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REFRESHING YEAR FOR OSCARS

by Paul Butler

Honorary Academy Award Winner Ennio Morricone

With filmmakers from Mexico, Spain, and Japan making up a significant proportion of the nominations, there seemed for once a shift from the dominant atmosphere of "Americana" at the 79th Academy Awards ceremony. While this annual ritual is undoubtedly the most accredited and widely watched film event, it is also traditionally an occasion that bolsters the Hollywood establishment.
     It came as something of a surprise then to watch as, from among the first six Oscars awarded, three went to the Spanish-language allegorical fantasy Pan’s Labyrinth. The vast TV audience went on to witness the highly unusual spectacle of a largely un-translated Italian-language acceptance speech from Ennio Morricone, winner of an honorary statuette for his contribution to film music.

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