Evan's Eyes

Web Log Entry #0055, Sunday, March 23, 2003: Day 125

Anchorage Sunrise: 6:53am Sunset: 7:20pm High Temp: 26° Low Temp: 13°

You may have noticed that I like movies. I like watching movies and reviewing movies and talking about the movie-making industry. So I was quite pleased when some new friends invited me to a gathering to watch the Oscars. I don't always watch the sort of films that get nominated for academy awards as they tend to have a lot more talking than car chases or explosions, but I enjoy watching the awards ceremony, especially in good company. So this was the highlight of an otherwise uneventful week.

I left home to arrive there just before 7:00 pm. "So late?" you may ask, with good cause. As you know, the Alaska Time Zone is an hour behind the Pacific, and then for some inexplicable reason, the ceremony was tape-delayed so it didn't start here until 7:30 pm! Inconceivable! This wouldn't be so bad if the MPAA hadn't decided to make the ceremony an endurance event. They probably think that taking twice as long as necessary means twice as many commercials (and therefore double revenue), but viewership has been steadily declining. Will they catch a clue before it's too late?

Anyway, when I arrived, I was introduced to the crowd as a writer who may document the evening on my website. Showing a concern about public awareness of their private behavior usually only associated with US Senators, they made me swear not to reveal their identities or details of their actions. I promised, then much to my disappointment, they did nothing shocking, disgusting, or humiliating. Even "Trusty" (not his real name), their (unspecified breed) puppy, hardly rubbed up against anybody in a lewd manner. If only our elected representatives could exhibit such self-control.

Still, they were a cheerful, friendly lot. We ate a bunch of very tasty food and didn't take the Oscars too seriously (As if anybody outside the industry could! These are people who make way too much money for what they do receiving self-congratulatory awards from others in their clique. It's like watching the popular crowd in high school handing out awards for Prom King and Queen. They pick the nominees, they pick the winners, they attend the ceremony, and the rest of us watch in hope of seeing one of them fall over, but they interpret it as being envious of them. Maybe some people pin a part of their self-identity in having their favorite be picked as a winner, sort of a Superbowl for people who are too intellectual for sports. (Of course, by the time I'm nominated for a screenplay, the Oscars will have matured from a popularity contest into a meaningful, peer-based acknowledgement of excellence, but I digress...)).

The most amazing moment of the evening was when the Adrien Brody, the Best Actor winner went over his time limit and the music started. He said something like "No, I'm not going to get another chance," and kept going, and the music stopped. They never do that. I'm glad they did because he made a wonderful statement comparing the horrors of World War II with the conflict in Iraq which earned him a standing ovation. That was a great moment.

By ten o'clock, Trusty could hardly keep his eyes open. Even though the show was barely half over, I felt the same. I took my leave, head still slightly spinning from exposure to the entertainment industry, but all in all, I had a really good time.

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© 2003 Evan M. Nichols