There are many, many changes to the typical formula planned for this year’s Oscar ceremony and while most are still top secret, the odd few have been leaking out. Courtesy of Peter Gabriel, for example, we know that the Best Song nominations will be performed only in a medley.

On a video on his site – linked below the break – Gabriel announces that he won’t be appearing at the ceremony as he’s not convinced that his song, Down to Earth from Wall-E, will work as a short excerpt. Instead, Gabriel says that he hopes The Soweto Gospel Choir will perform on his behalf. You can hear him discuss this around the “8:04 remaining” count.

What other tricks does Oscar have up his sleeve?

For one thing, Hugh Jackman’s script is reported to be very light on comedy material and we definitely aren’t to expect anything like stand-up from our host. Furthermore, the celebrities to step up and present the awards won’t be revealed in advance and will only appear by surprise on the night – though, apparently, they also won’t get to walk the red carpet so anybody conspicuous by their absence could be tagged before the first gong is granted.

Perhaps most appealing to the /Film reader, and probably this /Film writer too, is the promise of new and exclusive material from upcoming films. Two dozen snippets, each running ten seconds long, have been requested from the studios and should unspool during the ceremony’s closing credits.

According to The New York Times, Warner Bros. have submitted clips from Terminator: Salvation, Sherlock Holmes and Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince. Not exactly Oscar bait films, and only likely to show in next year’s hoe-down as tech nominations. Clearly, then, this closing montage is something of a populist move.

I always enjoy the Oscars though I’m certain they have almost nothing to do with celebrating and recognising the quality or high calibre filmmaking at all. It’s just a fun thing, my equivalent of sports I suppose, and adding some clips I haven’t already seen is just gravy.

Here’s Peter Gabriel expressing his dismay on realworld.co.uk.

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