The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, otherwise known as the people who give out the Oscars, let loose with a torrent of 276 new member invitations today. Perhaps in response to statistics that the group skewed toward old white men in a way that did not reflect the modern culture at large, there was a surprising diversity among those new members, including Ava DuVernay, Rosario Dawson, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Michael Peña, Kimberly Elise, Sandra Oh, Jafar Panahi, Finola Dwyer, Rian Johnson, Sarah Polley and many others.
But did the net get thrown a bit too wide? If the academy is to maintain its air of old-school respectability, will it do so with stars such as Jennifer Lopez and Lucy Liu or the creative minds behind such movies as "Jack & Jill" and "The Purge"? Are young filmmakers such as Lena Dunham and Benh Zeitlin still a bit too unseasoned for such an august organization? In what could be a further bid for hipness, the academy's press release included the unexpurgated title of filmmaker Robert Frank's notoriously decadent tour documentary of the Rolling Stones, which cannot be printed here.
Which of the new members strikes you as the most outrageous, whether it be for a body of work that is too slim, films that are, well, too trashy or perhaps instead representing the kind of old-world dead wood that the academy should be moving away from? What is the new-school academy film -- and filmmaker -- supposed to be like?
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