“The classic film was first shown 75 years ago. Since then, there have been many interpretations, from religious allegory to an acid trip. BBC Culture picks out five of the most interesting readings of L Frank Baum’s modern fairy tale.” (includes video clips)
“If Aereo’s legal battle were a round of Mortal Kombat, someone would be shouting ‘finish him!’ right now.” The June Supreme Court decision forced it to suspend operations, but it still hopes to obtain a legal ruling that would classify it with cable companies. “But the broadcasters are determined to shut that effort down before it even gets started.”
Mishy Harman got hooked on This American Life while on a 13,000-mile U.S. road trip. “And by the time [he] reached Mississippi, … he was determined to copy it.” Now Israel Story is a huge hit; “[it] begins its second season in Israel next Saturday; an English version … will have its premiere online on Monday.”
“Last Week Tonight has found a way to take a seemingly complicated issue, break it into understandable parts – and then rebuild it. … And Oliver is not just influencing viewers; he’s actually having an effect on the people he’s criticizing.” His viewers crashed the FCC’s website, and he’s been denounced by the Government of Thailand.
“For almost a decade beginning in the 1960s,” he used 16mm film “to record hundreds of reels, many of which are still little known even among scholars because of the fragility of the film and the scarcity of projectors to show them on.” Now MoMA and the Andy Warhol Museum are joining forces to fix that.
“[Jonathan] Davis was shocked to find that his interview aired during a 2013 Shark Week special called Voodoo Shark, which was about a mythical monster shark called ‘Rooken’ that lived in the Bayous of Louisiana. … His answers from unrelated questions were edited together to make it seem like he believed in its existence and was searching for it.” And his is not the only instance.
“Actors can chew scenery, but sometimes, the scenery chews back.” Two Argentines and a Canadian have filed a complaint in Federal court alleging that The Zero Theorem, starring Matt Damon and Christoph Waltz, “violates the copyright they hold on a large-scale mural titled Castillo on public display in Buenos Aires.”
“Sources say the studio is digitally altering thousands of buttons worn by characters in the film … because they depict the actual hardware worn by the North Korean military to honor the country’s leader, Kim Jong Un, 31, and his late father, Kim Jong Il (showcasing military decorations would be considered blasphemous to the nuclear-armed nation).” North Korea has already described the movie as “an act of war.”
“He’s made a career playing henchmen and underlings in thousands of Japanese samurai movies, always in the role of the kirareyaku, a swordsman whose job is to die spectacularly on film. Now, at the age of 71 and after a reputed 50,000 on-screen deaths, Seizo Fukumoto has won a prize for his first ever lead role in a semi-autobiographical movie.” (includes video)
Payne and his colleagues did create a color version of the famously black-and-white 2013 release – but only because his contract with the studio required one, mainly for overseas television; Payne publicly said he hoped no one would ever see it. Now a premium cable/satellite service is presenting it – as a “world premiere”, no less – in the U.S.
“Digital presentations of content in general make it a lot easier to deliver things in lots and lots of different ways. It’s good to have flexibility, but it also means there might be a point where it becomes almost impossible to make your vision available to people without agreeing in advance to make it customizable to the point where it ceases to be art at all.”
“Although there has always been a range of possibilities and venues within the arts — from community theater to Broadway, from art-house films to summer blockbusters, from the Cinema Bar to the Fabulous Forum — modern technology has brought entertainment more than ever into line with this existential state of affairs. We now live in the age of the microaudience.”
“HBO’s success in the 21st century is all about its own shows, not the movies that come on in between. Similarly, Netflix subscriptions have surged as the company gains a name for itself as a producer of its own great shows, and it plans to start making even more. To make HBO money, it seems, Netflix will keep trying to become more like HBO.”
“Of course, no parent walked out of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles with their wound-up eight-year-old and thought, ‘That really captured our collective fear of being mugged by teenagers. Radical!’ But viewed today, it’s striking how much the [1990 film] encapsulated contemporary attitudes about delinquency and violence, and showed weird prescience about the decade to come.”