ArtsJournal: Arts, Culture, Ideas


After More Not So Great Publicity, CBS Decides To Have Another Investigation

Peter Dunn, the head of CBS' 28 news stations, and another staffer - the senior vice president for news - were suspended, and an outside law firm hired to investigate an alleged culture of sexist and racist bullying. - Los Angeles Times

Looking For Movies About Wall Street For, Well, Reasons?

You won't find them on the usual streaming suspects. - The Verge

The Improbable Story Of A Disney Movie That Almost Didn’t Get Made

"So, uh, how — and why — did all of this happen? Here is the oral history of The Emperor’s New Groove, an irreverent, pratfall-heavy, non sequitur of an animated movie that so defied Disney’s painstakingly deliberate traditions, it’s hard to believe it actually exists today." - New York Magazine

Public Radio And TV Face Looming Shortage Of Broadcast Engineers

"The workforce of broadcast engineers — those who know to fix broadcast transmitters, tubes and wires — is reaching retirement age. … Far fewer skilled young people are waiting in the wings to take on their roles. The apprenticeships that provided training to the engineers who are now approaching retirement are increasingly rare." And perpetually strapped public broadcasting stations have trouble affording salaries high enough to attract what candidates are available. - Current

Did Stock-Trading Redditors Just Save Live Cinema?

Or, if not the entire movie-theater business, at least AMC. The pandemic had made the already-difficult financial situation of the world's largest cinema chain disastrous. But the same amateur stock-traders on the subreddit r/wallstreetbets who put GameStop in the news this week bought lots of stock in AMC as well. As a Bloomberg columnist put it, "Six hundred million dollars in debt, vaporized by Reddit enthusiasm." - Slate

This Was An Odd Year For Movies. The Oscars Should Reflect That

"The kinds of movies that traditionally contend for awards — mid-budget dramas with recognizable stars and respectable historical subjects or social themes — were thin on the ground throughout the year, though a handful did show up on Netflix. The audience and the industry floated in a strange pandemic limbo." - The New York Times

We’re Seeing More Deaf People On TV. Now Let’s Hear Some Of Them.

"Many deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals have welcomed the increase in visibility that deafness and hearing loss have enjoyed on TV lately. … But for many who use devices like cochlear implants or hearing aids, onscreen representation still falls short by not reflecting enough of their experiences. … Deaf characters tend to be portrayed onscreen as people who sign and don't speak," whereas implant users usually speak and often don't know ASL. - The New York Times

The Inauthenticity Of Working In A Digital Medium

"With digital, there is no such thing as authenticity. You are trusting that it is what it is. I feel eventually no matter how convincing it may seem, what we are experiencing through media could be something engineered against our best interests in some way. Even if one doesn’t care about the big picture, when it is proven that media can be changed like this, it loses validity and in our minds our trust in it erodes." - Medium

Cannes Film Festival 2021 Isn’t Cancelled (Yet), But It Is Postponed

With ongoing uncertainty about the future course of the pandemic, Cannes organizers decided they had no choice but to change this year's dates from May 11-22 to July 6-17. "The move, while expected, will have a domino effect across the festival circuit." - The Hollywood Reporter

Season Three Of ‘Serial’ Is Headed To HBO

"The third season of the award-winning podcast, which arguably set in motion the current boom for non-fiction audio series, was set in the Cleveland justice system. Unlike the first two seasons, which featured one case, it looked at the system overall." HBO's adaptation, a limited series, will focus on one Cleveland police officer and the young man he's accused of beating. (Among the executive producers is basketball superstar Lebron James.) - Deadline

Pakistan’s Submission For This Year’s Oscars Is Banned In Pakistan

The director, Sarmad Khoosat, is (or was) a popular member of one of the country's most beloved entertainment families; the film itself, Zindagi Tamasha (in English, Circus of Life), has been approved by three different boards of censors and a committee of senators, and it won a big prize at one of Asia's most important film festivals. But, based on a trailer, a far-right Islamist party has declared the movie blasphemous and incited a vicious campaign against the director (including multiple threats of beheading) that, perhaps not coincidentally, echoes the screenplay's plot. - The Guardian

Hollywood Waits With Its Blockbusters. Streaming Is Still A Risky Path

Even as the studio insists that its streaming strategy is a one-off response to the pandemic, it might not be able to rebuild those bridges. Seeing the backlash is just another reason the rest of the industry’s major players continue to hold off from anything so drastic. Patience is hard, but it’s Hollywood’s surest path to profitability. - The Atlantic

Cable TV Cord-Cutting Accelerates During Pandemic

In the interim, expect a flood of cable programming to start migrating over to streaming in anticipation for the day when cable is no longer a viable platform for networks to reach audiences. - Axios

Making Film That’s Both Political And Personal

Fernanda Valadez and Astrid Rondero, who directed and wrote the new film Identifying Features, "don’t believe Mexican storytellers have the luxury of creating apolitically. Not at a moment in history when thousands disappear or are murdered as a consequence of drug-related violence and the widespread state complicity that enables it. Neither of them set out to make movies with a social justice angle, but coming of age as artists in this environment urged them to confront the appalling national trauma." - Los Angeles Times

Spike Lee Gives Fiery Speech Comparing Trump To Hitler

Lee's speech for the New York Film Critics Circle Awards was filmed on January 6 - the day when insurrectionists broke into the U.S. Capitol Building, hunting legislators and raiding offices. "We’re at the crossroads now. And everyone please be safe, this is not a game. These people have guns with ammunition. ... This president, President Agent Orange, will go down in history with the likes of Hitler. These guys, all his boys, they are going down on the wrong side of history." - USA Today

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