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David Poland

By David Poland

Big Newspaper Journalism Isn’t Always What You Think It Is

I have been tweeting on and on about the pathetic waste of time that is the LA Times “investigative” report – “Umasking The Academy” – on The Academy’s membership.

The whole enterprise speaks to everything that is now wrong with entertainment journalism and why no one in the film industry but Oscar advertisers and employees really care whether the LAT continues to cover this industry. I’ve already gotten into a conversation in public with someone I respect about whether this survey adds anything to the conversation. He felt it was factual, therefore of value. I feel that it is a massive waste of hours and resources by a paper that refuses to get serious about industry coverage, even though they have a large, experienced, and talented staff.

But I’ll restrain myself for the moment and focus on the lead of one of the four packages… as this is what pissed me off first and most profoundly…

“Which two of these four entertainment names — Woody Allen, George Lucas, Meat Loaf, Erik Estrada — are members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences?

It’d be understandable if you guessed Allen and Lucas: The directors made such classics as “Annie Hall” and “Star Wars.”

But neither filmmaker is a member.

On the other hand, the man known for sweating on stage performing “Bat Out of Hell” and the 1970s pinup who as Frank “Ponch” Poncherello in “CHiPs” fought freeway mayhem while wearing oversized sunglasses and a tight uniform have been ensconced for years (both in the actors branch).”

So we’re mocking Meatloaf and Erik Estrada here, right? Unnecessary and cheap. Mean spirited. And though they do get into when Meatloaf was invited to join – while not mentioning that in the same year, he was heavily buzzed for a Supporting Actor nod for Fight Club – they don’t get into Estrada’s entry… and only one of the other eight members they bring up for mockery.

And back to Meatloaf… they add this shitty slap, “Meat Loaf, who noted that “War Horse” was his favorite movie of 2011 because it made him cry five times.” Seriously… fuck off. This is the scummy way of writing stories… mock and then try to cheap shot people though smirky associations, even though many people probably cried 5 times in War Horse. If you wouldn’t laugh in Meat Loaf’s face when he said it and face the consequences, it’s cowardly and lame to throw it in there as an attempted cheap shot.

Oh yeah… and Woody Allen and George Lucas, used for the shock gag opposite Meat Loaf and Estrada… both passed on Academy membership. So what’s the point? It’s such a cheap game! The hypothesis is that the wrong people are in The Academy… but it’s not because Meat Loaf took Woody Allen’s spot or that The Academy is taking Meat Loaf because they can’t get Woody Allen. It’s NOTHING but a cheap, lazy device. And it’s embarrassing that the LAT needs to stoop to that.

I often say that in 95% of docs in which a quality, experienced documentarian whose device isn’t being a part of the story shows up in the doc, it means that they didn’t get the story they were after… they failed to nail it. Same is true with this kind of cheap spin. If there was really a story there, they wouldn’t have to resort to insulting .2% of the Academy or spinning an angle behind two guys who passed on membership. Epic big paper fail.

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112 Responses to “Big Newspaper Journalism Isn’t Always What You Think It Is”

  1. PastePotPete says:

    Why did Lucas and Allen pass on membership? That sounds like a more interesting story.

  2. Mark says:

    Totally agree, however, this is typical for Meat Loaf and his career. People have cheapened it whenever they could, for whatever reason. Meat Loaf is one of the best performers of our time, he is a successful singer, actor, and anyone who has seen him in concert knows what kind of a show he puts on. For some reason, he is an easy target for this type of stuff.

  3. anghus says:

    what a fucking hack piece. The worst kind of tabloid journalism. Where you come up with your angle and work the piece around your poorly formed theory.

    It’s the only way for a rag like the LA Times to generate any excitement. They are out of ideas. Slinging feces is all they have left.

    And you’re being generous calling their staff ‘talented’.

  4. Chris says:

    Because it is easy to insult a guy named Meat Loaf.

  5. Hallick says:

    “Because it is easy to insult a guy named Meat Loaf.”

    And because it is easy to stop at insulting a guy named Meat Loaf and never move on.

    Not to mention the fact that just assuming George Lucas and Woody Allen would inevitably pick only the finest and most rigorous works of art if they voted is fucking hilarious unto itself.

  6. yancyskancy says:

    I dunno, at least Lucas and Allen have always given lip service to great art films of the past. AMERICAN GRAFFITI is basically an homage to Fellini’s I VITELLONI, and Allen’s predilection for Fellini and Bergman is well known. So maybe they WOULD throw some support to films that normally get overlooked (not that this would actually lead to nominations, but still).

    I would kinda like to know how Erik Estrada got into the Academy. THE CROSS AND THE SWITCHBLADE? AIRPORT 75? MIDWAY? And those are his semi-respectable theatrical credits! Now I understand why Rob Schneider was miffed about being rejected for membership.

  7. leahnz says:

    i know somebody who declined becoming a member of the academy because the $100 USD annual membership fee chapped his ass.

  8. yancyskancy says:

    leah: That’s got to be somebody below the line, right? I would think $100 is a dinner tip for above-the-liners.

  9. leahnz says:

    oh, yeah, btl – but not for lack of cash, just a combination of not giving a shit and being a bit of a spend-thrift who didn’t want to pay for the luxury of voting for something he’s not that invested in, i think. when i found out i said i’d gladly pay the bloody fee and vote for him, but that didn’t work, go figure

  10. Bob Burns says:

    the fact remains that estrada and meatloaf are members while Lucas and Allen are not. The story is about the credibility of the Academy.

    It’s not as if that credibility has been increasing. Hope the LA Times continues to slap them in the face, and hard.

    Really…. the article reports on the shocking demographics of the Academy and here at MCN the story is framed as disrespectful to a couple of white guys?

  11. yancyskancy says:

    Erik Estrada is of Puerto Rican descent, FWIW.

  12. anghus says:

    ok, serious question.

    to those who think the academy is broken, what’s the fix.

    what is inherently wrong with the academy and how do you make it a more legitimate organization?

  13. Krillian says:

    Meat Loaf is a peaceful man but he’d kick this guy’s butt.

  14. Hallick says:

    “the fact remains that estrada and meatloaf are members while Lucas and Allen are not. The story is about the credibility of the Academy.”

    Popularity contests have never had actual credibility and they never will. How people live through years of middle and high school elections, and Best-Such-And-Such yearbook pages and still haven’t made peace with this fact I don’t understand. No matter how many changes are made, there will always be a performance like Olivia Coleman’s or Michael Shannon’s and movies like Shame left out in the cold.

    And again, thinking a great filmmaker is going to favor only the finest films of the year ignores the reality that you can look no further than Quentin Tarantino’s favorite films of 2011 and see one example of a list that, while respectable on its own, is hardly rife with the highest of high art choices. Why somebody assumes George Lucas wouldn’t say War Horse made him cry a DOZEN times is hilarious.

