Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Hollywood dog wars: It's Blackie v Uggie

Martin Scorsese wants his Doberman Blackie to beat Uggie and claim the Golden Collar Award.

Hollywood has always been known as a dog-eat-dog town but Martin Scorsese had a bone to pick with all the fuss around Uggie, the hero of silent movie The Artist.
As the Oscars rivalry builds up so too is the battle to win the unofficial award to be the cinema's top dog and claim the Golden Collar award.
Scorsese, whose film Hugo has 10 nominations against 11 nods for The Artist for the February 26 Oscars, argued that the not-so-cute Doberman - a snarling, orphan-chasing beast called Blackie - should be included as a last-minute nominee - and he has won that dog fight.
Blackie, who belongs to the station inspector played by Borat star Sacha Baron Cohen in the film, will take on Uggie at the The 1st Annual Golden Collar Awards ceremony on February 13 in Los Angeles after a successful Facebook campaign to force his inclusion. Other nominees include Cosmo from the movie Beginners and Brigitte, aka Stella, in the TV series Modern Family.
In a nicely tongue-in-cheek open letter to the Los Angeles Times, Scorsese had written: "I have been cautioned against speaking out on this issue lest I create the appearance of churlishness. Well, I'm going to have to risk it. One recent morning, I turned on the television, and imagine my surprise when I heard the nominations for the first Golden Collar Awards for Best Dog in a Theatrical Film.
"After all, we had Blackie the Doberman in our movie. How could she not be nominated? I listened in vain for Blackie's name to be called, and then to all the hullabaloo over a certain Jack Russell terrier named Uggie. Uggie is so adorable that he received two nominations for two separate pictures. Well done. OK, let's lay all our cards on the table. Jack Russell terriers are small and cute. Dobermans are enormous and - handsome.
"More tellingly, Uggie plays a nice little mascot who does tricks and saves his master's life in one of the films, while Blackie gives an uncompromising performance as a ferocious guard dog who terrorises children. I'm sure you can see what I'm driving at."

Aptly, for a town ruled by paranoia and conspiracy theories, Scorsese revealed his own suspicions about what was really behind the canine pecking order.
He added: "I detect another, more deep-seated prejudice at work. Jack Russell terriers were bred in the 19th century for the purposes of fox hunting by an Englishman, the Reverend John Russell. Dobermans were bred by a German tax collector who was afraid of being bludgeoned to death by the citizenry. But does that mean we must condemn the entire breed?"
He concluded: "In short, I protest the omission of Blackie the Doberman from the first Golden Collar nominations. Moreover, I encourage all Times readers to make their preference known to the editors of Dog News Daily by write-in ballot and give Blackie the nomination she so richly deserves."
Uggie's owners announced last week that the 10-year-old dog is retiring after his turn in The Artist, in which the four-legged friend notably saves his master's life from a fire.
The favourite remains Uggie. Unless the bookmakers are barking up the wrong tree, of course.

By Digital Culture Editor

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