MEDIA - November 1999

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  • HARD OF HEARING: Representatives from TV networks walk out of NAACP hearings on diversity Monday. Washington Post 11/30/99
  • FRENCH FILM FIASCO: It's been the worst of years for homegrown French films. Now a proposal to censor movie reviews because they hurt domestic movies has directors up in arms. Sydney Morning Herald 11/29/99
  • A LITTLE BUZZ WITH THAT TURKEY? "Toy Story" sequel busts box office records taking in a record $81 million over the Thanksgiving weekend. Variety 11/29/99
  • CELLULOID RUSTBELT? On the eve of next week's World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle, Los Angeles'  film industry loudly sounds warning bells about shipping its jobs out of country. LA Weekly 11/26/99
  • WHAT THE WORLD WATCHES: The US sells 70 percent of the world's TV programming. Next is Britain, with 12 percent and a big drop after that to the rest, says a new report. BBC 11/26/99 
  • PITCHMART: And then there's the one about... The art of pitching movie/TV projects. San Francisco Chronicle 11/22/99
  • BUSTER KEATON'S PANTS, Charlie Chaplin's overalls. Trove of some 15,000 items of movie memorabilia found in LA after being in storage 70 years. BBC 11/22/99
  • ANTI-AUSSIE: Australian-made movies only account for four percent of movies on commercial movie screens. Yet Australians figure prominently in American movie projects. What's the bias against home-grown? Sydney Morning Herald 11/22/99
  • 100 BEST MOVIES OF ALL TIME: Here's an international list, with nods to each decade and many countries. Chicago Tribune 11/21/99
  • DIGITAL FILMING: "See this?" asks one director. "It's a new, state-of-the-art digital camera. Costs about $3,000." In case you had any doubts that digital cameras and production would change the artistic world of making movies...New York Times 11/19/99
  • JUST HOW OLD ARE THESE JUDGES? Associated Press film reviewers pick 25 best movies of the century. The most recent to make the list was 1977's "Star Wars." The Oregonian 11/19/99
  • ON THIS SIDE, THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BROADCASTERS: On the other - basement radio geeks. Debating the FCC's proposal to allow thousands of low-watt radio stations. On paper, the NAB ought to be able to squash this quixotic, power-to-the-people issue like a bug... New York Press 11/19/99
  • WHO, ME STAGNANT? Movie theaters are on track to rack up 1.6 billion admissions this year, the most since 1959. Variety 11/18/99
  • WHEN BOOKS MEET MOVIES: Two years - that's about the time it takes to get a movie made.  "Literary material into movies usually only happens after there's a disaster for the studios at Oscar night." Thus a new crop of movies based on literature hits the screens. New York Times 11/18/99
  • BRITISH FILM PROMOTION: Global competition for movie production is heating up. Hollywood wants tax credits, Australia just built a movie production megaplex. And Britain has...made a DVD promoting the British industry. BBC 11/18/99
  • "SPECTACULARLY MEAGER RESULTS": Last month's Net-Aid concert is said to have attracted huge global TV ratings, 2.3 million web hits. But show only "netted" about $1 million in contributions from those watching/listening. Washington Post 11/17/99
  • SURPRISE BUYER: Young Broadcasting came out of nowhere to pay record $823 million for San Francisco NBC affiliate. Now it has a big rock to push uphill to make it work. San Francisco Chronicle 11/17/99
  • A REALLY BIG SHOE: Sixty international broadcasters assembled in London to organize the BBC’s year-end, 28-hour TV millennial bash “2000 Today.” Messages from the Pope, UN Secretary are a given, but "seven virgins go into a cave and ..."? Variety 11/17/99
  • POKEMANIA: Pokemon movie racks up biggest opening-week box office ever for movie released outside of summer. Variety 11/15/99
  • MILLIONAIRE FEVER: For the first time since 1983, the NBC Thursday-night lock on TV ratings was broken. "Who Wants to Be a Millionaire" is hot. Variety 11/15/99
  • NEW FILMMAKING MEGAPLEX opens in Sydney Australia. With six sound stages, a "backlot" of movie-associated attractions, shopping village, cinema complex, and a "creative campus", Fox Studios Australia is a serious new studio. Is Hollywood worried? London Sunday Times 11/14/99
  • DIRECT TO VIDEO: Just being dreadful isn't the only reason some movies pass by the theaters and straight to the video racks. Sometimes it's a niche thing. 
    San Francisco Chronicle 11/14/99
  • PROTESTS by Catholics and Christian fundamentalists draw attention to "Dogma," a movie about vengeful angels. It's a "freewheeling, irreverent, disorderly and, above all, juvenile comic fantasy so sloppy, so silly and so puerile that it would have died quickly on the vine had it not become a stimulus for religious and political mouthpieces,'' writes one critic. Detroit News 11/12/99
    ALTERNATIVELY: Movie is a "celebratory leap of faith." Salon 11/12/99
  • IVY LEAGUE IN YOUR LIVING ROOM: Top universities explore online learning - but first they have to learn themselves what learning works best. Wired 11/12/99
  • THE SHIP WENT OVER THE MOUNTAIN: No simple filmmaker. A conversation with Werner Herzog. New York Press 11/12/99
  • US CONGRESS decides not to offer tax credits to Hollywood movies. Industry had wanted breaks to encourage productions not to leave the US. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette 11/10/99
  • GHOSTSITES: Dead websites drift in cyberspace like so much internet debris. A lost culture, a navigational hazard.
    LA Weekly 11/9/99
  • DIGITAL=DEMOCRACY: Hollywood is going digital at breakneck speed. What the revolution means to you. 
    LA Weekly 11/9/99
  • "FIGHT CLUB" opens in Britain, but not until after censors cut two scenes. BBC 11/9/99
  • NEW SCREEN ACTORS GUILD PRESIDENT played voice of Hasselhoff's car. Promises more aggressive negotiations for 99,000-member union. Variety 11/8/99
  • BANNED FILM wins at Canadian Emmys. CBC 11/8/99

