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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 10:53 am 
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zedz wrote:
It's also a response to the big concern of many festivals that Netflix is simply buying everything in sight in order to starve theatrical distribution (and the festival circuit) to death.

Jesus, you know, there was a time many years ago when I would've been skeptical of this plan, but it now seems to be the de facto plan for every ambitious enterprise. Borders, Best Buy and Circuit City did it to record store chains, then Borders (which had bigger plans) was beaten at their own game by Amazon, and then you saw it with Netflix beating Blockbuster.


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 5:35 pm 
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Or you could see it as an attempt to democratize niche film distribution. Everyone around the world gets the chance to see a film and talk about it at the same time instead of it being restricted to small audiences in large cultural capitals, whatever meager ticket sales it generates eaten up by the costs of distribution and publicity. I may hold a minority view here, but requiring a film’s producers and distributors to commit to theatrical distribution in France just in order to enter the film into competition seems most likely to me to drive Cannes into provinciality and irrelevance and funnel even more high-profile premieres to Venice, Berlin, and other major festivals.

Netflix definitely has its flaws, but providing a platform for foreign and arthouse filmmakers to reach a potential global audience of millions of viewers, from major cities to rural areas, seems like one aspect of its endeavor that we all ought to be able to agree is a good thing.


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 5:38 pm 
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Netflix by not allowing it to be viewed on multiple platforms is stifling viewing opportunities and highlights the problem with their vertical integration monopoly.


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 5:45 pm 
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By multiple platforms do you mean theaters and physical media? I’m positive they’ve run the numbers on those and decided the potential returns do not justify the investment. It would be nice to think we live in a world where a theatrical run and good encodes of films on HD physical media mattered to most movie viewers, but those days are over.


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 5:49 pm 
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At the very least physical media of not theatrical, but even if you insist on stream only it is disconcerting that they are on only one streaming platform forcing audiences to pay Netflix direct in order to get a copy.


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 5:58 pm 
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Digital vertical integration is the only way they’re going to make any money off these acquisitions, though, and it’s not just Netflix that’s doing it. Chance the Rapper is hailed in the music industry as a revolutionary because his album is only available as a stream on Apple Music. And he (and Apple) has made a ton of money off it. But if you don’t want to contribute to that model, you can always make a burner email address and get a free month’s trial or use a friend’s login.


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 6:17 pm 
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I think you're being incredibly naive if you believe that Netflix securing a monopoly on film distribution is going to be good for film culture in the long term. They're not behaving this way because they're really, really big fans of Lav Diaz, or Claire Denis, or whoever the next obscure director to emerge triumphant at Cannes or Venice might be, and they want to indulgently finance their future careers; they want to kill the competition and leave only Netflix product with a viable distribution medium (with four or five big festivals kept going on Netflix-approved life support as tame publicity machines). It's aimed at homogenizing film culture, consolidating control over it and maximizing profit: it's not about increasing diversity and making marginal films available to all.


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 6:40 pm 
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But I don't think Netflix has the interest or the means to swallow up film distribution in that way, and certainly not with Amazon still standing in their way. I don't think they want to kill competition so much as they want to be taken seriously as competition by the major studios and distributors. As soon as they have major American filmmakers coming to them to make their next features, they'll be gone from these festivals in a flash.

I'm not trying to defend Netflix or to prognosticate on the long-term future of film distribution. I'm just trying to describe the landscape as I see it, and I see some good in it right now. As a consumer, I'd much rather see a distribution model closer to that of the music streaming services, who all have access to roughly the same huge catalog of major label and indie content with simultaneous releases across all platforms. I actually can't stand the exclusivity of the wildly proliferating film streaming platforms and the one-off exclusives of the music platforms. Beyoncé's LEMONADE only being available on Tidal doesn't make me want to subscribe to Tidal, it makes me just want to listen to something else on the service to which I do subscribe. Beyoncé and I both lose out (and I'm sure she's real broken up about it).


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 7:27 pm 
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Werewolf by Night wrote:
Chance the Rapper is hailed in the music industry as a revolutionary because his album is only available as a stream on Apple Music.

That's nothing, Dean Blunt exclusively releases stuff in links under YouTube videos. (And then takes the links down a week later.)


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PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 8:53 pm 
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Of course, when studios owned the movie theaters in the US back in the day, the courts broke up that little arrangement.

I don't see how Netflix (or anyone else) making movies and distributing them exclusively through their own platform is any different. And by the same token, steps to break up this arrangement are a good thing in my book.


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 Post subject: Festival Circuit 2017
PostPosted: Thu May 11, 2017 9:17 pm 
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People here keep making comparisons between Netflix and the Paramount Decree and seeing no difference between them, but the situations are completely different, similar perhaps only because they each involve the distribution of motion pictures. For it to be equivalent, Netflix would have to be one of only a few large studios making all their own content; own the soundstages, lots, and editing facilities where the content was made; have all the people involved in making that content under exclusive contract; operate proprietary networks and distribution channels that delivered the content; manufacture the devices on which their content (and only their content) could be played; mandate when and where and how often the content could be played; and, on top of all of this, collude with their competitors to make sure that they all stick to the same arrangement and block any independent producers, distributors, or exhibitors from trying to get in on the act. We might be living in an age of increasing media consolidation and vertical integration, but the closest thing we've got to something like a pre-1945 movie studio right now is actually Comcast. Netflix is Monogram Pictures in comparison, just trying to get a seat at the big table.


