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Stunning. Way to go, Academy!

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Me likey!

"I feel a nostalgia for an age yet to come..."
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Hmmm, I dunno. My only memory of Chris Rock at the Oscars consists of him telling folks that he saw Robert De Niro backstage with Elia Kazan, and you just knew something bad was gonna happen because De Niro "hates RATS!!!" It was an awfully inappropriate line, it got no laughter, and it heightened rather than defused whatever political tension was in the theatre that day -- and what's more, wasn't De Niro actually INTRODUCING Kazan on-stage at that ceremony?

If next year's Oscars really do shape up into a Passion vs. Fahrenheit dust-up, I don't know that Rock will have the skill to navigate his way through that while staying funny.

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Hmmm, I dunno.  My only memory of Chris Rock at the Oscars consists of him telling folks that he saw Robert De Niro backstage with Elia Kazan, and you just knew something bad was gonna happen because De Niro "hates RATS!!!"  It was an awfully inappropriate line, it got no laughter, and it heightened rather than defused whatever political tension was in the theatre that day.

Good call, Peter. I had forgotten that line. It was unfunny and forced.

But the choice of Rock is good for just that reason: It's risky. It could be a disaster -- and we've had so many, what's one more? -- but it could be outrageously funny.

The thought of a deadly serious Fahrenheit 9/11/Passion competition on Oscar night isn't at all appealing to me, but if that's what it comes down to, I'd prefer a host who's irreverent at times to one who's afraid to say "the wrong thing," whatever that might be.

Edited by Christian

"What matters are movies, not awards; experiences, not celebrations; the subjective power of individual critical points of view, not the declamatory compromises of consensus." - Richard Brody, "Godard's Surprise Win Is a Victory for Independent Cinema," The New Yorker

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Oh, I certainly don't want the Oscars to become "deadly serious". It's just that, given the way Rock handled the Kazan controversy, I'm not sure I trust him to be funny or smooth in the way that an emcee is supposed to be funny and smooth.

On the flip side, if Rock is given a chance to run the entire show, then we may get a chance to warm up to his persona in a way that would make even the De Niro joke funny; part of what killed that joke might have been that Rock's style was so out of touch with the style of the rest of the humour that evening, I dunno.

Edited by Peter T Chattaway

"Sympathy must precede belligerence. First I must understand the other, as it were, from the inside; then I can critique it from the outside. So many people skip right to the latter." -- Steven D. Greydanus
Now blogging at Patheos.com. I can also still be found at Facebook, Twitter and Flickr. See also my film journal.

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Ooh yeah, I'd forgotten about that, too. Very uncomfortable moment. IMHO, anyone other than Whoopi Goldberg is an improvement ... her supposedly "irreverent" stuff is painfully unfunny.

"The most important thing is that people love in the same way. Whether they are monarchists, republicans, or communists, they feel pain in the same way, as well as hatred, jealousy, fear, and fear of death. Whether you are a deeply religious man or an atheist, if you have a toothache, it hurts just the same." - Krzysztof Kieslowski

"...it seems to me that most people I encounter aren't all that interested in the arts. Most of the people who are my age ... appear to be interested in golf, fertilizer, and early retirement schemes.... I will stop caring passionately about music, books, and films on the day that I die, and I'm hoping for Top 100 album polls in the afterlife." - Andy Whitman

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  • 4 months later...

Great take on Rock's style, influences, and how he might come off on Sunday from Slate. Precisely my opinion of Rock.

www.slate.msn.com/id/2113952

"During the contest trial, the Coleman team presented evidence of a further 6500 absentees that it felt deserved to be included under the process that had produced the prior 933 [submitted by Franken, rk]. The three judges finally defined what constituted a 'legal' absentee ballot. Countable ballots, for instance, had to contain the signature of the voter, complete registration information, and proper witness credentials.

But the panel only applied the standards going forward, severely reducing the universe of additional basentees the Coleman team could hope to have included. In the end, the three judges allowed about 350 additional absentees to be counted. The panel also did nothing about the hundreds, possibly thousands, of absentees that have already been legally included, yet are now 'illegal' according to the panel's own ex-post definition."

The Wall Street Journal editorial, April 18, 2009 concerning the Franken Coleman decision in the Minnesota U.S. Senate race of 2008.

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