|THE PILL BOX|
A CATALOG OF CULTURE & BARBARITY
"what films get on TV and why" would be a good piece of expose journalism -- we shd get someone young and feisty to write it for us!
*all eyes turn to hkm*
haha i pitched something much like this to a famous newspaper (during the craziness on ilm last week) just the other day.*
but you end up needing to know lots of FACTS for it to stick properly and tbh it shd be written by someone who experienced better times for films-on-tv. (i saw most of the euro-art-film canon on decaying vhs tapes of channel 4 seasons from the 80s...)
sidebar: i just CUT my nft/bfi membership.
*by way of following up a pitch i made abt the great and recently revived -- and in this country TOTALLY IGNORED -- 'the passenger' which no paying publication would take :(
Even tho I think Antonioni and Nicholson are both vasty overrated ... I LOVE The Passenger. It was also one of many unlikely classics I bought on VHS in and around Finsbury Park in the late 80s early 90s, for, you know, beween 50p and £2.
The mark-up on 'quality' is a despicable trend.... BFI DVDs or 'organic' food (which I won't buy on about twenty principles), same deal...
I must admit I share Ian's disgust about Film Four (although it's less of a pressing concern now I'm out in the sticks, where we can't even get Five, never mind FreeView). My two great educators as a teenager were C4 ... and NME. Both have succumbed to the same niche idiocy ... the thing with niches though, surely, is the same as with film seasons, they don't HAVE to be boring, predictable and lowest common denominator ....
(I agree with Ian about Ewan fucking Macgregor too... totally smug ... that VOICE.... and I haven't seen Moulin Rage on the grounds that, like, I don't think my CNS could take it...)
actually mark-up on quality is less of a recent trend than a old-skool leisure-industry staple -- there were very similar format wars a century ago between different sorts of phonograph cylinder, in which quality bakelite (or "edisonite" or whatever it actually was) was reserved for "quality music" -- meaning some four-minute snatch of crackly puccini as opposed to "cohen on the phone" or the laughing policeman -- and thus the more expensive item was the high-culture item
of course "edisonite" really WAS more expensive to make than wax -- with current technology, you can have improvement in reproduction quality at the same time as radical reduction in manufacturing and distribution costs, so almost all the prices charged are worked out (and jacked up) via cross-subsidy shellgames of varying degrees of transparency, and a LOT of integrated cross-media complexity (and the bfi's problem is that it's CAN'T cross-subsidise at the same time as having a chartered duty to promote the overlooked and the undervalued)
this is why it would be so good to point an angry young journalist w/a very good head for economics at the WHOLE THING -- including the short-termism at Film Four or wherever (i'm still mired in plain old terrestrial, which is probably why i've been playing the contrarian goat more than getting annoyed in turn!)
problem is that almost all outlets for the info are themselves compromised (= have a cross-licensed "free DVD" on the cover of the very issue that declines to run yr story!)
s&s is unfortunately "not interested in television" -- i had a plan to wear them down on this matter this summer but i have as usual spent my energies elsewhere
Some of the most eye-opening pieces of music journalism i've read in past 5 yers have been court case related . NOTHING can surprise or stir us any longer as far as gossip about the private lives of stars is concerned. But small print in contracts, and economics under the microscope, lift up a whole other 'rock'. Trouble is, music reportage falls between 'gossip' and 'lifestyle', and economics rarely gets a light shone on it. (Or if it does, I presume, it's in the Financial Times or somewhere similar.)
Its considered boorish, I think, still, to interrupt the Romantic gestalt with nuts n bolts questions of this sort.
Even ecomic idiocy - cf Tony Wilson & Factory - is re-spun as part of the good old free spirited anarchic RnR way of doing things.
the possible court case of dvd manufacturers vs newspapers (or was it hmv vs newspapers) for loss of earnings due to front-mounted dvds would be/is/was interesting if it actually happened etc, etc.
quality dvd mark-up is a bit like what mark said perhaps but... the big studio films *also* have plenty of *extras* and are still cheaper. with new foreign films, i think it really is economies of scale.
with old films obviously it costs money to clean them up -- that's the equivalent of 'edisonite' i suppose, that's what we saps pay for. as with remasters.
on the other hand i like remasters, they sound good; and these days £15 for a dvd -- all in all, not much more expensive than a london cinema ticket (if you eat popcorn, you gotta make serious bank).
£15 for the cinema?1? Most of us (i.e the human race) don't actually live in London. If you choose to pay through the nose for the privelige of living in that polluted, crime-infested, bomb target, grease pole that's your own problem...
Interesting update on all this. FILM 4 is showing Wong Kaw-Wai's IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE tonight (11.40) (LA Confidential is on at 9.00 - for only the 14th time this month.)
But get this - I just saw an advert on Tv for tomorrow's TIMES. Which has a FREE DVD on its cover of ... yes, IN THE MOOD FOR LOVE.
re pop economics, a member of a girl band, girls aloud or something was recently slagging off her bandmates (they don't even drink!) and ended with '..and the money's shit'. I bet the Management lawyers got busy after that remark '...henceforth you shall refrain from discussing ANY financial aspects of Sony Corp..'Post a Comment
Tangentially, this reminds me of a friend of a friend, a video editor on The Bill who once idly remarked to a colleague in the pub '..but it is a load of shit isn't it?' Pandemonium. It was revealed to him that the survival of the programme, and the livelihoods of everyone involved in it, depended upon the unthinking support of everyone working on it