Tuesday Links: Gondry, Blu-Ray, Transmedia Indie Films

A few pointers to videos, blog posts, and other distractions, to celebrate the end of the semester:

  • Jason Sperb’s “incomplete” blog essay on Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind.  Jason makes some powerful connections here regarding Gondry’s videophilia with a careful attention to the film’s efforts “to celebrate the endurance of the ephemeral, rhizomatic communities that film periodically creates (every cinema is a community, and every community is a cinema).”
  • Movie Marketing Madness has a couple of interesting articles today, one focusing on the fact that Blu-Ray DVD player sales are increasing and another exploring Warner’s decision to withhold DVDs from Redbox rental kiosks for one month after the initial retail release of the DVD.
  • NewTeeVee reports that Paramount has temporarily extended its agreement to provide Redbox with new releases in exchange for further data on rental patterns, despite current “wisdom” that Redbox is costing the entertainment industry billions of dollars.
  • New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis discusses the politics of women and Hollywood in a candid, no-holds-barred interview.
  • Janko Roettgers, writing for NewTeeVee, asks whether DVRs remain “relevant” in the age of Hulu and other online streaming sources for TV content.  Although the evidence is mostly anecdotal, Roettgers raises some interesting questions about how new technologies affect patterns of use.
  • Ted Hope has a thoughtful post I’d like to address in further detail speculating about the reasons why the art-house movie audience appears to be graying and concludes that, in part, it’s due to the lack of opportunity for participation in the creation of indie film narratives: “Transmedia holds tremendous potential in its efforts to turn the presentation into an actual dialogue, although we still lack the defining work that goes beyond cross-platform to an actual back and forth, with both sides being equal creators.” This seems like a valid point to me, though one barrier might be the costs, both financial and physical (i.e., in terms of human labor), in sustaining a truly effective transmedia project.  Obviously there are a number of free video and blog hosting sites out there (among other resources), and innovative authors can exploit them, but it’s a bigger challenge without a studio’s marketing resources at a filmmaker’s disposal. Like him, I’d love to participate in any forum or think tank that engaged with these issues in a serious way.

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