An exhibition of Deutsches Filmmuseum in cooperation with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
November 14, 2012 – May 5, 2013
Under the patronage of the ambassador of the United States of America to the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr. Philip D. Murphy
The Oscar® is the most glamorous and popular film prize in the world. Early every year millions of people worldwide gather in front of TV and movie screens to witness a phenomenon that has accompanied cinema history for 85 years: the Academy Awards® ceremony!
The exhibition investigates the enormous significance of the fascinating trophy, which quickly became Hollywood’s greatest icon, and introduces the institution behind the gleaming golden statuette: the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The focus is on the „Best Picture“ category, the only category in which all Academy members cast their votes for both nominees and winners; the exhibition is an encounter with all films – nearly 500 titles! – that were ever nominated for an Oscar® in this king of categories.
Unique exhibits from the outstanding special collections of the Academy evoke eminent works of film history and the process of their creation: discover storyboards for WEST SIDE STORY (1961) or FORREST GUMP (1994), smile at the comments made by the great Alfred Hitchcock on the actresses testing for the film REBECCA (1940), or read a handwritten letter from Audrey Hepburn to George Cukor, the director of MY FAIR LADY (1964).
Admire the Oscars® awarded to Bette Davis, Clark Gable and Billy Wilder and let yourself fall under the spell of the golden statuettes!
A timeline leads through the exhibition, recalling all the films ever nominated for an Oscar® in the „Best Picture“ category. It begins at the first Academy Awards® ceremony in 1929 and ends with the films which competed for the coveted honor in 2012.
For each film of every Oscar® year there is an evocative still; for each winning film there is also a film excerpt, showing the „best scene“ of the „Best Picture.“ In addition, on a monitor one may share in the magic moment of the Oscars®: the envelope is opened and the winner is announced with the famous words „And the Oscar® goes to…“
The spectacular exhibits from the Academy Library’s special collections guarantee the highest display value: costume and set designs, storyboards, script extracts, posters, documents relating to casting, musical scoring or visual effects.
The exhibition will naturally accompany the contemporary Oscar® season: from the announcement of the nominations in January till the 85th Academy Awards® ceremony on 24th February 2013!
The theme islands illuminate interesting aspects of Oscar® history: from the Academy’s founding in 1927, through background information about the voting process and the conditions a film must meet in order to be eligible for a „Best Picture“ nomination, to today’s Academy Awards® ceremony, which always shows the glamorous and elegant side of Hollywood.
What makes the Oscar® so attractive? What does winning an Oscar® mean? And how is it perceived on this side of the Atlantic? These are questions that the theme islands will address. The islands will further investigate the links between Oscar® history, contemporary history and film history: how have far-reaching historical events, such as World War Two, or the global upheavals in the aesthetics and technology of cinema in the 1960s, affected the choice of „Best Picture“ and the Academy Awards® ceremony itself?
Not only through individual subjects does each theme island acquire a special profile, but also through the presentation of authentic Oscar® statuettes for films like GONE WITH THE WIND (1939), THE APARTMENT (1960) or LAWRENCE OF ARABIA (1962). Alongside are many other fascinating exhibits – such as the seating plan for the very first Academy Awards® ceremony, or an original envelope containing the card with the winner’s name – that allow the visitor to partake of the special atmosphere of the Oscars®.
In German and English editions, the catalog will comprehensively examine the Oscar® phenomenon: with contributions by German and American authors as well as many illustrations of the unique items displayed in the exhibition.
FILM SERIES AND EVENTS
In cooperation with the Academy Film Archive, the film series will present restored versions of „Best Picture“ Oscar®-winners. This will be a unique opportunity to see these prints on the big screen.
German Oscar®-winners will be recognized in a series of screenings and events entitled „And the Oscar® goes to… GERMANY!“ Honorees will speak of their experiences and feelings on the day of the Oscars®, the direct consequences of the win and the long-term effects on their careers.
Supported by the City of Frankfurt am Main