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The Reeler Blog

More From the NYFCC: Sarris Bathroom Break Thwarts Linklater Glory

Look, I don't know who Bilge Ebiri's source was inside the New York Film Critic's Circle awards vote, but we all owe him/her a debt of gratitude (and maybe an aspirin) for smuggling out a handful of notes revealing the byzantine scoring clusterfuck alleged to have evinced itself in today's balloting:

Miller's penguin-fest (Happy Feet) beat out A SCANNER DARKLY by a mere two points, but no sooner had this result been announced than Andrew Sarris, who has taken a bathroom break a few minutes earlier, revealed that (1) he had neglected to submit his ballot for this round of voting, and (2) he would have cast his top vote for the Linklater, giving it the victory. ...
(NYFCC Chairman Marshall) Fine ruled that Sarris should be able to vote as he'd intended, and that his ballot would simply be added to the totals. Sarris confirmed that he was giving A SCANNER DARKLY three points. When asked what his second choice was, he answered FLUSHED AWAY, which wasn't in the running. When pressed for a third choice (worth one point), however, he came up blank. "I just wanted to vote for A SCANNER DARKLY," he said. Various statisticians pointed out that (a) if he didn't name a third film, his vote for the Linklater would only count for two points instead of three, making it a tie that would require another round of voting, and (b) if he were to name HAPPY FEET as his third choice, that too would result in a tie. Sarris, who seemed a tad befuddled, simply reiterated his preference for SCANNER, at which point Owen Gleiberman complained that he felt Sarris was casting a vote for the sole purpose of altering the winner. Others made noises of assent, and Fine changed his ruling (with Sarris' blessing), saying the original point totals would stand and HAPPY FEET would receive the prize.

Lest you think Ebiri or I are teeing off at Sarris's expense, it's not like Rex Reed or, well, any of the warring foreign film-wonk factions fared any better. Let it suffice to say: There must be a better way for intelligent New Yorkers to express their appreciation for a couple of movies. Mustn't there? Please?

Posted at December 11, 2006 4:00 PM

Comments (4)

Ebiri's source must be someone who participates, or has participated, in the online discussion group, "Cinemasters."

This is clear because Ebiri used the code word "bud:" "Thanks to a furiously updating bud. . ." cinemasters often refer to themselves as "bud."

Ebiri is (or at least was) a member.

Prime candidate:
Mike D'Angelo. D'Angelo is a longtime cinemaster; he is also a member of the New York Film Critics Circle.

Marshall Fine should establish an independent commission to investigate this severe breach of NYFCC protocol, and try to track down this "Bud Throat."

I suggest a hearing, whereat all NYFCC are interrogated:

"Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Cinemasters online discussion group?"

How different is this than Armond White's yearly recap of what happened during the voting -- wherein he tries to bash members who disagreed with him as being frauds or having poor taste?

Bzzt. I also happen to be a film critic in New York City -- which means that I know way more people in the NYFCC than just Mike.

SMOKING BUD - armond white gets a pass because he's insane.

and, ebiri, you may know many others than mike d'angelo, but you referred to your source as a "bud" - clearly indicating that whoever is your source is himself a CINEMASTER! (there being few female cinemasters.)

i call on marshall fine to convene an independent investigation headed by special prosecutor peter fitzgerald! subpoena ebiri's email records! subpoena d'angelo's cellphone / blackberry / gizmo records!


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