ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


Sundance Is All Online Again, And That’s Great

Cheers aren't what one might expect for yet another canceled in-person event - and yet, 80 films will be on offer, with art houses across the country screening films in-person. Sorry, Park City, but this is "a more democratic and authentic representation of audiences." - Washington Post

Familiar Faces At The Oscars May Crowd Out Potential Newcomers

"The directors’ branch has been known to be an exclusive club that has snubbed" newcomers like Ava DuVernay and Shaka King. "Crowding the race this year are such big names as Joel Coen for The Tragedy of Macbeth and Steven Spielberg for West Side Story." - Variety

Why Superheroes Are So Often Orphans

Basically, it's easier for the writers and creators of tales: "It is a tried and tested, tragic narrative formula that efficiently releases them into the wider world, as well as exposing them to danger." - The Guardian (UK)

How Disney Defines America Now

Just take a look at Moana and Encanto, and "the message seems fairly clear: America is broken (but don’t worry, all is not lost)." - The Atlantic

Streamers’ Successes (And Failures) Reignite Debate Over Who Reaps The Profits

At issue: Money, or at least how and when it's parceled out. Generally, it's better for actors if streamers pay talent up front, but "the rare phenomenon of a hit is the only downside." - Variety

World’s Second Largest Movie Theatre Chain Reports Sharp Rebound In Ticket Sales

Box office and concession revenues saw significant growth across the second half of 2021. Notably, group performance was at 50% of 2019 levels in July, increasing to 90% in October and with December reaching 88%. - Deadline

NBC Universal Picks New Audience-Measuring Service

The company announced today it will use data from, a Bellevue, Wash.-based company that measures audiences across linear TV and streaming platforms to provide viewing information on the two major events next month. - Los Angeles Times

The “Intangible Sludge”: Why Do So Many Movies Have Washed-Out Color These Days?

"Desaturation is not in and of itself bad. It's a tool that can be used poorly or well. But why is it everywhere now? There's no one answer to that question, but here are my five best guesses as to what might be behind the desaturation of Hollywood." - Vox

The Armorer For “Rust”, Which Had That Fatal Shooting On Set, Sues Supplier For Mixing Live Bullets With Blanks

Star Alec Baldwin accidentally killed cinematographer Halyna Hutchins and wounded director Joel Souza on October 21 with a prop gun that was supposed to be loaded with dummy ammunition. The film's armorer is suing PDQ Arm and Prop for false and deceptive labeling and trade practices. - CNN

NPR Does Its Own Report On How It Is “Hemorrhaging Hosts From Marginalized Backgrounds”

The job went to media reporter David Folkenflik, by now quite experienced in, and respected for, stories about his employer — and he finds that the situation there is more complex than the quote in the headline (from ATC host Ari Shapiro) might indicate. - NPR

NPR Responds To Loss Of Hosts

NPR's senior vice president for news, Nancy Barnes, wrote in a letter to staff on Tuesday that, taken together, the resignations have "created a hole in the heart of the organization." - NPR

The Screen Actors Guild Nominations Are Out. Here’s What They Portend For Oscars

OK, let’s just says awards season actually starts now. The SAG Awards nominations, voted on by two panels of 2,500 randomly selected SAG-AFTRA members (one for film, another for TV), offer a reliable indication of how the Oscar acting races will take shape. - Los Angeles Times

For The First Time In Three Years, The Oscars Will Again Have A Host

Names like Dwayne Johnson believed to be among those on their wish list. Popular former hosts such as Chris Rock also have been approached we hear though securing someone is proving challenging during the pandemic. - Deadline

Where Films’ Set Design Illuminates The Struggles Of Working-Class Folks

"Those struggles can be seen in water-stained walls, amid the brick piles of a bulldozed neighborhood or on the tattered carnival tents of The Humans, West Side Story and Nightmare Alley. We spoke to the production designers of those movies about (those) solemn, living backdrops." - The New York Times

There’s One Region Where The Clubhouse App Isn’t Fading Away (It’s Being Used For Artsy Stuff)

The audio-based social media app has been dissed by First Worlders as a glorified telephone and outflanked by Twitter and Facebook adding audio. But in South Asia, groups are gathering on Clubhouse to do things like chanting a classic Sanskrit hymn and reciting Urdu verse. - Rest of World

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