The News Selected by Ray Pride

"In this psychodrama, it may come as no surprise that Barry Sonnenfeld married a woman several years older than him, one who also worked for his first boss. Susan Ringo, called 'Sweetie', a Texas beauty queen, was married to the photographer and cameraman Elliott Erwitt when Sonnenfeld met her. He worked for Erwitt for about ten years while getting to know his future spouse. As his friendship with Sweetie progressed, Erwitt began to mockingly refer to Sonnenfeld as 'Susan’s hairdresser.' Erwitt seems to have been more angry and jealous about Blood Simple’s success—reviews mentioned its cinematographer by name—than he was about losing his wife."

March 1, 2021

"The CryptoArt market is a new way for artists to distribute digital works to collectors: often digital images and video files. The blockchain technology provides secure ownership, traceability, artist commission on second market sales and a thriving market place, with platforms emerging quickly. It’s a vibrant and welcoming community, a place to discuss the works with collectors, and it brings a lot of benefits that the Art market fails to provide. With no travel involved, and a mostly digital distribution, this new model looks like it has the potential to become a sustainable practice for artists. That’s until you understand the magnitude of the environmental impacts of the current blockchain: It is a DISASTER."

March 1, 2021

"We are excited at the prospect of participating in a regulated online Ontario gaming market with a made-in-Ontario product.”
Toronto Star Parent Company To Launch Online Casino App To Pay For Journalism

March 1, 2021

The Playlist: For every movie that’s part of awards season, there’s often something weird that pops up. People want to tear everything down. There’s been this strange story going around that your dad is a billionaire in China and that you making this movie in the context of people who are struggling, is sort of unfair and hypocritical, I guess, in some way. Do you have anything to say about that? Or is it just a crazy rumor or something?

Chloé Zhao: It’s fake news. It’s not true. My dad is not a billionaire, never has been. None of my family members are billionaires. I would have loved for them to pay off my student loan and my mortgage if that’s the case. You know, I think the last time I heard some rumors like that was probably at some Chinese tabloid because my dad married my stepmother, who is a comic actress in China. So, I think tabloids like to write stuff like that, but it’s so far from the reality of our lives. It’s kind of funny.

March 1, 2021

Chicago Tribune

Michael Phillips: “Even in a crisis, there’s an upside to being a tiny, rich, self-dealing and likely corrupt nonprofit organization.Being small, flexible and desperate means you can launch a brand rehabilitation campaign in the middle of your own glitchy, three-hour Zoom meeting of an awards show. You can do it mere days after the Los Angeles Times publishes an investigation into your standards, practices, membership diversity and general freeloading. Take the Golden Globes, please.”

Chicago Tribune | March 1, 2021

“Like all Globes scandals, this one finds us in the middle of a vicious cycle. Once again, the Globes prove themselves unworthy of being taken seriously; the cognoscenti once again complain that we enable the Globes by taking them seriously in the first place; and yet the Globes persist in being taken seriously, fueling a fresh annual round of outrage. All this belies the simple fact underlying the Globes’ stubborn place in the news cycle: People care about the Globes because a lot of people watch the Globes, and a lot of people watch the Globes because the Globes have a piece of prime TV real estate on NBC. That state of affairs isn’t changing anytime soon; NBC and the HFPA inked an eight-year deal in 2018 on the strength of the broadcast’s ratings, which remain strong even as most major live events see their audience shrink. But what if the state of affairs did change? What if, with the snap of the fingers, we could simply deprive the Globes of their oxygen—and then give that oxygen to another, more deserving slate of awards?”

February 28, 2021

"As an embittered expatriate, mind-blitzing drunk and hellacious bigot who spent her last years sequestered in a Brutalist redoubt in Switzerland writing hate letters to the newspapers about the pro-Israel policies of the US government and spewing venom about ‘the Jews and the blacks’, might Highsmith have enjoyed at least some of the sadism? The bludgeoning of the police, say, with fire extinguishers or the odd flagpole? The cathartic splitting open of someone’s head with a heavy object is, after all, one of the methods used by her murderous anti-heroes to kill the clueless people they are in love with: witness Tom Ripley’s brain-splatter of an assault – with an oar – on the pate of pretty Dickie Greenleaf in 'The Talented Mr Ripley.'"
Terry Castle On Patricia Highsmith

February 27, 2021

Molly Jong-Fast on "Britney, Mia, and the Way the Media Treated Women in the ’90s"

