Many countries (about thirty) have by all accounts prestigious groups and organisations providing so called awards annually, supposedly to recognise the best of the newly released wonderful films. The United States provide probably the best known around the World with the ‘Oscar’ statuettes presented by the Hollywood Academy Awards, at a glittering ceremony broadcast to hundreds of other counties. Also from America we get the accolades of the Golden Globe Awards from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, In the UK we have our own BAFTAs from the British Academy of Film and Television
In addition there a shed load of Festivals (for example Cannes) held also in over 30 countries, and what’s more not to forget the many dozens of Industry Awards, or even the Audience Awards!
[Major USA awards don’t stop at films of course – we get Emmy awards for American TV, Tony awards for Theatre and Grammy awards for Music].
Oscars (a nickname) are for motion pictures to honour so called achievements. They have been on the go for 86 years and have recently presented about twenty five Oscars covering a dozen films. Best Picture was ’12 years a Slave’ and the dominating winner was ‘Gravity’ with seven awards (both these are British American pictures).
Naively, the public are entrapped by these major scintillating televised ceremonies and are glued to the results – thinking they mean something momentous artistically. The glamorous attendees, men and women, strut their stuff on the red carpet, and winners make emotional speeches of acceptance on stage, thanking all and sundry for their supposedly brilliant work! They are revered as gods and goddesses, when all they are in reality are competent actors and actresses doing a cushy job, or other industry workers making silly films!
What the mesmerised watchers don’t realise is that these do’s are simply enormous publicity stunts set up to promote films. They are merely a set of massive advertising campaigns that leeches on the World’s media to generate unbelievably generous promotion with thousands of column inches of press coverage, together with countless hours of television and radio to boot. The saga is not restricted to award night of course, as that would be far too restrictive wouldn’t it? No it all starts long before that you see. There has to be a fully fledged ‘nomination’ process over countless months, so that a multitude of films can jump on the marketing bandwagon – they have no chance of winning anything, but the farce provides positive early advance promotion and later the billboard boasting “nominated for an xxx Oscar/Globe/BAFTA/Cannes award” etc. The so called film maker winners are laughing all the way to the bank, as often are the successful actors and actresses. There was a time when the film industry was in the doldrums, but the Awards providers can take a bow for pulling it out and giving it the kiss of life!
The problem is that in fact there are very few really good films these days, despite all the money and modern facilities spent on them. How can a film like Gravity, with a story line appropriate only for a six year old, and not really filmed but created with computer graphics, sweep the board at so many ceremonies? The biggest surprise however is that it seems to have been classified as an adventurous space drama movie, when it should have been in the Animation sector, or better still in the Comedy arena! Lets hope that 12 Years a Slave proves to be more worthy of a trip to the cinema!
[If you really want to see a good film though, you’ll have to rake out one of the really old ones to get strong acting, amazing plots and excellent film making – preferably black & white one]