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What You Didn't Know About David Seidler '59

By now everybody presumably knows that Cornellian David Seidler '59 has won an Oscar for best original screenplay with The King's Speech:

David Seidler won the Oscar for original screenplay for “The King’s Speech” at the 83rd Academy Awards on Sunday night. It was the first Oscar win for Seidler, who was considered the favorite in this category. Though ineligible for a Writers Guild of America nomination, Seidler won the British Independent Film Award and the BAFTA, the British equivalent of the Academy Award, and was nominated for a Golden Globe.

But little do they know that the British-born Seidler was actually quite a trouble-maker in his days on East Hill. Here he is in one of the famous student protests of 1958 where students were railing against curfews, parietals, and strict party rules. And he was probably chumming around with famed Cornellian, author, and counter-cultural icon Richard Fariña:

Does anybody know if Seidler is written in as a character in Been Down So Long?

Admittedly, student protests against party rules and curfews aren't nearly as exciting as some of the things that would happen on campus in the 60s, but hey, that decade had to come from somewhere, right?

Current Cornell students should take note: For many, the path to glory and influence goes through questioning authority and living a little -- not through what adults may tell you to do while doing everything humanly possible to land that Wall Street gig.

And the Cornell administration should take note as well: Perhaps we shouldn't be gutting the theatre, film, and dance department just yet.

Matthew Nagowski | Posted on February 27, 2011 (#)

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