Tuesday Links

Starting to get caught up on all of my reading and hoping to get back into a more consistent blogging schedule soon.  Here are a few links I’ve been thinking about lately:

  • This summer has been marked by ’80s movie nostalgia (and maybe anti-nostalgia).  Just a few of the flashbacks from my teen years include: the Karate Kid remake (which I’m still refusing to see), the 25th anniversary of Back to the Future, the John Hughes tributes, and soon, the Footloose remake.  Maybe the most fascinating response to this 80s nostalgia overload has been the collaborative project, Our Footloose Remake, a do-it-yourself project where over 30 directors combined to direct one scene each from the iconic Kevin Bacon flick.  Each scene features its own Ren McCormick (the character played by Bacon) and its own distinct style, according to the NewTeeVee report (where you can also see the trailer.  The film is starting to circulate in theaters in New York and LA, beating the Paramount version by several weeks.  If I ever have to see Footloose (a film I saw way too often on our battered VHS copy in the 80s) again, this is how I want to see it.
  • NewTeeVee also has a discussion of Apple’s decision to “skip” Blu-Ray and go straight to streaming video, with Jobs comparing the format to “high-end” audio formats that sought to replace the CD.
  • David Cox of the Guardian weighs in on the use of 3-D in the final installment of the Shrek franchise and concludes that the technology will not “save cinema.”  Although I appreciate his skepticism, I’m intrigued by the assumption that cinema needs to be “saved,” especially when he concludes that “If cinema is to flourish, it’s to these qualities [story, character, etc] that it must look, not to technological doohickey.”  I’m always intrigued by these crisis narratives about cinema/Hollywood/moviegoing, but what’s less clear to me is what cinema needs to be saved from.
  • David Poland has one of the more sensible takes I’ve seen on Hulu Plus, the new Hulu pay service, and feeds into some of the issues I’ve been mulling over when it comes to how we’ll access various media in the future.  If people are willing to pay $10 to access certain content (which continues to feature ads), where, exactly does that take us?  Poland’s sobering answer: “It’s all connected. The long tail is destined to be a series of shorter tails, sewn together. And ‘Free,’as a concept… is not only bullshit (outside of promotion), but is dead.”
  • On a related note, Phillip Lenssen provides us with a “guide” on how to access the internet in 2025.
  • Nikki Finke and Sharon Waxman weigh in on the news that Netflix has secured a deal with Relativity, allowing Netflix exclusive rights to stream Relativity’s films, rather than selling broadcast rights to a pay-TV network such as HBO or Showtime.  Although Finke seems to dismiss the deal because of Relativity’s catalog of films, I think it’s pretty significant that an internet streaming service is making this kind of deal, with the “pay TV window” now essentially moving online, at least for one company’s slate of films.

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