Inclusion requirements for Oscars

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  • #46
    Originally posted by JoeNYC View Post

    “agitprop,” meaning it appears to be art but is actually political propaganda.

    For me, it’s just about artistic freedom, Madbandit.

    Madbandit says, “Just look, without being 100% disgusted, ‘Birth Of A Nation’ by D.W. Griffith. It made black people look evil and stupid and white people are heroic.”

    Madbandit is your point that if artistic freedom means we have stories like “Birth of a Nation,” then censor and control on it is a good thing?

    There are many different works of art that have elements that people will find objectionable. This is why artistic freedom is so valuable to protect.”

    The 1915 “Birth of a Nation” is one of the most -- if not the most -- racist films in film history. In one aspect of its story, it depicts black people being worthy of being lynched. Atrocious and obscene? Yes. Does this mean we as a society should ban this type of artistic freedom on an artist?

    Even though the NAACP spearheaded an unsuccessful campaign to ban the film it was conflicted because the organization also supports civil liberties, which includes artistic freedom.

    D.W. Griffith, Kentucky son of a colonel in the Confederate Army, adapted the screenplay from a 1905 novel and play titled “The Clansman” by Thomas Dixon.

    The movie is set in a South Carolina town, before and after the Civil War.

    From Roger Ebert:

    ”To understand ‘The Birth of a Nation’ we must first understand the difference between what we bring to the film, and what the film brings to us. All serious moviegoers must sooner or later arrive at a point where they see a film for what it is, and not simply for what they feel about it. ‘The Birth of a Nation’ is not a bad film because it argues for evil. Like Riefenstah’s ‘Triumph of the Will,’ it is a great film that argues for evil. To understand how it does so is to learn a great deal about film, and even something about evil.”

    ”The Birth of a Nation” was the highest-grossing film until “Gone with the Wind” came along, which was another Civil War and Reconstruction film that was taken off the air for awhile because of protest about how the slaves were depicted.

    We cannot outlaw books, films, paintings, etc., because it offends a particular person, group, or whatever.

    Artistic freedom, no matter how offensive, must be free of someone’s idea of what is appropriate.

    The history of American culture, as depicted through the arts, should be available for all to witness and to be judged for themselves.
    Joe, I agree with you on all of these points. Artistic expression shouldn't be hindered, regardless of who it offends. I used "Birth" as an example of how entertainment can be politicized to influence the masses, not something that should be censored.
    "A screenwriter is much like being a fire hydrant with a bunch of dogs lined up around it.- -Frank Miller

    "A real writer doesn't just want to write; a real writer has to write." -Alan Moore

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    • #47
      Originally posted by Prezzy View Post
      I feel like this conversation is a massive overreaction. Having 30 percent of your cast being minority individuals or simply women is such a massively low bar to meet that I'm pretty sure only certain war movies, period pieces, and biopics would be excluded.

      I mean, it sucks for those filmmakers, but I don't think it's going to lead to the sons of the sons of my White brethren being put in concentration camps.
      And that's why RandomBloke doesn't get it...

      I do feel that if a film's a period piece and it has a predominantly white cast, it shouldn't go out of its' way to be inclusive. Then again, history's not always accurate.

      "A screenwriter is much like being a fire hydrant with a bunch of dogs lined up around it.- -Frank Miller

      "A real writer doesn't just want to write; a real writer has to write." -Alan Moore

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      • #48
        Originally posted by Madbandit View Post

        I used "Birth" as an example of how entertainment can be politicized to influence the masses, not something that should be censored.
        Yes, your point is true. At the time, "Birth of a Nation" did stir up the KKK.

        D.W. Griffith was very sensitive to the racism criticism, saying, "speech and ideas should not be censored,"

        Edited to add:

        During the slavery years, art had a huge impact on the culture in the South with paintings and sketches of black slaves being bonded, whipped and auctioned. The most influential art of all that made a huge emotional impact around the world was Harriet Beecher Stow's novel UNCLE TOM'S CABIN. Art depicted the emotional side of slavery that had such an impact on people worldwide that it compelled them to act, which impacted the culture of the South.
        Last edited by JoeNYC; 10-27-2020, 08:13 PM.

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        • #49
          Originally posted by Madbandit View Post
          And that's why RandomBloke doesn't get it...

