Academy Awards

Oscar®
Glamour. Prestige. Artistic Excellence. Clout?

Oscar

Oscar

Whenever Oscar®-time rolls around, I think about Academy Award winners Lou Gossett, Jr. , (1982, Best Supporting Actor, An Officer and a Gentleman) louis-gossett-jr and Cuba Gooding, Jr. (1996, Best Supporting Actor, Jerry Maguire).

Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Jerry Maguire

Cuba Gooding, Jr. in Jerry Maguire

Both stellar performers who have not yet gotten roles of comparable substance and power. I think of nominees like Angela Bassett (Best Actress, 1993, What’s Love Got To Do With It?), Remi Adefarasin (Best Cinematographer, 1998, Elizabeth – A Black Brit but give me a pass on this one) and Hugh Robertson (Best Editing, 1969, Midnight Cowboy).

Someone said about Lou Gossett, Jr., Why did they give him the Oscar if they weren’t going to let him work? The key word is ‘they’. The key phrase is ‘let us’. (Of course this isn’t only about blacks. Tatum O’Neill and Marissa Tomei come to mind.) I want to see unqualified black masterpieces that can take the world’s breath away in addition to Tyler Perry. That’s going to happen only if we do the work and get a sustainable, scaleable strategy. Waiting for ‘they’ to ‘let us’ has proven to be a complete failure.  Give up on it.

With multi-platform and shifts in the business, the future is unclear. Maybe we can all take a page from friends Lillian Gish and Mary Pickford, Martin Scorsese and Steven Spielberg who seemed to have helped each other figure out how to make substantial moves in always changing times.

This Sunday I’m still hosting an Oscar® party for some filmmaking friends. After the festivities, we’re going to take some time to plot, dream and strategize. If you’re in the biz, we hope you’ll do the same.

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About liftingasweclimb

Mildred Lewis writes and directs for theater, television, film and the web. She's also a full time professor, Christian, activist and troublemaker with a passion to save as much of the world as she can.
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2 Responses to Academy Awards

  1. Mutha says:

    Oh look at Cuba’s abs in that picture….!

    I’ll be watching the Oscars with different eyes this year. While film is not in my future, I can’t help but practice my Oscar speech. Don’t we all have one? 🙂

  2. nisha says:

    good post. earlier tonight, i read some info about the essence black women in hollywood event (held yesterday … 2nd annual, i believe). as i looked at all the pics of black actors at the event, i started thinking of the latest films they’ve been in. sadly, some of them were stereotypical roles. and for some, i couldn’t remember their last big screen role (not that small screen doesn’t count). ironically, i read your academy awards post not long after.

    i’m not in the industry, but every year the academy awards brings similar thoughts to mind re: blacks in film. i actually feel kinda guilty for not yet having seen “curious case…” and “doubt.” glad to see the oscar nods for taraji and viola though.

    btw, there was an article on cnn.com the other day that i thought was interesting: http://edition.cnn.com/2009/SHOWBIZ/Movies/02/19/black.actors.oscar/index.html

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