OK, so what is the Neutron Star Award? As I watched older selections through the year, I was frequently compelled to pick a film based on the fact that Vincent Price was in it. When I was younger I was very actor-oriented, more so than with directors. The fact that an actor had that kind of draw, and was one who is sadly no longer with us, made me think there had to be some kind of way I could honor them.
So I thought literally about stars, and being a nerd I confirmed that a neutron star fits the definition of a star that has gone out but glows more brightly after its passing.
Below you will find a list of the candidates that made their presence known for this award this year:
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
Coy Watson, Jr.
While I found more Jackie Searl titles this year than I was previously familiar with, I already knew of him. Furthermore, the fact that my above-linked post introduced some to his other works, or his works in general, was reward enough. So a mere mention of him here suffices.
Coy Watson, Jr., as I alluded to in my review of his book, provided the invaluable service of giving me the incentive to seek out other actors, filmmakers and their works, but I saw few of his works.
Louise Fazenda was an actress whom I knew next to nothing about before 2013, so I was hard-pressed not to pick her after watching some of her shorts and a feature for a blogathon. In the end her impact was not the greatest…
Rainer Werner Fassbinder
The award was created last year to recognize an actor, but this year’s winning selection is a slight fudge. However, I don’t feel I’ll be likely to re-define or expand the award any time soon so I’m going to go with it.
Basically, the winner did act in films and did even play leading roles, however, to be completely honest, Rainer Werner Fassbinder is winning this award for his work as a writer and director. Now a bit like Jackie Searl I did have some familiarity with Fassbinder in the past. He made appearances on both my 2011 and 2012 Favorite Older Movies list.
However, 2013 was much more viewing many more appearances and was topped off by my getting both the Region 2 box sets of his films. Granted even those aren’t all his works.
When you see a few things by a director you are responding to individual titles, when you see quite a few you start responding to a voice and Fassbinder’s was a voice I sought to hear speaking repeatedly through 2013, and I’m sure that will continue into the new year. In tandem with this award you should look out for this year’s favorites list, which will include his titles; and I may create a subsequent series designed to reflect the year’s winner as I have with other body-of-work awards in the past.
Fassbinder had a knack, in standard feature-length dramas, making the first forty minutes impossibly gripping over and over, of also creating approachable density and magnetic melancholy, and it’s why I sought to come back to his works many times over last year and why he is the recipient of this award.