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Author Topic: Awards Aftermath - Part 2  (Read 219001 times)

Online CellarDweller115

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Awards Aftermath - Part 2
« on: December 08, 2007, 11:15:56 AM »
This thread is set up to continue the conversations had in the original "Awards Aftermath" thread.

It is for discussion of the aftermath of "Brokeback Mountain" being overlooked as Best Picture in favor of "Crash".

Forum rules apply.

Remember to respect the views/opinions of your fellow posters!

Thank you!

Offline DanRWentzelJr

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Re: Awards Aftermath - Part 2
« Reply #1 on: December 08, 2007, 11:37:09 AM »
Here's the link to the original, wonderful, Entertainment Weekly, October 25, 2007 article with a couple of key excerpts.  Please go read the whole thing at your leisure:

http://www.ew.com/ew/article/0,,20153963,00.html

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In the weeks before the 78th annual Academy Awards, Brokeback Mountain producer Diana Ossana already suspected what few outside Hollywood could imagine: Her film was going to lose the Best Picture race. ''Several people told me they knew a lot of Academy voters who just refused to see the film,'' says Ossana, who also co-wrote the screenplay with Larry McMurtry. This tragic love story between two men had dominated the critics' awards and banked $178 million worldwide. It even captivated sellout crowds in states like Oklahoma and Ohio just not, apparently, in Academy screening rooms. ''What are they afraid of?'' McMurtry asked Ossana. ''It's just a movie.''   But Brokeback was more than a movie. It was a phenomenon that commanded the cultural conversation for months, from Jay Leno to YouTube to the cover of The New Yorker. More important, it proved that straight audiences would snap up tickets to a same-sex romance.

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Brokeback could have done the same for gay film. It wasn't just a hit, but the first unabashed gay romance to cross over to mainstream audiences. It also obliterated an ancient Hollywood phobia that playing gay would kill an actor's career. Not only did stars Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal both score Oscar nominations, but Ledger is playing the Joker in next summer's Batman sequel, The Dark Knight. Gyllenhaal will be starring opposite Tobey Maguire in Brothers. ''It's been extraordinary,'' Gyllenhaal says of life post-Brokeback. ''It has taken me to a different place in my career. Nothing but wonderful, positive things have come out of that experience.''

Quote
Even one (Harvey) Milk movie is a step in the right direction, and a hint that Brokeback's achievements did not go entirely unnoticed. ''There's just no way Brokeback didn't break down significant barriers about the way [independent] financiers think,'' London says. ''If there was some sense that gay subject matter doesn't work, we wouldn't be making Milk.'' London who is, for the record, straight suspects that if this movie is successful, the industry will realize that there's gold in gay film. ''Maybe Milk will make clear that audiences are way less conservative about this than conventional wisdom holds,'' he says. ''I don't think audiences care as much about distinctions in sexuality as generations did 20 years ago.'' One can only hope. Brokeback's Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar have carried the almost impossible weight of cinema history. It would be nice if they could share the burden.


Here is the letters that ran in the November 23, 2007 issue of Entertainment Weekly in response.

Quote
With ''Out of Sight,'' the truth finally comes out: Brokeback Mountain lost the Best Picture Oscar due to Hollywood homophobia.
Ira Gilbert
New York City

Brokeback Mountain received more Oscar nods (eight) than any other movie in 2006. The same electorate gave it three Oscars, including directing and screenplay. (No picture won more that year.) If Academy members were recoiling in distaste from Brokeback, as the article suggests, they picked an odd way of showing it.
Bruce Davis
Executive Director, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences


Some of the films you mentioned (The Crying Game, Boys Don't Cry, Transamerica) focus on characters who are transgendered, not gay. These are not the same: The former concerns gender identity; the latter, sexual orientation.
Andrew Matzner
Roanoke, Va.

Bruce Davis still doesn't get it.  Actually, he and Sid Ganis probably do, but Davis has had to explain this away for 2 years now.  It's probably a reflex.  Maybe he's due for another round of letters saying we haven't forgotten and history will never forget (since he denied receiving many letters when it actually happened).

