Oscars 2018: Shashi Kapoor, Sridevi remembered at the 90th Academy Awards
Los Angeles: The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences (AMPAS) on Monday paid its tributes to Indian stars Shashi Kapoor and Sridevi in the In Memoriam section of the Oscars. The In Memoriam segment of the annual Academy Awards remembers artistes who died in the past one year.
Kapoor was primarily known as the charming, classic actor in Bollywood for his roles in the ‘70s and ‘80s commercial films such as “Deewar”, “Kabhie Kabhie”, “Namak Halal” and “Kaala Patthar”. The veteran actor, who died on 4 December last year at the age of 79, was, however, one of the few crossover stars who went on to play a proactive role in presenting India on the world map through Ivory-Merchant productions such as “The Householder”, “Shakespeare Wallah”, “The Guru”, “Bombay Talkie” and “In Custody” (Muhafiz).
Kapoor, along with his wife, actor Jennifer, revived his father actor Prithviraj Kapoor’s Prithvi Theatre in Mumbai in 1978. In the same year, he set up his production house, Film Valas, which produced acclaimed projects such as “Junoon”,”Kalyug”, “36 Chowringhee Lane”, “Vijeta” and “Utsav”. Sridevi, inarguably India’s first female superstar, was also remembered at the 2018 Oscars. The actor, whose sudden death at the age of 54 on 24 February in Dubai sent shock waves around the world, was a rare artiste whose career spanned for 50 years across multiple languages such as Tamil, Telugu, Hindi and Malayalam.
Sridevi ruled the commercial cinema space in the ‘80s and ‘90s like no heroine had done before and was a force to reckon with both in terms of her craft and box office appeal.
Bill Paxton, who passed away on 25 January last year due to stroke following a heart surgery for aortic aneurysm repair., was not mentioned in the homage section. He had died last year a day before the Oscars ceremony. Though his picture did not feature in the montage, Jennifer Aniston did pay homage to him while introducing the segment.
Fans, however, were expecting the Academy to feature his picture this year but he was left out, leading social media users to criticise the Academy for ignoring the “Aliens” actor yet again. “Why is Bill Paxton not in memoriam? #Oscars #oscars2018,” a Twitter user wrote. “So Bill Paxton wasn’t added last minute last year and then wasn’t added at all this year? #oscars #Oscars2018,” wrote another one. James Bond star Roger Moore, actor Mary Goldberg, Icelandic composer Johan Johansson, John Heard, Sam Shepard, Jerry Lewis, Don Rickles, Harry Dean Stanton, Chuck Berry and Idrissa Oeudraogo, were among the artistes who were remembered for their contribution across spheres of acting, music, editing, cinematography, etc.
Actor Jennifer Garner introduced the segment this year. Quoting Audrey Hepburn, she underscored the importance of remembering losses in times of celebration. “Every storyteller knows that there is no joy without sorrow. Tonight, as we celebrate the achievements of our collaborators, we also mourn the loss of those who brought joy and awareness through their passion for the movies. “The work they left us, as Academy Award winner Audrey Hepburn said so beautifully, ‘Gives pleasure, creates beauty, awakens our conscience, arouses our compassion, and perhaps most importantly, gives millions a moment of respite in our violent world’,” Garner said.
The actor then, invited singer Eddie Vedder, who honoured singer-songwriter Tom Petty with a performance of “Room at the Top” as the montage played in the background. But fans pointed out on Twitter that Petty’s photograph was missing from the video.