It's a never-ending refrain that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences is desperately trying to appeal to younger audience with its annual Oscars broadcast. Sometimes this means Snow White performs, or Seth MacFarlane makes juvenile boob jokes, or Ellen plays to selfies obsession. But now the Academy is working on a more long-term plan to draw in younger demographics, and it's starting with Let's Go To The Movies With Patton Oswalt, the first episode of which you can watch above.
Deadline reports stand-up comedian, outspoken movie nerd and Twitter megastar Patton Oswalt has partnered with the Academy to create an ongoing web series that will introduce viewers to a new movie from their archives every week. Two other series will use similar digital documentary platforms to explore the creative process of filmmaking, examine major moments that forever changed film history, and spotlight up-and-coming filmmakers.
For the first episode of Let's Go To The Movies With Patton Oswalt, our host chose the 1961 crime-noir Blast of Silence, written and directed by Allen Baron with narration penned by Waldo Salt. Then, Oswalt traveled to the New Beverly theater where he met up with friend and fellow comedienne Karen Kilgariff to take in the movie, then discuss it at a café fittingly called Shaky Alibi. What seems to appeal to Oswalt and Kilgariff about Blast of Slience is the gruff treatment of its thug anti-hero, how this noir fits into the era, as well as how it stands out.
In case you're unfamiliar with Blast of Silence, get a feel for what Patton Oswalt and Karen Kilgariff are talking about with its trailer:
Blast of Silence also stars writer-director Allen Baron as Frankie Bono, a Cleveland hitman called to New York City over Christmas to kill a mid-level mobster played by Peter H. Clune. But this hit won't go as Bono has planned. The film earned no Academy Award attention, but Blast of Silence did score a Criterion Collection release in 2008 that boasted a restored digital transfer, making-of featurette, and behind-the-scene Polaroid photos.
Did this episode make you want to check out Blast of Silence?
Another Academy video offered under this umbrella is Creative Spark, which gives voice to the people behind the movie. In the first ep, the Academy focuses on Peeples writer-director Tina Gordon Chism.
And lastly, the Academy debuts "Not Much To See: How The Blind Enjoy Movies," a surprisingly insightful (pardon the pun) short that explains DVS, Descriptive Video Service.
Be sure to bookmark Academy Originals for upcoming videos.