Title: Strange new Oscar qualifying rule
Lang Thompson - January 10, 2012 05:17 AM (GMT)
Starting next year documentaries will only be considered if they have been reviewed in the LA Times or NY Times. If anything this might be a useful requirement for foreign-language films where it could actually open up the field though they're pretty blunt that the intention with docs is exactly the opposite.
Marc McCloud - January 10, 2012 12:51 PM (GMT)
Well, here's hoping that one of them reviewed The Parking Lot Movie.
Alan Maxwell - January 10, 2012 05:47 PM (GMT)
Wow, that sounds like a really crappy idea. Talking of daft limitations, do they still have that rule about the limit on the amount of archive footage used in documentaries? I seem to recall reading that this was why Grizzly Man missed out on a nomination and was assuming it would be the same with Senna this year, although I've not seen it mentioned in any of the rants about its omission.
And yes, more love for The Parking Lot Movie would be nice.
John W McKelvey - January 11, 2012 08:14 AM (GMT)
That seems like giving too much power to those publications. It essentially makes their reviewers Oscar judges, with massive veto power.
Bob Lindstrom - January 11, 2012 06:33 PM (GMT)
The kicker to me is that Mr. Liberal, Michael Moore, got behind this as governor of documentaries for the academy. So much for his rep as champion of the little guy. That always rang as false to me as his homespun jacket and cap wardrobe.
This is bullshit, plain and simple, and completely trashes the concept that the Academy Awards are chosen by industry colleagues to honor their own.
Furthermore, it promotes the concept that only those opinions that originate on the left or right coasts have any importance. I seem to remember a couple decent film critics came from Chicago. But the academy wouldn't care.
I can imagine that a lot of money or influence changed hands at a time when print journalism is on life support. And let's also not overlook the fact that the rule would limit consideration to only films that receive full-fledged theatrical exhibition, another industry that's on life support.
Brian Camp - January 11, 2012 07:31 PM (GMT)
If it was up to me, I'd move the docu/shorts categories to that separate event where they give out the technical awards. We all seem to forget that the docu/shorts categories were originally designed to reward studio productions at a time when the major studios made tons of theatrically released docu's, shorts and cartoons. Once the studios stopped making them in the 1950s, there were still enough other films of this type playing in theaters to justify the awards throughout the 1960s. (I remember seeing the 1963 Oscar-winning cartoon, "The Critic," on a bill with DR. STRANGELOVE--and it was even advertised in the papers!) But after that, they had to look outside the industry for nominees and open up a pool of films that didn't even play in theaters. They probably should just have eliminated the categories in the 1970s, but there had grown a huge pool of state-subsidized docu's and shorts (NYSCA, NEA, NEH, etc.) and a vocal faction of indie/activist filmmakers who attracted the sympathies of many voters who liked honoring these filmmakers' work. When I was in that world, I actually used to know a lot of the filmmakers up for Oscars in those categories. I worked at a festival that actually programmed a lot of these films. But I'm at a point now where I don't care about them anymore and would rather they didn't slow down an already tiresome ceremony.