The News Selected by Ray Pride

2010 U. S. Michelin Guides Delayed Indefinitely

October 22, 2020

Skeptic-Magician James Randi Was 92

October 22, 2020

Alex Abramovich: "There’s​ a lot more Ken Burns gets wrong, or sweeps under the carpet, and that may be unavoidable, given the scale of his projects. (He tends to work on several at a time.) 'Country Music' took six years to make, whittling six hundred hours of footage down to sixteen. The credits are 174 names long, not counting the interviewees. Surely, any mistakes must pale next to the effort and service that these films provide. (‘More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than from any other source,’ Stephen Ambrose is supposed to have said, and for better or worse, I believe him.) But you notice, after a while, that the errors all face in a certain direction, and serve to make the same points, while all the things that are supposed to stay under the carpet keep reappearing. That may be unavoidable, too, when you try to make apolitical films about highly charged subjects. But country music is about as politically charged as an American cultural subject could be because, in a sense, it’s the Lost Cause set to a I-IV-V chord progression: the broken heart longing for simpler times, mother and home, and some sense of stability (stand-ins for the old Southern manse, where the log cabins were also slave shacks); the lip service paid to Christian values (coupled with belligerence, blood-lust, knee-jerk patriotism, and a native distrust of authority); the lingering persistence of minstrel-show stereotypes, melodies and songs."

October 22, 2020

Twitter

"Hollywood's methods of nurturing talent and ideas are not working, say Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. Can their app, a LinkedIn-meets-Slack for the entertainment industry, help? The Creative Network launches this week with 800 screenwriters for hire and 300 available projects. The app is born of Impact Creative Systems, which Imagine Entertainment founded two years ago as a Y Combinator for film and TV scripts."

Twitter | October 21, 2020

GQ

"Matthew McConaughey Is Thinking About His Eulogy"

GQ | October 21, 2020

Vox

Peter Kafka on Quibi: "Not the concept or the execution but the model: Running a media business the old-fashioned way, where you ask people to make something, pay them for it, and then try to re-sell that work to someone else. Because there’s another version of running a media business — what YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook do — and I don’t feel great about that one in 2020. Katzenberg and Meg Whitman, the CEO he hired away from Hewlett Packard, paid Hollywood studios, TV networks and digital shops like Vox Media to make short videos. Then they tried selling subscriptions to those videos to you. That’s one way — the old way — to run a media business..."

Vox | October 21, 2020

The Guardian

"Rudy Giuliani, personal attorney to Trump, is seen reaching into his trousers and apparently touching his genitals while reclining on a bed in the presence of the actor playing Borat’s daughter, who is posing as a TV journalist. The pair retreat at her suggestion for a drink to the bedroom of a hotel suite, which is rigged with concealed cameras. After she removes his microphone, Giuliani, 76, can be seen lying back on the bed, fiddling with his untucked shirt and reaching into his trousers. They are then interrupted by Borat who runs in and says: 'she’s 15. She’s too old for you.'"

The Guardian | October 21, 2020

The New York Times

"Sacha Baron Cohen: This Time He’s Serious, Reviving his Borat Character"

The New York Times | October 21, 2020

Twitter

"During a video call with employees, an emotional Mr. Katzenberg suggested Quibi staffers listen to the song 'Get Back Up Again,' sung by actress Anna Kendrick in the animated film Trolls, to buoy their spirits."

Melissa Hunter: "Quibi paid stars very handsomely, but paid writers and non-name actors below standard union rates. Please let this be the last example of how that model always fails."

Twitter | October 21, 2020

Wall Street Journal

"Quibi Holdings LLC is shutting down, a crash landing for a once-highflying entertainment startup that raised $1.75 billion in capital. Quibi founder Jeffrey Katzenberg called investors to tell them he is shutting the service down. Quibi’s shutdown marks a disappointing turn of events for Mr. Katzenberg, who pitched the streaming service as a revolutionary entrant to the video-streaming wars."

"Quibi’s failures can be attributed to flawed execution in its technology building, marketing and content acquisition. In attempting to create a juggernaut video app, Katzenberg and company failed to incorporate strategies that other streaming giants pioneered."

Wall Street Journal | October 21, 2020

Twitter

The True Cost Of 69-Year-Old Wunderkind Jeffrey Katzenberg's Quibi: "From the moment it was founded to the moment its impending closure was announced, Quibi burnt $1,496 per minute, 24/7. $24.95 every second. 768 shares of Apple stock per hour. 9 Tesla Model X’s per workday. One SpaceX launch every 13 hours. The full production budget of Lord of the Rings. Once every 43 days."

Twitter | October 21, 2020

Twitter

Tom Gara: "Appears Quibi is at the end of the line: strategy meetings have been cancelled, according to two people familiar with the matter. Some employees have informally been scheduling goodbye drinks. It’s going to be wild when Quibi enters the Recriminations phase and people start really leaking. I wouldn’t be surprised if we find out there’s an episode of 'Murder House Flip' that got like, less than a thousand views."