  15. yancyskancy says:

    High school with money, people.

  16. David Poland says:

    Bob Burns – There is nothing remotely surprising about the LAT report…. except that they wasted 10s of thousands of dollars trying to prove a fact that no one disputes.

  17. David Poland says:

    The Academy is not broken. It is what it is.

    People who see it as broken give it too much credence and don’t understand what it is.

    Compared to HFPA, it’s Eden. Compared to LAT sources in the industry, it is shiny and clean.

  18. anghus says:

    I thought war horse was as good as the artist, hugo, and midnight in paris and leaps and bounds better than moneyball, tree of life, and the help.

    Why is there all this contempt for War Horse. Why aren’t we hurling these bricks at Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close?

  19. David Poland says:

    One thing that bad stories like this Academy thing can be designed to do – and again, one of the reasons I am pissed – is to reframe the facts in a way that wildly oversimplifies.

    Again… The LAT came up with 10 people they deem unworthy… out of 5500!!! Less than .2% of the membership.

    It is NOT as simple as Woody Allen not being in and Meatloaf being in. That is, simply, a bullshit argument.

    Let’s say there are 100 “unworthy” members in The Academy… that’s still less than 2%. Does anyone want to offer up an organization with less that 2% dead weight? (And I am not saying that any of the LAT’s petty smears are worth considering.).

    If you find yourself considering the legitimacy of The Academy based on Meat or Ponch today, you are a victim of the LAT. And the LAT is a victim of their own combination of arrogance and ignorance.

  20. movielocke says:

    Because War Horse deliberately uses the ontological structures of a 40s-50s film in the vein of the Yearling or Rio Bravo which makes it incredibly easy to mock. It’s more post-classical than modernist, and the invocation of the post-classical stylings is incredibly offensive to the cineastes and critics that worship at the alter of the 60s-70s at the expense of the entirety of the rest of cinematic history. War Horse is exactly the sort of film they tried to eradicate from being made–that they spent their youth showing off how intelligent they were by scorning–and that folks like the Cahiers group in France successfully ended with their hostile takeover of the French film industry. ;);)

    otoh, a film like the Artist doesn’t have dialog, and is thus much harder to mock. It’s also easy for lazy critics to overlook the structural differences of style and form that War Horse uses compared to The Artist.

    Why? Because The Artist steals War Horse thunder by pulling off the same trick (utilization of an archaic ontological structure) first and much more obviously. It’s hard to avoid that the Artist is a silent film, has intertitles, and uses the cliche big archetypal characters typical of 20s-30s hollywood cinema. It’s easy to overlook all the things War Horse does (*stage whisper*especially because Spielberg is commercially successful in his career and wildly popular, perhaps the only director 99% of people could name, which means he’s evil and automatically anti art, anti intelligence, anti puppies and so on… and he must be ignored/discredited whenever possible*/whisper*).

  21. bulldog68 says:

    Movielocke, I still smart over the fact that Shakespeare in Love won over Saving Private Ryan.

  22. a_loco says:

    “War Horse is exactly the sort of film they tried to eradicate from being made–that they spent their youth showing off how intelligent they were by scorning–and that folks like the Cahiers group in France successfully ended with their hostile takeover of the French film industry. ;)”

    The fuck are talking about? The guys at Cahier were boosting Ford, Hawkes, Wilder, and Hitchcock far more than any American critics. I won’t bother getting into why I don’t like War Horse, but I think blaming elitism is entirely the wrong way to go – AS IF critics are less enamoured with John Ford than they are with Truffaut or Godard.

  23. a_loco says:

    **The fuck are YOU talking about?**

  24. cadavra says:

    Here’s what I want to know: If the roster of members is a secret, then how did they come up with these percentages??

  25. Joshua says:

    Cadavra: Somebody leaked the LA Times a couple of undated Academy rosters, and they combined them with the publicly announced lists of invitees for the last few years.

  26. JS Partisan says:

    The Academy is broke. It’s broke because like our Congress, it’s too damn male and too damn white. Seriously, 94 percent white guy, is ridiculous. They should fucking be ashamed of themselves and what they should do in their shame is cut 1000 of those white men. Cut the oldest and the longest white male members and replace them with the best and brightest women, Hispanics, African Americans, Asians, and every other ethnicity working in the business today. Mix it up.

    If you don’t mix it up, we will have the same lame WHITE MAN CHOICES, and the Academy cannot survive the rest of this century placating the old white male. Neither can congress, but we at least get a shot at every 2 years voting those bums out.

    David thinking that the Academy is fine, is reason alone to completely and utterly change it. It’s also rather telling that he fixates on these 10 people who are members and not the 94 PERCENT WHITE MALE MEMBERSHIP!

  27. yancyskancy says:

    JS: It’s 94% white and 77% male, not “94% white guy.” Still embarrassing, but at least accurate.

    And about this: “Cut the…longest white male members…” Ouch. I don’t think they’ll go for that. Besides, Milton Berle and Forrest Tucker are dead.

  28. JS Partisan says:

    Yancy, that’s still a lot of white guys and probably a lot of them are middle-aged or older. Either phase them out, or add more female and ethnic members to counter-act that amount of middle-aged white guy. Seriously, who knew the Baseball Hall of Fame and the Academy had so much in common!

  29. David Poland says:

    Academy lists, compiled by studios, trades, and most certainly the LAT sale department, have become easy – if pricey – to get. One of the uglinesses of this season has been the abuse of these lists by newcomers, whose lists were stolen from the trades by exiting employees.

    The serious consultants all have pretty complete lists as well.

    Did LAT get it from a willing source or from ad sales? I imagine The Academy is asking the paper the same questions this week.

  30. JS Partisan says:

    Stealing people’s list? Shameful, but you can’t be the biggest award show on earth without your hometown paper coming after you. Especially when the demos of those who vote on that award, are way too white and way too male.

    Seriously, this is hacky and douchebaggy, but this story got on the news tonight. It will float around out there unless they fix themselves. If not, I would imagine that the papers and even more hacks will come for them in the years to come.

  31. David Poland says:


    Only the rubes didn’t.

    The hometown paper is keeping the very writers who worked on the piece employed by selling Oscar ads. Literally 75% of them would be fired with out it… or more.

    The Academy will change as the industry changes… period. Deal with it. If you didn’t know it, you were in the dark… not in the dim… the dark.

  32. Blackcloud says:

    AMPAS is reactionary and out of touch. That’s news?

  33. Blackcloud says:

    They should sign Rick Santorum up immediately!

  34. Pat says:

    to do what?

