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David Poland

By David Poland

20 Weeks To Oscar – 16 Days To Go.


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10 Responses to “20 Weeks To Oscar – 16 Days To Go.”

  1. Chucky in Jersey says:

    ABC is having major difficulty selling ad time in the Oscar telecast. Sweet!

  2. Baudolino says:

    Dave, the link to the actress/supporting actress chart directs to the best picture chart.

  3. Crow T Robot says:

    The Academy is clearly terrified of Avatar.
    They know, like the year’s critics and guild awards suggest, that it’s a corny movie.
    They’ve already awarded the plot and story of Dances With Wolves.
    They’ve already awarded Cameron for a much better film.
    They’ve already awarded f/x heavy geek action epic Return of The King.
    And they know in their hearts that awarding a supposed work of art mostly for its financial and technical success (as Poland suggests in his very Poland way) is really cynical.
    But, despite all of the above, they do know that Avatar represents the best grab at cultural relevancy they’ve had in years. It is without a doubt the biggest thing on the planet.
    So it’ll be fun to see if they’re willing to sacrifice integrity for relevance.
    So go Avatar! Any best picture winner that reveals the Oscars to be the self-serving clowns they are is okay with me.

  4. David Poland says:

    Uh… no, Crow. At least in terms of suggesting that I think that.
    I think the reality is that people, in the main, do like Avatar… a lot. They appreciate it as more than an effects show. Some don’t. But I think most people I hear from, including Academy members, do.
    The issue of “the narrative” is not “the truth,” it is “the narrative.”
    There is no lack of integrity in voting for Avatar… or they wouldn’t do it. It’s not like big is enough. It’s not.
    That said, the voters, historically, do reach beyond their personal taste about “the best” and they get herded.
    Fact is, if they vote for Hurt Locker, they were herded even more efficiently, as I would be shocked if more than 20% of Academy members had seen the film as for Dec 1.

  5. David Poland says:

    Fixed that now, Baudolino. And remember, those charts are over a month old now.

  6. movielocke says:

    “Fact is, if they vote for Hurt Locker, they were herded even more efficiently,”
    Thank you so much for saying that!
    I am sick and tired of the supposition that because a film is beloved by critics voting for it is somehow more honest than voting for a movie beloved by audiences. Hurt Locker is a terrific little film, and more voters by far were pressured into seeing it because of the nonstop critical praise. That’s not a bad thing, but it is certainly true that there were critical forces at work that ensured “right thinking” voters would nominate it. With enough unanimity critics can get a film championed, like Sideways, simply by working in lockstep to support a single ‘more worthy’ title.
    Here’s a question no one is asking: If Hurt Locker had been given a real release and flopped like every other Iraq war movie (like say The Kingdom) would we even be talking about it as a contender? no, we wouldn’t. Box office matters. Hurt Locker got in because it wasn’t presented to wide audiences, that meant it was safe for critics to like it and safe for the cineaste crowd to embrace it. Isn’t anyone else a little disgusted that the cineastes are suddenly discovering Bigelow and taking her seriously and enjoying her older pulpier films as some sort of lost art treasures? The films Bigelow has made in the past are exactly the sort of films widely scorned by cineastes who are “too good” to watch B-action movies. Now she’s a critical darling and not based on her merits, but based on the release strategy summit used.

  7. Dr Wally says:

    A pedant writes : In terms of Oscar disappointment, I don’t think Randy Newman comes even close to John Williams or sound maven Gary Rydstrom.

  8. Bob Violence says:

    Dunno who “the cineastes” are, but hardcore academic-type critics have been taking Bigelow seriously for awhile — she’s been written up in stuff like Cinema Journal Screen (the UK magazine, not Screen International) and FemSpec, Point Break was namechecked in the title of a study on “Feminist Hollywood”, and there’s an entire book rounding up various perspectives, like a Lacanian reading of Strange Days. All this predates The Hurt Locker (which incidentally was praised to the skies coming out of Toronto, even though nobody had any idea at the time what kind of distribution it would get). Bigelow herself actually comes from a theory/criticism background.

  9. Bob Violence says:

    ^Cinema Journal and Screen are two separate magazines, sorry ’bout that

  10. Bob Violence says:

    …and for “Toronto” read “Venice” (but it didn’t do badly at Toronto either)

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon