“In its nearly 80-year history, the Cinecittà film studio lured the world’s greatest directors and biggest movie stars to this Italian capital, earning it the title of Hollywood on the Tiber. Now the studio, its fortunes in decline and its edges fraying, is hoping to attract some less famous visitors when Cinecittà World, a new theme park dedicated to its golden era, opens on Thursday.”
“So as we try to make sense of Mandatory Fun, Al’s fourteenth studio album – and as we round into the fourth decade of his career – it’s becoming clear that his old-school/new-school media business playbook is a little genius. In many corners of the English-language Internet, this week has been Al-saturated, his new music videos and songs unavoidable. How does he do it? Where will it lead? And will this be his media strategy forever?”
“Sitting on my sofa, push-button dialing system by my side, I can’t help but feel that I’m filing a dispatch from a future entertainment universe. We should embrace and celebrate the fact that we can now watch great movies on TV the same day they’re in theaters. And yet this development feels like it’s brought on more consternation than joy.”
“The easy tropes and practiced banter, the reliable fulfilling of a sitcom’s tasks, contributed to a sense of permanence. … Here was a world void of dread, danger, and anxiety, a place in which work and play were indistinguishable, in which jobs just meant different aesthetics attached to the same basic glee.” Exhibit A: Just Shoot Me.
“It’s only common sense that the devaluation creative industries face is having a sustained negative effect on the investment available for sustainable artistic careers. Through new groups like the Content Creators Coalition, artists have begun to advocate for themselves. But forging an internet that takes individual rights (including privacy), cultural diversity and sustainable progress seriously also requires that consumers get on board.”
“It’s as if, through sales figures, profits and other assorted fiscal headlines video games will be able to buy their way to legitimacy. How fitting that a medium which typically encourages its players to exert dominance over the competition would frame its worth as a battle, usually with cinema, as if this were a fight to be won, as if the winner would somehow usurp the loser, as if each venue for human expression didn’t have unique capacity for joy, wonder and meaning.”
On the last day of 2020, Anders Weberg will release Ambiancé, which is, he says, “an abstract nonlinear narrative summary of the artist’s time spent with the moving image.” The film will “be shown in its full length on a single occasion syncronised in all the continents of the world and then destroyed.” (includes trailer)