A column chronicling conversations and events on the rewards circuit.
It’s the season to gift your Oscar contenders free for the whole world to see.
In a follow-up to last week’s column where I wondered how the so-called ‘world premiere’ of Searchlight, as shown on the invitation to the February 18 event for Nomadland, could possibly be presented as such since it has essentially been presented in one form or another since its official ‘world premiere’ on September 11, 2020 in Venice / Toronto / Telluride at the Rose Bowl, now I have the answer. A Searchlight executive called in to explain that the studio felt it was really the world premiere of the much-acclaimed Oscar nominee as they offered it to the whole world in one night, and at no cost, before it hit Hulu and select theaters on Thursday. Semantics aside, after seeing the film first premiered in september, i ‘attended’ the virtual world premiere last night and well, that made a world the difference in how I look at this moving and beautifully crafted drama from director Chloe Zhao.
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The first time I saw it was on a day with several other screenings, and like most films sent to critics and experts during this pandemic, my name was on the photo in case our link was hacked. somehow, a boring distraction that can certainly take away from the experience of absorbing this purposefully paced drama that demands the kind of total attention you only really get with others in a movie theater. ; obviously in LA or New York at the moment, that is not possible because no theaters have been opened for almost a year.
This presentation was exquisite, preceded by a promising reel of Searchlight’s upcoming 2021 release slate, presented by co-chairs Steve Gilula and Nancy Utley, and – And There you go – the film, beautifully shot by Joshua James Richards, and starring a splendid Frances McDormand, was presented exactly as it would be theatrical – that is, without anything other than the breathtaking views of the southwest where it took been shot over the course of six months. Like many films, Paul Greengrass’ World news or Robin Wright Earth to name just two, this only reinforces for me why I miss movie theaters. They can’t come back soon enough.
Netflix currently has around 2 trillion subscribers, right? But there are many who are not willing to pay, so in honor of the 51st anniversary of the actual Chicago 7 trial, and not be outdone Nomadland World premiere, streamer makes main award contender, Aaron Sorkin Brilliant The Chicago 7 trial, also absolutely free to the whole world via the Netflix You Tube channel today and all day tomorrow until midnight Sunday to see what is without a doubt one of the best movies of this year or any other.
Here is Sorkin’s statement in conjunction with this free screening opportunity: “Since my first introduction fourteen years ago, my relationship with the story of The Chicago 7 trial has changed considerably. When we started filming last winter, we knew the story we were telling was not only an important chapter in American history, but was very relevant to the news. We certainly didn’t need it to become more relevant, but it was. To commemorate the anniversary of the verdict in this historic trial, we made the film available on YouTube for 48 hours starting Friday, February 19 at midnight Pacific Time, in remembrance of the True Patriots who inspired a generation – in fact, generations – to take to the streets and defend the foundations of our US Constitution, as well as the courageous voices that continue to do so today. It is our honor to share their story with the world, ”Sorkin said. The actors also get into the action of this free screening with a video casting.
A GLOBAL AFFAIR
And continuing in the generous mood, the Golden Globes, believe it or not, are just a week away. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the stars are not going to splash their champagne dinners at the Beverly Hilton this time around, but instead make theirs or send take-out home on Sunday, February 28 when the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Celebration of the year ”takes place on both coasts.
Recognizing that they are saving a lot of money by not having to foot the tab to feed their nominees, the HFPA, one of the most charitable of all Hollywood awards institutions, is doing something much needed right now and nurturing the America instead. Literally. The group announced today that Feeding America will be a philanthropic partner of the 78th Annual Golden Globes, in their first-ever bicoast show on NBC which will air live both from the New York Rainbow Room with the co-host. Tina Fey and the usual Beverly Hilton Ballroom. with co-host Amy Poehler.
Feeding America is the largest hunger relief and food rescue organization in the United States, serving more than 40 million people through its network of 200 food banks and 60,000 pantry and meal programs. Moet & Chandon, a 30-year Globes partner, will also participate with their own version of a “toast for a cause” in support of Feeding America, and NBC will educate viewers about charitable giving during the program.