Twitter | October 21, 2020

The New York Times

"The pandemic bump is over. Netflix attracted 2.2 million new subscribers for the third quarter, about one million lower than what investors were expecting and short of the 2.5 million Netflix itself had forecast. Netflix also said it expected a slowdown for the fourth quarter, with about six million new customers, again lower than the 6.6 million analysts were anticipating. Still, Netflix expects to close 2020 with a record number of new customers, about 34 million, giving it about 201 million subscribers around the world. The company doesn’t offer guidance for U.S. subscribers, but based on historical data, it could end up with 68 million by the end of the year... 'Free cash flow.' That’s the measure of how much money is going in (or out) the door. For years, Netflix has had 'negative free cash flow,' meaning it was losing billions of dollars annually. But this year, the company has seen positive results, about $2.2 billion so far, partly because of the pandemic. As productions shuttered, Netflix held on to more of its cash. That is likely to change next year, when studio work is expected to ramp up. Netflix expects to burn through as much as $1 billion in 2021."

The New York Times | October 21, 2020

Chicago Tribune

"The only Chicagoan of the Chicago 7 just wrote a memoir and says he’s a fan of the Netflix movie Trial of the Chicago 7"

Chicago Tribune | October 21, 2020

The Wrap

"Variety Editor-in-Chief Claudia Eller to Return After Five-Month Leave; Eller will serve the remainder of her contract through summer 2022. She will be succeeded by Cynthia Littleton, formerly business editor who has been promoted to co-editor in chief, and another co-EIC to be named later."

The Wrap | October 21, 2020

Reading The Film World With David Hudson

October 20, 2020

Almodóvar: "You have to dare. In the period that we are living, I am more active than ever. I think you have to make films, release them and create attractive elements so that the public returns to theaters. I am very happy because The Human Voice is not a standard movie and the fact of releasing it is already enough, but I am very happy that it is at this time. It seems fatal to me what the American studios are doing to hijack the big titles, the most commercial ones, without caring what happens in the rest of the cinemas in the world. The attitude must be the opposite, that of working more than ever."

October 20, 2020

The Guardian

Michiko Kakutani: "My job as a critic was to give honest evaluations of new books and to try to explain why I thought they were worth reading – or not; to try to situate that book within an author’s oeuvre and, if nonfiction, explain how it might compare with others on the same subject. In 'Ex Libris,' I’m only writing about books I love, or that I think matter. There’s no having to dissect works I’m not crazy about. So, a happy undertaking – sharing my enthusiasm as a fan."

The Guardian | October 20, 2020

"Songs and Lyrics by Tom Lehrer: I, Tom Lehrer, and the Tom Lehrer Trust 2000, hereby grant the following permission: All the lyrics on this website, whether published or unpublished, copyrighted or uncopyrighted, may be downloaded and used in any manner whatsoever, without requiring any further permission from me or any payment to me or to anyone else. Some lyrics written by Tom Lehrer to copyrighted music by others are included herein, but of course such music may not be used without permission of the copyright owners. All the lyrics herein should be treated as though they were in the public domain. In particular, permission is hereby granted to anyone to set any of these lyrics to their own music and publish or perform their versions without fear of legal action. This permission applies only to the lyrics on this website. Most of the music written by Tom Lehrer will be added gradually later with further disclaimers. This website will shut down on December 31, 2024, so if you want to download anything, don’t wait too long."

October 20, 2020

Variety

Sony Moves Happiest Season Off U. S. Theatrical Release; "First Major LBGTQ+ Holiday RomCom" With Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis, will Premiere As Hulu Original On November 25

Variety | October 20, 2020

MCN Commentary & Analysis See All

10 Things I Actually Know

David Poland | October 18, 2020

If This Is A 30-Film Oscar Season, Your BP Nominees…

David Poland | October 1, 2020

29 Weeks To Oscar, Maybe: The Entire “Movie” Award Season

David Poland | September 30, 2020

The News Curated by Ray Pride See All

2010 U. S. Michelin Guides Delayed Indefinitely

October 22, 2020

Skeptic-Magician James Randi Was 92

October 22, 2020

Alex Abramovich: "There’s​ a lot more Ken Burns gets wrong, or sweeps under the carpet, and that may be unavoidable, given the scale of his projects. (He tends to work on several at a time.) 'Country Music' took six years to make, whittling six hundred hours of footage down to sixteen. The credits are 174 names long, not counting the interviewees. Surely, any mistakes must pale next to the effort and service that these films provide. (‘More Americans get their history from Ken Burns than from any other source,’ Stephen Ambrose is supposed to have said, and for better or worse, I believe him.) But you notice, after a while, that the errors all face in a certain direction, and serve to make the same points, while all the things that are supposed to stay under the carpet keep reappearing. That may be unavoidable, too, when you try to make apolitical films about highly charged subjects. But country music is about as politically charged as an American cultural subject could be because, in a sense, it’s the Lost Cause set to a I-IV-V chord progression: the broken heart longing for simpler times, mother and home, and some sense of stability (stand-ins for the old Southern manse, where the log cabins were also slave shacks); the lip service paid to Christian values (coupled with belligerence, blood-lust, knee-jerk patriotism, and a native distrust of authority); the lingering persistence of minstrel-show stereotypes, melodies and songs."

October 22, 2020

Twitter

"Hollywood's methods of nurturing talent and ideas are not working, say Ron Howard and Brian Grazer. Can their app, a LinkedIn-meets-Slack for the entertainment industry, help? The Creative Network launches this week with 800 screenwriters for hire and 300 available projects. The app is born of Impact Creative Systems, which Imagine Entertainment founded two years ago as a Y Combinator for film and TV scripts."

Twitter | October 21, 2020

The Video Section See All

Mrs. America, Uzo Aduba

David Poland | September 8, 2020

The Podcast Section See All