Friday Links

A few of the things I’ve been reading and watching while suffering from Cannes-envy:

  • In a decision that has received almost no attention, the FCC recently ruled in favor of “selectable output control,” which would essentially prevent consumers from copying a pay-per-view program.  The decision opens up the possibility that some movie distributors may move even close to day-and-date releasing patterns, i.e., opening a film in theaters and on cable at (almost) the same time.  But if you’re interested in industry issues, the New York Times’ Michael Cieply has a solid overview of the potential implications and industry reactions to the FCC ruling.
  • In other big industry news, Google is taking over your TV.  Obviously the big selling point is the idea of using Google search to find the programs you want to watch.  In addition, NewTeeVee speculates that Google TV will enable the “microchannel” future where everyone will have his or her choice of content (57 thousand channels and nothing on?).  Of course, you’ll have to buy the appropriate TV or set-top box, so it’ll be interesting to see whether people are that interested.  And of course it means that Google will become even more adept at targeted advertisements based on search and viewing histories.
  • Anne Thompson discusses the reported integration between iTunes and Rotten Tomatoes, the famous movie review aggregation site.  Although a number of commenters at Anne’s site have called this a “bad idea” because of the dubious methods Rotten Tomatoes uses to deem films “fresh” or “rotten,” this assumes people only glance at the aggregate number rather than individual reviews.  More than anything, it seems to signal some of the ways in which reception, promotion, and exhibition practices are all converging.
  • David Poland has an interesting–and convincing–read on the controversies over Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf and about “truth-telling” in the film industry.
  • Also via Poland, one of the coolest TV ads I’ve ever seen, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s new Nike ad, “Write the Future,” which plays like a three-minute World Cup-inspired version of Run Lola Run. The full ad captures the ways in which the fortunes of a game, of individual players, and the nations that support them can change within a split second.

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