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Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Writer's Life 1/28 - Sparsely Sunny

Has an Oscar ever been revoked? Here's an interesting list from, edited by yours truly:
1. At the very first Academy Awards ceremony in 1929, Charlie Chaplin was nominated for four awards for The Circus: Best Actor, Best Writer, Best Director for a Comedy, and Outstanding Picture. Concerned that Chaplin would sweep all of them, the Academy revoked his individual nominations and presented him a special Honorary Award “for writing, acting, directing, and producing...”
2. In 1954 the John Wayne western Hondo was nominated for Best Story. The film was later disqualified when it was discovered that the script was based on a short story, The Gift of Cochise, and not an original work.
3. In 1957 writers Edward Bernds and Elwood Ullman were nominated for Best Story for the musical comedy High Society starring Bing Crosby and Grace Kelly. There was only one problem: Bernds and Ullman didn’t write it. They wrote the 1955 Bowery Boys comedy of the same name. The Academy confused the two. Bernds and Ullman withdrew their names from the final ballot. (Slip & Satch must have been heartbroken.)
4. Young Americans won the Academy Award for Best Documentary in 1969. A month later the Oscar was revoked when it was discovered that the film had played in a theater in October 1967, making it ineligible for the 1968 movie awards season. The Oscar was then given to the first-runner up, Journey Into Self. Young Americans is the only movie in Academy history to receive an Oscar, then have it taken away.
5. In 1973 Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather was nominated for nine Academy Awards including Best Original Dramatic Score, but the accolade was revoked when the Academy learned that Nino Rota used some of his score from the 1958 Italian comedy Fortunella. Two years later Rota won an Academy Award for his work on The Godfather: Part II. (Sounds like revokers guilt.)
6. In 1993 Uruguay submitted A Place in the World, nominated for Best Foreign Language Film. It was removed from the final voting ballot because it was Argentinian. Uruguay had had insufficient artistic control over the production. Director Adolfo Aristarain had asked Uruguay to submit the film on his behalf, as it was partly financed there and several Uruguayan artists contributed to it. Aristarain sued the Academy.
7. Tuba Atlantic, a 25-minute Norwegian short film about a 70-year-old man who only has six days to live and spends that time reconciling with his estranged family, was nominated for Best Live Action Short Film in 2012. The nomination was rescinded after it was discovered it had aired on Norwegian television before its theatrical release, which violates Academy rules.
8. In 2014 the title song from the Christian film Alone Yet Not Alone was nominated for Best Original Song, and disqualified two weeks later. Bruce Broughton, the song's composer and an executive committee member of the Academy's music branch, “had emailed members of the branch to make them aware of the submission during the nominations voting period,” which is against Academy rules. Devastated, Broughton said: “I indulged in the simplest grassroots campaign and it went against me when the song started getting attention. I got taken down by competition that had months of promotion and advertising behind them. I simply asked people to find the song and consider it."

RIP John Hurt, a brilliant actor, one of the most underrated of all-time, equally adept on stage, screen, TV or doing voice-overs, comfortable in any era, in commercial or arty works. He was nominated for only two Oscars, but won four of the British equivalent. His 47 on-screen deaths are believed to be the all-time record. IMDb lists 204 credits under his name. What sci-fi fan will ever forget his brief turn in Alien (1979)? Although his most famous role may be The Elephant Man (1980), I will always remember his fantastic work as Caligula in I, Claudius (1976). He played Dr. Who in 2005. He also did two versions of Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment, starring as Raskolnikov in the 1979 production, and as Porfiry the police inspector in 2002. His last four appearances will be released posthumously. Here's a quote attributed to him: "We are all racing towards death. No matter how many great, intellectual conclusions we draw during our lives, we know they're all only man-made, like God. I begin to wonder where it all leads. What can you do, except do what you can do as best you know how." Well done, sir, and thank you.

The forecast was wrong. It was not partly but sparsely sunny and, if flurries were predicted, I missed it. Strangely, I never felt really cold, probably because the wind had diminished considerably. I sold only one book, a Nora Roberts thriller. My thanks to the woman who bought it. I did come to the rescue of a woman who had lost her cell phone. I let her use mine to locate the store where she'd left hers. I tried to refuse the two-buck tip she offered, but she insisted. If one is going to stand out there like an idiot trying to sell books, one might as well get something out of it. My thanks, and also to the two kind souls who downloaded Five Cents to Kindle this week. I believe it was James K. and the Lady Eve.
Vic's Short Works:
Vic's 5th Novel:'s 4th novel:
Vic's 3rd Novel:
Vic's Short Story on Kindle:
Vic's Short Story Collection:
Vic's 2nd Novel: Kindle:
Vic's 1st Novel:
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