The News Selected by Ray Pride

CHARLES GRODIN WAS 86

May 18, 2021

LA Times

Pecunia Pecunia enim eruit: Amazon May Have $9 Billion in Couch Change To Pocket MGM

LA Times | May 17, 2021

Entertainment Weekly

Discovery CEO David Zaslav will lead the combined venture, which is expected to close in 2022 subject to regulatory and shareholder approval. "Jason Kilar is still CEO of WarnerMedia," AT&T CEO John Stankey told reporters Monday, adding that Zaslav would make personnel decisions ahead of the deal close. Under the terms of the deal, WarnerMedia and Discovery will merge through a complex all-stock transaction called a Reverse Morris Trust that would see AT&T receive $43 billion in cash, debt securities, and WarnerMedia’s retention of certain debt, and AT&T’s shareholders would receive stock representing 71 percent of the new company. Wall Street observers said the Reverse Morris Trust had the handwriting of big Discovery shareholder and media mogul John Malone who has a reputation for complex, tax-efficient deals.”

Entertainment Weekly | May 17, 2021

LA Times

“What an embarrassing chapter for what was once one of America’s most storied companies.”

LA Times | May 17, 2021

Variety

“There’s no way this deal doesn’t make AT&T look like fools,” said a WarnerMedia veteran.

“People are in shock,” said a longtime WarnerMedia insider.

“Here we go again,” one executive said.

Variety | May 17, 2021

LA Times

“Daunted by the challenges of competing in the streaming age and shackled by a mountain of debt, the Dallas telecommunications behemoth is poised to spin off its entertainment assets into a new venture with cable programming company Discovery, which owns HGTV, the Food Network and Animal Planet. The proposed transaction, which would require the approval of federal regulators, would mark a stunning retreat for AT&T, which spent $85 billion three years ago to buy Time Warner Inc., owner of CNN, HBO, TBS, TNT and the storied Warner Bros. film and TV studio. AT&T now appears ready to jettison those assets — although AT&T investors are expected to remain stakeholders. ‘What a dismal failure, and what an embarrassing chapter for what was once one of America’s most storied companies.’”

LA Times | May 16, 2021

Financial Times

"AT&T is nearing a deal to combine its content unit WarnerMedia with rival Discovery to create a media giant with an enterprise value of $150 billion, just a few years after acquiring the owner of CNN, HBO and Warner Bros. The board of directors of AT&T were meeting on Sunday to approve the deal. The combination would merge one of Hollywood’s most valuable catalogues — spanning the Warner Bros film and television studios, the HBO network and a portfolio of cable channels including CNN — with Discovery, which has had success with a new streaming service aimed at unscripted cooking and home renovation shows."
AT&T To Approve Engulf & Devour Of Discovery Networks To Fashion Behemoth Spinoff

Financial Times | May 16, 2021

"As for Shanley’s tea-tray view of Irish life, it’s no better or worse than the recycled stage Irish stereotypes inflicted on us by John Michael McDonagh, key difference being that Shanley’s film doesn’t play-act at reflecting any sort of reality.McDonagh’s work is characterised by a cynical distance from his small-town subjects. Wild Mountain Thyme doesn’t pretend at serious-mindedness. Its silliness and unbridled love for Shanley’s fantasy Ireland is maddening, and for brief moments, infectious."

May 15, 2021

Hollywood Reporter

Barry Jenkins: "I thought, you know, “I’m a real smart cat. I’ve been doing this for twenty years, there’s a crew, there are actors, and I know exactly what we’re doing. And I know that nothing I’m going to deal with is even remotely comparable to what my ancestors dealt with.” And yet we’re in the same actual spaces. I do believe that somehow, you know, we were on the same soil, and it would catch up to me. There was a day when I just walked myself off set and said nothing to nobody — which is very expensive on a show this big. When I’m not present, nothing happens. There was another day we had a guidance counselor. She tapped me and then pulled me off my own set. I said, “Yo, you can’t pull me off set, man! I’ve got to be strong for the crew. They see me talking to you, man, they go, ‘Something is wrong.'” She was like, “Yeah, you’ve got to be strong for them, but who’s going to be strong for you when you break down?” And so we had a little session, I unleashed some things, and then I got back to it. But I felt this responsibility. And there’s been a lot of talk about sacrifice, very heinously in regard to the Chauvin trial and the murder of George Floyd. In this case, our ancestors sacrificed by continuing to live through all this degradation. There was something about really understanding that, and I’m walking around these sets and literally seeing my ancestors — I can hug them. It was cool to be there and realize, “Yes, my ancestors were enslaved, but let’s push past that. They were blacksmiths, they were midwives. They were herbalists, they were spiritualists.” Reaffirming that every day, it’s built up almost like this muscle layer where eventually I understood, okay, I’m running this long marathon. And when the show is done, I get to hand the baton to someone the same way Nikole Hannah-Jones handed it to me when she finished 'The 1619 Project.' In that way, I got my wind up and I was ready to go."

