“Let me try and be as direct as I possibly can with you on this. There was no relationship to repair. I didn’t intend for Harvey to buy and release The Immigrant – I thought it was a terrible idea. And I didn’t think he would want the film, and I didn’t think he would like the film. He bought the film without me knowing! He bought it from the equity people who raised the money for me in the States. And I told them it was a terrible idea, but I had no say over the matter. So they sold it to him without my say-so, and with me thinking it was a terrible idea. I was completely correct, but I couldn’t do anything about it. It was not my preference, it was not my choice, I did not want that to happen, I have no relationship with Harvey. So, it’s not like I repaired some relationship, then he screwed me again, and I’m an idiot for trusting him twice! Like I say, you try to distance yourself as much as possible from the immediate response to a movie. With The Immigrant I had final cut. So he knew he couldn’t make me change it. But he applied all the pressure he could, including shelving the film.”
~ James Gray
By David Poland email@example.com
Patrick Goldstein’s Good Oscar Idea
You don’t hear this from me much… but Patrick Goldstein offered up a really smart idea recently.
In 2012, why wouldn’t The Academy do the nominations announcement as a prime-time special?
Yes, there is a certain weird tradition of nominees being woken up to the good news. And it would be easy – some of Patrick’s specific suggestions included – to turn the whole thing into a grotesque cheesefest. “Who wouldn’t want to see “The Help’s” Viola Davis relishing the moment or “Moneyball’s” Jonah Hill getting a congratulatory call from costar Brad Pitt?” Me. I could deal with, say, live feeds – after nomination – of gatherings of folks from various films and a quick interview or two. I don’t want to see George Clooney in his living room in Lake Como trying to win the moment because he’s been put on the spot.
But that’s detail work. What I would love to see is packages for Picture, Animated Feature, Doc, and Foreign Language of 5 minutes each, showing why, essentially, they have been nominated. In a celebration of the movies, why not turn the nominations event into a national ad campaign for all of the films.
I don’t need pundits to tell me who they think was snubbed or what the supposed Academy logic was. I need, “Here’s a clip from In Darkness, which you will never see a TV spot for, but now you are seeing a minute.” Or If A Tree Falls.
I need to see the below the line team from Hugo contextualized by Scorsese or War Horse by Spielberg or The Help with Tate Taylor… “these are the people who come together to create the images you love watching on the big screen.”
Or something like that.
The 5:30a thing is silly. The only problem with a primetime show is that it would, in theory, be on one network. The goal is for it to be on every network at the same time. I get it. I just think we may be past that.
And I agree with Patrick that this would be a chance for something looser… something more fun. We disagree, I think, that the awards themselves should be more fun. I think stodginess is the brand and that if you break with that on Oscar night, you suddenly are really competing with The Globes and the others. And that, I think, would be a mistake.