Glamour, snubs, surprises, tears, laughter—emotions and stakes run high at the Academy Awards. Now the exclamation point at the end of a long awards season, the Oscars have represented the pinnacle of achievement in the American film industry for over ninety years. The ups and downs the Academy faces in our broad cultural consciousness demand that we take a step back to reexamine what the Academy Awards are and why they still resonate as a symbol of artistic excellence.
In this “How to See” video, MoMA’s Chief Curator of Film Rajendra Roy and The Academy’s Director of New York Programs and Member Relations Patrick Harrison detail the history of the awards, reveal some of their favorite moments and disappointments from ceremonies past, and examine how the Academy must respond to cultural reckonings of today.
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The comments and opinions expressed in this video are those of the speaker alone, and do not represent the views of The Museum of Modern Art, its personnel, or any artist.