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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

It’s Time For The Carloses™!



Every year, Hollywood looks to one man to deliver the highest profile award you can purchase for the cost of a table full of roasted chicken at the Beverly Hilton.

They are called The Hollywood Film Awards. But that’s just fancy wrapping. These are The Carloses™! Created by Carlo de Abreu to line his personal pockets, the man who claims that he used to be a secret agent (if you find my dead body, look for him!) has flown his flag high enough and long enough to become an institution… the kind where people walk aimlessly in a circle with blank stares on their faces.

Unlike The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which is a 80-something person game of “lick us, love us, luxury us,” or National Board of Review, which shows a lot of movies to a lot of retired people before a handful of organization leaders have a meeting out of Broadway Danny Rose and decide how to spread things around, Carlos takes it to a whole different level. How do you win an award from his “organization?” You get Carlos to say, “yes.” Or he gets you to say, “yes.”

Carlos takes people to lunch, a few a week for a few months, trying to get their opinions of the best way to shadow the eventual Oscar nominees. (I used to be one of those people.) But in the end, it basically comes down to, “Ehhhh… yes… I am giving your person an award. How many tables will that be?”

And yet, there is that thing in this town where people just do what they are used to doing. Doesn’t matter that everyone knows it’s a joke or that there is zero real benefit to any awards campaign. Egos are fed. And Carlos, in a true move of con man genius, understands talent. Part of the game is awarding below-the-line talent so their above-the-line stars will show up to honor them. Sheer genius. Same with other awards, where Carlos sometimes gets The Cow for the price of giving The Milk an award.

Here are last year’s winners…

Can you spot the two Oscar nominees out of these 12 excellent actors?

Yet, smart publicists still get sucked into this vanity fair every year. And not-so-smart journalists play along, all too happy to have enough bite from the trough.

Like all awards, in the end, people being honored feel honored. So God bless them and may they all be happy.

At least this way, they don’t have to have lunch with Carlos.

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DEADLINE: How does a visualist feel about people watching your films on a phone or VOD?
REFN: It depends on what kind of movie you make. We had great success with Only God Forgives on multiple platforms in the U.S. Young people will decide how they see it, when they want to see it. Don’t try to fight it. Embrace it. That’s a wonderful opportunity. We’re at the most exciting time since the invention of the wheel, in terms of creativity because distribution and accessibility have changed everything. A camera is still a camera whether it’s digital or not; there’s still sound; an actor is an actor. Ninety-nine percent of what you do is going to be seen on a smart phone – I know this is the greatest thing ever made because it allows people to choose, watching what you do on this format or go into a theater and see it on a screen. That means more people than ever will see what I do, which is personally satisfying in terms of vanity. But you have to be able to adapt, to accept things in different order and length than we’re used to. We are in a very, very exciting time.
~ Nic Refn to Jen Yamato

DEADLINE: You mention Tarantino, who with Christopher Nolan and a few other giants, saved film stock from extinction. To him, showing a digital film in a theater is the equivalent of watching TV in public. Make an argument for why digital is a good film making canvas.
REFN: Costwise, it’s a very effective way for young people to start making movies. You can make your movie on an iPhone. It’s wonderful seeing how my own children use technology to enhance creativity. For me it’s a wonderful canvas. Sure, I love grain in film. I love celluloid. But I also like creativity. I like crayons, I like pencils, I like paint. It’s all relative. Technology is more inclusive. A hundred years ago when film was invented, it was an elitist club. Very few people got to make it, very few people controlled it and very few people owned it. A hundred years later, storytelling through images is everyone’s domain. It’s ultimate capitalism. There are no rules, and no barriers and no Hays Code. Where does this go in another hundred years? I don’t know but I would love to see it.
~ Nic Refn To Jen Yamato