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Awards Mania

Michael Musto, Tom O’Neil Concoct Some Juicy Michael Fassbender Rumors

Did you hear the whispers about 12 Years a Slave being based on a much more recent tome by Rush Limbaugh and Paula Deen? How about the rumor that the film’s title is an insider’s wink to what it’s like to work for Harvey Weinstein… for a week.

MichaelFassbender12Years_SmallThese and other ridiculous notions were floated by goldderby.com maestro Tom O’Neil and podcast guest Michael Musto to poke fun at the “smear campaigns” that creep into each film awards season. Given how competitive the field is this year, that aspect of the proceedings is already off to a vigorous running start. From O’Neil, Musto’s convo:

Musto: I hear for the 12 Years a Slave DVD, they’re going to do it in 3D and they’re going to add naked scenes of [Michael] Fassbender. It’s really going to jut out from the screen.

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THR Features Editor Highlights ‘Dirty Games’ of Awards Season

Right after introductions were made for a weekend panel discussion at the Savannah Film Festival featuring The Hollywood Reporter trio of Stephen Galloway, Scott Feinberg and Tim Appelo, Galloway offered some intriguing observations about the first phase of this year’s film awards season.

Picking up on Feinberg’s analogy that the process resembles a Presidential election campaign, with the “primaries” of film awards season (festivals, critics awards, Golden Globes) leading up to the big night of the Oscars, the THR executive editor of features noted what is now business-as-usual:

“The [favored films] lists start to come into play; people start to jostle; potential winners begin to emerge. And then, like politics, the dirty games start.”

“I was fascinated, a couple of weeks ago, when the New York Times wrote a piece questioning the authenticity of the book behind 12 Years a Slave. It’s based on a memoir by a black man who was captured and enslaved for 12 years, Solomon Northup.”

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Calvin Coolidge Foundation Announces Pair of Journalism Prizes

CalvinCoolidgeFoundationLogoThe coolest thing about the two new awards endowed by the Calvin Coolidge Memorial Foundation are the prize names.

Per newsmax.com chief political columnist and White House correspondent John Gizzi, “The Calvin” will funnel a $1,500 scholarship to a Vermont resident under the age of 20 while “The Coolidge” is open to all and comes with a much larger cash prize of $20,000. Grizzi also reminds of the 30th President’s intriguing journalism background:

A little-known fact about Coolidge is that, after leaving the White House, he wrote a syndicated newspaper column entitled “Calvin Coolidge Says.” The McClure Syndicate soon found that the column was so popular that it was carried in Japanese papers.

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Suleika Jaouad’s Life Joyfully Interrupted by Emmy Awards

SuleikaJaouadThe latest “Life, Interrupted” first-person article in the New York Times series by Suleika Jaouad (pronounced su-LAKE-uh ja-WAD) is another triumphant read.

Jaouad has been writing and videotaping her experiences as a young adult with cancer for the paper since the spring of 2012. Never in her wildest dreams did she imagine she would wind up nominated, for this very NYT series, at Lincoln Center’s News and Documentary Emmy Awards:

Standing on the stage, holding that golden, and surprisingly heavy, Emmy statue, has to be one of the most surreal, amazing moments of my life. Shayla Harris, the series producer and the woman who spent countless hours with me filming my story, gave a beautiful acceptance speech as my editor Tara Parker-Pope celebrated the moment with me. Days later, I still can’t believe we won an Emmy.

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Media Mulls YouTube Music Awards

Pundits are digesting Monday’s big YouTube announcement. The nominations deadline for the site’s first-ever Music Awards is October 17 and the big show, to be directed by Spike Jonze, will be live-streamed Sunday November 3 from New York’s Pier 36.

Corey Tate at Spacelab magazine wonders how YouTube is going to filter out “fake” view counts from the Most Viewed category, while Bustle entertainment editor Lindsey Mannering offers some eye-roll perspective:

If you’ve been appalled by the lack of attention our celebrities get; if you’ve been disgusted by the dearth of awards bestowed on the rich and famous; if you’re downright nauseated by the way our stars don’t get no respect… there’s good news. Because the Oscars, Emmys, SAG Awards, Grammys, VMAs, BET Awards, Golden Globes and Spirit Awards aren’t enough, there’s now a new awards show.

