Blackwolf the Dragonmaster's Diary of Magecraft

Being a Chronicle of the Inner Secrets of, and Spells of Magick as Wielded by, the Philosopher of the Internet and Unofficial Sorcerer-in-Residence of the City of New York

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Location: New York, New York, United States

As New York's Unofficial Wizard, my mission is to encourage the Mortals of Manhattan to imagine responsibly!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Blackwolf @ the Oscars 2011: The Chronicle (@ Long Last!), Episode One

Well, finally, and at long last, I have some time to tell you about the 83rd Annual Academy Awards, hosted by James Franco and Anne Hathaway, with Yoda himself --- Tom Kane --- in the announcer's booth. Huzzah! Basically, it was all about the King --- that would be The King's Speech, dearests. So, how shall we begin?

Well, as usual, the dum-dums from ABC7/Los Angeles bored us with their usual half-hour weirdfest for the ABC-Owned and Operated Stations; then GMA's Robin Roberts took over for the Academy-sanctioned live preview, now a full 90 minutes long! Then Tom introduced the opening wherein James and Anne journeyed into the mind of Alec Baldwin, complete with Morgan Freeman narrating!

Since we're gonna break things down piece by piece, award by award, let's start with Documentary Short Subject and Live-Action Short, presented by Amy Adams and Jake Gyllenhall. In Strangers No More, we visit the Bialik-Rogozin School in Tel Aviv, where children from some 48 countries, many of them refugees of war, confront the diversity of their new environment. Kirk Simon and Karen Goodman saluted those cool kids, their executive producer Lin Arison, Sheila Nevins of HBO (who somehow always gets thanked on Oscar Night a lot); Nancy Baker, co-producer-editor; Buddy Squires, cinematographer; the school's principal, Karen Tal --- and, as the Simon-Goodman Picture Company are a husband-and-wife team, they saved their last thanks for their own two children, Ollie and Allegra.

God of Love chronicles a love triangle between two musicians and a young woman who are thrust into romantic fantasy when one of the three discovers a collection of magical darts. Luke Matheny, wishing that he'd gotten a haircut, thanked NYU's Graduate Film Program, along with his cast --- Marian Brock, Chris Hirsh, Emily Young, Levi Abrino and the other members of the cast and crew, along with his mom, who did craft service for the film; and his girlfriend Sasha, who wrote the music in the film.

Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johannsen presented Sound Mixing/Re-recording and Sound Editing. Inception's team of Lora Hirschberg, Gary Rizzo and Ed Novick had lots to say; and Gary did most of the talking, thanking all the hard-working boom operators and utility sound teams who worked on the production crew. "Christopher Nolan is the architect with the soundtrack in every way," Gary went on to say. "He is the creative force behind every decision that we made, and so, this is as much of a win for him as it is for us." As for sound editor Richard King, he saluted Lee Smith, Emma Thomas, and his own sound editing team, along with wife Sue and son Sam.

Oprah hosted Best Documentary Feature --- because, let's face it, this was Oprah, and the Academy no doubt wanted to salute O on her Farewell Season, now encoring in certain local markets. Inside Job looks at the financial practices which laid the groundwork for the current global economic crisis and examines why those responsible for it are still in power.

Charles Ferguson: "Three years after a horrific financial crisis caused by massive fraud, not one single financial executive has gone to jail --- and that's wrong. This is also about the movies, of course, so thanks for this profound honor --- and let the record show that I'm not wearing jeans."

Audrey Marrs: "Having made only just two films, I still feel that Charles and I are newcomers to this community, but from the beginning, we've been made to feel welcome and supported --- and for this, I'm immensely grateful."

Josh Brolin and Javier Bardem did Original Screenplay and Screenplay Adaptation; David Seidler's The King's Speech follows the future King George VI of England as he struggles to cope with a paralyzing verbal stammer with the help of speech therapist Lionel Logue, who insists upon a level of familiarity with his Royal Patient that His Royal Highness is loath to allow. "My father always said to me, 'I would be a late bloomer.' I believe that I am the oldest person to win this particular award. I hope that that record is broken quickly and often," said our Mr. Seidler, who also thanked Her Present Majesty the Queen for not putting him into the Tower of London for using the Melissa Leo f-word. To stutterers across the world, the writer concluded, we now have our own voice --- and we have been heard!

As for Aaron Sorkin, who won for the social network, he found it impossible to describe what it was like being given the very award Paddy Chayefsky received some 35 years before for another movie with the word network in the title. "His was Original Screenplay; this one is an adaptation of a book by Ben Mezrich, so I'm accepting this on his behalf as well." After thanking the Sony Pictures folks and all the cast and crew, Aaron warned his young daughter Roxy: "Your father just won the Academy Award; I'm gonna hafta insist on some respect from your guinea pig. Thank you very much."

Well, that's it for Episode One. Coming up: Film Editing, Visual Effects, Sci-Tech and whatever else we can squeeze in. Be here!