2013 Progie Awards
By Don Simpson | March 1, 2014
THE JAMES AGEE CINEMA CIRCLE’S
PROGIE AWARDS FOR
BEST PROGRESSIVE FILMS & ARTISTS OF 2013
The James Agee Cinema Circle (of which yours truly is a proud, red book-carrying member) is an international, independent umbrella group of left-leaning film critics, scholars and historians dedicated to raising public awareness about films dealing with political, social, cultural, ethnic, economic, gender, ecological, immigrant, pro-human rights, pro-LGBTQ rights, pro-labor, etc., content and form. The JACC annually presents The Progies to the year’s best progressive features, indies, documentaries and artists. The Progies are the “un-Oscar”, the “people’s alternative Academy Awards,” honoring movies and talents of conscience and consciousness.
Each Progie is awarded in a category named after a great cinema artist or film that made a contribution to movies that inspire, enlighten and entertain audiences. The 2013 Progie winner of each category is listed in red below. (The complete list of nominees can be found here.)
THE TRUMBO: The Progie Award for BEST PROGRESSIVE PICTURE is named after Oscar-winning screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, a member of the Hollywood Ten, who was imprisoned for his beliefs and refusing to inform. Trumbo helped break the Blacklist when he received screen credit for Spartacus and Exodus in 1960.
Winner: FRUITVALE STATION
THE GARFIELD: The Progie Award for BEST ACTOR in a progressive picture is named after John Garfield, who rose from the proletarian theatre to star in progressive pictures such as Gentleman’s Agreement and Force of Evil, only to run afoul of the Hollywood Blacklist.
Winner: CHIWETEL EJIOFOR (12 YEARS A SLAVE)
KAREN MORLEY AWARD: The Progie Award for BEST ACTRESS in a film portraying women in a progressive picture is named for Karen Morley, co-star of Scarface (1932) and Our Daily Bread (1934). Morley was driven out of Hollywood in the 1930s for her leftist views, but maintained her militant political activism for the rest of her life, running for New York’s Lieutenant Governor on the American Labor Party ticket in 1954. She passed away in 2003, unrepentant to the end, at the age of 93.
Winner: BARBARA SUKOWA (HANNAH ARENDT)
THE RENOIR: The Progie Award for BEST ANTI-WAR FILM is named after the great French filmmaker Jean Renoir, who directed the 1937 anti-militarism masterpiece Grand Illusion.
Winner: THE ACT OF KILLING
THE GILLO: The Progie Award for BEST PROGRESSIVE FOREIGN FILM is named after the Italian director Gillo Pontecorvo, who lensed the 1960s classics The Battle of Algiers and Burn!
Winners (tie): A TOUCH OF SIN, THE GREAT BEAUTY, CLASS ENEMY
THE DZIGA: The Progie Award for BEST PROGRESSIVE DOCUMENTARY is named after the Soviet filmmaker Dziga Vertov, who directed 1920s nonfiction films such as the Kino Pravda series and The Man With the Movie Camera.
Winner: THE ACT OF KILLING
OUR DAILY BREAD AWARD: The Progie Award for the MOST POSITIVE AND INSPIRING WORKING CLASS SCREEN IMAGE is named after King Vidor’s 1934 classic about an American collective farm, which starred Karen Morley and was produced by Charlie Chaplin.
Winner: ANGEL’S SHARE
THE ROBESON: The Progie Award for the BEST PORTRAYAL OF PEOPLE OF COLOR that shatters cinema stereotypes, in light of their historically demeaning depictions onscreen. It is named after courageous performing legend, Paul Robeson, who starred in Song of Freedom and The Proud Valley, and narrated Native Land.
Winner: 12 YEARS A SLAVE
THE SERGEI: The Progie Award for LIFETIME PROGRESSIVE ACHIEVEMENT ON- OR OFFSCREEN is named after Sergei Eisenstein, the Soviet director of masterpieces such as Potemkin and 10 Days That Shook the World.
Winners (tie): JOHN SAYLES, ROBERT REDFORD
THE BUNUEL: The Progie Award for the MOST SLYLY SUBVERSIVE SATIRICAL CINEMATIC FILM in terms of form, style and content is named after Luis Bunuel, the Spanish surrealist who directed The Andalusian Dog, Belle de Jour and The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie.
Winner: THE WOLF OF WALL STREET
THE PASOLINI: The Progie Award for BEST PRO-GAY RIGHTS film is named after Italian director Pier Paolo Pasolini, who directed The Gospel According to St. Matthew, The Decameron and The Canterbury Tales.
Winners: BEHIND THE CANDELABRA (TV movie), REACHING FOR THE MOON
THE LAWSON: The Progie Award for BEST ANTI-FASCIST FILM is named after John Howard Lawson, screenwriter of 1938’s anti-Franco Blockade and the 1940s anti-nazi films Four Sons, Action in the North Atlantic, Sahara and Counter-Attack, and one of the Hollywood Ten.
Winner: HANNAH ARENDT
THE LANGLOIS: For BEST PROGRESSIVE PICTURES DESERVING THEATRICAL RELEASE IN THE US and distribution in other countries and platforms is named after film archivist Henri Langlois, co-founder of Paris’ Cinémathèque.
GORE VIDAL: THE UNITED STATES OF AMNESIA
STORY OF FILM: AN ODYSSEY
STRANGER BY THE LAKE
A FIELD IN ENGLAND
IT FELT LIKE LOVE
SWIM LITTLE FISH SWIM
FORTY YEARS FROM YESTERDAY
WHEN I SAW YOU
THE LIBERATOR: SIMON BOLIVAR
MY SWEET PEPPER LAND
ME AND YOU
WINTER IN THE BLOOD
THE UNTOLD HISTORY OF THE UNITED STATES