Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A brief afterthought on those ceremonies

For those who might have missed David Hinckley’s review of the televised Oscar ceremonies. From the New York Daily News, Monday, February 28, 2011, the first two paragraphs only:

Partway through the Oscar telecast Sunday night, a well-dressed man and woman informed the worldwide audience that ABC has cut a deal to continue telecasting the Academy Awards through 2020.

But they didn't mean we'll get shows for the next nine years. They meant that at the pace it was moving, Sunday night's show might not finish until 2020.

Source of artwork is Half Hour Please.


  1. People still watch the Oscars?

    Ok, I'll admit that I was tempted to peek when James Franco was announced as host, but then something important came up (clipping my toe nails) and I forgot all about it.


  2. Java: My sentiments exactly. I have not watched the Oscars for much longer than a decade. There was a time. Thanks. Gerald.

  3. I recall during the 1978 ceremony when Vanessa Redgrave gave her Oscar acceptance speech she made an offensive political speech that caused many people in the audience to boo (today, the audience would cheer). A few moments later, screenwriter Paddy Cheyefsky felt convicted to say something impromptu before his presentation in response to the inappropriateness: "a simple 'thank you' would have sufficed". Nowadays, the winners can use profanity during their speeches and everyone thinks its amusing.

  4. Thank you Tom:

    I do recall the Redgrave, I think. And I love the Chayefsky remark that I do not remember. Offbeat comments and strange causes were always in the wrong venue, of course, but when infrequent, I lived with them.

    But for the past twenty years (or more?) the whole assemblage seemed to take on the trappings and shibboleths of a political convention. Those that the very large percentage of presenters and audience admired were glorified and sanctified. Those whose politics that assembled group hated were excoriated endlessly. But it moved beyond disagreement and protest. It was a continual drumbeat.

    And, as you say, the tone and language changed. The award ceremony was no longer about movies and movie history anymore. Many of us abandoned it for good. Charlie Sheen as MC next year?

    Best. Gerald.

  5. I admit to still watching out of habit, but I'm not entirely sure why I still do so. There's something wrong when the likes of Kevin Brownlow, Eli Wallach and Francis Ford Coppola are only passingly brought out on stage because they are being honored and at least a painful minute or more is given to sessions of terribly written jokes. Bring back David Niven, I say.

  6. Thank you Meredith:

    Habits linger far longer than we suspect. And I think it is beneficial for someone like you, who is involved in that field of endeavor, to watch the ceremony, even if disinclined to do so. Important to know what is going on in your industry -- whether good or bad. (Although you probably know more than you care to already.) But you can critique on firsthand knowledge. As you observed to me in citing the three. Yes Brownlow should be crowned for all he has done for us and Eli Wallach and Coppola also. Of course, David Niven would do nicely thank you (they will probably CGI him in one year).

    Best. Gerald

  7. I used to stay up every year to watch them on BBC television (it's the middle of the night for us) and almost always fell asleep. Then about fifteen years ago the franchise went to a subscription-only satellite channel. I can still remember the relief at having the decision - can I still be bothered with this rubbish? - taken out of my hands. Now I can't believe I ever bothered.

  8. Matthew: Same page for you and me. The Oscar ceremonies no longer exist. Best. Gerald.