With a near-simultaneous translation plan, “Kocowa offers U.S. audiences access to a lineup of Korean TV programs from all three broadcasters — KBS, MBC and SBS — as soon as six hours after they’re broadcast in Korea. The service will compete primarily with DramaFever, the Korean-entertainment streaming service owned by Warner Bros.”
Maybe? “This weekend, with $389 million from the domestic market, ‘Wonder Woman’ can add a new accomplishment to its arsenal — the highest-grossing movie of the summer. It’s also the second largest earner of 2017 behind another film centered on a female protagonist, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ ($504 million domestic).”
Yikes, BBC, do better (and faster): “Earlier this week, under new government rules, the BBC was required to publish a list of presenters making over £150,000, or about $200,000. The disclosure showed a glaring pay gap at the company. … In one example, John Humphrys, a male host on the flagship news show Radio 4 Today, earns between £600,000-£649,999. His female co-host, Sarah Montague, earns under £150,000.”
After – or during – a nearby festival celebrating the railway, “Eight teak carriages on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway in Pickering had windows smashed overnight, with furniture and fixings also ruined. … Fire extinguishers were also set off throughout the carriages, soaking the furniture and wall fittings.”
Directors, showrunners, and cast members were at San Diego Comic-Con. “To hear them say it, Netflix could do no wrong. ‘I was able to do my shit here,’ Ayers said. ‘I was able to tell my fucking story. I was able to do my thing.'”
Why? Because that’s real, even if Wonder Woman, The Handmaid’s Tale, and Game of Thrones are al fantasies. “Challenging power is itself a liberal, anti-authoritarian act, which means that power’s answer is much less important than the act of posing the question, because that’s what speaking truth to power looks like. The feminist question is how much our culture is prepared to reconcile women and power. And on that question, the jury is very much out.”
It’s like Amazon or something even bigger (if there is such a thing): “As people are bombarded with more and more entertainment options, quality has become a determining factor for a movie’s success. And moviegoers use Rotten Tomatoes to select films the same way they turn to Yelp to determine what restaurants they visit.”
Despite a lot of new outlets “sniffing opportunity” and opening new offices or expanding coverage, people in Guelph, Ontario, miss their daily paper. there’s “a creeping dread that fact-free U.S.-style politics – enhanced by the canny use of social media by those in power – could be spreading north.”
Campion (The Piano, Bright Star), who makes the TV series Top of the Lake, says that “movies have become conservative cash cows,” but “in television, there is no concern about politeness or pleasing the audience. It feels like creative freedom.”
Elizabeth King looks at the worries over the new Netflix production To the Bone and the (none-too-encouraging) previous attempts to deal with anorexia and bulimia onscreen.
“HBO said that the show” – titled Confederate – “would portray events leading to a Third Civil War and follow ‘a broad swath of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone – freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slaveholding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall.'” (The Twitterverse does not seem to like the idea.)
“Netflix’s bold foray into movie-making and directly-to-couch distribution is an explicit challenge to the traditional Hollywood model, analysts say, although it remains unclear if a company propelled by binge-watching TV at home can alter the future of going to the movies.”
“Netflix shares rose more than 10% in after-hours trading in New York after announcing its second-quarter results. The firm said it added about 5.2 million members during the quarter, mostly from overseas. International members now account for about half of its subscriber total.”
“While iconic movie props make us laugh, gasp, scream, and/or sit in absolute silence, they rarely start iconic; as a property master will tell you, the best on-screen objects go unnoticed, silently winning you over with truth. Well, call us obsessives, but we couldn’t help but notice. At a time in history when details go painfully overlooked, we slid movie history under a microscope to honor the simple joy of a perfect prop.”
“There’s long been a sense among pundits that the studios’ single-minded pursuit of young males is misguided: As a group, they’re too elusive, and chasing them can too often lead to a race to the bottom aesthetically. But that was just a feeling. This summer is providing hardcore forensic proof.”
“We sat down with several members of the Meatballs cast and crew” – including director Ivan Reitman and producer Dan Goldberg – “to talk about their experiences, both in front of and behind the camera, making the movie that still gives us goosebumps whenever we hear that child choir sing, ‘Are you ready for the summer?'”