THE CASE OF THE 78 MISSING OSCAR COMPETITORS
Conspiracy theories and numerous questions swirled this week among some dedicated members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences International Film Committee, the group of volunteers who screen the 93 contest entries for what was previously known as the name of best foreign language film. After the fidgetcube to vote on the films to make the list of the 15 films selected, some members noticed that the 78 films do not the list had suddenly disappeared from the projection room of the Academy, the digital site where all contenders around the world were made available to Oscar voters, and in particular to members of one of the four viewing groups a minimum of 12 films each for their votes to count. If 12 seems like a lot, many of those voters wanted After, much more than their minimum, and planned to see as many as possible but were perplexed, to say the least, while only the 15 preselected titles remained active on the site.
One member, actor / writer John Pleshette, even reached out to Deadline to share his concern. and a string of emails from other members equally upset to see the best of world cinema suddenly taken from them – or so they thought. “I’ve been on the Foreign Language Film Committee for over 25 years. This year, because of the pandemic, the Academy made all movies available on their portal, which is only accessible to Academy members… There were a lot of movies outside of our group that I wanted see before the fidgetcube. Once the (admissions) were reduced to 15, however, the Academy removed the other films. I found that a shame, both for the members of the Academy and even more so for the filmmakers themselves, ”Pleshette wrote to some of his colleagues. Another from his channel said, “I’m with you on this even though I’m afraid we’re fighting a losing battle. So disappointed to see that everything is gone except the shortlist. All the answers eventually came to Oscar and Emmy winner director Susanne Bier, who heads the International Committee along with Larry Karaszewski. She watched it and then promised that not all movies would go away for good but would be back on the site, although it might take a while.
The point is, the Academy never intended to withdraw the films for good, only to move the 78 not shortlisted to another division of the screening room. Today the task is complete and the movies that have not been cut are again available in a section of the site called “Extras”. It hosts a number of Academy events and initiatives including the virtual Sci-Tech Awards ceremony, conversations with Academy members at home, public events sponsored by AMPAS , seminars and panels on careers in film, dialogues with the Academy, Scene at the Academy, and more. And now, Thanks in large part to members’ enthusiasm to see what the world has to offer, 78 not-quite-orphan foreign language films are in their brand new home at the Academy. They will be joined in the ‘extras’ section by 10 other films – those selected that are not among the five finalists – shortly after the Oscar nominations are announced on March 15.
The Academy screening room is an ambitious and growing business within AMPAS, and it will only get bigger next year when AMPAS officially bans the shipment of physical DVDs, a controversial decision. according to some members I speak with. While support teams are available from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily during the season, not all Oscar voters know how to surf the web, let alone a digital site with lots of moving parts.
Aside from these 78 films and 15 shortlisted, the AMPAS site currently has 223 films submitted in the “Best Picture” section, not all exactly of the best material if you understand my drift. AMPAS accepts any movie as long as the producers / studios cough up the fee of $ 12,500 (plus 5 other big ones if you want a forensic watermark) to put it on the site (international movies, documentaries and short films are not billed). By my calculations, that means the Academy has so far brought in $ 2,787,500 this season just for these fees. Not bad, and rest assured these films will disappear once the season is over, so if you’re dying to see Monster hunter or The unfortunate you should hurry up. And for producers / studios, it’s a lot cheaper than making around 10,000 DVDs with specific Academy qualifications.
Everyone knows Oscar’s business can be lucrative, but that includes the old Oscar himself, who after all has to pay for this fancy digital operation. One member suggested to me that the Academy should use some of that money to send each member an Apple TV or Roku device so that they don’t watch these cinematic experiences on the big screen on their laptops. A better idea will be to reopen the theaters, including the Academy’s own screens at its Beverly Hills headquarters and the upcoming Academy Museum, and allow members to see the films as they were. meant for me seen. Listen to this, Nomadland?