Battles over the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) go back decades before the end of apartheid, but the network’s biggest problems these days seem to sten from its COO, Hlaudi Motsoeneng. He has been accused of censorship and interference in media content, sudden and capricious decrees, lying about his educational credentials, and a bullying management style that South Africa’s Public Protector called “pathological.”
“Services like Apple Music and Spotify delivered 114 billion streams in the first six months of 2016, with video platforms on 95 billion. Overall, the streaming market increased by 58% year-on-year.”
Because of barbecues, fireworks and other outdoor activities, the weeks around July 4th are often the least-watched time of the year in television. Networks usually plan accordingly, keeping most of its best material on the shelf. CBS also had its lowest week in the ratings in nearly four years, Nielsen said.
“Jungle films have never really toed the ideological line of these colonial creation myths, however. They’ve always been more interested in getting bums on seats – and on screens, if possible. When pondering Tarzan’s enduring screen popularity, the potential for depicting male beefcake cannot be discounted. Acting skills are a bonus for the role; a great physique is non-negotiable.”
“Louisiana’s once-booming film industry – dubbed “Hollywood South” – was off by as much as 90 per cent this past year, according to the Louisiana Film Entertainment Association. The drop is all attributed to the state’s decision to wind down its generous incentives last July, scaring off movie makers.”
“The demographic that went up the most in the first quarter of 2016 was the 18 to 24 year-olds [average quarter hour listening was up 20% according to Nielsen]. To be fair, it’s not a huge audience. But I point it out because it’s the direction we want to go. It didn’t come at the expense of any of our journalism either.”
“At the 30th edition of Il Cinema Ritrovato, Bologna’s annual celebration of restored and rediscovered cinema, the bonus addition to the bill was not a film-maker, or a movie, but a projector. The machine in question was a British model, made in 1899, but now once again in perfect working order.”
“Each dominates a different annual holiday. Shah Rukh Khan, a favourite of the middle classes, is the hero of the Diwali weekend. Aamir Khan, more highbrow, dominates Christmas.” And Eid al-Fitr, the festival marking the end of Ramadan, is the territory of Salman Khan.
“That definitely puts her on the hook for felony arson and could easily be seen as an act of domestic terrorism. It’s also not a leap to consider Wildfire a weapon of mass destruction, which would put Cersei behind bars for life in California state prison.”
Unclear. “Statistics for 2015 released by the Motion Picture Association of America show that movie-going, as a whole, breaks down pretty much exactly 50/50 across the genders. If anything, there’s a slight skew towards women.”
“Either you offer audiences an unmissable blockbuster derived from well-known intellectual property, or you invest in meek, sub-$10-million indies and pray for a return on investment on the art-house and VOD circuits. That once-upon-a-time sweet spot of $30-million to $50-million productions, with marquee stars and trusted directors? That era is over.”
Radio itself is old-fashioned, of course, and yet – between Web-based podcasting, satellite radio and mobile apps — it is very much of the moment. Storytelling, which is the job inside Keillor’s bigger job, and one at which he casually excels, is the engine that drives “This American Life,” “Snap Judgment,” “StoryCorps” and “The Moth.”
“The average American watches an astonishing 4.3 hours of TV a day, according to a new report from Nielsen. Add in DVR time, and that number gets up to 5 hours a day.”
“As analog TV gave way to digital, a handful of risk-taking broadcasters, sensing an opportunity, have started to run those analog TV stations as FM radio stations – big FCC plans be damned. The shift is surprisingly contentious in the world of broadcast. Today, we talk about the special superpowers of Channel 6, the analog TV station on the FM dial.”
“The emerging stars of European scriptwriting have been raised on a rich diet of The Sopranos, The Wire and Breaking Bad … In the past, the careers of David Chase, David Simon or Vince Gilligan seemed unattainable. But today, with more and more high quality television drama coming out of Europe, such as Engrenages (‘Spiral’) from France, Deutschland 83 from Germany and Gomorra from Italy, the demand for young, creative and talented screenwriters is greater than ever.”
