Seattle’s Main PBS Affiliate Cuts Local Production. Does It Deserve To Be Supported Locally?

This artwork by M. Ryder relates to speculation about the possible demise of PBS or signficant changes to its format.

“The problem is that being able to perpetuate yourself is not the same as having a distinctive mission. KCTS is a tax-exempt organization licensed to use the public airwaves in the public interest. Our region deserves better. Only a little more than half of KCTS spending is on program services. The rest goes for fundraising and administration.”

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Satyajit Ray’s Great ‘Apu Trilogy,’ Restored And Returning To Movie Screens

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“Now, a new generation of filmgoers has a chance to discover Ray’s humane genius in a rerelease of the [films]” – Pather Panchali, Aparajito, and The World of Apu – “first in New York, Philadelphia and Los Angeles in May, and then in selected theaters around the country, after a lengthy and painstaking restoration by the Criterion Collection in collaboration with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.”

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NPR Launches Next Phase Of Plan To Become The Pandora Of News

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“The announcement by National Public Radio that it’s opening access to an application program interface, or API, seemed like it should be of interest only to a relative handful of tech developers. In fact, it is a significant and smart next step in NPR’s strategy to become the Pandora of news.”

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Crime Dramas Clean Up At British TV Awards

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“Happy Valley on BBC One was a dark police drama set in West Yorkshire that some TV critics hailed as the best thing on British TV in 2014. Others were troubled by its scenes of violence.” (A list of all winners, including “Sherlock” and “True Detective,” is here.)

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Thanks To ‘Jane The Virgin,’ TV Is Suddenly Soooooo Interested In Latina And Latino Storylines

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“For years, executives at Spanish-language television networks complained that ad spending was not keeping pace with the fast rise of the Hispanic audience. But marketers have started opening their wallets to reach those viewers, and the broader English-language networks are eager for a cut of the cash.”

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Producers Turn To Indiegogo To Finance Completion Of Orson Welles’s Last Film

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“Add a few more twists to the decades-long quest to release The Other Side of the Wind, the unfinished final film of Orson Welles.” Says Peter Bogdanovich, one of the film’s stars, “I think it would amuse Orson to have the fans able to contribute to the completion of the film. As you know, he didn’t like Hollywood very much.”

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Viewers Are Increasingly Turning Away From Paying For Cable TV

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“Some homes are turning to over-the-air signals because they can’t afford cable. But a growing number of them are millennials who use over-the-air TV for live sports and broadcast network shows on ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox while getting a wide array of programs from streaming video services such as Netflix, Amazon and Hulu. They are happy to pay for broadband Internet, but not TV.”

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Why Amy Schumer’s Parody Of ‘Twelve Angry Men’ Is Both A Viral Hit And A Brilliant Satire

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“The wonderfully absurd universe of the sketch – a woman [Schumer herself] literally on trial for the crime of not being ‘bangable’ – … [is] a parody with a tone that adheres remarkably close to its source material … with the fatal strike coming from the direction you weren’t looking.” (And the cast – Paul Giamatti, Jeff Goldblum, John Hawkes, etc. – is terrific.)

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Inside Amy Schumer’s Parody Of ‘Twelve Angry Men’

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Schumar: “I was at a party and these guys were talking about Michelle Williams, and they were like, ‘Yeah I don’t think she is hot actually.’ … These guys would be so lucky to even get to have a conversation with her but they were like really deliberating over whether or not they would fuck her. And I was like, ‘You know what, that scenario is never going to present itself, you guys.’ But that word ‘deliberation’ is what made me think, What is the ultimate deliberation? An actual jury deliberating. And I love the movie 12 Angry Men.” (includes video)

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YouTube’s Copyright Problems Point To Bigger Issues For Artists

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“Here’s the thing: under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), YouTube is not legally obligated to have a mechanism for policing its content for infringement at all. The site is charged with taking content down when it receives notices to do so, but that’s the extent of it. Nevertheless, YouTube takes an overly active role in policing for copyright infringement, and the technology it employs to do so is flawed – which can end up hurting artists and other content creators who employ copyrighted works legally.”

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Hollywood’s Native American Problem

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“There’s a paucity of roles for Native Americans — according to the Screen Actors Guild in 2008 they accounted for 0.3 percent of all on-screen parts (those figures have yet to be updated), compared to about 2 percent of the general population — and Native American actors are often perceived in a narrow way.”

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‘The Game Done Changed': Reconsidering ‘The Wire’ Amidst The Baltimore Uprising

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“I am now seeing what the The Wire was missing, despite its much lauded, painstaking verisimilitude: the voices of people organizing together for change. Everyone on The Wire seeks individual solutions for social problems: the lone cop, the lone criminal, the lone teacher, the lone newspaper reporter. Yes, it is certainly true that when entrenched bureaucracies battle individuals, individuals lose. But when bureaucracies battle social movements, the results can be quite different.”

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Cable’s Dreaded Bundle Comes To Internet TV

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“This may come as a surprise to those who expected the television of the future to resemble, say, a smartphone screen, where every channel would be roughly like an app that you subscribe to à la carte. But overestimating change in the television industry is a rookie mistake.”

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Universal Settles Over ‘Best Little Whorehouse In Texas’ Home Video Royalties

THE BEST LITTLE WHOREHOUSE IN TEXAS, Dolly Parton (left), 1982. ©Universal Pictures

“The policy of basing profit participation on 20 percent of home video revenues derives from the rise of VCR in the 1980s. The studios would pay independent companies to produce and distribute VHS copies of their films and would receive 20 percent of the revenue, which they would then divide out to the profit participants. When studios opened their own home distribution divisions, they continued calculating the profit participants’ earnings from 20 percent of the home-video revenues.”

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This Summer’s Movies Are Playing Sex For Laughs

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“Sex has always served as ample inspiration for comedy – every awkward encounter in bed is a potential gold mine for an observant writer or actor. But this summer, more than any other in recent memory, filmmakers are focused on what’s going on in hotel rooms, taxi back seats and anywhere else two people (or more) are getting it on. … Here, the stars and filmmakers from those films talk about what embarrassed them, what might embarrass audiences and what’s so funny about sex. These are excerpts from the conversations.”

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Social Media Is Driving New Interest In Vintage TV Shows

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“You know that if you re-release a cult show like the X-Files that the big fans of those shows are going to tweet that … And all of a sudden you’re getting all this kind of free publicity that’s aimed at exactly the audience you need.”

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How Hollywood Keeps Women Out Of Directors’ And Producers’ Chairs

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“At top U.S. film schools, women and men are almost equally represented. … Yet between the day these women graduate and the day, a few years later, that their male college peers begin showing up in film credits, most women filmmakers vanish into obscurity.” Here’s a look at the ways it happens.

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Even The Best Reporters Are Leaving Journalism. But There Are PR Jobs Everywhere

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“Of the four reporters who won the public service Pulitzer for the Oregonian in 2001, two have left journalism – one for a government communications job, one to teach journalism to college students. It’s hard to count how many of the other reporters who were doing high-value work back then at the paper – which gave me my first job out of college, in 2000 – have also left the business.”

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