[Note: Scott Weinberg has the pro side of this argument -- why Roger Corman does deserve an Oscar -- in an article that you can read right here.]

In a post yesterday about the honorary Academy Awards given out over the weekend, I said this about one of the recipients, Roger Corman: "Corman, who has directed more than 50 films and produced nearly 400 (!), has never been nominated for an Oscar, probably because all of his movies are terrible. But apparently the Academy is rewarding quantity now, too. So don't give up, Uwe Boll! Just make another 300 movies!" These remarks were met with much disapproval by many readers, and so I would like to elaborate -- assuming any of the people who swore they'd never read Cinematical again are in fact still reading Cinematical (which they are).

First, a correction. I shouldn't have said "all of his movies are terrible." I should have said something like "his movies are generally terrible." "All" suggests that I've seen all 400 of them, which of course I haven't. I ought to have used more general language. That was my bad, as the kids say.

I stand by the point I was making, though. If the Academy is giving out Oscars based on the production of quality work -- which, last time I checked, was the basic idea behind the Oscars -- then Roger Corman does not qualify. The vast majority of his output is mediocre at best. Some of it is downright awful. A few films are good enough on their own, but not to where any of them would deserve Oscars individually. Even as a body, those moderately good Corman movies don't outweigh the dozens -- literally dozens and DOZENS -- of cheap, forgettable clunkers.

Producing a huge quantity of work whose overall entertainment or artistic value averages out to be somewhere between "mediocre" and "mediocre-plus" isn't worthy of Academy Award consideration. That's neat and everything, producing 400 movies over the course of 50 years. Very ambitious of you! But the Academy should be rewarding quality, not quantity.
categories Oscars, Awards, Cinematical