Bollywood Depended Even More On Ticket Income Than Hollywood Did. Here’s How India’s Finally Embracing Direct-To-Streaming.

The fallout from the pandemic reduced box office grosses by about 75%, “making it easier for streaming services to land new movies, even with some theaters reopened. … The investments by streaming services in Bollywood content have also led to a surge of creativity. Instead of the usual romantic or action-hero films with all-star casts, more shows and movies are now centered on women, war and other topics.” – The New York Times

Why A Charlie Brown Christmas Is So Enduring

“Charles Schulz had what Maurice Sendak had: respect for children. He understood the way they think and feel, not the way adults want them to think and feel. He understood that there’s a point in children’s growing up when Christmas doesn’t work its magic as reliably as it once did. Schulz let them explore a taboo subject, Christmastime unhappiness, while still reassuring them that Christmas is a good and fun and wonderful thing.” – The Atlantic

The Year In Reading Of A Writer Who Died Far Too Young

Anthony Veasna So’s Year in Reading is a heartbreaker. The 28-year-old died suddenly at the beginning of December, but his essay for The Millions was nearly finished. “I did love Girl, Woman,Other by Bernardine Evaristo. Or maybe I loved knowing the characters of this kaleidoscopic novel. Maybe I need to record the lives of as many archetypal Khmer queers I can imagine.” – The Millions

As Museums Remain Closed, The Work Goes On Inside

Or, in the case of the Gardner, also in the Museum’s gardens. Just before the museum was shut down again to help prevent gatherings of people from different households, “horticulturists at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum were putting the final touches on one of the city’s most anticipated floral displays: The Holiday Garden, a vivid infusion of more than 400 flowering plants, ferns, and shrubs that each year transform the Fenway museum’s courtyard into a lush bouquet brimming with poinsettias, cyclamen, amaryllis, and orchids.” – Boston Globe

Inventing The Solo Waltz

No, we can’t all have random dance partners this year, so let’s go with a throwback to 1908. “The waltz may have a reputation as the ultimate social dance for partners — the way it is traditionally performed at the balls — but there is another interpretation, one that resonates in this pandemic year of physical distancing. More than a century ago, the Viennese dancer Grete Wiesenthal transformed the waltz into a powerful form of solo movement.” – The New York Times

The Weird Case Of The Hallmark Channel’s Jewish Christmas Movies

There’s the 23andMe email telling a Christmas-obsessed woman that she’s 50 percent Jewish; there’s the central character who is an outsider to Judaism; there is the “We’re just like you!” theme, and then there are the many, many, many, many, MANY Hanukkah decorations. “The trend is an assimilationist project which tests the meaning of the increasingly buzzword-y, amorphous concepts of ‘diversity’ and ‘inclusion.’ Do Jews really want or need to see themselves in Christmas Movie World?” – HuffPost