Like every year, Sunday’s 2020 Oscars ceremony was a night of overwhelming highs and abysmal lows. But Parasite is now a four-time Oscar winner, so things are mostly right in the world. Because of that, we’ll only be counting down the highs of this year’s host-less Oscars ceremony, which ran the gamut of emotions from confusing, to chaotic, to cathartic. Here are our highlights of the 92nd Academy Awards.Janelle Monae is Our New May Queen
In a gonzo opening number that would set the wacky tone for last night’s Oscar ceremony, Janelle Monae paid tribute to movies the Academy acknowledged, and the ones they snubbed. Donning a Mr. Rogers sweater to sing a twinkling rendition of his show’s famous theme song, “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” Monae was soon joined by a host of background dancers dressed in costumes from snubbed films, including Us, Midsommar, Dolemite Is My Name, and more.
As she crowned herself the new May Queen while singing her hit song “Come Alive,” Monae made a searing indictment of the Oscars’ diversity problem. “It’s time to come alive because the Oscars is so white!” she shouted, before getting Cynthia Erivo, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Brie Larson to awkwardly sing along. It was weird, it was tongue-in-cheek, and it was the kind of wild, chaotic energy that would set the tone for the rest of a strange Oscar ceremony.Attack of the Elsas
The Oscars showed its commitment to its global outreach with a soaring rendition of Frozen 2‘s flagship song “Into the Unknown,” led by star Idina Menzel, who was joined by nine international actresses who had also voiced Elsa. Since the film’s November release, Frozen 2 has been translated into 45 other languages, of which 10 were represented at the Oscars during a multilingual rendition of “Into the Unknown.” All dressed in icy flowing gowns and singing in different keys sorry Denmark, the Elsa’s joined forces to give us the kind of glamorous, shimmering spectacle that we crave from Hollywood’s biggest night.Every Time Bong Joon-Ho Was Onstage
Parasite director Bong Joon-ho has been a gift for us this awards season, entertaining us with his sick burns and his pure joy at celebrating cinema alongside the auteurs he admires. And he continued to delight every time he was onstage — nay, every time he was on the screen during the 2020 Oscars.
From his adorable giggle as he looked fondly at his Oscar statuette when he and co-writer Han Jin Won won Best Original Screenplay, to frequent jokes about how he was going to “drink until next morning,” Bong won the night in every aspect because of his sheer earnestness — which was best exemplified by his acceptance speech for his Best Director...
The year was 1918. As World War I was ending, the Spanish Flu began ravaging the world. Within a year, it killed 675,000 Americans and 50 million worldwide - 10 million more than those who perished in the war.
There are several parallels between the response to the Spanish Flu and COVID-19 in the U.S. In both cases, states of emergency were declared; all public places, including movie theaters and schools, were closed for months; and wearing face masks in public was recommended.
The Spanish flu pandemic brought about cataclysmic changes in the film business, most of them orchestrated by Adolph Zukor. It led to the establishment of the studio system, which continues to dominate Hollywood, and vertical integration, with studios wrestling control over movie theaters from mom-and-pop owners.HarperCollins
In an interview with Deadline, Hollywood historian William Mann, author of Tinseltown: Murder, Morphine, and Madness at the Dawn of Hollywood, which he and Kevin Murphy are adapting into a series for Spectrum Originals, talks about the Spanish flu pandemic’s profound impact on the film business, what big shakeups the current pandemic could bring especially in theater ownership, and how long would it take for Hollywood to recover. He also points out mistakes made in handling the Spanish flu pandemic that today’s authorities should learn from, acknowledges the biggest star Hollywood lost to the Spanish flu, and highlights celebrities’ attitude to wearing masks in public back then.
You can also follow a timeline of the 1918 epidemic in Hollywood under the Q&A that illustrates some of the points Mann makes and paints a fascinating picture of how the California and LA authorities tackled the crisis - sometimes winning, sometime stumbling - and how theater owners fought for survival.
DEADLINE: You have studied every chapter of Hollywood’s history. Why is this period, from about 1918 through about 1926, so important?
MANN: This is when Hollywood is created, this is when all of the structures that would define the American film industry were put into place - how movies were made, how they were sold, how they were shown.
This is the moment in history where the American film industry decided to go a particular way. Up to that point there were many different ways this could have gone, independent films, artists control - they tried that with United Artists. But the studio system was created in this period and it really begins with the 1918 epidemic.
DEADLINE: What role did the pandemic play in the creation of the studio system?
MANN: During the outbreak, between 80% and 90% of American movie theaters were closed for anywhere between two to six months. This was a huge disruption and not only moviegoing but...
Every studio is juggling: When will their movies be finished, and when can theaters reopen? If we are to believe the National Association of Theater Owners spokesman John Fithian, this moving, 3D jigsaw puzzle will come together as early as June. Movies intended for the spring and early summer schedule will move forward, and unfinished movies will push back to the already-crowded 2021.
However, that doesn’t even begin to touch the complex matrix that would-be Oscar nominees face in 2020: How are buyers going to find these films in the face of an uncertain festival environment — and, once theaters can open, how will they find screens amidst a glut of delayed blockbusters?
One thing is certain: None of this will be easy, and no one has the time to mess with anything that isn’t actually up to snuff. As Fithian finished a Friday online meeting with some 700 global exhibitors, vendors, and press, Disney dropped its revised release schedule. Its first theatrical movie to go straight to Disney+ will be the bad-buzz title “Artemis Fowl.” Even Exhibitor Relations tweeted: “As expected, Disney’s ‘Artemis Fowl’ will debut exclusively on Disney+… where it always belonged.”
As expected, Disney’s ARTEMIS FOWL will debut exclusively on Disney+…where it always belonged.
Release date: TBD.
— Exhibitor Relations Co. 2: Box Office Boogaloo @ERCboxoffice April 3, 2020
Likely to change is Disney’s next release, Pixar’s “Soul,” on June 19. Even NATO doesn’t believe most movies will be able to open nationwide until July, where Warner Bros.’ Christopher Nolan tentpole “Tenet” still sits on July 18. Nolan is the heartfelt champion of exhibitors, even penning an op-ed in The Washington Post at Fithian’s behest.
Most movies shifting their dates are mainstream pictures and unlikely Oscar contenders in the best of times except for animated features: Live-action remake “Mulan” is now July 24 and Marvel’s “Black Widow” is November 6. As for those titles more likely to be considered — well, currently it looks a little lean.
Optimistically, Ridley Scott’s “The Last Duel,” starring Matt Damon and Ben Affleck which interrupted its production schedule is now set for limited release December 25. That suggests Disney label Twentieth Century holds out hope for Oscar consideration.
On the studio side, Jon M. Chu’s adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda musical “In the Heights” remains undated for Warner Bros. — the director promises a theatrical release — while Steven Spielberg’s musical “West Side Story” should easily complete post-production in time for its December 18...