Similarities with 9/11 WTC SITE MEMORIAL DESIGN and 85th Annual OSCARS Awards Show Set Design

by Nicholas Tanis

Every year, I look forward to watching the Oscar Award presentations on televison.
This year was no different…or was it!?
After watching the Oscar’s Red Carpet “parade” on WABC -TV, the final countdown to the opening of the 2013 Awards Show commenced. The music cued, the curtain was raised, and the host walked out onto the stage.
And what to my wonderous eyes should I see …but a beautiful stage set design, that was remarkably identical to the 9/11 WTC Memorial – NYC, I had designed and submitted some ten years ago to the World Trade Commison, NYC!
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9/11 WTC MEMORIAL Designed by Nicholas Tanis
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Stage Set Design for OSCARS 85th Award Show Presentation, 2013
I really don’t understand what the relevancy of “a river of lit candles” has to do with the motion picture industry, film-making, the cinema, acting, drama, comedy, musicals, movie palaces of yore, etc. or any other given era of Hollywood and its relative symbolic icons.
What I had designed was meant to commemorate and memorialize all of those 3,000 victims, who lost their lives that bright sunny September morning, and thereafter, forever changing the entire world we live in today.
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Of course this very same sentiment was most apropos when Barbara Streisand came out on stage center and sang her signature “Memories” – paying tribute in “In Memoriam” to those who the Academy and film industry had lost this past year. The similarity of emotion was very touching indeed!
Could this be sheer coincidence, happenstance… or not!?
We all know what Confuscius had to say.
You decide – thank you!

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Oscar 2013 Top Five Predictions

I rank from top to bottom by total number of Oscars:

1. Lincoln
2. Zero Dark Thirty
3. Silver Lining Playbook
4. Life of Pi
5. Les Miserables
6. Django Unchained
7. Argo
8. Amour
9. Beast of The Southern Wild

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Skyfall The 007 Flick that Brings M Full Circle

Directed by Sam Mendes, “Skyfall” is, a reinvention of Bond, with Craig, after the last somewhat disappointing installment with “Quantum of Solace”.  The beginning action sequences including  Bond frolicking on top of a train are classic  and with Turkey as a back set, it is appropriate for this cross-roads of old Bond meets new Bond.  Javier Bardem shines as a twisted villain out for revenge on “M” or Emma, played by the remarkable Judi Dench who shamefully was left out of the Oscars for 2013 as was the film in other key categories.  The film in going from Emma to Mallory passes on the baton and brings us full circle in the gender of “M”.  It is an action packed, riveting suspenseful film that hooks the viewer in from the get go for a great adventure that will not disappoint.  Rent it today, if you have not seen it as it is a 9 on my scale of 1 to 10.  It is by far one of the better installments in this franchise of film.

WITH: Daniel Craig (James Bond), Javier Bardem (Silva), Ralph Fiennes (Gareth Mallory), Naomie Harris (Eve), Bérénice Lim Marlohe (Severine), Ben Whishaw (Q), Rory Kinnear (Tanner), Ola Rapace (Patrice), Albert Finney (Kincade) and Judi Dench (M).

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“Argo” Left me Wanting a More Compelling Story

I saw “Argo” a couple of nights ago, and I was left wanting a more compelling screenplay. There is not much action nor suspense until the last 30 minutes.  The acting is first rate, and it is a shame that Ben Affleck was not nominated for a “Best Actor” Oscar, because other than this  I don’t see the academy bestowing too many awards on this film, especially with the likes of “Lincoln”, “Sky Fall”, and “Zero Dark Thirty” in contention.  According to the president of the day, Jimmy Carter, the story is 90% accurate but for the role the CIA played in setting the rescue up, which in fact was played by the Canadian government of the day with Flora McDonald as the minister for External Affairs and Joe Clark as the PM.  Having lived in Canada during the crisis, I was somewhat perplexed by the story in the movie which had the CIA and the Ben Affleck character be the hero when in fact, Ken Taylor, then Canadian ambassador, played the pivotal role in getting the hostages out.  The Swiss abided by having the plane fly out of Tehran. Taylor convinced the, then Prime Minister of Canada Joe Clarke, to issue Canadian passports to fool the Iranians into thinking the six Americans were Canadian citizens. The covert operation was called: The Canadian Caper.  I cannot imagine how this movie could possibly “thank Canada” as Mr. Affleck says he intended to do with such a distortion of truth.  CIA agent, Tony Mendez as portrayed in the film, was never a pivotal character nor only hero in the real story.

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Putting aside, the lack of historical accuracy, as an entertaining film the movie fails with such a poor screenplay that is all over the place with little focus on the real drama and suspense in getting the hostages out alive.  On a scale of 1 to 10, I give this film a 4; it shouldn’t take an hour and twenty minutes before I am hooked into wanting to watch the rest of the story, imaginary or real.

WITH: Ben Affleck (Tony Mendez), Bryan Cranston (Jack O’Donnell), Alan Arkin (Lester Siegel), John Goodman (John Chambers), Victor Garber (Ken Taylor), Tate Donovan (Bob Anders), Clea DuVall (Cora Lijek), Scoot McNairy (Joe Stafford), Rory Cochrane (Lee Schatz), Christopher Denham (Mark Lijek) and Kerry Bishé (Kathy Stafford).

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