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Be Kind Rewind – Catch the Spirit!

By Michael Nazarewycz

The 2013 Film Independent’s Spirit Awards were recently announced, and among the contenders are audience faves like Silver Linings Playbook and Moonrise Kingdom. But the Spirit Awards are nothing new. In fact, you could say the Spirits come from the 1980s, as the first awards were handed out in 1986!

In honor of the awards, here are a pair of films that took home prizes at the first two Film Independent’s Spirit Awards!


After Hours (1985)After Hours
Starring Griffin Dunne and Rosanna Arquette
Directed by Martin Scorsese
Spirits Winner, Best Feature

In this wickedly dark comedy, Griffin Dunne plays an unhappy word processor in New York City. One night he meets a pretty young woman (Arquette) and they hit it off. He gets her phone number, and when he calls her, she invites him to her place in SoHo. He goes, but the night doesn’t go quite as he planned, as he finds himself in one bizarre situation after another, including almost having his head shaved. This film also tied with Blood Simple for Best Director.

She’s Gotta Have It (1986)She’s Gotta Have It
Starring Tracy Camilla Johns, Tommy Redmond Hicks, John Canada Terrell, and Spike Lee
Directed by Spike Lee
Spirits Winner, Best First Feature

Spike Lee’s first joint tells the tale of Nola Darling (Johns), the three men she has simultaneous relationships with – Jamie (Hicks), Greer (Terrell), and Mars (Lee) – and how those relationships shape her view on love. More than just his first film, She’s Gotta Have It would also set Lee’s signature filmmaking style and introduce the world to the character of Mars Blackmon ... a fictional character that would go on to pitch Nike sneakers in commercials with basketball legend Michael Jordan.

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