Sep 11, 2009
It's About Time!
Roger Corman with Vincent Price on the set of House of Usher.
I'll have to look outside to see if pink elephants are flying, or perhaps I should dig a hole to see if they're throwing snowballs in the netherworld. No, I don't mean because ESR is publishing for the first time in nearly a year, but today we received the news that Roger Corman, yes Roger Corman, is due to receive an honorary Oscar this year.
Now, I would be remiss not to mention that the legendary cinematographer Gordon Willis (who turned underexposure into an art form), as well as screen icon Lauren Bacall are also tapped to receive well-deserved statuettes for their body of work. But Roger Freaking Corman, man! And I say, it's about time! Despite how a lot of the Hollywood intelligentsia might poo-poo a lot of the 500-plus budget-minded exploitation films to which the legendary producer-director has had his name attached, perhaps Corman's most important link to mainstream cinema is that important players both before and behind the camera got their start with him. Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, Bruce Dern and Peter Fonda paid their dues in Corman's films of the 60's before becoming the darlings (or in some cases enfants terribles) of the 1970's. Likewise, the Hollywood Brats of the same decade (Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola, Peter Bogdanovich, et al) earned their stripes with the great one who gave them and many other budding filmmakers a chance to learn their craft under his frugal conditions.
Next year's Oscars ceremony threatens to gorge itself with ten Best Picture nominees, and the thing we at the desks of ESR most want to see would have already transpired. These three legends get their honorary statues on November 14 in their own mini-ceremony. No word yet if they'll at least televise the event in its own right, or at least in an excerpted bit on what otherwise promises to be an overlong masturbation festival next spring, but if they do, I'd like to prepare for the event much like the year Robert Altman received his long overdue statue (another night the elephants flew), with some wine, herbal products and Greg's famous nachos.
I could go on and on with more facts about Roger Corman's importance, but since I've already spent a year of my life explaining this, rather than repeat myself for you here dear reader, why not just buy my book instead?