The New Yorker's Adam Gopnik considers whether the bizarre ending of the Oscars could have been another of many recent (ahem) glitches in the simulation we're living in. From The New Yorker:
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This wasn’t just a minor kerfuffle. This was a major malfunction. Trump cannot be President—forgetting all the bounds of ideology, no one vaguely like him has ever existed in the long list of Presidents, good, bad, and indifferent, no one remotely as oafish or as crude or as obviously unfit. People don’t say “Grab ’em by the pussy” and get elected President. Can’t happen. In the same way, while there have been Oscar controversies before—tie votes and rejected trophies—never before has there been an occasion when the entirely wrong movie was given the award, the speeches delivered, and then another movie put in its place. That doesn’t happen. Ever.
And so both of these bizarre events put one in mind of a simple but arresting thesis: that we are living in the Matrix, and something has gone wrong with the controllers. This idea was, I’m told, put forward first and most forcibly by the N.Y.U. philosopher David Chalmers: what is happening lately, he says, is support for the hypothesis that we are living in a computer simulation and that something has recently gone haywire within it. The people or machines or aliens who are supposed to be running our lives are having some kind of breakdown. There’s a glitch, and we are in it.
Once this insight is offered, it must be said, everything else begins to fall in order.
Race through some of the most iconic shots in film history with this lovely tribute to the art of cinematography. Read the rest
When Vanity Fair asked a bunch of celebrities at the Oscars to “swap faces with Leo DeCaprio” with the MSQRD app, their responses were pretty funny. Larry David's was very Larry David. “No.”
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This remarkable vine shows various famous Hollywoodites apparently refusing to applaud Jenny Beavan, the costume designer from Mad Max: Fury Road, who won an Oscar for her work last night. One suggestion is that it's because she wore a leather jacket, in keeping with the movie's fashion vibe—but how would they know until she was already walking past them?
"I've seen subtler reactions from a cartoon wolf," writes Nate Jones.
Update: @anyabike points to a longer clip that shows more nuanced and positive reactions, with clapstainers commencing clapping after the point the vine ends.
Some suggest they realized they were on camera, but to my mind this is needlessly outraged? Maybe they're all just tired after hours of Oscaring and have already starting hitting the "golf claps when people hit the stage" point. If nothing else, Cartoon Wolf Iñárritu laughing at her jacket design suggests he isn't the stick in the mud the vine depicts. Read the rest
I don't know if things have changed much in 20 years, but this behind-the-scenes glimpse of the guy in charge of live editing the Oscars in 1996 is fascinating. I'd rather watch him than the stars. Read the rest
Zach Galafianakis' Oscars coverage is pretty much all I want to watch.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tried experimenting with electronic voting this year, to disastrous results
(e.g., getting logged out if your password isn't strong enough, then waiting for the mail
to deliver a new one -- after a phone call to customer service). Considering how the Oscars can barely get its act together to find out who they want to nominate (let alone win), just imagine how effective e-voting would be for a political election, a national
one, that determined who runs the country. Hint: Not at all effective. In any way. At all. Let's never speak of this again. (via Moviefone
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Adele's Bond theme will have a shot at Oscar this year, along with many others competing under new rules.
While it's probably a long shot, a four-minute Simpsons short is currently included on the list of ten (narrowed down from 56) animated shorts that are eligible for an Oscar this year. Maggie Simpson in "The Longest Daycare" was shown (in 3D) before Ice Age: Continental Drift this past summer and featured a fierce battle between the youngest Simpson and Baby Gerald. Written by James L. Brooks and Matt Groening, The Longest Daycare's possible nod could be sweet, sweet payback for The Simpsons Movie being shut out for Best Animated Feature back in 2008. But, as I said, it might be a long-shot; other nominees include Disney's Paperman (currently being shown before Wreck-It-Ralph), Minkyu Lee's Adam and Dog, PES' Fresh Guacamole, and Raul Garcia's The Fall of the House of Usher, which is narrated by Sir Christopher Lee. The Wrap has the complete list of the ten final contenders, and the nominees will be announced January 10. (via Splitsider) Read the rest
Very groovy news coming through the entertainment pipeline this morning as we find out who will host the Oscars: Seth MacFarlane! The Family Guy and American Dad creator, who just opened up Saturday Night Live's new season with a bang, has been chosen to host the next Academy Awards telecast early next year. Hopefully, he will show up to rehearsal this time! (video link)
And speaking of Saturday Night Live, they have announced their October lineup of hosts and musical guests: This Saturday, October 6 will be Daniel Craig with musical guest Muse, October 13 will be Christina Applegate -- coming back for her second time as host -- with musical guest Passion Pit, and October 20 will welcome Bruno Mars, who will do double duty as host and musical guest. (That would have been such a great Digital Short, so can Andy Samberg and Co. please come back to do just one? If anyone knows the correct person to bribe, please let me know.)
Seth MacFarlane's Big News [Oscars on YouTube]
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Andy Baio has continued his excellent annual series, "Pirating the Oscars," which tracks
each year's Oscar nominee's appearance on file-sharing networks, and keeps statistics
on the method by which each nominee is captured and uploaded (camcordered, ripped from
screener/pre-release cut, ripped from commercial DVD, etc). Because Andy does these stats
on an annual basis, we get a longitudinal view into the way that file-sharing is changing in response to the studios' countermeasures, and in response to new technologies in general.
* This year, three films were leaked online within a day of their theatrical release -- Iron Man 2, Alice in Wonderland, and Harry Potter.
Pirating the 2011 Oscars
* The Rabbit Hole screener was leaked online eight days before its theatrical release, while Winter's Bone [ed: excellent film, but don't make the mistake I made -- it's not a date-night kind of movie!] was the slowest to leak online (so far) at 125 days after its theatrical release.
* Oscar-nominated films tend to get released late in the year, but how late? More nominated films have been released on December 25 than any other day, but the median date is October 20.
* For the first year, the first high-quality leak of a film -- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows -- was a PPV rip, most likely from a hotel's new movie releases on pay-per-view.
* Retail Blu-Ray rips are now frequently being leaked online now before retail DVDs, so I've modified the "Retail DVD" column to include them.
Phones confiscated at preview screenings: whose hypothetical risk ... Read the rest