Hint: We’re talking about The Shape of Water, which won best movie at the Producers Guild this weekend, while its director, Guillermo del Toro, snagged the feature film award at the Directors Guild. (Note: La La Land won both of those awards last year, and as everyone knows, did not win the Oscar.)
HBO, which has had massive success with its scripted programs, has been searching for nonscripted hits for a few years. Last week, the network released the first of a series of four specials with the hosts of the podcast “2 Dope Queens,” and now they’ve made a deal with the hosts of “Pod Save America” for content that will run through the midterm elections.
Mary J. Blige, who plays Florence, says: “My mom used to send us down to Georgia every summer. So I knew what it felt like to have my hands in the dirt and to pick beans, and to pick whatever was in the field and to watch my grandmother, who was a sharecropper — and a sharecropper’s wife. They had a farm; they had chickens. And whatever they killed, we had to eat, and whatever they pulled out of the field, we had to shell beans, we had to pick peas, we had to cut greens. We had to do all that stuff. So I guess it was already in my DNA and embedded in me.”
Jen Salke’s appointment “comes at a critical juncture for the Seattle-based retailing giant. It must craft a cohesive programming strategy, mend relations with some Hollywood producers and develop more mainstream hits to better compete against deep-pocketed streaming rivals, including Netflix, HBO and Hulu.”
The stats are deeply ugly: “In 2016, only 7 percent of the directors behind 250 of the year’s highest-grossing domestic releases were women. (In television, things are a bit better: Thirty-two percent of first-time episodic directors during the 2016-17 television season were women.) From there, women directors get lower budgets on average, and their projects are played on only one-third as many movie screens as male-directed films, according to a study cited in 2016 in The Hollywood Reporter.”
YouTube had previously pulled Logan Paul’s channels from the Google Preferred premium-advertising program following the suicide video. In the wake of the controversy, Paul also lost a series deal with French digital studio Blackpills and was cut from YouTube Red’s original series “Foursome.” He is represented by CAA and affiliated with Studio71.
“Renouncing Woody Allen is painful for many of us, not just because we enjoy his work, but because it feels like renouncing a part of ourselves. It also feels cheap, because there’s no point in renouncing him if we can’t also renounce the part of us that finds his characters relatable. We need to take a closer look at the films that taught us to be this way, and to consider what else they taught us.”
Reporter Maggie Jones talks to dozens of teens about what they’ve seen online and what conclusions they’ve drawn from it – and she visits a class called “Porn Literacy”, which teaches them to think about how sexuality, aggression, and consent are and aren’t depicted in porn, as well as how those depictions differ from in-the-flesh interactions.
The whole story is basically that Facebook gets so much traffic that they started convincing publishers to post things on Facebook. For a long time, that was fine. People posted things on Facebook, then you would click those links and go to their websites. But then, gradually, Facebook started exerting more and more control of what was being seen, to the point that they, not our website, essentially became the main publishers of everyone’s content. Today, there’s no reason to go to a comedy website that has a video if that video is just right on Facebook. And that would be fine if Facebook compensated those companies for the ad revenue that was generated from those videos, but because Facebook does not pay publishers, there quickly became no money in making high-quality content for the internet.
Two months after two longtime hosts were fired from the New York public radio giant – which was shortly after news broke of John Hockenberry’s egregious misconduct as host of The Takeaway – stories of a dysfunctional workplace culture are spreading, the station’s number-two has been demoted but not dismissed, and WNYC’s president tries to correct longstanding problems and fend off complaints about her management and high salary.
MoviePass reports this morning that the monthly movie ticket service has generated $128.7 million for select film nominees since November 2017.
The 89-year-old French filmmaker, up for Best Documentary Feature for Faces Places, is the oldest Oscar nominee in history. She wasn’t able to get to Los Angeles for this event, but she charmed everyone there nevertheless: everyone wanted a selfie with her cutout. (By the way, the best headline for this story is from The Guardian: “Flat screen legend“.)
