wasn’t a good movie, (my biggest problems lie with the fact that it was simultaneously too arty and not arty enough) but Oscar voters need some emotional warmth/manipulation to go along with their depressing trip through the horrors of history. McQueen doesn’t give them that (mostly to his credit, but sometimes I’m just like why are you holding me at arms length bro?). It wasn’t overhyped as a film but its wayyy overhyped as an Oscar contender outside of the acting. It’s going to be this year’s Lincoln. Raking in a ton of nominations, but not many wins.

  2. Lee Daniels speaks like an ignoramus. Where in America would he have to tell his 17 year old son that he can’t go into a 7-11 because he’s black? Can someone please tell this uneducated idiot that we fought a Civil War to free the slaves. He must have missed that while he was racking in millions off of WHITE Americans. Please Take whatever money you have made here and move to Africa where you can live like a king. They have a lot of freedom and opportunity on that continent, much more than ugly, racist America.

    1. It makes sense Mr. Daniels would be angry about history; what this country did to blacks for decades was rotten and unjust.

      However, should he choose to remain angry, then he remains in a victim mentality and this encourages others to do the same.

      I have a funny feeling that history will later prove that Barack-Hussein Obama’s Reign of the Presidency did more damage to blacks in eight years and took race relations back by decades.

      Mr. Daniels should also rejoice in his success in a country where he was able to reap the benefits of tremendous opportunity to flourish as an artist.

      1. Funny that he’s not getting angry at the Africans & Arabs that sold so many into slavery and became rich doing it. Slavery has existed all over the world throughout history. It has always been an ugly practice. So many discussions of slavery insinuate that the US was the only place, the only people that practiced slavery. Learn your history.
        Btw, The Butler is a piece of propaganda. When an art form is subservient to a political message, it is no longer art, but agitprop. Ironically, the true story of the butler is fascinating and uplifting.

        1. You’re comments are pretty much spot on except for the fact that you refer to slavery in the past tense!

          1. Slavery referred to in the past tense is wrong? Not in this country. Not in this century. There is no slavery, only kidnapping, human trafficking and unlawful imprisonment.
            I think it is a sorry state that a presenter must shush the crowd to do his presentation. If you don’t have enough common courtesy to shut up at a time when the very reason you are there is happening then please don’t go at all.

          2. There are no Blacks in slavery now, there are no Whites who own slaves now. Please explain your comment.

        2. Jonathan,

          I agree with your post, but I think the other respondent was referring to the fact that slavery still exists in places like Africa. As far as the US goes, however, yes, past tense is absolutely appropriate.

      2. Obama’s massive failure will prevent another black being elected president for the next 50 years. Because liberals will abandon blacks like they always do.

        “Black president? We checked that box. Time to move on.”

      3. That facts of racism against blacks in America history is not represented correctly anymore. The percentage of blacks horribly mistreated is very low–but that doesn’t minimize the horror and wrong of the acts against blacks that happened. However, the greater majority of black slaves did not want to leave their adopted families, that bought their lives from their fellow Africans who were going to exterminate them due to ethinic cleasning of the tribes. The percentage of blacks mistreated is less than 15% of the total black slaves in America. And that percentage is 15% too many regardless, But 85% of white slave owners were very good, proper people who were only doing what was acceptable back in that time in American history. All over the world slavery was common. And it was a means by which many blacks today were saved from extermination. A truth of horror, to say the least. A horriffic mark on human history, albeit American Blacks are here due to this societal practise.

        1. Only the very wealthy landowners had slaves, which were expensive to own and to feed. The South sold cotton to the Northern shipping traders to be shipped to England and woven into cloth to be resold back to the USA market. The South was trying to steal the plans for weaving looms in England to bypass the North and England completely. The average man could not afford land or a slave, that’s why the push westward. The average man in the Southern army was promised the opportunity to own land, not a slave. The war was about economic freedom, not slavery.

          1. Of course to the South at the time, slavery was economic freedom. The entire Southern economy was based on slavery. They couldn’t get rid of slavery without crashing the economy.

            Read the South Carolina succession statment sometime, you’ll note that they referenced their right and intent to keep slaves in the first sentence of reasons for secceeding from the union.

          2. True. Wealthy landowners and as a matter of fact, most of them were democrats. Lincoln, a republican, in his quest to free the slaves received a lot of opposition from these democrats.
            Of course, democrats like to revise history to sing a different tune, but those are the facts.

      4. “It makes sense Mr. Daniels would be angry about history; what this country did to blacks for decades was rotten and unjust.”

        Three things. First “Mr. Daniels” did not say he was angry about history. He said that he was angry at white people. That’s a big difference.

        Second. We should learn from history, not be angry at it. It is totally unproductive to be angry at history. There is nothing that can be done to change history.

