Is This the First Oscar-Worthy YouTube Video?
The venerable movie critic Roger Ebert has declared that Idiot with a Tripod, shot by an amateur filmmaker named Jamie Stuart during this week's snowstorm in New York City, should win the Academy Award for best live-action short subject. His reasoning is as follows:
(1) Because of its wonderful quality. (2) Because of its role as homage. It is directly inspired by Dziga Vertov's 1929 silent classic "Man With a Movie Camera." (3) Because it represents an almost unbelievable technical proficiency. It was filmed during the New York blizzard of Dec. 26, and Jamie Stuart e-mailed it to me with this time stamp: December 27, 2010 4:18:18 PM CST.
Oscar nominations aren't announced until February, of course, and Stuart's tiny film seems like a long shot. Still, it's a testament to technology—both its power to create and to disseminate information—that a film that took just a day to complete is receiving Oscar buzz from one of the most respected critics in the world.