February 27, 2021

The New York Times

Stoplight: Marty Baron Retires: “Mr. Baron and Mr. Bezos are not friends (leaving aside the office birthday party when Mr. Bezos presented his editor with a new bicycle). Mr. Baron generally attends Mr. Bezos’ biweekly meeting with Mr. Ryan, the publisher. Still, a certain rapport was evident during an onstage interview in 2016 at a Post-sponsored conference in Washington, Mr. Baron dry and grumbly (“in journalism, interviewing the owner of the company is considered to be high-risk behavior”) and Mr. Bezos cheerfully evangelistic. The internet demolished media’s traditional business models, Mr. Bezos explained in the interview, “but it does bring one huge gift, and you have to maximize your usage of that new gift, which is that it provides almost free global distribution.”

The New York Times | February 27, 2021

LA Times

Lee Isaac Chung: “In early 2018, my journey as a filmmaker seemed to be closing. For the sake of my family, I decided to take a full-time teaching job to join the ranks of responsible workers, and this meant I had a few months to write one final script before my job began. Sitting in my regular coffee shop in South Pasadena, at the same table where I had schemed and planned my battles for years, I felt desperate to try a new approach. I closed my computer, shut my eyes and decided to take seriously whatever I heard in return. After a time, two words came to me, and they were clear only because they were so unfamiliar: ‘Willa Cather.’”

LA Times | February 27, 2021

New Yorker

Anthony Hopkins: “It wasn’t so much anger. It was just being a young man. But, as the years have gone by, I’ve thought, Drop the act. There’s nothing to be angry about. You’re lucky to be alive. It was just insecurity, fear, ambition. Misplaced paranoia, probably. But when you’re young that’s what you have to accept. I see young kids these days, and they try to be cool, but you can see beneath the mask that they’re not cool. They’re as scared as anyone else is. To admit that we are afraid is a wonderful freedom. Everything is important, but, finally, nothing is important. It’s all smoke. I look back on my life and think, Was it all a dream? Everyone I know is dead now. My parents are gone, and I think, Did they really exist? I’m going into metaphysics, in a way—the solipsistic universe we live in. But I look back over my life and think, The past is incomprehensible. I don’t grasp it at all.

New Yorker | February 27, 2021

Hollywood Reporter

Will the HFPA, shamed by the backlash to some of its random 2021 noms, not just add Black members, but also make substantial structural changes? It seems the organization could address some concerns about its current composition — among the lifetime members is at least one who is legally blind — by taking a page out of the film Academy's book and significantly expanding its membership to include more active and legitimate journalists. But to make it possible for such people to join the organization, the HFPA would also have to reform its ethics rules. It is a big question mark if it would be willing to do so."

Hollywood Reporter | February 27, 2021

Twitter

Hong Kong’s Ng Man-Tat Was 68

Twitter | February 27, 2021

"Telluride Film Festival announces its dates for the 48th Telluride Film Festival—September 2 - 6, 2021, with an added day to the weekend-long event. Festival organizers are optimistic that by September, when the vaccination process will then be long underway, and by taking all necessary safety precautions including the extra day, an in-person event will likely be possible. “We are beyond excited to announce our dates,” said Telluride Film Festival executive director Julie Huntsinger. “Our position within the festival calendar gives us hope that we will be able to hold the festival this year. We are guided by science and are continuously evaluating the global pandemic in relation to health, travel and live events. Time will tell, but in the meantime, we are busy planning for and putting together an incredible program.” There are currently no new pass sales available to the public at this time. Huntsinger explains, “As a result of the Festival’s 2020 cancellation, the majority of passholders requested to roll over their passes to 2021. Without knowing theater capacity restrictions, the small number of passes left are being held back out of an abundance of caution.”

February 26, 2021

Rolling Stone

Soderbergh on “The Knick” on HBO Max, And More: “There’s nothing to compare with having the same filmmaker making all of those decisions on every episode. There’s a unification that comes form that that you cannot reproduce when you have multiple directors. On the shows that I’ve produced, I’ve pushed very hard for a filmmaker, or in the case of ‘The Girlfriend Experience,’ with Amy and Lodge, a pair of writer-directors, to make all the episodes. I think the result is better. Whether that’s going to become a thing even in a niche way, I don’t know. It’s a position I’ve taken and a belief I have, because I think the filmmaker is the primary creative force. And so I lean toward empowering the filmmaker to make their show. We just finished Season Three of ‘The Girlfriend Experience,’ and Anja Marquardt did the whole show. The result is really unique and special, because it’s her vision, down to the frame.”

