FROM Patrick Goldstein
Damaged Children, Clueless Adults and Hollywood Ratings Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein is releasing the documentary Bully without a rating after Hollywood's Motion Picture Association of America said it would get an "R" rating because the "F---word" is used repeatedly. Weinstein says that would prevent the target audience, teen-age kids, from seeing it and learning important lessons. Bullying is now recognized as the source of long-term emotional damage, aggravated by adults who don't get it. Can a documentary make a difference? Is Weinstein seeking publicity? Should the MPAA update its criteria in the age of the Internet and cable TV? Note: Both Harvey Weinstein and the MPAA have declined our invitation to participate in our discussion.
Hollywood Meets the Internet and Economic Reality Hollywood is waking up to technology and economics. Studios are becoming revolving doors for executives, and the standards for "green-lighting" new projects aren't what they used to be.
Hollywood Meets the Internet and Economic Reality With so much free content on-line, the business model for movies just doesn't work any more. Revenues from DVD's are declining fast, as is backing from wealthy "angels" with big money to spend. And this was a summer of box-office flops. Studios are becoming revolving doors for executives, and are basing productions on comic books, graphic novels, webisodes and video games that can be serialized and "branded" for easy marketing. "Specialty" projects aimed at adults are fewer and farther between. We see how the wide world of entertainment is changing.
Talks Between Writers and Studios Break Down. Why? What’s Next? Thousands of people are going to be out of work for a long time if the producers and writers can’t reach an agreement and at the moment, they’re farther apart than ever. On Friday , the film and TV producers told the writers to put up or shut up. The writers accused them of bad faith. The producers came back with the charge that the writers were “ideological.” In any case, they’re not talking.
The 'deconstruction' of the administrative state President Trump has failed to fill high-level positions in important agencies — and some people he has named want to phase out the agencies they're supposed to lead. We look at the possible consequences for delivering services and providing security — and at top aide Steve Bannon's plans for "deconstructing the administrative state."
Cover-up or witch hunt?: The latest on the WH ties to Russia Less than two months into his Presidency, Donald Trump is struggling to get his agenda under way, making it harder himself with tweets that dominate public attention. Meanwhile, important questions are going unanswered: why have staff members and the Attorney General lied about contacts with Russian officials?
America's top diplomat faces challenges in Asia Whatever happened to America's "pivot to Asia?" That's just one of the questions left hanging since Rex Tillerson's first trip there as Secretary of State. Is the Trump Administration hoping to change Foreign Policy or maintain the status quo?