The News Selected by Ray Pride

Indie Wire

Jon Fitzgerald, Brian Newman and Lela Meadow-Conner: "Now that the world is changing, along with the film and entertainment industry, we wanted to survey the players connected to film exhibition. We recognize that filmmakers are ultimately the content creators, but all know the important role festivals and distributors play in this evolving system. We aimed for a sampling of representatives, knowing there would be overlap, to collect their insights on the problems we face. Hollywood, as a business, has always persevered. To some extent, entertainment has helped communities get through the toughest of times. Now we face a new kind of crisis, with many unknowns. What we do know is that we need filmmakers to keep sharing stories, festivals to provide exposure, and distributors to bring them to audiences around the world. We see this as a preliminary Report, an effort to trigger a more open dialogue. We all need to shed more light on the current playing field, and work together in finding the keys to successfully evolving in this new era of indie film exhibition." pdf

Indie Wire | December 3, 2020

Variety

"Just hours before Warner Bros. disclosed its plans, AMC announced that it was selling up to 200 million shares of stock in an effort to raise as much as $834 million and shore up its liquidity."

Variety | December 3, 2020

Variety

HBO Max Kills Free Trial Offer; Six Months Paid in Advance Will Yield 22% Discount

Variety | December 3, 2020

Twitter

Matthew Belloni: “By limiting the HBO Max debut to one month, Warners is trying to maintain other windows (the ‘waterfall,’ in industryspeak). But I don’t see how the traditional waterfall endures this. The value of the movies necessarily declines.”

Twitter | December 3, 2020

Hollywood Reporter

AT&T’s Warner Bros. Moves Entire 2021 Inventory To 31-Day HBO Max Debuts, 17 Titles Include Dune, The Matrix 4, In The Heights, The Many Saints of Newark, The Suicide Squad 

A Pox Upon Your Moviehouses Extends To Godzilla vs. Kong, Space Jam: A New Legacy. Little Things, Judas and the Black Messiah, Tom & Jerry, Mortal Kombat, Those Who Wish Me Dead, The Conjuring: The Devil Made Me Do It, In The Heights, Reminiscence, Malignant, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard, Cry Macho

Venture Dubbed “Exact Same Day”

WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar: “After considering all available options and the projected state of moviegoing throughout 2021, we came to the conclusion that this was the best way for WarnerMedia’s motion picture business to navigate the next 12 months. More importantly, we are planning to bring consumers 17 remarkable movies throughout the year, giving them the choice and the power to decide how they want to enjoy these films. Our content is extremely valuable, unless it’s sitting on a shelf not being seen by anyone. We believe this approach serves our fans, supports exhibitors and filmmakers, and enhances the HBO Max experience, creating value for all.”

Hollywood Reporter | December 3, 2020

Twitter

Robbie Collin: “The Warner Bros/HBO Max deal is the long, long, long-awaited triumph of pragmatism. It gets big films back into cinemas where they belong, while finally admitting 2021 is not going to be 2019 again – or even close. Now watch the scramble to catch up. Also, regarding this being a one-year-only thing: this is not going to be a one-year-only thing.“

Twitter | December 3, 2020

The Guardian

Guardian's Lanre Bakare Says Small Axe Is Not Enough

The Guardian | December 3, 2020

Art Forum

"London’s Tate Gallery has announced that it will shed 120 gallery jobs, or 12 percent of staff, as it moves to trim $6.5 million from its budget in an effort to stay afloat."

Art Forum | December 3, 2020

Hilton Als: "A peculiar aspect of Joan Didion’s nonfiction is that a significant portion of it reads like fiction. Or, more specifically, it has the metaphorical power of great fiction. While younger generations may read her as a window into the mythic 1960s or September 11, it’s impossible not to see, too, how Didion’s examination of racial bias and the Central Park Five, Reagan-era El Salvador, or the smug, violent, white-male carelessness that characterized the infamous Spur Posse in Lakewood, California, in the early 1990s anticipated the deeply troubling politics of today. Still, there’s an energy to her writing—what she might call its “shimmer”—that goes beyond a given piece’s surface story, and that sheds an awful and beautiful light on a world we half see but don’t want to see, one in which potential harm is a given and hope is a flimsy defense against dread. Didion’s ethos is a way of seeing what’s particular to the world that made her, and that ultimately reveals the writer to herself."

December 3, 2020

The Guardian

China Clampdown Tightens In Hong Kong: "Jimmy Lai, the Hong Kong media tycoon and pro-democracy activist whose Apple Daily newspaper was raided by police earlier this year, has been denied bail after being charged with fraud. Lai – the owner of Hong Kong tabloid and founder of Next Digital Media – will be held on remand until his next court date in April next year. Lai has been one of the loudest pro-democracy voices in Hong Kong, amid a worsening crackdown on dissent. On Wednesday Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow and Ivan Lam were jailed for their activism."

