Media

NYT’s Decision To Not Review Every Movie In Theatrical Release Is A Liberating Moment For Criticism

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“Reviewing a popular movie in this way involves a double-edged discernment—a virtual look behind the curtain at the kinds of decisions that brought the movie into being, and a look into the virtual soul of the abstract viewer whose enthusiasm the movie sparks. At its best, the result is a Nietzschean artistic psychology that acknowledges and understands the ways of power. At its worst, the commentary is a blend of armchair sociology and political ruefulness.”

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Who Knew? Musicians Union Sues Hollywood Studios For Reusing Music In Movies

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“For instance, 1 minute and 10 seconds of music from Titanic was allegedly used in This Means War; 47 seconds of music from Die Hard and 30 seconds of music from The Bourne Identity was allegedly used in episodes of The Office; 18 seconds of music from Jaws was allegedly used in Little Fockers; 33 seconds of music from Cast Away was used in Bridesmaids; 35 seconds of music from Battle for the Planet of the Apes was used in Argo … and so forth.”

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How Hollywood Is Helping To Make Virtual Reality Interesting

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“Shooting a movie or TV show is incredibly tough under the best of circumstances. [With VR], the basic things you learned from your experience no longer apply from a technical perspective, and there’s not a body of work you can point to saying, ‘We want it to be like that or like that.’”

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Netflix Believes It Can Create New Audiences For Documentaries

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“Traditionally, documentaries have targeted niche audiences, defiantly unconcerned with commercial success. They don’t attract nearly as many viewers on the big or small screen as their commercial-minded Hollywood counterparts. Netflix thinks it can change that dynamic, drawing big audiences to nonfiction fare using the same algorithms and data it’s relied on to engineer hits like House of Cards.”

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Academy Of Motion Pictures Faces Challenges, Contemplates Changes

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“Behind closed doors — where leaders of the 6,000-member film Academy do most of their deliberating — paid staff, elected governors and committee members have been looking to shore up the annual awards show, which saw a drop in TV viewers of almost 15 percent to 36.6 million in the last year. As that happens, they are dealing with other challenges, expected and otherwise.”

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Memorial Day Weekend Movie Box Office Worst Since 2001

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“This year, the industry’s estimated take between Friday and Monday in the U.S. and Canada was $190 million, according to Rentrak. That is the lowest since 2001—particularly bad when considering that average ticket prices have risen 44% over that time, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners.”

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How YouTube Is Redefining Celebrity

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“In its 10-years of existence, YouTube has evolved from a playground for kitty videos to a $20 billion visual menagerie. Along the way, it’s also become an incubator for a new type of celebrity — a digital Brat Pack that’s leveraging smartphone stardom to write books, drop albums, design products and break into Hollywood.”

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Here’s How Hollywood Keeps Women From Powerful Jobs

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“Women are not tapped for power jobs in Hollywood. Their numbers trail far behind the percentage of females in executive positions in other heavily male-dominated endeavors, including the military, tech, finance, government, science and engineering. In 2013, 1.9 percent of the directors of Hollywood’s 100 top-grossing films were female, according to a study conducted by USC researcher Stacy L. Smith. In 2011, women held 7.1 percent of U.S. military general and admiral posts, 20 percent of U.S. Senate seats and more than 20 percent of leadership roles at Twitter and Facebook — and both companies now face gender-discrimination lawsuits.”

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Disney’s Dying For Millennial Fans, But Can’t Let Its News Partners Do Their Own Thing

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“The cultures of the companies and Fusion have already clashed. For instance, according to two senior Fusion staff members, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, Disney put the organization on notice that it would not take kindly to coverage that might dent its standing with consumers. The warning came after Fusion published several stories based on documents that hackers stole from Sony.”

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Why Doesn’t Hollywood Cater More To Older Audiences? (They’re Growing)

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“According to a 2014 study of theatrical market statistics by the Motion Picture Association of America, the number of “frequent moviegoers” in the 60-plus demographic (that is, those who attend the cinema at least once a month) jumped almost 30 percent last year from 2013, to 5.3 million viewers. That is the highest level for the 60-plus demographic since 2010. Over the same period, attendance by frequent moviegoers ages 18 to 24 and 25 to 39 — still the dominant age groups, with annual attendance about 7 million each — continued to slide. But the pickings are sometimes slim for mature audiences looking for characters their age appearing in quality fare.”

