The News Selected by Ray Pride

Variety

"With Toronto, Telluride, Ven­ice, New York and other key fests opening amid an overcrowded field that includes films postponed from 2020, the acclaim, buzz and dis­tinction festivals bestow on award contenders is more important than ever — especially for spec­tacles such as Dune, which lose impact on the small screen in hybrid streaming/theatrical releases. Yet the surging Delta variant now threatens to derail premieres, star appearances, in-person screenings and the press, the public’s and Oscar vot­ers’ willingness to attend them.

"On August 27, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sci­ences postponed all screenings and in-person events for 2021. And on August 30, despite the U.S. having around 60 times as many COVID-19 cases as Canada and a much lower vaccination rate over the previous four weeks, per Johns Hopkins University data, the U.S. State Dept. advised Americans to “reconsider travel to Canada due to [a high level of] COVID-19” there.

“There’s nothing conclu­sive right now, and everyone is not quite sure how to proceed because of the nature of the COVID pandemic,” says Sony Pic­tures Classics co-president Tom Bernard. “Telluride and Toronto have changed what they are going to do dramatically in the last few weeks, putting in a lot more proto­cols. The New York Film Festival is to be determined—what are they and AFI Fest going to do? Running a festival is like trying to [control] an oil tanker. You can’t just stop it, [and most events] don’t have festival insurance where you can say, ‘COVID shut us down, we gotta get paid.’ It brings up a lot of questions that are really difficult to answer.”

"It wasn’t supposed to be this way..."

Variety | September 9, 2021

Twitter

“A coalition of some of the nation’s most powerful labor unions is pressuring the Federal Trade Commission to put the brakes on Amazon’s $8.45 billion gambit to buy MGM as the agency decides whether to approve the would-be takeover.”

Twitter | August 11, 2021

Twitter

Ethan Coen Quits?

Twitter | August 3, 2021

LA Times

Crisis Consultant Tells HFPA: “Consider what will happen if you do not pass the bylaws… Some of you may wish for an alternate future but the reality is totally different. As journalists, you understand what the headline will be if you do not pass these bylaws.”

LA Times | July 26, 2021

Ty Burr Moves House From The Globe To Substack

July 25, 2021

LA Times

"A subsidiary of South Korean entertainment company HYBE in April acquired Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings for $1.05 billion. Seoul-based CJ Entertainment and Merchandising invested in studio Skydance last year, as part of a $275 million strategic funding round with other investors."
South Korea Wants A Hollywood Footprint: JTBC Studios Acquires Majority Stake In Content Arm Of CAA

LA Times | July 25, 2021

The Staff And Board of The Canyon Cinema Foundation Address SFMOMA On Planned Elimination of Film Program

"SFMOMA’s recent decision to eliminate its Film Program (among other vital, inclusive, and community-focused programs) is a stunning disavowal of its own history. Moreso, it is a shocking divestment from SFMOMA’s stated commitment to “exhibiting film as an essential medium of modern and contemporary art” and to fostering a vibrant film culture in San Francisco. Following the renovation of its state-of-the-art Phyllis Wattis Theater in 2016, SFMOMA has demonstrated the ability, and financial willingness, to present film at the highest quality. Combining excellent film curation and world-class projection, SFMOMA has become a flagship of cinema exhibition in the Bay Area, which makes the decision to cut its Film Program especially puzzling. It is disappointing and disheartening to learn that a museum that claims to be a center for “the most innovative and challenging art of its time,” now holds the medium of film and the projected moving image in such low regard..." [More here]

July 24, 2021

Variety

“Comments from WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar on AT&T’s July 22 quarterly earnings call made it clear that the studio’s tentpoles will no longer be having a dual-release plan. Kilar did say that Warner Bros. will produce 10 or more movies exclusively for HBO Max for 2022.”

Variety | July 22, 2021

Variety

Grazer-Howard Imagine Entertainment Joins Hello Sunshine, SpringHill, A24 And Others In Rush For Billions-Dollar Valuation And Buyout

Variety | July 20, 2021

Deadline

Toronto International Film Fest To Benefit From Canada Lifting Pandemic Travel Restrictions

Deadline | July 20, 2021

Variety

NATO Mighty Angry At Disney Black Widow Rollout

Variety | July 19, 2021

Variety

AMC Networks Reach $200 Million Settlement in "The Walking Dead" Profit-Participation Lawsuit

Variety | July 18, 2021

LA Times

Hollywood Foreign Press Association Members Rebel: “Our members — imagine how diverse we are. We’ve got Muslims and Jews and Catholics.... We want to change. We want to do good things, but it doesn’t have to be this drastic... Let’s not be overly woke.”

LA Times | July 14, 2021

Variety

How Many Billions Would You Pay For A24?

Variety | July 13, 2021

Erika Dilday, Exec Director of American Documentary: "I don’t see this as a Ken Burns problem. I see this as a blind spot that has gone throughout leadership, which I think is changing now. Sylvia Bugg, PBS chief programming executive and general manager, general audience programming, and PBS president and chief executive officer Paula Kerger, who had a conversation with the Beyond Inclusion team are really looking to change this. I do agree that in the past, probably the right people were not in the room to make the right decisions. But this is far more nuanced than just numbers. It’s far more nuanced than making sure that you have this many people of color, BIPOC people, Latino or Hispanic people, women or gender non-identifying people making films. It’s about content and impact and really digging in and saying, ‘How do we make this landscape reflective of our country, the world and people with different perspectives and points of view?’ I don’t want to just count numbers. I really don’t. I want us to dig deeper. I want us to try harder. We owe a debt to our audiences to bring them content that stretches them, that enriches them and that sometimes will make them a little uncomfortable. But that takes the trust that they put in us to deliver information and ideas that they might not normally get in their arm chairs, and bring them something that really does reflect what’s going on in this country that’s informed by voices that maybe they would never hear."

July 10, 2021

Wall Street Journal

Apple Could Pay A Billion For Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine

Wall Street Journal | July 10, 2021

"The HFPA’s shenanigans are well-trod ground. The impetus was the lawsuit this Norwegian journalist, Kjersti Flaa, filed accusing the HFPA as operating as a sort of cartel and institutionalizing a culture of corruption. I got an email from my editor last August asking me to look into it. I remember he said, “this could lead somewhere, or nowhere at all.” Our feeling at the beginning was: Was there anything new to say about the HFPA? But as we went on, we found a lot that had not been reported before."
"There was also a lot of pent-up frustration with the organization within the industry. People had reached a boiling point. Also, we got a hold of a lot of financial documents that backed up a lot of the rumors, accusations, and claims about the group. Within the HFPA, there is a well-known code of silence. Although they’re journalists, they don’t talk to the press about how they actually operate — or even who is in the group. They operate in their own shadowy little corner and don’t interface with other journalists covering Hollywood.Within the industry, there was a sense of “we know what the deal is, but we don’t want to talk about it.” The ecosystem that empowered this group doesn’t reflect well on a lot of people. So getting people to talk on the record was incredibly challenging. Now that the information is out there, the taboo has lifted a little bit, and people are talking more openly."

Behind The L. A. Times Reporting That Brought Down The Golden Globes

July 7, 2021

Variety

It's Strike Up The Band In Cannes With Big-Screen Musicals, Reports Gregg Goldstein, Talking To Todd Haynes, Stephen Chbosky, Lin-Manuel Miranda

Variety | July 6, 2021

The New York Times

What Now For MGM?

The New York Times | July 6, 2021

RICHARD DONNER WAS 91

July 5, 2021

MCN Commentary & Analysis See All

THB #26: 20 Weeks To Oscar – Pizza’s Here!

David Poland | November 11, 2021

THB #16: For The Love of Personal Filmmaking

David Poland | October 26, 2021

THB #13: 23 Weeks To Oscar

David Poland | October 20, 2021

The News Curated by Ray Pride See All

Variety

"With Toronto, Telluride, Ven­ice, New York and other key fests opening amid an overcrowded field that includes films postponed from 2020, the acclaim, buzz and dis­tinction festivals bestow on award contenders is more important than ever — especially for spec­tacles such as Dune, which lose impact on the small screen in hybrid streaming/theatrical releases. Yet the surging Delta variant now threatens to derail premieres, star appearances, in-person screenings and the press, the public’s and Oscar vot­ers’ willingness to attend them.

"On August 27, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sci­ences postponed all screenings and in-person events for 2021. And on August 30, despite the U.S. having around 60 times as many COVID-19 cases as Canada and a much lower vaccination rate over the previous four weeks, per Johns Hopkins University data, the U.S. State Dept. advised Americans to “reconsider travel to Canada due to [a high level of] COVID-19” there.

“There’s nothing conclu­sive right now, and everyone is not quite sure how to proceed because of the nature of the COVID pandemic,” says Sony Pic­tures Classics co-president Tom Bernard. “Telluride and Toronto have changed what they are going to do dramatically in the last few weeks, putting in a lot more proto­cols. The New York Film Festival is to be determined—what are they and AFI Fest going to do? Running a festival is like trying to [control] an oil tanker. You can’t just stop it, [and most events] don’t have festival insurance where you can say, ‘COVID shut us down, we gotta get paid.’ It brings up a lot of questions that are really difficult to answer.”

"It wasn’t supposed to be this way..."

Variety | September 9, 2021

Twitter

“A coalition of some of the nation’s most powerful labor unions is pressuring the Federal Trade Commission to put the brakes on Amazon’s $8.45 billion gambit to buy MGM as the agency decides whether to approve the would-be takeover.”

Twitter | August 11, 2021

Twitter

Ethan Coen Quits?

Twitter | August 3, 2021

LA Times

Crisis Consultant Tells HFPA: “Consider what will happen if you do not pass the bylaws… Some of you may wish for an alternate future but the reality is totally different. As journalists, you understand what the headline will be if you do not pass these bylaws.”

LA Times | July 26, 2021

The Video Section See All

The Podcast Section See All