Thursday Links

Or, yikes, it’s almost August!  Fall semester is on the horizon, which will give me yet another ball to juggle, but here are some new film and media links:

  • Mary Madden has a new report for the Pew Internet & American Life Project reporting that online video consumption has increased dramatically over the last two years.  Some quick notes: 62% of adult internet users have now watched an internet video, nearly doubling the percentage from December 2006, while “89% of internet users ages 18-29 watch content on video sharing sites.” These claims seem to echo research by Forrester that discovered that approximately 25% of web users watch some TV online, although only 13% watched TV online “at least once per month.”
  • It’s still somewhat unclear, however, how “ancillary” content, such as webisodes, plays into fan experiences of TV shows.  In an (admittedly unscientific) survey at ComicCon, one NewTeeVee reporter found that many of the Lost Super-Fans she polled watched these episodes infrequently or not at all.
  • “Daily” blogger David Hudson has found a new home with and a slightly newer format with The Auteurs, one of the more compelling movie portals offering free classic and independent films in a quality streaming format.  Instead of David’s usual extended links posts, he is now doing quick links on Twitter supplemented by a daily recap of the most important or engaging film reads of the day.
  • Speaking of The Auteurs, I’m strongly considering the possibility of assigning films exclusively or semi-exclusively from their catalog.  Because there isn’t an easy way for me to requite students to watch films uring a lab or at a university screening, having something like The Auteurs available might make it easier to ensure that students can find the movies I want to teach.   Skimming the first couple of pages of their catalog, I can see at least three films–Citizen Kane, Blade Runner, and Breathless–that I normally teach.  At the very least, it looks like a great resource for the teaching of (classical Hollywood and European, especially) film.
  • Patrick Goldestein has an interesting report on a failed viral marketing effort by Fox to promote their teen romantic comedy, I Love You Beth Cooper, in which the film company paid Kenya Mejia $1800 to end her valedictory address with the declaration, “I love you Jack Minor!”  The video features the usual shaky camera and other markers of autehnticity (including a fake narrative in the video’s description), but it all just comes across as clumsy and forced, in part, I think, because of Mejia’s discomfort in delivering the line.  And it had the overall effect of making me less interested in seeing Beth Cooper, if that’s possible.  The Wall Street Journal–significantly another News Corp property–got to the story first.

Update: Via Michael Newman on Twitter: the Outlet Wall is a brilliant solution to your “cord clutter.” The comments are recommended.


  1. filmsnob Said,

    July 30, 2009 @ 11:11 am

    Hi Chuck,

    In regards to your excitement about the Auteurs–be careful. The site may list a lot of films, but that doesn’t mean they are all available in your area. I’ve inquired about this before, and the folks there merely said stay tuned for more titles–and that is really depends on what country you’re in. Unfortunately, Citizen Kane is not available (at least when I clicked on “Available to Watch in Your Area” )and the General costs $5.00 to watch. Their selection of Asian and a handful of European films available for screening seems more extensive than their classic/Hollywood ones right now. (Films to teach with like Cleo from 5 to 7 and L’Avventura are currently available, however).

  2. Chuck Said,

    July 30, 2009 @ 11:28 am

    When I took a closer look, I realized that I should be a little more cautious about relying on The Auteurs. I likely will recommend it as one potential source that students can use.

    I’ll continue to have DVDs available for students who want to watch the movies for free, as long as they are willing to make the trek to the library.

  3. Efe Cakarel Said,

    July 31, 2009 @ 5:41 pm

    Hello Chuck,
    This is Efe from The Auteurs. This is an idea we’ve been exploring with Stanford and a few other schools and we would like to help you make the films from The Auteurs a part of your curriculum. We can both convince our rightsholder to do exclusive screenings for educational use (much easier to get “Breathless” for a secure screening to a hundred students than to make it generally available), and make our movies for class available free whenever we can.


  4. Chuck Said,

    August 1, 2009 @ 12:36 pm

    Hi Efe, that sounds like a cool idea. I’ll see what I can do to make that work for FSU.

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