November 9, 2011 |
Director Brett Ratner resigned Tuesday as producer of the Oscar telecast after coming under fire for making an anti-gay slur, leaving the motion picture academy scrambling to cast a new team to helm the February award show. Ratner, director of popcorn films such as "Rush Hour" and the newly released "Tower Heist," was an unconventional choice for the job and was touted as someone who could shake up the program and bring more viewers and pizazz to the affair. Although the show's ratings have flagged recently, the Oscars remain one of the most-viewed broadcasts of the year, often second only to the Super Bowl.
October 12, 1986
Lawrence Christon did a good job of capturing the essence of director Paul Mazursky's Oakie Lecture at the Motion Picture Academy, but he misrepresented the gist of Mazursky's statement that "the industry is anti-Semitic" ("Comedy Award to Mazursky," Oct. 1). Mazursky did say that, but went on--very significantly--to explain that studio executives want to make movies for the masses and that they fear that something "very Jewish" will not play in Dallas. So, it's demographics, not bigotry, that he was referring to. I think Christon and The Times owe the readers, as well as Mazursky himself, the courtesy of being more accurate.
February 19, 2002
It's wonderful to hear that the entertainment industry is giving animation "new respect" (Feb. 12). It has been 65 years since the first animated feature was recognized by the motion picture academy with an Oscar, but I guess critical respect takes time to build. It would also be wonderful if the industry would recognize the writers behind animated films and television programs with the same respect for professionalism that is paid to the writers of live action. Animation writers would like the same protections and benefits provided to live-action writers.
October 11, 2003
AS a member of the motion picture academy, I read with interest Patrick Goldstein's column about the decision to not send out screening copies of the movies this year ("Screeners: Behind the Ban," Oct. 7). I was fully prepared to chalk this up to "Things that I hate, over which I will silently fume," until I came to the quote that Jack Valenti thinks that we academy members are lazy. I have taken voting very seriously since I was old enough to see R-rated movies. Every year, I have sat in theaters, watching everything that is even remotely viable.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 2, 2009 |
Steven Miessner, 48, the motion picture academy's "keeper of the Oscars" who donned his signature white gloves to get the golden statuettes ready for their close-up, died of a heart attack Wednesday at his home. Miessner would take custody of the Oscars as they arrived from the R. S. Owens foundry in Chicago, log them into a computer file, keep them secure, and then on the big night, give them a last rubdown backstage before handing them to the show's trophy presenters. He would record which Oscar was presented to whom and later make arrangements with the winners to get their statuettes properly engraved.
February 27, 1999
I began receiving the calls Saturday night around 10 p.m. My friends knew how upset I'd be; they knew how I, the great movie fanatic, revered film critic Gene Siskel. Through the years, I enjoyed watching Siskel and Roger Ebert's relationship evolve from being brittle rivals to being openly affectionate friends. Ultimately, that's what I considered Gene Siskel: a friend. A movie buddy. The greatest service S&E have performed all these years has been not simply to inform us, but to actually make the movies better.