Monday, April 11, 2016

An Open Letter From The Oscar Buzz

Scene from Slumdog Millionaire
Hello everyone. I am proud to say that after a break that ran a little over a month, I am planning to return starting this week to the old stomping grounds. I am sure that there are a few of those who missed me, while there's also those that thought that I never left thanks to the handful of posts that I have written over the past few weeks. While I don't plan to have quite the overwhelming output that I did during Oscar season, I do plan to get back to commemorating all things Academy Awards related. While I don't have quite as much outlined yet as I had intended (I took the break a little too liberally, I guess), I do have a few great ideas in store for what's to come. Check them out after the jump.

The question may be asked: What did I do during the break? The answer isn't very flattering. I simply wrote over at Optigrab, which is my original pop culture website (link in sidebar), with more frequency. The whole point of the break in actuality is to wean me off of excessive, sometimes minute, posts on Oscar season coverage. It's initially difficult, but it helps me to adjust to the few months between now and the time that things kick up again. The one interesting thing is that this is the first coverage season break where I had ongoing columns. I don't dread doing them, but it's nice to know that I could sustain interest  outside of current events.

So, what exactly do I have in store? There's the obvious columns to mention first. Let me get them out of the way:

1. Birthday Take: The sporadic column that honors Oscar nominated talents' work will return potentially this week. The rules are the same, as I dedicate five paragraphs to an artist's work, whether related to the film or not. Look at the sidebar labeled "Birthday Take" for links to the entire back catalog.

2. Best Song: The weekly column (released Sundays) focuses on every Best Original Song category by dissecting each nominee and then ranking the best nominees in the Best Loser category, and ranking the winners in the Best Best Song category. We're up to 1987 this week, and I am having a lot of fun with the column. I am unsure of what the next weekly column of this sort will be, but I only have 30 weeks left to figure it out. Look at the sidebar labeled "Best Song" for links to the entire back catalog.

3. Nothing But the Best: It's the column that focuses on the rich history of the Best Picture winners by writing history lessons about each of the films that have won. As one can predict, doing this for a year means that I am almost out of titles. With exception to this year's winner Spotlight, I have two more: The Last Emperor and next month's Braveheart. Look at the sidebar labeled "Best Picture Winners" for links to the entire back catalog.

4. Theory Thursday: It's a weekly column (released Thursdays) in which I give opinions relevant to trends of the week that I consider to be opposing or controversial to the popular stance. 

5. Miscellaneous: This is the section that covers news and reviews of anything relevant to the Academy Awards. I have recently written up a review on the fun new Jean-Marc Vallee film Demolition. This likely will extend beyond the seasonal Oscar focused movies and be more general until September rolls around and things get more "serious."

Of course, readers who have been paying attention to my weekly output will be familiar with all of these columns. Still, it feels important to note that they're still around, considering that most of them were on hiatus. Now the question is: What do you plan to add that is new? Well, I don't have a lot at the moment, but I do intend to do something over the summer along the lines of "The Directors Project," though maybe not as in depth or daily. Keep an eye out for that. Until then, here's what I officially have planned for the foreseeable future:

1. Super Delegates: This is a column that I hope to run every other Tuesday (though it might get bumped back to monthly if topics run out) in which I highlight political candidates on film, specifically in regards to Oscar-nominated films. With this being an election year in the United States, I am hoping to focus on the fictional representation of congress on film with hopes of exploring what it means either to contemporary times or period relevant climates. The information will become clearer when the column is released, starting tomorrow. This column is only intended to run until the big election day in November.

2. The Runner-Ups: This is a column that I hope to release once a week (presumably Fridays or Saturdays) that focuses on great performances in film. What is the catch? I am planning to highlight actors who have specifically never so much as earned an Oscar nomination throughout their career. While I intend to have many repeat offenders, my goal is to raise awareness of great talents throughout history that didn't get any love. I am also hoping to extend beyond American film and do international cinema to better reflect diversity. I expect to have this column run during Failed Oscar Campaigns' off season.

I know that this may not seem like a lot of new content, but I hope that the mix of ongoing columns and these two new promising ones will lead to interesting conversations as well as possibly even getting more new columns in the future. For now, this is what I hope to be working on during a weekly basis, and I look forward to hearing any feedback you have with them. 

My one caveat is that I apologize if I'm not immediately thorough in my work, as I'm likely to have a family event this month that makes my availability limited. My sister is having twins, so I will likely be out of town sometime in the next two weeks. I apologize ahead of time if this results in content either being late or nonexistent. For now, this is what I promise to do when I am available, so I hope that you look forward to it and I hope that it leads to some interesting results.

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