Category Archives: Newspapers

Hollywood Reporter Blows Off Embargo, Continues Industry Trend

On Monday evening The Hollywood Reporter (THR) blew off an industry standard embargo and ran the South by Southwest Film Festival & Conference lineup story a day early. According to SXSW fest producer Matt Dentler, the release was embargoed until Tuesday afternoon. I don’t want to get into a big snit about this, but it’s kinda fucked up. Embargoes are, for lack of a better word, understandings among the trades. They work both ways and when one publication ignores them, they all get hurt.
Not only is ignoring embargoes dishonest but given the various friendships and relationships that abound in this industry (between film festival directors, trade publications, distribution companies, etc.) it’s also risky. It’s a slippery slope and with the advent of the Internet and instant news, “traditional” Hollywood trades Variety and THR no longer have the stranglehold on news and info they once had. Sure, they can still strong arm certain people or companies into giving them exclusives, but their influence is waning.
I don’t mean to claim that Variety and THR are not still valid sources of intelligent news reporting, festival coverage and reviews, that would be absurd. They are still the dual 800 lb. gorillas in the room. That said, I do think that the days of the entire film industry, studios and indies alike, having to kowtow to the “big two” are over. Sure, we can all get along if we all agree to abide by standard rules but if a “free for all” attitude prevails, there’s no longer any guarantee that Variety and THR still have the strangle hold over the news as they have in days past. For any one “trade” paper to break these mutually agreed upon rules is harmful to the whole.
That said, check out these stories on SXSW’s exceptional lineup. I will be writing more about the films (and music) at this essential fest in the days and weeks to come.

A Buffet? Seriously?

An article on the front page of today’s print edition of the New York Times entitled: “Rebel Unity Is Scarce at the Darfur Talks in Libya” has the following photograph accompanied by the caption: “A Darfur rebel took in the buffet lunch at his hotel in Sirte, Libya. Many rebel leaders did not show up for talks called in an effort to end the bloody conflict in Sudan.”
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Photo by Jehad Nga for The New York Times, © The New York Times

Hmmmm, didn’t show up, you say? Well, were they told that there’d be cake? I find cake is often an incentive to gather warring factions all in one room.
I also find that a picture of starving, brutalized people is a far more effective means of getting the message of genocide out than a picture of a rebel in a tracksuit eating more than most people in his country get in a year.
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Photo from Wondering of a Wanderer
Just a thought.

Today’s Sign Of The Apocalypse

We are officially a culturally bankrupt society when this is news:
Hilton, Richie Seen at L.A. Steakhouse
Ok, ever since there have been celebrities, a part of the media has been dedicated to covering their exploits and that’s fine. They’re famous and a part of the general public likes reading about famous people. That said, these two no-talent stick figures are famous for being, basically, blithering idiots. Still they’re famous, so some sites like TMZ.com and TheSuperficial.com (which I confess to perusing from time to time in order to slake my thirst for celebs doing stupid shit) but really, what the FUCK is the New York Times doing running this shit on thier site? I mean, do they have to run everything the AP files?
Excuse me. I need to go wash my eyeballs out from reading this shit.

From The Guardian: Funny Football Trivia Questions

Too funny, this bit from The Guardian‘s football coverage in February of 2004:
“On Saturday Bolton substituted Giannakopoulos for Ba. Is the longest name substitution for the shortest ever?” asks Brendan Lyons.
“Wayne Carlisle has scored all three of Bristol Rovers goals against Carlisle United to help the Gas win both their matches 2-0 and 1-0,” says Diego Black. “Is this the first case of a player scoring all his clubs goals in a season against a club which shares his surname?”
Send your questions and answers to knowledge@guardian.co.uk

V And The Critics

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I am on record as being a big fan of James McTeigue‘s V For Vendetta but I am beginning to have a big problem with some of the critics out there who are trashing this film in less than critically intelligent ways. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a problem with people disliking films that I like or vice versa but it seems like many of these nay-saying, V-hating critics are viewing the picture without any sense of context or history. V For Vendetta is the third in a series of truly progressive-bordering-on-the-radical films released by Warner Bros., following on the heels of Good Night, and Good Luck and Syriana, both of which I loved. In fact I would go so far as to say that the three of them ought to be released in a box set with commentary by Noam Chomsky, Studs Terkel and Frank Rich in addition to commentary by the filmmakers.

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