I wrote my own letter to Entertainment Weekly indicating my own conversations with my friend Barry, an Academy member of the Art Directors branch, about his witness to a late homophobia-phobia panic by people he knew in the Academy -- irrational fear of what backlash Hollywood might suffer if the Academy awarded BBM Best Picture (which he felt had a lock on the Best Picture award until then), the basic facts as we knows them involving other Academy members like Tony Curtis and Ernest Borgnine, and general commentary about the different voting rules between the Motional Picture Academy, the Television Academy and Critics, and AMPAS members being able to vote on awards for movies which they haven't seen and in categories for which they have no expertise.  I included the analogy involving an American gymnast or figure skater being denied a gold model because of a low score submitted by a judge who hadn't seen the performance or even refused to see it.  It probably won't be published, but it feels good just to tell the truth.

In this day and age simply telling the truth and repeating the facts instead of the official spin is a dangerous act, isn't it?  In any event, I'm sure Mr. Davis and the Academy would still appreciate your letters as would Entertainment Weekly.  :)

Wouldn't it have been simpler for Bruce Davis, Sid Ganis and the Academy to simply have issued after the result, after the Daily Variety Ad, a statement saying, "We are appalled that homophobia played even the tiniest role in the Best Picture balloting.  If even one vote was influenced by fear and ignorance, that was one vote too many.  The fact that a handful of our members went public with their fear and ignorance is appalling.  Their views do not reflect the views of the Academy leadership or the Academy as a whole, and we apologize to anyone who may have been offended by the actions of these individuals."

Wouldn't that have been easier?  Even a statement like that today would still be welcome.  Even setting aside the whole debacle of Academy members voting on films they haven't seen and in categories in which they have no expertise (the ignorance part of the fear, hate and ignorance that goes into homophobia), and without debating these rules, a simple statement such as I have outlined would have made the issue go away and put the onus on a handful of Academy members.

If ardent Crash supporters like Oprah had just stated, "I believe Crash was the best film of the year, and I voted for it, and I'm delighted it received the Oscar for Best Picture for I hope more people will now see it.  However, I am equally outraged that homophobia played any part in the contest, and certain Academy members who went public with their prejudices should be ashamed of themselves.  Homophobia and prejudice is unacceptable whether it is in society or within certain members of the Academy."

Anything simple like that, and the supporters of Crash could have had their cake and eaten it too.  The Academy could have moved on.  But, like the Academy always does, and guilty-liberals often do (and I am at times a guilty-liberal myself), it is seemingly (mistakenly seemingly) easier to ignore the problem and hope it goes away.  I'm sure the Academy never thought people would still talk about the issue, and film historians will be referring to it as a fact for decades.

Some Academy members may have recoiled in distaste, which Bruce Davis implies is the only issue, but others acted cold-bloodedly in what they believed was in Hollywood's and therefore their best interests.  The homophobia-phobia that my Art Director and Academy-member friend Barry discussed with me.  It was this cold-bloodedness that doomed Citizen Kane and High Noon.  It is ironic that the cold-blooded members of the Academy who vote for Ang Lee, but against Brokeback Mountain, to avoid a backlash, ended up with another type of backlash anyway.  The Academy snubbing reminds me Clinton's support for"Dont' Ask, Don't Tell" or support for DOMA.  Apologists told me Clinton HAD to take those actions to save himself.  I still don't believe it.  I never expected the so-called American "Family" Association to give Brokeback Mountain an award.  When people you think are on your side stab you in the back or throw you under the bus, the tire iron hurts that much more.

Would an official Academy apology now be "too little, too late" now? It's late for sure, but I actually think it might be healing.  Of course, admitting the problem might require an actual amends like changing the voting rules.  The Academy still hasn't apologized for Citizen Kane and High Noon losing Best Picture because of fear of a backlash.  Don't expect an apology for this anytime soon, though one would be welcome by me.

In any event, it is liberating to hear the truth being told even if it cannot change what happened two years ago.  Go Dianna. We all know which film was the "best" and we all know why it "lost".

I hope everyone is having a peaceful, merry and happy holiday season.
« Last Edit: December 08, 2007, 08:44:33 PM by DanRWentzelJr »

Offline dback

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Re: Awards Aftermath - Part 2
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2007, 12:12:36 PM »
Awesome post!   ;D
"No reins on this one."