          I do feel that if a film's a period piece and it has a predominantly white cast, it shouldn't go out of its' way to be inclusive. Then again, history's not always accurate.
          But they can still be White. Literally everyone in a movie can be White and it still qualify so long as 30 percent of the characters are women. Were there not women back in the olden times?

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          • #50
            Originally posted by Prezzy View Post

            Literally everyone in a movie can be White and it still qualify so long as 30 percent of the characters are women.
            We understand for the majority of writers there are ways to comply with A.1 and A.2 and not have to resort to A.3, but the point for me is that these rules and demands on an artist's creation is not true artistic freedom, no matter how minor or major to the artist's vision, therefore, I speak against it.

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            • #51
              Originally posted by JoeNYC View Post
              We understand for the majority of writers there are ways to comply with A.1 and A.2 and not have to resort to A.3, but the point for me is that these rules and demands on an artist's creation is not true artistic freedom, no matter how minor or major to the artist's vision, therefore, I speak against it.
              You're being naive. As a writer, I have the artistic vision of writing an emotional coming of age drama that features two solid hours of raw, hardcore sex. No dialogue. Just people getting freaky deaky.

              But alas, I'm pretty sure the Academy has rules against nominating such films, so I applied my talents to write something else.

              If a writer can't adjust to the very lenient standard of, "Don't specifically mandate that one hundred percent of your characters be straight, White men", then they're probably not talented enough to be in the Oscar conversation in the first place and need to get their artistic vision checked out by an optometrist.

              So, we're not going to see as many World War I and World War II movies featuring all White male casts being nominated for Best Picture since that's the only real casualty here. I've seen that movie enough times at this point that it's boring and cliche to me anyway.

              But here's the real reason my point is that you're overreacting. Say for whatever reason you feel you must make a movie where it's mandatory that everyone specifically be a White dude.

              You can still shoot the f*cking movie and make bank. You're just not going to win Best Picture. Oh, the horror.

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              • #52
                Originally posted by Prezzy View Post

                You're being naive.
                Oh, okay. Thank you for pointing that out to me. I apologize for my point about artistic freedom being so weak and flawed.

                World War 1 film, "1917," released in 2019, "boring and cliché"?

                On a budget of $95 million it had a Worldwide gross of $385 million. IMDB: 8.3 rating. Rotten Tomatoes: 89% rating. Nominated for many Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay.

                To have diversity, Sam Mendes included a person of color: a Sikh soldier.

                Mendes didn't do it to meet any rules and demands of the Oscars. As an artist, he felt it was right to show a person of color being involved in this great war. I do not believe the Film Academy needs to enforce diversity inclusions on artists.
                Last edited by JoeNYC; 10-28-2020, 04:11 AM.

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                • #53
                  Originally posted by Prezzy View Post

                  As a writer, I have the artistic vision of writing an emotional coming of age drama that features two solid hours of raw, hardcore sex. No dialogue. Just people getting freaky deaky.

                  But alas, I'm pretty sure the Academy has rules against nominating such films
                  "coming of age"

                  First, if you're not talking about college aged students, then underage actors displaying "hardcore sex" would be against the law.

                  Anyway, I would just like to point out to you the erotic drama titled “Last Tango in Paris,” directed by Bernardo Bertolucci and staring Marlon Brando.

                  Released in Paris in 1972 and released in the United States in 1973.

                  Upon its release in America, the MPAA gave the film an X rating.

                  IMDB logline: “A young Parisian woman (20) meets a middle-aged American business man who demands their clandestine relationship be based only on sex.”

                  The film was a critical and commercial success. In the 1974 Film Academy Oscars, it was nominated for two Oscars: Best Director and Best Actor.

                  Again, the audacity of assumptions.

                  If now studios and exhibitors feel X rated films are not commercially viable and not produce them, the point was that the Film Academy had no problem with an X rated film as long as the artistic merit was there.
                  Last edited by JoeNYC; 10-28-2020, 05:32 AM.

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                  • #54
                    Joe, you're being naive because you assume that artistic freedom exists in Hollywood in the first place. It only exists so long as the guy (or woman) bankrolling a movie says it exists.

                    I'll cry for Sam Mendes as he sits on his gigantic pile of money from his movie that made almost half a billion dollars because his WWI film no longer meets Academy requirements for Best Picture.

                    The Academy is entitled to do what it wants, and no one is entitled to a Best Picture nom even if their movie is awesome. Good movies being snubbed by the Oscars was a thing long before these rules were ever put in place, so it's not like anything has really changed.

