As I write this, the world Is gearing up for the oscars; as you read this, the ceremony will have happened. while normally a hotbed of debate around who’s been robbed, who didn’t deserve it, who did, what history will remember and what it will forget, this year it’s taken a different turn. unless you’ve been nestled under a rock, you’ll know the awards have been mired in controversy, with some actors boycotting the event and others planning to attend but publicly criticising the Academy for the lack of diversity in the nominations. wherever you stand on the debate — and I personally support those taking a stand for what they see as a hugely concerning lack of representation — it’s an issue that hollywood needs to recognise and address. our world has never been richer, more complex or more diverse, and this needs to be mirrored in the world of movies. whether it’s in filmmakers who break through, actors who bag lead roles, those who receive awards nods or audiences who see these movies, there has to be a greater effort to ensure all genders, races, ethnicities and sexualities are firstly present and visible and secondly celebrated. Aren’t movies at their best when they don’t just allow an escape from our everyday life but also hold a mirror up to it? Isn’t that when they’re at their most beautiful, brutal and revelatory? they should say something about the time we’re living in, and live on long after all of us, as a historical document that speaks loudly about the time in which they were made.
And when it comes to the world of movies, in so many ways there has truly never been a more exciting time for theatrical and small-screen programming — just look at this issue: the return of Captain America, the arrival of Black panther, Daredevil, The Jungle Book, House Of Cards, Pee-wee’s Big Holiday, The Conjuring 2, 10 Cloverfield Lane, Independence Day: Resurgence… I could go on. there have never been more places to see this amazing stuff, at any time you choose. so yeah, we’ve got it pretty damned good. really, we do. But we could have it better. specifically, we could all have it better. And by the time the oscars 2017 comes around, the conversation could be a different one entirely. here’s hoping, right?