Friday, November 9, 2007

The Week That Was (11/5 - 11/9)

Title card from Sergei Eisenstein's 1925 film, Strike (which can be seen here).

The Writers Strike - The Studios:
"Isn't it kind of hypocritical that on one hand the studios and networks say that unauthorized downloading or copying of content is 'stealing,' because you're taking something of value -- but on the other hand, they say the writers don't deserve residuals, because the content is valueless? Or now they're even saying that downloads are 'promotional' -- in which case they should be paying hackers to copy DVDs and redistribute content on the Net." - BigTed, commenting on "Even more things you wanted to know about the WGA strike but were afraid to ask," a post by TV critic Alan Sepinwall at his blog, What's Alan Watching?, 11/05/07. The commenter identifies the chief hypocrisy of the producers who, on the one hand, refuse to compensate writers for such content but on the other, hire front groups to sue their customers for downloading Internet content without paying them. Pick a theory. Of course, the producers may simply be exploiting the strike to rid themselves of commitments, deals, and contracts they otherwise could not absent a work stoppage.

The Writers Strike - The Writers: "We write the story-a, Eva Longoria!" and "We've got Julia, yes we do! Hey now, Eva, what about you?," Members of the Writers Guild of America, protesting near filming for the ABC program "Desperate Housewives" over actress Eva Longoria's decision to film scenes that day, quoted in "TV writers slam Eva Longoria for working while they strike," by Nancy Dillon, Stephanie Gaskell, and Bill Hutchinson of the New York Daily News, 10/7/07. Protest chants are never entirely clever, but these are being offered by those who are on strike for their abilities as wordsmiths. They really are on strike from writing, aren't they? The idea of writers striking is an odd one, for in popular culture, writers depict themselves not as laborers but as creative sorts who cannot separate their own identities from their craft. They write, therefore they are. They strike, therefore they are not?

Best Editing in Exploitation Movies: Not on strike is the intrepid Horus Kemwer, who recently completed his series of posts on the six films he deems worthy of his "Best Editing in an Exploitation Movie" awards, those being, in reverse order from sixth to first, Schramm, Hard Boiled, Peking Opera Blues, Beyond the Valley of the Dolls, DOA (Dead Or Alive), Cannibal Holocaust. Clicking on one of the forgoing film titles will take you to Mr. Kemwer's analysis of the film and his reasons for bestowing his award upon it. Of particular interest is his write up of Cannibal Holocaust, the gruesome film upon which he bestows first prize. The history of that production, and of the film to which it pays homages, is, quite frankly, frightful.

Special Recognition:
Special thanks to Emily for assisting me in the formatting of some images for posting this week.

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