“It says something about Russia’s messy, fitful return to dictatorship that, in the week after the murder of opposition leader Boris Nemtsov, the best performing movie in the country, beating out Focus and Cinderella this past weekend, was a thriller whose villain works deep within the Russian government.”
“Global box-office revenue climbed to $36.4 billion, according to an annual report Wednesday from the Motion Picture Assn. of America. And much of the growth came from one country: China. The world’s most populous nation saw its box-office revenue jump 34% to a staggering $4.8 billion last year, making it the first foreign market to cross the $4-billion threshold.”
“When it went looking for the next host for Q, the CBC was a lot like someone badly burned by their last boyfriend … [it] contorted itself to appear to avoid the pitfalls that made the last relationship tank. … So there’s little surprise that the result is what happens in hastily engineered rebound relationships.”
“In Shad, CBC has found an outsider, badly needed, given the multiple reports of a toxic work environment within the Mother Corp. … He’s also an artist who is essentially Canadian, a Kenyan-born immigrant who has rapped nimbly and sagely about Aboriginal issues, love and feminism, among other things.”
Some disgruntled partners aren’t convinced the No. 1 vidsite will be able to fully retain its share of eyeballs moving forward. A top exec at one large multichannel network puts it more bluntly. “YouTube has positioned itself to potentially blow the biggest halftime lead in the history of sports,” he says.
“This week, Netflix announced that it paid nearly $12 million for the worldwide distribution rights for [Beasts of No Nation]. The movie already has a lot of Oscar buzz, but to qualify for an Academy Award nomination, it has to be shown in theaters before or on the same day it plays on TV, online or other platforms.” But the big chains have already said no.
Andrew O’Hehir: “The world it captures, with its mother-daughter pair of aristocratic castoffs and their crumbling, weed-choked East Hampton mansion infested with cats and raccoons, is now so utterly vanished as to seem fantastic, an allegorical dream concocted by Scott Fitzgerald and Flannery O’Connor more than real people who existed within living memory.”
“An Indian court blocked the broadcast of a documentary about a 2012 gang rape and murder that sparked national outrage and tarnished the country’s reputation, saying an interview in the film with one of the perpetrators could ’cause huge public outcry’.” (The BBC went ahead with a UK broadcast.)
“Competition on the internet is constantly evolving and poorly understood. AOL was a has-been before the ink was dry on the relentless complaints about its unassailable monopoly; cable content is suddenly challenged by streaming video; DSL, once thought dead, now offers 25-75 Mbps service. Yet the FCC’s rules ignore this complexity, insisting on a one-dimensional conception of internet competition that’s never actually existed.”
“The cinematography is as crisp and chilling as a horror movie. Men in orange jumpsuits kneel on a beach beneath a sky of broken clouds. Executioners hover over them, dressed in black, knives aglint. … This and other recent execution videos released by Islamic State are slickly produced narratives of multiple camera angles, eerie tension and polished editing that suggest the filmmakers are versed in Hollywood aesthetics.”
“The new movie colony’s lax self-governance galvanized middle-American arbiters of morality into a force so disruptive and outspoken that even an assumed untouchable like Zukor feared their wrath, lest their cries for reform prompt the Federal Trade Commission to censor his often lurid but profitable movies.”
“No sooner had it been revealed that DDLJ, as it is known, was being taken off the silver screen than the protests began. According to Yash Raj Films, the production house behind the film, the sudden announcement ‘resulted in a spontaneous and an overwhelming outcry from the cinema-going audience, as well as dedicated fans of the movie, expressing their shock and disappointment.’ And so the record-breaking film was reinstated.”
“The origins of these goddamn gifted Mexican filmmakers can be traced back to 1988, with the premiere of La Hora Marcada (The Marked Hour), a Mexican television anthology series devoted to tackling experimental horror, science fiction, and urban legends from Latin America. Think of it as the Mexican answer to The Twilight Zone.”
“Taken with cinema, but not taken in by it, … [Godard] is also the brother from another planet, at once straightforward and cryptic, an epistemologist of cinema, wondering why the film frame became a square and why lenses are round. … What to make of the Godardian mind? You might say that, as prolific as he is, Godard suffers from the attention-deficit disorder of genius.”