  35. JS Partisan says:

    David, YOU LIVE IN A FUCKING BUBBLE! DEAL WITH IT! You acting as if everyone should know these demos is why you are so fucking out of touch with real moviegoers. Seriously man, the academy are old and white and that needs to change. If you like all of these white guys fucking over film as a whole with their limited taste, then that’s on you. You have to eat lunch with these people, but Bill Duke has to deal with their intolerant asses.

    If you like keeping things all white, that’s on you. However, if you want more diversity for this award and this award’s show, which needs it to survive into the future. Well, get on board, and get out of your bubble.

    Oh yeah, taking a shot at a bunch of out of touch whiteys, while taking money from studios to hype their awards is not a bad thing. It’s a funny thing.

  36. David Poland says:

    JSP… The Academy is The Bubble. What part of this don’t you comprehend?

    There are probably 4x the number of black Academy members now than there were 15 years ago. Still too few.

    You scream a lot, but you don’t listen.

    You are the problem when you suggest The Academy is “all of these white guys fucking over film as a whole with their limited taste.”

    Wrong factually and self-righteous is as dangerous as correct and lacking self-awareness. Perhaps more so. Because it leads to screaming about goals that aren’t real… so it guarantees that nothing progresses.

    The Academy gives an award. Get over it. It is the least offensive and most legit of every major award-giving group aside from NSFC and usually NYFCC.

  37. leahnz says:

    j f sebastian you gotta pace yourself – in 100 years time the Academy will be 90% white, 74% male with a median age (why use ‘median’ and not ‘average’, which is a far more informative indicator in this instance? who the fuck uses median instead of mean for age stats? suspect) of 58. and it will be a pay-per-view event.

  38. anghus says:

    so the academy is old and white with limited taste?

    how about a follow up.

    JS, in an ideal world where the academy is not old and white and the ‘right people’ are in the academy, name the ten films in 2011 that would have been nominated for best picture?

    What did the old white guys miss?

  39. JS Partisan says:

    The Living Breathing Justin Timberlake song wrote;

    “JSP… The Academy is The Bubble. What part of this don’t you comprehend?”

    What part of you being all up in that shit, do you not comprehend? Seriously, stop treating me like a fucking idiot . The fact that you dare to respond to me or anyone else this way, and you do it all the time, is why this place is the way that it is. I tried with you man but there’s no point. I am an idiot because I dare to extrapolate differences from the same data. Sure, David, you are so on point.

    “There are probably 4x the number of black Academy members now than there were 15 years ago. Still too few.”

    More Asians, Hispanics, and Women wouldn’t be a bad thing either.

    “You scream a lot, but you don’t listen.”

    Unlike you sir, I have the ability to do more than one thing at once. Seriously, stop insulting me because I disagree with you.

    “You are the problem when you suggest The Academy is ‘all of these white guys fucking over film as a whole with their limited taste.’

    Wrong factually and self-righteous is as dangerous as correct and lacking self-awareness.”

    Perhaps more so. Because it leads to screaming about goals that aren’t real… so it guarantees that nothing progresses.”

    You will really go out of your way to defend your friends? Sorry but your friends are the problem. The Academy no longer represents current filmmaking. If it did, their choices would be more bold. Instead they are reserved and cater to the past way more than they should, and you cannot cater to the past that much in such a PRESENT TO THE FUTURE dominated society.

    “The Academy gives an award. Get over it. It is the least offensive and most legit of every major award-giving group aside from NSFC and usually NYFCC.”

    What a joke of a sentence. I guess your buddies are too damn important to criticize. Seriously, this is a fucking joke and you not getting that it is, is not even disappointing anymore.

    This isn’t about you or me, but about something we both love… film. Unfortunately Oscar is not just an award. It’s a benchmark. If the people rewarding that benchmark are out of touch with what’s happening here and now, and too fixated on how things happened 30 to 40 years ago. Well David, that’s fucking bullshit, but excuse me for thinking you would understand something like that.

    Anghus, start with DRIVE and go from there.

  40. anghus says:

    “Anghus, start with DRIVE and go from there.”

    Go where? Where am i supposed to go? That’s one film… i asked for ten.

    Your argument is that the academy is out of touch. You named one film you felt they should have nominated. So what are the other 9? Or even 8?

    If they’re as out of touch as you claim, they should be so far off that you can name several films that should have been nominated but weren’t. Naming one film that didn’t get nominated and saying ‘fill in the rest genius’ is the kind of response i was expecting.

    Your points are rarely well formed. So again, i ask:

    Based on your position, the academy is out of touch with mainstream audiences. What should the best picture nominees have been this year.

    1. Drive

    Lets hear the rest.

  41. hcat says:

    “The Academy no longer represents current filmmaking. If it did, their choices would be more bold.”

    Yes Dammit. if there were more women and asians, Harry Potter would have gotten the recognition it deserved!!!!!

    Not that I agree with the academy’s choices but IO always acts like there is a giant smoke filled room where they decide in lockstep what the noms are going to be, snubbing certain films on purpose.

    I agree that the nominations would be different if there were more women and varied nationalities, but what they are going to give membership to people on the street? This is a vote from their peers, Hollywood is terribly white and male so the academy is terribly white and male. As the makeup of the industry changes so will the academy.

    And I would look forward to seeing their work more than hearing their opinions on others.

  42. JS Partisan says:

    Ang: you fit their demo. You can fill out that list yourself.

  43. anghus says:

    You can’t even provide examples. You’re unable to articulate your poorly formed opinion.

    You say the academy is out of touch. I’ve provided a very simple question for you to provide examples to help validate your point. If you cannot answer the question, that’s fine. If you can’t articulate your position, so be it. But let’s be honest, you don’t have a position. You have a poorly formed opinion about something based on your armchair understanding of the industry.

    Put up or shut up.

  44. yancyskancy says:

    I thought JS wanted nominees that the average moviegoer would actually know and like. DRIVE wouldn’t fit that bill. It wouldn’t draw many eyeballs to the award broadcast. For that, the nominees would have to be culled from among the year’s most popular titles: the latest Harry Potter, Transformers, Pirates, Fast 5, etc. If that happened, ratings might go up, but credibility would go further down.

    Sure, most years there are a couple of successful, mainstream titles that would make respectable award nominees, but probably not enough for a field of five to ten. Harry Potter from the group above, JS’s beloved Dark Knight from 2008.

    I think what JS really wants is the Fanboy Oscars. 🙂

  45. anghus says:

    It’s funny yancy. you do a better job of articulating JS’ argument than he does.

    So if The Dark Knight Rises gets a best picture nom next year, the academy will be relevant.

    sadly, i can already see the LA Times article making the declaration that Meat Loaf and Ponch finally made the right call.

  46. sanj says:

    isn’t the mtv movie awards the fanboy oscars ?
    at least the repeat the show dozens of times unlike the
    oscars .

