to move its Asian headquarters from Hong Kong to Singapore.
Singapore Straits-Times 02/29/00
SETTLEMENT: ICraveTV.com settles lawsuits and agrees to
stop retransmitting TV channels over the internet, effectively
shutting down the internet TV website.
AND THE FUTURE: "If you love Hollywood movie-making
you are in heaven right now," says filmmaker David Cronenberg.
"If you are making so-called alternative films that is
what you are fighting, not Hollywood per se, because they
don't care about you, but people's expectation of what a movie
is. Expectations have to change and I think something like
the Internet might be the only way for that to happen."
Post (Canada) 02/28/00
UP OR WE'LL KILL YOU: Criminal gangs have penetrated the
Indian film industry, where producing a Bollywood hit can
result in death threats if you don't pay up. New
York Times 02/27/00
registration required for entry)
SIDE UP: Art translated through television usually gives
up a lot. But public TV's "Egg" explores what the
tube can add to understanding of the arts. New
York Times 02/27/00
registration required for entry)
READ THIS: Words embedded in movie trailers are all the
style these days. "The creators of trailers and titles
say dramatic use of words on the screen mixed with fleeting,
powerful images has the greatest impact on movie audiences,
which these days are bombarded with up to 20 minutes of commercials,
promotional tie-ins, information about the sound system and
movie previews before the feature starts."
Los Angeles Times 02/27/00
RUSH: Just as 20th Century entertainment was dominated
by TV and film, many in Hollywood are betting the 21st will
be shaped by the internet. The gold rush is on. London
LENGTH: A Boston public radio station faces questions
about its journalistic independence after a series of underwriting
In the past year Egypt's censors have declined to allow showings
of "The Matrix," "Devil's Advocate," "Meet
Joe Black" and "City of Angels." "The
reasons for banning "The Mummy" are so illogical
it's almost humorous," says the former chief censor.
"The censors felt the movie portrayed Egypt and Egyptians
negatively." Time for a little reform? Egypt
FOLLOWERS FEAR TO TREAD: A Chicago arts station changes
with the times, to the dismay of one critic. "Secure
in its knowledge of the arts and their value, the old WFMT
led, whereas the new follows. Management tells us that listeners
sustain the enterprise because they get what they want, but
in truth this will not benefit either side for long. Giving
listeners what they want does not give them what they need
to keep a relationship with the arts growing." Chicago
SALE to German media giant illustrates difficulties faced
by the few remaining independent production companies.
San Francisco Chronicle 02/23/00
THROUGH THE CRACKS: There are too many films being made.
And even those which are highly touted by critics at film
festivals often don't get distributed or seen by general audiences.
Now a New York entrepreneur has an idea to help the forgotten
York Daily News 02/21/00
wins top prize at Berlin Film Festival.
BROADCASTERS ask American courts to set aside last month's
FCC ruling that would allow thousands of low-power FM radio
stations to flourish. Philadelphia
Inquirer (AP) 02/20/00
TRY: Thai movie fans claim world movie-watching marathon
record after staying awake through 25 movies played back-to-back
in 51 hours.
TALE OF TWO NETWORKS: While Canada's CBC is reeling from
cutbacks and layoffs, America's National Public Radio, by
contrast, is thriving. As it marks its 30th anniversary this
month, NPR is flush with cash. Its audience has tripled in
the past six years, reaching 15 per cent of Americans, and
its network of stations is expanding. Are there lessons for
Canada in NPR? Toronto
Globe and Mail 02/19/00
THE RAVIOLI: Sergio Leone created the "spaghetti
western" and launched the career of Clint Eastwood. But
popular success wasn't his ambition. A new biography reveals
the Italian director's ill-fated plans for an epic picture
that ought to have constituted his final masterpiece. London
"TREATMENT" Chinese film crew in St. Louis to
make a movie about a Chinese couple in the Midwest, say their
reception in America has been anything but welcoming. St.
Louis Post-Dispatch 02/18/00
FILM with no budget wins short-film prize at Berlin Film
OF IRAN: It's tempting to describe the deeply personal
films being made in Iran these days as fragile flowers struggling
to thrive through a repressive government. "But their
relationship with the fundamentalist regime and its social
agenda is more ambiguous than that. For better or worse, this
is a cinema that exists in its present form not in spite of,
but because of the restrictions it has to circumvent."