Rolling Stone | February 26, 2021

Variety

Ta-Nehisi Coates To Write New Superman Picture?

Variety | February 26, 2021

Hollywood Reporter

AT&T to Sell Stake in DirecTV and Video Biz, Valued at $16.5 Billion; $7.8 Billion in Deal Will Be Used to Pay Down Part of Debt Load

Hollywood Reporter | February 26, 2021

Financial Times

“Certainly, Schnabel enjoys bragging – he is great fun to talk to: boisterous, unbridled, at points playfully self-aware, at others deliciously oblivious. At several moments during our conversation, he gets so wrapped in his own stories, or in regaling long passages from his films, that he loses the point of his reference and pauses for long enough that I wonder if our FaceTime connection has dropped. Usually he gets back on track – buoyed by a sea of names to drop: Blinky Palermo, Lou Reed, ‘Bob’ Rauschenberg.

Financial Times | February 25, 2021

The New York Times

“Employment in New York City’s arts, entertainment and recreation sector plummeted by 66 percent from December 2019 to December 2020, according to a report released by the New York State Comptroller’s office... the sector had seen the largest drop of all the parts of the city’s economy... Full recovery would be made only with government assistance.”

The New York Times | February 25, 2021

LA Times

The HFPA, Freely Translated From ‘Busted’: “We are fully committed to ensuring our membership is reflective of the communities around the world who love film, tv and the artists inspiring and educating them. We understand that we need to bring in Black members, as well as members from other underrepresented backgrounds, and we will immediately work to implement an action plan to achieve these goals as soon as possible.”

LA Times | February 25, 2021

MCN Commentary & Analysis See All

Gurus On A Tighter Race: Picture, Director, Acting, Writing

Ray Pride | March 5, 2021

How To Fix Viacom

David Poland | March 5, 2021

Mold and Globes

David Poland | March 1, 2021

The News Curated by Ray Pride See All

New City Film

A Making-Of And An Almost Unmaking-Of And Finally, Modest Success: What Happened With Sundance 2020's The Last Shift With Its Pandemic Theatrical Run?

New City Film | March 5, 2021

Twitter

California Will Reopen Amusement Parks Like Disneyland, Stadiums And Concert Venues On April 1

Twitter | March 5, 2021

Vanity Fair

"Midnight Cowboy shattered many barriers. Men like these—hungry, hollow outcasts—had never been depicted with such honesty and directness in a mainstream American movie. Neither had this vision of New York—cold, bleak, corrupted. The acting is superb—not just Voight and Hoffman, but a small troupe of brilliant supporting actors—the screenplay terse and powerful, the camerawork fluid, the music poignant and engaging. Even the costumes are memorable. Still, no one expected the movie to make a dime. On the way to their first screening before the executives at United Artists, the chronically anxious Schlesinger turned to Hellman, his producing partner, and asked, 'Really, Jerry, do you think anyone in their right mind will pay good money to see this rubbish?'"
Excerpting Glenn Frankel's "Shooting Midnight Cowboy: Art, Sex, Loneliness, Liberation and the Making of a Dark Classic"

Vanity Fair | March 5, 2021

Rushfield: “The exhibition industry, even post-apocalypse, remains what it has been for a long time now: an industry dominated by bottom-feeding venture capitalists looking to squeeze as much money out of it as they can in as short a time as possible before they dump their companies or liquidate them. But what they certainly don't do is invest in anything that won't pay for itself in six weeks. In most businesses, that pattern is what's known as The Death Spiral or The Doom Loop. And that's why the whole windows/theatrical vs. streaming debate is completely screwed up and hopeless. As much as in my heart I would like to be team theatrical until I die, you look at on the one side, you've got a company like Netflix whose lightning rise has been driven at every moment by a fanatical, no-detail-is-too-granular obsession with customer experience and improving that pixel by pixel. On the other side, you've got a company like AMC still making bullying noises about the windows and not budging in putting their gouged customers through an experience that rivals a major airport hub. Its visionary CEO (self-described), after a year of his company being dead in the water and having to discharge most of its employees and having agitated and fumed for a government bailout, awards himself a $3 million bonus.”

March 4, 2021

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