Media

TV Networks, Having Defeated Aereo, Seek Injunction To Squash It Forever

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“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.”

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Radio Disney Gives Up On Over-The-Air Transmission

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After finding out that only 18% of its listeners tune in via AM or FM radio, the network’s execs have decided to sell all but one of its 24 U.S. stations. (Radio Disney will keep its L.A.-based flagship station, which will produce and distribute the national digital and satellite feed.)

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Venue Backs Down On Kicking Out UK Jewish Film Fest

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The Tricycle Theatre “which refused to host the UK Jewish Film Festival while it is sponsored by the Israeli embassy, amid the Gaza crisis, has now dropped its objection … but is too late for this year’s festival as alternative venues have been arranged.”

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John Oliver Isn’t Just Making Fun Of Current Events, He’s Making People Care About Them

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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.

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Uncle Jack Charles – Stolen Child, Ex-Con Heroin Addict, Movie Actor, Grandfather Of Australian Indigenous Theatre

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He was raised by a white foster mother and stumbled across his blood family by chance at age 17. Began learning acting at 19. Was rejected for a starring Aboriginal role in favor of a South Asian actor. Co-founded Australia’s first aboriginal theatre company. And that was just his life before 1980.

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Digitizing Warhol’s Films To Save Them

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“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.

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Shark Week Jumps It: Discovery Channel Lied To Scientists To Get Them To Appear

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“[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.

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Terry Gilliam Sued By Street Artists Over Forthcoming Film

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“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.”

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To Avoid “Blasphemy”, Sony Is Altering Seth Rogen’s Kim Jong Un Assassination Comedy

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“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.”

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Japan’s Most-Killed Screen Samurai Finally Gets A Lead Role – And An Acting Award

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“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)

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China’s “Sex And The City” (Chairman Mao Would Be Horrified)

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The Tiny Times film franchise “is a wholesale celebration of conspicuous consumption … a cross between Sex and the City and The Devil Wears Prada.” The series has greatly irked “those who think individualism and materialism have gone too far in China.” It has also pulled in $200 million so far.

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The Colorization Wars Are Back, Now Over Alexander Payne’s “Nebraska”

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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.

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Colorizing “Nebraska” And The Danger Lurking In Digitized Filmmaking

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“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.”

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Fragmenting Of Audiences Is Changing The Movie And TV Business

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“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.”

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Has Netflix Become More Important Than HBO?

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“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.”

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The Weird Prescience of “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”

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“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.”

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Cool – Virtual Reality Puts You Inside The Movie

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“As opposed to being completely first person or being interactive in a video game fashion, it’s as if somebody could essentially step into the movie and have the ability to look 360 degrees all the way around to see the action.”

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UK Jewish Film Festival In Fight With Host Venue

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“A north London theatre has refused to host the UK Jewish Film Festival while it is sponsored by the Israeli Embassy amid the ongoing crisis in Gaza. The Tricycle Theatre … said it would not accept any funding from ‘any party to the current conflict’. It has offered to use its own resources instead.” Festival management calls the condition “unacceptable” and says it will move.

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How On Earth Did Robert Altman Get Away With Making Movies Like That?

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“In a sense, Altman radically democratized movies, upending the Hollywood hierarchy of star over supporting player, story over atmosphere, emotion over all. … His films were raucous parties, too: he would assemble crowds of actors, give them the hint of a story, encourage them to improvise in Babels of overlapping dialogue and let the canny chaos spill onto the screen.”

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Study: Minority Roles In Hollywood Are Scarce

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“On Tuesday, USC’s Annenberg school released a study that found just 26% of speaking roles in film went to minorities last year. The study, which analyzed 3,932 characters, revealed that Latinos had only 4.9% of those parts, even though they represent 16.3% of the population.”

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