And the Other Newport Beach Film Fest Awards Go To ...
Best Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture
Funny, philosophical, menacing, Duane Peters is that and more in the short Day at the Pool. When the skateboarder and U.S. Bombs/Die Hunns frontman out of Huntington Beach talks of fucking up the fictional character Benton at the center of this mockumentary, you actually fret for the dude's safety. Tony Alva, Jay Adams and Stacy Peralta also turn up to extend the legend and/or cover up Benton's unequaled swimming pool skating feat. Special kudos to writer Josh Gold and directors Ian Douglass and Eric Fulford for milking the bit just long enough. Saturday Night Live could learn from those guys.
Best Movie Without Any Promotion
Hicks on Sticks
It's not the lack of promotion for this action-sports documentary that made its world premiere at NBFF being lauded here, but that of writer-director Soren Johnstone's subjects: skateboarders who set across western Canada in 1999 to mount music and skate showcases with a portable stage and ramp. Unfortunately, no one seemed to think ahead to tell anyone in the towns being visited they were coming, leading to them being largely ignored. That someone held onto all that footage without taping over it is even more amazing achievement.
Best Commercial Interludes
One hopes this comedy's writer-star Christy Scott Cashman and directors David Pomes and Derek Estlin Purvis attended the Saturday Night Centerpiece screening at Triangle Square and not the Tuesday evening second run at Island Cinemas. If they had, they would have noticed the audience laughed louder and longer at the fake commercials for the Cut the Crap reality show hosted by new agey Angela Lovecraft (Parker Posey) than they did the actual main story.
Best Infomercial Interlude
Our only repeat winner gets the nod for the rednecky how-to video on converting a diesel car engine to run on bio-diesel. This involves a plot point surrounding a used Mercedes, and I must admit to bias here: my son went through the same thing, twice, changing out the filter, getting used vegetable oil from restaurants, etc., before blowing out the engine in the Benz. Twice.
Best Use of a Penis
Phil Daniels in Vinyl
As the Welsh rocker at the center of Sara Sugarman's rip-roaring punk rock comedy, the actor-singer didn't need the Viagra scene to steal the show, having nicked it long before that point in the picture. But his bare-ass reading of "I've got a boner!"--say it like a kid who found a Willy Wonka golden ticket--is still a hoot.
Best Actress in a Mixed Racetionship
In ABC's Happy Endings, Eliza Coupe's Jane is married to a character played by Damon Wayans Jr., who is African American. In the NBFF's closing night picture and world premiere screening of Shanghai Calling at the Lido and Big Newport, Coupe's Amanda is pursued by Daniel Henney, who is Chinese American. Not that there's anything wrong with either relationship; love is love. But anyone not evolved enough to consider such pairings controversial should know Shanghai Calling is a very tame rom-com as a whole, even thought it's about a guy who loses his job, his love and his ethics after getting caught up in shadiness involving a Chinese manufacturer of new cell phones bound for the U.S. Like so tame it hurts.