The News Selected by Ray Pride

Variety

“The most challenging — but thrilling — part of filming in New York, both pre- and post-pandemic, is that you really have no idea what will happen at any given time, or who will be very pissed off that you’re shooting on their block,” jokes the star of Comedy Central/HBO Max’s “Awkwafina Is Nora From Queens,” reports Gregg Goldstein. "Without a doubt, NYC production has been on a rollercoaster ride. It was at an all-time high just before the pandemic, generating more than $60 billion in direct economic activity and $3 billion in tax revenue for the city. Yet the number of productions shooting on the ground in May 2019 — 306 — dropped to zero a year later, making last month’s count of 179 projects a promising turnaround."

Variety | July 1, 2021

Academy Invites 395 Prospective Members

July 1, 2021

"The web, like the internet, is a collective hallucination, a set of independent efforts united by common technological protocols to appear as a seamless, magical whole. Links work seamlessly until they don’t. And as tangible counterparts to online work fade, these gaps represent actual holes in humanity’s knowledge. People tend to overlook the decay of the modern web, when in fact these numbers are extraordinary—they represent a comprehensive breakdown in the chain of custody for facts. Libraries exist, and they still have books in them, but they aren’t stewarding a huge percentage of the information that people are linking to, including within formal, legal documents. No one is. The flexibility of the web—the very feature that makes it work, that had it eclipse CompuServe and other centrally organized networks—diffuses responsibility for this core societal function."

July 1, 2021

“Yale already provides some of the best professional training available to actors, writers, directors, designers and theater managers from diverse backgrounds,” he said in a statement. “Removing the tuition barrier will allow an even greater diversity of talented people to develop and hone their skills in front of, on, and behind Yale’s stages.”
David Geffen Gives Yale $150 Million For The David Geffen School of Drama at Yale University; Students Will Attend For Free

June 30, 2021

Cosby Freed

June 30, 2021

Variety

YouTube Buys Naming Rights to Theater at Hollywood Park Complex 

Variety | June 29, 2021

Vulture

"It’s important to remember: We aren’t adding that sort of stuff. It’s already there. It’s there, man. It’s all around you. You gotta try to see it and seize on it. You gotta be able to use what’s in front of you. If you can bend — don’t break, but bend — you can find a way to do some interesting, interesting stuff."
Barry Jenkins Goes Long On Process With Matt Zoller Seitz

Vulture | June 25, 2021

The New York Times

“This is my M.C.U., my Marvel movie."
Jenna Wortham Profiles Zola Filmmaker Janicza Bravo

The New York Times | June 24, 2021

Thirty-first Annual Gotham Awards Are Monday, November 29, 2021

June 24, 2021

Ann Hornaday: "The movie audience is a singular and enigmatic organism. It can’t really be compared to the audience for live events such as theater, music and opera... The audience plays a crucial role— even beyond the esoteric tree-falling-in-a-forest question of whether a film playing to an empty house can be said to exist at all. As theaters reopen, it’s no surprise that the most successful movies have been those that reward the collective response, whether in the form of B-movie whoops and hollers at Godzilla vs. Kong or the jump scares that have made the latest Conjuring and A Quiet Place box-office hits."

June 21, 2021

Wall Street Journal

"Far from killing the movie-exhibition industry, the pandemic may end up helping the big theater chains get even bigger. Flush with money from sales of its soaring meme stock, AMC Entertainment has clearly indicated it is shopping around.... AMC, Cinemark and Cineworld’s Regal chain already control about 48% of U.S. screens combined, according to Wedbush analyst Alicia Reese. And most of the operators who have closed have fewer than 100 screens, according to NATO spokesman Patrick Corcoran. Ms. Reese says operators with between 50 and 250 screens would be most attractive to companies like AMC, Regal and Cinemark. But even adding 250 screens would boost each chain’s domestic market share by just one percentage point. Paying down debt may be safer, but it makes for a less exciting show."

Wall Street Journal | June 20, 2021

Variety

James Cameron Makes A MasterClass Series

Variety | June 18, 2021

Barry Jenkins: "My first Telluride was the 29th festival, in 2002. In the time since, I've done many things at the festival both high -- opening the Werner Herzog Cinema as Ringmaster and, of course, the world premiere of Moonlight -- and low (rolling up the floor of the Max at festival's end was a rite of passage). When I was approached about curating the Filmmakers of Tomorrow program many years ago, I was honored to be invited deeper into the inner workings of the festival I loved so dearly; being invited to curate a program as Guest Director is an honor my 2002 self would never imagine. We've all been tucked away in our silos longing for the day when we can safely venture out into communal spaces to once again partake in the rituals of cinema we love so dearly. I never doubted that the show would once again go on. But having a role in what is shown? Yes, that is quite the honor indeed. My thanks to Tom and Julie for bestowing this wonderful gift upon me. I'll see everyone at the SHOW."

June 17, 2021

Hollywood Reporter

AMC Near Deal For The Grove, Glendale Americana; ArcLight Still In Play?

Hollywood Reporter | June 15, 2021

LA Times

Harvey Weinstein Extradition Ordered; Disgraced Mogul To Face Sexual Assault Charges In Los Angeles

LA Times | June 15, 2021

Richard Rushfield: "So Quiet Place 2 is not only holding up but raking it in, comparable to the numbers of the original. Which kind of ruins it for everyone else, because if it weren't for this movie, they could say, people just aren't quite there yet with going back to theaters. On the list of experiences people can't get in their living room, seeing a horror movie with other screaming people has to be near the top. It's also one that the young folk haven't completely given up on. Rule Numero Uno: A hit changes everything. A month ago, Paramount was the flotsam of the Streaming Wars; now they are the only ones who know how to get people into the theaters."

June 15, 2021

The New York Times

"In one effort, the company invalidated the passwords of the 75,000 subscribers who used the service most often, while falsely claiming 'we have detected suspicious activity or potential fraud' on their accounts. Many of the people who tried to reset their passwords were unable to because of technical problems; the app would not accept their email address, they would not receive a password-reset email, or the email would link to a nonworking website. When an executive warned that the practice would catch the attention of federal regulators and state attorneys general, Mr. Lowe responded in writing 'OK I get it,; suggesting the company try it with '2 percent of our highest volume users.'"
Imagine That: The MoviePass Deception Was Worse Than Anyone Knew

The New York Times | June 8, 2021

Vanity Fair

"I don’t feel comfortable kissing someone... I don’t know where they’ve been": Joy Press talked to intimacy coordinators about the joys & complications of shooting sex scenes during the pandemic

Vanity Fair | June 3, 2021

Hollywood Reporter

Cannes, July 6-17: Nanni Moretti, Tre Piani; François Ozon, Tout S’Est Bien Passé; Asghar Farhadi, Un Héros; Jacques Audiard, Paris 13th District; Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Memoria; Ildikó Enyedi, The Story of My Wife; Sean Baker, Red Rocket; Justin Kurzel, Nitram; Bruno Dumont, France


Hollywood Reporter | June 3, 2021

Pixar's Luca Will Play A Single Screen In The U.S., For One Week Only at Disney-Owned El Capitan on Hollywood Boulevard

June 2, 2021

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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

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