Glitz and Glam! Behind the world’s best award shows

By Sergio González | 12:30

Glamour is one of those few words able to knock down language barriers and penetrate equally in every spoken language in the world. Its etymology should be traced back until old Scottish, were it meant ‘magic, enchantment, spell…’every little thing you put into a potion to make it hocus-pocuscent and supernatural.

It was popularized by Sir Walter Scott in his books but it wouldn’t be used in cinema world until the mid 50’s. The new spotlights in cameras produced a tiny hint of sparkle in actors and actresses’ eyes that make them glitter; this is glamour. Cyclic enough, nowadays it goes back to its original meaning depicting every little bit that boils up to glitz and flash our eager-for-charm eyes.

Glamour is the essential part of every film award ceremony: stars’ dresses and jewelry, the cars they arrive in, the red carpet…well, maybe it’s also a little bit about the movies, but just a little bit. If you would like to know who won, you can simply see  the sum up the following day, not the whole gala. We love glamour and all the fuss over it. 

BAFTAs, British Academy of Film and Television Arts, began as soon as WWII was over and it’s as British as the Royal Navy or afternoon tea. It’s a charity organization, it’s celebrated with all pomp and circumstance and its President has always been a member of the Royal Family. In its 2013 edition, held last February 10th, Prince William was the one in charge of crediting the best in films and television.

BAFTA Awards also depict  the other side of British culture: modern, edgy, adventurous…the side that gave us the Rolling Stones, punk music, the miniskirt, the ever cool and trendy London, fabulous Helen Mirren…British film gala awards more cup-to-date forms of entertainment as well such as video games or online streaming footage.

BAFTA’s theatre mask prize, designed in 1955, is considered the most important film award after the Oscar though they don’t always agree; we’ll see what happens in California next 24th. The British Academy went for Argo (best film) and Les Misérables (most awarded, 4) -the bright winners. Lincoln took best male performance for Daniel Day-Lewis but coulnd’t make it for any of the other 9 awards it was nominated. Emmanuelle Riva, from the French film Amour, won best leading actress. At the age of 86!

Crossing the English Channel we find the César Film Awards in Paris. The César gives credit to films in French language but given how cosmopolite and attractive to artists of all kinds Paris and the whole France have always been, it’s quite usual to find many foreign names among the laureatees. Given their fine art in filming, some of these names are also popular beyond their borders. Bérénice Bejo, born in Argentina, won ‘meilleur actrice’ (best leading actress) in 2012 for The Artist. An intimate story about a silent film star who faces her end as sound films start in a world of black and white, and which granted Bejo a nomination for the Oscars in 2011.

International film stars, the already acclaimed ones and the eager to be, will meet again this 22nd of February at Théatre du Châtelet, a 19th century building at  the very heart of Paris whose name comes from the small fortress that lay there before it, protecting the old city of Lutetia.

The building was build up under the auspicious of Baron Haussman, the civil planner who designed the beautiful chic quarters we all love in Paris. It matched the lavish taste that trended in architecture in 1860, when France society was a burgeoning empire and wanted the world to know they were rich and stylish. If you’ve been to Paris, you most surely remember a fountain in the middle of Place du Châtelet with 5 sphinxes, each standing for Napoleon’s crashing victories. If you still don’t know the City of Light, end that mess up soon for your own sake. And do it as chic as possible.

 

 

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