The Academy Awards - Roots and manoeuvres
“May 16th 1929, just before the onset of the Great Depression, at a private brunch at the Hollywood Roosevelt in Los Angeles, the first Academy Awards, The Oscars, was presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) with an audience of just two hundred and seventy.”
May 16th 1929, just before the onset of the Great Depression, at a private brunch at the Hollywood Roosevelt in Los Angeles, the first Academy Awards, The Oscars, was presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) with an audience of just two hundred and seventy. The intent was to honor the cinematic achievements of 1927 and 1928. Since then The Oscars have been aired publicly, starting on the radio and later moving over to television coverage. Now, eighty one years later, the 82nd Academy Awards is heating up, with the announcement of the nominees already released. When the curtain falls at the end of the night on 7th March 2010, a global coverage will have aired the results to the world.
With Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin hosting this year's Oscars, held at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood since its move there in 2002, the 2010 Academy Awards is set to have a distinctly old school feel to it.
Over the years, the awards have had their fair share of controversy, drama and intrigue, starting with the Los Angeles Times announcing the winners before the awards ceremony in 1941. Since then, the winners have not been announced prior to the ceremony and sealed envelopes have been used to protect the secrecy of the announcements.
Perhaps one of the most notable moments in its history was Sally Field's teary "you like me" speech after she won Best Actress for "Places in the Heart," after having won previously in 1980 for "Norma Rae". Then there was the appearance of the striking Sasheen Littlefeather, a Native American woman bravely sent on behalf of Marlon Brando to decline his Best Actor award for The Godfather because of the treatment of Native American's in the film industry at the time.
There are seven types of Academy Awards, including the Gordon E. Sawyer Award, the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, the John A. Bonner Medal of Commendation, the Scientific and Engineering Award, the Technical Achievement Award, and the Student Academy Award. However, it is the Academy Award of Merit, we know it as an Oscar, that has become most notable.
Made of gold plated britannium and weighing nearly 4kgs the statue has become synonymous with the Academy Awards. While the winners of them are considered the owner of the statue, a clause in the award acceptance is that winners are not allowed to sell them on without first offering to sell them back to the Academy for $1.
NBC and ABC have fought a dogfight over the years for television rights for the ceremony. First televised in 1953 by NBC, the ceremony was taken over by ABC between 1960 and 1970, when NBC bagged the rights until 1976. ABC have had the right to televise the broadcast ever since, and their contract is set to continue until 2014.
While there is some controversy about who gave the Oscars their name, there's no arguing that they are one of the most coveted prizes in the entertainment world, although by far the best celebration for an award has to be Roberto Benigni's crowd walking moment for his Best Actor win in 1998 for Life is Beautiful.
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Author - Tuppence Maranovna
Tags - the oscars, history, the academy awards, kodak theater, review, entertainment, sasheen littlefeather
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