The News Selected by Ray Pride

Hollywood Reporter

Dawn Hudson: "As we look to the future growth and goals of the Academy, we need to scale appropriately so we can continue to give the personal service our members have come to expect and appreciate. We remain focused on cultivating a membership body that reflects our diverse film community and the world around us.”
Oscar Cuts Back On Member Invites To Half The Number Of Recent Years

Hollywood Reporter | May 27, 2021

Slate

Dana Stevens Talks To Amy Heckerling About The Test Screening that Nearly Scuttled Fast Times At Ridgemont High

Plus - Stevens' Criterion Essay on Fast Times

Slate | May 27, 2021

Twitter

“AT&T CEO John Stankey on Jason Kilar saying he will stick around. ‘Jason’s leadership and capabilities have been central to positioning WarnerMedia for renewed growth and I am excited about what we will see during his second year at the helm.’”

Twitter | May 27, 2021

The New York Times

“On the rare occasions that Amazon executives have discussed their goals for Prime Video, they have focused on the power of loyalty. They say that including a video service in Prime is one more reason for people to stick with Amazon’s membership program and feel they’re getting good value from both package shipping at no added cost and “Bosch” on demand. My colleague Karen Weise reported that households with Prime memberships typically spend $3,000 a year on Amazon, more than twice as much as households without the membership, according to Morgan Stanley.”

The New York Times | May 26, 2021

"Bezos. Jeff Bezos."

BYO MGM

May 26, 2021

LA Times

Kirk Kerkorian Was Not Available For Comment: "The $8.45 billion MGM deal is the Seattle online retail giant’s second-largest purchase ever, and its biggest since its $13.7-billion acquisition of Whole Foods in 2017. It comes at a pivotal time as competition ramps up among streaming services like Netflix, Disney Plus and HBO Max, where hit shows are key to driving consumers to subscribe. MGM’s library includes 17,000 episodes of TV programming and a stable of film properties that could be mined for reboots, and some of which already have."

"MGM’s top shareholder is Anchorage Capital, run by former Goldman Sachs executive Kevin Ulrich, who leads the studio’s board of directors. The company has gone without a single CEO since March 2018 when Gary Barber was abruptly fired. Multiple senior execs form the “office of the CEO” and report to the board of directors. Much of MGM’s revenue comes from licensing deals for its vast film and television content library. The film group is led by chairman Michael De Luca, the New Line Cinema and DreamWorks veteran who joined MGM in January 2020. The TV side is overseen by Mark Burnett, the reality format mogul who arrived at the firm in 2015 after spearheading shows like NBC’s 'The Apprentice' and CBS’ 'Survivor'."

LA Times | May 26, 2021

JJ Abrams Looks Back On His Star Wars Adventures: "“You just never really know, but having a plan I have learned – in some cases the hard way – is the most critical thing, because otherwise you don’t know what you’re setting up. You don’t know what to emphasize. Because if you don’t know the inevitable of the story, you’re just as good as your last sequence or effect or joke or whatever, but you want to be leading to something inevitable.”

May 26, 2021

Twitter

Ed Zwick Shares Some Thoughts On Directing Actors

Twitter | May 25, 2021

"Max Fischer": "Before speculating on implications for future mergers and for the health of film & TV more generally, I want to say the thing that gets left out of so much coverage in the trades & especially in the business press: thousands and thousands of people are about to lose their jobs. One of them made $52.1 million last year. The vast majority made more like $52,000 and will have three more months on their health insurance. While there's fun/schadenfreude to be had speculating on what'll become of recognizable names at the top, the departments that are most easily combined are less highly-paid, like IT, HR & Payroll. Marginally improving profitability -- by firing middle-class people -- is the reason for these mergers. I didn't really hear it until I myself lost a job, but underneath all this news is a hum of callousness."

May 25, 2021

FilmCritHULK On The Entirety Of The Film Industry Today, Or Monday

May 25, 2021

The New York Times

"Time Warner could have been owned by Disney if a phone call in October 2016 had come just a few weeks earlier": By Six Bylines

The New York Times | May 25, 2021

Twitter

Laurence Kardish: "Independent American filmmaker Milton Moses Ginsberg died last night. His groundbreaking Coming Apart with Rip Torn, Sally Kirkland & Viveca Lindfors was one of the defining films of the late 60s, & he continued to make short essay videos into '10s."

