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Hamrah

A. S. Hamrah: “Worried about ratings and therefore ad dollars, ABC (a division of the Walt Disney Company), is willing to ignore the essential crafts of Hollywood filmmaking, from editing to hairdos, in favor of the rancid Best Original Song category. That way the aging broadcast TV audience won’t miss out on seeing performances by such contemporary crowd pleasers as former country-and-western sitcom star Reba McEntire, and maybe even overmodest, ubiquitous Lin-Manuel Miranda. Miranda also directed an Oscar-nominated film this year, so if he were to sing his song, it would be like if Alfred Hitchcock had also written “Que Sera, Sera” for The Man Who Knew Too Much (1956) and had to perform it onstage at the Oscars instead of Doris Day… What film directing has become in Hollywood is a team-building exercise with lots of group hugs and a public-facing mascot from the generic world of show biz. The mascot could be anyone camera-friendly… ABC has lost faith in the films themselves, swallowing the right-wing notion that the nominees do not reflect popular taste. Therefore the less time spent on them the better… The atmosphere in which the highest honors in filmdom are now broadcast to the masses is more like an episode of ‘Wheel of Fortune’ in which the contestants can’t solve the puzzle, no matter how many vowels they’ve bought… It’s also a world in which actual movies have become marginal, especially during the Oscars.”

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