One theory of the current dynamic is that studios have released too many movies that go after the same audience — “Steve Jobs” ate into “The Walk” ate into “Black Mass,” for example.
“Netflix appears to be the latest player to see the genre’s value: It announced Monday that it will be releasing a documentary series called Making a Murderer in December. The 10 episodes will follow the story of Steven Avery, a man who was convicted of rape and later exonerated by DNA evidence after serving 18 years in prison. The kicker: After his release, he was sentenced to life for murdering another woman in 2005.”
“The streaming service will reportedly spend $50 million on the budget of Bong Joon-ho’s latest film Okja, the follow-up to the Korean director’s international hit Snowpiercer. If that seems like a lot, it is – but it’s part of a larger international gamble that could help the company grow outside the U.S.”
It’s not just the lack of Colombian accents in the Spanish. “For many Latin Americans, Escobar’s story isn’t a truth-is-stranger-than-fiction biopic. It’s a case study, a cautionary tale that all too often hits close to home. … In taking true events and presenting them through a lens of literary fiction, the series is implicitly separating the viewers from the terrible tragedy of Escobar, and from the very real lives he shattered.”
“In pursuit of global audiences and trying to combat the arrival of mammoth flat-screen televisions in America’s living rooms, Hollywood has steered sharply toward event movies. The likes of ‘Spectre,’ ‘Star Wars’ and ‘The Hunger Game’” work so hard to get people into theaters — and make the 3-D tickets and costly concessions palatable — that consumers just can’t be bothered to check out the more modest offerings. They will catch those on their enormous televisions.”
“The Times says it is betting big on VR, not just following the pack to prove its technological prowess. The outlet aims to set itself apart from the competition, both in terms of quality and accessibility to its audience.”
So what is the new YouTube Red service? Reading between the lines, it is hedged bets, contradictory goals and, as yet, wishful thinking.
“Vulture’s list of ‘Shit People to Say to Women Directors‘ chronicles some of the crazy things that people say directly to female filmmakers’ faces, but behind their backs, there are even more dumb reasons given why women don’t get to direct more movies, and I hear them all the time. Here are five of the most misinformed.”
“What’s worrisome is that this is going to be the takeaway from the October Bloodbath: not the equally loud belly-flops of bloated fairy-tale origin story Pan or kitsch cartoon adaptation Jem and the Holograms, but the underperformance of challenging pictures like Steve Jobs and Crimson Peak. It may stand to reason that the grown-up audience Hollywood ignores the rest of the year is a no-show in fall too. And the implications of that are very grim indeed.”
Matt Zoller Seitz: “Throughout film history, and TV history, casting against type has yielded not just some of the best performances of certain actors’ careers, but some of the defining moments of the show or movie they appeared in. … There might be no better TV example … than Bryan Cranston, who in the mid-aughts was being sent mostly comedic material because of all of his great years on Malcolm in the Middle.”
“In the past five years, 21 Christian films have opened in wide release, meaning in more than 600 cinemas in the United States. All 21 are rated as ‘rotten’ on Rotten Tomatoes … And yet, Sony, Fox and other studios have established divisions for the express purpose of faith-based cinema. Why? Because these movies are produced with a different mindset than your standard narrative fare – and each of the 21 films made substantial profits.”
Viacom Inc.’s New York-based laboratory is concentrating primarily on brainwave activity from test subjects who are given media to watch or interact with, and the project’s core objective is to determine the timing of ads. The general notion behind the research which makes use of electroencephalogram (EEG) brain readings, is that scenes which gain emotional response from expectant mothers might be an apposite queue for baby-related items, or that a scene which makes the viewer feel hungry is an obvious point to present a food-related ad (presumably for a deliverable foodstuff which can capitalise on the transient feeling).
“How do you modulate the effects of technology so that organizations, artists, and audiences remain on equal footing with technology itself, as well as with the companies that provide it? And who will — and who should — have the final say about whether a particular product or protocol is suitable to a particular art form: the presenters, the artists, or the audience?”
“Studio executives often protest that there simply aren’t enough talented female filmmakers to choose from. They are wrong. … Contrary to what Hollywood would have you believe, it wasn’t hard to assemble such an enormous list of smart, eminently hireable female directors. The only difficult part was culling it down to just 100.”
