MCN Columnists
Gary Dretzka

Dretzka By Gary

The Oscars of Journalism

As far as I know, Pulitzer Prize-winners and presenters aren’t awarded gift baskets for showing up at the annual banquet saluting the best in the business of journalism … not yet, anyway. A handful of bloggers pay attention, but the ceremony isn’t televised … except, maybe, on C-SPAN … and no one in Las Vegas…

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If the seat fits …

After ShoWest, Digital Dretzka managed to get lost in the Digital Ozone, and, for a while, the business of Hollywood took a back seat to monitoring March Madness and propping up the teetering pile of DVDs awaiting scrutiny elsewhere in Movie City News. Upon venturing into the blogosphere Tuesday morning, a random search turned up…

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Keep On Flossing …

And, speaking of Floss ‘n Toss … being of the Boomer generation, DD naturally wondered if the good folks at StaiNo LLC had attempted to get the seal of approval of the American Dental Association, which had done wonders for sales of Crest and Colgate. David Antler, the company’s president, allowed that an ADA endorsement…

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Sitcoms losses no laughing matter

A report that found its way into the Los Angeles Times’ Quick Takes column last Saturday has revealed that Americans are investing more time watching sitcoms than a dozen years ago, but fewer are getting their yucks from shows selected for them by network programmers. Magna Group’s research has discovered that 4.84 hours/week currently are…

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ShoWest Wraps Up

ShoWest 2006 threw itself a wrap party Thursday night, but not before Warner Bros. availed itself of the opportunity to brag on its upcoming slate of “event” movies. The company, which once was known for sponsoring the most star-studded of all ShoWest banquets, has been a no-show for the last few years. Instead, the “new”…

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Skip the butter, add the floss

Much of the fun for civilians attending ShoWest comes in strolling through the aisles of the exhibition hall, where the latest trends in concessions, furniture, cleaning supplies and technology are put on display. This year, there were few products that caused any kind of a stir, but one or two managed to stand out in…

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Exhibs preview Altman’s Prairie Home Companion

Garrison Keillor may lack the charisma of a George Clooney or Brad Pitt, but 4 million radio listeners can’t be wrong … or, so hopes Picturehouse president Bob Berney. Exhibitors attending ShoWest didn’t pack screenings of “A Prairie Home Companion” in the same numbers as greeted “Cars,” but those who made the effort were rewarded…

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Disney takes Pixar’s Cars out for a spin at ShoWest

LAS VEGAS — Few potential summer blockbusters will arrive with as much baggage in its trunk as “Cars,” which will be the first animated feature released under the newly conjoined banner of Disney and Pixar. Wall Street analysts will put the picture under the same intense scrutiny as that employed by film critics approaching any…

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ShoWest & the Ghost of Cinema Future

Judging from all the projections of doom and gloom that accompanied each new weekend’s box-office reports last summer and fall, you’d think organizers of ShoWest would have staged the annual gathering of theater owners in a funeral parlor, and not within the faux-sunny confines of Paris Las Vegas. Apparently, with business up in the first-quarter…

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Quote Unquotesee all »

“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch