The Oscars still don't know how to judge film noir

On Sunday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will honor what it considers to be the best movies of 2021 at the 94th Academ...



On Sunday, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will honor what it considers to be the best movies of 2021 at the 94th Academy Awards. After years of chastising the academy with the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, this year we have a whopping four black nominees ― Will Smith (“King Richard”) and Denzel Washington (“The Macbeth Tragedy”) for Best Actor, and Ariana DeBose (“West Side Story”) and Aunjanue Ellis (“King Richard”) for Best Supporting Actress―and a film with a mostly black cast nominated for Best Picture (“King Richard”)!

Can you smell my sarcasm?

I learned to temper my enthusiasm for black people winning Oscars. I learned that the Oscars don’t care about black art or just don’t know how to judge black work. Anyway, I learned what the Oscars taught me: film noir and those who work in it will not be recognized for their contributions to art, knowing that winning a film can put places a filmmaker or an actor. for life.

Let’s take a look at what can happen to an actor after winning one of the coveted awards. To win a real Oscar, the actor does not win anything. The statuette costs around $400 to make, and selling an Oscar at auction won’t net you much more than that. Yet what can happen to a career is considerable.

silver nation valued that an actor could get a raise of up to 60% on their average salary after winning one. For example, Brad Pitt didn’t have much success after winning Best Supporting Actor for “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” but Halle Berry, who was black famous in 2002 (but not yet famous ) when she won for ‘Monster’s Ball’ lead actress went from an average salary of $118,750 before her magical night to $6.5 million after.

This means that winning an Oscar puts you in a very exclusive club. You earn more money, your fame skyrockets, and your plans may become easier to complete. The streets of Hollywood are littered with pages of screenplays that never saw the light of day because the people who wanted to produce them couldn’t get funding. Winning an Oscar can help with all of that. Still, there aren’t many people of color in the club.

The fact that after hundreds of thousands of films have included black actors, only 20 black actors have won an Oscar.

Although winning the coveted Oscar is often considered the high point of one’s career, there are many examples of where the academy failed to recognize the best film made in a given year or even the best nominated actor.

I’ll never forgive the academy for not nominating “Do the Right Thing” for best picture. That year, the Oscar went to “Driving Miss Daisy”. (Ugh.) And who could forget the year Al Pacino won for “Scent of a Woman” over the piercing Denzel Washington as “Malcolm X”? Additionally, the Oscars have a history of recognizing movies like “Green Book,” “The Blind Side,” and “The Help” that put white people at the moral center of stories, which are actually about black people.

I also became wary of giving too much weight to white evaluation of black expression. As we learned from the Black Lives Matter movement (which not only actively called attention to the killing of black people by police, but also advocated for black self-actualization), when we need the approval and validation of the dominant group for us to see our work as valuable, we engage in a vicious form of internalized racism – which centers whiteness even as we engage in the subversive work of expressing whiteness. black glow. We are constantly outraged when white institutions do what they were created to do: marginalize people of color. That’s what arts institutions like this have always done. Never forget that the Oscars didn’t recognize Denzel Washington’s brilliance until he played a dirty cop in “Training Day,” for which he won Best Lead Actor.

Simply put, I don’t trust the Oscars to celebrate black art. There will always be a preference given to white directors, white writers, white actors and white artisans. I wouldn’t have any problem if the playing field was level playing field, but an actor like Will Smith (who will most likely win for lead actor this year) or Viola Davis (who should have won for lead actress last year for “My Rainey’s Black Bottom”) has to give outstanding performances to be recognized, when all the likes of Daniel Day-Lewis or Meryl Streep have to do is yawn in a movie and the academy will trip over itself to name them. Even last year, when the The Oscars tried to fix Chadwick Boseman for the win, the voters got it wrong and gave it to Anthony Hopkins. That year, the Oscars closed the show with the award for lead actor. They usually end with the best picture. Everyone assumed it was because the Oscar would be awarded posthumously to Boseman for his performance in “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

Even Hopkins took a moment to acknowledge Boseman in a video shared to his social media accounts a day after the awards show.

“At 83, I did not expect to receive this award. I really didn’t. Hopkins said. “I am very grateful to the Academy. Thank you. I want to pay tribute to Chadwick Boseman, who was taken from us far too soon. And again, thank you very much everyone. I really didn’t expect this, so I feel very privileged and honored, thank you.

As we learned from the #OscarsSoWhite campaign, there have always been significant issues surrounding the voting body that decides Oscar winners. A 2012 Los Angeles Times report let America in on an open secret: 94% of Oscar voters at the time were white, and 77% of them were male. They have since changed that and invited over 600 new members to join their ranks. That means there are more people of color (in 2020 the percentage was 84% ​​white and 16% minority), but things are far from set in stone. With that in mind, I don’t trust the Oscars to get it right when it comes to honoring film noir.

I remember the words WEB Du Bois allegedly wrote in praise of Carter G. Woodson, the great African-American scientist: “No white university ever recognized his work; no white scientific society has ever honored him. It was perhaps his greatest honor.

It’s nice to be recognized, but if white institutions don’t appreciate black work, we shouldn’t be outraged. We should consider this an honor.



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Newsrust - US Top News: The Oscars still don't know how to judge film noir
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