Wednesday, January 18, 2006

A Little of the Old In and Out


(image via indiewire)

In: Sundance. So begins the bohemian jet sets tales of the acquisitions fray, altitude sickness, cramped quarters, and dehydration at "The Dance." Sundance: that is. According to Indiewire's Eugene Hernandez, "The indieWIRE crew arrived in Utah this afternoon, a few hours before the snow started to fall. Watching the news tonight ... the weatherman is predicting between 1 - 2 feet of snow from the big winter storm heading our way; its all expected to fall between now and Sundance's opening night Thursday. Around town, things were quiet. We ran into a few publicists and a bunch of Slamdance folks participating in the traditional first-day-in-Park-City-ritual...stocking up at Albertsons."

Other Sundance coverage:

Sundance Channel Dailies
Yoav Shamir's Filmmakers Blog


(image via variety)

Out: Swagfest. Last year's Neroesque swag excess at Sundance has precipiatated a curious backlash. The pendulum swings. From the pages of the Old Gray Lady's Op-Ed page to the LATimes, you can hear the outcry. The poor wretches will have to survive on their Golden Globes swag bags. Says Kenneth Turan:

"This is the 25th anniversary of the Sundance Institute, dedicated to 'encouraging individual artists to tell their stories their own way,' and it should be the best of times for the institute's festival, which opens in Park City, Utah, on Thursday night with the premiere of Nicole Holofcener's 'Friends With Money.'

"For one thing, independent submissions are through the roof: The hard-pressed selection staff looked at 3,148 features, up from last year's 2,613, as well as more than 4,300 shorts. For another, indie-style films such as 'Brokeback Mountain,' 'Capote' and 'Good Night, and Good Luck' are dominating the awards season as never before. This roaring success, however, has also brought unwanted attention and aggressive commercialization to the independent world.

"Through no fault of its own, Sundance has become Mardi Gras North, a celebrity magnet and party destination for people with zero interest in watching films, independent or otherwise.

"Hoping to capitalize on all that buzz, publicists for all manner of pricey brands and 'lifestyle clients' show up in increasing numbers to set up shop at the festival. Intuition, which insists it is 'Hollywood's hottest boutique,' rents space on Main Street to display its wares; the humble town lift center turns into the elite 'VIP hub' known as the Village at the Lift; and even the perennial, once-casual Queer Brunch party now has a 'presenting sponsor.'One way to cope with this mania for marketability and market share is to throw yourself in the opposite direction, to be as aggressively anti-commercial as possible in the festival's centerpiece event, the dramatic feature competition. Which, judging from what festival toppers told the trades when the Sundance slate was announced, is exactly what has happened."


(image via queenbtch)

In: Drew Barrymore's Breasts. Frankly, The Corsair is kind of sick of the withering criticism aimed at Drew Barrymore's body. Some men like the natural look, if you must know. It is precisely that type of body-criticism, in fact, that leads to the unhealthy body images of young women. We heart Drew Barrymore's breasts -- with or without "support." There. We said it. Deal with it.

-- Call us, Drew?


(image via indiewire via stv)

Out: The Weinstein Golden Globes Bash. Ah, what a difference a year makes. Big Harv used to own the award season. It was only yesterday that dame Judy Dench was showing Harvey her arse at The Four Seasons. He's wined and dined with Kings and Queens, and he's lain in the gutter eating pork and beans. Now, Harvey is in a "transitional" phase. According to those intrepid Page Sixxies:

"Harvey and Bob Weinstein's party, once the bash to be at, was sparsely attended this year, sources said."

As opposed to, say, the HBO party.


(image via gilroydispatch)

In: Online Music; Download Sales. The Corsair always envisioned a digitized future in which the record labels would fire that slew of deadweight -- the A & R people -- and save money on CD costs by offering their entire catalogues online for a subscription fee, like HBO, but for a more modest price -- say: $5 a month. College students could easily afford something like that. And the edgier labels would kill on the college campuses. Online, as opposed to the brain-dead commercial radio format, people -- mainly kids -- would determine who were the breakout acts and go see them on tour and buy the merchandise. It would all be so democratic.

The came iPod. Still, the trend is music being distributed online. Says Paidcontent:

"... Napster announced today that it has passed the 500,000 mark for premium paid subscribers. That number doesn't include the 50,000-plus college students who subscribe though Napster's campus program. Chairman and CEO Chris Gorog: 'With a track record of robust growth, exciting new development in the pipeline and over $100 million on our balance sheet, we are extremely excited about the future of Napster.' The company says more details will be provided during the Feb. 8 earnings call."

And, from smartmoney (via iwantmedia):

"Universal Music Group International (UMG.XX), the world's largest music company by market share, Wednesday said it was digitizing 100,000 previously deleted European recordings in order to make them available over the Internet.

"Universal will take recordings from what it claims is the music industry's largest archive, including music from Marianne Faithfull, Fairport Convention, Nirvana and Jacques Brel.

"The global music industry has been hit over the past five years by illegal downloads over the Internet but sales of legal digital downloads in 2005 showed huge growth in the U.K. and U.S.
The global music trade body, IFPI, reported last October that the value of digital download sales have now overtaken the value of the global singles market."


(image via scripting)

Out: CNBC. That cabl- ghetto we call CNBC never quite got over Tina Brown. Media blogs kind of had to watch Tina Brown. We don't, however, feel the implicit need to watch Jim Cramer getting "saucy" in front of a bunch of coked-up frat boy stockbroker fuckheads ("Sell! Sell!!").

Or, for that matter, do we fancy watching Tim Russert using the on-the-side show as an opportunity to interview his favorite sports heroes and coaches of yesteryear (Whatever happened to the news, Tim; Yogi Berra chats get a little musty, Old Boy). TVNewser is even more damning:

"Some days I feel sorry for CNBC. Today is one of those days: The network scratched all weekend -- in total day both Saturday and Sunday -- and managed only a 0.1 in primetime.(First, all the caveats: CNBC is a business news net; it airs infomercials and reruns on the weekends; Nielsen does an awful job counting its affluent viewers.) But still: In total day, the channel averaged a 0.0 on Saturday and a 0.0 on Sunday. It had 49,000 total viewers, 19,000 demo viewers and 40,000 households on Saturday, and did a little worse on Sunday, with 36,000 total viewers, 16,000 demo viewers, and 37,000 households. The network delivered a 0.1 in primetime both days.When was the last time the network scratched all weekend?"

Take heart. CNBC is launching a Jim Cramer reality show (via iwantmedia). We highly recommend it for insomniacs. It will be like a magnum of chloroform.

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