Doctor Omega

Member: Rank 10
Miranda Responds To Oscars Unfair Song Treatment


A day ago it was revealed that this year’s 91st Academy Awards, in a bid to keep the Oscars under three hours, has cut out three of the five nominees for Best Original Song from performing.

Only Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s “Shallow” from “A Star is Born” and Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s “All the Stars” from “Black Panther” will get live renditions during this year’s telecast. The other three – “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns,” “I’ll Fight” from “RGB” and “When a Cowboy Trades His Spurs For Wings” from “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” will only be mentioned as nominees.

Now the fallout has begun to hit. Variety reports the Academy’s music branch is not happy with this decision, and neither are the other nominees. Lin-Manuel Miranda responded in a tweet saying: The 1st time I stayed up to watch the Oscars, it was because I LOVED The Little Mermaid & they were going to sing songs from the movie I loved on The Oscars. If true, and Poppins’ song won’t be performed, truly disappointing. Hostless AND music-less? To quote Kendrick: Damn.”

This year’s Oscars, which will be hostless, airs on February 24th.

Doctor Omega

Member: Rank 10
Bette Midler To Perform “Mary Poppins” Song


The Divine Miss M herself, Bette Midler, will perform the song “The Place Where Lost Things Go” from “Mary Poppins Returns” at the Oscar ceremony on February 24th.

Midler is a longtime friend of composer-lyricist Marc Shaiman who co-wrote it, and she will sing the song originally performed by Emily Blunt in the movie and which is up for the Best Original Song award.

All five songs will be sung during the ceremony and Shaiman is expected to accompany Midler on piano. Midler is a two-time Best Actress nominee (“The Rose,” “For The Boys”) and sand “Wind Beneath My Wings” during the 2014 Oscarcast.

The Seeker

Member: Rank 6
Has anyone seen “The Green Book”? Lots of people are unhappy it won Best Picture. They say Don Shirley’s family doesn’t like it at all and it mischaracterizes him.

Doctor Omega

Member: Rank 10
Filmmakers Respond To Spielberg’s Netflix Battle


A report broke through on Friday that Steven Spielberg was set to propose a rule change at the next meeting of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences that will make it more difficult for Netflix films and other streaming services to compete at the Oscars.

This has sparked much debate online among much of the film community from filmmakers and critics to people at various different levels of the distribution food chain and ardent cinephiles. Some find themselves on Netflix’s side, some on Spielberg’s and others are taking a more middle ground view – saying the debate goes well beyond topics like theatrical releases versus streaming or exclusivity windows.

Here’s a breakdown of some of the comments from key film influencers that have popped up on social media in the past 48 hours:

The Safdie Brothers, Directors of “Good Time”
“The harsh reality is that on average 80% every movie’s life audience experiences it on video… doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do everything we can to protect the awe-inspiring, human-assuring, peace-inducing, collective experience of theatrical film watching.” – Tweet

Guy Lodge, Critic for Variety
“It is very funny that the awards season beneficiary of this Spielberg/Netflix ideological showdown was GREEN BOOK, a film about which no one would say, ‘You have to see it in a cinema!’… Hinging the theatrical/Netflix conflict entirely on the Oscars, as Spielberg is doing, just feels small, insular and point-dodging to me.” – Tweet

Bruce Campbell, Actor In “Evil Dead” and “Burn Notice”
“Steven Spielberg is gunning to make sure Netflix never has another Oscars contender like Roma. Sorry, Mr. Spielberg, Roma ain’t no TV movie – it’s as impressive as anything out there. Platforms have become irrelevant. Make a movie with Netflix.” – Tweet

Chris Evangelista, Critic for Slashfilm
“Part of Spielberg’s argument is that Netflix should play by the same rules as every other Oscar nominee, and I do think that’s fair. I have no fealty to Netflix. I just wish he’d move beyond this ‘sacred theatrical experience’ riff, which is mostly a myth at this point.” – Tweet

Sasha Stone, Editor at AwardsDaily
“My problem is people like Spielberg have lost touch with the economic reality of average movie goers. Playing to NY and LA to satisfy idealists is elitism at its worst. Most people opt for Netflix because they can see ten movies a week if they want for the same price.” – Tweet

Dave Kehr, Curator at MoMA
“The paradox is that JAWS, as the first nationwide, TV-backed studio release, undermined the traditional platform release just as Netflix is now subverting the theatrical model. Spielberg would never have had the career he has without that “disruption” of an outdated system.” – Tweet

