VoyForums

VoyUser Login optional ] [ Contact Forum Admin ] [ Main index ] [ Post a new message ] [ Search | Check update time | Archives: 12[3]4 ]
Subject: Academy Awards--are popular films ignored?


Author:
Conrad
[ Next Thread | Previous Thread | Next Message | Previous Message ]
Date Posted: 10:00:19 03/11/07 Sun

The spam creeps are back again so I'm doing a lengthy post to counter act their slimy activities. Long as I'm at it thought I'd stir up a little controversy. I happened to notice that in the old days most of the films that won Academy Awards were also popular films--fan favorites. Just look at some winners in the past: "The Greatest Show on Earth," "Gigi," "Around the World in Eighty Days," "The Sound of Music," etc. These and many more, even the low-budget "Marty," were all films that reflected popular tastes. Yet somewhere along the line popular films starting getting less and less attention.

I think this trend started with the rise of the special effects-summer blockbuster movies in the late 1970s. Increasingly Academy voters seemed reluctant to nominate movies that suited popular tastes; they'd hand over Special Effects awards easy enough, but not the grand prize, even if the movies were the most influential films of theit times. "Jaws," "Star Wars" and "Raiders of the Lost Ark" all had to settle for minor-league technical awards when they were clearly the films that not only reflected the tastes of the average movie goer, but the course of popular films to come. Instead films that were quickly forgotten like "Out of Africa" tended to win the Best Picture Award. The exceptions to this were the "Lord of the Rings" movies, but I believe that's because they were just too huge for the Academy to ignore.

A local radio announcer here in Detroit commented that younger people generally ignore the Academy Awards today because they don't "celebrate" the films young folks--who are the major movie audience--like to see, and I think that's true. Of course, that would mean films like "Terminator 2" would have to be nominated for the young audience to return to watching the Awards, the ratings of which have been slipping every year. But I'll be honest--I don't know a single person who's seen "The Queen," "The Last King of Scotland," "Letters from Iwo Jima" or other similar films. Most people I know never even heard of half the movies nominated this year. The one that people I knew did go see--"Happy Feet"--rightly won its Oscar for best animated feature. But far as I know, most young people I know waited for the major films to be released to DVD before they took a look at them, including "The Departed." The switch to home video as the major source of entertainment for the average person may also be a factor in this gap between what the Academy likes and what the regular movie-goer prefers; but that's a topic unto itself.

So what does everyone here think about this?

[ Next Thread | Previous Thread | Next Message | Previous Message ]

Replies:
[> Subject: a rant.....


Author:
Ang
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 12:52:25 03/11/07 Sun

I think that the Academy Awards is a scholarly event and that it celebrates films that are groundbreaking, intelligent and worthy of notice. In a world where smart programming has become a rarity (just turn on your television to see what I mean), I thank god that the Academy Awards hasnt given in to popular tastes and retains its respectability.
I do think that the reason why most people have not seen the films nominated for awards is because they wait for them to go to video/dvd (as you said, Conrad) but that this is mainly because the price of a movie has gone up and is just too expensive these days, and for working families etc. a matinee is next to impossible.
As it is, America is looked down upon by just about all of Europe and most of the rest of the world for being less educated, less aware of world events and, well let's face it, fat and dumb. But America gave rise to much of what movies are today and It would be a terrible shame if we gave in and dumbed down the Academy Awards leaving nothing but the Cannes Film Festival to look to for an educated point of view.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> [> Subject: Re: a rant.....


Author:
Conrad
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 23:40:44 03/12/07 Mon