AND THEM: The Berlin Film Festival is still struggling
for identity ten years after the Wall fell. "When this
was a divided and occupied city, the West Berlin festival
had a clear political mission, first as a showcase of democratic
freedom, then as a cultural bridge between East and West.
Now, with Berlin reunited and the Soviet bloc a thing of the
past, the festival seems to be adrift in the no man's land
that divides the global movie industry between the United
States and the rest of the world." New
York Times 02/17/00
registration required for entry)
ACTOR IN ORBIT: Russian space officials have agreed to
send an actor up to the Mir Space Station and to film scenes
for a movie there. "The film is among several projects
aimed at keeping the aging space station aloft. Starved of
government funding, Russian space officials have been forced
to entertain unorthodox proposals for commercial use of the
Oregonian (AP) 02/17/00
101: PBS series "The Greeks: Crucible of Civilization"
successfully brings antiquity to life. "History is sometimes
best told by ignoring contemporary academic disputes, and
concentrating instead on the dramatic events of the past.
Scholars who study the Classical period can have their enthusiasm
unbottled when relieved of responsibility for ideological
and political rectification by a skillful team of professional
AT YESTERDAY'S FILMS THROUGH TODAY'S EYES: "Films,
even good ones, can suffer from age more than other arts because
film is more immediate, more swiftly enveloping, than any
other art except music (which itself often aids films); and
that immediacy is frequently based on contemporary bonds with
the audience, bonds both explicit and buried."
New Republic 02/15/00
The estate of Jean-Michel Basquiat threaten legal action against
a Basquiat fan website and shut it down. ARTNewspaper.com
At the Berlinale, a rush to add subtitles to every film is
a time-consuming and often last-minute art. Die
AWARD NOMINEES ANNOUNCED: "American Beauty"
leads with most nominations - eight. "Cider House Rules"
and "The Insider" get seven each. Philadelphia
SPY WHO LOVED ME: Documentary cameras linger over everything
these days. Have the little spy lenses made voyeurs of us
all? Here's a history of "fly-on-the-wall" programming,
from revolutionary Russia to "The Real World" Feed
ROT: Almost 50 percent of films ever made have been destroyed
due to the ravages of time. "Many Hollywood classics
of the 1950s and '60s, such as "Around the World in 80
Days" may look OK on home video versions. But the original
negatives are so far gone that they can never again be used
to strike theatrical prints." National
Post (Canada) 02/15/00
"YEAR OF THE WOMAN": Not long ago, women were
only a token presence in power positions in the movie business.
At this year's Sundance Festival, though, one-quarter of the
films were directed by women. "There's no questioning
about it. It's a completely different world for women directors,''
says Diane Keaton.
Boston Herald 02/15/00
INTERNATIONAL NEWS: Los Angeles radio station goes online
with what it says is the first 24-hour international news
stream, carrying programming from National Public Radio, Public
Radio International and the BBC. Los
Angeles Times 02/15/00
FEARS: Disney announces it will close its Canadian animation
studios, after weak revenues last year. CBC
REPLACES SF AFFILIATE: TV network signs San Jose station
to replace longtime KRON affiliate. San
Francisco Examiner 02/15/00
VS. SF AFFILIATE: Bay Area tycoon buys KRON-TV, the
local NBC affiliate, for a record price - $823 million.
NBC, a spurned bidder for the station, demands new conditions
for remaining network affiliate on new owner. New owner
to NBC: Drop dead. We'll go it alone. San
Francisco Chronicle 02/14/00
BLACK AND WHITE: "The secret imperative behind most
of Hollywood's black and white star pairings remains: Look
but don't touch. We've all been trained by years of movie-going
to know that at some point in thrillers or romantic comedies
- after the growing rapport, the looks that linger just a
second longer than necessary - the male and female leads will
get together. Except, that is, when the leading couple is
OBJECTION: Jack Valenti is president of the Motion Picture
Association of America, and has shown with two lawsuits in
the past few weeks that he's serious about grabbing control
of copyright protection on the web. The high-profile suits
threaten to curtail some of the freedoms that coders and Net
entrepreneurs have been taking for granted. Salon
VS. SF AFFILIATE: Bay Area tycoon buys KRON-TV, the local
NBC affiliate, for a record price - $823 million. NBC, a spurned
bidder for the station, demands new conditions for remaining
network affiliate on new owner. New owner to NBC: Drop dead.
