film promotion

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Friday Links: Fests, Blogs, Downfall, and More

Feeling a bit out of the loop because of the end of the semester, but here are some of the things I’ve been reading an watching over the last few days: ... read more »

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Fast, Cheap, and Hypermobile: More Digital Distribution Notes

I’ve been spending the last few days recovering from and catching up after my trip out to California for SCMS, so I haven’t been able to follow some of the recent debates about new directions in film distribution as closely as I would have liked.  So consider this pot to be a quick recap and reflection on some of the conversations that are taking place.  These notes tend to ramble somewhat, and there isn’t really a thesis here, just an attempt to make sense of some of the ongoing discussions that have been taking place in recent weeks. ... read more »

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Paramount and Microbudget Filmmaking

I’m watching powerlessly as my spring break slowly slips through my fingers, but looking forward to attending this year’s SCMS conference out in Los Angeles and, soon afterwards, this year’s Full Frame festival.  Would love to catch up with any readers who are attending one or both of these events. For now, though, I find myself increasingly intrigued by the launch of Paramount’s microbudget division, Insurge, which promises to produce and release films with budgets of less than $100,000. ... read more »

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Generic Movie Trailer

Both Jim Emerson and Jonathan Gray have mentioned the extremely funny “Generic Movie Trailer,” which parodies conventions from Oscar-bait movies. ... read more »

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Anticipating Oscar

For a number of reasons, I’ve been more fascinated than usual by the Oscar chatter.  Although some of the “scandals” and controversies over The Hurt Locker have begun to get a little tiresome, they have, in some cases at least, provoked some highly pertinent questions about cinematic realism, especially when it comes to depictions of war.  But, aside from prolonging public discussions about some films that I find thought-provoking, the Oscars (and the anticipation of them, which may, in fact, be more important) are also worth thinking about because they offer us one of the more explicit and privileged public narratives available about the film industry.  They are, in short, Hollywood’s best opportunity to represent itself to a movie-consuming public (while remaining mindful of any number of other audiences, including film industry personnel and film journalists). ... read more »

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Film Criticism is Dead (Again)

The latest paean to print-based film criticism, Thomas Doherty’s Chronicle of Higher Education article, “The Death of Film Criticism,” surveys the recent history of film criticism and concludes that today’s digital “young punks” are happily supplanting all pretense of literacy and seriousness in order to pour out their “visceral and emotional” responses to films all over the (digital) page.  Doherty is weighing in on a debate that has been circulating for several years now online and in print–I weighed in on this very debate about film blogging in Reinventing Cinema–and reaches a not terribly surprising conclusion that the internet age has threatened a form that featured such luminaries as Carl Sandburg and that reached its apotheosis with the debates between Pauline Kael and Andrew Sarris.  It’s a powerful and persuasive narrative, especially when juxtaposed against job market crises in academia and in journalism, but in treating film criticism as a genre, it obscures quite a bit. ... read more »

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Wednesday Links: Redbox, Netflix, Ebert, and ‘Alice’ DVD

Another round of links, including several that will likely find their way into a longer article I’m writing on new DVD distribution models: ... read more »

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Miramax: A Cinematic Education

By now, pretty much everyone who cares will know that the legendary independent movie distributor Miramax has finally closed down.  The closing of Miramax, the studio built by Harrvey and Bob Weinstein and named after their parents, had been anticipated for a while in this era of downsizing studios, and of course, Miramax had long lost its reputation as a maverick dealer in edgy indie fare.  Once Disney took ownership (and especially after the Weinsteins left), it became difficult to see Miramax as an “ ... read more »

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Sundance and Digital Distribution Links

There continues to be even more conversation about the changing models of digital distribution and their implications for independent film.  A number of people in my daily blog reads cited Brooks Barnes’ New York Times article about new distribution models and the challenges that indie filmmakers have in reaching niche audiences.  Specifically, the discussion focuses on the decision of many filmmakers to bypass the traditional plan of playing to theaters first before going online or on-demand. ... read more »

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Education and Participatory Documentary

As many readers will know, one of the documentaries at this year’s Sundance is Davis Guggenheim’s Waiting for Superman, which traces and seeks to explain the crisis in public education in the United States.  Given my role as a professor who often works with future teachers, I’m acutely aware of many of the debates swirling around public education in this country, so I’ll be interested to see how the film plays out. ... read more »