Your point is well taken, Ang, but I think you're missing my point. I believe that it's through popular films that all the great innovations in film have been made. It's extroidinarily rare that grounbreaking films come out of the "establishment." Movies are rare among the arts in that regard, and movie audiences are a rare breed, highly intelligent and picky. They know a good thing when they see it, and will always support anything that's new and original. I don't believe it's "dumbing down" to recognize and celebrate popular tastes in films; indeed, I would even contend the audience is more often than not far ahead of the Academy in their appreciation of films.
Most of the great directors and producers of innovative films have been populists: Alfred Hitchcock, Walt Disney, John Ford and John Houston, just to name a few. And quite frankly, I feel that, at least since the eighties, the Academy has come to prefer stodgy, by-the-numbers movies like "Ordinary People," "Terms of Endearment," "Chariots of Fire," "Driving Miss Daisy," etc. Some of these were better than others but they were all safe and mediocre TV-style fare. Even if you go back to 1969, when "Easy Rider" was a hugely popular film, and certainly the most innovative of its time, it only got a tiny number of nominations and didn't win any of them. More recently, the Academy chose a "safe" movie like "Crash" over what was certainly the most innovative film of that year, "Brokeback Mountain." So I believe the Academy has been set in its ways and largely out-of-touch with innovation since at least the seventies if not sooner. To me, it's not anywhere near the level of Cannes yet, and it may take a younger generation to take over before it gets back to the prestige it had in the fifties.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> [> [> Subject: I see what you're saying Conrad. But still, Brokeback Mountain was nominated and did win Academy Awards, just not best picture. I did misunderstand, I though that you were referring to movies like Snakes On A Plane, or some romantic comedy with the obligatory Drew Barrymore role as being ignored by the Oscars even though they often do well at the box office. Phew... glad that's not what you meant! To add to your observation, as someone who disagrees wholly with a two party system in this country and who hates to have the views of others drilled into me, I tend to notice a trend toward nominating films with a liberal bias, films that make statements. It is fine to make a statement, but I sometimes feel like films are nominated more to get the political word out than they are for cinematography, writing or direction.


Author:
Ang
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 10:39:09 03/13/07 Tue


[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> Subject: This is great!


Author:
Judi
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 15:04:04 03/15/07 Thu

Just what I've wanted for the forum, some rousing discussion! You both make good points!
Uhh, I've seen The Queen, as have some people I know, but I do know what you mean about some of the stodgy ones. BTW, I took offense to what was said that night, about Lady Di...how the Queen had given her everything and she threw it back at her, or something to that effect. I feel they used her as a breeder...mum KNEW that Charles was in love with Camila. So what she was given was a lonely life with a husband who was in love with someone else. At any rate, I saw it, not only for the story, but for the scenery, which was beautiful.
Ang, your Liberal friend tends to agree with you...while I probably agree with many of the political statements, I do feel that the quality of the film takes precedence over the statement it makes, as there should be room for varrying messages...though I may be more fond of the Lib. ones, hehe!
I wish there were more foreign films aired on TV! I guess there's a channel for that, but we don't have it. I know, Netflix....someday!!

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> [> Subject: That didn't sound quite right....of course the statement is very important...meant to say that it shouldn't always have to be a liberal one, if that's what the film maker believes.


Author:
J*
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 20:12:51 03/15/07 Thu


[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> Subject: I'd like to say something here that I feel needs to be said, and I want it understood I mean no disrespect to anyone. But this so-called "liberal" bias in movies is not any form of liberalism I've ever heard of! Unless liberalism is this: That violence solves everything, especially with guns; that all blacks are sex-crazed maniacs; that women are sex objects who can only get anywhere by using their bodies, etc., etc. These are the kind of things you see in movies, and that's not liberalism. It's more like "materialism," and the two are not the same.


Author:
Conrad
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09:18:33 03/16/07 Fri


[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> Subject: (Continued:)There's a huge confusion about what people stand for, and it's in the conservative side too. Clearly Newt Gingrich and Ann Coulter don't live or behave by conservative values, yet they claim they do and some people believe them simply because their media hype says they're "conservative." (They definitely wouldn't have been called conservative in the old days!) And all this denies the complexity of real life. I've been an unashamed liberal my whole life, and I spent 20 years in the military. Anyone who'd walk into my house and saw the way I live would think "Mr. Conservative." Indeed, I've been repeadedly mistaken as such by people over and over again through the years, and they're always shocked to find out my real views. And I will confess, I practice and preach old-style family values. But on most issues I'm firmly in the "liberal" side.


Author:
Conrad
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09:32:14 03/16/07 Fri


[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> Subject: (Contined) In conclusion, I believe that the "guiding force" behind most movies these days is neither liberalism nor conservatism, but materialism and sensationalism. Whatever makes a buck is what movie makers will make. There are indeed sincere films which preach authentic liberal values, just as there are films that reflect conservative values; but in both cases they're few and far between. But we should never mistake things like the "American Pie" series or its ilk as representing true liberal values, which in my view would be: Respecting the religion, race and ethnic origins of others different from you; Giving to your community as much as you take in (charity projects, etc.); treating women with respect; showing respect towards others of different views; and not using violence to get your way. Golly--sounds like conservatism, doesn't it? If you scratch the surface, and ignore the media hype, I think you'd find both sides have the same core American values.


Author:
Conrad
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09:53:47 03/16/07 Fri


[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> [> Subject: I hardly think that I have yet to "scratch the surface," actually I think that I am a fairly educated woman, not to mention very politically aware. That being said, it should be noted that I was talking about Oscar nominated films, not American Pie which I am proud to say I have never seen. Anyway, speaking of "core American values" I believe that one of the most important of those is the right to an opinion and I will let you have yours.


