Justin Bieber, Werner Herzog to Finally Square Off for an Award

The fifth annual Cinema Eye Honors for Nonfiction Filmmaking will be handed out next month in New York City, with such inveterate documentarians as Errol Morris (Tabloid), Steve James (The Interrupters) and Kevin Macdonald (Life in a Day) facing off against the upstart likes of Alma Har'el (Bombay Beach), Tristan Patterson (Dragonslayer) and Clio Barnard (The Arbor). But look no further than the Audience Choice Award nominees for the most dynamic, high-stakes clash between old and new.

See if you can spot it in the nominees announced today, on which you can vote at the Cinema Eye Honors site:

· Bill Cunningham New York (Richard Press)

· The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975 (Göran Olsson)

· Buck (Cindy Meehl)

· Cave of Forgotten Dreams (Werner Herzog)

· Give Up Tomorrow (Michael Collins)

· The Interrupters (Steve James)

· Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (Jon M. Chu)

· Project Nim (James Marsh)

· Senna (Asif Kapadia)

· Tabloid (Errol Morris)

Your mileage may vary, but Bieber vs. Herzog seems to me the showdown of the 2011-12 awards season. To be fair, let's give Jon M. Chu -- the swell auteur behind Never Say Never -- credit as the nominated filmmaker, but let's also be honest about the cosmically profound implications of two 3-D films featuring two icons of our day, each reflecting the state of human culture some 30,000 years apart. The earliest known cave drawings versus the slickest statement of modern pop. The mysteries of both our distant ancestors and the generation that follows us -- their lifestyles, their language, their dreams -- and our lonely contemplation of how small we are against each. Herzog's ecstatic truth versus Bieber's hyperbolic truth, all reduced to anonymous, mediated democracy.

Anyway, I'm voting for Bill Cunningham New York. Chime in for yourself here.

· Audience Choice 2012 [Cinema Eye Honors]