        Third, he uses the term “white people” which is no different from a white person using the term “you people” when referring to blacks. “You people” raises the hackles of many, both black and white, yet it is somehow perfectly acceptable for him to use the term white people in a derogatory way, painting all others with a broad brush.

        Three strikes. You’re out.

      5. I suspect the man was angry prior to any research.

        If he’s going to be angry, is he going to call out the Democrat Party specifically for its racism since the Civil War (KKK, Gun Control Laws, Jim Crow, etc)?

        Is he angry that Democrats have decimated the Black Family with Great Society laws that encourage government dependency?

      6. What do you mean by “what this country did” This country has done more good for more people of all races to excel in the shortest period of time that any other civilization on earth. Period.

    2. I was embarassed for Lee, who obviously had a bit too much Wine or whatever he was drinking. He went on and on and on about Forrest, Forrest taught me this, Forrest did this….and he made no sense about his exposure (or his son’s) to racism. I agree, what 7-11 won’t let a young black man in? The 7-11 even lets the homeless in the door. You’re there to celebrate and congratulate the man, not make a fool of yourself.

    3. Someone needs to give Daniels a quarter so he can call someone who gives a rats A$$ what he thinks….grow up fool!

    4. Good point.

      Not to mention the Muslim slave trade conducted all across north and East Africa – which continued for a thousand years longer (and still continues, btw, in places like Sudan and Mauritania with the support of salafi clerics)and was FAR more brutal since it involved wholesale castration of males and full on sexual slavery for the women and children.

    5. Couldn’t agree more with fishergirl. Why is Mr. Daniels getting angry now? So he is involved in a movie about slavery and NOW he is getting the “facts”? Has he ever read anything except a script? And now he’s an expert? But I’m sure his movie buddies will pat him on the back for being such a hero. After the awards ceremony maybe someone will take him to Seven Eleven for a slurpie.

      The arrogance of the movie class is unfathomable.

    6. I’m so sick of this angst over what happened 150 and more years ago. Is this the only angle the black people have is to live in the past and wring their hands over what happened to their forefathers? Slavery has gone on since the dawn of time and exists today as well. We now live in an era in which hard work and frugal living can make any person wealthy. Get Over it Already.

      1. 150 years means my great-great-grandmother was a slave. how come we are taught never to forget the holocaust when the WHOLE construction of the US was based on unimaginable punishment and desolation of one race and the slavery of another? Yet we are just supposed to “forget” it happened? Get out of here with that racist garbage. Being white and male has and always will be the easiest way to get money/wealth. Your ignorance and racist ideals aren’t valid to someone who understands and acknowledges their past to build a better future.

    7. Lee is mad at the white people at IFP who didn’t nominate The Butler for a best film award. That’s what his whole embarrassing show last night was about. He made a fool of himself.

      1. Wow, I think you hit the nail on the head; that never occurred to me but you are right on the money.

        I doubt he knows that he sounded very small (in retrospect).

    1. Agreed. SHORT TERM 12 has been seriously overlooked. I would rank it above FRUITVALE STATION but the critics have already decided their darlings and there’s little chance of changing it.

  3. Lee Daniels: “I became very angry at white people.” Racist? Yes. Probably will get the highest awards for this accepted and rewarded racism.

    1. That speech alone WILL NOT GET HIM Any noms at the Oscars. Trust me. A lot of Oscar voting people were in the room.

    2. Totally racist toward whites, yes! Whites will never be considered victims of racism/hate crime, just the racist perp. Law enforcement and all media have willingly participated in the cover up. Feels like whites are being unfairly punished for some strange reason….

  4. “When I did research for The Butler I became very angry at white people – that shit ain’t funny because it’s not funny what happened…”

    Funny, that comment makes me very angry at black people…I don’t want to be a racist, so don’t poke me in the eye and turn me in to one…

  5. Are you kidding? 12 Years is a masterpiece! The Gothams have NEVER been an accurate litmus test for the rest of the season. Get at me when the major awards start flooding in!

  6. Wow. Deadline has some trolls for sure. Usmc girl? What a joke.

    But the gotham awards are just another example of the dilution of awards shows – again proving the king of the ant hill publicity departments now are.

  7. So happy for Brie Larson! That really was an amazing performance. I beliebe Cate is going to win most of the awards this season so I’m happy Brie nabbed one.

  8. Congrats to all the winners! They were all deserving. However, The Gotham awards are NOT a litmus test for the Oscars. Don’t get it twisted.;)

    To the idiot above. The Civil War, was not fought to free black people. It was about preserving the union. Lincoln freed black people as punishment to the south. Not out of some great love and compassion for his fellow human beings.

