Notable film and media links--July 23, 2009
---How do businesses and journalists adjust to the ongoing changes in the media? Disney plans on setting up a "subscription-based product." The New York Times might resort to "metering" and "membership strategies." According to Politico, Huffington Post gets much of its traffic from "entertainment and sex" and the "mainstream media" (which isn't surprising). Tina Brown of the not-yet-profitable Daily Beast has this to say to Phil Rosenthal of Chicago Tribune:
"We're in a transitional period that I think will only last another few years in which [journalists are] not paid the way they were. That's the scary part," she said. "If you're up to seeing the opportunity and recognize it as a transition, or you have enough put away to ride this wave, it's going to be fantastic. I think it's a big liberation of every kind of talent. . . . "
"People who decide, 'I'm going to wait around until [media are] fully transitioned and hope I don't get laid off,' " do so at their own peril, Brown said. "Obviously everyone has their responsibilities and has to make their own decisions. But as night follows day, things are really tipping, and it's better to have that training early rather than late."
---Meanwhile, at Conde Nast, ad page numbers have dropped precipitously, leaving magazine journalists "speculating, worried." Jeffrey Goldberg has some ironic recommendations about what they should do about it.
---I didn't know that Michael Jackson taught Fred Astaire how to moonwalk, or that they both danced out of "anger" (according to Astaire). The Self-Styled Siren found some oddly appropriate footage of Astaire "drunkenly" dancing and breaking glass in a bar.
---Michael Guillen of The Evening Class shares some fascinating vintage music videos.
---Intriguing new books--The Art of Harvey Kurtzman:the Mad Genius of Comics (because he helped invent Mad magazine), Alex Cox's X Films: True Confessions of a Radical Filmmaker, and the exceedingly timely Reinventing Cinema: Movies in the Age of Media Convergence by Chuck Tryon of Chutry Experiment.
---As much as I would like to make fun of Twitter, the social media tool does help small businesses promote themselves.
---Total Film lays out "The Story Behind American Psycho" (back when I used to like Christian Bale).
---Whiteout looks a little silly.
---While I had mixed feelings for Watchmen on DVD, I enjoy Alan Moore's distaste for contemporary films:
"I find film in its modern form to be quite bullying... It spoon-feeds us, which has the effect of watering down our collective cultural imagination. It is as if we are freshly hatched birds looking up with our mouths open waiting for Hollywood to feed us more regurgitated worms. The Watchmen film sounds like more regurgitated worms. I for one am sick of worms. Can't we get something else? Perhaps some takeout? Even Chinese worms would be a nice change."
---Allan Fish of Wonders in the Dark celebrates one of my favorite horror films--Don't Look Now.
---Lastly, Jim Emerson provides a thought-provoking analysis of the cranking speeds of Buster Keaton's Cops.