Manohla Dargis and A.O. Scott: “We are now approximately one-sixth of the way through the 21st century, and thousands of movies have already been released. Which means that it’s high time for the sorting – and the fighting – to start. … While we’re sure almost everyone will agree with our choices, we’re equally sure that those of you who don’t will let us know.”
And the move is designed for short video productions: “In a move designed to encourage more local production of short-form online videos created by sites such as Buzzfeed and Funny or Die, the city of Los Angeles is lowering the cost of film permits for these kinds of productions as part of a new pilot program scheduled to roll out later this year.”
Netflix, quite controversially, has cancelled both Sense8 and The Get Down – both of which cost about $10 million per episode – and other streaming services and networks are pleased. “They can’t have 10,000 shows … I think it brings them back in the ecosystem of where we’re all trying to make the best shows and the best decisions.”
That’s right, the massive success of the co-produced five-season show is bringing about “a Maple Golden Age.”
Maybe. It might take some superhero-sized money to pull it off, though: “Originally slated to open this year, the Renzo Piano-designed project has run into repeated snags and is now expected to open in 2019. And the academy is borrowing heavily to pay for the museum project — according to its most recent annual report, the organization’s debt leaped to $354.4 million from $61.6 million the previous year.”
“Every year it’s getting more and more intense, and that’s in part because companies such as Netflix and Amazon are part of the Cannes machine, so to speak. They’re financing, producing, distributing films, often with an eye to getting them to Cannes. So now we are in the business of negotiating prebuys, too.”
“Turning on the television to follow the action is a relatively new practice. It dates back to a set of dramatic crime syndicate investigations in the 1950s that became a televised political theater triumph – and set the stage for what has become a uniquely American pastime.”
Tunisia, in fact, is relatively relaxed by Arab standards about female dress. The reason for the ban does, however, have to do with star Gal Gadot (and it will probably make you mutter, “Gawd, not that again”).
“The shift to new home options for these ‘clean’ versions aligns with the public movement away from traditional broadcast venues towards on-demand or streaming services. Simply waiting for scrubbed content to arrive on television is not only inconvenient from the audience’s new get-it-now standpoint, but allows studios including Sony a new vector for improved profitability. While the streaming revolution has, for the most part, been a knife in the heart of network television, it could prove a long-run boom for the studios who, in some cases, manage better distribution deals through these new services.”
Dawson City, in the Yukon Territory, wound up being the end of the line in an early film distribution network, and distributors thought shipping the prints back from there was too expensive to bother with – so an enormous body of films piled up there. Filmmaker Bill Morrison made an avant-garde documentary (?!) about it all.
Video games are an art form. They make a player feel. “Journey” helped me understand how and why games could make me feel just as much books, movies and TV do.
Lee Camp, an “acerbic left-wing comic,” hosts a weekly show called Redacted Tonight on RT America, the Russian-funded cable network. Jason Zinoman looks at the show and its host – and at Camp’s visible discomfort when asked about the one American political issue that his counterparts make hay with but he doesn’t touch.
“The Clean Version allows viewing for a wider audience, giving people the chance to watch their favorite films together,” Sony said. “Clean Version movies can be accessed with purchase of the theatrical versions.”
“In 2008, when Pinewood first opened, production in the city descended to an ominous low of $499 million. Contrast that to 2016 when film and television production soared to a remarkable $2.01 billion. It is the third record-setting year in a row, up from $1.5 billion in 2015. And this year, based on interviews with producers, studio owners, unions and the city, that figure is on track to be eclipsed.”
“As many of the old, old tapes as possible, going back to the 1970s, have been baked (that’s what you do) and played and their data turned into WAV and MP3 files and parked at a big catalog site named WorldCat.org.”
“A report by the Portuguese public broadcaster RTP suggested recent filming for The Man Who Killed Don Quixote left behind chipped masonry, broken roof tiles and uprooted trees at the 12th-century Convent of Christ in Tomar, central Portugal.” The director – whose years-long quest to complete the movie has been legendarily troubled – denies all: “People should begin by getting the facts before howling hysterically.”
Alice Guy-Blaché “should be heralded alongside early filmmakers like Georges Méliès and Auguste and Louis Lumière. She was one of the first filmmakers – some argue the first – to work with fictional narratives, beginning with her 1896 La Fée aux choux in which babies are born from cabbages with the help of a fairy.”