Erik Anderson, Editor at AwardsWatch
“Netflix has given emerging filmmakers visibility and opportunity, brought in legendary directors like Scorsese and changed their release structure to more than accommodate Oscar qualifications. This position by Spielberg seems very near-sighted and needs more voices.” – Tweet

David Ehrlich, Critic for Indiewire
“Anyone who pits Netflix against theatrical as some kind of zero-sum game is helping towards mutually assured destruction. It matters HOW movies can be seen. It matters WHO can see them. Cinema will only die if people feel they have to deny one of those ideas to support the other… if Netflix and theaters could agree to use theatrical windows as advertising campaigns for the eventual streaming release, everyone would win.” – Tweet

Richard Shepard, Director of “The Matador ” & HBO’s “Girls”
“ROMA was the best movie of year. I love Steven Spielberg he was/is a true hero of mine-but good movies r good movies-Wherever they play. And in a world where we have more JURASSIC PARKS then SHIRKERS Netflix fills a gap. Love the big screen, but love the story/heart of movie more.” – Tweet

Zack Stentz, Writer of “Thor” & “X-Men: First Class”
“If the end result of the Spielberg-Netflix dispute is Netflix committing to bigger theatrical rollouts for more of their films, it’ll be a win-win for everyone… While everyone weighs in on Spielberg vs. Netflix, it feels like we’re missing two much bigger issues. There’s a whole generation that’s stopped going to theaters except for giant branded events, and another generation behind them that’s more interested in video games than movies.

A lot of people are making the economic argument, but…Generation X was broke as s–t during the mid-90s (the Clinton boom hadn’t really gotten going yet) and still drove the indie film renaissance of that period. My bigger point here is that movies were the most vital popular art form of the 20th Century, and if we’re not careful they’re going to shrink to a niche form of storytelling with a rapidly aging audience. So what is to be done?” – Tweet

Franklin Leonard, Founder of The Blacklist
“t is my belief that @TheAcademy exists to celebrate and promote to the world the best of everything that could remotely be considered a motion picture… It isn’t even about Netflix, though they’re the most visible and least sympathetic target. It’s about every other film and filmmaker who will struggle to get access to the resources necessary to make a film but not get those allowing for a four-week exclusive theatrical release.

I also think we can all agree that it is more difficult for films by and about women, people of color, and myriad other communities to access the resources necessary to secure an exclusive four week theatrical window. The Academy is then faced with a choice between 1. finding another way to support the theatrical experience and 2. further excluding communities that have been historically excluded from its ranks, which has catastrophic consequences downwind in the industry.” – Tweet

Doctor Omega

Member: Rank 10
Ava DuVernay, Director of “Selma” & “A Wrinkle in Time
“Dear @TheAcademy, This is a Board of Governors meeting. And regular branch members can’t be there. But I hope if this is true, that you’ll have filmmakers in the room or read statements from directors like me who feel differently… One of the things I value about Netflix is that it distributes black work far/wide. 190 countries will get ‘When They See Us’… I’ve had just one film distributed wide internationally. Not ‘Selma,’ Not ‘Wrinkle,’ it was ’13th’. By Netflix. That matters.” – Tweet

Prasanna Ranganathan, Producer of “Dream Girl”
“Netflix is committed to inclusive storytelling – to depicting the full complexity of the world and to highlighting the voices of often ignored filmmakers and artists. Traditional studios scoffed at the Netflix distribution model & the limited theatrical runs for movies (the Cannes Film Festival even prevented Netflix from competing in the festival). However, Netflix is making films accessible for everyone around the world.

Calls to exclude Netflix from awards consideration at the Oscars seems inimical to industry & Academy goals to ensure that films are more inclusive & that Oscar nominations reflect the full spectrum of artists & filmmakers working today. If the Academy’s commitment to diversity & inclusion as articulated in its A2020 strategy is as robust as it seems, excluding Netflix and its diverse artists, storytellers & filmmakers from awards consideration makes no sense.” – Tweet

Sean Baker, Director of “Tangerine” & “The Florida Project
“Wouldn’t it be great if @netflix offered a “theatrical tier” to their pricing plans? For a nominal fee, Netflix members could see Netflix films in theaters for free. I know I’d spend an extra 2 dollars a month to see films like Roma or Buster Scruggs on the big screen. This would help keep theater owners and audience members who appreciate the theatrical experience satisfied.

