I don't know what was worse during last Sunday's otherwise fun presentation of the Oscars: the omission of so many artists from the In Memoriam tribute, or the ridiculous swooping camera work that made the segment almost completely unwatchable. I'm glad it's been posted to YouTube where we can actually see the faces and names.
I don't get worked up over the Oscars. The Academy votes however they wanna vote. Sometimes they like the stuff I like, sometimes they don't. Whatever. Just give me an entertaining host who whisks things along, and Hugh Jackman was pretty good at that.
But anyone can print a list of people who died over the past year: actors, directors, writers, designers, producers and others. And while I understand that you can't include everybody in such a tribute, this year's omissions are staggering.
Here's but a sample of departed entertainers the Oscar producers deemed completely unworthy of five seconds' of airtime: Patrick McGoohan, Anne Savage, George Carlin, Eartha Kitt, Robert Prosky, Harvey Korman, Edie Adams, Barry Morse, Beverly Garland, John Phillip Law, Sam Bottoms, and Anita Page, who starred in the first sound film to win an Oscar for Best Picture.
Those are people most of us have heard of. The segment is also a chance to let the public know about artists they may not know by name or face, but whose work has been pretty important to the industry. That would include writer Donald Westlake, writer Irv Brecher, agent Bernie Brillstein, writer Sir Arthur C. Clarke, producer John Daly, and writer & uber fanboy Forrest J Ackerman.
And this comes one year after the Academy failed to recognize the late Brad Renfro, a talented young actor whose oft-publicized struggle with drug addiction ended in a fatal overdose. His death was eerily similar to that of Heath Ledger's ... except that Renfro hadn't delivered a haunting performance as a super villain in an eagerly-anticipated blockbuster.