Besides Handing Out Oscars, What Does the Academy Do?

Getty Images
Getty Images

Although the Academy Awards are far and away the most visible of all of the Academy's endeavors, the group is involved in numerous other missions in the field of film study. The 6,000-plus-member organization bills itself as "the world's preeminent movie-related organization," and it's hard to argue with the boast.

The Academy is devoted to preserving and studying film, and to meet these goals it maintains several educational facilities. The Margaret Herrick Library, which has been around since 1928, contains more movie-related paraphernalia than one could get through in a lifetime. The library's website says its holdings include over 10 million photos, 80,000 scripts, 35,000 movie posters, and countless pieces of correspondence, costume design sketches, and other movie relics. If you're ever in Beverly Hills, the library's on La Cienaga Boulevard.

Similarly, since 1929 the Academy has operated the Academy Film Archive in Hollywood for the "preservation, restoration, documentation, exhibition, and study of motion pictures." The archive contains over 150,000 pieces of film, including 60,000 individual movies. The archive's four climate-controlled vaults also contain some more unusual holdings, like home movies from stars like Steve McQueen.

The Academy is also working on the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures in Hollywood, which might open as early as 2012. According to the museum's website, it will be a place to "celebrate and explore how film has reflected and shaped world culture." The privately funded museum will allegedly cost about $350 million to build, but it will provide a central location in Hollywood for visitors to really explore film history and production.

When you thank the Academy, who are you thanking?

So who's in the Academy? The 6,000 members are representatives of pretty much everyone involved in making movies, from executives to actors to technical staff. The group began in 1927 as the brainchild of MGM mogul Louis B. Mayer and three friends, and although the Academy originally only had 36 members, it quickly grew, particularly after a 1928 idea to start giving out annual awards for film performances. Today, new members come into the organization by invitation only and represent a cross section of the filmmaking industry.




Amazon's Under-the-Radar Coupon Page Features Deals on Home Goods, Electronics, and Groceries

Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0
Stock Catalog, Flickr // CC BY 2.0

This article contains affiliate links to products selected by our editors. Mental Floss may receive a commission for purchases made through these links.

Now that Prime Day is over, and with Black Friday and Cyber Monday still a few weeks away, online deals may seem harder to come by. And while it can be a hassle to scour the internet for promo codes, buy-one-get-one deals, and flash sales, Amazon actually has an extensive coupon page you might not know about that features deals to look through every day.

As pointed out by People, the coupon page breaks deals down by categories, like electronics, home & kitchen, and groceries (the coupons even work with SNAP benefits). Since most of the deals revolve around the essentials, it's easy to stock up on items like Cottonelle toilet paper, Tide Pods, Cascade dishwasher detergent, and a 50 pack of surgical masks whenever you're running low.

But the low prices don't just stop at necessities. If you’re looking for the best deal on headphones, all you have to do is go to the electronics coupon page and it will bring up a deal on these COWIN E7 PRO noise-canceling headphones, which are now $80, thanks to a $10 coupon you could have missed.

Alternatively, if you are looking for deals on specific brands, you can search for their coupons from the page. So if you've had your eye on the Homall S-Racer gaming chair, you’ll find there's currently a coupon that saves you 5 percent, thanks to a simple search.

To discover all the deals you have been missing out on, head over to the Amazon Coupons page.

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Larry David Shared His Favorite Episode of Seinfeld

Larry David at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2009.
Larry David at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2009.
David Shankbone, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY 3.0

Last week, Seth Meyers hosted a virtual Seinfeld reunion with Larry David, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, and Jason Alexander to benefit Texas Democrats. Amid all the other reminiscing, the sitcom veterans got to talking about their favorite episodes of the show.

Louis-Dreyfus answered with “The Soup Nazi,” in which her character Elaine inadvertently causes the greatest (and most high-strung) soup chef in town to shut down his shop. For Alexander, it was “The Marine Biologist,” where his character George masquerades as a marine biologist on a date and ends up rescuing a beached whale.

Larry David’s response, “The Contest,” generated almost as much conversation as the episode itself did when it aired during season 4. In it, the show’s four main characters compete to see who can abstain from self-pleasure the longest, proving themselves to be the “master of their domain.” Though the actors managed to skirt around the word masturbation for the entire episode, the concept was still pretty provocative for network television.

“This one, I didn’t even put on the board because I didn’t want them asking. I just wanted them to come and see the read-through,” David said, as InsideHook reports. “[When they did] I had worked myself up into a lather because the read-through really went great. I was watching [the network executives] and I couldn’t tell how much they liked it. But I was ready to pack the whole thing in if they didn’t let us do this show: ‘I’m quitting. I’m quitting. I’m gonna quit.’ Fortunately, they didn’t say a word. I was shocked.”

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Louis-Dreyfus’s trepidation about the episode lasted through the shoot. “When we were making this episode, I was convinced we were going to be shut down. I was convinced that the network was going to come in and say, ‘This is not going to work out,’” she said. Needless to say, they never did, and Louis-Dreyfus now looks back on Elaine’s participation in the contest as “a very important cultural moment for women.”

David went on to explain that “The Contest” not only helped popularize Seinfeld among viewers, but it also helped its creators carry more clout in the industry. “That show changed something about how we were perceived in television land,” he said. “It really catapulted us to another place. It moved us to another level, I think.”

[h/t InsideHook]