The Guardian | December 3, 2020

Martin Scorsese on The Film Foundation: "Appetite is not a productive way of looking at the situation. If we tried to follow the appetites of Western audiences when it comes to what we do or don’t restore or preserve, we would be relegated to big-budget English language movies made in the last three years. Appetite is never the question. Allowing people to discover films, giving them a chance to see something unlike anything they’re used to and react however they want to – that’s the heart of the matter, always. I’ll quote Huub Bals, who founded the Rotterdam Film Festival: “I don’t find films for audiences; I find audiences for films.” 

December 3, 2020

Twitter

Matt Haig: "I have a strange troll. He goes after people who’ve read 'The Midnight Library' saying they must also like Love, Actually. I don’t see the comparison. But science shows that people who like Love, Actually are significantly better than people who boast of not liking Love, Actually."

Twitter | December 3, 2020

Richard Rushfield: "What makes Chappelle's slowburn rumination so unusual is that you've got a performer at the peak of his powers, publicly outing the business practices of a pillar of the corporate community, and there is nothing they can do to him. Not a thing. This dust-up will only enhance his status with his audience and, given his prominence, any streamer would kill to be in business with him. This shows why Netflix continues to run circles around Hollywood. Having someone who wasn't there 20 years ago, let alone a hundred years ago, who isn't deeply, culturally at the DNA level resistant to fighting tooth-and-nail any change to The Way We Do Business, allows them to pick up the phone and say, Yeah, we don't like that. Take it down. There was a time when if an actor on one studio's payroll made a fuss about his contract of yore at another studio, his current employer would've taken him aside and had a little conversation about how things work around here and why are you jeopardizing the launch of your new season carrying on about your personal life. Netflix does not play that game. And now it's going to be a lot harder for anyone else to, either."

December 2, 2020

Variety

In Memory Of Thirteen Quibis That Came And Died Before

Variety | December 2, 2020

Vanity Fair

Rosario Dawson: "The journey isn’t always easy, that it isn’t always clear, that this isn’t about magic, you know? To make things how you want them to be, it takes work and diligence and love to really make the difference. And I believe everybody has those powers, and everybody has to continue trying. It’s not like you become a Jedi and then that’s it, you’re good. They have to keep making that choice."

Vanity Fair | December 2, 2020

"Why does Pacific Rim work as well as it does? Because of the clear passion del Toro puts into every single detail. The story itself is simple, but completely earnest. It's about people from different walks of life having to come together and bond in order to pilot a giant robot and save the world from giant monsters."

December 2, 2020

Variety

“It’s possible that MGM’s No Time to Die will move again after being pushed from April to November to the spring of 2021. The Bond sequel is currently scheduled to premiere on April 2, 2021, but the movie’s financial backers are wary of being the first blockbuster out of the gate because its core audience skews older, a demographic that’s been more reluctant to go to the movies during the pandemic.”

Variety | December 2, 2020

Variety

Arianna Bocco New President IFC Films

Variety | December 2, 2020

The New York Times

"Perhaps his only regret, Pacino said as his voice rose to an exaggerated volume, is that he cannot do the scene again when he is finally as old as Michael is meant to be: 'I’m ready to do it now!' he exclaimed. 'I understand it better! I don’t need makeup!'"

The New York Times | December 2, 2020

SUNDANCE 2021
"The Sundance Institute unveiled plans for the seven-day 2021 Sundance Film Festival, offered digitally via a custom-designed online platform (festival.sundance.org) alongside drive-ins, independent arthouses and a network of local community partnerships. The online expression of the Sundance Film Festival will provide global access for storytellers and audiences alike to come together, experience artists new work, connect with one another, and participate in conversation. All films in the program will be available online in the United States, with certain films opting for global availability. The full talks and events program, as well as the New Frontier section for XR and emerging media, will be available globally. The Festival runs January 28 through February 3, 2021."

"As at past Sundance Film Festivals, films will premiere throughout the day, with Day One films set to debut Thursday, January 28, at 6pm U.S. Mountain Time. During the 2021 Festival, each of the seventy-plus feature films will premiere online in a dedicated time slot, followed by a live Q&A. Multiple films will premiere simultaneously roughly every three hours from 10am to 10pm U.S. Mountain Time. This rollout is designed to preserve the energy of a Festival, with an abundance of choices and collective experiences, as audiences can begin the film simultaneously, and participate in the live Q&A which follows. Viewers can also begin films any time within three hours of their premiere’s start. All films will return to the platform two days after their premiere for a second availability, offered on demand for 24 hours. The platform’s movie player is powered by Shift72 and developed with best-in-industry security and access practices. In a Festival first, the entire seventy-plus feature lineup on the platform will be closed-captioned on demand, and Q&As will be live-captioned."

