The Academy front:
The cost of purchasing your own authentic, Oscar-nominated metaphor for loss and longing? At press time, $17,100. But all of it tax-deductible and machine-washable.
Of course, according to Heathcliff Rothman‘s fascinating and strange New York Times article on the apparently vicious used Oscar market, if you want to skip straight to owning your own little gold man, a "common Oscar" (for a technical or other tangential awards) will set you back up to $50,000.
Via Movie City News, the testy letter from the World Conservation Union and the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization to Hubert Sauper, director of "Darwin’s Nightmare," is here. The organizations were not pleased with what you could call, oh, a less-than-favorable portrayal of the industry in Sauper’s Oscar-nominated doc.
Fifth, you suggest that poverty, prostitution, AIDS and homelessness are a direct consequence of the fisheries export. It would seem obvious to most people that such tragedies are found in most places on this planet, including in the cities of Europe, and are rarely if ever connected to any particular industry.
The idea that fisheries cause AIDS would indeed be a fascinating bit of delusional paranoia, but it’s not one covered (at all) by Sauper’s doc. "Darwin’s Nightmare" certainly has an agenda, but wide-swinging retaliations like the quote above, along with the letter’s repeated concerns that Sauper didn’t talk to the institute’s researchers (who, of course, wouldn’t have agendas of their own) endear it to us all the more.
Mark Caro at the Chicago Tribune traces "Crash"‘s path from questionable investment to Best Picture contender, including distributor Lionsgate’s fearless and exorbitant (for a non-Weinstein indie) screener campaign:
Lionsgate initially mailed out about 30,000 DVDs to those doing the nominating for the various guilds (aside from the directors, who don’t allow screeners). Once "Crash" received those nominations, the company sent out more DVDs, most notably to the remaining 90,000 SAG members who could vote on the final awards.
And at the LA Times‘ The Envelope, James Bates takes a closer look at the "Crash" awards campaign costs: "All told, Lions Gate is expected to spend $4 million to campaign for a film that only cost $6.5 million to make."
+ JACK’S SHIRTS FROM BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN! JAKE GYLLENHAAL! (eBay)
+ I’d Really Like to Thank My Pal at the Auction House (NY Times)
+ Letter to Hubert Sauper (IUCN.org)
+ Street Fight (MarshallCurry.com)
+ From crazy idea to the Oscars: The journey of ‘Crash’ (Chicago Tribune)
+ Oscar Economics 101 (LA Times)