"Books, records, films - these things matter. Call me shallow but it's the fuckin' truth."

"Oscars"
Sunday, February 24, 2013

New article on Hyperallergic: 

Foreign Policy: How the Oscars Slight Global Cinema

In 2009, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences sparked a flurry of debate when it was announced that the Best Picture category for the Oscar would be expanded from five to ten nominees. According to then-academy president Sid Ganis, the increased number would “allow Academy voters to recognize and include some of the fantastic movies that often show up in the other Oscar categories, but have been squeezed out of the race for the top prize.” Much of the discussion hinged on whether a lengthened list of nominees would somehow diminish the prestige of the award — that year genre films like Avatar and District 9 were recognized alongside more traditional Oscar-bait like An Education and The Hurt Locker. The legitimacy of the Academy Awards, some critics declared, was diminished.

This problem of plenty was — and remains — in stark contrast to the Best Foreign Language Film Category. Here, nominations are Spartan in their restrictiveness, as the Academy limits submissions to one per country and five nominees overall. It’s a particularly bitter pill for film industries in developing regions in Latin America and Africa. But at least for the 2013 season, one silver lining has emerged from this dreary playbook: Amour. Michael Haneke’s much lauded and deeply depressing French language feature has made Academy Awards history as the first Austrian movie to be nominated for both Best Picture and Best Foreign Language film, in addition to Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay nominations. (It’s a distinction that only three other films have made: Costa-Gavras’s Z [1969], Roberto Benigni’s Life is Beautiful [1998], and Ang Lee’sCrouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon [2000]).

Yet Amour’s success belies the ringing failure of the Academy’s inadequate process for selecting, considering, and honoring the bevy of excellent films from around the globe. As it stands, the road for any hopeful Foreign Language nominee is marked by many bureaucratic potholes. It’s a representative race: countries, not studios, submit films to the Academy. Films must have a predominantly non-English dialogue track, and international co-productions can be disqualified for not being authentic to their country of submission. So, despite being shot in Albania with Albanian actors and in the Albanian language, director Joshua Marston’s Forgiveness of Blood was disqualified from the race in 2011 for being funded by an American producer…

Read the rest here.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

2brwngrls:

Two Brown Girls - Episode 9

On this episode of Two Brown Girls we discuss our Valentine’s Day fantasies (which may or may not involve Beyonce), last week’s Grammys and the disastuh that is Taylor Swift (in response to a question from heartseams), Zeba’s weird childhood Hollywood crush (hint: he’s super hairy), and finally/most importantly, our pre-Oscars discussion which will include:

  • Our predictions for the major winners
  •  Extreme fangirling for Daniel Day Lewis and Christoph Waltz
  • Our thoughts on the merits of Jennifer Lawrence against “white feministy torturing warmonger” Jessica Chastain (thanks to a question from listener encapture)
  • A 100% accurate prediction of Anne Hathaway’s acceptance speech
  • A rant about Bill Nye the Science Guy and Michael Haneke’s Twitter

If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions, feel free to leave them in our ask box or send us a tweet at our official Twitter Page - we might address them in our next episode!

If you like what you hear, subscribe to us on iTunes - and don’t forget to rate and leave a comment!

Monday, January 14, 2013
Thursday, January 10, 2013

OSCAR nominations in full

Best Picture
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty
Lincoln
Les Misérables
Life of Pi
Amour
Django Unchained
Argo

Director
David O Russell
Ang Lee
Steven Spielberg
Michael Haneke
Benh Zeitlin

Best Actor
Daniel Day-Lewis
Denzel Washington
Hugh Jackman
Bradley Cooper
Joaquin Phoenix

Best Actress
Naomi Watts
Jessica Chastain
Jennifer Lawrence
Emmanuelle Riva
Quvenzhané Wallis

Best Supporting Actor
Christoph Waltz
Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Robert De Niro
Alan Arkin
Tommy Lee Jones

Best Supporting Actress
Sally Field
Anne Hatthaway
Jacki Weaver
Helen Hunt
Amy Adams

Adapted Screenplay
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Argo
Lincoln

Original Screenplay
Flight
Zero Dark Thirty
Django Unchained
Amour
Moonrise Kingdom

Animated Feature
Wreck-It Ralph
The Pirates
Paranorman
Brave
Frankenweenie

Best Foreign Language Film
Amour
War Witch
A Royal Affair
Kon Tiki
No

Original Song
Before My Time - Chasing Ice
Pi’s Lullaby - Life of Pi
Suddenly - Les Misérables
Everybody Needs A Friend - Ted
Skyfall - Skyfall


Sunday, February 19, 2012
Not-so Breaking News: Oscar Voters Are All Old White Men
In a new study by the LA Times that has surprised no one, it has been revealed that the majority of the 5,765 voters in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences 94% white, 77% male, aged on average at 62 years, and live in Beverly Hills. Black voters make up about 2% of members. Latinos come in at less than 2%. And the best part? It’s basically a lifetime membership sort of deal, so we’re stuck with these old, rich, white men for decades before any sort of diversity enters the pool. 
So what is the Academy, anyway? Who is this anonymous group that seems to wield so much power of the industry? Well, according the the Times, the Academy is a group of working professionals. About half of the members have done something onscreen in the last two years, but only 1/3 have actually been nominated for an Oscar themselves (this includes people like Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep).
Since membership is for life, there are many voters who have long since retired from Hollywood, who indeed have absolutely no ties whatsoever to the business. People interviewed in the survey included a bookstore owner, a cloistered nun, and a Peace Corps recruiter. Does this make any sense? Well, no, not really. Welcome to Hollywood, ya’ll. 

Not-so Breaking News: Oscar Voters Are All Old White Men

In a new study by the LA Times that has surprised no one, it has been revealed that the majority of the 5,765 voters in the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences 94% white, 77% male, aged on average at 62 years, and live in Beverly Hills. Black voters make up about 2% of members. Latinos come in at less than 2%. And the best part? It’s basically a lifetime membership sort of deal, so we’re stuck with these old, rich, white men for decades before any sort of diversity enters the pool. 

So what is the Academy, anyway? Who is this anonymous group that seems to wield so much power of the industry? Well, according the the Times, the Academy is a group of working professionals. About half of the members have done something onscreen in the last two years, but only 1/3 have actually been nominated for an Oscar themselves (this includes people like Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep).

Since membership is for life, there are many voters who have long since retired from Hollywood, who indeed have absolutely no ties whatsoever to the business. People interviewed in the survey included a bookstore owner, a cloistered nun, and a Peace Corps recruiter. Does this make any sense? Well, no, not really. Welcome to Hollywood, ya’ll. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012
What Charlize Theron Doesn’t Get About Black Hollywood

Evidently, a lot. When Oscar-nominated actress Viola Davis talks about how it’s hard for her to get roles as a black woman who doesn’t fit Hollywood’s bullshit ideal of beauty or even black female beauty, Ms. Theron dismisses her by saying, “You have to stop saying that, because you’re hot as shit.’’ 

Gee, thank you for validating Viola’s beauty, Charlize, despite the fact that whether or not she is “hot as shit” to you is really besides the point. Go back to your shitty Dior ads if you can’t have an intelligent discussion on race in Hollywood. 

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