My Annual Bafta Annoyance 2012: Potter LaughsAnother week has past, it's two days before the 2012 BAFTA Film Awards, and so I making one last email attempt to get my arbitrary and pedantic grievance with BAFTA (outlined further below) some airtime on the BBC's Kermode and Mayo's Film Review radio show and podcast.
Sent: 10 February 2012 10:53
Subject: Kermode and Mayo's Film Review: BAFTA, the last bash!
Dear Academy and Cinemascope,
Your show has had comparatively little discussion of the BAFTA's. As this year's award ceremony is in a couple of days now, I thought I'd have one last bash at airing my pedantic concerns about the awards. (for more than you'd care to know see my blog http://vaguestideas.blogspot.com/search/label/BAFTA). I wrote previously to request you to ask Mark, and any other BAFTA members on hand, how they justify the backdoor proviso in the eligibility rules that lets in films released in the UK in the current year up to two days before the ceremony, as opposed to the previous year primarily under consideration.
A while ago the BAFTA ceremony was moved from April to February, to sit in the calendar betwixt the Golden Globes and the OSCAR's, at the same time eligibility rules were changed to allow films released in the UK outside the previous calendar year to be nominated. This only served to allow the nomination list to include OSCAR eligible films that had stateside but not UK releases, the upshots being that the BAFTA's could act like a "me, too" predictor to the OSCARs after the mess of the Globes, and that distributors could plan January and February releases for award fodder and abuse the system for free advertising.
Why I have a problem with this: the BAFTAs should serve both their members and the UK audience who should all have had a chance to see the films by the time they're nominated, let alone awarded. The BAFTA members may nominate films that they have been given screenings, either in cinema or on disc, by distributors, if the UK release date is up to 2 days before the awards ceremony.
On Mark's blog about his top 11 for 2011, some respondents thought he should excise The Artist as it wasn't put on wide release until January (its official UK release was 30 Dec 2011, so it squeaks by my BAFTA concerns). If the UK audience can be put out by something as arbitrary as one man's choice of top films of the year, how well does it sit when the list is the consensus of the British film industry.
The eligibility rules should not be seen to pander to either the distributors, or the notion that the UK market, and its release dates are irrelevant. At some point in the future when releases are global and across all formats, this will become moot. Until then let's have a level playing field for both the British industry and its audience.
Brian Tarnoff (who is foolish enough to waste what little cache that exists in being named by Mark and his 4 New Forest Festival cohorts as the second best senior amateur Film Critic in the New Forest -- 2011, on this arbitrary trifle)
PS. Tonight I will be joining the ranks of professional projectionists, albeit in a mobile cinema stylee, down in the New Forest, with a screening of Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Mark's welcome to drop by to inform the audience of the inconsequence of the spying.
So I sent this one off in a timely fashion. However, it snowed last night, which has stranded the kit I need for tonight's Brockenhurst Moviola screening, down a steep track in the middle of the forest. After pumping up a flat tire I set off just as the radio programme begins, but on arrival at a cottage amidst pony paddocks the radio is silenced as I'm brought up to speed, and receive a carload of digital gubbins and medium sized big screen fixings, by the time I'm back on the road the programme is nearly finished. I'll catch-up with the show when the podcast is released in a couple of hours.
Two weeks ago my attempt at drumming up on air support with another mail to the same show met with the coincidental cold comfort of my comment about Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris being read out behind a run down of the Oscar nominations for best picture. I do a certain amount of time wasting posting on threads on both the Facebook page of the podcast, and Mark Kermode's BBC vlog. Earlier this week I posted these questions on a thread on the Facebook page requesting ideas for their interview today with Daniel Radcliffe:
Harry and Hermione's dance to Nick Cave was one of the emotional highlights of the series what scene was he most touched by?
Also, is he the "new" Elijah Wood?
Have you yet been denied a role because of Potter? For instance, you couldn't be cast in Shakespeare's Roman plays because if you exclaim any latinate names the audience will expect you to produce a wand or have sparks fly from your fingertips, just try shouting "Coriolanus!" you'll see what I mean.Guess which one they used (or listen, Kermode: Daniel Radcliffe, 10 Feb 12, you'll find it at about 39:20). "That's very very funny." Daniel responded to the clever but ultimately, from his point of view, unanswerable question, as no one is likely to tell him when he hasn't been considered for a role. Now I'm not so paranoid as to think that they used my question as a sop for not bringing up my BAFTA worrying campaign, the universe is rarely that intentional in its snubs. I really doubt that the programme makers have any specific awareness of me as an individual, they might have avoided quoting me twice within a fortnight if they had, to give their many other listeners a look in.
So I'm pleased that I got a laugh out of Harry Potter.
And I'll have to see what I can do about BAFTA next year.