At the Los Angeles LGBT Center awards night, Rhimes spoke up. “Everyone has the right the see themselves on the screen, and I think it’s really dangerous when that doesn’t happen,” she said. “People deserve realistic portrayals.”
Just ask Artaud: Language is insufficient to communicate the pain of existence (so add some intensely horrible sound to your unsubtle movie, and communicate it that way).
Apparently, audiences will accept almost anything as long as it has to do with controlling women. See: Tom Cruise and Jim Carrey.
After the opening episode arrives over the usual airwaves, the show is only going to be available on CBS All Access – something that executives hope will get more people to sign up for the streaming service.
Now (just look at Girls’ Trip and Daphne) is the time for women who “are neither the victims of, nor inertly, Sleeping-Beauty-wise, waiting to be enlivened by, male desire.”
While “virtual multichannel video programming distributors” like Hulu, YouTube TV and Sling TV are poised to grow, they’ll significantly cannibalize the existing base of traditional pay-TV customers, according to RBC’s analysis. About 15% of the addressable market for “vMVPDs” will come from legacy cable and satellite subs, with 10% from “cord-never” broadband-only households.
Alyssa Rosenberg: “In & Out feels both like a slightly embarrassing artifact of its time and an ultimately correct argument for how (lots if not all of) America would change in the decades since its release.” On the other hand, “if [the movie] were released today, it would be drowned in an actual flood of think pieces.”
Melena Ryzik talks to Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, and Darren Aronofsky. And no, they don’t agree on what the film means, or even necessarily what it’s about.
“Say what you will about Darren Aronofsky, but the guy knows how to get a reaction out of people. … We caught up with Aronofsky a few months before the film’s premiere, while its contents were still top secret, to talk about its allegorical meaning, its startlingly unusual use of Kristen Wiig, and the surprising difficulty of its postproduction process.” (Warning: spoilers included.)
“La Soledad is the latest in a glut of Venezuelan films telling unflinching, complex stories of life in the troubled Andean nation. It might seem surprising, given the increasingly authoritarian regime of Nicolás Maduro, that these films have often benefitted from state funding. … A major reconfiguration came in 2005 with a reform to the country’s national cinematography law. This dictated quotas for the proportion of Venezuelan films in theatres, initiated a tax on cinemas and distributors to fund Venezuelan film-makers and granted tax exemptions for private-sector support of Venezuelan films. Since the new law came into effect, more and more Venezuelans have been going to cinemas: a record 4.2m did so in 2014.”
“About 125,000 of New Zealand’s 4.7 million people speak the Maori language … There are concerns that numbers are declining, putting it at risk of dying out. But with one in three Maori people in New Zealand younger than 15, experts said the chance for youth to see a wildly popular movie in their own words” – Disney planned from the beginning to translate Moana, based on traditional Polynesian stories, into Maori – “could turn the language’s fortunes around after more official efforts faltered”
“At stake is no less than the future of the movie-exhibition business, an industry that has seen ticket prices rise almost 100 percent over the last 20 years while offering scanty new innovation over that time – e-ticketing and, to a lesser extent, reclining seats comprising its premium product.” So why is there not more excitement in the industry? Chris Lee explains.
“Before the emergence and rapid proliferation of film editing at the dawn of the 20th century, humans had never been exposed to anything quite like film cuts: quick flashes of images as people, objects and entire settings changed in an instant. But rather than reacting with confusion to edits, early filmgoers lined up in droves to spend their money at the cinema, turning film – and eventually its close cousin, television – into the century’s defining media.”
“The final tally for the 2017 Emmys, hosted by Stephen Colbert on CBS, avoids the all-time low 11.3 million viewers that tuned in last year. In the key demo of adults 18-49, this year’s show did bottom out, slipping 10 percent from a 2.7 rating to a 2.5 rating. Overnight ratings are naturally below those of NBC’s Sunday Night Football, which took a 12.6 overnight rating among households.”
“Netflix’s selection of classic cinema is abominable—and it seems to shrink more every year or so. As of this month, the streaming platform offers just 43 movies made before 1970, and fewer than 25 from the pre-1950 era (several of which are World War II documentaries). It’s the sort of classics selection you’d expect to find in a decrepit video store in 1993, not on a leading entertainment platform that serves some 100 million global subscribers.”