  47. cadavra says:

    They already have the Fanboy Oscars: The People’s Choice Awards. And the MTV Movie Awards. And the Teen Choice Awards. And…

  48. anghus says:

    The Teen Choice Awards are such bullshit. It’s a bunch of rich white Zac Efron loving racists who poured sugar in Will Smith’s Bentley.

  49. yancyskancy says:

    I know, but there’s a contingent that seems to think the actual Oscars should be more like those popular vote awards. And I simply don’t get it. For one thing, the only way to make it happen is to mandate it, and if you mandate it, it’s no longer a reflection of the Academy members’ actual taste. In fact, they wouldn’t even have to vote. Just “nominate” the top ten grossers of the year, give it to the #1 grosser and be done with it. Forget acting awards, because there’s no objective yardstick. Sigh.

  50. JS Partisan says:

    Ang, do you seriously think I give a damn what you want from me? Really? Aren’t you quaint?

    Yancy, they don’t have to be the Teen Choice Awards or the People’s Choice Awards. They simply have to be relevant and for the most part: they aren’t anymore. My point has been and will forever be, that the Academy over the last decade has done a fine job of making their award less relevant.

    What you and Ang seem to miss, is that the Academy used to be able to walk a thin line between COMMERCIAL and ART HOUSE films. They still always picked the wrong films each time, but they at least walked the line. They at least tried with Avatar but for the most part, they have a real bad tendency to ignore quality commercial films. Most of them being comedies like Bridesmaids that may get a writing nom, but earned being a BEST PICTURE nom over something like EL&IC.

    The Oscars at some point have to realize that the old white man thing, is the quickest way for them to be phased out. They already have turned the younger generation off of their award show. The OLD WHITE MAN stats getting out with people who aren’t David Poland, will not help them with even more people. This all leaves an award show that’s most likely going to draw less than the Grammy’s and why is that? The Grammy’s nominated a very popular singer and rewarded her greatly to the joy of her fans. The Oscars are going to reward a silent film, A SILENT FILM IN THE 21st CENTURY BECAUSE THAT’S NOT PULLING A TRIPLE H AT ALL, that 15 people have seen.

    The Grammy’s figured out a way to make themselves relevant again. The Oscars most likely have no chance at that, as long as they keep on keeping on with the old white dudes.

  51. leahnz says:

    thinking about the academy awards (which i think i’ve watched every year since childhood, ideally live but sometimes the replay), the basic formula for the ceremony and awards themselves hasn’t changed a great deal — the penchant for mostly safe, well-made middlebrow fare prevails and the ceremony/awards themselves are largely the same with a bit of tinkering here and there…

    but what has changed quite a bit is the world, and in particular the world of celebrity. The awards are much as they’ve always been, but the MYSTERY has largely evaporated. back in the olden days of yore movie stars were these mysterious, glamourous, beautiful intriguing creatures about whom the public knew little and glimpsed only occasionally – maybe a well-chosen interview here and there or a photo shoot or (gasp!) a scandalous divorce reported in the paper or some such, so when the titans of film all gathered together in the same room for the ceremony it was a thrill to spot your favourite actors and directors etc, waiting on baited breath to perhaps hear them speak as a presenter or winner…

    fast forward to today with the endless news cycle of celebrity overexposure, paparazzi gotchas and pandering interviews and media schmoozing and blatant campaigning and reporting of every stray nose hair and dirty personal business (often as leading news stories ahead of real issues of importance), it’s all out there. the aura, the mystique of the stars is but a memory. seeing today’s stars at the academy awards it’s like, eh, whatever. I just saw you two hours ago.

    and the other problem as i see it is what seems like the 612 seemingly endless ‘precursor’ critics (and a few industry) awards, an endless parade of existence-justifying flattery of ‘winners’ and campaigning and speculation and punditry and glad-handing and greasing the wheels, after which the academy awards now roll around into an inevitable quagmire of awards fatigue, and it’s like, who fucking cares? yes the biggest ceremony at the end of the world’s stupidest marathon. maybe moving the awards show up earlier in the year will help, but it feels like the horse has already bolted from the barn, putting a band-aid on cancer. it’s never going to be same again, and the academy isn’t going to change, so…maybe it’s just destined to be a bit shit.

  52. Paul D/Stella says:

    JS, are you saying that nominating something like Drive would make the Academy more relevant because it’s got a hip young star and a hip on-the-rise director and it’s more of the times than, say, The Artist?

  53. yancyskancy says:

    I do actually think that a BRIDESMAIDS Best Picture nomination might have perked some people up and brought some new eyeballs to the ceremony. Of course, it would’ve also riled up a fair number of bluenoses and/or haters of that type of comedy, but at least it might have been a less controversial nod than EXTREMELY LOUD in some quarters.

    But, really, this new nominating strategy that allows up to ten nominees seems designed to accomplish what JS wants. It’s just that this year, the movies weren’t there. They weren’t gonna nominate the final half-installment of a franchise they’ve been overlooking for more than a decade (Potter), and Pixar didn’t deliver an “Oscar-worthy” film for a change. DRIVE is of a genre that’s unlikely to garner nods without really grabbing the zeitgeist, and BRIDESMAIDS is of a genre that’s unlikely to garner nods even though it HAS grabbed the zeitgeist. So we got what we got.

  54. hcat says:

    ‘ the penchant for mostly safe, well-made middlebrow fare prevails ‘

    I sort of agree with this Leah but calling it safe and middlebrow is somewhat overly dismissal of the winners. The academy given a choice traditionally will go with BIG and crowd pleasing (Dances with Wolves, Gump) or weepy and crowd pleasing (Ordinary People, Terms of Endearment). But just because something like the King’s Speech catches on with a wide audience doesn’t automatically make it middlebrow.

    But i agree with everything else in your post. The Oscar brand has been diluted more by the competiters than by themselves, and those only checking in for the ‘glamour’ have an infinite number of other ways to appease themselves.

  55. JS Partisan says:

    Paul, it’s not one movie, but several decisions that add up. Nominating Drive doesn’t change anything, but nominating Bridesmaids may have. Rather David Poland wants to admit it or not, this is just not an award. It’s the AWARD for this business. When that Award constantly becomes less and less relevant due to the poor decisions made by the people who nominate and later vote for it, that’s a problem for that Academy. There’s only so long any organization in the 21st century can depend on the dwindling views of older white men. Especially in a country that steadily moves away from those views more and more each year.

    ETA: Yancy, they changed the TEN movie rule. Now you have to have a certain number of first place votes and all of this other shit, that ignores that having TEN nominees works. Everyone does a TOP TEN list at the end of the year, why not the Academy?

