Disney’s change of course came after a number of news outlets, including The New York Times and the A.V. Club, said they were boycotting advance screenings of Disney films in solidarity. The company also faced pressure from several high-profile Hollywood figures, including Ava DuVernay, who directed “A Wrinkle in Time,” which is to be released by Disney on March 9.
“The production company that made The Cosby Show has sued the BBC over a documentary the British network aired about the rape allegations against Bill Cosby. Carsey-Werner, the production company that is the plaintiff in the case, says that the documentary is infringing its copyright because it uses eight audiovisual clips and two musical cues from The Cosby Show.”
“Gartner estimates that by the end of the decade at least 30 percent of human-computer interaction will be screenless—activated by voice or location—and the coupling of S3+A combined with the rise of smart speakers will be a big part of how this prediction comes to life in the real world. It is hard to overstate how big this change will be for marketers. Just as the industry has begun to figure out how to bring mobile, social, and search together to be effective in digital, the game is poised to change yet again.”
Yes, that’s short for Miramax Anonymous. Says one longtime “member,” “When you weren’t feeling terrorized, the people you were meeting were extraordinary. And the glitz and glamour of the lifestyle would make you forget about the horrors.”
“It is admittedly extraordinary for a critics’ group, let alone four critics’ groups, to take any action that might penalize film artists for decisions beyond their control. But Disney brought forth this action when it chose to punish The Times’ journalists rather than express its disagreement with a business story via ongoing public discussion. Disney’s response should gravely concern all who believe in the importance of a free press, artists included.”
“The talks have taken place over the last few weeks and there is no certainty they will lead to a deal. The two sides are not currently talking at this very moment, but given the on again, off again nature of the talks, they could be revisited.”
“The studio last week banned the LA Times from access to its screenings and talent, citing “biased and inaccurate” coverage, only to trigger a boycott on Monday by several media outlets in solidarity with the LA Times. … The company behind the so-called ‘happiest place on earth’, Disneyland, now finds itself accused of bullying and press censorship.”
“It’s actually hard to detect much of a career bump for filmmakers who have enjoyed success with the studio in the past—which is puzzling, considering the sheer volume of popular and profitable films Marvel has made. Nine years after the studio launched its “cinematic universe,” directing a Marvel movie still mostly seems to set you up to make more Marvel movies, or other franchise entries like them. It’s a far cry from the older blockbuster model.”
As the movie Call Me By Your Name gets rapturous reviews, two London theatre chains are in hot water for raising the lights during the credits – which actually scroll over the final scene in the movie. That could be because of automation or health and safety laws, but how can it be fixed?
Pfeiffer told the BBC, “I know I’m having conversations with women I’ve known my whole life and we have never discussed this and it is coming out.”
How many shows follow the adventures of a single working-class mother doing several jobs to make ends meet for her and her toddler? Not that many. Well, none … until now, with Frankie Shaw’s new dramedy SMILF. “At a time when there’s a generation of young storytellers offering fresh perspectives on the angst of coming into your own as a young adult, with her dark comedy Shaw adds motherhood — with all its complexities and joys — to the mix.”
The journal that Ernestine Smith kept in the mid-1900s, including the WWII years, inspired Rees and her screenwriter, thanks to its many details. “In its hundreds of pages is everything from family photos of their slave ancestors to the names, ranks and medals of relatives who fought in wars, to floorplans of Smith’s childhood homes.”
“Under an ‘alternative pricing model’ the company will pilot in several markets in 2018, Regal [Cinemas] will charge more for tickets to movies people want to see, and less for under-attended flops. … The thinking goes – especially in smaller markets where viewers don’t have other multiplex options – that customers will feel compelled to pay more to see a Marvel movie or Star Wars, the kind of experience audiences still flock to the theater for.” David Sims makes the case for why this won’t work for movies the way it does for Hamilton or airline tickets.
“It is the question hovering over the weeklong festival that opened on Saturday in the ancient walled city of Pingyao: Can you create and showcase independent films in a country that frowns on independence, much less dissent?”
“Kim Jong Un’s iron grip on the North Korean people is weakening, and an information campaign rooted in soap operas and dramas could help advance a civilian uprising, a prominent defector told a congressional panel Wednesday.”
“Vachon, now 55, has either launched or been instrumental in developing the careers of such idiosyncratic talents as Todd Solondz (Happiness), Kimberly Peirce (Boys Don’t Cry), Mary Harron (I Shot Andy Warhol), and John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch)” – not to mention Todd Haynes, from Poison to Velvet Goldmine to Far From Heaven to Carol. “She has an instinct for which voices are best suited to tell which stories, and which audiences will turn out to see them. She likes working with first-time directors ‘because they are often telling a story they’ve waited their whole lives to tell.'” A Q&A with Dana Stevens.