“The costume drama featuring this moment, a film called Matilda after the dancer, is not due out until October. Yet the release of trailers of that scene, and a few others depicting the torrid affair that follows, was enough to ignite a firestorm.” The opposing sides are “an artistic community determined to fend off any hint of Soviet-style censorship” and a religious nationalist faction that sees the film as an insult to Nicholas II (the crown prince in question) – and therefore, since the last tsar is now a saint in the Russian Orthodox Church, “an insult to the faithful, which is a crime in Russia.”
The Alamo Drafthouse chain’s plan to offer no-boys-allowed screenings of the new superheroine hit made news when certain men on the Internet flipped right out about them. Cara Buckley, the Times‘s “Carpetbagger” during awards season, paid a visit to the screening at the Alamo Drafthouse in downtown Brooklyn to check out the (excited) vibe.
“Going to the movies” is a Proustian madeleine, a series of pencil marks on a doorjamb, a solution to crises ranging from heartbreak to parental exhaustion, a way of being separate but together, present yet adrift. It’s also something people don’t do as often as they once did.
“Because it’s not winning the Palme d’Or. In the screwy universe of Cannes awards, Coppola actually got the equivalent of fourth place, behind the third-place Jury Prize winner, Loveless (directed by a Russian man); the second-place Grand Prix winner, 120 Beats Per Minute (directed by a French man); and the Palme d’Or victor, The Square (directed by a Swedish man). Best Director is considered such a nonessential prize — unlike those other three — that there have been 12 separate years when the jury decided not to award it.”
“Over the years, I’ve grown used to seeing the cinema dismissed as an art form for a whole range of reasons: it’s tainted by commercial considerations; it can’t possibly be an art because there are too many people involved in its creation; it’s inferior to other art forms because it “leaves nothing to the imagination” and simply casts a temporary spell over the viewer (the same is never said of theatre or dance or opera, each of which require the viewer to experience the work within a given span of time). Oddly enough, I’ve found myself in many situations where these beliefs are taken for granted, and where it’s assumed that even I, in my heart of hearts, must agree.”
We won’t have this legendary series of mishaps to kick around anymore: “The former Monty Python member has been working on the project since 1989, persevering through setbacks so numerous that they inspired a documentary about the ill-starred project, 2002’s ‘Lost in La Mancha.'” Instead, we’ll actually have the movie.
It’s how we measure our public lives. “Going to the movies was and remains a centerpiece of our emerging social and independent lives. The movie theater was the first non-school-associated public place my parents let me go to by myself, with money. I still remember the thrill of meeting my friends under the marquee, parsing our dollars out for maximum snacking, giggling and rustling in our seats. Released at last from that stern sideways maternal glance, we were giddy with freedom.”
No, it’s not new to see an interracial couple on-screen (and even in Love, Actually), but “their depictions in early cinema were rarely ‘light-hearted’ or ‘happily concluded’ – both conventions of the romcom.”
Gal Godot proves that’s a nope. And maybe it’s better this way: “‘When it’s Ben Affleck playing Batman, it’s hard not to look at that and see Ben Affleck.’ When you see Gadot these days, though, all you see is Diana Prince.”
Parents and caregivers of children aged five and younger should not only minimize screen time at home but use it mindfully themselves, according to the Canadian Paediatric Society.
“Pirating studio films and mimicking Hollywood techniques may be unexpected tools of the anti-West ISIS, but they are defining traits of videos made by Al-Furqan Media, a production company run by ISIS.”
For 16 years, David Pujadas has been the face of primetime news on [France Télévisions] … In a surprise announcement, France 2 said Pujadas’s long broadcast career with the channel would be coming to an end. … The news came the day after Pujadas’s 8pm news programme recorded its highest audience of the season, beating its closest rival, the private channel TF1.”
“This video from The Royal Ocean Film Society makes a compelling case that sound is every bit as important as picture in cinema. … ‘Storytelling With Sound’ lays out some of the ways audio makes films better, and includes an interview with one of the masters: Ben Burtt, the brilliant sound designer behind the Star Wars saga who gave us R2-D2. He’s also the voice of Wall-E.”