Donald Clarke

Whingeing about cinema and real life since 2009

Hooray, hooray. It’s Corman, Bacall and Willis.

The zombies who hand out the Oscars can be so knuckle-headed you have to give thanks when somebody who is actually one of the higher primates receives a statuette. Perversely, nothing demonstrates the inadequacy of the awards more effectively than …

Tue, Nov 17, 2009, 23:59

   

The zombies who hand out the Oscars can be so knuckle-headed you have to give thanks when somebody who is actually one of the higher primates receives a statuette. Perversely, nothing demonstrates the inadequacy of the awards more effectively than the frequent appropriateness of  their honorary Oscar recipients. Every year, as the latest hitherto neglected genius ambles out to get such a gong, the world’s film fans point at the telly and scream like Donald Sutherland in the last scene of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. “You what? The greatest actor/director/editor/caterer of his generation never got an Oscar and Cuba Gooding Jr did? And they say the Treaty of Versailles was unjust.”  That sort of thing.

Well, here’s some more good news that contains bad news at its heart. Earlier this week, Lauren Bacall, Gordon Willis and Roger Corman all received their honorary Oscars and, in so doing, generated the usual aghast screams.

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About f**king time, you cretins.

It is well known that Bacall never picked up an award. You could probably guess that Roger Corman didn’t snaffle one. But Gordon Willis? I know I have mentioned the following fact before in the inky version of Screenwriter, but such a bizarre statistic deserves repetition. Here goes. Not only did Willis, the cinematographer known as the Prince of Darkness, fail to win an Oscar for The Godfather, The Godfather Part II, Manhattan or All the President’s Men,  he wasn’t even nominated for any of those films. Want to get a bit more angry? Here are some of the masterpieces whose lighting cameramen were nominated in the years those three films were released: The Poseidon Adventure, 1776, Butterflies are Free, The Towering Inferno, Earthquake, King Kong (the crappy 1976 one), A Star is Born (the crappy Streisand one), The Black Hole. It’s enough to make you vomit.

Anyway, all three admirable folk now have their belated award. Who deserves one next year? Maybe they’ll see sense and honour John Carpenter or Jim Jarmusch or Harvey Keitel or David Lynch. Not likely, I suppose. Actually, there is one codger who really deserves the nod and may actually get it…

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Yep. Mad old Tony only got nominated once — for The Defiant Ones in 1959 — and lost out to David Niven.

Who else should be in the running? Remember, the candidate cannot have previously won an Oscar.