Merry-go-round. Nothing much to do with anything. Just for fun // The baby looks aged. The life transparent before it has even begun. // Oliver Twist . // Who or what is the boxer punching? // Death, pain and suffering contrasted with lightness, humour and touch. // A play on human emotions. // The film plays with our sense of time, in particular the references and aesthetics like the Egyptian hieroglyphics, even though the film could not have been shot more than 100 years ago and the birth of the camera. The pictures suggest we are looking at the beginning of time – the first dawn, the first sunset. The decomposition strips away reference of time and we only see human form – love, tragedy and drama. // The pictures and the intentional message of the film becomes something else – mutated. // Is that a bird or a plane? Birds of Prey or a Spitfire? // Just because it looks weird, does it mean it’s good?
Posts from the ‘film’ Category
Having relocated from Australia to the villages of Northern England I found myself sitting down to a chippy tea yesterday evening whilst half-listening to Tony Morris and Lucy Meacock on Granada reports.
My interest was piqued when a story described a group of Preston based cinema lovers who have launched an online campaign to re-open one of the cities lost treasures – The New Victoria Cinema situated on Church Street.
This 82 year old cinema has stood disused since 1992 and once boasted two auditoriums – one luxury that seated over a 1000 patrons, stained glass domes, The Gaumont cafe/diner, Wurlitzer Organ, and a dedicated living quarter for the cinema manager.
Viewers of Granada Reports debated as to whether it was the end of the multiplex and whether the restoration of old cinemas would take us out of the arm chair and back to the big screen – a topic recently presented here on Transforming Management – Popcorn and Bubbles.
If you would like to join the campaign and/or learn more about this initiative please connect to the Facebook group.
The full television report can also be viewed at YouTube.
Personally, my congratulations to all those behind this outstanding Northern Media initiative. More speed to you and be sure to let me know if I can help in anyway.
Article posted at Free Trade Press – the free trade of ideas.
If you are reading this, then you are most likely breathing, and if you are breathing, you know that today was the 82nd Annual Academy Awards. The hosts – Alec Baldwin and Steve Martin. The venue – Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles. Time zone – UTC/GMT -8 hours.
The Oscars was hard to miss. The average man would have to unplug him/herself from all media including radio, web, television and print, and probably even boycott their favourite coffee bar or local pub.
The awards are one part of the story, but the media scramble is the most fascinating. Today, sat on my laptop, I gave live witness to Old Media competing with New Media (if you believe such a separation exists). The BBC, CNN were on full tilt, as was The Guardian newspaper. The Oscars were headlined on all their respective pages – live feeds, minute-by-minute updates, photos, spies on the ground and spies inside. They had it covered and we seemingly consumed as the Oscar triumphs and failures hit the top of the ‘Most Read‘ pages.
Note: The Oscar script was already exposed before time as we learned of Sacha Baron Cohen’s plot to award an Oscar as a pregnant Avatar – a stunt that led to his early withdrawal.
All very interesting, but in the interests of getting some work done I thought it best to turn the BBC stream off, but wait, there was New Media. My twitter feed was ablaze with Oscar gossip. My RSS feed posted a blurry picture of what looked like Steve Jobs. Is it? Isn’t it? Why is Steve there? An Apple announcement maybe? More gossip. More tweets. Shortly thereafter a savvy and well-known blogger announced their Oscar analysis with a well-timed tweet ‘And the winner for best actor is Jeff Bridges – click link’. I clicked the link, along with a thousand more, according to their hit counter. I then typed Oscar into Google to determine the name of the hosts and I am presented with a live feed of the winners as they happen. Wikipedia is also fully up-to-date and correct within minutes of the announcement.
Old media. New media. Wherever it came from all were looking for an audience. All were looking to capitalise on the clicks, links and demand for this event. Not just demand, but for those who were inadvertently pulled in.
The final award is given, the final glass chinked and the cameras are switched off for another year. My twitter feed goes silent and I retire to the living room for some evening’s entertainment only to find “Tonight on 7 – Live from the Oscars!!”, although not quite. Old Media is right there, doing what it has always done. Broadcasting the event after the event. But I have seen this already. Okay, maybe not, but I certainly lived it.
Old media fighting with New media is a battle of truly Hollywood proportions, particularly at a time when we are asking questions of what the BBC should and should not be doing with our license fee money; Why do we need BBC Oscar coverage when others are doing a perfectly good job?
Where the chips will fall is anybody’s guess and who actually benefits from the fight is difficult to determine? Competition is good some might say, but is too much just too much? What is certain is this – money is at the root. Whether you are a pro-blogger looking for clicks or Channel 7 looking to top the evening’s viewing figures, the Oscar’s is a perfect event for traffic and ad revenue.
