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Academy Launches October Celebration Of Universal Horror Classics

Pete Hammond

The 1991 Best Picture Oscar sweep of Silence Of The Lambs aside, one of the most egregiously overlooked genres when it comes to voting for Academy Awards is getting a big make-good the entire month of October from the Academy Of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. In honor of Universal‘s year-long  100th anniversary, the Academy tonight begins its celebration of classic horror films in “Universal’s Legacy Of Horror”, the genre in which the studio made its early reputation and a perfect Halloween treat for fans.

Modern horror-meister and enthusiast Guillermo del Toro will host tonight’s opening program, which includes a double bill of newly restored prints of The Bride Of Frankenstein (1935) and Dracula (1931). Among those expected to be in attendance this month is Carla Laemmle, who will turn 103 on October 20. She is the niece of Universal founder Carl Laemmle and an actress who appeared in Phantom Of The Opera (1925) — screening to close the series on October 30 –and tonight’s  opener Dracula, a movie for which she is known for speaking the first line of dialogue ever heard in a horror film. She’s the last surviving cast member of both pics. Phantom, by the way, will be an original restoration with the color sequence intact and presented by Oscar-winning film historian Kevin Brownlow. Read More »

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OSCAR: Stars Gather For Governors Awards

Pete Hammond

“These awards really took flight this year,” Warren Beatty effusively said to 2nd annual Governors Awards producer and Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences 1st Vice President Sid Ganis right after the ceremony ended around 11 PM Saturday night. It took place at the Grand Ballroom in the Hollywood and Highland complex where the Academy’s Post–Oscars Governors Ball is held every February. This time, these awards honored indelible actor Eli Wallach, film historian and preservationist Kevin Brownlow, iconic director Jean-Luc Godard, and Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award receipient Francis Ford Coppola. “Can I use the ‘F’ word?,” Beatty asked. “I think the movie industry should tell the television industry to go F*** itself.” His likely meaning (at least in ‘Warren speak’) was that commercial interests should never compel the AMPAS to sell the Governors Awards as a TV special — a possibility raised after last year’s show — and ruin the “specialness” of the evening.

This separate lifetime achievement ceremony was created last year as a way to shorten the actual Oscar telecast and to hand out more than one honor each year in a more relaxed setting where the recipients aren’t forced to keep their acceptance speeches to 30 seconds or less. They aren’t televised and likely never will be according to Academy officials I talked to who were very pleased with the outcome. “This must have been what the original Oscars were like,” said one. And even though … Read More »

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OSCAR: 2010 Governors Awards Ceremony

Honorary Award recipient Kevin Brownlow, Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award recipient Francis Ford Coppola, and Honorary Award recipient Eli Wallach at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts And Sciences’ 2010 Governors Awards in the Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland in Hollywood on Saturday. Honorary Award recipient Jean-Luc Godard declined to attend:

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Jean-Luc Godard Will Not Show Up For Honorary Oscar

Beverly Hills, CA — The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced today that, following a two-month-long cordial exchange of correspondence with Academy president Tom Sherak, Jean-Luc Godard has regretfully notified Sherak that he will not be able to attend the November 13th Governors Awards and receive his Honorary Award in person.

“He reiterated his thanks for the award,” reported Sherak, “and also sent his good wishes to the other individuals being honored the same night – Kevin Brownlow, Francis Ford Coppola and Eli Wallach – who he refers to as ‘the three other musketeers.’ ”

The November 13 dinner ceremony, which is being produced by Sid Ganis and Don Mischer, will pay tribute to Godard through film clips and commentary by his admirers. The award will be accepted on Godard’s behalf by the Academy and following the event, the Academy will arrange for the Oscar® statuette to be delivered to him in Switzerland.

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