“Directed by Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards stars Frances McDormand as a woman who takes a stand against the police, using the titular three billboards after her daughter is murdered and months later no arrests have been made. The rest of the cast includes Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell (who, along with McDormand, is already receiving awards season buzz), John Hawkes, and Peter Dinklage.”
The problem especially afflicts the major fall festivals: Venice, Telluride, Toronto. “The way films are received at major festivals … dictates how independent and prestige titles will be positioned for the rest of the year. That positioning will then influence the Oscars, which govern in turn the types of films that get made and celebrated. While most big film festivals are built on good intentions, the atmosphere around them has become oddly reductive.”
“I do feel like Netflix is commodifying stand-up. This boom, at least as defined by me, is about treating comics as individual artists with distinct points of view, not people providing a service. Stockpiling stand-up as content and telling people it’ll be there whenever you need a laugh is completely antithetical to that. Has the boom already given way to a bloat?”
“This year streaming shows accounted for four of the seven nominees for Outstanding Drama Series, two of the picks for Outstanding Comedy Series, and programs like The Handmaid’s Tale, House of Cards, and Master of None have earned praise in nearly every major category. But earning a nomination only does so much; at the end of the day, it’s who takes home the statue that matters.”
“The report found that across the five main broadcasters, women accounted for 48% of the total workforce – compared with 51% across the general population – and held 39% of senior roles. Ofcom also said those from a black, Asian or minority ethnic background made up 12% of workers, and disabled people just 3%, despite accounting for 14% and 18% of the general population respectively.”
“An Emmy is not necessarily the mark of true greatness, any more than an Oscar win is. What the Emmys reflect is the taste of the voters who work in the TV industry. Not all will be familiar with nominated series on FX, National Geographic or PBS. But you can bet they all have access to Netflixand all the networks.”
We are living in the golden age of the silent video. Though we may still pop headphones in to watch a YouTube rant, social media has cultivated its own mute visual culture. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are designed to encourage endless scrolling, and that boosts videos that are made to catch the viewer’s eye without offending her ear with grating bursts of noise.
Glenn Close: “I’m proud my character elicited such a visceral response. Now she’s considered one of the greatest villains ever, and that to me is a mistake. I’ve never thought of her as a villain, just in distress.”
Adrian Lyne, director: “I never realized, 30 years later, people would still be talking about bunny boilers.”
“By 2021, the number of cord-cutters will nearly equal the number of people who have never had pay TV — a total of 81 million U.S. adults. That means around 30% of American adults won’t have traditional pay TV at that point, per eMarketer’s revised forecast.”
“In an industry financially dependent on an ever-smaller handful of films, studio executives are less willing to take chances and more willing to make big changes if needed, even if the moves generate ugly headlines or expensive reshoots. When hundreds of millions of dollars are at stake in ticket sales and ancillary businesses, no one is irreplaceable.”
“Will & Grace pushed well past the broadcast network comfort zone when it arrived with a finger snap in 1998. … Now, however, with the legalization of gay marriage and Transparent and gay characters even popping up on the Disney Channel, … [and] at a time when Hollywood is under intense pressure to avoid stereotypes and to promote diversity from every possible angle, Will & Grace – once seen as the epitome of diversity on television – could actually find itself assailed for being behind the curve.”
“Ensuring these women were not portrayed, in any way, as broken, was crucial. ‘The female characters are fully rounded,’ says one of the show’s writers, Lisa Lutz. ‘They might make some bad choices, they might have some terrible experiences, but they are not silent victims.'” Says director Michelle MacLaren, “We want the 1971 version of this show, not the present-day one. We had to remember this is the pre-Aids era and certain things we take for granted now, attitudes towards women and sex, were not looked at as clearly in this time.'”
“Any brown person who’s taken a selfie in the club can tell you cameras aren’t made for us. Yet in Insecure‘s club scenes, dark-skinned protagonists like Yvonne Orji’s Molly continue to impress. You can thank Ava Berkofsky, the show’s director of photography, for that. … So how do you make a show look like a piece of art while also doing justice to black faces? The answer is a special whiteboard and a light dab of shiny makeup.”
“‘We all came to the show from different places wanting to be in the entertainment industry, but also being trivia nerds, so we’ve been lucky enough that this merges those two things.’ Jeopardy! head writer Billy Wisse … walked us through the question-making process from start to finish.”
“In decades past the role of academy president, which is unpaid, was largely ceremonial. But in recent years, as the organization has taken a series of dramatic steps to remake itself inside and out, the job has grown more demanding — and the public scrutiny has grown more intense.”