    The biggest problem with the TOP TEN nominees, is the Academy and the Oscar’s producers, absolute inability to sell all TEN films in a telecast. Apparently this confounds them and if you have watched the last two telecast, you will know what a shit job they did to just show TEN montages. Let alone a convincing job of selling the movies their own Academy found to be worthy of a Best Picture nod.

    HC: Ordinary People beat Raging Bull. While Terms of Endearment beat The Big Chill and The Right Stuff. How either of the films that won beat the films that lost, is another one of those eye-rolling inducing cases, that only something like The Academy can create.

  56. Paul D/Stella says:

    I realize it’s not just Drive. I just used it as an example because you mentioned it.

  57. anghus says:


    Yes. Every year its wrong. The Academy is so fundamently flawed that they have never, ever picked the right movie.

    At some point you need to qualify these rants with something other than emotion and volume. Otherwise, you’re just another online blowhard.

    Your statement: every year they (the academy) pick the wrong films.

    Name the “wrong films”. Name the “right ones”

  58. cadavra says:

    If the studios want Oscars, they should make more worthy films. I’m not the first person to point out that over the past decade, only two major-studio films have won BP (MILLION DOLLAR BABY and THE DEPARTED)–three if you want to consider New Line a major (RINGS 3). Can you imagine any studio today greenlighting LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, MY FAIR LADY or even THE DEER HUNTER? You lie down with apes, you get up with apes.

  59. christian says:

    Then where’s that BP nom for RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES?

  60. anghus says:

    Hooray. Examples. Not exactly “every year” but now we have topic points.

    The Right Stuff is a great movie, but it wasn’t a big hit with mainstream audiences. It was nominated because of the academy, not in spite of it. It was the critics that rung the bell and the academy that nominated it in spite of it being a financial failure.

    Under your populist methodology the Right Stuff never would have been nominated

  61. David Poland says:

    Use your own example, JSP.

    Do people revere Ordinary People over Raging Bull because it won the Oscar? Or does Ordinary People get unfairly mocked because it won?


  62. hcat says:

    Yes JS, Ordinary People beat Bull. Supporting my statement that they go for EPIC or intimate weeper populous choice over the more hardscrabble ones. Just like today, just like a decade ago. I remember sitting in the theater watching The Pianist thinking ‘This will NEVER win best picture’. They might nominate the occasional hard stuff but they generally don’t award the ‘stare into the abyss’ films.

    And if you think dropping a thousand men off the voting list and adding a thousand women would have resulted in a Drive nomination or would have changed the OP/RB outcome you are indeed nuts.

  63. JS Partisan says:

    David, that’s the problem with the Academy. They lack perspective. When everyone has agreed on what film should win. They Academy has usually decided to zag. There are occasions when there is a universal opinion, but how often do films like Ordinary People get thrown into discussions they don’t deserve to be in?

    Seriously, Ordinary People is a fine film but the Academy, in their infinite wisdom, decided to reward it over an all-time great movie, and thus Ordinary People gets shit on this time each year. That’s a perspective problem that they have to fix one day. They have to see the bigger picture and they seemingly refuse to do so.

    That’s what you do not seem to get David: rewarding the wrong movies with one of the biggest awards on the planet, leads to problems that do not go away. The Academy in the last 10 years, have seemingly gone out of their way to make people roll their eyes more at their decisions, and thus question their perspective.

    Oh yeah Ang, seriously, it’s about nominating at least one film a year that people en masse have seen. Seriously it’s not that hard to figure out because I’ve explained it multiple times over the years.

    HC: that’s a real shit-head response you have there and that’s THE PROBLEM WITH THE ACADEMY. They lack the perspective that people in their position should have. They have no sense of history for their own award and their OWN AWARD HAS A TON HISTORY BEHIND IT! Seriously, they lack the foresight to know any better and replacing them with younger people, might change things. It did for the Grammy’s because the Grammy’s realized that getting more people from outside the bubble, will lead to better decision making.

    Oh yeah, seriously, I’d rather be fucking Daffy Duck looney than a curmudgeonly asshole like you.

    It’s also not all about DRIVE you myopic people.

  64. hcat says:

    “Can you imagine any studio today greenlighting LAWRENCE OF ARABIA, MY FAIR LADY or even THE DEER HUNTER?’

    Funny you mention Deer Hunter when greenlighting Cimino is a significant part of the reason that studios don’t make the sweeping adult films anymore. I don’t know what today’s equivelent of My Fair Lady is but we are looking at a Christmas with both an expensive Gatsby and Les Miserables.

  65. David Poland says:

    “rewarding the wrong movies with one of the biggest awards on the planet, leads to problems that do not go away”

    What problem, exactly, JSP?

    It’s kinda like you’re screaming, “High school should be fun! Learning, when you are learning something you’re excited about, can be great! It doesn’t have to be boring!”

    But you don’t actually know how to “fix” it. You just know how to whine about it.

    I know how to fix it. Individually. Put the institution in perspective and have the best experience with it that you can have. If 30 high schoolers in a class room took personal responsibility… and their parents did too… high school would not be so boring.

    On top of that, you don’t know shit about Academy members or how they think or how they see themselves. The history of the award is that it was created as a promotional event and, for decades, fought for behind the scenes by studios. What it is now is 5500 professionals in the industry who have a certain sense of what is or is not appropriate and who vote for movies. It is not THE ANSWER. And it is not 80 people who like to live on the studio dole voting for who they want to see on their red carpet.

    Something you may learn some day, JSP… there is no ANSWER. There are only the choices that we make. The history of The Academy is earned over time and because it is such a large survey of people in the industry. That’s all it is. That’s all 5500 people can be.


  66. hcat says:

    So by getting rid of older voters, the Academy will have more sense of its history?

    You don’t want the Academy to know its history, you want them to predict the future. You want a member to say to themselves “forget what I think is the best of this year, I have to predict the tastes of someone twenty and thirty years from now.” Instead they act in the now. In the now of 1980 Ordinary People was a big film that everyone talked about. That sort of suburban Bergman genre was huge and relevent at the time with hits like Unmarried Woman, Kramer vs. Kramer and even Four Seasons. It was the Zeitgeist that you wish the current Academy would tap into but then you complain about it being short-sighted.

    ‘When everyone has agreed on what film should win. They Academy has usually decided to zag’

    Who is this everyone? What’s the popular pick this year? Almost everyone here would have something different and we are a mighty small sample. Should they have gone with Avatar over Hurt Locker? Is that the populous choice or the one future generations will look back fondly on? Do you have any real arguments other than ‘you’re a shit-head’?

  67. David Poland says:

    And yes… studios greenlight films of the ilk of Lawrence and My Fair Lady and Deer Hunter every year. No one can greenlight something so it’s a masterpiece. And the idiocy of comparing a few very specific masterpieces to hold up against the regular output of studios is incredible.