We'll go it alone. San
Francisco Chronicle 02/14/00
TEST: The Smithsonian has entered the commercial movie
business. The institution's experts are consulting on the
latest Mel Gibson movie. Washington
REACTION: Two weeks ago, San Francisco Chronicle film
reviewer Mike LaSalle wrote that it was time to do something
about violence in movies. He suggested that any time a film
showed a gun being fired, it should receive an NC-17 rating.
Letters to the newspaper came flooding in, so the Chronicle
is changing its reviewing policy.
San Francisco Chronicle 02/13/00
GOLDEN AGE OF HYPERTEXT: Ten years ago Robert Coover helped
usher in the artistic and technological revolution of hypertext.
Now the world wide web has brought us something new. "For
those who've only recently lost their footing and fallen into
the flood of hypertext, literary or otherwise, it may be dismaying
to learn that they are arriving after the golden age is already
over, but that's in the nature of golden ages: not even there
until so seen by succeeding generations."
DISAPPEARANCE OF A FILM
The screen version of Otto Preminger's "Porgy and
Bess" starred a Who's Who of 1950s-era black American
actors. Released against the backdrop
of the insurgent civil rights movement, the film sparked considerable
controversy during its initial run and eventually disappeared
from the public eye. Why is that? CultureFront
ENTERTAINMENT NETWORK: All internet, all the time. Coming
to a website near you. New
York Times 02/10/00
registration required for access)
A CHARLIE BROWN TV: As "Peanuts" finishes up
its comic-strip run this weekend, a fan remembers the making
of the first "Peanuts" TV special. "A Charlie
Brown Christmas" was a struggle to get to TV, and was
at first considered a failure by its creators. Los
Angeles Times 02/11/00
Artist at Canada's Banff Center invites scientists, computer
designers to work on more body-friendly ways for people to
interact with computers. "Art will be the model for creating
new computer technologies. In turn, those advances will actually
create new forms of artistic experiences." CBC
RIGHTS: Musicians and other artists
whose work streams across the Web may finally see some of
the profits after Microsoft announced
new software that enables pay-per-view and pay-per-download
distribution of Windows Media audio and video files. The Recording
Industry Association of America strikes a deal to pay royalties
to millions of major-label artists whose work is webcast.
A ROUGH TIME FOR FOREIGN FILMS in the US, with the obstacles
to getting distribution growing. So why does one of the country's
leading art-house movie chains think now is the time to expand?
OR FIVE YEARS...WHICHEVER COMES FIRST: Archivists grapple
with digital storage. New-media records of today may make
researching us impossible tomorrow. Boston
DISTRESS: The TV network has for
several months been inserting "digital billboards"
- promotional ads into the backgrounds of some of the stories
it has covered on news programs, most famously on New Year's
Eve in Times Square. Now CBS is threatening legal action against
a team of Ohio sampler-jockeys for using digital snips of
CBS broadcasts - including Dan Rather's voice - in their digital
A new Berlin awaits this year's attendees at the Berlin Film
Festival. Founded in 1951 in a politically motivated act to
add glamour to the divided, occupied city, the Berlinale has
ballooned to one of the world's premiere film events.
Die Welt 02/09/00
PBS HEAD vows to pursue those things that set the public
broadcaster apart. Pat Mitchell says she wants to make sure
it remains clear that "what we stand for is something
singular in this consolidated and commercialized world."
Angeles Times 02/08/00
OF AN OSCAR: It's coming into Academy Awards season. But
first a lot of work. Choosing candidates and evaluating efforts
is a time-consuming process. San
Francisco Chronicle 02/08/00
NETWORK'S SELF-IMMOLATION: The tiny "progressive"
radio network is the last non-mainstream American network.
"What began as a labor dispute at Pacifica's Berkeley,
Calif., station nearly a year ago has degenerated into a tedious,
slow self-immolation that has involved firings, resignations,
court intrigue, lost listenership and a protest march of more
than 10,000 people in Berkeley."