Hollywood Reporter | May 15, 2021

The New York Times

“Leslie Moonves, who led CBS as chief executive for 15 years before he was ousted in 2018, will receive nothing from the $120 million the company had set aside in a potential severance package, according to a federal filing on Friday.”

The New York Times | May 14, 2021

Hollywood Reporter

Terry Press: "These days, Press worries about the future of the big screen. 'I can clock the most significant moments of my life — other than my marriage to my husband and my children — by the movies I’ve seen and where I saw them. I distinctly remember all the times that I have seen The Sound of Music. That’s imprinted on me. When we stopped using the word ‘movies’ and started using the word ‘content’ is the dividing line for me. They are very different things.”

Hollywood Reporter | May 14, 2021

LA Times

Barry Jenkins: "“I didn’t want CGI for the trains and tunnels. It has to be real. I want the audience to see what I saw as a child. It’s so important that the actors can walk into a tunnel and they can get down on their knees and touch the rails. Can you imagine what my ancestors would have felt if they walked into one of these tunnels and they saw the track and the light approaching and a Black conductor shouting, ‘All aboard!’ It would have been mind-shattering. I wanted to create that.”

LA Times | May 14, 2021

Daniel Craig in Empire: "Every one of these memories and experiences was shared with complete strangers… the lights go down, the projectors flicker, a hush descends or a cheer goes up. Sometimes art needs a little ritual around it to awaken the magic. If movies stop being shown in cinemas, they are diminished."

May 14, 2021

Wall Street Journal

“I absolutely respect the history of Hollywood and media, but I don’t feel obligated to cut and paste it going forward. In fact, I think that would be the complete wrong strategy.”

“To some, he is a futurist who recognizes that WarnerMedia must change to survive. To others, he is a shortsighted interloper whose strategy is destroying the very essence of what made Warner Bros. Hollywood’s most successful studio…”

Wall Street Journal | May 14, 2021

Sundance Sets January 20-30, 2022

May 13, 2021

Twitter

Another Reportedly Toxic Work Environment Shutters: “Ellen” Ends

Twitter | May 12, 2021

Hollywood Reporter

“One reason the Globes have survived numerous prior scandals — with some of the constituencies that are openly critical today silently playing along — and could survive this tumultuous period, too, is that they have traditionally offered Oscar-contending studios and talent the largest promotional platform that they will have en route to the Academy Awards. Indeed, the Globes are the second most-watched awards show of the film awards season. (The caveat is that the Globes — as well as the Oscars — drew record-low ratings in 2021, with 6.91 million viewers, a 62 percent drop in total viewers and a 68 percent drop in the 18-to-49 demo year-over-year.)”

Hollywood Reporter | May 12, 2021

Deadline

Norman Lloyd Was 106

Deadline | May 11, 2021

Kevin Jackson 1955-2021: “Just heard this. Died today, A shocker,” Paul Schrader posts. “Pulmonary embolism. A great writer, intellectual and friend. I first met him when he edited ‘Schrader on Schrader.’ We worked on an Aleister Crowley script together (his father was a Crowley adept). His knowledge never ceased to excite me. He wrote books on the history of money, Egyptology, Humphrey Jennings, John Ruskin, Anthony Burgess, vampires and the language of cinema. And many many reviews. He greatest accomplishment was ‘Constellation of Genius,’ study of the artistic, scientific and philosophical forces which coalesced in 1922.”

May 10, 2021

Hollywood Reporter

HFPA Outlines Proposals To Right Its Ship: "Regardless of the next airdate of the Golden Globes, implementing transformational changes as quickly — and as thoughtfully — as possible remains the top priority for our organization. We invite our partners in the industry to the table to work with us on the systemic reform that is long overdue, both in our organization as well as within the industry at large. Our below timeline demonstrates our commitment to achieving these goals with extreme urgency..."

Hollywood Reporter | May 10, 2021

MCN Commentary & Analysis See All

When Netflix Met Cinemark… And Nothing Happened

David Poland | May 4, 2021

The Little *Oscar Show That Couldn’t

David Poland | April 26, 2021

Gurus o’ Gold Pull Into the Station

Ray Pride | April 23, 2021

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