Wanted: A New Movie Critic For Chicago

The Chicago Tribune is looking for a new movie critic. It’d help if you’re a woman, reports the Chicago Reader. “Coverage of major film festivals is a key part of the job, as is writing larger expository pieces on developments in the industry. . . . This critic’s reviews should appeal to readers as great pieces of writing, beyond their crucial function in guiding readers’ moviegoing decisions.”

Inducing A Chill On Technology

Critics are lining up against the Induce Act, the anti-copying legislation now being considered by the US Congree. “The Induce Act would have a definite chilling effect on technological innovation. Even if judges are not inclined to interpret it broadly, the vague language opens the door to harassing lawsuits. Companies creating multipurpose technologies would have to be prepared to defend themselves against copyright infringement allegations.”

Anime Through The Underground

“Anime is everywhere. The global sales of Japanese animation and character goods, an astonishing 9 trillion yen ($80 billion) has grown to 10 times what it was a decade ago. Much of that growth has occurred in North America and Western Europe, where young people have embraced this distinctive style of popular culture, one which extends well beyond the wide-eyed beauties, cute animals, and giant robot battles anime represents for the most casual consumers.”

Aussie TV Dramas In Decline

Australian TV is producing less drama. “The numbers are stark: the National Drama Production Survey, released last week by the Australian Film Commission, shows TV drama spending at its lowest level for 10 years; the number of hours of adult TV series being made is only just above the lowest annual figure for a decade, and the spending on foreign and co-produced TV dramas has plummeted an astonishing 78 per cent since 1998-99.”

Disney Negotiating Miramax Future

Disney is negotiating with Miramax head Harvey Weinstein over Weinstein’s departure from the studio. “Weinstein’s status has been thrown into doubt in recent months, with reports increasing that he will leave Miramax behind while brother and fellow co-head Bob Weinstein could hang onto the reins at Miramax’ s genre arm Dimension.” Miramax is having a slow summer, having spent its budget.

New Funding For NY Arts?

The New York State Legislature is considering setting up a new funding source for the arts. “The state Assembly has approved a bill establishing an arts fund that would receive money when individuals mark a personal income tax return check-off. The funds would go to the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), which funds arts programs statewide.”

Actors Unions: Another Try At Merger?

Are the Screen Actors Guild (SAG) and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (AFTRA) talking merger again? Last year a proposal to merge the two actors unions failed in a vote. “Some 75% of AFTRA members voted for the AIMA proposal. But SAG needed a supermajority — 60% of voting guild members — to approve the merger, and received only 58%.”

Zimbabwe – Little Theatre, Big Role

Zimbabwe has little theatre, but what theatre it has is making an impact. “Since the Zimbabwean government introduced tough media laws in 2002, theatre has taken on a new and edgy role. It is a place where entertainment can express, yet mask, deep-rooted anger; where in the face of a dying culture, humour and humanity can be tended like glowing coals, ready for igniting in the future. And since the media crackdown, audiences have started to grow exponentially.”