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Awards Aftermath - Part 2
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2007, 11:38:10 AM »
Great post to start Part 2!

I also sent a letter to EW about Bruce Davis' comments.
I won't know, but am curious to know if he actually took it upon
himself to write a letter to EW about this, or EW contacted him
for one.  If they did not, you can see how quickly the academy is
to pounce upon any notions of homophobia.  Interesting.

I also sent a letter directly to him as well, which I doubt will
be responded to, but I thought he should know that people
are not buying his/ampas' position about this.

Offline dback

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Re: Awards Aftermath - Part 2
« Reply #4 on: December 11, 2007, 11:11:14 AM »
I don't know if anyone ever mentioned the "Mad TV" sketch where Bobby Lee and Ike Barinholtz go see all 5 nominated films in one day.  (It reruns on Comedy Central, and may be on You Tube.)  They hate "Capote," they start a fight in "Munich," I can't remember "Good Night & Good Luck," and for "Crash," they open the theater door and hear "You're a racist!" "No, YOU'RE a racist!", look at each other, say "Nope!" and don't even go into the theater.  (LOL!)  "Brokeback" is the only one of the movies that they actually pay attention to (and, of course, get so moved that they wind up making out).  Still, they stay till the end.  I found this sketch really interesting--clearly, these guys were making a statement amidst all the jokes about what film they thought was the best.
"No reins on this one."

Offline Lyle (Mooska)

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Re: Awards Aftermath - Part 2
« Reply #5 on: December 11, 2007, 12:47:44 PM »
" I can't remember "Good Night & Good Luck,"

For this film they sit down, hear some of the dialogue and then they just look at each other and both say "BORING!" and they get up and leave.

I also found MAD-TV to be the only program that dealt with making light of ALL the other nominees in 2005 in a comedic way.  For example, and this one just infuriated me, the ELLEN show was supposed to do a sketch for EACH of the five picture nominees, one each day, and then the audience would vote on the one they liked best.  They did one for Brokeback, of course, and one for Capote and Good Night and Good Luck, but, when it came to Crash and Munich, Ellen said those movies were too serious to be made light of and they did a generic awards sketch instead...what?  Whose bright idea was that?  First of all, the themes of homophobia, capital punishment, and freedom of the press are okay to be made light of, but not anti-semitism and racism.  What she was really saying was "our writers weren't smart or clever enough to poke fun at those two films, so we copped out.

I can't verify they didn't do other sketches, but I know that Mad-TV also did a combination spoof of Capote and Walk the Line, which was quite amusing.  And the guy who played Capote was just as good as PSH, in my opinion.

It was scheduled to be broadcast "before" the oscars, but for whatever reason they did not air it until afterwards, which made an even sharper point considering the outcome, but Mad-TV also did a sketch called "Brokeback 2:  The Cowgirls", in which you might expect, it dealt with two lesbians that were hot for each other.  I might not have it exactly right, but the tagline for the sketch was "See Brokeback 2: The Cowgirls.  This time it's okay."

Again, Mad-TV was making a satirical point and I applaud them for it that year. 


Offline brokebacktom

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Re: Awards Aftermath - Part 2
« Reply #6 on: December 11, 2007, 03:12:15 PM »
I still like to see people's reactions to this upset. Its still keeping me informed. Good Night and Good Luck was a very well done movie. Yet I found it to miss the true impact that time took on people's lives. Clooney should have pushed the connection with the current President and his approach to "Freedom" with that of Fascism.

Offline Roland

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Re: Awards Aftermath - Part 2
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2007, 11:17:43 PM »
Not sure if this was ever posted here, but I just ran across it tonight so thought I'd bring it to everyone's attention:

http://www.afterelton.com/archive/elton/movies/2006/3/backlash.html

Offline Roland

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Re: Awards Aftermath - Part 2
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2007, 11:40:42 PM »
A cool article on dailykos back in the spring of '06.

Last paragraph is the best:

http://www.dailykos.com/story/2006/3/10/15192/7043

Offline dback

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Re: Awards Aftermath - Part 2
« Reply #9 on: January 02, 2008, 05:27:06 PM »
So for my birthday/Christmas I got an electronic book and game called "Obsessed with Hollywood."  2500 questions, and you turn on the switch and it starts directing you to a question #, which you answer A, B, C, or D; it "grades" you, and moves on to the next question.

