Thursday, February 10, 2005

PHOEBE CATES' UNCLE MUST BE STOPPED!


As we creep toward the two-week warning signaling the approach of Oscar night, David Edelstein, the funny and abrasive film critic for the online magazine Slate, fires a salvo in the direction of longtime Oscar producer Gilbert Cates, who's maybe more powerful but not nearly as pretty as his niece Phoebe. He's got a plan for making the Oscar show shorter, and Edelstein, quite rightly, points out its absurdity in this keen Slate post.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Awesome! Edelstein couldn't be more right, if you ask me. Funny, too. Bruce

Anonymous said...

But the Oscars are too long and unbearable and the acceptance speeches have classically been the most annoying part! Get on with it! Perhaps his ideas are kind of kooky, but really, those people need to stop prattling on like overheated windbags with nothing to say. I admit the pre-written patter is also very bad. But it's all bad! What the hell's the point?!? Down with the Oscars!!!!!!! - AB

Dennis Cozzalio said...

AB: Of course the Oscars are too long. Cates knows this too. Edelstein's point is to humanize the proceedings and get rid of the stuff that everybody knows is pointless and bad instead of robbing those who barely any anyway their one shot at some glory. If you (being the Academy and those it hires to produce the ceremonies) are going to mount an awards show, one could reasonably assume you're doing so in part (aside from money and ratings) because you want to honor those who do good work. So how does that impulse exist alongside the one that says eliminate every opportunity for those honored to express their gratitude, however long it takes? Cates is quite mistaken if he thinks most people (maybe not you, though) aren't interested in seeing a big star or a "lowly" technician in an unguarded moment, and he's absolutely wrong to deny the technicians the opportunity to take a bit of the spotlight for themselves because he thinks no one cares. Well, maybe that's the conventional wisdom among armchair Oscar critics the day after, but it seems rather churlish if you're the one making the decisions to assume that although the Academy may deign the award worth giving, no one wants to see it happen.

Anonymous said...

Nah, the acceptance speeches are by far the best part. They're the only part I'm always "shush-ing" people to hear. AB, the speeches have "classically been the most annoying part"? I don't agree. With big stars, it's interesting at least to see them happy and grateful, and for unknown, hard-working people who win technical awards, it's lovely to see them get a moment of recognition. That's how I see it, anyway. I'd cut the opening monologue in half, do production numbers only for the Best Original Song nominees, and other than that, let it run long! It's fun to stay up and watch. --Bruce

Thom McGregor said...

There's only one way to stop AB-- take away his Mrs. Fields soft cookies!