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Open Up The Oscars

January 05, 1986

It is time that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences changes its policy about the submission of foreign-language films.

Once again, we are witness to the ineligibility of a masterpiece--Akira Kurosawa's "Ran"--simply because a government does not want to submit the film as its sole "official entry" in the Oscar race.

If Hitler had a choice between an anti-fascist classic directed by Fritz Lang and a propaganda film by Leni Riefenstahl, which film do you think would be the Third Reich's official entry?

Will Russia or Cuba ever send us an anti-Communist entry? Will Italy send a film satirizing Catholicism? Will Korea support an entry that proposes re-unification?

In all countries, the selection process for the official submission to the Academy is so highly politically motivated, so dependent on the egos, friendships and power-grabbing motives of a handful of people, that all too frequently a film masterpiece is snubbed in favor of a sweet, safe, second-rate entry.

I propose that the Academy allow both "official" and non-official entries from each country, letting quality, not diplomacy be the guide for nominees.


West Hollywood

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