Do you think Academy Awards has hurt film?

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Adding to the $ conversation. Nominations came out before it had its big first weekend. There are so many myths out there about award season I don't think hold any weight when put up to scrutiny. I have never understood the hate.
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Yeah, I think this is an example of trying to shoehorn preexisting beliefs about the influence of money into a situation where it doesn't seem to apply. The running joke about the Oscars is that they nominate unpopular, low-budget artsy films over the kinds of things most people actually watch. That, too, is probably simplistic, but it's a lot closer to the truth than the idea that the awards are some kind of edifice to the box office. Far from it.



I don't think it's to do with box office. Certainly not recently. The Oscars feels much more like Hollywood saying "we still do proper, worthy films. It's not all money, money money" these days.
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Of course, but if we don't know a movie exists, we'll never watch it. And the critics won't mention them either, because they go where the money is, and that's a disservice to all their readers.
That's just not true. I know I've learned about a lot of lesser known movies thanks to movie critics reviewing them.



For the most part, a reviewer reviews for their audience. If you're reading a celeb magazine they'll rate and talk about a film very differently than a more serious magazine who, in turn, probably won't treat it the same way as a film magazine would.



Not every movie critic is a money grubbing ass kisser, and to be entirely honest I would of never heard of stuff like Birdman, Nightcrawler, or Boyhood if it hadn't been for the Oscar buzz (even though Nightcrawler didn't get nominated it was still in talks to so i saw it without seeing a single trailer and after watching i thought for sure it would be)

I saw The Grand Budapest Hotel at the beginning of last year and It was alright but Ralph Fiennes was awesome in it and i'd rather see him being nominated over Bradley Cooper (But i still think Jake G should of gotten that spot or even Oyelowo) i feel like they gave that spot to Cooper just because of his Star Status.....
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Of all the talked about snubs this year the Cooper one does feel the most out of left field when there are three other performances that seemed to be much more highly regarded. It still feels weird whenever people talk about these things like conspiracies though. There are a whole lot of people voting that need to be thinking lets vote for the white movie star over the lesser known African American.



I doubt they'd be awful films (I haven't seen those), but if "American Sniper" made $700,000 it wouldn't be nominated. I think it's a safe choice, patriotic film (even though it's so historically inaccurate).
When American Sniper was nominated, it's total gross stood at $3.3 million. Obviously, it hadn't had its wide release yet, but even so.
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On the contrary, i think, Oscars are great. They do let you into obscure films.

There have been bloopers by the Oscar committees in awarding films to the popular choice rather than the right choice

But if you look at the nomination list of every year. You would have to admit, that those definitely were the best movies of that year.

And about business... what in today's world isn't??
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matt72582's Avatar
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And about business... what in today's world isn't??
But to what degree. I think before even the dinosaur studio heads (as they were called by some) took chances, and did care if it was good. Though they were businessmen, they loved film. After "Jaws" for example, they know what it takes to make a guaranteed success. Maybe the directors' intentions are good, but they're only given a chance if they think the movie will make a lot of money. Also, if you're a struggling director and told you have to change this or that, most do it.

This started in the 80's, but test audiences had quite a lot of influence. 30 people in a room would push a button when they liked something, and another when they didn't. Even Sidney Lumet changed an ending to a film (he didn't say which one) because of a test audience.

I think it's becoming more of a factory business industry. And you might be right that the Best Picture winner is the best, but look at the last 20-30 years, and compare that to before. Even looking at the AFI's To 100, 90% of movies are very old...

It's just sad for me because I think there are a lot of able people who are never given a chance. There's no reason why we can't have the greatest films in history coming out. It's so much easier to make a movie now than it ever was.



I just fundamentally disagree with the argument that only certain kind of movies are being made. What kind of movie that you want to see isn't being made? We have more movies being released than ever, and more ways than ever to consume, discover, and talk about them. If you want to say movies like Under The Skin, Enemy, or The One I Love should have more money and clout behind them, there may be an argument to be made. That argument probably won't be made by me though. One of the great things about smaller independent films is the creators usually aren't having their films toyed with. I look at that as a trade off. I would rather see a directors vision with a little less money behind it then to see that compromised. Personally I am glad we have both machines running at full steam. I think we are getting tons of good movies every single year both big and small budget. There are tons of classic films I love, but I am not so sure it was the utopia people seem to think it was.



The landscape has changed. With more money coming in from everywhere, and producers piling the cash on. It is going to happen. Think of it from the producers point of view... I am throwing in 100 bucks, I certainly wouldn't want to lose half of it. I would want a profit. But if throw just 10 bucks i wouldn't mind losing a few on it. Or at least it wouldn't hurt.

In the old days, celebrities got money, but certainly not the amount thrown around these days.

Europe is still alright in that respect. Hollywood is a very commercial movie industry.. even with that tag, they do a pretty decent job.



But to what degree. I think before even the dinosaur studio heads (as they were called by some) took chances, and did care if it was good. Though they were businessmen, they loved film. After "Jaws" for example, they know what it takes to make a guaranteed success. Maybe the directors' intentions are good, but they're only given a chance if they think the movie will make a lot of money.
What's this based on, though? Anecdotally it seems like lots of weird films with very little chance of being a rousing financial success (Birdman, to pick a recent and prominent example) are getting made with more than enough in the way of budget to see their visions through.

This started in the 80's, but test audiences had quite a lot of influence. 30 people in a room would push a button when they liked something, and another when they didn't.
Sounds to me like you're not describing films in general, but global blockbusters with 9-figure budgets.