    Like Lean, Spielberg makes his movies on a budget that he pretty much sticks to. Fincher too. Woody Allen too. Etc, etc, etc.

    People can’t seem to get over not like the choices and need to pretend that it is a function of a broken system. Drive was made. Drive did over $30m. Celebrate what you love… don’t just hate the awards it doesn’t get. And no, it’s not just drive. It’s The Interrupters. It’s Melancholia. It’s Shame. Etc, etc, etc.

    But what IT is isn’t the same for everyone. Welcome to reality.

  68. David Poland says:

    JSP… Specifically, on Raging Bull, you have your head up your ass. The film was not a success with audiences until AFTER that first release. It was a critics darling… but not with all critics.

    Do you know what film won NYFCC? Ordinary People.

    Do you know what film won National Society of Film Critics? Melvin & Howard.

    It is YOU that has no knowledge of (or sincere interest in) history.

    And seriously now… do you think there is a single film this year that is close to be The Consensus Best?

  69. anghus says:

    Perspective is rarely immediate. You keep referring to these “all time great movies” as if the moment theyre released that they are immediately “all time great movies”.

    Its like trying to debate Patton Oswalts character in Big Fan.

  70. Mike says:

    Not to pile on, but really, does losing make Raging Bull any worse of a movie? People seem to forget that movies aren’t sports, where winning is the reason everyone is there.

    Granted, the Academy makes some weird decisions (why do they LOVE Daldry so much?), but as Dave says, accept that the Academy is a bunch of people picking from movies they saw this year. If you want a more informed choice, pick from the countless critic groups, as they’ve seen more movies. And if that doesn’t work, just have your own opinion and realize it’s just as valid as the Academy’s.

  71. leahnz says:

    “I sort of agree with this Leah but calling it safe and middlebrow is somewhat overly dismissal of the winners. The academy given a choice traditionally will go with BIG and crowd pleasing (Dances with Wolves, Gump) or weepy and crowd pleasing (Ordinary People, Terms of Endearment). But just because something like the King’s Speech catches on with a wide audience doesn’t automatically make it middlebrow.”

    hcat: yeah perhaps my choice of ‘middlebrow’ sounded too much like i meant ‘middling’; i meant more along the lines of middlebrow as in middle-of-the-road ilk — not too highbrow and art-house, and not too lowbrow and ‘unrefined’ and populist, the academy is kinda like the goldilocks of awards bodies (which of course makes it all the more intriguing when weird and dark, edgier fare like ‘no country’ or ‘the departed’ win the big prize – but of course the coens and scorsese being academy dahlings doesn’t hurt – or delightful exceptions-to-the-rule noms for the likes of ‘district 9’ or ‘tree of life’ occur)

  72. JS Partisan says:

    Yeah that was a bunch of nonsense right there. Again, the Grammy’s used a youth infusion to radically change their awards. The Academy could do it as well. It’s not about getting every popular film in there. It’s about mixing things up and things have been rather stale and irrelevant with this award for far too long.

  73. anghus says:

    Yes. Because when i think of fixing things, a ‘youth infusion’ is the way to go. In fact, they should get two hot young actors to host the Oscars. You know, the kind of actors that resonate with the 18 – 24 demographic. Put them up on stage. Have them do some comedy.

    It’s guaranteed to work.

    Youth Infusion sounds like a great name for a band. Or the words used to describe Lex at his arraignment.

  74. hcat says:

    Well, here’s fingers crossed that Meg Ryan gets hit by a bus Saturday so the Oscar’s can match the Grammy’s ratings.

  75. torpid bunny says:

    The oscars could do what the Grammy’s do and have hundreds of categories. It would actually be interesting to see a genre based awards show. They could even have a ghetto for movies like Drive and call it Best Alternative Picture.

  76. JS Partisan says:

    Wow the two curmudgeons strike and ignore that the Grammy’s were going to be big with Adele no matter what. While the Academy has very small numbers of people in their 30s! THEIR 30s Angy. If wanting to ad more 25 to 35 year olds is so horrible to you, then that’s once again on you because Dakota Fanning needs someone to talk to at those Academy get togethers damn it! Nevertheless, Mitt and Rick are really hoping for your vote, and Torpid makes a great point.

  77. hcat says:

    So Adele winning was because of the youth infusion? Aren’t you ignoring that her record sells huge over all demographics grabbing praise from all critical outlets. She is an artist that is appreciated by the mass audience, critics, and her voting industry peers. I don’t think you can expect this to happen every year.

    And the last time this happened with the academy (Megablockbuster sales, critical acclaim, peer recoginition) was Return of the King. One of the films you rail against.

    And do you really think the best way to get 20 year olds to watch the Oscars is to ADD more categories? It will be seven Goddamn hours long.

  78. JS Partisan says:

    HC, do you and Ang just ignore my posts in order to figuratively yell at me? An Album of the Year like the SUBURBS happened because of the YOUTH INFUSION. Bon Iver winning best new artist, is all about the YOUTH INFUSION. Seriously, go look at who won Grammy’s before they decided to make their awards more relevant. You can see where things changed for them as an award show and it all happened after their old people voted for Steely Dan over Radiohead.

    What you stated about Adele, is what I’ve been stating about popular movies. If there’s a movie that transcends all demos, they should throw it a BP nom at least. This year, that nom should have gone to Bridesmaids.

    Nevertheless, I have no idea why you think I rail against Return of the King. I love the LOTR movies, have them on BD (THEATRICAL AND EXTENDED), but that’s not my favorite of that series. I love Chicago, but Two Towers should have the LOTR BP Oscar. ROTK really goes on too long but that Oscar is for the series. Also does anyone on this blog believe The Hobbit is going to get a BP nomination?

    Oh yeah, seriously, giving out a Stunt Oscar or a Best Genre Oscar couldn’t hurt this Ceremony. It’s not like it doesn’t have a lull before the big awards.

  79. yancyskancy says:

    I’ve said this before, but the Grammys is basically a concert. Actual award-giving content is comparatively minimal. The Oscars don’t really have that option (almost every nimrod who pontificates about potential ‘improvements’ to the Oscar broadcast suggests cutting songs, dance numbers, montages, tributes — anything that might be even one percent more entertaining than handing out the awards).

    But I think I’ve got a good idea — stage the Oscars as a full-on musical. The opening monologue, all the intros, all the presentations, would be put to music by Marc Shaiman or whoever and performed by the stars. EXCEPT the Best Song nominees. For those, you’d have Morgan Freeman come out and recite the lyrics.

  80. Joe Straatmann says:

    Maybe they can be like Chris Brown at the Grammys and secretly give Roman Polanski a triumphant return to the States with the applause and adoration of everyone, and there’d be twitter from Oscar viewers about how they wouldn’t mind getting raped by Polanski. Seriously, check out some twisted Twitter responses to a man who beat up his girlfriend and essentially left her for dead:

    That is seriously some fucked up shit.

