This day in history

Not exactly this day, but on May 16, I will be celebrating the first Academy Awards, which were held in 1929 to honor films made in 1927 and 1928.

I love thinking about that event, about how many things would stay the same right through until 2012, about how many things have changed.

Maybe the most amazing thing about this ceremony is that it lasted only fifteen minutes! Compare that to the lengthy broadcasts of today and, even though the tickets only cost $5, I’m pretty sure the attendees couldn’t possibly have got their money’s worth. Especially since the winners were announced three months earlier – that alone would definitely take some (most) of the excitement out of the event.

Emil Jannings (who is he?) won best actor for his work in two films, Janet Gaynor won best actress for her work in three separate films. Two films won awards that would eventually merge to be called best picture (one for artistic merit and one for production) – Wings and Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans.

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to see if I can dig up those movies and see how they stand up. They’ll be, of course, in black and white, and I’m a fan of black and white movies.

I’ll keep you posted.



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