Twitter | May 25, 2021

Hollywood Reporter

Plus The Trump "Apprentice" Outtakes: "If a deal closes, Amazon would have access to MGM’s massive library — comprising over 4,000 titles and 17,000 hours of television — for its Prime Video streaming service. The century-old feature library includes the Rocky and Hobbit franchises; television titles include "Fargo" and "The Handmaid’s Tale" along with unscripted offerings "Survivor" and "Shark Tank." Amazon would also control what is seen as the industry’s most lucrative yet-to-be tapped brand: James Bond."

Hollywood Reporter | May 25, 2021

The Guardian

"Moscow’s Khudozhestvenny—an imperial-era cinema which opened in 1909 and hosted early screenings of Battleship Potemkin—has reopened after a seven-year, $30 million renovation."

The Guardian | May 25, 2021

Indie Wire

"I was flabbergasted because I had a previous intimate relationship with Warner Bros. about 2001... At the time, I said, “I know where the original negative is of everything. I’m a guy who was on the set, working with Kubrick, and I’d love to contribute to any restoration you want to do.” Instead, they called Christopher Nolan and they did not call me. Go figure. It’s all corporate. All about money. It’s really important that if you’re doing a restoration of any movie, you should a ke every attempt to bring in the principles who made the movie in the first place. There was work done on Blade Runner that made the movie better, and I helped them, because I had 65mm negatives of all the effects shots stored away that I gave to the studio. Generally, these restorations are not done by the [principals] who made the movie, particularly the cinematographers. If you’re going to restore The Godfather, you’ll include Coppola."
Eric Kohn And Douglas Trumbull Very Special On Effects

Indie Wire | May 25, 2021

Kevin Spacey To Star As Sex Crime Detective In Franco Nero Film Alongside Vanessa Redgrave

May 24, 2021

The New York Times

Jason Zinoman: “Happy Birthday, Bob Dylan, Our Most Underappreciated Comic: As he turns 80, don’t be fooled by his serious music. From the start, his work has been filled with a cockeyed humor that can range from corny jokes to dark wit”

The New York Times | May 24, 2021

Hollywood Reporter

“The new code does not address some of the HFPA’s most controversial practices — including the acceptance of lavish gifts and travel from studios, and members’ conduct at press conferences, where inappropriate questions and requests for selfies have often been asked of talent, and which have reportedly been sparsely attended for projects involving people of color — beyond vowing that members will act “respectfully and professionally at all HFPA and other industry events, such as press conferences and screenings.”

Hollywood Reporter | May 21, 2021

Hollywood Reporter

"Wanda has had a controlling stake in exhibition giant AMC since 2012, but January’s Reddit-fueled rally saw the company trade in its super-voting Class B stock for Class A common stock, giving up control but given it the option to cash out. And cash out it did. On Friday, AMC disclosed that Wanda sold all but 10,000 shares in the past week, netting $426.7 million. It previously sold three tranches last month for $220 million."

Hollywood Reporter | May 21, 2021

The New York Times

Tick-Tock, The Deal Is Done: “Mr. Zaslav invited Mr. Stankey to visit him in New York on March 2. Mr. Zaslav lives in Conan O’Brien’s former apartment on Central Park West, but he bought a townhouse in Greenwich Village after his wife, Pam, grew weary of Mr. Zaslav’s impromptu meetings at their home. That townhouse was under renovation — so Mr. Zaslav rented another one, where he eventually met with his potential partner from AT&T.”

The New York Times | May 21, 2021

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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

Variety

Gleiberman Makes Sweet Love To Cruella in The Sunday Column: “It may be the best movie of the year so far. That sounds like a provocation or maybe hype, but I’ll throw down the gauntlet: Name a better one. Cruella is a high-kitsch rock-opera psychodrama staged with seductive style and a vicious kind of glee. It tells the story of Estella, an ambitious young British nobody played by the incomparable Emma Stone, who gets her freak on by metamorphosing into Cruella, a radically mod ’70s London fashion designer with schizoid hair and a defiant loose screw. The thrill of the odyssey is how twisty and emotionally vibrant it is.”

Variety | June 6, 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

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