  81. cadavra says:

    The Academy has often gotten it wrong almost since the beginning. In 1933, one of the all-time great years for movies, BP went to the deservedly-forgotten CAVALCADE. Enjoyable but empty spectacles like THE GREAT ZIEGFELD, THE GREATEST SHOW ON EARTH and AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS all beat out far worthier competitors. And let’s not forget ROCKY besting NETWORK, TAXI DRIVER and ALL THE PRESIDENT’S MEN. And the acting categories are full of big mistakes. In the end, what does it matter? We debate because it’s fun, not because we care.

  82. anghus says:

    The fact that JS groups the Oscars and the Grammys together just shows his armchair level of expertise.

    They’re awards shows, so obviously they are exactly the same. The Grammys, the Emmys, the Oscars… they’re all the exact same kind of event and the same common sense logic appeals to them all.



  83. hcat says:

    Not to diminish the other exceptional films but I still contend they got it right with Rocky.

  84. torpid bunny says:

    Have any of you critical bloggers done alternative best picture lists? Like, in retrospect, what do you think was the best picture of 1957 or 1965?

  85. anghus says:

    I find the idea of “should have won” to be a waste of energy.

    Movies come out in a year. Voters have a limited window to pick their favorites. Its very easy to look back and scream “they got it wrong in 1976”. Or 1957. Or whenever.

    But that is the very nature of armchair quarterbacking. Implying that you or JS or anyone is better suited than the academy to pick the nominees and the winners. Some years my favorite film doesn’t win. That’s life. If you don’t like how the academy runs, if process drives you nuts, if its too old white and male, then don’t bother watching.

    I find this sense of ownership amusing. Its a product of the entilement generation. You watch movies, you see the oscars every year and you think that your input to their choices and decisions has relevance. It doesn’t.

    If you want to discuss the best movies of any given year, that’s fine. But you cant argue that anyone “got it wrong” because unless they read the name in the card wrong or Price/Waterhouse made a printing error, then no one “got it wrong”.

    You can debate the choices but you cant claim they got it wrong. Unless you want to start handing out awards based on total box office receipts you have to accept the nominees and winners of critic groups and award orginizations.

    Introducing the idea that these orginizations are “wrong” is a product of hubris and entitlement.

  86. Paul D/Stella says:

    I wish Heat and The Sweet Hereafter and Zodiac and Jesse James and lots of other movies had been nominated for best picture. Doesn’t make me love those movies any less or hate the Oscars. I don’t think nominating any of them would have somehow made the Oscars more hip or relevant. I just would have had more of a rooting interest those particular years.

  87. anghus says:

    I have exactly the same feeling Paul. Some years my favorite movie isnt nominated. This year there are four movies id be pleased as punch to see win.

    My favorite film of the year and award winning films don’t have to line up for me to enjoy the oscars. Is the Dark Knight any less enjoyable because it wasn’t nominated for best picture?

    People need to remove themselves frok the equation

  88. torpid bunny says:

    This guy did a video list with an extreme auteurist tendency:

    I’d enjoy something written out that explains each choice. This isn’t to slam the academy or scream about anything, just for fun. Obviously it’s going to be a personal thing.

  89. yancyskancy says:

    I don’t know if that video list expresses an “extreme auteurist tendency” so much as an “I first started really getting into movies in the 90s” tendency. Nothing wrong with that, but most of those alternatives are from a newer canon that could now use some alternatives of its own.

    Frankly, many of his older choices (especially in the 20s and 30s) have a strong whiff of “This is the only movie I’ve seen from this year.” Also, the inclusion of M and GRAVE OF THE FIREFLIES suggests that foreign language films are eligible, but they’re the only ones that made it. I’m guessing he has next to no familiarity with Bergman, Fellini, Ozu, Renoir, etc.: LOST HORIZON over GRAND ILLUSION? FROM HERE TO ETERNITY over I VITELLONI or TOKYO STORY?

    I know — totally subjective, and it doesn’t matter a damn. The dude’s probably not over 25 and has a lot of catching up to do. I used to do these kinds of lists, too, once I had a fair amount of films under my belt, and luckily there was no internet then to preserve my picks for posterity. My still-forming opinions of film history weren’t of much interest outside my own head, and neither are this guy’s. But no harm done.

  90. cadavra says:

    My use of “wrong” was tied into consensus. An awful lot of people think it’s terrible that CITIZEN KANE lost to HOW GREEN WAS MY VALLEY, but the Ford is a fabulous film in its own right and certainly deserving, whereas there are very, very few people who would seriously try to justify ROCKY, CAVALCADE and even ORDINARY PEOPLE over their respective competitors.

  91. millerglvr says:

    JS Partisan is right. The average age of Academy voters is 62 years old!
    And the membership is 94% white. No wonder the show and the choices have become stale.

  92. theschu says:

    Have you people even watched The Oscars over the past decade? The smaller, edgier, riskier films HAVE been nominated and won. Lost In Translation, Sideways, Capote, Milk, fucking District 9. Sure, The Pianist didn’t win BP but it did win for Best Actor and Best Director, which is HUGE because both wins were surprises.

    From 2004 to 2009 the smaller, character oriented films were the ones that beat the big ones. Million Dollar Baby, Crash (which I hate for the record), The Departed, No Country For Old Men, Slumdog Millionaire, The Hurt Locker. These are not the kinds of movies that were winning. Big, long, lavish costume epics like Dances With Wolves, Braveheart, The English Patient, Titanic and Gladiator were winning.

    Also, those movies were hits. Big, popular hits. Crash, The Hurt Locker and this year’s probable winner The Artist are not. Though I’m sure Crash is considered a hit when gross is compared to budget but it finished at around 50.

    My point is that there is so much whining and complaining and insulting going on here that it seems no one is considering what is ACTUALLY happening. There will always be movies that are nominated and win that it seems only The Academy likes but that’s The Oscars people.

    The Academy doesn’t need fixing. They’re doing just fine. The Oscars are not in trouble. They’ve been going on for 83 years.

    Get over it. PLEASE.

  93. theschu says:

    I suppose The Departed wouldn’t be considered a small, character film. But it was definitely not a lock to win BP and was much darker and more violent than any previous BP winner since maybe Braveheart.

  94. cadavra says:

    And the big irony there is that after years of making Oscar-bait movies and losing, Marty finally said, “Fuck it, I’m just gonna go back to what I do best,” and ended up running the table. Moral: Stick to what you know.

