Last night the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences acted like the U. S. Congress during a State of the Union address--they kept jumping to their feet.
Remember the days when you could only guarantee two standing ovations during an Oscar telecast? One for the Lifetime Achievement Award winner and one for some other aged or recently ill star who showed up to present an award. On the rare occassion that a winner received a standing ovation it really meant something.
Now they stand for almost every performance and almost every winner.
But in this way they are like the general culture. I remember as a kid that when a play, concert, or recital ended, there was simply applause, not standing. Occassionally there was a standing ovation, but usually only at the final show in a run or when something especially moving had happened. Now people stand for every performance. It may not be a bad development, but it has lost its special meaning.
Oh, and on those Lifetime Achievement Oscars. I miss the segment of the show where that award and the Jean Hersholt and Irving Thalberg Awards were given. They've been missing for a few years now, having been moved to another night with their own dinner. This was the part of the show that real film fans really enjoyed and was the least like the contemporary awards show, which is probably why it got axed.
On one hand, I don't mind them moving them to a special event on another night, but I have minded that they don't broadcast that ceremony.
On the other hand, I do mind them being eliminated from the Oscar telecast. As a kid it was during these segments that I first encountered Akira Kurosawa and Satyajit Ray. It was a time to introduce some in the audience to the film arts that they may have never seen in their small town.