Dopo l’annuncio shock dell’Academy di lunedì scorso, registi, montatori, direttori della fotografia e altri artigiani del mondo del cinema hanno espresso tutto il proprio sdegno.
In quella che dovrebbe essere una cerimonia di premiazione dell’eccellenza cinematografica, tagliare quattro premi dalla diretta, per motivi di bassa macelleria televisiva, è subito apparso come una scelta suicida.
Se poi tra queste categorie ci sono fotografia e montaggio, ovvero lo specifico filmico per eccellenza, allora ecco che le prese di posizione si sono fatte più forti, coagulate in una lunga lettera aperta, che vi riportiamo, firmata tra gli altri da Scorsese e Tarantino e dai nostri Vittorio Storaro, Milena Canonero, Dante Ferretti:
“On Monday, February 11, 2019, John Bailey, President of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, announce that this year’s Oscar presentations for Best Cinematography — along with Film Editing, Live Action Short and Makeup and Hairstyling — will not be broadcast live, but rather presented during a commercial break. This decision was made to reduce the length of the show from four hours to three. The vocal response from our peers and the immediate backlash from industry leaders over the Academy’s decision makes it clear that it’s not too late to have this decision reversed.
The Academy was founded in 1927 to recognize and uphold excellence in the cinematic arts, inspire imagination and help connect the world through the universal medium of motion pictures. Unfortunately, we have drifted from this mission in our pursuit of presenting entertainment rather than in presenting a celebration of our art form and the people behind it.
Relegating these essential cinematic crafts to lesser status in this 91st Academy Awards ceremony is nothing less than an insult to those of us who have devoted our lives and passions to our chosen profession.
The show’s director, Glenn Weiss, has stated that he will determine what “emotionally resonant” moments from the four winners’ speeches will be selected to air later in the broadcast. The show will cut any additional comment from presenters, as well as any recitation of the nominees as they see fit.
Since its inception, the Academy Awards telecast has been altered over time to keep the format fresh, but never by sacrificing the integrity of the Academy’s original mission. When the recognition of those responsible for the creation of outstanding cinema is being diminished by the very institution whose purpose it is to protect it, then we are no longer upholding the spirit of the Academy’s promise to celebrate film as a collaborative art form. To quote our colleague Seth Rogan, “What better way to celebrate achievements in film than to NOT publicly honor the people whose job it is to literally film things.
Anthony Dod Mantle
Newton Thomas Sigel
Hoyte van Hoytema
Kees van Oostrum
Cary Joji Fukunaga
Alan Edward Bell
Sophie De Rakoff
Mary Jo Markey
Tatiana S. Riegel
Anna B. Sheppard
Terilyn A. Shropshire