December 2, 2020

MCN Commentary & Analysis See All

My Twitter Feed on Warner Media Th/Fri

David Poland | December 4, 2020

What Will Become Of The Movies?

David Poland | December 3, 2020

Thankful 2020

David Poland | November 26, 2020

The News Curated by Ray Pride See All

Twitter

Steven Zeitchik: "It's worth remembering -- because many people seem to have forgotten -- that before the pandemic U.S. movie theaters had their best two-year period ever, with a collective $23 billion in revenue. This isn't some dying model that digital needs to come in and save. Those sales, incidentally, likely include the many people who swear they will never go to a movie theater again. When the new Marvel or Jordan Peele or Mission: Impossible or Parasite comes only to theaters, I suspect they'll be lining up like they always have. What’s troubling is the false binary: streaming vs theaters. You can like both! Netflix is good and theaters are good! Institutions don't have to die just because something new is cool. And historically it takes more than one company in a strategically tough spot to kill a model. Of course ownership can change and experiences can change. We watched silent films and newsreels and serials in movie houses, and then we saw gritty crime films and pop films and dramatic films, and then 3-D films and franchise films. And there weren't showtimes and then there were showtimes, and seats weren't reserved and then they were reserved; we went from movie palaces to multiplexes to downtown dine-in rooms with reclining seats. And studios owned theaters and then families owned theaters and then entrepreneurs did and then big corporate chains and soon studios might own theaters again, and package movies as experiences or events or something new we haven't yet thought of. Of course it's theoretically possible an entire American institution just goes away. But given how durable it's been over the decades, I wouldn't bet on it. And certainly not because one company, for its own internal reasons, at one moment, needs to put its movies somewhere else."

Twitter | December 5, 2020

CNBC

"Stankey decided to use HBO as the centerpiece for a new mission: Build a true Netflix competitor, dubbed HBO Max. When Stankey took over as AT&T’s CEO, he passed that goal to new WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar, who previously launched Hulu. Stankey has dismantled the old Time Warner, spurring dozens of executives from all parts of the company to depart. He is attempting to funnel all of the company’s resources from cable, film, and HBO into HBO Max. Disney, Comcast’s NBCUniversal and ViacomCBS are all going through similar changes now to prepare for a world where subscription streaming services overtake cable as the world’s primary form of television consumption. Stankey — the MBA-buzzword, deep-voiced phone guy — was ahead of the trend. Still, his vision irritated some veteran WarnerMedia executives, who question Stankey’s knowledge of media. The execution of his mission, which Kilar has overseen since May, has been marred by strategic confusion and culture clashes, according to more than a dozen high-ranking WarnerMedia employees, about half of whom have left the company in the past six months. For now, investors don’t like what they see. AT&T is trading near a 10-year low."

CNBC | December 5, 2020

Twitter

Nicholas Kristof: "I've spent the last few months reporting this piece about Pornhub. What most people don't realize is that it's infested with rape videos. I talked to child trafficking survivors whose rape videos the company had distributed and monetized. Unconscionable. Let's be clear: The issue is not porn, it's rape. Just as the problem with Harvey Weinstein or Bill Cosby wasn't the sex but the lack of consent, it's the same with Pornhub. Search "13yo" on Pornhub, and you get more than 100,000 videos. There are playlists called "Under Age." A special question for Canada, because Pornhub is based in Montreal. Prime Minister Trudeau, you are rightly proud of your reputation as a feminist. So why does Canada host a company that inflicts rape videos on the world? It's not just Pornhub, of course. Companies have enjoyed impunity, so even as we prosecuted individuals like Jeffrey Epstein we allowed corporations like Mindgeek (which owns Pornhub) to monetize rape videos. Pornhub is Jeffrey Epstein times 1,000. Solutions are difficult and complicated. I don't have perfect ways to solve the problem of online child sexual abuse. But I do outline steps that would help. These survivors risked so much to tell their stories."

Twitter | December 5, 2020

Screen Daily

World's Second-Largest Exhibitor, Cineworld, Pledges Reopening March 2021, Post-Vaccine

Screen Daily | December 5, 2020

The Video Section See All

Mrs. America, Uzo Aduba

David Poland | September 8, 2020

The Podcast Section See All