Guy Adams: They love a police drama at the Oscars

Los Angeles Notebook

Share
Related Topics

Earlier this week, I travelled to Hollywood carrying a small folder of important documents and ID papers. Then I presented those documents, together with my passport, to a gentleman who inspected them at length, before issuing two hi-tech passes that will hopefully get me into Sunday's Oscars.

The visit took several hours, and was one of many inconveniences I've undergone to convince The Academy that I'm not a terrorist. The process of getting "cleared" began in October when I filled in detailed forms requesting an invitation, and continued in January when they requested more personal information, plus a copy of my driver's licence.

I'll be screened yet again on the big day, when roads around the Kodak Theatre will be cordoned off by police, and dinner-suited arrivals (even the famous ones) forced through bag-scanners and metal detectors. Guests are advised to arrive two hours early, so they don't miss kick-off in the queue.

Security will be in-your-face, that's for sure. Yet while the endless armed guards may upset the civil liberties lobby, most guests, even in liberal Hollywood, will be happy to see them: as any airport traveller will tell you, the US public finds few things more reassuring than a heavy police presence. Experience shows that American events actually can be gauged by a simple law: the more cops on hand, the more seriously organisers want to be taken. If soldiers are present, like they are at the Superbowl, they want you to think it's your patriotic duty to watch.

Compared to the UK, where police sit in CCTV rooms, this American way with security probably seems brash and overbearing. But it's also less sneaky. And what, ultimately, is the point of the Oscars if they aren't just a little bit brash and overbearing?

How to secure your place

Security Paranoia also affects LA's suburban landscape, where it's a badge of middle-class respectability to have a sign on your front lawn warning would-be intruders about 24-hour guards armed with guns and attack dogs.

This week, a local shop began selling fake warning signs to homeowners who want to pretend that they've hired guards. The salesman reckons roughly half his customers will buy them to deter burglars; the rest will simply want neighbours to think they've become more affluent.

Royal role model

Tim Burton has revealed that Anne Hathaway's character in his new Alice in Wonderland was modelled on Nigella Lawson. Watching the rather good film, I noticed a more obvious piece of identity theft: the "baddie", played by Helena Bonham Carter, is a carbon copy of Miranda Richardson's Queenie in Blackadder.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Finance Assistant - Automotive

£15500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's leading Motor Re...

Recruitment Genius: General Maintenance Person - Automotive

£16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's leading Motor Re...

Recruitment Genius: Receptionist / Meeter-Greeter - Automotive

£16500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the South East's leading Motor Re...

Recruitment Genius: Course Manager

£25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Course Manager is required to join a m...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

A promised 'women's museum' opens as a Jack the Ripper exhibit tonight, and I won't take it lying down

Becky Warnock
A protester wears a golden mask and Romanian flag during a demonstration in Bucharest against Gabriel Resources Rosia Montana gold and silver project  

Corporate vampires have tried to suck $4 billion out of Romania, and with TTIP the UK could be next

Kevin Smith
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks
The haunting of Shirley Jackson: Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?

The haunting of Shirley Jackson

Was the gothic author's life really as bleak as her fiction?
Bill Granger recipes: Heading off on holiday? Try out our chef's seaside-inspired dishes...

Bill Granger's seaside-inspired recipes

These dishes are so easy to make, our chef is almost embarrassed to call them recipes
Ashes 2015: Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

Tourists are limp, leaderless and distinctly UnAustralian

A woefully out-of-form Michael Clarke embodies his team's fragile Ashes campaign, says Michael Calvin
Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza

Andrew Grice: Inside Westminster

Blairites be warned, this could be the moment Labour turns into Syriza
HMS Victory: The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

The mystery of Britain's worst naval disaster is finally solved - 271 years later

Exclusive: David Keys reveals the research that finally explains why HMS Victory went down with the loss of 1,100 lives
Survivors of the Nagasaki atomic bomb attack: Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism

'I saw people so injured you couldn't tell if they were dead or alive'

Nagasaki survivors on why Japan must not abandon its post-war pacifism
Jon Stewart: The voice of Democrats who felt Obama had failed to deliver on his 'Yes We Can' slogan, and the voter he tried hardest to keep onside

The voter Obama tried hardest to keep onside

Outgoing The Daily Show host, Jon Stewart, became the voice of Democrats who felt the President had failed to deliver on his ‘Yes We Can’ slogan. Tim Walker charts the ups and downs of their 10-year relationship on screen