Hispanic Gap in the Academy Awards

For quite some time, the Academy has been accused of having prejudices against non-white actors and film makers. In fact last year, The Academy Awards were slander with the hash tag, #OscarsSoWhite, for subbing excellent projects made by people of color, such as the film, Straight Outta Compton (2015) and Selma (2015). As well as, nominating the white actor (Sylvester Stallone) instead of the black protagonist (Michael B. Jordan) in the film Creed (2015) even though Jordan delivered an exquisite performance. The Academy has a record of only nominating white member for their contribution in a larger minority based project. Fortunately in 2017, we saw an increase in nominations for minorities, including winning Best Picture of Year. Nevertheless, there is an unbalanced number of white and minorities academy winners. Being a minority myself, of Hispanic origin, I noticed that there is little to no Hispanic academy winners since its creation. Below I created a infographic of the Hispanic Gap and information about the Academy Voters.

Capture

I become exhilarated whenever Hispanic directors and writers get recognized for their work, because it is so rare. I so admire the revolutionary work of director Alejandro González Iñárritu who has demonstrated time and again that power of Mexican filmmakers in an American society. Alejandro has created amazing films, such as Birdman (2014), The Revenant (2015), Biutiful (2010), and Babel (2006) to name some.

I will be writing a piece on him. Stay tuned.

The numbers are surprising and it is worse compare to the African-American community in terms of winning a nomination. I hoping that the academy will continue to nominate incredible films regardless of the color of the writers, producers, and actors. It is a sad reality but it does not prevent my love for films. Being a “cinephile” means recognizing flaws in films but still appreciate the art, that for 50 years after its creation, was not recognized as an art mode.

What do you think about these numbers?

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O.J.: Made In America (2016) Review

oj

Promotional Poster Credit: ESPN Films (Image Source)

Oh, the glove, the infamous glove!

After watching this film, I understand why it won an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. For those of you are not familiar with the O.J. Simpson murder, here’s a comical, animated, re-enactment created by the T.V. show Family Guy

The murder of course is no laughing matter. Nicole Brown-Simpson and Ron Goldman  were murder a year before I was born, so I was not present to experience “The Trial of the Century.” I have seen various films about O.J. Simpson, the murder and the trial; however, out of all the films I have seen, this documentary tops them all. If you only see one film about O.J. Simpson, I urge to see this one. It is divided into multiple parts and it will take you and entire day to watch the whole documentary but it is VERY informative.

For some time, I have become obsessed with the O.J. Simpson case. An American legend turned tragedy. All the evidence points to Simpson but because of the hostile social climate in California, he was acquitted. Reasons behind his acquitted is summarized perfectly by a juror in the case that said, “we looked after our own.” That juror is an African-American woman that believed Simpson was not guilty. California in the 1900s is define as a prominent decade of police brutality against the African-American community. I read various books about the matter and seen dozens of films. The experience is complete heartbreaking. Stories of innocent, weaponless, African-American women being shot and killed in front of their young children, police breaking into homes and wreaking the entire place and leaving citizens completely homeless, and most infamous of all is Rodney King’s.

The Rodney King incident was the biggest reason behind Simpson acquittal. Multiple white LAPD officers accused of beating African-American taxi driver, Rodney King, were acquitted and this ignited the 1992 Los Angeles riots, a massive civil disturbance, caused by enraged African-Americans. I watch witness the incident unfolding in the documentary, I could understand and sympathize with the African-American community that day, as I too became a victim of police racial prejudice. It is understandable that the African-American felt the need to look after people from their own race; however, the documentary explains that O.J. Simpson did NOT associate himself with the African-American community. Simpson was able to break the ceiling for African-Americans in sports. He was widely accepted by the white community because of his charismatic personality. It is an amazing concept to be seen as an equal if not, as a hero. But with this kind of power, Simpson rejected the African-American community. He refuse to participate in the long list of athletes that refuse the neglect felts by African-Americans.

Ultimately, what the film does is tell the WHOLE life story of O.J Simpson, and that is what I love about this documentary.  From growing up in the projects of San Francisco, his raise of fame, to his complete down fall. It the audience know who exactly is this man, O.J. Simpson and how it lead him to commit this heinous crime.

I finally placed all the pieces of this story together and I now understand that he did this believing he would get away with it because he has his entire life. As a charismatic, entitled football player, he was able to obtain anything he wanted his entire life, including getting away with murder.

