As you see this is the team that won for best documentary. So a few thoughts that are far afield from 2 of the radio programs (Traditions and Sunday Simcha, at least) .
You have to credit the academy and the public for embracing a film that might have been deemed as too much of a lecture. Al Gore has pursued what he perceived as important and has opened the mind of the public. Something that, to me, is something I would not have expected. I suppose that old expression"...never underestimate the public taste" proved false in this case. Important matters came to the fore.
Some "pundits" today wondered if he might run once again for President. They thought that if he did he would, once again, revert to "Wooden Al". I fear that as well---yet---and yet-----given our choices let me give you a thought for a ticket that might just pull it off----Edwards/Gore. Or Gore/Edwards. Either way. Both have substance and Edwards---what charisma! No baggage like some of the candidates and seems to have some idealism which has been missing for many years. We may not ever be able to re-capture that simpler and straightforward time; but, this could be close.
As to the Award ceremony. Ellen DeGeneres was really the perfect choice for these times. Low key, informal, and truly clever and putting the ceremony into the context into which it should be received---a commercial TV event like any sports event. The days of "awe" for this event are long gone---it is a fashion show and the networks make the most of it. As the novel of years back said--"...for the great unwashed". After all there is so much more in this world to think of and the media is so abundent with other news that this, surely, cannot be more than a glitch on the mind of anyone that follows more interests than idolizing film folks. And those nice dresses---and the men, of course, wore the tuxedos so that they could emulate The Dance of The Penguins. Give them credit for that.
Some of the smaller categories---where but in some obscure theater in a large city like NYC will you see the contenders for ---short documentary, short animation, etc; ? It is a shame because they are creative. Where we used to have that or travelogues or cartoons we now have commercials. Is it not great that you can see a commercial at home and then have the privilege of paying close to $10 to see some at your local multi-plex ( read movie "palace"?).
Ellen DeGeneres at least did do a few nice lines about the cost of the junk food you pay top dollar for at the movie house when you go in to see the film.
I admit to not watching the entire proceedings. Tedium sets in fast. But I must say that the acceptance speech by Forest Whittaker (which I did see) was most moving---and a well deserved award. Helen Mirren as well. Class will out.
My comments regarding comparing films stands. How do you compare a film like The Queen, The Departed, and Little Mary Sunshine. The listing of these titles should show you the inanity.
As usual my choices from the last post for acting prove that I should not be a booker---we will get to folk music in a moment---I admit that all the winners were excellent. I am just partial to Judi Dench. Alan Arkin won for a supporting role and, frankly, spoke most honestly about "scorekeeping" and how silly it all is. Obviously he does not represent "folkies" (whatever that means) but he did start out in that music. Perhaps honesty comes from that well.
That brings me to the folk and radio portion of this essay. Booking. Probably hurting any chance I have of ever being a booker. By the way---do you know that there is only one letter "h" differentiating "booker" from "hooker"?
Tom Chapin and ----
The problem is that I would, probably, book people that I felt appealed to me, showed loyalty to their calling, and such. I admit to doing that in the 1980s and also realizing I needed a person of some "name recognition" at the time. Happily, I found that in a person I also realized was also one who fulfilled all my feelings mentioned before. Tom Chapin! Sad to say, without him I doubt we could have sold tickets for the benefit we were holding---featuring---The Sloop Singers. Right. Who?
In truth --talented individuals with some great writing talent amongst them.
How the concerts started and why---well, that is another story and you can request it. You know ---just like on the radio.