“Leaving aside, for the moment, the political realism of the request, the plan is a good one. In an increasingly scattered but ever more Internet-dependent and globalized media environment, the country needs a public producer, curator and distributor to craft a powerful Brand Canada across all platforms, offering not only news, public affairs and documentaries, but also fiction, variety and arts programming. It needs an iconic institution to nurture and lead the cultural industries, a rallying point for Canadian creativity.”
The results show that the battle might be between “La-La Land” (which won the New York Film Critics Circle award) and “Moonlight,” though “Manchester By the Sea” was a runner up in many categories as well.
Now that all 19 of the director’s feature films are available for streaming on iTunes, here’s a survival guide to making it through the holidays with family, friends, and Almódovar.
Issa Rae’s HBO show “Insecure” accomplishes something nothing else has: Showing the beautiful, complex tenderness of the Los Angeles that African Americans inhabit. “The city’s sprawl becomes a playground for both Insecure’s characters and its soundtrack’s artists, not a coincidence but an asset to the story itself.”
The project was ambitious, with $100 million in start-up costs, and the producers had to shut down production to revamp, revise and rewrite, so everyone in the industry thought it would tank. But it seems likely that “Westworld will surpass True Detective’s season-one audience and end up with the biggest viewership of any HBO first-year series ever.”
Spencer and actor Dev Patel talk about representation at the movies, and why what they’re doing is important. Patel: Their films are “anthems of diversity, they’re anthems of love, and they’re anthems of perseverance.”
So, this is abhorrent: “According to Bertolucci, he and Brando agreed not to tell Schneider what would happen to her because he wanted her reaction ‘as a girl, not as an actress.'”
“Under the umbrella of [his production company] El Deseo, Pedro makes whatever movie he wants. A new one comes out every couple of years, as with Woody Allen, but no two Almodóvar movies are alike. His aesthetic has become harder and harder to pin down. Critics regularly announce that he has finally left behind his taste for gender games and melodramatic plots with murdered spouses, only to have his next movie prove them wrong.”
“[They] gave three apiece to each movie, … But lest we forget that there is a beloved modern-day musical starring charming actors Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling also campaigning vigorously for critical attention, Damien Chazelle’s La La Land snuck in at the tail end of voting to win Best Picture.”
New York Times music writer Nate Chinen, who grew up in Hawaii, picks out the traditional elements and scrutinizes the ways in which Disney used and adapted them (and yeah, maybe co-opted, too).
What’s more, considering that many of these small neorealist movies deal with poverty, violence, drugs, and corruption, how will they fare under President Duterte?
“The idea that CBC television and radio is a frivolity, sucking up vast amounts of money to make bad TV and irrelevant radio, is the position of a small number of well-off cranks in Toronto and Montreal, aided by a number of other cranks who, one imagines, stave off personal wretchedness by ceaselessly pointing out that the CBC gets funding to make TV and radio, while they don’t.”
“As an artist, you want to stay true to the narrative, and sometimes that goes against your activist agenda, which is to promote this positive image of Muslims. At the same time, to balance that with a truth that exists, in terms of my own experience with Islam, which may not always be necessarily positive.”
“We spend so much time debating the dubious proposition that video games cause violence that we rarely get around to considering how else our lives and selves might be shaped by a $91 billion industry catering to 155 million Americans. As a result, gaming’s defenders, fearful of censorship, rarely get nudged in the direction of self-reflection.”
“Paradoxically, the painted image often looks more realistic than the photographic image. Scenic artists can manipulate backings by adjusting light, color, and texture, helping to support the movie camera’s constructed image. Some information and details can be selectively accentuated, while others can be deemphasized. A photograph, on the other hand, is static and has a tendency to contradict the artifice of the rest of the setting.”
“When the early ceremonies give out their awards, often the only people who’ve seen the films are critics, festivalgoers, and (sometimes) their own voting bodies. Are these awards about recognition, or are they about advocacy, or are they about attempting to steer a conversation? Or they, at this point, just about being first?”
The Board is one of the quirkier awards-giving bodies in the American film world, but their top prizes this year went to two Oscar frontrunners. Even so, there were the usual surprises …
The surprise hit about a young gay black man took four awards, including best feature film and a special jury prize for best ensemble cast. Don’t draw too many Oscar conclusions from this, though.
Shows like Jersey Shore can, indeed, increase narcissism, but only for viewers who strongly identify with the self-involved characters.
“Public officials have argued that taxation rules need to be revised to account for changing technologies. It is unfair, some say, that people who get video through cable television are taxed while those who have shifted over to internet streaming services are not. One question officials would need to resolve is where to stop, analysts say. If streaming video is taxable, then what about music, podcasts or video games?”
“By any measurement, it’s been an exceptional year for blacks in film. From comedies to high-quality dramas and documentaries, 2016 will forever represent a bonanza year for black cinema, and all cinema really.”
“The studio in the southwest municipality of Chongqing will include a theme park and tourist attractions, state media reported late Sunday. Construction will begin early next year and is expected to cost 15 billion yuan ($2.18 billion).”
Disney’s “Finding Dory” is the leading grosser of 2016 with $486.2 million, followed by Disney’s “Captain America: Civil War” with $408.1 million, Universal’s “The Secret Life of Pets” with $367.6 million, Disney’s “The Jungle Book” at $364 million and Fox’s “Deadpool” at $363.1 million.
Of course, they have a lot of money, so that’s not the stressor. Instead, it’s the perception of power that they miss. “Sure, cue the tiny violins if you want. … Show business is a small, incestuous and, in some cases, cruel club.”
The archivist “is perhaps the most respected, if unheralded, member of a small clique of in-house Hollywood historians, someone who has quietly dedicated his life to assiduously documenting, preserving and cataloging all facets of America’s most iconic entertainment company.”
Basically? Both. “Lara Croft has a complicated legacy. Her creators introduced her as a tough, agile archaeologist who could outmatch Indiana Jones, yet she was noticed more for her voluptuous physique and revealing attire — a tank top and short shorts. And she remains a polarizing figure among gamers.”
A director explains how focus group scores affect every shot in the final product. “Let’s not be naive. Creating chemistry is a massive job shared by hundreds of smart people, some of them utterly cynical about how to compel an audience with a thrilling, romantic tale told directly to your pocket.”
First, you’re never ready to make a film. (Then there are 11 more lessons, at least in this installment of the story.)
Disney, whatever you may think of its ways, has a powerful place in children’s lives – especially the emotional lives of little girls who love the Disney princesses. But there’s still no Latina princess. What’s going on? (Read this one all the way through. The last paragraph is a real kicker.)
“Along with fellow streaming service Netflix, Amazon represents a serious threat to the bedrock institutions that traffic in prestige film – the art-house heavyweights (Fox Searchlight, Weinstein, Focus, Lionsgate, Sony Pictures Classics) that thrive under the shadow of the Big Six (Paramount, Sony, Fox, Disney, Warner Bros. and Universal) largely thanks to the Oscar contenders they produce.”