Aftermath of The Oscars

What a night!

An emotional night for me as I took a screenshot of the moment. I crossed my fingers and bowed my head in hopes that someone would hear my plea. Oh, I wanted Moonlight! When I heard “La La Land” I changed the channel in anger. I rushed to my Facebook page and started ranting, little did I know, there was a mistake.

Today, I see the mistake of announcing La La Land for Best Film of Year instead of Moonlight as a sign that there is a higher power. The incident became an internet trend and all forms of media were discussing it. For those of you who are unaware of what happened just google “The Oscars” and its the first of many results, or click on the this link.

The night of The Oscars, I took to Facebook to update my status as I watched the award program. I was ecstatic to see Marhershala Ali be the FIRST muslim to win an Oscar for his breathtaking performance in Moonlight. As the night progressed, I felt that The Oscars were compromised by La La Land. La La Land took award after award, even in categories that I felt other films exceeded at. Once I changed the channel in anger for their award for Best Film of the Year, I noticed that my family members also watching, wrote something in lines of “not another Steve Harvey moment.” At that instance, I channel the channel to find the cast and crew of Moonlight on stage saying “we are your choice.”In my mind, I wondered if the audience begun to protest the result and demanded Moonlight to be the winner. Nevertheless, I managed to find the moment of the switch online, as viewers published low quality versions of the moment on YouTube. Once I saw what happened, I felt great relief and felt on top of the world. Moonlight winning Best Film of Year essentially broke the glass ceiling for African-American and other minority filmmakers. It made it possible for an academy accused of being “racist”to give credit where credit is due. It was 12 in morning and I wanted to scream with joy, but my parents are asleep in the next room. Instead screaming, I cried, I cried tears of joy, feeling a million years of neglect being lifted off my shoulders. I felt for the first time as a minority that we won one.

I watched The Oscars after show in which the winners are interviewed. At the moment of the incident, the announcer claims that he received the wrong card and that it stated “Emma Stone, La La Land;” however, I learned during the interview of Emma Stone that she had this card with her the whole and that in no moment did the announcer received his card. I found this to be incredibly suspicious.  My theory, the announcer was not happy with the winner and decided to name the film he wanted instead. We can see the man hesitate before announcing the winner.Once he was caught, he made up this story that he had the wrong card. Regardless, I am so proud of the results that I changed my profile picture to the film’s poster with the title “Academy Award Winner: Best Picture.”

IT’S OSCAR NIGHT!

Photo Credit: The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences™

The big day for cinephiles is here. I am very anxious to see who will win best film of the year, which following the great traditions of The Oscars, it will not be announced until the very end of the program. The very end of the program being 10:30 pm for me.

For those of you who don’t know, The Oscars and The Academy Awards refer to the same event. The formal name is The Academy Awards and The Oscars refer to the award itself.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I have created my own ballot and will mention some of my picks below. I really hope you are all watching and seeing if your pick wins. It is truly a celebration of films. In the past, The Oscars website had a link where one could manage a ballot online; however, this year they are doing things a little different. Large companies have incorporated the ballot in their own design. corporations and magazines such as Vanity Fair, AMC Theaters, and People magazine, just to name a few. The Oscars is live on ABC (check your local listings) and if you are unable to watch it through this platform, go to The Oscar website to watch it live from your device. There are also live updates of winners on their website as well as The Oscar Twitter Page. I am proud to announce that Mahershala Ali has won Actor in a Supporting Role so far for his breathe-taking performance in Moonlight. I will like to hear some of your picks. Let me know what has been your favorite Oscar moment so far. Stay tune for an Oscar aftermath blog post.

Some of my picks from my Oscar Ballot:

Best Motion Picture: Moonlight

Best Actor: Denzel Washington

Best Actress: Meryl Streep

Best Supporting Actor: Mahershala Ali

Best Supporting Actress: Naomie Harris

Best Director: Barry Jenkins

Best Original Screenplay: Manchester by the Sea

Best Adapted Screenplay: Moonlight

Best Original Score: Moonlight (it’s gorgeous)

Best Documentary Feature: 13th

Lastly, I just want to say, if my picks are not chosen, I am proud of The Academy Awards this year for its inclusion of diversity and demonstrating the incredible films that were created from these brilliant minds.