October 20, 2003

Screener Brouhaha Continues

MPAA President Jack Valenti, the man with the plan, had the "brilliant" idea to remove the use of screener tapes this year in the awards ceremonies. Entertainment Weekly reported last week that this development was certain to hinder the Oscar campaigns of independent films that Academy Award voters living in the hinterlands wouldn't be able to see these smaller films. But, godforbid that these screener copies should get out to the masses in the form of bootlegs, that's the real detriment to the film industry these days. That's the evil we have to nip in the bud.

Now Mahnola Dargis and friends in the Los Angeles Film Critics Association have decided to suspend their awards this year unless the MPAA allows encrypted VHS tapes to be distributed. This is not good news for the usual progression of things in the awards season. The interplay between the critics and festivals around the world this critic likes this performance but this fest prefers this picture leads up to the final assessments. Though Cinecultist often doesn't agree with the final outcome, this is the way of things. If critics can't see all the product, how can they make a real judgement? It seems like basic basic to us.

Posted by karen at October 20, 2003 7:57 AM