Guy Adams: They love a police drama at the Oscars

Los Angeles Notebook

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

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Commission: SThree: Are you great at building rela...

Ashdown Group: Database Analyst - Birmingham - £22,000 plus benefits

£20000 - £22000 per annum + excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Application Sup...

SThree: Recruitment Resourcer

£20000 - £25000 per annum + Uncapped Commission: SThree: Do you want to get in...

Ashdown Group: Project Manager - Birmingham - up to £40,000 - 12 month FTC

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Manager - Birmingham - ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Ed Miliband said the Tories are a danger to family finances  

Election 2015: Me, my 18-year-old son, and why I’m voting Labour

Matthew Norman

Birth can be a dangerous business – even in the UK

Jane Merrick
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before