The last time I watched the Academy Awards was the year Stan Brakhage died, and I knew from reading the Frameworks listserv that they were going to show him during the Annual Dead People Collage. It made me feel a little warm and fuzzy. Plus, Return of the King won a lot that year, and I thought it was nice for a different kind of movie to get that kind of recognition. Last year, Arcade Fire stunned everybody and won Album of the Year at the Grammys, and it was the same sort of nice feeling. Sort of a feeling of peeking in on a parallel universe.
My son and I listen to a lot of music together. This, coupled with my Rain-Man-esque tendancy to remember and recite every stupid piece of movie and music award trivia, had inadvertantly left him the impression that every great song, album, or movie had received its respective Ultimate Award. So, he was incredulous that the Beatles' "Help" didn't win album of the year for 1965, or that no Beatles album had ever won at all. I could almost hear the click in his head as he had to recalibrate the concept of "best" as "best, given certain narrow parameters."
It was nice to hear that George Kuchar was included in last night's Annual Dead People Collage. And perhaps it was sincere. Still, it seems to me that the film world is too big and beautiful even for these little cattle chutes of ghettoized exhibition we call film festivals, let alone a single night of gold statues.