Assemblog: June 15, 2012

Published on June 15th, 2012 in: Assemblog, Copyright/Piracy, Feminism, Media, Movies, Science and Technology, The Internets |

prometheus painting
Peter Paul Rubens and Frans Snyders,
Prometheus Bound

New on Popshifter this week: musings on Rock Of Ages; reviews of Dent May’s Do Things and Unsane’s Wreck; mixtapes and compilations; and Prometheus: A Call For Positivity.

First and foremost: I was wrong when I said I didn’t like 3D. Having now seen Prometheus, a film shot in 3D and not post-converted, I think it’s an absolutely amazing technology. That said, I don’t think it’s going to save the film industry, stop piracy, or cure cancer. In the hands of a great filmmaker, however, it truly is something impressive and immersive.

I’d like to give a couple of shout outs to two Popshifter writers who are doing some cool stuff. Matt Keeley‘s weekly Crush On Radio podcast is all about “being a music fan, and all that entails.” You can find out more on Facebook.

Cait Brennan wrote the screenplay for the indie film Love Or Whatever, which is now playing as part of Frameline36, the San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival. You can read a nice write up about the film here.

Back in April, I talked about Hollywood’s push to digital and the subsequent heated discussion this his provoked from film fans as well as filmmakers.

At the recent Produced By conference, Christopher Nolan is still adamant that he doesn’t like digital. This article from Deadline has some great commentary that elucidates the difference between digital filmmaking and digital projection, a distinction that must be made clear when discussing the topic.

Here’s a headline that definitely got my attention: Google Report Highlights How Companies Like NBCUniversal Are Removing Search Links.

I admit to being uninformed about this practice, but is it naïve to ask how this is legal? My interpretation of this is that Google is being asked to remove search results that link to sites that promote or allow piracy. Here’s a more in-depth article that seems to support my interpretation, including which organizations are requesting takedowns as well as the nature of their requests. Many of the statistics in the article come from Google’s own blog post on the issue, which is definitely worth reading.

Apparently MPAA chairman Chris Dodd doesn’t think Google is doing enough. From an article in Variety:

Dodd wrote: “It’s discouraging to hear Google executives say they ‘have done as much as they possibly can’ when in fact the theft of American products around the world is rampant—and often facilitated by their search engine. Now is not the time to bury our heads in the sand but instead to put them together to come up with a smart solution to a problem that is hurting not only the film and television community but industries across the American economy that are seeing their products stolen, counterfeited and sold.”

Again, perhaps I am naïve, but I find it confusing and little frightening that Google (or any search engine) is being held accountable for search results, not the sites themselves.

Another copyright-related issue: YouTube v. Viacom. The Hollywood Reporter has a long, technical, detailed article on the latest development in this case. Unless you are well versed in legalese or copyright law, it may be a tough read. I do, however, think it’s important to keep updated on these issues. Although the decisions are being made by a select few, they impact all of us.

Legitmix is a new website that posits an interesting “solution” to the copyright issues raised by sampling music.

From their website:

The first step in the Legitmix process is the most important: make a great remix, mash-up, sample-based beat or DJ set and save it as a high quality MP3, AAC or FLAC file. Then using Legitmix, you identify where consumers can purchase the source tracks you sampled. You can identify source tracks in the Legitmix store or provide links to a supported retailer.

There are several artists already using Legitmix, so I’m intrigued to see where this will lead.

I’ve already talked quite a bit about the critical controversy surrounding Prometheus, so I won’t repeat myself here, but Twitch’s Shelagh M. Rowan-Legg posits the following theory—informed by Jameson’s ideas on Postmodernism—on the current “proliferation of remakes and rehashings”:

Part of this, of course, is the inability of Hollywood to either think of or take risks on original stories. Another part is nostalgia, and legions of fans who devote websites and twitter feeds to their favourite movies, allowing producers and distributors to see potential millions in the fans who would flock to see remakes, sequels and reinventions.

As far as film franchises, here’s more from the aforementioned Produced By conference. This Deadline article claims that, “The future of Hollywood franchises is international and it is female.” The Hunger Games producer Nina Jacobson is quoted as “lament[ing] Hollywood’s pursuit” of “the fanboy audience”: “Can you think, between movies, TV, video games and porn, any audience that has a shorter attention span?” One of the comments takes exception to Ms. Jacobson’s quip, and seems to refute the earlier linked Twitch article, saying:

I find it odd that anyone in Hollywood would lament the “fanboy audience” or their attention spans. For the most part, fanboys have been patiently waiting for Hollywood to stop with the CGI and the endless reboots and start giving us movies that feature the characters and stories that we have loved for years. Our attention span is just fine . . . Hollywood is the one that thinks we need to be re-introduced to the origins of Superman or Spiderman every 3 years.

Less Lee Moore, Managing Editor

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