It's perhaps fitting that during a year when Hollywood made even more films than usual about the love of film itself, the two big winners at the 84th Academy Awards on Sunday night were the movies most overtly about cinephilia: The Artist, a silent black-and-white film about silent black-and-white films, and Hugo, the story of a boy who meets a reclusive filmmaker and helps him rediscover his love of his art.
That song they play when a winner goes on too long at the Oscars? It has a name.
It's called "Too Long." Okay, not a creative name, but a name. Every conductor has a name for the get-off-the-stage music, and "Too Long" belongs to Bill Ross, who conducted the orchestra at last year's ceremony. And Bill wants you to know, it's not his call to interrupt speakers in what is possibly the best moment of their lives.
Before they made it to the Oscars, the nominated films — not to mention all the films that didn't make the cut — were viewed by some 6,000 members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Many of those movies were shown in small, private, rented screening rooms all over Hollywood.
The studios have their own screening rooms, of course, but often directors want a more private place to screen works in progress — with no studio suits in sight.