I think it's becoming more of a factory business industry. And you might be right that the Best Picture winner is the best, but look at the last 20-30 years, and compare that to before. Even looking at the AFI's To 100, 90% of movies are very old...
There are three big flaws in this argument:

First, when a list spans almost a century, nearly all the films on it would be "old" even assuming a normal distribution of quality among each decade.

Second, virtually all films are unofficially required to withstand some kind of "test of time" level of scrutiny to find their way onto these kinds of lists. So right off the bat, probably half of your "20-30 years" cutoff should probably be discarded.

Third, it's not even literally true! There was a spike in the 60s and 70s, but the 1990s had just as many entries (11) as the 1940s, and nearly as many as the 30s. And if you apply some kind of grace period wherein newer films probably wouldn't even be considered yet, the proportions look pretty unremarkable. Certainly not lopsided enough to support the idea that cinema is declining in quality.

Looking at the absolute best of the best wouldn't be a great way to measure this, anyway, since the strength of the modern film industry is in the breadth of the types of films being created, which vastly exceeds anything at any other time in the medium's history. I don't think it's even close.

It's just sad for me because I think there are a lot of able people who are never given a chance. There's no reason why we can't have the greatest films in history coming out. It's so much easier to make a movie now than it ever was.
Exactly. Budgetary constraints are far, far, far less of a factor than they ever were before. We have far more movies being made (of all kinds), and niche films are more economically viable than ever--and easier to create even when they're not economically viable. This doesn't square with the idea that money is oppressively curbing cinematic expression; just the opposite.



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I think you said there were 9 movies on the list, but I wouldn't consider "Unforgiven" that great of a movie, and I have it. I'm 32, so it's not nostalgia. I know some people just love things from their youth, but this doesn't apply to me.

Yes, it's easy to make a film, but it doesn't mean it's going to be viewed.

Also, considering the list was done in 1998, and they still pick all the old movies. They have lasted the test of time, where as a film nowadays, or from 1998, are still fresh. The language was different back then, there's a lot of reasons for the general public to disregard them. People hate black and white, things that are grainy, etc etc..

When I watch newer movies, they're almost always Best Picture nominated, critic favorites, etc., as opposed to random movies from 1943, which seem better in so many ways. Also consider how difficult it was to make a movie back then. I can tell you from experience the difficulties just in sound (analog vs. digital). I think technology has replaced great writing for example. Even with the Blacklist, and shortly after, the 50's were a great period for films. Lots would say the 70's was the best decade, and I kinda agree (especially for music), but values change, and things become substituted.

I looked at your Top 10 list, mostly older movies. Doesn't mean that the greatest movie can't be made tomorrow, but I highly doubt it. Besides that, just look at the ratio. You play a random film from 1945, 1955, 1965, and I'm almost sure it would be better than any random film from my lifetime.

As I said in private, it's a personal choice, but even outside of myself, just going by the barometer from this forum, I think my arguments are valid.



Yes, it's easy to make a film, but it doesn't mean it's going to be viewed.
Leaving aside that this is a completely different claim (I thought we were talking about quality?), this can't be avoided: if you want a vibrant filmmaking industry where lots of people can make films (which is pretty clearly what we have right now), then that means more films vying for our attention, which is finite. The more great films there are, the harder it will be for other films to be seen, by definition.

Also, considering the list was done in 1998, and they still pick all the old movies. They have lasted the test of time, where as a film nowadays, or from 1998, are still fresh. The language was different back then, there's a lot of reasons for the general public to disregard them. People hate black and white, things that are grainy, etc etc..
I'm not really sure how this is a response to what I said. The point is that these lists never have recent films on them regardless of quality, because they're expected to withstand a test of time.

Also, the numbers I mentioned were from the 2007 version of the AFI list.

When I watch newer movies, they're almost always Best Picture nominated, critic favorites, etc., as opposed to random movies from 1943, which seem better in so many ways. Also consider how difficult it was to make a movie back then. I can tell you from experience the difficulties just in sound (analog vs. digital). I think technology has replaced great writing for example. Even with the Blacklist, and shortly after, the 50's were a great period for films. Lots would say the 70's was the best decade, and I kinda agree (especially for music), but values change, and things become substituted.

I looked at your Top 10 list, mostly older movies. Doesn't mean that the greatest movie can't be made tomorrow, but I highly doubt it. Besides that, just look at the ratio. You play a random film from 1945, 1955, 1965, and I'm almost sure it would be better than any random film from my lifetime.
Maybe the average film back then was better because, as you say, they were harder to make, but that's totally different than saying the best films were made then.

Also, you appear to want contradictory things. If movies being easier to make means we get more crappy ones (which it definitely does), and that a random movie is therefore not going to be as good, then doesn't that mean you should want fewer people to make films? Do you want more people to make films (lower average quality, but more people expressing themselves) or fewer (higher average quality, fewer people expressing themselves)?



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maybe you should try to seek out better films.
Some of my recommendations could have been from you. Time is valuable, I don't think anyone ever wants to watch a bad film. And thanks to people in this forum, I've seen a few great, great films I wouldn't have seen otherwise.

There's nothing wrong with saying that movies were better back then than they are now. It's not an indictment on you or I.



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I don't think the average film was better because they were harder to make. I think the people, the artists did better work.

On your last question, "Do you want more people to make films (lower average quality, but more people expressing themselves) or fewer (higher average quality, fewer people expressing themselves)" - I rather have a few more bad movies for a chance to get a couple of great ones.