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February 26, 2008

Schnabel's services: priceless?


Somewhere in the crush and confusion that was Oscar Day, we missed the new MasterCard commercial that launched during the ABC telecast.

Why would any of us care about that?

Because in its quest to one-up itself, and on the 10th anniversary of its "Priceless" campaign, MasterCard and its ad agency have come up with an Academy Awards-reminiscent, "envelope, please"-themed game with "priceless" prizes.

One of those: a commissioned portrait by Oscar-nominated director Julian Schnabel.

Far be it from us to judge (oh, who are we kidding, we do that for a living) but we had to point out this co-mingling of the PJ-clad indie king/artist auteur with a corporate marketer contest. Head scratcher, no?

The Schnabel prize, dubbed "The Masterpiece," has this intro:

"Very few people have experienced the thrill of being a famous artist's muse, let alone one who is able to pack such raw emotion into every canvas he touches."

If you check out the site, you can watch a video for each of the prizes, which includes a trip to the Seven Wonders of the World. Alert: there are a few Not-Safe-For-Anybody indecencies in the Schnabel video. First, he's shirtless. Shirtless! And second, he's compared to Titian, Caravaggio and Goya. Don't say we didn't warn you.


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About this blog

Oscar Contenders

  • So "The Dark Knight" didn't make it into the final five after all, never mind that critical and popular support. Let's just call the comic-inspired mega-hit "The Biggest Snubee."

    Here are the best picture contenders in a race that, two weeks away from the Oscars, seems to be a foregone conclusion ("Slumdog") unless there's a come-from-behind possibility ("The Reader" anyone?)

    "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button," with Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett; the politically timely "Milk;" rags-to-riches fairy tale, "Slumdog Millionaire," Holocaust best-seller-based drama "The Reader," and Watergate-era biopic "Frost/Nixon."

    Could "Button" and "Slumdog" split the vote, allowing another film to take the prize? Doesn't seem likely. After having clung to "Button" for months as what we thought would be the Academy voters' top vhoice, our money's now on "Slumdog." Momentum can't be ignored.

    Watch this blog for updates, ephemera and all manner of postulating.

Picture this

  • Mmmmm, chocolate Oscar. Not every star will walk away from the 81st annual Academy Awards with a trophy, but if they hit the high-profile Governor's Ball they can have pastry chef Sherry Yard's gold-dusted candy version. Also on the menu from celeb chef Wolfgang Puck is tuna tartare in sesame miso cones, chopped Chino Farms vegetable salad with ginger soy vinaigrette, Maine lobster and caviar. Serve it up! (Getty Images)

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