I'm still going through all the questions (which seem very random in terms of grouping), so have no idea if there are any "BBM" questions, though I've not found any pics yet.  Question 1470, however, gets a "spotlight" box of 1/2 a page, next to a picture of Mr. Haggis and co-producer clutching Oscars in front of a big gold statue.  Here is the text, verbatim:

"This poignant examination of racial tensions in Los Angeles, co-written and directed by Paul Haggis, divided critics and moviegoers in a way few movies have before or since.  Famed Chicago Sun Times critic Roger Ebert immediately dubbed it the best film of the year, while L.A. Weekly's Scott Foundas called it the worst film of the year.

The film's intersecting storylines focus on several different characters over the course of a thirty-six hour period.  These diverse characters include carjackers, a sadistic bigoted cop, a television producer and his wife, the Los Angeles district attorney and his racist wife, a Latino locksmith, among others.

When awards season came, the controversy surrounding the film only became louder.  The film was awarded numerous prizes at too many awards ceremonies to mention.  (Italics mine.)  Perhaps the most significant honor the film received was an Oscar for Best Picture.  (Once again, the film's destractors cried foul and protested this.)

What is the name of this controversial film?"

I appreciate that Andrew Rausch (who has no e-mail address but is an author of several other film books and "an independent filmmaker") acknowledged the controversy and diversity of opinion, but he totally skirts the real reasons WHY the film--and it's "acclaim"--was controversial.  Yes, it did win several writing awards, but hardly any Best Picture citations at "numerous prizes at too many awards ceremonies to mention"--unless three (including the SAG win) is considered "numerous."  Also, he makes no mention there of The Other Film Which Was Supposed To Win And Had Swept 20+ International Best Picture Citations. 

However, this author also claims that Big Daddy in "Cat On A Hot Tin Roof" has polio (isn't that Brick, his son?), and that Streisand has 2 Oscars for acting.  (She has 2 nominations and 1 win; her other Oscar win came for writing Best Song, "Evergreen.")  I've answered less than 50 questions, and I've already found these 2 errors, so I guess we shouldn't expect too much from it. 

Nonetheless...
"No reins on this one."

Offline Roland

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Re: Awards Aftermath - Part 2
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2008, 06:08:58 PM »
Are you sure it didn't say "too FEW to mention"?   ;)

Offline BayCityJohn

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Re: Awards Aftermath - Part 2
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2008, 02:14:16 AM »
I got an email from AMPAS today!

------------------------------------------------

John-

The BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN screening will be held on Monday, August 4th at 7:30pm at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater.  We will be inviting all cast and crew members, though invitations have not yet gone out.  (If you have any suggestions for direct contacts please let me know.)  I'd be happy to talk to you about a small costume display, but I'll need to postpone that until after Oscar season.  Let's email again in March.  In the meantime, save the date.

Randy

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Once a virgin, always a virgin

Offline Marc

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Re: Awards Aftermath - Part 2
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2008, 12:08:30 PM »
In "Cat on a hot tin roof," Big Daddy has cancer. 

I don't know the film well, and didn't realize Brick had polio.  I do remember him on crutches, though.  Seems like an obvious metaphor for his crippled emotional development, but perhaps that belongs on another thread.

Offline doodler

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Re: Awards Aftermath - Part 2
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2008, 10:38:33 PM »
Is it karma that the Oscar show might be canceled this year because of the writers' strike?
In 2010, 606 people (all ages) were accidentally killed by guns.
Almost 3000 teens (15-19) die in traffic accidents a year.
1100 kids under 19 drown each year.
44 kids under 5 died of heat stroke in hot cars in 2013.
HIGH school sports account for 1.2 million trips to the ER annually.

Offline Roland

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Re: Awards Aftermath - Part 2
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2008, 10:54:11 PM »
I wish I could remember the site where I saw it, but I recently came across some guy in Hollywood commenting on the stupidity of many Oscar voters.  He was saying that some AMPAS members are refusing to screen "There Will Be Blood" because the title doesn't appeal to them.  He went on to say that you wouldn't believe the reasons many members give for not watching eligible movies.  Is that group hopeless or what?