Therein lies the excitement. It is, at its heart, a media storm. The award ceremony itself really isn’t that interesting. The format seems old somehow. A board selects nominees and votes for a winner – which century does this belong too? But the media create the storm, whether we are interested or not, and the storm will likely roll on for weeks in the pages of Hello and Okay? Who wore what? Who kissed who? More twitter, more news, more frenzy, not to mention the occasional ‘jump on the band wagon’ blog post, which of course this is not.
Article posted at Free Trade – the free trade of ideas.
Also, congratulations to Christoph Waltz for best supporting actor in ‘Inglourious Basterds’. Well-deserved.
… And can anybody enlighten me as to why ‘District 9′ was nominated for best film? Good grief, that was a shocker by anyone’s standards, least of all the Academy.
Bubbles in the champagne that is, and not with the most obvious of food accompaniments, but with popcorn.
It was 6.45pm on Tuesday 5th January 2009. I was located at 505-525 George St, Sydney. To the left of me was my partner Kristen, and to the right my parents visiting from the UK.
6.50pm and the curtain was raised.
We were located at the cinema for an evening showing of Guy Ritchie’s latest Hollywood adaptation – Sherlock Holmes. But this wasn’t just any evening. It was something of an event. I had not seen my parents for almost a year, and it might be another year before I see them again. For these two weeks every evening was an event, but it was unrealistic, although not unknown, to think that we would drink and dance the time away for that entire period. To break the cycle we suggested a night at the cinema – a suggestion greeted with some dismay by myself.
It is not that I don’t like the cinema or indeed movies. I love nothing more than a film that stirs, inspires or simply entertains, but the whole experience of cinema going has left a sour taste over recent years. The once applauded multiplex now looks a little tired. The chairs are frayed and the floors are sticky – you often spend more time picking popcorn from the sole of your shoes than you do watching the movie. Also, the screen you are inevitably seated in is the smallest of twelve – it is not much bigger than your plasma TV at home, and there are about as many people in the auditorium as your living room. There is no atmosphere. It is cold. You also feel a bit miserable, because your idea of a cheap night out turned into a phone call to the small loans company for that week old hot-dog and big gulp cola, just in case you get thirsty.
These are the mini-battles before the main event – the film itself.
There are many great films out there, many great writers, producers and actors. Some of it from Hollywood, some of it not, but even with lowering costs of production and the effects of social marketing Hollywood still has a stranglehold over the distribution channel that is multiplex. It also has big dollars for marketing. Dollars that seem to outweigh money set aside for production; a process itself increasingly giving way to the video game spin-off than the story being told.
The nineties and noughties have also brought about great advancements in computer imagery. Film-makers have a whole new set of tools to work with, but I am not convinced that digital need always be applied. Some of the greatest films in cinematic history were a result of creativity in photography, lighting, painting and human endeavour – think Alfred Hitchcock, Richard Donner (zoptic effects), and the earliest Star Wars movies. Who can remember the opening scene from A New Hope when a space craft the size of a planet flies above your head only to be swallowed up by a second, much greater craft? I believe this was shot with paper mache, strings and miniature models.
Progress, however, is part of human nature. It would not be right to stand still, and with this in mind I look forward to seeing Cameron’s latest work early next week – a film tipped to get us off the sofa and back to cinema. The costs associated with experiencing 3D signals a return to mass-participation and the IMAX, for now.
Back in Sydney I had been convinced by my wiser and better looking half that we could attend Gold Class. ”It is an experience” she says. ”Something for us all to remember.”
6.55pm and I click the recline button on my electric chair. I reach for the champagne flute and chinked glasses with those I care about most. The screen is large and clear. The sound is all around me, almost vibrating to the point that it ‘Twould set your heart a-bubblin‘ never mind the contents of your glass. Kristen calls for a waiter and she orders food … dinner in fact. I am having a great time and once again falling in love with the magic of cinema.
Okay, Gold Class is a bit indulgent, but from my time in the UK I was fortunate to visit a number of towns and cities as far south as Brighton and as far north as Glasgow. In every town I noticed a run-down and disused high-street cinema. Those cinemas were once the social epicentre of local communities, next to say the church or the local pub, and the feature film was the main event of the month. People would dress for the occasion and perhaps enjoy a meal before the showing. The cinema hallway was carpeted and there was perhaps a bar to enjoy a drink during the interval. The cinema itself maintained comfy chairs and a big red curtain in front of the screen. It wasn’t so much a cinema as a local theatre.
Given my experiences at Gold Class I wonder what will come of the multiplex product as we currently know it. All signs are now pointing to the future of cinema as event. It is the cinema we recognise of old. An experience built around quality of service and/ or access to technology that we could not otherwise afford at home. Today 3D and bubbles. Tomorrow a portal to another realm? Whether the multiplex is the first to make sense of this or a savvy entrepreneur who buys the run down local cinema for a dollar is yet to be seen.
Article posted at Free Trade – the free trade of ideas.
For anyone thinking about seeing Sherlock Holmes, I whole-heartedly recommend it. Every now and then Hollywood really does deliver.
If you are that entrepreneur, give me a call.