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How Hollywood Has Failed The Great Comic Books

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“To love American cinema is to love comic-book movies, and to want better comic-book movies in the future. What made the first round of actual comic book movies from Superman (1978) to Batman (1989) so disheartening was that they were distinctly bad. They were bad for a number of reasons.”

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Heel-gate Ends: Cannes Film Festival Apologizes

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“We apologise. There was perhaps a small moment of over-zealousness,” Cannes Festival director Thierry Fremaux said, apparently referring to the security guards who prohibited women without heels from walking the festival red carpet.

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Pandora Buys Music Data Service To Track Popularity

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“Next Big Sound has quickly become a standard part of the analytical sphere of the music industry, digesting the ebbs and flows of artists’ popularity through activity on YouTube, Twitter, Wikipedia and elsewhere. It sells its analyses to record companies and other outlets, and its reports on music consumption are frequently cited by the music press.”

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How Pandora Can Make A Success In The Music Streaming Business

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“As is the case for most digital-media content providers, growth increasingly depends on maximizing the reams of data compiled about users — totalling some 79.2 million for Pandora as of March 31. For Pandora, advertising is especially important because the great majority of its users choose to listen to ads rather than pay for a subscription to avoid them.”

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Digital Companies Make Big Inroads At Tradition-Bound Cannes

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“Presentations by companies such as Netflix and virtual-reality outfit Oculus have been priorities for attendees. Agents who once never gave a second thought to nontraditional platforms are now courting them. Beefed-up teams from digital entities such as Amazon and Vimeo are pursuing rights with the zeal once reserved for studios like Universal Studios and Warner Bros.”

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Calls To Boycott ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’ From Furious Men’s Rights Advocates (Wait, What?)

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One anti-feminist blogger calls the action film starring Charlize Theron a “Trojan Horse [that] feminists and Hollywood leftists will use to insist on the trope women are equal to men in all things. … If you were like me, the explosions, fire tornadoes, even the symphonic score surrounding Fury Road‘s first trailer made your attendance a foregone conclusion. It looked like a straight-up guy flick.”

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What Exactly Makes The Shower Scene In ‘Psycho’ So Effective?

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“For what’s often considered the most memorable death in film history, Psycho‘s shower scene is strangely devoid of gore. … This ‘Art of the Scene’ video explores how the director and his collaborators crafted a moment of pure horror without showing too much of the murder itself.”

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Facebook’s ‘Instant’ Goes Live, And Media Immediately Post The Longest Form Longform Articles Possible

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“In the beginning, having access to Instant will provide a huge advantage over publications that don’t. Eventually, publishers’ numbers will even out as competition increases. Easy traffic will be harder to come by, and certain tricks — as on the web — will wear out and become useless. This will be good in that it will prevent lazy behavior.”

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It Took Queen Latifah 20 Years – And HBO – To Bring A Movie About Bessie Smith To The Screen

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Director Dee Rees: “This is a woman who is complicated, and even the way she’s talked about is complicated. And no two people necessarily agree on who she was or how she was. And if I couldn’t answer the ‘how,’ I wanted to answer the ‘why.’ I wanted to understand what’s inside her, so I started with her lyrics, with the songs she wrote, to try to really understand her as an artist.”

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Public Radio Is Membership-Supported. But That “Membership” Is Changing

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“Though membership has always been a core part of public media, over the past several years, public radio has been grappling with new questions concerning membership and listener loyalty. The traditional form of building membership and leveraging organizational loyalty — the pledge drive — has declined in effectiveness, and new conversations are beginning about how to recruit and retain members who access content off-air.”

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David Letterman, Great American Broadcaster

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“Nobody would have been shocked if, as Letterman aged, he simply tried to cling to his younger irreverence, flinging his 68-year-old self to Velcro walls, like in the old days. That’s what TV does to people who want to stay on TV, and it’s usually a cringefest. Instead, Letterman began a quiet but noticeable transformation to a broader, more open, human version of himself.”

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