Wednesday, April 25, 2012

One for the casebooks!

Netflix -- what happened?

See story in The New York Times.

Arts Endowment Trims Support for PBS Shows

The New York Times reported this morning that the "National Endowment for the Arts made sweeping cuts in its support of established PBS shows under the 2012 Arts in Media grants which were announced Wednesday morning. In its place, the endowment awarded large grants to an array of gaming and Web-based projects."

The total amount awarded was down $4 million from last year but resulted in an increase in the number of grants awarded -- 78 up from 64 in 2011.

Big hit to "The PBS NewsHour -- and WNET received a grant towards a new series "The Electric Animation Festival."

Emphasis this year- - funding for public media and not just broadcast.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ordinary People (1980)

Ordinary People is an intimate portrait of a family in crisis. The film, Robert Redford's directorial debut, cuts to the core of the family dynamics within an affluent WASP family in crisis. The outstanding cast includes Mary Tyler Moore, Donald Sutherland, Timothy Hutton, Judd Hirsch and Elizabeth McGovern. Based on the best-selling novel by Judith Guest, the story focuses on Conrad Jarrett (Hutton), a teenager struggling with his remorse for not having saved his older brother from drowning. The parents, portrayed by Moore and Sutherland, behave as if everything is normal. Beneath the surface, the tension within the household is near a breaking point. Judd Hirsch is excellent as the psychiatrist helping Conrad after his attempted suicide. Mary Tyler Moore provides a gripping portrayal of an emotionally challenged woman. Donald Sutherland provides a tender performance of a man trying to understand and help his ailing family. Timothy Hutton delivers a sensitive portrayal of the troubled teenager.

Alvin Sargent adapted the novel for the screen. The film won the Oscar for Best Picture.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Check out this new book!

EARLY CINEMA TODAY: THE ART OF PROGRAMMING AND LIVE PERFORMANCE ed. by Martin Loiperdinger. The essays focus on innovative presentations of old films -- a must read for anyone interested in early cinema.

From the publisher's website:

"This volume presents a number of innovative projects; Mariann Lewinsky’s A Hundred Years Ago programmes for scholars and archivists at the Bologne Festival, Eric de Kuyper’s integrating films from the 1910s into elaborated performance events, both curators’ jointly programmed From the Deep series at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Madeleine Bernstorff’s and Mariann Lewinsky’s weekend in Berlin with films related to the suffragettes’ movement, Vanessa Toulmin’s numerous shows of early local films for today’s local people, and last but not least the Crazy Cinématographe, the Luxemburg fairground cinematograph show curated by Nicole Dahlen and Claude Bertemes, which includes front-shows and film narrators, the essentials of fairground performance. All these remarkable appropriations of early cinema offer a variety of new perspectives to experience and understand what cinema has been in the beginning."