In 1958, the New York Times ran a review of the film, The Defiant Ones, starring Tony Curtis and Sidney Poitier, “a remarkably apt and dramatic visualization of a social idea – the idea of men of different races brought together to face misfortune in a bond of brotherhood,” wrote Times film critic, Bosley Crowtherehoward Thompson. Curtis and Poitier played two escaped convicts that despised each other, but with a unified goal of fleeing for freedom and literal metaphor of being shackled together, “These two men, who think they are so profoundly different, are in basic respects the same.”
Almost 60 years later, the new HBO docu-series, set to air July 9, shares not only the title of The Defiant Ones, but this time it centers on the real-life story of how two men of different races, Andre “Dr. Dre” Young and Jimmy Iovine, each with their own musical skill sets and legacy, jointly built both a hugely successful record label and an entertainment tech company.
The Denver Film Festival 39, which began last week, hosted an interesting panel session along with Comcast, “New Avenues of Distribution,” which focused on what the growing number of streaming TV services such as Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon, means for content creators, the film industry, and film-watchers alike.
On the panel was Comcast’s director of programming, Brett Hatch; the senior director of product management at Level 3, Jon Alexander; Stephan Shelanski, the former Starz executive vice president of programming acquisitions who is now on the other side as a film producer; and film critic and moderator of the panel (and long-time Denver Film Festival participant), Bob Denerstein.
Right now is a time of contemplation for the “we’ve always done it this way” business models. In every industry, the old ways are crumbling as new ideas mesh with technology, filling demand gaps in industries and redistributing market share. Aside from the commonly referenced transportation and hospitality markets, it is the making of entertainment content that will see a tidal wave of change in the coming years.
The company causing this butterfly effect: Netflix.
“Entertainment and technology are continuing to transform each other as they have been doing for over 100 years,” said Reed Hastings this past January during his CES keynote.
“I don’t particularly want to pick up an instrument,” said Alex Paterson, founder of the ambient house pioneering entity, the Orb, “I want to pick all these sounds and make musical notes of these sounds.”
"This is the worst complaints have been for 15 years, as a rate,” Dean Headley, a researcher at Wichita State University's business school, said to CNN earlier this week in regards to the 26th annual national Airline Quality Rating report he co-authored. For those of us that travel on a regular basis, we don’t need a report to tell us what we already know first hand: for the most part and most often, flying sucks.
Tapping films included in this year's Oscar nominations, Chris Rock, Whoopi Goldberg and Leslie Jones poked fun at the lack of diversity that brought back the #OscarSoWhite social storm in full force for the second year in a row.
The conversation on the bias and inequality in the entertainment industry has been going on for some time now. In 2015, the movement behind raising the bar for women in film and entertainment has thankfully stretched beyond idol mentions and has consistently boiled up into action beyond words. Tonight’s Moonfaze Feminist Film festival at LA Mother aims to “disrupt the status quo” of homogeneity and patriarchy by dedicating a night solely to outstanding talent in feminist film.
Zak Efron stars in his latest film, “We Are Your Friends,” playing Cole Carter, a 23-year old DJ and aspiring producer, directed by a Max Joseph (Catfish: The TV Show). Considering how EDM has skyrocketed in popularity worldwide in the last ten years, financially and culturally, it’s surprising there aren’t more films with plots focused on dance culture and all its components. Maybe that’s a good thing.
“We’re ground zero,” said Ricardo Baca in regards to our home of Colorado, the first state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. The first-ever marijuana editor for Denver’s news outlet, The Cannabist, Baca had just emerged from the private screening of Rolling Papers, the documentary that will premier at this year’s SXSW.
“I met Wolf in early 2012, actually. So we’ve only known each other for about a year and a half to two years,” said Jeff Broadway, the director of the documentary, Our Vinyl Weighs a Ton, which tells the life and career story of Peanut Butter Wolf and the birth and life of his record label, Stones Throw Records.