Notes / Category / Cinema

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Movie Studio Angst Over Content Delivery

The story goes: movie studios have seen their revenue from home entertainment media sales fall off a cliff; during the same time, Netflix nurtured a successful subscription service through streaming content and DVD mailings; movie studios realize their best interests lie in digital content delivery and have sought to re-price their licensing agreements with online providers; Netflix, in turn, having no choice, enter into these contracts and pass the costs to its customers; these very customers react negatively to the price increases and leave en masse; in order to clarify their long-term strategy Netflix announces it will divide its streaming service (Netflix) from its DVD mail service (Quickster), further angering its customers.

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Faster, Faster Frame Rates

To better understand what a faster frame rate would look like, watch a movie on a 1080p HDTV with a 120hz or greater refresh rate. It is not necessarily an apples to apples comparison, but it gets you close to what you should expect. Two good examples would be the blu-ray discs of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and District 9. Considering the high production values of the former, the audience gets a you are there experience; while the documentary film-style of the latter is well served by the higher refresh rate. It should be noted that Neil Blomkamp shot District 9 on the Red One camera and the Sony EX1 camcorder.

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The Stench of Death

I can’t say I spent much time in a Blockbuster store to have developed an archive of memories, so I have no strong feelings about Blockbuster’s inevitable ruinations; but, Mr. Seitz’s sense of loss could be echoed for other types of brick-and-mortar stores: the music shop or the book store. While a Barnes & Noble store has yet to attain the air of decay permeating a Blockbuster, it will only be a matter of time, now that Kindle books sales have started to outnumber hardcover book sales.

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Hitchcock and the Sleight of Hand

The notion that a film director has a duty of fair play to his audience as it pertains to the truth content of the film’s narrative shows the level of craft and consideration Hitchcock had for his work. Certainly, preserving the narrative continuity of suspense at the expense of lying to the audience was the right decision—a masterful and beautiful lie.