The results of the annual study show that in 2017, just 16% of films were directed by women and only 10% came from film-makers of color, the latter statistic at the lowest it’s been since the DGA started reporting in 2013. The figures emerge in a year that saw notable successes for minority directors, including Jordan Peele’s Get Out and Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird.
“PBS is strategizing with stations on how to package national and local content into an over-the-top ‘skinny bundle,’ potentially creating an entirely new channel for the younger viewers who are willing to pay for live streaming services. That partnership deal, a first for PBS, could come within the next six months.”
“This is the summer the vibrator arrives in Bollywood. No woman in the 105-year history of the Hindi film industry has ever pleasured herself. But this month, in the blockbuster Veere Di Wedding and Netflix’s Lust Stories, no fewer than three women are featured in onanistic embrace. It is one sign of the rapid change under way in India’s most prolific cultural industry. The past decade has seen Bollywood’s first gay kiss, a hit film about sanitary towels and the industry’s highest-ever grossing film – about the lives of two female wrestlers.”
The effect would be similar to how YouTube tries to detect and block copyrighted audio and video from being posted on its site, but it would be applied to all types of content, including text, images, and software, as well as audio and video. Critics say this section of the proposal, Article 13, would lead to legitimate content, such as satire or short excerpts, being blocked even outside the EU.
Many would argue that the ways we look at and interpret a painting, experience a performance or appreciate an architectural location have not changed in millennia. This may be true, but the ways we discover, research, plan and communicate our experiences have fundamentally shifted. Whether it’s because of search engines, social media, mobile devices or online reviews, our experience of the world has been changed forever by digital technology.
It seems to be a more relevant question now than ever, partly due to the changing landscape of filmgoing, partly because of everybody’s ability to be a critic if they so choose. The reviewer is no longer always first to the film, and there have been a number of notable discrepancies between critical consensus and public opinion, from La La Land to Three Billboards, the latter of which prompted Ashley Clark to tweet: “The majority of the consensus-building bloc in film criticism is white and male, and it’s not massively surprising that some of what makes this film objectionable to many didn’t resonate.”
“Disney has boosted its offer for 21st Century Fox … to $71.3bn – from $52.4bn – trumping Comcast’s $65bn all-cash hostile offer tabled last week. Disney has also moved from its original tactic of an all-stock deal for Fox, … and a 39% stake in Sky, to a 50/50 mix of cash and shares.”
Those filters could mark the death knell—at least in Europe—for social media use of popular memes like “Distracted Boyfriend” or the entire universe of SpongeBob memes. That’s because the filters created to prevent users from posting copyrighted content would be expected to catch the same copyrighted images from photographs or movies that are the basis for many popular memes.
“Beyond the simple knock-offs and the provocations exists an entire class of nonsensical, algorithm-generated content; millions and millions of videos that serve merely to attract views and produce income, cobbled together from nursery rhymes, toy reviews, and cultural misunderstandings. Some seem to be the product of random title generators, others – so many others – involve real humans, including young children, distributed across the globe, acting out endlessly the insane demands of YouTube’s recommendation algorithms, even if it makes no sense, even if you have to debase yourself utterly to do it.”
The 11th International Classification of Diseases (ICD) will include the condition “gaming disorder”. The draft document describes it as a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behaviour so severe that it takes “precedence over other life interests”. Some countries had already identified it as a major public health issue.
By requiring Internet platforms to perform automatic filtering all of the content that their users upload, Article 13 takes an unprecedented step towards the transformation of the Internet from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users. The damage that this may do to the free and open Internet as we know it is hard to predict, but in our opinions could be substantial.
“This year’s strong queer showing [at Cannes] was indicative of a larger watershed moment for LGBT cinema across the industry, as stories and artists once confined to rarefied corners of the arthouse are being gradually welcomed into the mainstream. … The last couple of years, however, have kicked that evolution into fast-forward, helped along by real-world advances in LGBT rights, and the Twitter-assisted revolution in identity politics awareness. The world, in other words, is a very different place for gay and trans people than it was even a decade ago, and cinema is feeling the change.”
