Friday Links

I’m in the midst of transitioning from working on one article to starting work on another, so I’ve had a little more time this week to keep up with what’s happening online.  That’ll change soon, when I get my first set of papers, but for now, here are a few links:

  • Greg Gutfield mocks the “diversity police” for complaining about the lack of diversity among this year’s top nominees: no female director nominees, and all of the acting nominees are white.  Gutfield’s complaints are obviously meant to trivialize these complaints.  He jokes that a “diversity specialist” would cast a Korean lesbian to play Mark Zuckerberg, for example, but in doing so, he obscures the fact that a large percentage of the U.S. population rarely sees aspects of their daily experiences depicted onscreen.
  • Within the same context, Patrick Goldstein responds to readers who complained when Goldstein criticized the Oscars for a lack of diversity.  Goldstein’s key point is that there is a lack of diversity within “the Hollywood studio elite.”
  • Via Christine Becker, a discussion of Netflix’s latest PR strategy to combat increasing broadband costs.
  • Also via Christine, executives at Hulu are reconsidering their business model.
  • I missed Life in a Day when it premiered online earlier this week (and it appears that a second scheduled screening will not be available for U.S. audiences), but a number of other film critics and social media observers took a look.  Christopher Campell of Cinematical compares the film to Godfrey Regio’s Qatsi trilogy, but notes that rather than a collaborative project, the clips are subsumed under director Kevin MacDonald’s narrative vision.  Jason Silverman at Wired writes that he found the film to be “a groundbreaking piece of cinematic assemblage.” New Tee Vee offers some background on the filmmakers who were invited to attend the festival and reminds us that all of the footage has been compiled into a searchable channel on YouTube.
  • Jim Emerson responds to critics of Roger Ebert’s most recent article on 3-D cinema.  Probably Emerson’s most significant point is the degree to which many complaints descend into ad hominem attacks against Ebert rather than addressing his arguments.  I’m not particularly a fan of 3-D and I find it annoying that it has been used as an artificial tool for raising ticket prices (and, in some sense, getting audiences to help subsidize the conversion to digital projection in theaters).  But I’ll point out that Ebert and Murch likely underestimate the degree to which many audience members can (and have) adjusted to watching 3-D movies.  That doesn’t mean we necessarily prefer it.
  • Ted Hope has a post about the Kevin Smith “controversy,” reading his decision to self-distribute as reflective of indie cinema’s “refusal to ask others for permission.”  He also has a list, compiled by Orly Ravid, of all of the Sundance films that already have distribution deals.

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