“The question of how television fits together with advertising – and whether we should resist that relationship or embrace it – has haunted the medium since its origins. … When people called TV shows garbage, which they did all the time, until recently, commercialism was at the heart of the complaint. Even great TV could never be good art, because it was tainted by definition. It was there to sell.”
Female-driven movies make money. In an era when movies are beset by competition from quality television, video games and alternative entertainment, the industry can’t afford to be biased.
“In the midst of the film’s expensively produced spectacle, the gradual loss of a will to live – a subjective experience by nature – resists being rendered onscreen. … There’s no villain, no decisive action, and not much argument – just terrible lassitude and growing mental incapacity.”
“Sure, Jack Thompson–like figures are on the wane – it’s increasingly uncommon for broad, radical arguments linking video games to real-world violent behavior to be taken seriously. But there’s still a lot of scaremongering, and it’s not just occurring on hyperventilating cable news. … Its clearly time for more complex theories about how this multi-billion-dollar industry affects those who partake in its wares.” Here are a few ideas.
“‘We are not really a comics company,’ Mr. Richardson said. ‘We are a content company, and we have a great content engine.'”
“‘We were surprised it wasn’t being talked about in the national media,’ Mr. Barber said. ‘And then, right when we thought we were done, the events in Ferguson unfolded. And it became talked about at a much higher level.'”
“I look up in admiration at models of artistic perfection, sound judgment and noble achievement, and I look down on what I take to be the stupid, cheap and cynical aspects of public discourse. … If the words nerd and geek can be rehabilitated — if legions of misunderstood enthusiasts can march from the margins of respectability to the heart of the mainstream — then why not snob as well?”
The film and television industry is far from an Edenic paradise of equality where diversity reigns supreme, Ruby Rose plays the harpsichord, and Shonda Rhimes lectures biracial hunks on the perils of toxic masculinity. In fact—and someone should probably give Breitbart a heads up on this one—Hollywood is as amorally capitalistic and irritatingly anachronistic as America itself.
The project, called Field of Vision, “sees independent documentarians around the world investigating concerns close to Poitras’s own practice: surveillance as well as political boundaries, hidden social conflicts, and the layers of urban space. … Field of Vision will produce about 50 short-form or episodic nonfiction films a year. Its first season debuted online September 29.”
“Hundreds of scholarly books and articles have been written about Buffy‘s deeper themes, and an entire academic journal and conference series – appropriately called Slayage – is devoted to using the show and other [Joss] Whedon works to discuss subjects such as philosophy and cultural theory.”
Two years ago, groundbreaking research revealed that reading literary fiction can help us understand the inner lives of others. Now, a newly published paper finds watching quality television drama can do the same thing.
“In recent years, the recession and the concurrent rise of VOD streaming services have already torpedoed the midbudget movie. Suddenly, in order to be financially viable, a project has to cost less than $2 million or more than $200 million. Anything in between is dead in the water. Many of the country’s most vital filmmakers, unwilling to accept that their next movie would have to be either shot on an iPhone or connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, have begun to abandon ship.”
Sunnylands was in charge of pulling together the roster of talent, and invited the State Department to participate. One of the goals was to connect Middle Eastern filmmakers with influential Hollywood figures to start plotting “how to engage and empower storytellers [to] create alternative and positive narratives, and how to talk about youth empowerment,” according to the official, who works on these initiatives.
“Two movies on similar missions are opening within weeks of each other this season, Racing Extinction and This Changes Everything, both exploring the devastation humanity has wrought on the natural world. Yet rather than focusing only on what is dying and lost, both films offer messages of hope, profiling people who have helped stop, animal by animal, acre by acre, the pillaging of wildlife and land.”
Mandy Patinkin came away with a bruise, and for some takes Cary Elwes had to be replaced with a mannequin.
“Despite sharing the vulnerabilities of other long-standing media – shrinking audiences, changing consumption patterns, new competition for ad dollars – the television dinosaur has only grown fatter.”
“One might expect TV to say about work what The Office says: that what you are obliged to do all day is pointless. … Although associated with the freedom to mute, surf, and binge-watch, TV pays attention not only to what we do when we’re on the clock, it also asks philosophical questions about work and the meaning of life, urging us to demand more meaning (whatever that might be) from what we do for a living.”
“The drama has a 9% positive rating, with many critics lambasting its attempt to depict a pivotal moment in American history. Vanity Fair critic Richard Lawson called the film ‘terribly offensive, and offensively terrible.'”
“After Mr. Panahi’s release, he was barred for 20 years from making films, writing screenplays, speaking to the media or leaving the country. Today, he lives in a legal limbo and would face six years in prison if authorities decided to charge him with violating the ban.”
“It’s notable in theatre… at the National Theatre a brilliant director like Nick Hytner is also capable of running the organisation. And I would like to see more creatives as part of the decision making going forward at the BBC.”
According to Nielsen fast national data, every returning Tuesday night drama suffered double-digit ratings declines, while the three new series were a mixed bag.
With Roland Emmerich’s new film, as with the 1969 protest/uprising/riots that sparked the modern gay rights movement, “we see in it what we need to see.” J. Bryan Lowder looks at what the (very) many different criticisms of the movie say about the people making them and about the queer community in America today.
“Netflix has no plans to use Big Data to rejigger the way TV shows get made, in order to put the strongest emotional hooks earlier in a season (which would result in more viewing by subscribers). Instead, the company sees the metrics as validation of its binge-release strategy of delivering all episodes of a season at once.”
“It wants actors to get stunt pay for vocally stressful recording sessions and for such sessions to be restricted to two hours. It is also calling for performance bonuses each time a game sells two million copies.”
The study found that, when “aggregate fictional television contains few or no recurring working women or minority characters, frequent viewers exhibit lower levels of social tolerance than non-viewers. When the number of recurring characters is high, this negative effect evaporates.”
“Brooklyn-based journalist Tom Roston did not want the video store to die unmourned. He spoke to filmmakers – Darren Aronofsky, Allison Anders, Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarantino, Nicole Holofcener – and others about what mattered about these places. Some of these directors spent years working behind the counter.”
“The days of trying to conceal a camcorder are over. It is much easier to conceal a smartphone. They use various tricks like cutting a hole in a popcorn cup and putting it wedged in a popcorn cup. Sometimes we see a sock with a hole cut in it which they put over the phone so there is no shine to the phone.”
“Obviously, the best-charting wide-release averages were Jurassic World and Avengers; if you’re adept at elementary-school math, you probably deduced as much. But where these per-screen numbers get truly interesting are the limited releases. Often, prestige and art-house distributors will launch their titles in fewer than ten theaters, usually in New York and Los Angeles; if they perform well, that can lead to larger rollouts that take advantage of momentum and high tidings.”
Facing attacks in the tabloid press under headlines such as “BBC blows £8 million on weird art website” and “BBC bosses waste MILLIONS on bizarre art projects – including puppet videos”, “the Corporation defended its use of licence fee money to fund The Space website as it faces multi-million pound cuts to its finances.”
The audience for live TV appears to be contracting to a smaller base of passive, older viewers. Most worrisome from a financial perspective is that television is reaching fewer fifteen-to-thirty-five-year-olds, who spend more time engaging with social media on smartphones than staring at freestanding screens.