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Mark Harris on the Inanity of Early Oscar Buzz

There’s something extra special about this year’s marathon Oscar handicapping season being kick-started at Telluride and Toronto by a drama titled 12 Years a Slave. Because in recent years, the once organic and more tempered process of advance film buzz has become a slave to an endless 12 months of town-cried Academy Awards prognostication.

Not that film journalists are alone in this behavior. Tom O’Neil, the grand master of Gold Derby, rightly likes to point out that many other realms besides film awards season (ex: the 2016 U.S. presidential race) lead to early and heavy odds-making by so-called media experts.

Nevertheless, on the Oscar side, it seems to get a little worse each year, amplified by social media and the return in 2012-13 of more robust studio marketing budgets. Enter Mark Harris. In a Grantland piece titled “Is 12 Years a Slave Really a Best Picture Lock?,” he makes a number of resonating observations:

The recent compulsion to anoint a Best Picture favorite around Labor Day, a full 17 weeks before the end of the eligibility period for movies, represents the convergence of several factors… [including] an infection of festival coverage by Web-driven “First!” culture.

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Ellen DeGeneres on the Pros and Cons of Hosting the Oscars

The affable afternoon talk show host did a bit Tuesday about her process of saying yes to a second go at hosting the Oscars. It was cute, although come Academy Awards time, the gag writing needs to be a lot stronger.

At one point, DeGeneres noted the following:

“Pro: Meryl Streep could get a record 17th Oscar nomination.
Con: Hashtag #wereoveritmeryl.”

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Latest NLGJA Hall of Fame Inductees Include the Walter Cronkite ‘Zapper’

At the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA) annual convention running today through Sunday in Boston, freelance writer Michael Luongo and The Huffington Post’s Lila Shapiro will be feted. They are this year’s NLGJA “Journalist of the Year” and “LGBT Journalist of the Year,” respectively.

Saturday night, the organization will also induct two journalists into its Hall of Fame: the late Bob Ross, founder of the Bay Area Reporter, and Mark Segal, founder of the Philadelphia Gay News:

In 1972, after being thrown out of a dance competition for dancing with his male partner, Segal crashed the evening news broadcast of WPVI-TV, in what became known as a “zap.” By 1973, Segal, along with Harry Langhorne, calling themselves Gay Raiders, had zapped The Tonight Show, Today, The Mike Douglas Show and then the CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite, that time holding a sign saying ‘Gays Protests CBS Prejudice.’

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Memo to Bob Newhart’s Primetime Emmy Co-Nominees

We’re talking to you: Justin Timberlake, Will Forte, Bobby Cannavale, Louis C.K. and Nathan Lane.

Each one of you is nominated alongside comedy legend Bob Newhart in the 2013 Primetime Emmy category of Outstanding Guest Actor in a Comedy Series. Should any of you win at the Creative Arts ceremony, please consider a variation of Ving Rhames’ priceless move at the Golden Globes and making Newhart your version of Jack Lemmon.

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Who Should Ellen Dance With at Next Year’s Oscars?

There are so many show-open possibilities that come to mind for Ellen DeGeneres March 2 under the tutelage of telecast producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan. And since Billy Crystal recently reminded just how tense the room is when the host first walks out, FishbowlNY would like to float out the following three options.

1) OPTION ONE – Dance With Everybody: Ellen could get the whole crowd into it, in the same way that Tilda Swinton did this spring at EbertFest in honor of the late Roger Ebert. Ellen dancing up and down the aisles would loosen the Dolby Theatre up, fast.

2) OPTION TWO – Dance With Jack: Nicholson would probably never go for it. But is there a more iconic audience member from the era when Academy Awards broadcasts were watchable? We don’t think so. A brief on-stage jig with the sunglassed one would get things off to a gold-standard start.

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