“The ABC is dismantling its historic sound and reference libraries across the country and making 10 specialist librarians redundant to free up floor space and save on wages. Radio National, Classic FM, JJJ and all the other ABC programs rely on the Sydney, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth and Hobart libraries, which are packed full of CDs and vinyl as well as books and journals after 85 years of collecting.”
“Wizards like Gandalf and Romans like Russell Crowe’s gladiator share a common trait: Hollywood’s insistence that all of its fantasy and epic heroes speak like a Brit. And it’s not just because the British accent sounds grandiose and glorious. Well, a little bit. The real answer is rooted in the obsession with Empire – and how accents were actively cultivated by society elites as signifiers of global power and stature.” (video)
Del Toro took the top honor for The Shape of Water while Peele won best first-time director for Get Out. Peele said it was the best year of his life, and added, “For everyone in this room, what we do is important, what we do is powerful. … Keep doing the only thing we know how to. Keep using your voice. It’s the most powerful weapon we have against evil.”
The lawsuit is from a current vice-president at the basic cable station. The woman suing the station, Leslie Isaacs, “contends she was unfairly passed over for a promotion and a raise. The suit alleges that other female employees also faced repeated crude and demeaning comments from their superiors.”
Says one of the hosts of a popular NPR roundtable podcast: “No wonder you feel as if you know them; that the sound of their voices comes to fire precisely the same neurons, arouse the same feelings, that the voices of your closest friends do. It’s purely biological, and it’s indistinguishable from intimacy — except for one minor, mundane, trifling detail: It’s unidirectional. You know them, you trust them, you love them, and they have absolutely no idea who you are.”
The truth may finally come to light. “Accounts from the boat’s captain, Dennis Davern, who has maintained he witnessed an explosive, alcohol-fueled fight between Ms. Wood and [Robert] Wagner immediately before her disappearance, have long stoked speculation of foul play. Investigators said they have two new witnesses who support Mr. Davern’s account.”
Poet Margaret Rhee writes of how she came to love the show, in which every episode is a mini-musical: “Perhaps it’s more productive then to think about Rebecca’s craziness as a source of sanity in a crazy world in which women are routinely disregarded. She is smart, successful, and yes, crazy.”
A Bachelor contestant’s mother couldn’t contact her for a while – and reported her missing to the local sheriff’s office, which kept a Missing Persons report active for months. “All the while, Ms. Martinez has been publicly active on Instagram and Twitter. After writing on Sept. 17 that she was giving up social media for ‘the next several weeks’ — a time that corresponds with the filming of ‘The Bachelor — she began posting photos on Instagram again on Nov. 22.”
“Roeper was one several prominent journalists, sports stars, politicians and celebrities who had paid to increase their Twitter followers with fake accounts, according to a New York Times report published over the weekend. Roeper’s Twitter following currently numbers over 225,000, but it was not specified by the Times report how many of those followers were fake.”
“I’m not against digital media, and I think it’s certainly a fine way to have access to your films without taking them with you. But when you become solely reliant on digital sources, you have fewer options than you think, and you’re certainly not getting the best version of the movie available. All of this is troubling because streaming is dominating the landscape.”
In her Golden Globes acceptance speech, Laura Dern said, “I urge all of us to not only support survivors and bystanders who are brave enough to tell their truth, but to promote restorative justice.” While many listeners might have found Dern’s call to be a mere bromide, Ann Hornaday explains that the term “has a very specific meaning, that happens to hold particular promise for an industry in the midst of intense self-examination, and equally intense avoidance thereof.”
“Mathieu Gallet, 41, was this week fired as chairman of Radio France by the Higher Audiovisual Council (CSA), the French broadcasting authority. Officially, he was dismissed after being convicted of corruption and fined €20,000 for giving a €400,000 contract to a consultancy owned by one of his friends.” But rumors – pushed by former president Sarkozy’s culture minister – claim that President Macron had Gallet fired to quash rumors that the two had had an affair.