Saturday, May 18, 2024

Nominee Alfonso Cuaron (“Roma”) Speaks Out on Academy Awards Newest Public Argument Over Oscar Show


Oscar winner and now new nominee Alfonso Cuaron, director and choreographer of “Roma,” is mad. He’s angry with the Motion Picture Academy for not including cinematography and editing plus two more categories in the live flow of the Oscars show.

Instead, four categories will be delivered during the commercial breaks. The winners will make their speeches then. Later, the Oscars will show all four speeches by the winners in a taped package. They feel this will speed up the show. The Tony Awards have done this for years.

This isn’t such a bad idea. But it was handled poorly. The news also comes after a series of PR mishaps for the Oscars which we needn’t reiterate here. Why can’t these decisions be marketed in more felicitous ways? The Academy seems to have no sensitivity to the ultra touch social media.

Below Cuaron’s Tweet is a letter sent by the head of the Cinematographers Union. They’re pretty unhappy, too.

On top of that, last year’s Best Director and maker of Best Picture, Guillermo del Toro has said succinctly: “I’m pissed.”

What’s next? Many people are angry about certain omissions from the Grammy Awards In Memoriam section. Please, Oscar producers, go over your list carefully. Make sure everyone is included!

Dear members of the ASC,

Yesterday afternoon the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences announced that the Best Cinematography presentation — as well as the awards for Film Editing, Live-Action Short and Make-up and Hair Styling — would not be broadcast live but presented in a delayed and edited version during the televised Oscar ceremony. This decision was apparently made in order to shorten the length of the Academy Awards broadcast.

After receiving many comments on this matter from ASC members, I think I speak for many of them in declaring this a most unfortunate decision. We consider filmmaking to be a collaborative effort where the responsibilities of the director, cinematographer, editor and other crafts often intersect. This decision could be perceived as a separation and division of this creative process, thus minimizing our fundamental creative contributions.

The Academy is an important institution that represents our artistry in the eyes of the world. Since the organization’s inception 91 years ago, the Academy Awards have honored cinematographers’ talent, craft and contributions to the filmmaking process, but we cannot quietly condone this decision without protest.

Kees van Oostrum
ASC President

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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