Covering Cinema From All Across The African Diaspora

MISCELLANY - Sundance Loosing Its Appeal, Netflix Bundling, Will Smith The Martyr

A few articles I read this morning worth sharing...

- Black Directors Look Beyond Their Niche. It’s been 10 years since Spike Lee, entrepreneur, provocateur and role model for aspiring directors of color, declared in The New York Times that it was an era of unprecedented possibility for African-American filmmakers.

But at the close of yet another decade, the promise still awaits fulfillment. Though some of the aforementioned directors have met or exceeded most of the critical expectations shown in their debuts, they have had mixed-to-sporadic success in getting their subsequent projects into theaters.

Ho-hum... nothing new. It seems like every year, we get one of these "state of blacks in Hollywood" essays, yet, not much changes.

- RE: Sundance, which debuts this Thursday... changes are afoot all over Park City. The new attitudes are enough to cause sellers and distributors to start asking what was an unthinkable question even a few years ago: What if Sundance isn't about the sales anymore?

"There's nothing that says that Sundance has to be the Andover or Exeter for the specialty film business's Harvards and Yales," says longtime producer and sales rep Jonathan Dana.

Recent history suggests that the Ivy League of distributors is indeed looking elsewhere. There wasn't a Sundance boxoffice hit to be found last year. Add it all up, and many are drastically downsizing their expectations before they arrive in Park City. Some are now completely bypassing the festival altogether! MORE HERE

- Netflix Inc. has come up with another way to get movies to people without sending DVDs in the mail.

In a partnership announced Monday, LG Electronics will start selling high-definition TV sets that stream Netflix videos directly from the Internet, without an additional device. The deal marks the first time Netflix's streaming service will be embedded in a television.

Makes sense to me. It's like buying a computer with all the tools you need to surf the web already included (wireless/ethernet card, web browser, etc), as opposed to buying the computer, and then adding the required parts later.

Bundling. It worked for Microsoft. MORE HERE

- From Fresh Prince to Saint Smith. Will Smith has gone from getting jiggy with it to being the chosen one - in every single film. What's he after, sainthood, The UK Guardian's Steve Rose asks.

Why doesn't Will Smith just come out with it and admit he's really the Messiah? He's too shrewd to say it out loud, of course, but he's been hinting at it for some time in his movies. In his latest, Seven Pounds, he stops just short of pulling out a crown of thorns and humming I Am The Resurrection, but the entire movie is one gigantic nudge towards Smith's increasingly Jesus-like quality.

... This new, mature Smith seems to be more saying, "I have transcended your earthly concerns. I exist on a solitary higher plane, just one step below God, and maybe Gandhi." HA! Although it is nice to see a black hero at the movies with a Jesus-complex, for a change. Smith was originally offered the role of Neo in The Matrix, but turned it down, saying that he wasn't ready for a role like that. MORE HERE

Fin for now...!


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