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I find the arguments the Academy Awards fuels every year fascinating.  For
people who promote and discuss independent, quality filmmaking we decry the
slights of Academy voters as if the awards really mattered.  This film is
better than that film, this film was more deserving of a nomination than that
film, this film is safe and bland and promotes this agenda.  I think the whole
idea of the awards are a joke.  Recognize this.  The Academy is a small group
of people who put on an awards show to congratulate themselves for the year
they had.  It is a country club dominated by white males. Why is it surprising
when they exclude minorities (choose your own gender/color/sexual
orientation)?  Is this an "atrocity"?  I think of atrocities as heinous acts of
genocide and environmental destruction.  It is a shame there was not more
diversity in the Oscar winners this year, nor in the telecast itself.  But then
it was a painfully accurate representation of the Academy membership.
 
The Screen-L members talk about how safe and boring and lacking the Academy
nominations are and mock them.  Yet many also seem to yearn for validation from
this group.  Why?  Because it is seen around the world?  Have you always
secretly dreamed of making an acceptance speech for your more worthy and
self-important film.   What value would the award have if it had been won by
Pulp Fiction instead of Gump?  Do you ever want mainstream acceptance and the
baggage that comes with it?  The Oscars and Hollywood have always been about
reaching the lowest common denominator of the masses and making as much money
as possible.  Hollywood of the '90's is a wasteland that has now turned to
television as it's current story inspiration.  Is that what we strive for in
making our films or picking the films we choose to champion?
 
Continue to strive for quality and depth and meaning in the film arts.  But
don't argue over what should have won the Oscar or not.  You are just
furthering the misconception that they are the barometer of what is good film
and what is not.  The Academy won't change.   I have only watched to amuse
myself to see who is going to make the biggest ass of themselves in front of a
billion people.  They are quite good at that, I must admit.