The internets were abuzz this morning about the snubbing of Joan Rivers from the Academy Awards' 2015 Cavalcade of the Dead. People are legitimately surprised that a woman who spent much of her life mocking people on the red carpet was omitted from the "In Memoriam" tribute. At least they finally got rid of the obligatory applause during the montage, which had the awkward habit of rising and falling based on the celebrity of the person appearing on the screen.
I saw about five minutes of last night's ceremony, which is five minutes more than I've seen of the presentation during the last two decades. I pretty much quit the Oscars during the whole FOREST GUMP vs PULP FICTION kerfuffle and have (rarely) looked back. By chance, I was in the room during the "In Memoriam" segment and spotted the card for make-up artist Dick Smith. For a moment, it appeared that Barnabas Collins had found his way into the montage ... but it was only Dustin Hoffman from LITTLE BIG MAN. Yes, it's essentially the same make-up appliance Smith used in HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS, but still ... I had disappointments.
Smith, of course, worked on the DARK SHADOWS television series, creating the first version of the "Old Man Barnabas" make-up in 1967. I still prefer the work Smith did on the television show, but concede that the make-up in HOUSE OF DARK SHADOWS is scarier.
There seemed to be no rhyme or reason to the visuals used in this year's presentation. The images were actually quite attractive, and were so complex that I wondered how long they took to prepare. Rather than just using a still photo from the archives, the producers opted to have mixed media images (or their digital counterparts, anyway) for each of the people featured in the gallery.
The variety of the images used was a little weird, though. This was a remembrance of people who died during the last year, but many of the images were photos taken of the actors when they were much, much younger. I'm positive James Garner has had his photo taken since the release of THE GREAT ESCAPE in 1963, so I don't know what they had to dig that deep into the archives unless they were trying to make some other statement. (Gasp! Can Hollywood be ... shallow?) Edward Herrmanm's photo looked to have been taken a few months ago, while the one for Robin Williams might have been from his Mork years. And I'm still a little confused as to why a photo of Eli Wallach from THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY was used. Were they afraid people wouldn't know who he was? See also: Bob Hoskins' portrait, which showed him kissing Jessica Rabbit.