Texas Tech University

Film, Pop Culture Experts Available to Discuss Oscar Nominations

Heidi Toth

January 15, 2015

The Internet needed less than an hour to get angry about the Oscars' “The Lego Movie” snub. Were any other movies, actors or directors ignored for political or other reasons? Will this year be the year Wes Anderson, director of “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” finally wins an Oscar? Or will “Selma,” with all that is happening in the United States, sweep every category in which it is nominated (which is not every category), earning America another tear-jerking acceptance from a rapper?

Dean Nolen, an assistant professor of acting in Texas Tech University's Department of Theatre and Dance, can answer Oscar questions. For 20 years he has written and edited “The Film Encyclopedia,” considered the most comprehensive English-language film encyclopedia and has been an actor on film and TV shows for many years. Nolen is a member of the Screen Actors Guild and votes in the SAG Awards, so he has seen almost all of the Oscar-nominated films and actors. He can talk about actors and movies who didn't get nominated and should have (Jake Gyllenhaal for “Nightcrawler”) and why others richly deserved the nomination (Marion Cotillard for “Two Days, One Night”).

He also has a more personal story to tell about the Oscars this year; Adam Stockhausen, a friend and classmate from the Yale School of Drama, received his second Oscar nomination for Art Direction, this one for “The Grand Budapest Hotel.” Nolen called Stockhausen “the artist to beat.”

Assistant professor Paul Reinsch has been studying film for more than 20 years, including his latest writings on early “rock” films and Tyler Perry. He teaches the Introduction to Film course as well as a course on adapted films such as “The Hunger Games” and “Cabaret,” as well as the radio presentation of “War of the Worlds.”

Texas Tech's pop culture expert, Rob Weiner, is available to discuss what films have created the most buzz in the last year and compare Oscar winners of the past to the current Hollywood pool as well as what viewers should expect from the winners this year.


Dean Nolen, assistant professor of acting, (917) 687-4493

Paul Reinsch, assistant professor of practice, (806) 834-6087 office, (425) 999-9135 (mobile)

Rob Weiner, associate librarian and pop culture expert, (806) 742-2238 ext. 282 office, (806) 780-8775 (mobile)