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PostPosted: Fri May 12, 2017 5:44 pm 
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120 Beats Per Minute clip
Wonderstruck clip
Demons of Paradise official trailer
Lucky(Fortunata) official trailer


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PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 5:19 pm 
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Cannes screening guide

Ramsay's is predictably the last to screen and I imagine Haynes's will have the feel of an opener.


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PostPosted: Mon May 15, 2017 1:46 am 
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Considering David Hudson has parted ways with Fandor and doesn't yet seem to have been picked up by another publication, how is everyone planning to follow the Cannes coverage this year? Any recommendations would be appreciated!


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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 9:56 am 
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Things are so decentralized that I don't know if there's one single, good source of lengthy reviews, but ioncinema is still going at it as is, of course, ScreenDaily. Both post grids and I think the latter does do a round-up of sorts, which would provide links to lengthier pieces. I'm not that big on the website otherwise, but Jessica Kiang generally offers solid words at The Playlist. I don't know if Dennis Lim is doing dispatches from the Film Comment blog this year.

Generally, though, I follow a constellation of critics on Twitter for festivals, who'll provide you with instant reaction and then later link you to their review at whatever their outlet is at the moment. I don't know who's on the ground beyond Kiang (I'm typing this in a hurry, and her Twitter quickly revealed she's in Cannes), but I usually find a critic and click around to the other critics.


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PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2017 10:55 pm 
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Cannes-a-coming!

Good Time trailer
Image
Image
------------
Needlessly premature needless awards predix:

Palme D'Or --- Andrey Zvyagintsev, Loveless
Grand Prix --- Sergei Loznitsa, A Gentle Creature
Jury Prize --- Robin Campillo, 120 BPM
Director --- Tood Haynes, Wonderstruck
Screenplay --- Ruben Östlund, The Square
Actress --- Kim Min-hee, The Day After
Actor --- Joaquin Phoenix, You Were Never Really Here
Prix de 70th Anniversary --- Michael Haneke, Happy End


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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 1:44 pm 
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Both of those posters are kinda great. The HAPPY END one is super Hanekesque - I would have guessed it was his even without the credit.


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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 3:04 pm 
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Yeah, the horror of an iPhone at the beach sounds like it should be the plot to a movie of his.


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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 5:01 pm 

Joined: Wed Nov 03, 2004 2:03 am
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The "horror of the iPhone" was, on a basic level, the plot of Zvyganitsev's Loveless, tonight's press screening. Interesting idea: two parents so self-absorbed - one in his work, the other in her phone - that they can't be bothered with their unwanted 12-year-old. When he disappears, each coats attempts to blame the other with obviously ludicrous claims that he/she alone really cared. Phones are constantly foregrounded. Sadly, the movie's over-long and moment-to-moment dull.

It and the Desplechin got lukewarm, mixed reactions at the press screenings. There was dead silence after the Desplechin. Very uncharacteristic. The Zvyganitsev got a bit of polite applause. Of the two, I like the Desplechin more - not a full recovery from the last two movies, but ... It features the freewheeling camerawork and editing of Un conte de Noel and Rois et reine, with a return of characters from those earlier movies and a mishmash of plot devices out of Allen and Hitchcock. But after a fine start - Ismael (Amalric) is making a movie about his missing spy brother (Garrel) when his 21 years missing wife, Carlotta (Tatou), returns to fuck up his thing with Sylvie (Gainsbourg) - the movie becomes increasingly less delirious, less magical, more didactic, as it just kind of peters out.


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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 6:18 pm 
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yoshimori wrote:
not a full recovery from the last two movies, but ...

Did people not like My Golden Days? I found it to be exponentially preferable to Jimmy P. which, to this day, was one of the most baffling viewing experiences I've ever had, just at the level of not having any idea in the world what the movie I was watching was trying to do or even about. For that utter WTF quality I find it kind of admirable although I don't think I'd ever watch it again.


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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 6:31 pm 
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I liked it as a little doodle.


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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 7:23 pm 
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I thought My Golden Days was intermittently good and thoroughly watchable, but I don't feel compelled to revisit it with any urgency. But yes, still vastly better than Jimmy P, which was a crushing disappointment after the heights of A Christmas Tale and Kings & Queen. The early reviews of Ismail's Ghosts are not encouraging, but then again, the shagginess of his best films is sort of why I love them.


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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 7:29 pm 
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Worth noting the French response to the new Desplechin is far more complimentary than the rest of the press


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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 9:28 pm 
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Did Arrow acquire it sight unseen?


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PostPosted: Wed May 17, 2017 10:39 pm 
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Brood_Star wrote:
Also, Valeska Grisebach has been hyped by people I follow, and after Schanelec and Arslan's success stories, I'm down for anything.


Who do you follow?
-----
I'm now tempted to find the Jimmy P. thread (if it exists) and mount a defense. Accounts of the Desplechin make it sound very much like a Desplechin film---literary, spiraling, and exhilarating. What's of concern is that there is apparently a longer director's cut of 20-25 minutes in existence that did not screen---a significant chunk of time for any director, but especially Desplechin who is usually juggling many strands. Hopefully this sees the light of day in different territories?

The Guardian, Variety, The Playlist both offered gushing reviews of Loveless, but for some reason it always seemed that those outlets would offer praise for Zvyagintsev's latest. I'm curious to hear different voices regarding the film because Zvyagintsev seems to play differently in different, but not all that different circles. I'm expressing myself poorly, but Zvyagintsev seems to hit portions of the the NYFF and Cannes set, but miss wildly with the Locarno set. He's an obvious talent, of course, and I thoroughly enjoyed his last film despite its obviousness and at-times eye-rollingly portentousness. We'll see as the takes roll-in!

I hope to wake up to praise for Haynes's film!


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