  95. JS Partisan says:

    Angy, when you have a median age of 62. A youth infusion couldn’t hurt and it helped another HUGE ACADEMY that has a LOT OF OLD WHITE GUYS, put on a better show. It’s about a better show and if you don’t put on a quality show, that’s a problem for your important award. You not getting that is why any opinion you have about this, should be dismissed right out hand. You can’t even get the point, so why even argue with you about it?

    Seriously, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY runs a column every year, along with probably more online from different sites, stating what movies SHOULD HAVE won over what movies DID WIN. You can go on with your long winded rants but this second guessing will never go away, and it has nothing to do with entitlement. It has to do with there occasionally being a right answer, and the Academy ignoring it.

    You and Paul thinking this is about hating the Oscars or any other nonsense, ignore that it will always be about a group of people that have power to reward a LIFE ALTERING FIGURINE, and a lot of the time they fuck it up. People have the right to call them on it but you and David don’t think that they do, and that’s bullshit.

    The Schu, and people will not always like the movies that win. You think everyone is overjoyed that the Artist had this thing sowed up by Thanksgiving? Fuck no, but until the Academy is fixed in such a way that it rewards films outside of it’s wheelhouse. People will be pissed, and people will want things to change.

    Why any of you would think I hate the Academy or their award, is pretty fucking out there. These rants have always been about me as a fan, wanting something that I have always enjoyed not losing it’s relevancy in this modern age.

  96. yancyskancy says:

    I can’t tell who theschu is arguing with. I’m not gonna scroll back through the whole thread, but was ANYBODY arguing that the smaller, edgier films aren’t getting nominated? I think hcat had a thing about the bigger films usually winning, but I weren’t most of us here just taking issue with JS’s assertion that the Academy should be nominating more popular films? And then there was some stuff about alternate choices. And further up was the on-topic stuff about the make-up of the Academy membership. So I’m not sure who exactly is supposed to ‘get over’ what.

  97. sanj says:

    > youth infusion couldn’t hurt

    dude i brought this up twice – actors under 18 got no nominations this year. the teen actors should boycott the oscars. mtv movie awards respects their acting work more. oscars are usless this year.

    people just want to see lots of actors wear some nice suits and give a decent speech.

  98. Paul D/Stella says:

    I don’t think the Oscars are perfect and I certainly don’t agree with all their choices any given year. State your beefs man. Nothing wrong with criticizing the Oscars. I just think some people were curious to know more about what films you think should have been nominated this year, to make the awards a little more current.

  99. christian says:

    I love the chapter of THE MAKING OF KING KONG titled “Remember CALVACADE?’ The year Kong received zero nominations. And the Academy rebuffed Merian Cooper’s request to honor Willis O’Brien’s work with an Oscar.

    And ROCKY is still all kinds of wonderful and watching it now it looks like an indie film. Even John Simon didn’t have a bad word to say about it.

  100. theschu says:

    Yancyskancy my point is that there’s all this argument, particularly from JS about which films SHOULD HAVE been nominated and how the Academy always picks the safe, popular films to win.

    “weren’t most of us here just taking issue with JS’s assertion that the Academy should be nominating more popular films?”

    That’s my point exactly. The Hurt Locker, Crash, Slumdog, Million Dollar Baby are not what I consider the popular films of that year and there’s NO WAY anyone could have predicted they would win when they were first released.

    What there is to “get over” is that there’s anything inherently “wrong” with the Academy or The Oscars or that there is anything to “fix”.

    And JS, what you seem unable to understand is that your opinion is not the right opinion and others are not wrong for disagreeing with you.

  101. yancyskancy says:

    theschu: I agree with you about there being no need to “fix” the Oscars. Only JS has been arguing otherwise (that a higher percentage of popular films should be nominated), but your comment was addressed to “you people,” as if we were all agreeing with him. On the contrary, most of us are saying just let the Academy do their thing, even if we don’t always agree with their nominees and winners.

    And while some of us were indeed discussing opinions of the Academy’s choices, I don’t think any of it rose to the level of argument.

  102. anghus says:

    Its exhausting trying to reason with a bag of wind who considers himself an expert on every topic.

    I agree yancy. Why do people feel like they have a level of ownership with the oscars?

  103. theschu says:

    That reminds me of this great exchange from Manhattan.

    Michael Moriarty: “You are so self-righteous you know. I mean we’re just people. We’re just human beings. You think you’re God.”

    Woody Allen: “I gotta model myself after someone”.


  104. JS Partisan says:

    Ang, you are a self-righteous republican windbag, who thinks he knows everything. I am simply stating opinions that you aren’t even fully comprehending, so bugger off. You and Boam need to get in the same boat, and sail for the same distant shore.

    Trying to reason? Ha. More like an old white guy yelling at someone for not agreeing with him. You really are such an ass.

    Speaking of windbag, I HAVE NEVER ONCE FUCKING MENTIONED THAT THE ACADEMY SHOULD NOMINATE POPULAR FILMS! Jesus Christ, it’s like you don’t even try to pay attention, so you know what, bugger off.

    SERIOUSLY YANCY, GET FUCKING REAL! Good lord, it’s not about nominating Transformers 3. It’s about throwing something in there like Drive, or a Wes Anderson film, or something like Chronicle. God fucking forbid but you people think this is about getting THOR a Best Picture nom. Jesus Christ, what’s the point yancy and schu, when you simply aren’t getting it.

  105. JS Partisan says:

    Yep for no other reason than the ridiculous hate towards Midnight in Paris. HE JUST WANTS EDITS!

  106. theschu says:

    “Jesus Christ, what’s the point yancy and schu, when you simply aren’t getting it.”

    And vice-versa.

  107. anghus says:

    I love that you think im old and a republican. I have no idea how you would form such an opinion and wonder how being a republican would factor into this discussion. If you think a registered independent in his thirties who voted has voted democrat in every presedential election and old republican….

    Js, some advice. Stop posting in caps to emphasize a point. Nothing makes you read like a petulant fifth grader more than capitalizing sentences. Its just sad, like you’re unable to articulate a point without dramatically oversized sentences.

  108. theschu says:

    “Js, some advice. Stop posting in caps to emphasize a point. Nothing makes you read like a petulant fifth grader more than capitalizing sentences. Its just sad, like you’re unable to articulate a point without dramatically oversized sentences.”


  109. cadavra says:

    Pedant Alert!

    Theschu: It was Michael Murphy, not Moriarty.

  110. theschu says:

    Dammit. So right. Thanks.

  111. yancyskancy says:

    JS: I guess you’re right. I don’t get it. Are you saying that the Academy should nominate more unpopular or mildly popular films that have good reviews and/or some sort of hip cachet, and that will somehow ‘fix’ the Oscars and bring more viewers to the broadcast?

  112. anghus says:

    what he’s saying is that the world should conform to match his tastes.

    that’s what every fanboy internet windbag is saying.

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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.

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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