Kristin Hunt observes,
In many ways, the streamers [like Netflix and Amazon] have been rebuilding Hollywood’s old studio system. That system, which lasted roughly from the 1920s to the 1950s, was powered by vertical integration. Major studios like Paramount or Warner Bros. didn’t just own a bunch of soundstages, but also the theater chains that screened their movies, meaning they had complete control over every aspect of a movie’s creation—a straight line down from film production to distribution to exhibition.
Even the sharp corners of ostensibly “bad” moves are being rounded over:
Critic Judy Berman argues in The Baffler, for instance, that the internet and the larger “streaming void” it perpetuates have slowly been killing the cult film, the “scruffy, desperately original, and intermittently brilliant works of transgressive art” once enjoyed communally on the midnight circuit, but now cynically engineered for social media engagement, à la Sharknado. Naturally, it’s not just the makers of would-be Rocky Horrors who are suffering.
Although she mentions the creative financing that powered Irving Levin’s distribution of Ida Lupino’s Filmmakers movies, she misses the opportunity to comment on the similar pattern shown by The Cannon Group during its ownership by Golan and Globus.
“No time to die: An in-depth analysis of James Bond’s exposure to infectious agents,” by Wouter Graumans et al.
We hypothesize that his foolhardy courage, sometimes purposefully eliciting life-threatening situations, might even be a consequence of Toxoplasmosis.
While Bond was traveling to Japan (1967) shortly after the H2N2 pandemic (1957–1958), his actions were at odds with knowledge on the different modes of respiratory virus transmission. Bond regularly joined crowds without social distancing including on public transport.
h/t: Jennifer Ouellette at Ars Technica
Clay Risen has an obit for Joan Washington, dialect coach for many a film actor.
“Cornish is harder and more nasal than Devon because it’s a windy peninsula,” she told The Sunday Telegraph. “If you’ve got the wind in your face, you’ve got to speak without giving much away.”
Cleaning out a file folder of clippings… I rediscovered this delightful pan of Episode III by Anthony Lane:
… I still fail to understand why I should have been expected to waste twenty-five years of my life following the progress of a beeping trash can and a gay, gold-plated Jeeves.
Twenty Thousand Hertz goes into the booth with a loop group.
Chris Ware, Ira Glass, Nico Muhly, and John Kuramoto, d.b.a. “Phoobis,” create an animated cover for this week’s issue of The New Yorker. Guest-starring a former Secretary of State.
A lovely simile linking the cinematic, literary, and pictorial worlds, from Anthony Lane’s review of P. T. Anderson’s adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice:
As a lyricist of California light, Pynchon is rivalled only by Richard Diebenkorn, who spent some twenty years painting his Ocean Park series in Santa Monica, and I doubt whether any director—dead or alive, Altman or Anderson—could really conjure a style to match the long surge of a Pynchon sentence as it rolls inexhaustibly onward.
June Foray is still doing comic voiceovers at 95, and now she has the Emmy to show for it.
Rosecrans Baldwin trashes one of my favorite movies, Choose Me.
Fade to black for visionary filmmaker Chris Marker, who made the genuinely one-of-a-kind La Jetée (1962). He was 91.