When television, movies, magazines, and news sites don’t reflect reality, some people turn to Instagram. That includes Afro-Latinx people: “We are purposely recognizing one another in ways we’ve never found in popular media representations and sharing images and stories that redefine the narrow Eurocentric definition of Latinidad.”
“‘My husband’s books, his letters from celebrities, all the texts that authors had dedicated to him’ were destroyed in the fire, Phoebe Angelopoulou told local television. … The filmmaker, who won the prestigious Palme d’Or at Cannes in 1998 for Eternity and a Day, often spent summers with his family at the house in Mati, east of the capital.”
If every new invention begins as a miracle, turns into a necessity, and ends up as a vice, the art of filmmaking is in the restoration of its miraculous aspect. In recent years, great movies have been made with a varied range of devices, including consumer-grade video cameras, toy cameras, iPhones, and even pieced together from footage borrowed from the Internet. But whether a movie is made with grand Hollywood equipment or with ordinary devices, there’s nothing banal about a great cinematic image
“After analysing data from 6,147 movie scripts and filtering it through a series of algorithms, the researchers have identified the emotional arc that makes the most money, called the ‘man in a hole’ arc.”
Asura, a big-screen historical fantasy that cost $113 million, did such lousy box office that it was pulled from theaters after three days; meanwhile, Dying to Survive, a dark comedy about smuggling low-priced medicines into the country because they’re so expensive inside the People’s Republic, “is on track to become one of China’s highest-grossing productions of all time.”
Numbers are not specified in the company-wide memo, but a source close to the company tells Deadline 7% of jobs will be eliminated. Before the reductions, the company had a workforce of about 4,000 people.
This year, the number of cord-cutters in the U.S. — consumers who have ever cancelled traditional pay-TV service and do not resubscribe — will climb 32.8%, to 33.0 million adults, according to new estimates from research firm eMarketer. That’s compared with a total of 24.9 million cord-cutters as of the end of 2017, which was up 43.6% year over year (and an upward revision from eMarketer’s previous 22 million estimate).
Emily Nussbaum: “It’s informational, but it doesn’t mind that you don’t know everything, because it gets that nobody does. This openheartedness makes it educational television in a broader, emotional sense — it’s like Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, or Schoolhouse Rock!, if those shows had more orgies and Nazis.”
“One is to come up with shows that are more expansive than her ABC fare. The other is to turn Shondaland into an enduring company that will live within Netflix in the same way that Marvel exists inside the Walt Disney Company. ‘It would be really amazing to me at some point down the line — not now — if somebody said, ‘There was a Shonda for Shondaland?” Ms. Rhimes said. ‘It needs to be bigger than me.'” (includes summaries of her first eight series for the streaming service)
TV is marginally better than movies, but both are still pretty bad. “‘There’s a huge conversation around this issue, a lot of social media, press, but the statistics haven’t really changed,’ said Kirsten Schaffer, executive director of Women in Film.”
Daniel Wu, now starring on Into the Badlands on AMC, is from the Bay Area and attended architecture school at the University of Oregon. Then he visited Hong Kong, and was spotted by a talent scout. He says, “As a kid growing up in the ’70s, ’80s, as a person of color, I didn’t see a future for that. In my field, there was a roadblock. And so, I basically had to go to Asia and get successful there in order to come back here to have success here.”
Whew, yeah, the extravaganza Asura, which cost more than $100 million to make, has tanked rather spectacularly. “It aimed to spawn a trilogy based on Tibetan mythology by following a classic Hollywood playbook: pair a time-tested story with sumptuous visual effects, big-name actors and industry veterans.” Instead, it made $7 million last weekend – and was yanked immediately.
One of the key pieces of info: “The non-primetime deal with the networks includes language limiting auditions in hotel rooms and private residences. Those limits are part of the initiative announced earlier this year by SAG-AFTRA leaders in response to the industry’s sexual harassment scandals that came to light in October with the revelations about disgraced mogul Harvey Weinstein. It’s the first time the union has included those specific provisions in a master contract.”
Filmmaker Zamo Makhwanazi: “We’re all stuck in the same writer’s rooms, where we’re worked to death. … How is it that we’re carrying the industry on our backs, we are the creators, we are the hardest-working people in the industry, but we have the least power?”
Films and filmmakers mythologize coming-of-age stories in all kinds of ways, ways that focus on the magic of whatever change or reference point young adults make their way into the adult world. But middle school isn’t like that. “It’s incredibly difficult to mythologize, or at least to do so with any kind of light. It’s far too awkward and irredeemable a time.”
