Television, the Oscars, and me

My first verifiable memory was our family gathering around the TV to watch the Beatles on Ed Sullivan.  I was 4, my older brother was 17. It was a Sunday night.

February 9, 1964

February 9, 1964

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Oscars: Chris Rock Matters

"This year, in the in memoriam package, it's just going to be black people that were shot on their way to the movies."

“This year, in the in memoriam package, it’s just going to be black people that were shot on their way to the movies.”

There is no analysis of the Oscars needed beyond reading transcripts of Chris Rock’s monologue, and subsequent bits through the evening.  (Stacey “Clueless” Dash was a you-got -it, or you-didn’t joke.) I’ll cover all 24 awards presented. Continue reading

Oscar Rules!

So it turns out you CAN kick the old white men out! (Actually the irrelevant ones will just be stripped of voting privileges.) In order to understand these newest changes, I have been all over the site reading about the rules of the club, which I have compared to a Lodge.

The beginning of "Who are you wearing?" Fred and Barney's sartorial choices.

The beginning of “Who are you wearing?” Fred and Barney’s sartorial choices.


Here are the Oscars by the numbers.  There are around 6,000 members, and as we have heard, an overwhelming majority are old white men. Continue reading

Oscar Diversity

OSCARIt’s not a democracy, it’s a club.  You get to vote, but only if you are a member.  

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is a club with entrance rules.  You get nominated, you get in.  You get an honorary award, you get in.

That’s it.*  You can’t kick out the old white guys because they are old white guys.  You can’t make new rules for how to get in without changing the whole nature of the club.  Which is: motion picture artists and scientists nominate and vote for motion picture artists and scientists. Continue reading

Oscar haters

How utterly predictable is the backlash against the Oscars and its winners? OSCARFirst, the Academy is a club you earn your way into.  The Oscars is its own annual club party.  You don’t have to watch, you don’t get to go, it’s not about you.

It is a spectacle for those who want to eavesdrop and be a voyeur at a party to which you have no invitation.  You don’t have to care at all.  You don’t have to see any of the arty films that win. Continue reading

American Sniper is very American

The film American Sniper is directed by Clint Eastwood.  His iconic characters’ memes may reek of vigilantism (cowboy or cop), however the films he helms often smell of moral ambiguity and reflection.  But no matter what you shoot, it all depends if the audience is paying attention.

©2001 Marion Pennell

©2001 Marion Pennell

Reminiscent of American right wing patriots trying to co-opt Springsteen’s “Born in the USA” (the lyrics, people, read the lyrics!!!), American Sniper is about a over-hyped killing machine who loves war and is dispatched in the name of his country to kill in order to save American lives in Iraq. Continue reading

The Nominations are In!!!

Today the Oscar nominations were announced.  I love the Oscars.  It is the Artists’ Super Bowl/Olympics/World Cup all wrapped in one.  So many kinds of artists are required to make a film. Oh, to be a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences!!!  Although we watched every year as a family, my love was cemented when I laid eyes on one.  I wrote this bit about it in 2008: Continue reading