BROADCASTING CORPORATION is the
latest of the big national public broadcasters to find its
role changing. After the government cut its budget, ABC went
looking for commercial sources of revenue. The latest deal
has some worried about the network's independence. Sydney
Morning Herald 02/08/00
PBS CHIEF Pat Mitchell is a former reporter and a respected
documentary maker. Her appointment is expected today. Los
Angeles Times 02/07/00
NORTH: Want to know where all that Hollywood movie and
TV industry production is headed? North to British Columbia.
The province's movie industry grew 20 percent last year, making
it the third-largest producer in North America. Variety
DOUBTS: Sinclair Broadcasting contends that the TV industry's
new digital standard delivers less than the clear crisp picture
that has been promised, and that the standard should be changed.
Nope, says the FCC, in a unanimous ruling. Variety
PIG BU HAO: Turner Broadcasting
and the Cartoon Network have been banned from Chinese television.
"Their actions violated relevant Chinese rules,"
an official with the State Administration of Radio, Film and
Television said of the network, which airs cartoons by day
and old Hollywood classics at night. "They know very
well what they did."
of India 02/04/00
AND FOX TV NETWORKS make deals
with NAACP to increase minority hiring on their programming.
Boston Globe 02/04/00
TV ON ANTI-DRUGS (PART III): A
US Senate subcommittee hears that not only did the White House's
Office of National Drug Control Policy gave back to TV networks
ad time worth millions of dollars for anti-drug messages in
sitcoms and dramas, but also for shows about drugs: to music-channel
VH1 for bios of drug-addled rock stars, for Fox's "America's
Most Wanted" and ESPN's coverage of baseball player Darryl
Strawberry's cocaine woes. Washington
SET TO ANNOUNCE NEW PRESIDENT: Pat Mitchell, a veteran
of ABC, CBS and NBC, and currently with CNN, will be the public
TV network's first woman president. Announcement expected
PER LISTEN: National Public Radio will launch a new satellite
pay-radio service later this year as a means of raising money.
Antonio Express News 02/03/00
ADS? A new series of ads for Benetton features pictures
of American Death Row inmates. The words "Sentenced to
Death" are stamped across the ads, and the company's
logo is featured alongside the condemned person's image as
well as the prisoner's name date and place of birth, and crime.
It's just a joke, says the ad-maker. National
OF MERGER TALK between media giants Bertelsmann and Sony.
STAR: One of the hottest new ads on TV isn't an ad at
all, say its creators, it's a short "indie" film.
The Budweiser spot is riding high on a website devoted to
commercials - Adcritic.com. Something about the site has traditional
ad agencies anxious. New
York Magazine 02/07/00
BOYS FROM ETOY: The artists who work at keeping people guessing
and stood up to the suits from Etoys are victorious. Wired
YEAR OF... There are too many films showing in a Sundance
Film Festival to really get a grasp on which way the programming
is really going. The NYT's Elvis Mitchell weighs in with a few
highlights from this year's edition.
New York Times 02/02/00
registration required for entry)
CULTURAL BASELINE: Columbia University study looks at how
the arts are covered in American media. Newspapers have failed
to keep up with cultural boom. Seattle
Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, Pittsburgh
Post-Gazette, Houston Chronicle, CBC
(Canada), New York Times, Boston
Globe (second item)
Press (third item), The
Idler and a contrary view
SET IN INDIA attacked and destroyed by protesters. Director
Deepa Mehta, a leader of India's new wave of filmakers was
trying to film in Varanasi. Hindu nationalists destroyed the
set because they said it was disrespectful to their religion.
END OF VIDEO STORES: Movie piracy is rampant on the web.
And not just old stuff, but movies that are currently in theaters.
Get yourself some broadband and the quality rivals today's
VCR. For free. Tick, tick, tick... CBC
POWER: The Federal Communications Commission recently
approved licensing of micro-radio stations, and thousands
of low-wattage broadcasters are expected to take to the air,
increasing the diversity of voices. This despite vocal opposition
by the radio industry. How did it happen? Thank the low watt
SHUT DOWN iCraveTV.com after American and Canadian TV
networks sue to stop it. The Toronto internet site had been
live-streaming television networks over the web.