Monday, February 25, 2008

Night of 1000 Estrellas

Because American culture, for better or worse, seems to dominate the world, the Oscars are a pretty big deal in Mexico, even when there are no Mexican films or people up for awards. (Javier Bardem may have been playing a Mexican, though, so today might be a holiday here. We'll get back to you on this.) The ceremony was on two different channels, TV Azteca and some small cable channel, both of which take in the Oscar feed using an ancient technology that gives it the look and feel of the Apollo moon landings. We watched the cable channel because the "hosts" were less obtrusive. The hosts being a group of film academics sitting in a small studio a couple thousand miles from the Kodak Theatre. Though the ceremony is broadcast in English, the eggheads talk over it for four solid hours - not translating it, just commenting on it. Between the crappy image and the nonstop overtalk, it's like watching Mystery Science Theater 3000, but with a megawatt all-star cast.

It seemed that the most frequent comment was that "[Name of film winning an award] hasn't played in Mexico yet," which does make us wonder what all the excitement was about. There was a some glee that the "North Americans" got shut out of the acting awards. (This, from a country that still counts Anthony Quinn among its Oscar winners, even though he left Mexico when he was four.)

Also, when Nicole Kidman came on-screen, we learned that the words "botox" and "collagen" are the same in Spanish.

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