Things have really, deeply changed: “Warming towards Abba reflects a critical embrace of pop culture over the last decade. ‘Poptimism’ has meant that art that was once dismissed for being lightweight, feminine and glittery is now subject to critical close-readings that combine academia with fannish enthusiasm.”
It’s her mother’s maiden name, you guys, it doesn’t mean anything: “Manafort, the movie’s writer and director, used a pseudonym in connection with the project: Jess Bond.”
“King’s enjoyed numerous renaissances since Carrie put him on the map in 1973 — the era following Brian De Palma’s 1976 film adaptation; the early ’90s one-two punch of Misery‘s Oscar win and Tommy Lee Wallace’s It miniseries; the two-year spell at the turn of the millennium when he dropped the final three Dark Tower books. This one, however, is markedly different than those that came before, due not only to its scale and scope, but also because it’s unfolding in a generation that’s succeeded at both commodifying and intellectualizing nostalgia.”
“Five years after being tapped to lead the newly relaunched Paramount Television banner, Amy Powell is out.” Multiple individuals had complained about things Powell reportedly said about black women on a conference call about the company’s TV adaptation of The First Wives’ Club, which features a largely African-American cast.
“The streaming giant has announced a partnership with SiriusXM that will see it create and launch a comedy-focused satellite radio channel, a move that signals the company’s interest in extending its programming foothold beyond its online video roots.” The channel’s name: Netflix Is a Joke.
The premise of director Boots Riley’s movie is the largely unearned success that the black characters gain when they use a “white voice.” And, as Danny Glover’s character tells his young telemarketing colleague, “I’m not talking Will Smith–white. I’m talking about the real deal” — meaning with dubbed-in dialogue spoken by white actors sounding their absolute whitest. Hunter Harris reports on how Riley came up with and implemented the idea.
Average ticket prices in North America rose to $9.38 in the second quarter of 2018, according to the National Association of Theatre Owners. That number is a 22 cent uptick from 2018’s first quarter average of $9.16 and a 43 cent bump compared to the same period in 2017.
Comcast investors reacted favorably to the withdrawal, boosting the company’s stock 3% in morning trading, to $35.12. Disney shares also jumped, gaining 2% to $113.24. Fox, which has gained nearly 30% since early June on the bidding war, slumped nearly 2% to $45.86.
“Well, I love Apu. I love the character, and it makes me feel bad that it makes other people feel bad. But on the other hand, it’s tainted now — the conversation, there’s no nuance to the conversation now. It seems very, very clunky. … I think particularly right now, people feel so aggrieved and crazed and powerless that they’re picking the wrong battles.”
“According to plaintiff Craig Cargile, who filed on Thursday in Bibb County, Alabama, on behalf of [John B.] McLemore’s estate, [senior producer and host Brian] Reed, Serial Productions, This American Life, Chicago Public Media, and others allegedly used ‘McLemore’s indicia of identity in a commercial manner’ and seeks damages. Echoing concerns of some listeners, Cargile says McLemore never consented, nor would he have, to the podcast revealing or speculating on certain ‘mysteries’ of his private life.”
India’s broad defamation laws allow complainants to file civil or even criminal charges for insulting the feelings of religious groups or communities as well as individuals. Repeated suits along these lines have been brought against the producers of the hit Netflix India series Sacred Games. In one of the latest, concerning an epithet a character uses to describe the late prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, “the Delhi High Court on Monday said actors cannot be held liable for the lines they read from a show’s script.” (The court also asked the complainant to demonstrate why his lawsuit was in the public interest at all.)
“I think that the work needs to begin in the places with the largest disparity: disabled critics, queer-identified critics, critics of color, both women and men. I want us to not lose sight of the ball.”
“Entitled Burning Secret, the script is an adaptation of the 1913 novella by the Viennese writer Stefan Zweig. In Kubrick’s adaptation of the story of adultery and passion set in a spa resort, a suave and predatory man befriends a 10-year-old boy, using him to seduce the child’s married mother.”
The director always resisted giving any interpretation or explanation of the film’s final scene. But in a segment from an unaired Japanese television documentary shot in the late 1970s, Kubrick – reluctantly (“I’ve tried to avoid doing this ever since the picture came out”) – tells what he had in mind.
“In the long lead-up to its release, Chinese fantasy epic Asura was promoted as China’s most expensive film ever made, with a production budget of over $110 million (750 million yuan). So perhaps it’s unsurprising that the film’s producers, which include Jack Ma’s Alibaba Pictures, decided to take desperate action after the movie opened to just $7.1 million over the weekend.”