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October 1998, Week 2


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Donald Larsson <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Fri, 9 Oct 1998 10:34:37 -0500
TEXT/PLAIN (43 lines)
Damian comments:
> I'd just like to reiterate this point, that I made earlier:
> *I may be a little cynical, and just a little bit suspicious
> of the Academy, but I feel I must comment on this. I've
> always understood there to be a very lively debate as to the
> political nature of the Academy Awards, and that rumours,
> substantiated or no, have often abounded as to the expediency
> of awarding the prizes. It would be foolish to assume that
> Spielbergs SL Oscars were purely motivated politically, and
> that the Academy pays special attention to films which make
> political statement; that is not my point. But, call me
> cynical, I've always suspected that the Academy consider
> themselves moral exemplars when the moment suits them, and
> even more appropraitely when there is a genuine attempt to
> portray a difficult and necessary subject for discussion. I
> would very much like it if my suspicions were proven to be
> wrong.*
Since the Academy has the avowed goal of advancing the motion picture
arts and sciences, it has always given special attention at Oscar time
to films that seem to be ("tastefully") artistic or socially conscious.
Not just SCHINDLER'S LIST, but GANDHI and many others testify to the
"uplifting" qualities of Oscar winners or major also-rans.  It is a
truism that comedies are rarely nominated, let alone win!  But there
are also artistic and social limitations on what the Academy will allow.
But is there an award-granting institution that is not subject to at
least some of the same pretensions?  Even the Nobel Prizes, especially
in literature, have been subject to similar criticisms.
Don Larsson
Donald Larsson
Minnesota State U, Mankato
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