DVR

Culture Warrior

Veteran filmmaker Paul Schrader, notorious author Bret Easton Ellis, and indie producer Braxton Pope want you to audition for their new film. They’re assembling a microbudget feature for the digital distribution market called The Canyons, and they’re looking for some fresh new faces to star in it. Is your lack of an agent or non-Los Angeles residence preventing you from getting a fair chance at auditioning for legit films? There’s no need to worry, for we live in the 21st century my friend. The Canyons is holding its audition process through Facebook. On the one hand, The Canyons‘s unique production process makes complete sense. We are no longer, after all, in 2006 when studio producers had an overinvested, experimental Snakes on a Plane-level-interest in Internet culture. In this case, even on a small-budget independent film, the visible gatekeepers still possess power over the participants within the supposedly “democratized” framework of social networking. For a while it seemed that cinema – largely an object particular to 20th century logic – could not adapt to the boundary-destroying, power-shifting implications of the 21st century. Now this seems to no longer be the case. Web distribution (which was little more than a fantasy or an overblown threat to theatrical cinema’s hegemony just over a decade ago) is now seen as a conceivable and potentially profitable alternative to traditional film exhibition.

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Boiling Point

Depending on your position in life, you most likely fall into one of three camps regarding DVR service. If you’re a user of it, you think it’s one of the greatest inventions of all time. Way better than sliced bread. If you’re someone who has their livelihood tied to commercials, you probably hate it. After all, we use it to skip that shit. The third camp is people who don’t have DVRs and thus don’t really care. Regardless of what camp you fit into, we must all acknowledge that the DVR is here and here to stay. No take-backsies! We have to learn to live with it – well, no, I love to live with it, it frees me up and lets me watch TV on my schedule, but I can understand why some studio people don’t like it. So knowing that a DVR is running in tons of houses, I have a message to Cable Companies: get your shit synchronized!

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In a recent Movie News After Dark, good ol’ Neil Miller posted a link to an article explaining that the modern cable box is one of the most power draining items in the modern home. While this is not surprising in the least, it did get me thinking. Why hasn’t the way television is delivered to us moved to the “cloud” yet? Now, the “cloud” is a word that gets kicked around a lot in modern computing, and I’m sure if you’re reading this you already know what it is. But in case you don’t, in a nut shell (at least defined by Wikipedia) the “cloud” refers to  “access of multiple server-based computational resources via a digital network.” In other words, if I put my new Limp Bizkit album on one computer, I can then access it on another computer or mobile device. So what about television? I think we can all agree that unless you’re over the age of thirty five, you probably don’t get your television delivered to you in the traditional sense. That traditional sense being the formula of you + couch/bed/chair + remote + TV + (depending on your servce) receiver box = entertainment. No, for the new age the formula is iTunes/Amazon/Hulu/Netflix/any other VOD service you use + internet + mobile device/computer + (any location on earth) = entertainment.  And that’s what this is all about.

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January is a notoriously terrible month for movies because the holiday rush is over, and because there has to be an island of misfit movies somewhere on the calendar. Even though there are a couple of decent-to-good films coming out this month, the dearth of interesting releases is a saddening one. Unless you see it as an opportunity. The movie world is giving you a breather, a chance to step away from the box office for a while and whittle down your dependency on the butter product they’re putting on popcorn now. What are you going to do with all that luxurious free time? Here are a few ideas.

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bp-americanidol

This article will run from 11:01am to 12:24pm. Set your DVR accordingly. Programming Note: Article may start early or late and end whenever it feels like. You can’t win.

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oc-grindhousestarz

If you were one of the un-lucky people to say “Nah, I’ll wait for DVD”, you know that you were dealt the misfortune of two DVD releases and no special treats.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
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