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Netflix is shaking up Hollywood!

Video on-demand giant and other online streaming companies are helping redefine the motion picture industry.

With its stark black-and-white depiction of Mexico City in the 1970s and the savage government crackdown on student protesters, Roma opened up mainstream US moviegoers to a cinematic world rarely captured in Hollywood masterpieces. But more than just becoming the first Best Picture nominee for a film with the main character speaking the Mesoamerican indigenous language Mixtec, the Netflix original production directed by Alfonso Cuaron has turned the movie business on its head.

In conventional showbiz, the best movies were awarded Oscars, and the best television programmes scored big at the Emmys. Yet with the advent of online streaming for on-demand film content, the distinction between the silver screen and the tube has become fuzzy.

Earlier this month, Steven Spielberg reaffirmed his commitment “to give audiences the motion picture theatrical experience” in remarks that many observers considered a jab at Netflix, the latest titan to join the elite Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) lobbying group. “Joining the Motion Picture Association further exemplifies our commitment to ensuring the vibrancy of these creative industries and the many talented people who work in them all over the world,” Ted Sarandos, Netflix chief content officer, said in an MPAA statement in January.

“All of the major pundits at Gold Derby are 100 percent in for Roma,” said Sasha Stone of Awards Daily. “That is quite a stronghold. Either they will all be right or all be wrong.”

Netflix hired a leading strategist and spent some $25m to promote Roma, which cost only $15m to make. Disney, Black Panther; Warner Bros, A Star is Born; and Universal, First Man have also invested heavily to give their own Best Picture nominees a competitive edge.

Despite theatre chains protesting against Netflix’s gambit to qualify for Oscar glory, this year the theatrical earnings for Best Picture nominees were the highest since 2010, a combined North American box office total of more than $1.3bn. However, that figure excludes the relatively small amount generated by Roma, as Netflix, Inc does not publish information on how its films perform financially.

Netflix, with around 140 million paying subscribers worldwide, is modifying its business model. Although the cinematic releases were limited and not intended to generate revenue, the move served to increase the company’s Oscar chances and also signified flexibility by the Los Gatos, California-based entertainment firm to adapt to the market.

 

Jan 2019, Nothing Like a Dame

12A | | Documentary | 2 May 2018 (UK)
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Together, they’re 342 years old. They’re in their seventh decade of cutting-edge, epoch-defining performances on stage and on screen. Funny, smart, sharp, competitive, tearful, hilarious, savage, clever, caustic, cool, gorgeous, poignant, irreverent, iconic, old, and unbelievably young. Special friends, special women and special dames: a chance to hang out with them all, at the same table, at the same time, and enjoy sparkling and unguarded conversation spliced with a raft of archive. Dames Judi Dench, Eileen Atkins, Joan Plowright, and Maggie Smith get together for tea to reminisce and discuss their acting careers.space

Director: Roger Michell

Stars: Eileen Atkins, Judi Dench, Joan Plowright and Maggie Smith

 

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The Lion King Remake Ignites A Big Debate

Disney’s The Lion King remake has opened a new debate as to whether or not it’s truly a live-action movie. The trailer has already been released and quickly set Disney’s record for most trailer views in a 24-hour period, accumulating 224.6 million globally. It is now the second-most watched trailer in a 24-hour period, behind Infinity War, which earned 238 million views. However, a lot of people have seen The Lion King remake trailer, which has in turn led to an online argument about live-action vs. animation.

Original 1994 animated The Lion King fans were quick to realize that the teaser trailer for the remake is nearly identical to the original trailer from 24 year ago. Some fans enjoyed the similarities, while others have gotten angry with Disney for potentially making a movie that is a carbon copy of the original. However, it’s too soon to tell if that’s Disney’s aim here, which has brought the new argument as to if it’s really a live-action movie, since it’s obviously done with a ton of visual effects.

The Lion King remake is mostly-animated and shot against a blue screen to give Jon Favreau the feeling of working on a traditional set, adding in the visual effects later. Crew members and actors are able to walk around the set with a VR headset and magically get transported to the fleshed out, animated set. Visual effects supervisor Rob Legato doesn’t think that The Jungle Book remake, which also came from Jon Favreau and Disney, nor The Lion King remake are animated projects. He had this to say about working on The Jungle Book.

 

 

 

Apr 2018, Film Stars Don’t Lie in Liverpool

15 | | Biography, Drama, Romance

“Film Stars” follows the playful but passionate relationship between Turner and the eccentric Academy Award-winning actress Gloria Grahame in 1978 Liverpool. What starts as a vibrant affair between a legendary femme fatale and her young lover quickly grows into a deeper relationship, with Turner being the person Gloria turns to for comfort. Their passion and lust for life is tested to the limits by events beyond their control.
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Director: Paul McGuigan

Writers: Matt Greenhalgh (screenplay), Peter Turner (based on the memoir by)

Stars: Jamie Bell, Annette Bening, Julie Walters

 

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Mar 2018, Victoria & Albert

PG | | Biography, Drama, History

Abdul Karim arrives from India to participate in Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee. The young clerk is surprised to find favor with the queen herself. As Victoria questions the constrictions of her long-held position, the two forge an unlikely and devoted alliance that her household and inner circle try to destroy. As their friendship deepens, the queen begins to see a changing world through new eyes, joyfully reclaiming her humanity.

Director: Stephen Frears

Writers: Lee Hall (screenplay by), Shrabani Basu (based on the book by)

 

 

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