Still recovering from a busy academic year and some writing deadlines, not to mention some road trips to accompany our host daughter on college visits. It looks like it’s going to be one of those years where I feel hopelessly behind on all things cinematic and televisual, but here are a few of the items I’ve read or watched with interest in recent days:
- Somehow I’d missed the fact that Redbox has acquired Blockbuster Express from NCR (which means that Redbox kiosks will soon replace Blockbuster kiosks in your local Safeways, Publix grocery stores, etc), but the intriguing story here is that Redbox also has plans to start selling movie tickets in its kiosks, a move that might help to build a better relationship with the studios.
- James Poniewozik discusses the uproar over DishTV’s new technology that allows viewers to automatically skip advertisements on prerecorded TV shows. Naturally the networks are upset and have sued Dish, but Poniewozik suggests that the network response will hurt them with consumers down the road. More on the Dish controversy, including speculation that this may be a negotiating tactic designed to reduce retransmission fees.
- The makers of the crowdfunded and crowdsourced Iron Sky are running into complications with maintaining their “outsider” ethos, given that the film’s German distributor has been posting cease-and-desist orders to people pirating content related to the film.
- The buying frenzy at this year’s Cannes Film Festival inspires more discussion of VOD and day-and-date distribution practices, with more of the VOD players calling for splashier, star-driven films for their increasingly crowded catalogs.As Ted Hope suggests, there are no simple answers in this “Saturation Point Era” of movie distribution.
- Jim Emerson offers his own take on Cannes and passes along a fun little video featuring all of the overhead shots used in Wes Anderson’s films. Notably, when Anderson watches the video, he sees all of the labor that went into constructing each shot.