                    Why you always put so much energy into debunking my snarky jokes because you choose to take them literally is beyond me.

                    For the record, the subtext of that joke was is if you have an artistic vision that you don't think will warrant a Best Picture nom, but your sole focus is getting nominated, then you adjust... Or you don't and just make a ton of money anyway.

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                    • #55
                      Originally posted by JoeNYC View Post

                      We understand for the majority of writers there are ways to comply with A.1 and A.2 and not have to resort to A.3, but the point for me is that these rules and demands on an artist's creation is not true artistic freedom, no matter how minor or major to the artist's vision, therefore, I speak against it.
                      I'm not sure if you're being purposely obtuse or just unwilling to admit that you're wrong. I have yet to see a single theoretical or real example of a movie that would not be made or eligible for an Oscar. YOU DON'T HAVE TO COMPLY WITH STANDARD A. You can comply two of the three other standards. That means a WWI, WWII, or hardcore porn movie could still be eligible if that is your 'artistic vision.' You can still write whatever you want.

                      And I would never describe 'Last Tango in Paris' as " two solid hours of raw, hardcore sex. No dialogue. Just people getting freaky deaky." So even these individual retorts miss the mark and don't make sense because, as I said above, you could write both of those films if you wanted to.

                      The goal is inclusion. If you were to take the libertarian view that the market will sort itself out then many groups will be waiting another hundred years. We need real benchmarks to ensure a more just system. Nobody is muzzling you or telling you what stories are permissible.

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                      • #56
                        Originally posted by Prezzy View Post

                        You can still shoot the f*cking movie and make bank. You're just not going to win Best Picture. Oh, the horror.
                        This point was made to Joe earlier in the thread a couple of times. The fact that he disregards it proves to me his argument has more to do with entitlement than artistic freedom.
                        Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

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                        • #57
                          Originally posted by zetiago View Post

                          I have yet to see a single theoretical or real example of a movie that would not be made or eligible for an Oscar. YOU DON'T HAVE TO COMPLY WITH STANDARD A. You can comply two of the three other standards.
                          zetiago, I am dumbfounded how you and Prezzy don't comprehend my point.

                          This isn't about how me or another writer may be deprived of having a screenplay be considered for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar because it didn't meet Standard A. It's about rules and demands being placed on a creative person. It's about artistic freedom. Yes, I get it. A writer doesn't has to participate in the Film Academy's Oscars.

                          zetiago, I don't care if 100% of the screenplays written could find a way around Standard A.

                          I just wanted to say, in my opinion, I believe the Academy is wrong to demand to an artist that his script must have this or that, or his theme or narrative must have this or that.

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                          • #58
                            Originally posted by JoeNYC View Post
                            zetiago, I am dumbfounded how you and Prezzy don't comprehend my point.

                            This isn't about how me or another writer may be deprived of having a screenplay be considered for a Best Original Screenplay Oscar because it didn't meet Standard A. It's about rules and demands being placed on a creative person. It's about artistic freedom. Yes, I get it. A writer doesn't has to participate in the Film Academy's Oscars.

                            zetiago, I don't care if 100% of the screenplays written could find a way around Standard A.

                            I just wanted to say, in my opinion, I believe the Academy is wrong to demand to an artist that his script must have this or that, or his theme or narrative must have this or that.
                            Joe, we're not dumb. We get your point. But you're not getting ours.

                            Zetiago's point is there are four standards. A, B, C, and D. A film must meet two of them.

                            So, while you're complaining about A, they pointed out that a movie could have a Black Gaffer, a Latina DP, and an Asian marketing team, and that alone would satisfy the Oscar B and D requirements, which would be enough to qualify regardless if the movie met ANY of the A requirements.

                            So, right there, your whole argument and opinion isn't even grounded in reality unless you have something against the idea of minority crew members working behind the scenes.

                            And my point is even if it did have to meet the very lenient standards of A, who gives a crap?

                            It basically wouldn't affect anyone anyway, and it's not like the Oscars didn't have rules and creative criteria for what qualified as being Oscar-worthy before that, even if they were unspoken. So, why complain about the Oscars now?

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                            • #59
                              Originally posted by Prezzy View Post


                              a Latina DP

                              Huh? I didn't know you could get an oscar like that.

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                              • #60
                                Originally posted by DDoc View Post
                                Huh? I didn't know you could get an oscar like that
                                Haha. If you can, then maybe I should revive my coming of age drama concept.

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