The report claimed the licence fee was “vulnerable in the face of changes in technology and consumption”. It continued: “It is in any case far from an ideal system – it has failed to guarantee real independence and is charged at a flat rate. The BBC’s independence has also been compromised by the insecurity of its establishment by a royal charter and the process behind the appointments to its governing body.”
“In the DNA of the character is the idea that a clever white man can bring order to the ‘dark continent’ through his own brand of clearly delineated, culturally specific morality. That’s not exactly the most modern idea of a hero.”
“We received 24,000 donations,” KPLU station manager Joey Cohn said. The deal, he said, stipulated that KPLU pay “$7 million in cash and $1 million in ‘in-kind’ support,” meaning spot ads promoting PLU.
“The film’s producer, Stanley Kramer, that most earnest of Hollywood liberals, never oversaw anything comparable to this extravagant Technicolor vision of a tyrannical piano teacher’s quest for world domination. Nor was any other anti-fascist musical children’s film expected to precipitate a merchandising bonanza. (It never happened.)”
Emily Nussbaum: “Season 6 … felt perversely relevant in this election year. It was dominated by debates about purity versus pragmatism; the struggles of female candidates in a male-run world; family dynasties with ugly histories; and assorted deals with various devils. George R. R. Martin surely didn’t intend his blockbuster series of fantasy books … to be an allegorical text for U.S. voters in 2016. But that’s what you get with modern water-cooler dramas, which so often work as an aesthetic Esperanto that lets us talk about politics without fighting about the news.”
“Vulture spoke to [Natasha] Braier (The Neon Demon) and two other prominent female DPs, Maryse Alberti (The Wrestler, Creed) and Rachel Morrison (Fruitvale Station, Cake, Dope), about the challenges, opportunities, and absurdity of being a woman in cinematography.”
“Six hundred hours of video sounds like a lot, but it’s not really that much. By the time we’re 10 years old, we’ve logged nearly 60,000 hours of waking-hours experience.”
“Want a peek at the buzzy new sci-fi novel? Swipe right. Curious if its movie rights have sold? Swipe again. Publishing upstart Inkshares is launching an app, dubbed Properties, to promote its content to Hollywood. It curates selections for each user, offers sample chapters and provides updates on theatrical, TV, audiobook and foreign rights.”
“One person’s existential crisis is another’s opportunity; a period of expanding audiences, creative disruption, and greeting the future. From where I sit, at the helm of New York Public Radio, the news is overwhelmingly positive and the terrain is open for anyone bold enough to embrace what is undoubtedly radio’s next incarnation.”
“What’s the mechanism through which a game can give you an artistic experience?” When we watch a movie or read a novel, he said, we consider characters’ dramatic conflicts and imagine what we’d do; he wanted to replicate that in a game, in which the player could actively participate.
“Sequels have always been a financially driven proposition, and it’s not a revelation that some of them are churned out like sausage … But for the 15 years or so of the post-Star Wars blockbuster era, the bottom-line pragmatism behind sequels did not erase another priority: narrative.” But that was then: “This summer’s sequels are not, for the most part, story continuations but brand extensions.”
Alyssa Rosenberg: “Part of what’s great about a movie like Finding Dory is that there are so many characters with disabilities in it that no single character has to carry the weight of an entire community, or act as an exemplar for it.” And the expectations for the disabled characters aren’t low: “Dory and Nemo have wild, ocean-spanning, out-of-water adventures that most fish never dream of.”
“The largest age group listening to NPR One is 25- to 34-year-olds, according to NPR, with 40 percent of listeners under 35. More than a third of users who answered NPR surveys said they never or only occasionally listen to broadcast radio.”
“Network television used to deficit-finance shows and then make those expenditures back through advertising money. The shows would then generate more revenue by getting lucrative syndication deals. But now, cable shows draw in ad revenues, carriage fees, and international sales to satellite, cable, and streaming or on-demand services. When those various revenue streams add up, a show can be profitable from the get-go.”
“A slyly subversive look at the reclusive state by the Russian filmmaker Vitaly Mansky, [Under the Sun] had been scheduled to be shown at the museum’s 2016 Doc Fortnight festival” in February. But assistant curator Sally Berger, spooked by the Sony Pictures hack allegedly associated with the 2014 satire The Interview, decided to drop Under the Sun from the schedule.