    How is Lee Daniels a racist, because he was angry at the treatment of black people in the 20’s,30’s,40’s 50’s, 60’s? He’s old enough to have been denied service in a 7-11. I love how white people delude themselves into believing racial hatred, and discrimination ended in 1865, and the almost 150 years since, has been a fucking cake walk for black people. Both of my parents drank out of colored s only fountains, in the 60’s. Denial is futile.

    1. It is sad that your parents drank out of segregated water fountains- but that was 50 YEARS AGO-

      and just like signs in Boston said “No Dogs or Irish” and signs in Miami said “No Jews” there was a lot of segregation of lots of people… and that is segregation of white people if you will.

      AND he said he would have to tell his son TODAY that he can’t go into a 7-11– nonsense.

    2. There is nothing wrong with being angry/mad/upset/ashamed of how blacks have been treated in recent history.

      There IS something wrong with being angry at white people, which itself is a racist, blanket statement.

      Acting as if my 30-year-old white self is somehow responsible or complicit for the way a group of people were treated 50+ years ago just because of my skin color is racism.

      1. Steve, that is 100% correct. I have been saying that for years…do not blame me for others wrong doing.

    3. Michael, you are the idiot. My great grandfather wrote a published letter in June of 1862 while fighting with a volunteer regiment in the Civil War. It is obvious from the letter he was fighting to free the slaves. His salutation in the letter was, “Yours for equal rights to all men.”

      1. Thank you for adding some clear sighted humanity to the discussion. In fact, many Union soldiers were indeed fighting to end slavery. In fact, some of the Founding Fathers abhorred slavery and wanted to end it.

    4. Michael, I suggest you do a web search for Kansas-Nebraska Act. It will explain how the war was more about slavery than you believe. You might also read Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, “All men are created equal” had to do with the subjugation of some people as slaves. YOu have been spoon fed a line of bovine excrement and you believe it. No one wants to make you a slave, except those in power who make you beholden to them for their handouts. The man in the White House is not your friend.

    5. Michael – Lee Daniels is a racist because he focuses his anger on the subject. By his statement he assumes all whites are to blame for the treatment of blacks in that era, and that attitude is the essence of racism.

    6. Yes, Michael there were separate water fountains for blacks and whites. I recall the disparity as a boy living in NC in 1966, and I agree it was wrong. It happened. But since that shameful period much has changed. So you can stop playing the victim card.

  9. I never heard of this award show until I saw them loading in this morning from across the street. Seriously how many awards show are there now?! and does anyone really care in the age of Netflix and much better television options.

  10. I read that the real life “Butler” was a Republican. When I heard that the movie changed that to Democrat, I refused to see the movie.

  11. Really who cares about what a bunch of narcissistic douche bags care about anything! Racism, schmacism…Alabama 1935 now that was racist! Modern America not so much!

  12. It’s funny how desperate these people are for attention. They have an award ceremony and act like 2 year old children when nobody’s fawning all over them. On top of that, Daniels is so self-centered that he adopts other people’s suffering as his own.

    Some people just need to get a life… of their own.

  13. The Butler is so fictionalized that is difficult to see the truth. 12 Years A Slave follows its’ source material closely so the truth can be seen clearly.

  14. You are correct. Your stats are appreciated. Recently I responded to a person who had just seen “12 Years a Slave” with a similiar comment that all slavery is horrific but that every ethnic group throughout time has suffered enslavement. He was dumbfounded that I didn’t jump on the victim train. I’m really tired of Hollywood victimizing blacks all over again. Black actors being paid to propagate these stories are simply sad. I won’t waste a cent contributing to the Democrat agenda which mainly props up the fictionalized version of slavery.

    1. I couldn’t agree more. I will NOT see this film. I will NOT pay money to see a film where essentially I’m supposed to hang my head in shame because I’m a white person. We all have the ability to speak on this matter. And we can speak with our pocketbooks – don’t buy in to victimizing blacks all over again!

  15. I remember becoming disillusioned with aliens too, after watching the Star Wars films. Dragons make me mad as well…Many of us seem to live in a fantasy world…

  16. This is because people in Hollywood are not connected to reality. People who give anything said by an actor or actress live in fantasy land too. Remember folks, they teach themselves how to be an emotional wreck for fame…

  17. Well, I guess the “Hollywood Brain Drain” is nearly 100% complete. Running on empty it appears. LOL.

  18. That was then, this is now.

    I majored in history and never got mad at how they treated my ancestors. Like why? Lean forward, isn’t that what the libs tell us, eh? Sheesh, get a grip on your self and be a positive example like MLK. Not like MalcomX or Farrakhan.

  19. Its not denial! It’s unjustly accusal of todays white people being racist when we had nothing to do with it! Wake up, it’s not the 1800’s or 1900’s anymore. I’m
    33 yrs old born in 1980 and had nothing to do with slavery or colored water fountains. Why should I accept hate speech towards whites that spew racism when I’ve had nothing to do with it?

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