In addition to his duties as an author and freelance film writer, Stephen Farber has a new gig: president of the Los Angeles Film Critics Assocation (LAFCA). He took over in late July from Brent Simon and tells FishbowlLA he has just begun working on the logistics of the group’s annual awards dinner.
Farber recently wrote a quartet of reviews for The Hollywood Reporter from Telluride and says that by year’s end, he will have written somewhere between two and three dozen critiques for the publication. He also contributes interviews and critical essays to outlets such as The Daily Beast and the LA Times.
“As an example, I did a piece for The Daily Beast before The Artist won Best Picture,” Farber recalls. “I was writing that if it did win, it would be the first time that a movie about movies or about Hollywood had won that prize, even though many such pictures have been made and, in some cases, been nominated.”
A problem in recent years with the Oscars telecast is that the winning performers have previously won the same prize at several other major awards shows, rendering their acceptances speeches moot. For example, Lincoln’s Daniel Day-Lewis could possibly run the table in 2012.
“The element of surprise at the Oscars is totally gone now because of all these other shows,” Farber concurs. “There used to be upsets and that really hasn’t happened much recently. I suppose Meryl Streep winning Best Actress for The Iron Lady was a minor upset, although you can hardly say that Streep winning an Oscar is an upset.”
“I would say that film awards season has become more extreme in the last four-five years,” he continues. “The number of screenings they now have, with all the different groups that try to court voters, is astonishing.”
Of his recent Telluride assignments, Farber says Ben Affleck’s Argo has a good chance of being in the running at the Dolby Theatre come February. “It’s an uplifting movie and also it’s kind of pro-Hollywood. So I think people in the industry are going to love it.”
Once a year, LAFCA considers new member applications. In 2012, the group added People film critic Alynda Wheat.
Previously on FishbowlLA:
LAFCA President Simon Says: Inception Not on my Top Ten