SAG-AFTRA and NPR had been approaching a standoff as the union balked at management’s proposals for lower minimum salaries for new hires and more flexibility in allowing union work to be contracted out to its 600 member stations, most of which use employees who are not covered by the bargaining unit.
“We’d expect changes wrought by the internet to have played a key role. They did, but not in the way you’d expect. HBO didn’t use the internet to distribute “Game of Thrones” to subscribers around the world like Netflix and Amazon Video have done with their series. Instead, the internet was important to the series’ global growth because of the opportunities it gave fans to interact with one another.”
Experts who look into such things say that while social networking has its benefits — professionally, personally, politically — it’s also dumbing down the ways people communicate with each other. Having so many channels of communication has overwhelmed our ability to thoughtfully interact online, encouraging cheap and easy forms of communication.
“Before Victim, [Dick Bogarde] was ‘the idol of the Odeons,’ the biggest movie star in the land. But he willingly relinquished that status for Victim. Even more jolting than hearing the word ‘homosexual,’ must have been hearing Bogarde confess to Syms, ‘I wanted him!’ – a jolt of erotic passion even heterosexual movies of the era would avoid.”
Katie Walsh: “When studios drive a wedge between the two groups, claiming certain blockbusters are for ‘fans, not critics,’ it’s drawing a divide that shouldn’t exist. Ultimately, critics are fans. We want to like movies and we want them to be good. Just think of us as your helpful neighborhood expectation managers.”
As Wimbledon wraps up and a new McEnroe versus Borg movie is about to come out, let’s take stock. “Cinema loves boxing and baseball, and these sports, by and large, appear to love them back. Knockout punches and home-runs, after all, provide neat movie resolutions. But tennis, for better or worse, is a long-form narrative. It ebbs and flows; it doesn’t naturally convert to bite-sized screen drama.”
The US will still have radio news (and a zillion podcasts): “The union said that the deal provides for salary increases and ‘effectively repelled efforts to erode union protections and institute a two-tiered salary system.’ SAG-AFTRA represents about 430 writers, news producers and on-air journalists at NPR.”
Perhaps the power of prestige TV is waning, or else network TV is stepping up: For the first time since 2011, a broadcast show broke through the cable and streaming noise.
“I think it’s a golden era, too, but — hate to talk behind TV’s back — I also think artistry is in special danger of becoming mere stimulation. Even great shows surrender storytelling’s functions by overusing them, and then sacrifice the narrative to meet the frenzied demands of an industry that’s always improving upon sitting still.”
Margaret Lyons: “Do you want to start with the dumbest nomination? Modern Family? … There is absolutely no reason Modern Family should be nominated ever, ever again.”
James Poniewozik: “Agreed on Modern Family – which was solid, eons ago – but House of Cards, always a disposable drama in prestige clothing, crossed straight into unintentional-comedy territory this season, but kept its lifetime pass.”
“In the face of multiplex cinemas with dozens of screens and high street food and drink franchises, operated by the likes of Cineworld, Odeon and Vue, the smaller, independent cinema is not only surviving, but thriving.”
“Depictions or suggestions of tobacco use in top-grossing movies rose 72 percent from 2010 to 2016, according to the report, published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The increase was especially large among top-grossing movies with R ratings, which saw a 90 percent rise in tobacco-use imagery, though researchers noted with special concern that movies rated PG-13 also saw a sizable increase: 43 percent.”
Oh, dear – this isn’t going to be pretty, even if it is good. “If the … project does become Tarantino’s next film, it becomes unique in that it will be his first movie to be based on true events.”
“Exodus to Shanghai is a film that claims to tell the story of Ho Feng-Shan, Chinese consul for Vienna, a rescuer of Jews in prewar Austria. While indeed based on true events, it may be the first Holocaust film that heavily features martial-arts-action scenes. The cast includes German actors, as well as Romanians, some Asians, and two young blond models. It was completed in Israel and sponsored by the Fashion TV channel. Sounds delusional? Not in the eyes of the filmmakers.”