Media

The Problem With Protecting Canadian Content

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“The problem facing the Canadian TV industry – from the big three commercial outfits to the guilds, unions and lobby groups representing the creators – is that cultural protectionism is a very, very hard sell. And it’s a hard sell because there is so little Canadian programming that is truly cherished and admired by the public. In this, everyone, from the top executives to the creative end of the industry, must face blame.”

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If A Japanese Filmmaker Takes Over Iconic U.S. Dreamworks, These Things Are Likely To Happen

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“Beyond games featuring DWA characters, SoftBank could also offer DWA video content to its mobile subscribers, according to one investment banker not involved in the deal talks.‎ For DWA, the deal would provide further financial firepower at a time when it has been trying to diversify its business amid disappointing box-office results.‎”

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Yes, Television Shows Can Save Lives (Maybe Yours)

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“Can a TV show save lives? Can cisgender actor Jeffrey Tambor be enough of a first stepping stone for transwomen who’ve waited forever for any kind of representation? Could a transphobe somewhere see this show and feel something shift?”

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Fall American TV Schedule Is More Diverse (Seriously)

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“New shows have a high failure rate and some of these programs still feel a bit too much like one long ethnic joke. But there’s also a sense of a page turning in network TV. Finally some networks have realized they can get good ratings and lots of attention by airing series that look more like America.”

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Comcast-Time Warner Merger Debate Rages

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“The continuing stream of statements underscores that the merger review is a free-for-all grandstanding opportunity for companies, orgs and individuals with all manner of agendas. The frustration with the situation is evident in the tone of Comcast’s lengthy replies to critics of the deal that would unite the nation’s two largest cable operators.”

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How TV Helped Advance LGBT Rights

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“In the first instalment of Talking TV, … Tom Brook reports on how television has been at the vanguard of changing perceptions of gay people – especially in the US where the proliferation of gay and lesbian TV characters has arguably created a climate more receptive to the idea of gay marriage.” (video)

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“It’s Just Gray, Frightened People Holding On For Dear Life”: Terry Gilliam On Hollywood

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“In Hollywood, at least when I was making films there, there were people in the studios that actually had personalities. You could distinguish one from the other. And now, I don’t see that at all. … I just want to do what I do. And I don’t even get scripts from Hollywood. I don’t even ask for scripts anymore because I kind of know what they’re going to be.”

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Spoilers – They’re All About Social Power

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“Revealing … dramatic plot twists and turns of hit television shows used to be considered a social faux pas. Today,” according to a study for Netflix conducted by a cultural anthropologist, “the motivation for spoiling a show for someone else now is about more than just watching TV, he said. It is about the politics of daily life.”

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NY Times Public Editor Slams Article About Shonda Rhimes

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“The readers and commentators are correct to protest this story. Intended to be in praise of Ms. Rhimes, it delivered that message in a condescending way that was – at best – astonishingly tone-deaf and out of touch.” (includes responses from the Culture Editor and the article’s writer, TV critic Alessandra Stanley)

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Alessandra Stanley Says She Meant To Praise Shonda Rhimes, She Was Just Being “Arch”

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“In the review, I referenced a painful and insidious stereotype solely in order to praise Ms. Rhimes and her shows for traveling so far from it. … I didn’t think Times readers would take the opening sentence literally because I so often write arch, provocative ledes that are then undercut or mitigated by the paragraphs that follow.”

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The Fox, The Hedgehog, And The Death Of Classic Hollywood

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Kenneth Turan: “Simply put, Hollywood has traditionally been celebrated as the fox, entertaining everybody by making movies for a wide variety of appetites and audiences. … Today’s Hollywood, by contrast, has transformed itself into the hedgehog. The one big thing it knows how to do is make sequels and superhero movies and sequels to superhero movies, all aimed at a young adult crowd with no end in sight.”

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Networks Are Desperate For A Laugh

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“Comedies have long been the ratings and profit drivers of the television industry, cheaper to produce than hourlong dramas and lucrative in syndication,” but “only 14 of the 82 prime-time comedies unleashed since 2009 are on the air.”

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The Glories Of The Cannes Film Festival, In Poster Form

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“From surreal illustrations, to memorable film stills, and the original artworks of beloved directors, these posters (and accompanying facts) remind us why the annual celebration on the French Riviera is still the most glamorous, essential, and exciting film festival around.”

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Upping The Ante: California Increases Its Film Tax Credits To Save Productions

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“The law, which takes effect next year, increases the annual film and TV tax credit offered by California and eliminates a selection process producers complained is arbitrary and flawed. Advocates say the new law is crucial to preventing other states and countries from continuing to lure away film and TV production by offering their own lucrative incentives.”

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Bill Moyers Retires Again (He Really Means It This Time)

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“Bill Moyers has notified public television stations that his weekly series Moyers & Company will end after the Jan. 2 program. He made a similar announcement last October, but changed his mind in the face of an outpouring of support from his fans on social media. This time, however, “it’s the real deal’.”

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Why Net Neutrality Is Important For Artists And Arts Organizations

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“Net neutrality is about how access to our society’s living archive should be governed. Do we want monied interests to be making that decision, or us, the users? The value of the web is how easy it is to share with anyone what we make; whether it’s a business, an artwork, or academic research.”

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Amazon Becomes A Big Player In Hollywood

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“Like other online video services such as Netflix, Hulu Plus, Crackle and YouTube, Amazon has been investing heavily in original programming to grab some business from traditional networks and cable channels.”

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Netflix Launches In France, Beginning European Expansion

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Despite opposition from French telecom providers worried about competition l’exception culturelle, Netflix began service in France this week, with Germany and Belgium being added later this month. The company has a partnership with one large French ISP (Bouygues) and has already commissioned one original French series.

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