The need for spy cameras probably isn’t what you think. Eldorado director Markus Imhoof: “These people are ashamed that they are living there. … They are all hoping that they will succeed and if they would show where they live, it’s a big shame for them.”
Released months after it came out in the US, the movie was barely a blip on the Chinese moviegoing radar.
Aalto University researchers showed volunteers the film My Sister’s Keeper on a screen while the research subjects were lying down in an MRI scanner. The study compared the volunteers’ brain activity, and concluded that holistic thinkers saw the film more similarly with each other than analytical thinkers. In addition, holistic thinkers processed the film’s moral issues and factual connections within the film more similarly with each other than the analytical thinkers.
“The success of a film is usually measured through its box-office revenue, or the opinion of professional critics,” the researchers write in the journal Applied Network Science. “Such measures, however, may be influenced by external factors, such as advertisement or trends, and are not able to capture the impact of a movie over time.”
“The ambitious undertaking, [titled Rome Reborn and] painstakingly built by a team of 50 academics and computer experts over a 22-year period, recreates 7,000 buildings and monuments scattered across a 5.5 square mile stretch of the [imperial capital, circa 320 AD].”
The popular interview show hosted by Terry Gross cut ties after Edelstein posted on Facebook an ill-considered joke (subsequently deleted) about the stick-of-butter scene in Last Tango in Paris that was widely condemned on social media as offensive.
“None of this should have happened, but it did,” writes Andrew O’Hehir, Salon‘s executive editor and sometime film critic. “I suspect what befell Edelstein this week is only partly about one stupid Facebook post, and has more to do with the messy process of generational change and the inevitable Schadenfreude surrounding someone who holds two prestigious media jobs, either of which many other people would kill and eat their grandmothers to get.”
After its Academy Award wins, “Shakespeare” became Exhibit A when people claimed that a studio can buy an Oscar. Miramax certainly waged a hefty campaign for the movie, but it’s likely the “buy an award” theory was invented by rival studios who lost out that year and assumed it was a matter of spending rather than taste; their claims received widespread coverage on the then-expanding internet. But if the theory were true, why did “Shakespeare” win only seven of its 13 nominations? Why not a clean sweep?
Kyle Buchanan, the New York Times‘ new Carpetbagger: “This isn’t rah-rah boosterism: These awards can frustrate and often miss the mark, but that’s why they remain so crucial. If the Oscar nominations provide a snapshot of that year in Hollywood, and Hollywood helps shape the way we see ourselves, then examining them can tell us not only where the industry is headed but also where our cultural blind spots still lie.” Exhibits A, B, and C: #OscarsSoWhite, #MeToo, and #TimesUp.
Google will scale back its production of scripted content starting in 2020. While neither reported YouTube Premium — the $11.99-a-month subscription service — would close, it is unclear how many viewers would continue to pay, when the same content would be available for free, though with ads.
The Wedding, about a closeted Muslim man about to marry a woman, is the first feature film from gay Egyptian-American filmmaker Sam Abbas’s production company, ArabQ. The movie, which debuts in New York next month, would almost certainly not get past censors in the Arab world, but it is being seen there in small, invitation-only showings.
Temple co-founder Lucien Greaves announced that his church’s intellectual property case against Warner Bros. and Netflix for copying the organization’s iconic statue of goat-headed deity Baphomet for the set of the series The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina has been “amicably settled.”
There are broader cultural reasons for this renewed interest in the inner workings of the mind. This is an age of ego, self-examination and narcissism. “When we say narcissism, that’s really brought on by technology,” says Esmail. “Now everyone has a platform. Everyone can be a publisher. Whole lives are put up for people to react to, to like, to dislike, to comment on, and, yes, that has turned everyone to look inwards, and to curate a personality.”
The supposed “panic” was exaggerated by Orson Welles after the fact, and indeed it’s hard to know if people actually did panic at the time. But “in the anxious world of 1930s listening, a radio that knew your mind was a radio that could change it. The broadcast ended soon after. It had changed minds indeed.”
The original screenplay for this movie, centered around three women leads in early 18th-century England, was written two decades ago. But getting financing? Hm. “It was very difficult … because not only was it a story where there were three female leads, but there was also a gay angle. There was always interest, but it wasn’t an easy pitch.”
