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Thursday, November 16th, 2006

Time Event
As others have mentioned, the short list for Oscar Best Documentary nominations was released today, with a glaring omission.

I knew this list was coming out and checked the Academy web site with trepidation, at the Times this afternoon. There's the list! It said it was in alphabetical order, and I looked it up and down anyway. Huh? I haven't heard of all these movies and I was at plenty of festivals.

Someone figured out that, excluding "Inconvenient Truth," the remaining nominees COMBINED made about half of "Wordplay"'s total.

Plus, "Wordplay" is so good!

I'm way too close to the situation to think rationally, but yeesh.

If Ken Burns was on the documentary screening committee, he has some 'splainin' to do!

I wonder if we could get a nomination in another category -- Song? Editing? Visual Effects?

And what about other awards - Spirit? Critics' orgs.?

Still bummed
I know not getting an Oscar nomination is a high-class problem, and there are serious problems in the world, like children not having enough to eat. Plus I already have an Emmy (sort of*); do I really need an Oscar (sort of) to make life complete?

Still, I'll dwell on this just a bit longer. It turns out we're in good company. The Hollywood Reporter notes that other prominent Best Documentary snub-ees include "Who Killed the Electric Car?", "This Film Is Not Yet Rated," "The U.S. vs. John Lennon," "God Grew Tired of Us: The Story of the Lost Boys of the Sudan," "Sketches of Frank Gehry" and "Screamers."

Maybe someone needs to do "This Film Is Not Yet Nominated," going after the mysterious docu branch screening committee. Who ARE these people?

I drowned my sorrows last night in music, a program of piano duets at the 92nd Street Y. My seat was again on the far left, and this time Jaime Laredo wasn't blocking the keyboard view. The guy playing on the right blocked my view of the guy on the left, but it still wasn't bad. Jonathan Biss and Benjamin Hochman first played a Mozart sonata and Schubert Fantasie that I've played. In fact, I did the Schubert publicly in a Vero Beach community center in 1990. These guys were better.

The second half of the concert began with 6 pieces by Schumann (arranged by Debussy) for 2 pianos, and I had a full view of the piano on my side of the hall. During these lovely, quiet pieces a nearby audience member decided to be a critic and yelled out that things needed livening up. The next piece was more upbeat, so that shut him up for a bit. Unfortunately, a cell phone started ringing at that point (despite the huge notice projected onstage before the concert and during breaks to turn off cell phones). I smiled serenely as people glared in my general direction, since my nonexistent cell phone couldn't have been the culprit. Mr. Critic noted he practically fell asleep during the last part.

The concert concluded with Bartok's Sonata for Two Pianos and Percussion, where 2 percussionists handled a massive array of instruments in back of the pianos, now angled so that both keyboards could be viewed from the audience. This piece reminded me a lot of the composer's Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta, which was written immediately beforehand. It was on the avant-garde side, and Mr. Critic yelled "God!" after the first movement, and "Thank God!" when it ended. I joined the guys in front of me for a bonding moment of rolled eyes, and they stood and applauded to show their support of the piece (sorry, I NEVER participate in standing ovations).

Then there's also that high-class problem of not being on the DVD cover...

*an official certificate saying I worked on an Emmy-winning show

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