“‘The industry’s tripled in size since the early 2000s,'” says [producer] Ma Jung-hoon. … ‘Half of our income comes from international sales.” Says an American executive who distributes K-drama, “I think that the format of Korean dramas is very digestible. So instead of having these long, 20-episode, multi-series shows like we have in the US and other parts of the world, Korean dramas are [up to] 16 episodes. That’s it, you only have one season.”
In an excerpt from his book Springfield Confidential: Jokes, Secrets, and Outright Lies from a Lifetime Writing for ‘The Simpsons’, writer/producer/showrunner Mike Reiss shares a few of the bits that were just too weird even for this show (or that didn’t make the cut just by happenstance).
‘Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire,’ a new virtual-reality attraction at Walt Disney World created by a company called The Void, blew this reporter away. And not just him: “Not one person [I talked to] exited without an ear-to-ear smile; most said it was by far the coolest thing they had done during their vacation. Even when I asked about the price — a 20-minute run through the attraction will cost you over $35 — not one person said they thought that was too much, and many said the company was undercharging. You don’t hear that often when visiting theme parks in 2018.” He calls The Void “the inevitable future of park-going experiences.”
Disney–Pixar’s “Incredibles 2” shattered box office expectations with its $180 million domestic debut — the eighth-best opening weekend of all time in North America and the biggest ever launch for an animated film. Overseas, it picked up an additional $51.5 million for a global start of $231.5 million.
Political edge isn’t a new addition to the art form by any means, but it’s difficult to imagine the recent deluge of videos exploring racial and sexual identity occurring in the MTV era. The phenomenon is in part the result of political trends like polarization and identity politics rising to the forefront of online conversation, and movements like Black Lives Matter and Me Too asserting the equality of marginalized groups. But it also owes a lot to the YouTube revolution and the freedom that video platforms grant artists.
Apple, Netflix, and Amazon are in a “talent arms race,” with Netflix signing deals with the likes of Shonda Rhimes and Ryan Murphy (er, and the Obamas), and Amazon locking down Jordan Peele and Nicole Kidman – and Apple snagging everyone from Kristen Wiig to M. Night Shyamalan to, well, Oprah.
But. Those in distribution and exhibition continue to bet against MoviePass’ survival; since CinemaCon they’ve whispered whether the monthly ticket service would make it to the end of summer. Parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics Inc. (HMNY) stock has been in free fall, plunging from a high this year of $9.77 on Jan. 23 to a current $0.38.
We both worked together on buying DVDs from the studios, negotiating revenue share and deals. On the side, we were always finding cool projects, documentaries, foreign films, little indie films that we would then put on DVD. That was one of the things we really appreciated about each other when we first met — that love of independent films and documentaries and foreign films. “Hey, did you ever see this one or that one?”
The hit seven-episode audio documentary by the producers of Serial and This American Life will be adapted for the screen and directed by Tom McCarthy, who won two Oscars in 2015 for Spotlight, about the Boston Globe investigation into sexual abuse by Catholic priests. But will S-Town translate? Hannah Verdier considers the potential pitfalls and pluses.
“Versions of the TV news ticker date all the way back to the 1950s, but they didn’t become truly ubiquitous until September 11, 2001. … The same way a Twitter feed today can transfix people during a crisis, the nation had its eyes glued to the scroll, waiting for the next update. The TV news ticker is a descendent of the stock ticker and grandchild of the ‘zipper’ news on buildings in Times Square. At the very least, it’s also Twitter’s neurotic uncle.”
“In the fourth season of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, we learn that Kimmy had a secret friend in the bunker [where she was held captive]: the purple Jansport backpack that she lost at a dance club way back in the very first episode.” Kimmy named the pack Jan S. Port, which is played puppeteer by Stephanie D’Abruzzo (of Sesame Street and Avenue Q. “D’Abruzzo spoke to Vulture about auditioning to play an inanimate object, why Jan is like ‘a canned ham,’ and her character’s near-death experience under the dragon cloud.”