  • MAKING A MOVIE  without a script or film. First all-digital movie has actors improvising the action within an outline. Los Angeles Times 11/8/99

  • NBC OFFERS RECORD AMOUNT FOR LOCAL AFFILIATE: Preemptive offer of $700 million for San Francisco's KRON is most ever for a single station. 
    San Francisco Examiner 11/5/99

  • GUERRILLA MARKETING: Independent films with small budgets take to the internet, campuses, as alternative to mass-media campaign. Hey, it worked big time for "Blair Witch."
    Orange County Register 11/5/99 

  • FILM-AID: The Los Angeles City Council has agreed to consider setting up a loan fund for the TV and movie industry - an attempt to stem the exodus of projects leaving town for the cheaper climes of Canada. Backstage 11/5/99

  • LONDON FILM FESTIVAL opens with American Civil War epic. BBC 11/4/99

  • MONEY FOR SALE: Leading US broadcasters set up $1 billion investment fund to encourage minority entry into broadcasting. Some critics charge move is attempt to buy off impending regulatory restrictions. 
    Variety 11/4/99

  • BLOCKBUSTING TEAM: Blockbuster Video and net giant America Online form alliance to rent videos over the net. 
    Variety 11/4/99

  • MICRO-CINEMA: Movement or philosophy? Budget or an aesthetic? Digital or analog? Very small room or an expanded state of mind? The micro-cinema movement has grown into a national trend. Baltimore Sun 11/3/99 

  • MOVIES FOR THOSE WHO CAN'T SEE/HEAR: New technology in theaters allows closed captioning in your seat, descriptions in your ear. 
    Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 11/3/99

  • A FILM BY...In Hollywood, a dispute between directors and screenwriters about who gets to take credit for some films. Morning Edition NPR 11/2/99 [Real Audio clip] 

  • TV NEWS GETS A "D:" Enterprise reporting declining on TV - nine of ten stories originate off the police scanner or from planned events, says the Project for Journalistic Excellence. 
    Los Angeles Times 11/2/99

  • WHITE-OUT: French TV reflects "the total failure of racial integration in France." Los Angeles Times 11/2/99

  • IS THERE STILL A PLACE for PBS in the vast cable spectrum? 
    Philadelphia Inquirer 11/2/99
         AND: SELLING ITSELF SHORT. Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel 11/2/99
         ALSO: REMEMBER THE GOOD THINGS. Detroit News 11/2/99
         PREVIOUSLY: REVERED AND REVILED: PBS is 30 years old and from right and left everybody dumps on it. It will be a quiet anniversary. Dallas Morning News 10/31/99
         AND: PBS AT 30: Public broadcaster is at a crossroads - what's the mission in a 500-channel world. (AP) MSNBC 10/25/99

  • NO DRIVE-BY SHOOTINGS: The Harlem elementary school depicted in the Meryl Streep film "Music of the Heart" protests film's portrayal of the school neighborhood in the film. CBC 11/2/99

  • SIGNS THAT Hollywood may finally be discovering Latin-themed movies. 
    Los Angeles Times 11/1/99
         AND: Nickelodeon plans to debut Latino series. New York Times 11/1/99 (registration required for access)

  • THE DISNEY OF JAPAN: Hayao Miyazaki is the king of Japanese animation. His "Princess Mononoke'' grossed $150 million in Japan, second only to "Titanic." This week his "semi-epic on acid" debuts in general release in the US.
    San Francisco Chronicle 11/1/99