A “Hollywood Rust” it is

Cohen arrives as The Dictator, Seacrest gets urn-dusted and the 84th Annual Academy Awards emerge as a true blast from the past.

The Twitterverse erupted with exclamations of shock or amusement the moment threatened-with-banishment funny Sacha Baron Cohen arrived in his controversial costume and dumped an urn of ashes (actually, pancake mix) on a shocked Ryan Seacrest. The well-known TV personality was visibly peeved but remained composed, and it was the first entertaining event to take place Sunday night. Did it suck for Seacrest? Of course. But it provided a much-needed laugh amid an evening of tear-jerking homages.

Shortly before the ash-dumping incident, Ellie Kemp (Bridesmaids) told Ryan Seacrest on the red carpet that her dress was a “glittery rust.” Seacrest responded by calling it a “Hollywood Rust.” And he (perhaps inadvertently) hit the nail on the head.

Today was a big day for the entertainment world for reasons beyond the obvious. With Kodak filing for bankruptcy in January, the Oscars this year were broadcast not from the legendary Kodak Theater, but from “The Hollywood and Highland Center” in Hollywood, Calif. (same theater, new name). Host Billy Crystal poked at this wound, commending the audience for being “at the beautiful chapter 11 theater to celebrate Hollywood tradition.”

The entire three-hour (and five minute) show was filled with homages to the past. Black and white (and often silent) proved popular. Interviews with actors and actresses asking them about their first interaction with the movie theater were played throughout the night. Even the show itself, with its elaborate sets and popcorn girls, was a tribute to the art of cinema. Were the attendees that bored, or were the sets and popcorn acts of creative genius? Did I mention Cirque Du Soleil’s performance?

Rainn Wilson (Dwight, The Office) tweeted, "I feel like I'm watching a vaudeville themed tribute to Hollywood on a Carnaval Cruise ship in 1987."  And my God, that’s exactly what it felt like.

With the departure of Kodak, it felt like a new night for entertainment, for the Oscars. So then, what better way to celebrate that than by looking back at the role movies have played in our lives?

I enjoyed the Oscars tonight (minus the major sound snafus). I laughed, I aww’ed, I huffed and I puffed. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t really looking forward to the awards this year. I wasn’t passionately tied to any particular actor or movie. But the evening of homage managed to supercede my low expectations.

Steve Jobs once said, “Stay hungry, stay foolish,” a quote broadcasted at last night’s show. Kodak may be gone, but last night reminded us that movies aren’t going anywhere. The producers hammered the message into our heads over and over: go to the movies. Appreciate them. Stay hungry, stay foolish.

enlightening! now I can say I

enlightening! now I can say I watched it.

Good stuff, Sri.

Good stuff, Sri.

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