Author:
Ang
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 21:56:54 03/17/07 Sat


[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> Subject: I wasn't referring to you, Ang, or your opinions, and I regret you took it that way. What I was reffering to is the term "liberal bias" which I feel is a catch-all phrase that has been used as a political football on anything from literature to movies. There are very few films that express the liberal side of things, mostly documentaries like Michael Moore's film (and a lot of liberals have problems with him!). But my contention is that the majority of movies nominated by the Academy are middle of the road, and don't reflect true liberal views. I'd scarcely call this year's winner, "The Departed" a liberal film, for example. In any case, what I said--as I mentioned in the post--was not meant to be taken personally, and neither is this. I only want people as a whole to have their "conciousness raised" as to what makes something liberal (or conservative, for that matter) and what doesn't.


Author:
Conrad
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 12:18:08 03/18/07 Sun


[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> Subject: Come to think of it, think I'll point out a "true" conservative film--at least conservatism as I understood it--made back in the 1950s, "Big Jim McCain" starring John Wayne. This is a personal favorite of mine, and I think younger people nowadays ought to see it to understand how what pundits today call "conservatism" bears little resemblence to what I feel was the more noble conservatism of the old days. The current media "side show" that television and radio passes for conservatism would make the late Barry Goldwater roll over in his grave.


Author:
Conrad
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 12:35:44 03/18/07 Sun


[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> [> Subject: Its ok Conrad… >>>


Author:
Ang
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 17:16:31 03/18/07 Sun

I probably shouldn’t have brought it up as these things are always touchy subjects. Its just that many of my experiences in with professors and students in college, all of whom were liberals, have exposed to me a very intolerant attitude toward others and a tendency toward bullying anyone who so much as questions the possibility that their way is the right way. It is not so much in ideology that I disagree with them, it is in this bullying and closed-mindedness that to me is the very antithesis of liberalism. People like that have caused me to turn my back on the ideology simply out of the desire not to be associated with them. Even though at times I agree with the views and am certainly the most liberal person in my family I just cannot agree with forcing those views upon anyone, or using that influence in the media, film, music etc. to attempt to sway people. I only cite liberalism and not any other ideology for doing this because as you just proved by bringing up a film from the 1950’s, it just isn’t that common with the right, and wouldn’t be allowed to be common since media tends to be dominated by the left.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> [> [> Subject: Re: Its ok Conrad… >>>


Author:
Conrad
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 22:04:44 03/19/07 Mon

Actually, in my college days back in the seventies I had the exact opposite: Most of my professors were conservative right wingers and they were every bit as bullying and intolerant. But I understand how you feel; it's not easy putting up with "political correctness" whether it's from one side or another. But true liberalism is always founded on open-mindedness, and if your instructors resort to bullying they, far as I'm concerned, have no business calling themselves liberal. If you want some advice, I'd suggest you do what I did and take some classes in Anthropology. Teachers in that discipline tend to be really cool and laid back, and they're easy to talk to. Back in my college days I had a "mentor" in the anthropology department and we'd spend many wonderful hours after school just sitting and talking. Anthropology gives you a lot of insight into the human condition.

[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> [> [> [> Subject: I think we've frightened everyone away!


Author:
A.
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 09:24:36 03/22/07 Thu


[ Post a Reply to This Message ]
[> [> [> [> [> Subject: Haha, you didn't frighten me away...if I hadn't been going through the proverbial rough patch, health-wise, I'd have jumped in more. Maybe I still will, in a bit.


Author:
Judi
[ Edit | View ]

Date Posted: 22:01:37 03/31/07 Sat


[ Post a Reply to This Message ]


VoyUser Login ] Not required to post.
Post a public reply to this message | Go post a new public message
* HTML allowed in marked fields.
* Message subject (required):

* Name (required):

  Expression (Optional mood/title along with your name) Examples: (happy, sad, The Joyful, etc.) help)

  E-mail address (optional):

* Type your message here:

Choose Message Icon: [ View Emoticons ]

Notice: Copies of your message may remain on this and other systems on internet. Please be respectful.

[ Contact Forum Admin ]


Forum timezone: GMT-8
VF Version: 3.00b, ConfDB:
Before posting please read our privacy policy.
VoyForums(tm) is a Free Service from Voyager Info-Systems.
Copyright © 1998-2017 Voyager Info-Systems. All Rights Reserved.