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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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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch