Slovaks at Oscars
- Slovaks at Oscar ceremony
ONE of the pieces of music that accompanied the 75th annual Academy Awards
ceremony on the night of March 23 was the Blizzard Suite, composed by Mark
McKenzie and recorded by the joint orchestras of the Slovak Radio and the
Slovak Philharmonic with the Lúcnica choir. Peter Breiner, a Slovak composer
and musician living in Canada, conducted the recording.
McKenzie wrote the suite for the film Blizzard, which will reach US cinemas
in November. The recording was Slovakia's first contribution to the Oscars
ceremony, with no Slovak film or artist ever having been nominated for an
again compiled by The Slovak Spectator
> with no Slovak film or artist ever having been nominated for anHmmm. The first ever film from Czechoslovakia to receive an Oscar was The
> Academy Award
Shop on Main Street (Obchod na korze) -- Best Foreign Language film in
1965 (1966 Academy Awards).
The film was in Slovak, with a Slovak-only cast (plus one Polish actress),
filmed on location only in Slovakia (Sabinov), its whole story took place
only in Slovakia, one of its two directors and screenwriters was from
Slovakia, and so was its assistant director. It was financed entirely
with Czechoslovak government funds -- a centralized country of which
Slovakia was an integral part, and which did not sort out what part of the
country the taxes for the funds came from.
So... was it a Turkish film, Polish, Norwegian...? Or was it "only Czech"
merely because its sets and postproduction were done in Prague (a third of
which was financed with taxes from Slovakia, too)?
The Spectator calls the performance of a suite by Mark McKenzie, directed
by a resident of Canada, the first "Slovak" contribution to the Oscars
because of the musicians, and goes on to claim that The Shop on Main
Street wasn't. That's nonsense, even when we view as non-Slovak the Oscar
(plus a host of nominations) for Paul Newman whose (Catholic, later
Christian Scientist) mother immigrated to the U.S. from Humenne, East
The Slovak Spectator would not consider -- rightly so -- not calling
itself "Slovak" for incidental reasons like "because it's published in
English," or "because if was founded by a Czech-American." It should take
the same view of other matters Slovak.
votruba "at" pitt "dot" edu