Just an idea with no details ironed out. But we need to find solutions like this in which everybody bends a bit in order to keep the film community (which includes theater owners, film festivals and competitive distributors) alive and kicking.” – Tweet

Paul Schrader, Director of “First Reformed” & “American Gigolo”
“I have no animus against Netflix. Ted Sarandos is as smart about film as any studio exec I’ve ever met. Distribution models evolve. The notion of squeezing 200+ people into a dark unventilated space to see a flickering image was created by exhibition economics not any notion of the “theatrical experience.” Netflix allows many financially marginal films to have a platform and that’s a good thing.

But here’s my query: it involves FIRST REFORMED. First Reformed was sold at a bargain price to A24 out of the Toronto FF. Netflix, which could have snapped it up as easily as it swats a fly on its ass, passed. As did Amazon. As did Sony Classics and Focus. But A24 saw a commercial path for this austere aesthetic film. As a result First Reformed found a life. A24 rolled it out through festivals and screenings from 2017 to 2018. And it survived. Not a big money maker but profitable for A24 and a jewel in their crown.

Would First Reformed have found this public acceptance if Netflix and scooped it up (at say twice the price A24 payed) and dumped it into its larder? Perhaps Bird Box and Kissing Booth can fight their way through the vast sea of Netflix product to find popular acceptance, but First Reformed? Unlikely. Relegated to film esoterica. A different path? My proposal: For club cinemas (Alamo Draft House, Metrograph, Burns Center, Film Forum) to form an alliance with a two tiered streaming system (first tier: Criterion/Mubi, second tier: Netflix/Amazon). Distribution models are in flux. It’s not as simple as theatrical versus streaming.” – Tweet

Doctor Omega

Member: Rank 10
Has anyone seen “The Green Book”? Lots of people are unhappy it won Best Picture. They say Don Shirley’s family doesn’t like it at all and it mischaracterizes him.

I have seen it. I went in blind and came out of it knowing who Don Shirley was when I had not before. Only then did I find all the debate on Youtube. Videos of the man himself seemed at odds with the manner in which he was played on screen, seeming much more flamboyant than the stolid and contained performance in the film.

While I can understand the family being upset at misrepresentation, I can only repeat the point that the film does at least introduce a new generation to Don Shirley, in the same way that BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY did for Freddie. So perhaps best approached with a mental filter, but still well worth seeing in my opinion. There are documentaries out there that can consequently give a clearer view of the man himself, but at least this movie piques the curiosity and raises his profile of both the man and the music he made. :emoji_alien:
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Doctor Omega

Member: Rank 10
2020 Oscars Likely To Be Hostless Again


There was plenty of speculation, backlash, controversy and trepidation going into this year’s Academy Awards ceremony, but when Oscar night rolled around the show ended up being pretty slick.

A shortened runtime and a lack of host proved something of a boon, keeping things tight and also increased ratings at a time when awards shows only seem to lose viewers year-upon-year.

In an interview with The Live Feed this week, ABC’s entertainment president Karey Burke revealed that next year’s Oscars ceremony might be a very similar show which aims to build off the successes of this year, a lot of which she puts down to having hit movies in contention:

“Three movies up for best picture made over $200 million. They deserve a lot of the credit. And so many people tuned in to see Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper sing. Every time that clip is watched, it’s got the ABC bug in the corner. I love that. It’s going to be in every promo reel I do. People tuned in expecting to see a train wreck and got a good show instead.”

She also says talk of next year’s plans are underway and a hostless show is likely to be on the cards again: “We’re having those conversations with the Academy right now. We are extremely happy with how the show went. Odds are you’ll see us repeating what we consider to be a successful formula.”

The Seeker

Member: Rank 6
An acclaimed biopic about Israeli lawyer Lea Tsemel, who has dedicated her life to representing Palestinian defendants charged by Israeli authorities, has been shortlisted for an Oscar.



Member: Rank 9
Just send everyone a participation trophy in the mail and be done with it.


Member: Rank 3
The Oscars were quite interesting this year. 2.35:1 aspect ratio, 24 fps, lots of history made,
Glenn Close twerking
, Questlove, trivia games,
saving the acting categories for last
Anthony Hopkins pulling an upset over the late Chadwick Boseman