“Can America really be healthy if it wants to watch Survivor, Joe Millionaire, Paula Abdul, the Situation, or the Kardashians? But now that reality TV has been revealed not as some malignant mind fever but another genre of entertainment, as great or foul, good or bad, watchable or unwatchable, as any other, let’s appreciate when it gets this deep.”
“People [in the industry] are starting to become more conscious of [the importance of discoverability]; there are still a lot of people who are not concerned because they don’t want to see the problem is coming or are too comfortable in the current system. But it’s something that’s coming at a fast speed, and we just need to focus on it and to handle it. It’s just a matter of time.”
The planned museum, designed by Ma Yansong of MAD Architects, looks like a postmodern blend of the Millennium Falcon, Disney’s (DIS) Space Mountain attraction and the TWA terminal at JFK International Airport.
Last week, during the broadcast of A Toda Máquina on the Televísa network’s station in Ciudad Juárez, Enrique Tovar rubbed against his colleague Tania Reza, fondled her breasts, tried to lift her skirt, and made numerous lewd comments. When Reza finally walked off the set in disgust, Tovar said right into the camera, “I apologize. I think my partner is a little hormonal.” (includes video)
“The way we think about media to this day is heavily indebted to the very ideas behind the broadcast and its reception – that radio, and media, can constitute a kind of invasive psychological experiment. War of the Worlds and the panic about its panic are products of the moment when the young fields of social psychology and radio used one another to legitimize themselves. Its significance to American history, panic or not, is bigger than even popular myth allows.”
Well, it’s real, and it’s not the only idea from the movie company that thought it up: “Lionsgate also hopes to bring its ‘Twilight’ series to theme parks.”
“It just seemed like such a horrifying situation, and I’d been trying to use it. So we had been working out the story where there was another brother under the bed, and Jim Wong one day goes: ‘It’s the mother! The mother’s under the bed!’ And I felt Freud and Joseph Campbell do back flips, and that was that.”
“Edwin Pagan, who runs LatinHorror.com, a website for Latino horrorphiles, has a theory about why Latinos are drawn to the genre. ‘Traditionally, we have always loved ghost stories and the macabre and Gothic tales,’ he says. ‘They’re just sewn into the fabric of who we are as a people.'”
Matthew Dicks, a former teacher who became a professional storyteller after winning The Moth’s StorySLAM 18 times, says that the secret is in the stakes. (podcast)
Love or hate it — or love it and hate it, as legions of its fans do — the “Star Wars” series is a force to reckon with, less because of Mr. Lucas than the fans who elevated it to cinema’s alpha and omega.
“Danny Boyle and Aaron Sorkin’s exhilarating biopic-but-not-a-biopic of the late Apple co-founder sank like a stone in its first week of wide release after promising numbers in major markets and mostly rapturous reviews (ours included). What happened? The Internet, being the Internet, has some theories.”
Comcast reported on Tuesday an 11 percent increase in revenue, to nearly $18.7 billion, in the third quarter, fueled by continued growth in its high-speed Internet and film businesses.
“Data crunched by researchers … at San Diego State University found that on films with female directors, women accounted for slightly more than half of the films’ writers. On films with male directors, by contrast, women made up 8 percent of writers. The ripple effect extends to other jobs: across the board, having a female director greatly increased the number of women in editing and cinematographer positions.”
“I am not saying YouTube isn’t a huge, game-changing deal. It is. I am not saying YouTube sensations aren’t real sensations. They are. But we can’t even have a conversation about what is really happening with people’s attention, or relative value, if we aren’t talking in the same terms.”
“In addition to looser language, the speaker generously employs pauses and, particularly at the end of sentences, emphatic inflection. A result is the suggestion of spontaneous speech and unadulterated emotion. The irony is that such presentations are highly rehearsed, with each caesura calculated and every syllable stressed in advance.”
Inclusiveness? Teaching kids to accept difference? Sesame Street has always done that. “Put simply: in 2015, everyone has heard of autism. Sesame Street did not have to do much explaining about why Julia is different (and the same), and why she was joining the cast.” This was not always the case …