February 26, 2012

Alumni Leave Oscars Empty-Handed

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After recieving nominations, two Cornellians, Thelma Schoonmaker ’61 and Danfung Dennis ’05, fell short of winning Oscars at the 84th Academy Awards Sunday night.

After recieving nominations, two Cornellians, Thelma Schoonmaker ’61 and Danfung Dennis ’05, fell short of winning Oscars at the 84th Academy Awards Sunday night.

Schoonmaker was nominated for Best Film Editing for Hugo, which was directed by Martin Scorsese. She has edited every single one of Scorsese’s films since the 1980s. She lost to the film editor of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Schoonmaker is a three-time Academy Award winner, having won the Oscar for editing Raging Bull in 1981, The Aviator in 2005 and The Departed in 2007. She has been nominated for the Best Film Editing category seven times, according to the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

During a visit to Cornell in 2005, Schoonmaker said she first met Scorsese at New York University during a summer course in film editing, according to the Cornell Chronicle. He asked Schoonmaker to edit his student film and the two have worked together ever since.

Though she didn’t win an Oscar, Schoonmaker’s contribution to Hugo cannot be discounted. The film won five Oscars including Cinematography, Visual Effects, Sounds Editing, Sound Mixing and Art Direction.

Hugo, adapted from the book The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick, follows an orphan boy, Hugo, as he searches for a  key that will bring an automaton, the only remaining connection to his deceased father, back to life.

Dennis was nominated for Best Documentary Feature and lost to Undefeated by T.J. Martin, Dan Lindsay and Rich Middlemas.

Dennis, a photojournalist and filmmaker, directed and produced Hell and Back Again, a documentary that chronicles the impact of a bullet injury on 25-year-old Afghanistan veteran Sergeant Nathan Harris. The film details subsequent physical and emotional challenges of adjusting to civilian life.

Original Author: Utsav Rai

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