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Posts Tagged ‘Hurt Locker’

The Golden Boy

As the dust settles on the Oscars, what lessons do those flaxen idols have to impart?

Firstly, “The Hurt Locker” and “Avatar” led the pack in nominations with nine apiece. There could not be a more disparate pair of films; they are indicative of the way films are heading: small budget, prestige pictures mixed with bombastic blockbusters, with no room for those middling films of a reasonable budget, previously thought of as being a reliable, safe bet. In fact, in the world of cinema there is no such thing as a sure bet.

Secondly, “The Hurt Locker” was released around this time last year. It’s subsequent win should instill further in the minds of studio execs that to be in with a chance of winning, it is not necessary to release your film at the last possible moment to keep it fresh in the Academy voter’s mind. Previous Best Picture winners such as “Crash” and “Gladiator” – both released around ten months before voting takes place – also evince this. Let’s have an end to the glut of award-worthy pics bunched at the end of the year and exploit the intervening months that are usually a wasteland for cultural stimulation.

Media shakes and quakes

A quick round-up of some interesting news in the media world in the past 24 hours or so…

The scope of the BBC is to be drastically reduced. The TelecomPaper writes that the plans are to “reign in its website, close down two radio stations, cut management costs and focus spending more on quality, local programming.” News organisations have been complaining for some time that the BBC News website is taking traffic away from dedicated news publication sites, and in general this news will be music to the ears of James Murdoch, whose Sky continues to see ebullient profits.

Viacom and the US TV streaming service Hulu are parting ways, meaning hilarity such as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart will no longer be available on the site. The WSJ reported that they reached a “financial impasse”. Meanwhile,  Hulu has launched its own show.

Apple is currently making the rounds of movie studios after paying a similar visit to the music labels in discussions to be able to provide users with their media in the cloud. The upshot is that users would be able to access their iTunes products from anywhere at anytime on their mobile devices. Zeitgeist looks forward to seeing this in action.

Lastly, if you’re planning to watch the Academy Awards this Sunday night at home on television, you’ll be in the same position as one of the producers whose film has been nominated for Best Picture and is seen as a front-runner. On the last day to send out one’s vote for the Oscar ballot, Nicolas Chartier wrote an email asking for his friends to vote for “Hurt Locker” rather than a certain “$500 million film”. The Academy have responded by banning Mr. Chartier from attending Sunday’s ceremony. The LA Times reports, “Should the film win best picture, Chartier would be given his Oscar at a later date”. The insight is that backstabbing isn’t kosher, even in Hollywood.

UPDATE: Very interesting post from TechCrunch on the Hulu / Viacom split; “The economic incentive is too great for media properties to centralize their videos on their own sites. But to consumers, this recentralization looks more like fragmentation”.