Good Morning Oscar, February 23: Words, Art & Sex

An Oscar cornucopia: word puzzles, odd statistics, gay porn and the Banksy watch

Ian J. Griffiths revisits a feature from last year, in which the Guardian took the previous year's acceptance speeches and created "Wordles" graphics in which the prominence of the scrambled words is proportional to how often they were used in the speech. The challenge: identify the speaker. Some are easy to figure out (the words "bingo" and "Quentin" give one of last year's winners away), others tougher. And I'd forgotten which of last year's winners would have been talking so much about Humphrey Bogart until I checked the answers at the end of the feature. (The Guardian)

Banksy houseThe Banksy watch continues. The latest: three new works of street art have shown up on the artist's website (including the one at left). The Melrose & Fairfax blog does an extensive job of locating new work and keeping an eye on old. Meanwhile, the British website Metro reported that Banksy had asked if he could accept his award wearing a disguise, but had been turned down; they did so using a quote from TheWrap's story of two weeks ago, though they credited it to "Entertainment Week." The Hollywood Reporter took Metro's story and somehow turned it into "Banksy … has told the British press" that his request to appear in disguise had been denied, preserving the quote from TheWrap (and the incorrect attribution) in the process. Then the British newspaper the Guardian linked to the THR story in the process of writing their own piece, which repeated the usual info but this time stripped TheWrap's quote of any attribution at all. And finally, after this dizzying round of misattribution and questionable elaboration, something faintly new: Academy president Tom Sherak tells Tim Appelo that Banksy wanted to wear a mask to the Oscars, that the Academy would prefer that he didn't, and that if the elusive artist did try to get to the stage if he wins, "I'm not gonna stand up to stop him." (The Hollywood Reporter)

Last year, the day that Oscar ballots were due brought the announcement of a lawsuit against the makers of Best Picture frontrunner (and soon-to-be winner) "The Hurt Locker." This year, the same day brought a far sillier revelation – that a location used in Best Picture frontrunner "The King's Speech" has also been used for gay porn. Kyle Buchanan supplies two photos and a link to more, um, graphic proof, but be warned: following his link leads to some extremely Not Suitable for Work territory. Of course there's no suggestion that either production knew about the other, and no sense of who got there first. (Vulture)

Scott Weinberg presents what he says are the "Top 10 Weird and Wonderful Oscar Statistics You May Have Missed." Some are relatively well-known ("The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King" went 11-for-11 in 2004, Meryl Streep holds the record for acting nominations), others less so ("The Broadway Melody" and "Grand Hotel" both won Best Picture and nothing else, though in the case of the latter film that was its only nomination). And one, I think, it wrong: he says "the biggest 'losers,' statistically speaking" are "Becket" and "Johnny Belinda," both of which won a single award out of 12 nominations. But wouldn't it be worse to go 0-for-11? That's what "The Color Purple" and "The Turning Point" did, which Weinberg misses. (Cinematical)

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