“The commercial arm of the BBC has shifted its strategy from ordering factual entertainment series such as Fishing Impossible and Stupid Man Smart Phone for its BBC Earth and BBC Brit channels. Last year, the two channels aired over 50 hours of originally commissioned content. These channels will now concentrate on airing a mixture of existing BBC Worldwide-distributed series … and more local formats.”
“NPR’s senior management was aware of multiple harassment complaints by women against its top newsroom executive during the past two years but took no action to remove him from his job until news reports about his conduct appeared on Tuesday. … Oreskes’s behavior, and the organization’s response to it, has stirred a virtual rebellion in NPR’s newsroom, particularly among female employees.”
“‘This morning I asked Mike Oreskes for his resignation because of inappropriate behavior,’ NPR CEO Jarl Mohn wrote in an email to NPR staff on Wednesday. ‘I have received his resignation, effective immediately.'”
“Today, Polley is an auteur whose movies – Away From Her, Take This Waltz, and the autobiographical Stories We Tell – form a sort of three-part meditation on female restlessness, the complexity of long-term relationships, and the slipperiness of memory and truth. But back when she first tried to option the rights to Alias Grace at age 18 – as a well-regarded young actress with no filmmaking experience – Atwood turned her down. “
“NPR has placed its senior vice president for news, Michael Oreskes, on leave after fielding accusations that he sexually harassed two women seeking career opportunities nearly two decades ago, when he worked at The New York Times. … Meanwhile, a current NPR employee is going public with her account of filing a formal complaint with the network’s human resources division in October 2015.”
“Production on the final season of House of Cards was suspended Tuesday, two days after its star, Kevin Spacey, was accused of having made an unwanted sexual advance toward a 14-year-old boy [actor Anthony Rapp] in the 1980s.”
These companies tap into our emotional longing for simpler times; even Socrates yearned for the days before this new-fangled technology called “reading” ruined everything (paywall). Never content with the cards we’ve been dealt, we keep on turning old ones over, wanting to escape into their familiar embrace.
“When horror movie icon George A. Romero died earlier this year, it should have started a copyright expiration timeline for his most famous and influential work, the 1968 classic and Halloween icon Night of the Living Dead. But something really scary happened to the film before it became a hit: Due to a last-second title change and a distributor error, the former Night of the Flesh Eaters fell into the public domain upon its release. What caused these types of problems – and how has copyright adapted since?”
News of Matilda, a glossy period piece about a Polish ballerina who had an affair with Nicholas II before he was crowned (or married), was met by Russian orthodox extremists with protests, calls for a ban and even arson attacks. (Nicholas was canonized in 2000 as a martyr for the faith.) “However, most Russians – and certainly those at the screening in Moscow on Tuesday – take little or no offense.”
“Closed captioning is widely but not unfailingly available in theaters; that should improve by next summer, when all theaters showing digital movies must comply with a new federal rule under the Americans With Disabilities Act. As for performers, ask people to name deaf movie actors — or films about deaf people starring deaf people — and you’ll probably get exactly one name and title: Marlee Matlin, who won an Oscar for her turn in “Children of a Lesser God” 30 years ago. Then, crickets.”
The film’s director, Paula Markovitch: “My parents were artists and they were intelligent at a terrible time. The dictatorship not only persecuted academics, it persecuted anyone intelligent. In that sense they were internal exiles. Exile are those who fled, those who escaped the dictatorship going to other countries. And the internal exiles were those who hid within the same territory.”
Carne y Arena is Iñárritu’s immersive work that places viewers in a six and a half-minute virtual reality walk “alone and barefoot across sand, joined by virtual migrants hoping to reach America, while border guards patrol the area.”
One of the actors from the show, which is about workplace sexual harassment (and more): “I know we’re talking about TV, but it was sort of a microcosm of what was going on. … We thought we had it in the bag. There’s no way [Trump’s] going to win. There’s no way we’re getting canceled. That happened, and that happened, and it was like … we’re really operating against some crazy forces right now.”
Or Deaf audiences, for that matter – though next year, all theatres using digital projection must comply with closed captioning rules. Things were better before movies became “talkies”: “Deaf and hearing audiences could delight equally in silent films. What’s more, deaf actors appeared frequently.”