Premios Oscar: La hoguera de las vanidades

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Estatuillas del premio Oscar.

Óscar Sotelo Ortiz
@oscarsopos 

Para Walter Benjamín, filósofo alemán, el cine era el “agente más poderoso” del tránsito de la obra de arte en el siglo XX, cuya condición aurática, tradicional, de culto, se desdibujaba por la nueva forma de la reproductividad técnica, del valor de la exhibición, del entretenimiento como cultura de masas.

“Al cine le importa poco que el intérprete represente a otro ante el público; lo que le importa es que se represente a sí mismo ante el sistema de aparatos”, sentencia Benjamín en su ensayo La obra de arte en la época de su reproductibilidad técnica, escrito en 1936. Al ser ese agente de la revolución que recupera, prolonga y complejiza tanto la reproducción como el tratamiento de la imagen, mixtura entre la pintura y la fotografía, el cine como obra de arte renuncia al aura del público; su lugar es el estudio cinematográfico, donde se experimenta la muestra contundente de que el arte se ha escapado de la “apariencia bella”, al prestigio que prospera con los aplausos y la ovación.

La Academia y el premio

Sin embargo, el cine no solo es la manifestación del arte en un periodo de desarrollo tecnológico, sino una robusta y ascendente industria, que desde su nacimiento en el siglo XX hasta el día de hoy, acumula un excepcional poder, cuya rimbombancia se materializa en el último fin de semana de febrero, en la ceremonia de premiación del Oscar.

Lo que identificó Benjamín alrededor de la anómala representación del cine como un fenómeno de la reproductividad técnica, lo resolvieron las principales cabezas de la industria cinematográfica de Hollywood en 1927 al crear la Academia de Artes y Ciencias Cinematográficas, y el Oscar como un acto solemne para reconocerse entre ellos mismos.

El objetivo no solo era mejorar la imagen del cine, que por aquellas épocas era vilipendiado por sectores antisemitas y anticomunistas, sino esencialmente como estrategia de autopromoción de su propia industria. Se le llamó Oscar, porque la secretaria ejecutiva de La Academia, Margaret Herrick, vio la estatuilla y la asoció a su anónimo tío Oscar Pierce.

La premiación se hizo popular gracias a la revolución tecnológica, primero trasmitida en radio y luego en televisión. Las cintas taquilleras de la época, Lo que el viento se llevó, Casablanca, Ben-Hur, Lawrence de Arabia, entre otras películas de culto, se veían bañadas de gloria ante la mirada de un público que las aclamaba en las salas de cine en un periodo de guerras y posguerras. Un retorno intencionado al aura del arte.

Industria y poder

Tal y como lo referencia el escritor Ricardo Silva, lo que comenzó como una jugada inteligente de promoción para la industria, terminÓ llevando al galardón al poder del lobby, donde superpoderosos del cine fueron delineando los parámetros de la victoria. Un ejemplo de ello fue la premiación de 1981. Carrozas de fuego, cinta basada en la historia de los atletas olímpicos británicos de 1924, le ganaba la estatuilla a la Mejor Película al film Rojos de Warren Beatty, película sobre la vida del dirigente y periodista comunista John Reed. Razones obvias en épocas de guerra fría.

Para la ceremonia número 91 del premio Oscar, que se celebrará el próximo domingo 24 de febrero, los pronósticos van de acuerdo al sentido de la época y al poder del lobby. Según los expertos, Roma será la Mejor Película, Rami Malek será el mejor actor principal por Bohemian Rhapsody, Olivia Colman será la mejor actriz principal por La Favorita, y así. El Dolby Theatre de Los Angeles, Estados Unidos, será la hoguera de Hollywood, cuya alfombra roja minimiza el arte del cine a un banal y farandulero espectáculo sediento de vanidad, de aura artificial.

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