Awards season has its pluses and minuses, but if you live in New York or Los Angeles you can be a part of some very special events that wouldn't happen without the Oscar spotlight. On the same night that Best Documentary frontrunner "CITIZENFOUR" was the subject of a TimesTalk in New York with director Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowdown via Google Hangout (sadly, it was also the last public appearance by David Carr), Fox Searchlight held a special screening of "Birdman" at the Ace Hotel Theater in Los Angeles.  

What made this different from the hundreds of "Birdman" screenings to date was that composer and drummer Antonio Sanchez performed his score in front of a live audience. Best Actor nominee Michael Keaton was also on hand to introduce Sanchez and it had to be a redemptive moment for the jazz drummer, whose work was deemed ineligible by the Academy's Music Branch late last year.

Neither Kris nor I could attend (life often gets in the way of these things), but, like you, we can get a sample of the proceedings in the video embedded at the top of this post (a fine piece of marketing, by the way).

"Birdman," which is vying for nine Academy Awards, is still playing to as close as nationwide as you can get.

With over a decade of experience in the movie industry, Ellwood survived working for two major studios and has written for Variety, MSN and the LA Times. A co-founder of HitFix, Ellwood spends his time relaxing hitting 3’s on the basketball court and following his beloved Clippers.