Excerpts from an ongoing email exchange between the deadly bored on film, TV, celebrity and beyond.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Shite Films in Oscar-Winning Shocker

To: Nick
From: Keith
Sent: 6 March 2006
SUBJECT: I’d like to spank the Academy


Didn’t bother watching the Oscars. Waste of my time and pretty much everyone else’s, really. But based on the absolutely shocking mediocrity of most of the winners, I’ve compiled some must-read advice for Hollywood wannabe directors everywhere.

How To Win a Best Film Oscar

1. Hire lots of cast and crew.
The Academy votes for these things. If you were them.which would you choose: a massive big budget extravaganza that offers lots of work to lots of people and pushes actors’ salaries up and up, or a powerful, well-written tiny-budget gem that keeps about six people in work? This rule includes extras, CGI people and teamsters.

Ref: Crash (2006); Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, (2003); Chicago (2002); Gladiator (2000); American Beauty (1999); Shakespeare in Love (1998); Titanic (1997); English Patient (1996); Braveheart (1995); Forrest Gump (1994).

2. If you opt for small budget/cast/crew, include at least one actor who everyone wants to win something anyway.

Preferably Clint Eastwood or Morgan Freeman.

Ref: Million Dollar Baby (2004); Unforgiven (1992); Driving Miss Daisy (1989).

3. Choose a “controversial” subject.

Handle it inoffensively and don’t add anything to the “debate” – in fact, avoid mentioning it directly if at all. If possible, provide explanations and justifications for everyone’s actions, so the audience doesn’t hate any actor too much or too often.

Ref: Crash (2006); Schindler’s List (1993)

4. Write a challenging, intelligent script on a subject demanding careful thought - do not pander to prejudices or stereotypes. Then throw it away.

Once you’ve written the script you want, bin it and replace it with a two-dimensional treatise on the controversial subject, pander to all stereotypes but then provide “reasons” for those stereotypes in order to justify all actions. Include at least on monologue on the human condition but only as it applies to the world of the film. Do not make any references outside that world. That would only confuse the audience.

Ref: Crash (2006); Schindler’s List (1993)

5. Hire a small child with big eyes.

Threaten that child with harm at some point in the film. Then save the child.

Ref: Crash (2006); Schindler’s List (1993)

6. Have a happy ending, even if Nazis are involved.

If happy is not possible, aim for universal melancholy. Sadness with a knowing smile, a hint of possibility and a promise that tomorrow will be a better day no matter how deep in the shit we find ourselves will always be preferred over reality.

Ref: Every film ever made by Hollywood.

7. Recognise that there will always be exceptions to the rules and they will never make any sense.

Ref: A Beautiful Mind (2001)



To: Keith
From: Nick
Sent: 6 March 2006
SUBJECT: Re: I’d like to spank the Academy


Shite they may have been, but this was a year of Oscar firsts:

Best Motion Picture of the Year: Crash
The first film with Tony Danza ever to win a Best Film Oscar

Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role: Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote)
The first six-foot man playing a midget to win an Oscar.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role: Reese Witherspoon
The first woman to play the same role in every film she's ever made to win an Oscar for playing a real person even though she bears no relation whtasoever to that person.

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role: George Clooney
The first person called George since George Burns to win an Oscar.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role: Rachel Weisz
The first person with a very smelly vagina to win an Oscar. Actually, that’s not true – I’m pretty sure George Clooney has one too.

Best Achievement in Directing: Ang Lee
The first person who has, in the past, directed a film with Lou Ferrigno in it to win an Oscar.

Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen: Crash
The first script entirely written by monkeys chained to typewriters to win an Oscar.

Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published: Brokeback Mountain
The first short story-novel-movie tie in-script ever to win an Oscar.

Best Achievement in Cinematography: Memoirs of a Geisha
The first film about Japan and Japanese people, which is in English, directed and written by an American, starring Malaysians, Chinese and Taiwanese to win an Oscar for being pretty.

Best Achievement in Editing: Crash
First film which features a car crash as a pivotal plot point to show the broad canvas of the lives of people in a big city to win an editing Oscar. Actually, Amores Perros and City of God did it better, but they're in foreign and have something to say that's more complex than “Racism is bad, m'kay”.

Best Achievement in Art Direction: Memoirs of a Geisha
The first film to use nothing but cloth and rain in its art direction.

Best Achievement in Costume Design: Memoirs of a Geisha
First film about hookers to win a costume award.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score: Brokeback Mountain
First film about gay people to win a music award not featuring any hi-energy disco. At all.

Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Song
Hustle & Flow - Jordan Houston, Cedric Coleman, Paul Beauregard ("It's Hard Out Here For a Pimp").

The first song in Oscar history featuring the word “Pimp” in the title to win. “Bitch Better Have My Muthafuckin Money” from Little Mermaid 3 nearly snuck in to win this category.

Best Achievement in Makeup: The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe
The first film involving furniture as a leading character to win an Oscar.

Best Achievement in Sound: King Kong
The first film to win the best Oscar for best sound, when the only sound is "roar".

Best Achievement in Sound Editing: King Kong
The first film to edit the sound roar so it comes out as “ro ar or ar ro or rr oar”..

Best Achievement in Visual Effects: King Kong
The first film about a monkey to win in this category. Dunston Checks In and Every Which Way But Loose were only nominated. Also, first film featuring a skating ape to win.

Best Animated Feature Film of the Year: Wallace & Gromit in The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
The first film featuring Ralph Fiennes and a plasticine dog to win an Oscar

Best Foreign Language Film of the Year: Tsotsi
The first film with two “ss” and two “tts” to win in this category.

Best Documentary, Features: La Marche de l'empereur
The film that upholds the fine Oscar tradition that every film that Morgan Freeman is even obliquely attached to must win something. This is the first time, however, that he has voiced penguins for that Oscar.

Best Documentary, Short Subjects: A Note of Triumph – The Golden Age of Norman Corwin
The first film featuring Norman Corwin to win.

Best Short Film, Animated: The Moon and the Son
The first film with a misprint in the title to win. The film was in fact entitled “The Mon and the Soon” – it's Korean.

Best Short Film, Live Action: Six Shooter
The first film based on a Foghorn Leghorn cartoon to win best Short. Also the longest short winner in Oscar history as 17 hours and 8 minutes.



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