Sunday, March 02, 2014

Lazy Sunday # 314: And The Oscar Does Not Go To…

At the 78th Annual Academy Awards, after Three 6 Mafia had taken home a statuette for their song, “It’s Hard Out There For A Pimp”, host Jon Stewart quipped, "For those of you keeping score at home, Martin Scorsese, zero; Three 6 Mafia, one."

Director Scorsese would even the score a year later, finally winning for “The Departed” after losing for “Raging Bull”, “The Last Temptation of Christ”, “Goodfellas”, “Gangs of New York” and “The Aviator”.

While cloaked in a conceit that the Academy Awards represent an industry honoring its best and peers recognizing the unique talents of peers as only those in the know can, it’s astonishing how often the Oscars get it wrong. (ie: Image Above)

Tomorrow’s media will list tonight’s “surprises and snubs”. But the reality is the members of the Academy cast their votes on ever-changing gradations of personal taste, career agenda, friendship and social causes, healing old wounds or to exact a modicum of vengeance for indiscretions real or imagined.

The Oscars are neither about acknowledging great art nor exceptional talent and never have been. And you don’t have to look very hard to find evidence of how often true art and the acknowledged masters of cinema are ignored.

Take one category –- directors…

Directors who never won an Oscar include:

Stanley Kubrick

Alfred Hitchcock

Sydney Lumet

Robert Altman

Howard Hawks

Acknowledged International Cinema giants who never won:

Akira Kurosawa

Jean-Luc Goddard

Federico Fellini

Fritz Lang

Sergio Leone

And then we have such unquestioned pioneers of the medium as Charlie Chaplin, John Cassavetes and Orson Welles, whose “Citizen Kane” is repeatedly acknowledged as perhaps the greatest film ever made.

Oh, there have been honorary and special category awards to many of them. Chaplin carried one home from the first Oscar evening for “versatility”.

But for their individual masterpieces –- not a one.

The point is –- don’t take whatever happens tonight too seriously. Fame is fleeting. Popularity ebbs and flows. The ignored social issues today will come around tomorrow.

Little of what happens on Oscar night has anything to do with Art or which movies will still have meaning down the road.

That bunch of losers is in the video below.

Enjoy Your Sunday.

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