Jenkins says Hollywood “is also finally recognizing specifically that there is an audience for black literary adaptations: ‘It’s not only very clear there is an audience for this work, but to take it even further, there are people who are familiar with this work in its literary form — the same way people are familiar with work of non-black artists.'”
Director Alfonso Cuarón wanted the release on the big screen, not just for an Oscars campaign, but because the movie looks better there. And the company did that, “but selling theaters on making room in their schedules to show Roma in all its glory was not an easy task for Netflix.”
Yeah, you probably have had a beef with her at some point. “For 30 years, she has watched movies — at least 12,500, she figures — and assigned grades of G to NC-17 so parents can make decisions about what is appropriate viewing for children. For 18 of those years Graves has served as the ratings system’s chairwoman, sparring with boundary-pushing filmmakers who call her too prudish, and, at the same time, defending her process to activists and parents who deem her grades too permissive.”
And pop culture. And young adult books. And … English class? “Teenagers across the country honed their argumentative skills by fighting for either Team Edward or Team Jacob. Who needs to write about school uniforms when you can just write a five-paragraph persuasive essay about Bella’s love life?”
When it comes to silent film, accompanists have infinite choices. Even in the early days of cinema, accompanists could improvise, select pieces from their own libraries, follow suggestions from cue sheets, or use the scores that came with some big-budget pictures, or any combination of these. Today, some accompanists try to recreate the sound of early cinema in their own performances, while others revel in using music that has been created since then.
At stake for China is more than just the validation of Hollywood’s powerbrokers and celebrities. In speeches and at forums, President Xi Jinping has repeatedly emphasized the need to “tell China’s story well” — to make sure a coherent, compelling and, most important, Communist Party-sanctioned narrative of China’s rise to power reaches global audiences.
“In fairness, it is genuinely quite surprising that it’s managing to survive in 2018, a time where making a joke about something horrible is now deemed nearly as bad as the horrible thing itself. South Park season 22 has therefore had to change in order to ensure its survival in the outrage era. As the world – well, the world of Twitter at least – gets angrier and more reactionary, [Trey] Parker and [Matt] Stone have had to fine-tune their satire, making the takeaways of each episode more balanced than ever before.”
To begin with, the Academy announced the plan for a new category before there was even any agreement on what the criteria for it would be. (Why? They were afraid someone would leak to the press.) That decision “allowed everybody to piss on it from a great height,” as one source said; another lamented, “I knew we were gonna get nailed.” Rebecca Keegan reports.
This past weekend in Taipei, at the Golden Horse Awards (which cover Chinese-language cinema worldwide), the winner of the Best Documentary prize called for Taiwan to be recognized as independent — whereupon censors in the PRC cut the broadcast off. Writer Lauren Teixeira recounts the other Taiwan/PRC drama at the ceremony and explains why the Taiwanese movie industry has to take it seriously.
“In recognition of the gift, MoMA will create the Debra and Leon Black Family Film Center, spanning two floors of the museum’s … Lauder Building, which includes multimedia exhibition galleries and two theaters. The center will present film exhibitions and premieres with directors, actors, and other cinema experts.”
“Documentary filmmaker Fu Yue called for Taiwan to be recognised as an ‘independent entity’ during her acceptance speech [at the Golden Horse awards], fighting back tears as she said, ‘this is my biggest wish as a Taiwanese’. Her speech was quickly censored on Chinese television and streams, with the coverage going black.”
Meryl Streep, basically – and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, sponsors of the Golden Globes and, for years, in real need of burnishing their image.
And that director, Tamara Jenkins, “is getting increasingly frustrated by its billing. ‘It’s not just a women’s infertility comedy. It’s about survival. It’s about humanity. It’s about growing. It’s about mortality. It’s about gentrification.'”
Artist Hakeem Onilogbo – who says they call him “Hakeem Effects” on the set – says, “If you are the kind of person who can’t stand blood touching your body, you can’t do our job.”
All you need is a high-quality cable subscription or high-speed internet and a subscription to HBO’s standalone service, and you too can see that “we may balk at seeing the economy of post-war Italy, which operated under quite different conditions, as an object lesson in the failings of capitalism for Americans today. But the way capital works in the neighborhood’s marketplaces should look familiar in many ways.”