May 24th, 2013 | music
May 23rd, 2013 | brainjuice
May 23rd, 2013 | daybook
I have some autoposts running here, but, for the most part, I’m off in my head for the next couple of days. Emails, texts and D tweets will get me with the usual speed, but I’m mostly away from the public internets to get some thinking done. Image above from my friend Ellen Rogers’ archive.
May 23rd, 2013 | daybook
As I’m sure we all know by now, I prefer these posts to fire while everyone’s asleep…!
Some of these are recently added and being tested. If the OPML-to-HTML thinger worked as advertised, all these links should be good for both subscribing and finding the originating websites.
I could really use more ambient/drone music podcasts, and some suggestions in the parapolitical/fringe/weird realm. Also good history podcasts. I’m @warrenellis on Twitter.
But this is what I’m listening to right now. Perhaps you’ll find something of interest in there.
May 22nd, 2013 | stuff2013
|Forgive me for not using the correct symbols – they always get munged somewhere between Windows Live Writer and WordPress.
This is catch-up reading. I’ve read a few shorter pieces by Zizek in the past that I never found completely compelling – he has, in general, passed me by, and I never really got the adulation. So I bought a couple of his books, deciding that I really needed to give him a go in longform. I got a chapter in and then realised I’d already highlighted a dozen phrases and passages, as well as having seen him wander down a somewhat decadent and relativised cul-de-sac and given me the finger. I kind of get him more now, and the book is remarkably hard to put down. He’s all over the place, but he’s hugely entertaining and his writing is delightfully pyrotechnic. I’m having fun with it.
May 22nd, 2013 | daybook
…this would be that revolutionary self-organised distribution process I’d been reading about. I’m geolocked on all services: even using my Amazon.com account fails. This would also explain why I saw more than a dozen different streams of the film on movie2K the other week, when I searched for curiosity. (I was going to double-check that today, but my ISP has now blocked movie2K and I can’t be bothered to run a VPN.)
This is apparently down to Carruth selling the UK distrib rights to a company who doesn’t intend to do a UK cinema release until autumn and presumably doesn’t want DVD or download to dilute cinema takings. They must be expecting to absolutely mint coins out of the twenty screens they’ll squeeze the film on to here.
So it seems I might get to buy a download in October. Which I find kind of amusing: when I was a kid, I would read about films in American comics and magazines fully four-to-six months before they made it over the ocean to Britain. And, in those days, of course, films would open in London first and make their way to the regions over a period of weeks. Warm memories of seeing a tv ad for a film playing in London and working out how long it’d take to reach the Southend cinemas (the old Rayleigh Regal was gone by then).
Well done to Shane Carruth and his distribution partners for allowing me once again to experience the film distribution methods of the 1970s.
May 21st, 2013 | researchmaterial
Fraction kicked this interview with Mitch Hurwitz over to me last night, in which he discusses the series of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT he’s done at Netflix. As with Netflix’ previous two original offerings, all fifteen episodes of the series will be released for streaming simultaneously. Also, he knew he was getting all fifteen episodes up front.
And he gets into some interesting stuff about how that environment allowed him to structure the show in ways that were new for him:
Anyway, I started sketching it out, and I had this funny idea for Maeby. It doesn’t quite fit into the master family story, but it’s funny for Maeby, and I do have this funny bit for Tobias where he writes pop songs. He’s written a song called "I Kissed a Boy." I just had all these crazy notions, and suddenly I was overwhelmed by the task of squeezing all these unrelated stories into a movie that has a central plot.
Then I had this idea. "Well, what if there’s an anthology show?" I’ve been in TV for a long time, and one of the ideas that gets pitched a lot is the idea of an anthology show. Those really worked in the Fifties and Sixties with shows like The Twilight Zone, Route 66 and Alfred Hitchcock. It’s a different thing every week.
So I thought, "I might have an opportunity now because of what may or may not be an abiding interest in these characters. I could do an anthology series, like Maeby, episode 3 or George Michael, episode 5." I just loved this idea.
I was working on simultaneous storytelling – "This is what happens from 2006 to 2013." The characters are going to bump into each other. You gotta know that George Senior is going to run into Michael. You can’t just have George Senior doing his thing.
We ended up with an eight-hour movie of Arrested Development where the pieces do kind of come together. Not only was the show told out of sequence, it was shot out of sequence.
And, whether it’s occurred to him or not, he’s talking about big interleaved novelistic structure. Which, it seems to me, is entirely perfect for a release system where one can (if one’s blowing off work for the day) watch the whole damn thing in a single sitting.
From a recent story about Google Fiber entitled "Good news for Google Fiber: Broadcast TV audiences are cratering faster than ever":
Google Fiber and its ilk may be the final straw that will break the back of broadcast television. Once high-speed video downloading becomes widely available, instant access to VOD services will make them even more appealing…
…What makes this possible is the complete paralysis of the broadcast dinos. All the majors are frozen in terror, repeating old behavioral patterns that turned self-destructive years ago. NBC spent the annual defense budget of Mauritius to promote “Ready for Love,” a tired Bachelor clone. ABC is going to build its autumn slate on “Scandal”, “Revenge” and “Betrayal,” as well as a hasty spin-off of its fading “Once Upon a Time” franchise. ABC also handed Robin Williams a comeback vehicle. Sensing desperation, audiences are tuning out in disgust.
Not untrue, so far as it goes. And, without figures to hand so yeah pinch of salt, but I think the US network tv “hits” of last season, like REVOLUTION, would have been woeful cancellation fodder even four years ago. I don’t know that the hit on Robin Williams is especially called for: the man’s a giant, but I haven’t seen the pilot of the show in question and I haven’t completely forgiven him for PATCH ADAMS.
I’m kind of curious as to how it apparently took Google Fiber, in this writer’s estimation, to make Netflix irresistible. In the office here at home, I’ve got about 20 mbps down and Netflix fairly rips along. Perhaps we’re talking about a higher resolution stream or something.
I think it’s worth admitting, now, that “television” has become one of those legacy words, like “phone,” that we use to point at a thing, without really fully describing it. What do you mean, now, when you say “television”? HOUSE OF CARDS and HEMLOCK GROVE? HAUNTING MELISSA on the iPad? Serialised (periodical) narrative? Shot for a small screen? Maybe. It certainly doesn’t mean what it used to.
(And, obviously, I’m only talking about scripted tv there. You could make an argument that “pure” television is presentational, or “reality,” or documentary.)
The term is becoming protean. The scheduling of television has quickly become meaningless, and it’s hard to describe to kids of a certain culture how there was once a time when you had to watch tv shows when they were broadcast, in realtime, because you might never see them again. Time was, the BBC wiped their own tapes. Now a significant number of people watch most of their selected BBC output in a timeshifted manner through the iPlayer.
When Amazon start commissioning drama series to follow their comedy and kid’s slates, television is going to take a new turn. Not only are Amazon in a position to take chances, but they have possibly the best analysis in the world of what people watch and will pay money for. Just crunch down that DVD-box-set data by year and genre. Amazon could actually own genre drama television within eighteen months if they chose to, either by Nate-Silvering those numbers or simply by creating five times as many productive relationships with important creators than anyone else can.
Cable, both basic and premium, have gotten their whacks in, but the full-on “disruption” of American tv by deep-pocketed internet business is going to be really interesting, not least for what disrupts them.
Developing/not fully baked.