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Re: [mythsoc] Academy Award nominations, more detail

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  • SusanPal@aol.com
    In a message dated 2/13/2002 2:52:09 PM Pacific Standard Time, Stolzi@aol.com ... Well, this is other Academy s version of Tolkien can t be a serious writer,
    Message 1 of 7 , Feb 13, 2002
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      In a message dated 2/13/2002 2:52:09 PM Pacific Standard Time, Stolzi@...
      writes:


      > Columnist (and erstwhile movie critic) Rod Dreher thinks the Academy will
      > give the nod to BEAUTIFUL MIND. I think he is suggesting that they will
      > see
      > it as fitting their traditional wavelength of "This is a Great and
      > Uplifting
      > Story."
      >

      Well, this is other Academy's version of "Tolkien can't be a serious writer,"
      right? It's fantasy, so it can't be real. I haven't seen BEAUTIFUL MIND so
      I can't comment on it firsthand, but I've heard that it simplifies and
      sanitizes Nash's life. I was a student at Princeton in the early '80s and
      frequently saw Nash on campus, and got fiercely scolded by my physics TA when
      I complained about the weird homeless guy who hung out in the math library --
      "Susan, let me tell you who that is and why we allow him to stay here" -- so
      I feel a certain connection to the story. Oddly enough, that's why I've been
      leery about seeing the film. I do want, very much, to read the book.

      Anyway, it looks like we've got a contest between two Great and Uplifting
      Stories: one which claims to be history but in certain key details isn't,
      and one which doesn't claim to be history but is, on a deep metaphorical
      level, Truer than much journalism -- which is why it's been so enduringly
      popular for so long and has thus earned the enmity of various academics who
      are suspicious of anything that's popular.

      Go figure. Complicated world we live in, eh?

      Susan


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    • Trudy Shaw
      ... From: SusanPal@aol.com To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2002 5:08 PM Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Academy Award nominations, more detail
      Message 2 of 7 , Feb 14, 2002
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        ----- Original Message -----
        From: SusanPal@...
        To: mythsoc@yahoogroups.com
        Sent: Wednesday, February 13, 2002 5:08 PM
        Subject: Re: [mythsoc] Academy Award nominations, more detail


        >Well, this is other Academy's version of "Tolkien can't be a serious writer,"
        right? It's fantasy, so it can't be real...

        When one movie has so many more Oscar nominations than any of the competition (LotR/Fotr's 13 to 8 by the two closest "runners-up"), it's normally the major favorite for best picture. That's not true this year. Some say that's because so many of LotR/FotR's nominations are in "technical" categories, but I wouldn't be surprised if your point is hidden underneath some of that. A fantasy movie has never won best picture, so just by being nominated LotR/FotR is unusual. Another thing that I think could affect the voting in a major way is the voters knowing that there are two more movies coming, so they have two more "chances" to reward the work, especially in the acting categories*. This may not be completely logical, but it seems to be the kind of thing the Oscar voters take into account. Wouldn't it be fitting, though, if the first fantasy movie to win best picture would be one based on Tolkien's work, whether the _first_ award is for 2001, 2002, or 2003?

        --Trudy

        *Let's keep it quiet until the voting's over that Gandalf _is_ in the other two movies. 8-)


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      • Stolzi@aol.com
        In a message dated 2/13/02 5:11:21 PM Central Standard Time, SusanPal@aol.com ... writer, ... Well, Susan, maybe I am putting words in Dreher s mouth.
        Message 3 of 7 , Feb 14, 2002
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          In a message dated 2/13/02 5:11:21 PM Central Standard Time, SusanPal@...
          writes:

          > Well, this is other Academy's version of "Tolkien can't be a serious
          writer,"
          >
          > right? It's fantasy, so it can't be real.

          Well, Susan, maybe I am putting words in Dreher's mouth. Perhaps when he
          spoke of the "old-skewing" at the Academy, he means that they simply are not
          into fantasy film like us, ahem, young dudes :)

          But there is a well-known tendency to go for "uplift" over the entertaining
          or funny or bitter film - GANDHI is often cited as an example of the sort of
          film the Academy likes to reward.


          Diamond Proudbrook
        • WendellWag@aol.com
          In a message dated 2/14/2002 9:17:05 AM Eastern Standard Time, ... About ten years ago, I predicted that it would be about this year that the first fantasy
          Message 4 of 7 , Feb 14, 2002
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            In a message dated 2/14/2002 9:17:05 AM Eastern Standard Time,
            tgshaw@... writes:


            > A fantasy movie has never won best picture, so just by being nominated
            > LotR/FotR is unusual.

            About ten years ago, I predicted that it would be about this year that the
            first fantasy and/or science fiction film would win the Oscar and also that
            somewhere around this time the first Australian or New Zealand film would win
            the Oscar. I made this prediction based on my rule that there's a
            thirty-year lag in Academy voters' perceptions of a genre's quality. For
            instance, the best Westerns made in Hollywood came out in the years between
            1956 and 1962, but except for _Cimmarron_ back in 1931, there was no Western
            winning the Oscar until _Dances with Wolves_ in 1990 and _Unforgiven_ in
            1992. The average Academy voter is well into middle age and thus got their
            first education in film at least thirty years before. It seems to me that
            science fiction and fantasy films began being made regularly with large
            budgets a little more than thirty years ago. It further seems to me that
            Australian and New Zealand films began being seen in the U.S. with any
            regularity a little less than thirty years ago. I thus think that it's about
            the point that the first science fiction and/or fantasy film will win and
            also about the time that the first Australian or New Zealand film will win.
            _The Lord of the Rings_ fits on both counts.

            Wendell Wagner


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          • SusanPal@aol.com
            In a message dated 2/14/2002 8:29:37 AM Pacific Standard Time, Stolzi@aol.com ... Yes, exactly. But LotR *also* qualifies as uplift, no? It sure does in my
            Message 5 of 7 , Feb 14, 2002
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              In a message dated 2/14/2002 8:29:37 AM Pacific Standard Time, Stolzi@...
              writes:


              > But there is a well-known tendency to go for "uplift" over the entertaining
              > or funny or bitter film - GANDHI is often cited as an example of the sort
              > of
              > film the Academy likes to reward.
              >

              Yes, exactly. But LotR *also* qualifies as "uplift," no? It sure does in my
              book!

              Susan


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