Julie Salamon sits down with New Yorker staff writer and author Michael Schulman to discuss his new book, Oscar Wars: A History of Hollywood in Gold, Sweat, and Tears. In researching 90 years of Oscar history, Michael discovered how much the Academy Awards are an indication of what is happening in our culture at large. From the 1942 awards that were held just months after Pearl Harbor, to the emergence of the blockbuster in 1976, to the dominance of streaming that has created a more fractured pop culture. He questions what the future may hold for the Oscars and if the awards will continue to hold the same significance.
Michael shares about how he became interested in the entertainment industry growing up in Manhattan and attending Broadway shows. While he doesn’t come from a showbiz family, he was around entertainers growing up and avidly sought out movies and comedy as a child. One of his most prized posessions is a photo of his grandmother with Betty Davis.
Topics covered in this program: Old Hollywood, advent of the blockbuster, camp, streaming culture, the 70’s streaker, Oscars so white, the slap.