February 23, 2012

Interview with Writers Guild of America Member Dr. Steven Kussin: Screenings, Predictions and Plans For Sunday Night

As a member of the Writers Guild of America Dr. Steve Kussin gives his insight into the process of screening films, which films he feels deserves Sundays gold, and what he will be doing Sunday night.

Name:  Dr. Steven Kussin

Occupation: Adjunct Professor of Radio-TV-Film, Hofstra University

Explain how being in the Writers Guild allows you to screen award nominated films. What do you vote on? What film were you pleasantly surprised about and which ones were you not crazy about?

This is awards season: The Academy Awards....Screen Actors Guild... the Writers Guild of America--and others. As a member of the WGA, I try to view all the entries and then vote. Generally, our members vote on the "writing" aspect of the nominees. I felt it was a strong field this year. The films were very different. Need I say more about "The Artist" which I enjoyed on several counts. I felt that "The Help" captured an important era in our nation's history; I view it as a "prequel" to the Civil Rights movement. And "The Descendants" was a captivating family-in-crisis story, beautifully filmed. The other entries also had a great deal to offer as well. There was no problem coming up with a list of top pictures this year.

How many films did you see that are up for nomination for this Sundays Oscar? Which ones did you screen and which ones did you see in theaters?

 I got to see most of the films. Although it's convenient to see them home, it's very different when you see them on the wide screen and are part of a larger audience.

our Predictions: You can choose from any category you want (Best Actor, Film, Actress, Supporting,etc) Feel free to add whatever you want

Since these are not writing categories, I am commenting simply as an avid movie-goer, rather than a WGA member. I think that "The Help" will fare very well in all categories, particularly Best Actress and Supporting Actress. As I said above, "The Artist" was unique in every way. George Clooney, as well as his supporting cast, told a simple yet poignant family story. "Midnight in Paris" was one of Woody Allen's best efforts. It could go all the way. I think Meryl Streep may give Viola Davis a run for the money for best actress. As one critic said, she doesn't play the part-- she becomes the part. Although I didn't see Christopher Plummer's movie, I heard he was terrific.
It's interesting that this was the year of the French: Midnight in Paris, The Artist, Hugo.

What are your plans for Sunday?

We have a tradition on Oscar night:  send out for our favorite dinner -- and then plant ourselves in front of the television -- from the Red Carpet -- to the final award.  No e-mails, phone calls, or interruptions!  This is a very special night.  I've always been fascinated with just about every aspect of the movie business.

No comments:

Post a Comment