Decades of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences being out of step with contemporary values are finally catching up with it.
For the second year running all of the twenty nominees in the acting categories have been from Euro-white background, and while the Academy has made some great choices in recent years, "12 Years A Slave" in 2013 for example, a lot of talented choices have been overlooked for the 2015 awards. Coincidence? The consensus is that it is not.
Arthur Beetson, one of Australia's greatest rugby league players of all time, died suddenly on December 1 at the age of 66. A larger-than-life figure who was a brilliant play maker in the second row for Balmain, Easts and Parramatta, his last major game of football as a player was the inaugural State of Origin clash between Queensland and New South Wales in 1980. The first indigenous Australian to captain a national sporting side, Beetson became a coach, mentor and indigenous community leader in later years. And he even had a go at acting.
It's probably corny to describe Dennis Hopper as an "icon among iconoclasts", but the mark he left on motion picture history was notable and much admired. And not just because he lived to the age of 74 despite decades of drugs and alcohol.
Hopper died yesterday after a long battle with cancer. He was meant to visit Australia last year to open an exhibition of his photography in Melbourne. He had to pull out at the last minute, and made no further public appearances.
Today, June 20, is the centennial of Tasmania's biggest thespian, Errol Flynn. While I pondered some three years ago whether Ricky Ponting was a bigger Tasmanian, his Punterness hasn't been swashing his buckle too well in those live action shorts better known as the ICCWT20 lately.
As Australia mourns the passing of Bud Tingwell - who has, indeed, been granted a state funeral next Wednesday - let us cast our minds back to the 1953 war drama "The Desert Rats", in which Tingwell played a minor role. Field Marshall Rommel was played in the same film by James Mason. Today, May 15, is the 100th anniversary of his birth.
Creative writers from the highly-leveraged Channel Nine's publicity department have been spruiking the announcement yesterday that the Haunted House of Packer will be televising next year's Why It Looks Like My Uncle Oscars on February 23 for, in their words, "the first time" in Australia.
Those of us who remember "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" cleaning up the WILLMOOs live on Channel Seven in March 1976 will know otherwise.
There was a time when Charlton Heston, who died yesterday at the age of 83, was a hero of mine. Then I began to appreciate some of the subtleties of screen acting. And well before he became chief evangelist for the Gun Lobby. In the tradition of my Jack Palance obituary, here is my Top Ten List In Chronological Order of my favourite Charlton Heston screen appearances: