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North American Movie Box Office Down $600 Million From Last Year

“Amid the far-reaching impact of the coronavirus pandemic, … domestic ticket sales turned in a combined $1.81 billion from Jan. 1 through March 19, the day when Comscore stopped reporting theater grosses. That compares to $2.41 billion for the first full three months of 2019.” – The Hollywood Reporter
Tags: Art, Media, Comscore, 04.01.20


Chinese Movie Fans Turned To Piracy Sites As Theatres Shut

China’s 70,000 theaters shut down in January amid coronavirus concerns during the weekend of the Chinese New Year, which is typically the country’s busiest moviegoing time. Piracy data company Muso released a report on Wednesday that shows how piracy has already increased in the region because of the closures. – Business Insider
Tags: Art, Media, China, Audience, Muso, 03.31.20


How Can A Director Shoot A Thriller While Maintaining Social Distancing? Put The Lead Actor Inside A Video Game

“Timur Bekmambetov, best known outside Russia for making the Angelina Jolie thriller Wanted, was midway through filming his second world war fighter-ace film V2: Escape from Hell when the coronavirus pandemic broke. So [he] sanitised his shooting schedule and, last week, pulled off what he believes was a cinematic first: a feature-film scene shot entirely inside a live video game.” – The Guardian
Tags: Art, Media, Russia, Angelina Jolie, Timur Bekmambetov, 03.31.20


The Spiky Blob Seen Around the World

How C.D.C. medical illustrators created the coronavirus pandemic’s most iconic image.
Tags: Art, News, Media, Software, Eckert, Centers For Disease Control And Prevention, Dan, Higgins, Alissa, Your-feed-science, Coronavirus (2019-nCoV


China Orders Reopened Cinemas To Close Again

“Hours after municipal authorities in Shanghai gave more than 200 cinemas the greenlight to re-open Saturday, national-level Chinese authorities on Friday ordered all theaters throughout the country shut again …, without saying exactly why or when they might hope to re-open.” (The general presumption is that the government fears another coronavirus outbreak.) – Variety
Tags: Art, Media, China, Shanghai, 03.27.20


Vital Film Hub Shuts Down With Layoffs At Film At Lincoln Center

Film at Lincoln Center announced massive internal upheaval on Friday. A longtime hub of film culture in New York City with an influential reach around the country, the organization furloughed or laid off approximately 50% of the full-time staff as well as all of the part-time staff. – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Media, New York City, Lincoln Center, 03.27.20, Vital Film Hub


Jennifer Schantz Is New Director Of The NY Public Library’s Performing Arts Collection

Schantz, 51, currently the executive vice president and chief operating officer at the New-York Historical Society, will take up the position in May. She succeeds Jacqueline Davis, who has led the library for two decades. The performing arts library, located in Lincoln Center, is one of the New York Public Library’s four research divisions, with a collection of some 8 million items that extend far beyond books to include manuscripts, photographs, scores, ephemera, sheet music, stage desi...
Tags: Art, Media, Lincoln Center, New York Public Library, New York Historical Society, Schantz, 04.28.20, Jennifer Schantz, NY Public Library 's Performing Arts Collection, Jacqueline Davis


The Producers Of Dystopian Fiction Are Thinking Again

But it’s a complex consideration: “‘You do feel guilty about putting these anxieties in people’s minds,’ said Bruce Miller, the creator and showrunner of Hulu’s adaptation of The Handmaid’s Tale. ‘There’s no way not to feel like you somehow wished things into being.'” – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Media, Hulu, Bruce Miller, 03.29.20


In Europe, Cinema Production Has Been Thrown Into Utter Crisis

Even before COVID-19 shut down production completely, three historic companies were in trouble – deep in debt to creditors, troubled by streaming, etc. Then seven feature films in Paris alone stopped dead, one leaving a street recreated in WWII-era styles. Some relief: “The National Cinema Center (CNC) plans to relieve the short-term cash flow of 1,200 arthouse cinemas and distributors. It also suspended payment of the ticket tax (TSA) in March and authorized the advance use of the support fund...
Tags: Art, Europe, Media, Paris, Tsa, 03.28.20, The National Cinema Center CNC


Can Community Radio Survive With Its Unique Sound Intact?

Sure, they’re still as quirky and gap-filling as ever, except for one rather large problem. WFMU Jersey City’s station manager: “This is the situation that so many broadcasters dream of! … You have a global, captive audience, and everyone can share and commiserate their experiences. But it’s not safe to go to the station!”- The New York Times
Tags: Art, Media, Audience, 03.29.20, WFMU Jersey City


One Art Form That Can Survive The Pandemic: Radio Productions

At least, once the show has caught up to where people are. “The BBC has revealed that its long-running BBC Radio 4 soap The Archers will have its first coronavirus-related storyline in early May. Recording is typically done weeks in advance of broadcast, meaning writers have so far been unable to reflect the rapidly evolving pandemic on the show. Producers said they wanted listeners to be able ‘to go to Ambridge in the usual way for as long as possible.'” – BBC
Tags: Art, Media, Bbc, BBC Radio, Ambridge, 03.29.20


Hollywood Workers And The Bailout

For actors, writers, directors, and all of the many, many thousands of craft workers, there’s a little help: “The act includes a provision known as Pandemic Unemployment Assistance that extends unemployment benefits to those who otherwise would not qualify, including the self-employed and independent contractors.” – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Media, Hollywood Workers, 03.28.20


Actors Are Also Out Of A Job – All Of Their Many Jobs At Once

So what are they doing instead of booking, acting, producing, and bartending? Hosting livestreamed music classes for kids in the morning and asking watchers to donate $5 if they have it; building creative communities; and, well, kicking up the “coronavirus content” subgenre. – The Atlantic
Tags: Art, Media, 03.28.20


The Organist Who Kept Britain Company During World War II

Sandy, as listeners called him, spoke like a reassuring, relatable friend. “Sandy Macpherson’s quiet voice is very reassuring at a time when our ears are on the alert for warning sirens,” one family wrote in September 1939. At Christmas, fans showered him with “flowers, mufflers, handkerchiefs, cigarettes, fruit and pots of jam.” – The Conversation
Tags: Art, Media, Sandy, 03.26.20, Organist Who Kept Britain Company, Sandy Macpherson


Federal Stimulus Bill Includes $75 Million To Stabilize Public Radio And TV

“The bill includes $75 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting ‘to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus, including for fiscal stabilization grants to public telecommunications entities,’ the bill says. [It] directs CPB to use the funds to help ‘maintain programming and services and preserve small and rural stations threatened by declines in non-Federal revenues.'” – Current
Tags: Art, Media, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, CPB, 03.26.20, Stabilize Public Radio And TV


Radio Listenership Soars, Streaming Less So…

Global, which owns Capital FM and talk station LBC, said online radio listening had risen by 15%. The BBC said streaming of its radio stations had risen 18% since last week. Meanwhile, data from two US analytics companies suggested use of music-streaming apps such as Spotify had dipped by about 8%. – BBC
Tags: Art, Spotify, Media, US, Bbc, LBC, Audience, 03.25.20


Major League Baseball Announces A Virtual Opening Day

The ball parks are closed, but baseball will move online. It will happen Thursday, on what would have been opening day across baseball. The virtual event will feature a classic game for all 30 teams, a game they win. The schedule includes classic postseason games, no-hitters and walk-offs. – Yahoo!
Tags: Art, Media, Major League Baseball, Audience, 03.25.20


Buffering … — Why Video Teleconferencing Is Still A Pain In The Wherever

“[Online conference calls] come with problems — technical, cultural, and practical. And a lot of the challenges we have with [them] come down to the many small quirks of the internet. … Despite four decades of evolving technology, video conferencing is a sort of low-level magic that still konks out half the time. Here’s why.” – Tedium
Tags: Art, Media, 03.24.20


L.A. Times Film Critic Kenneth Turan To Step Down After Three Decades

“Arguably the most widely read film critic in the town most associated with the making of movies, … Turan is known as a soft-spoken gentleman … in a [city] filled with brash and attention-seeking people.” – The Hollywood Reporter
Tags: Art, Hollywood, Media, Turan, Kenneth Turan, 03.25.20


Even during past recessions, consumers still flocked to theaters to forget their troubles. With ticketing and concession sales now evaporated, many analysts fret that some cinemas will not be able to survive without government assistance. – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Media, Audience, 03.25.20


Will Movie Theatres Survive The Apocalypse?

Even during past recessions, consumers still flocked to theaters to forget their troubles. With ticketing and concession sales now evaporated, many analysts fret that some cinemas will not be able to survive without government assistance. – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Media, Audience, 03.25.20


Six Indie Filmmakers, Their New Movies Shelved, Talk About Cinema’s COVID Apocalypse

“Their sentiments run the gamut from hope to doom (‘I’ve been wondering when the next mass extinction event would come. This is it.’) and collectively form an uncertain picture of the future of film.” – Vulture
Tags: Art, Media, 03.23.20


Thanks To Social Distancing, Drive-In Movie Theaters Are Having A Comeback

“Drive-in movie theaters may seem like a blast from the past, something out of the 1950s or ’60s. Numerous baby boomers haven’t gone for decades; Gen Xers and millennials, perhaps never. But there are still 305 of them in the United States” — and they’re seeing increased demand from stir-crazy customers. – The New York Times
Tags: Art, Media, United States, Audience, 03.24.20


U.S. Supreme Court Throws Out Filmmaker’s Copyright Lawsuit Against North Carolina

“The justices unanimously upheld a lower court’s 2018 ruling that the state was protected by a legal doctrine called sovereign immunity and could not be sued for copyright infringement for using filmmaker Frederick Allen’s images [of the salvaging of the pirate Blackbeard’s ship] online.” – Reuters
Tags: Art, Media, Blackbeard, Frederick Allen, 03.23.20


Movie Theatres Reopen In China As Threat Recedes For Now

No one is comfortable buying tickets yet (literally no one, as in zero people, in two of the provinces where theatres reopened), but the distributors had a plan for that: “Most of the films currently available are re-runs of recent and popular Chinese movies, a move that is intended to minimize risk.” – Variety
Tags: Art, Media, China, 03.24.20


The Comedian Who Tried To Put On An Entire Saturday Night Live By Himself

After multiple sketches and a cold open, not to mention a quarantine-themed title sequence, Ian Abramson might be just a bit exhausted. “If it doesn’t kill him, Abramson should do this again, too. Or perhaps other performers should pick up the baton and make their own SNL homebrew. It may be bathtub gin now that there’s Prohibition and the distilleries have been converted to make hand sanitizer, but it’ll still get you buzzed. And it may be the future of entertainment. For now, at least.” – Fas...
Tags: Art, Media, Abramson, Ian Abramson, 03.22.20


How Did Disney Swallow Up Everything?

Disney is so big it’s even creating metaphors about itself in its many, many, many, many properties. “Disney’s gravitational pull is warping the very space-time continuum of the media landscape. You will have to work harder than ever to escape the Magic Kingdom’s reach. If it doesn’t get you with the Avengers, it will get you with The Simpsons, or National Geographic, or Wes Anderson. If it doesn’t get you with Elsa sticking plasters, it will get you with Baby Yoda memes.” – The Guardian (UK) ...
Tags: Art, Elsa, Media, Disney, Wes Anderson, Avengers, National Geographic, Magic Kingdom, Baby Yoda, 03.21.20


Here Are 4,000 Canadian Films To Stream For Free; Please Stop Complaining You’re Bored

Who needs Netflix when you’ve got the Canadian Film Board, right? (Also, if you like Canadian work, Kim’s Convenience is on Netflix.) – CBC
Tags: Art, Media, Netflix, Kim, Film Board, 03.21.20


The (Temporary?) End Of Box-Office Reporting

The Northridge Earthquake didn’t even stop box office reporting. But COVID-19 has, as almost all movie theatres have closed. – Los Angeles Times
Tags: Art, Media, 03.20.20


What Does A Delayed Cannes Mean For World Cinema?

Er, maybe move online this year, film festivals? “Cannes organizers are looking at the possibility of postponing the event by about six weeks, until late June, in the optimistic hope that the contagion will have abated and that cinephiles will once again feel comfortable taking long flights and sitting in crowded theaters elbow to elbow with coughing strangers. Yes, that’s one of the many signatures of Cannes, infinitely less glamorous than the red-carpet premieres and black-tie dress code: Nea...
Tags: Art, Media, Cannes, 03.19.20



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