6 Degrees: Friday Flix

168816805 FOR 6 DEGREES COVER PHOTO SHOT

 

Hello Film Fans! We are entering an exciting season with lots of awards and film releases that will kick off the start of Awards Season in Hollywood and around the globe. There’s the Sundance Film Festival for Independent films, followed by the Oscars in February and the Cannes Film Festival later in the Spring.

So that means there’s a surfeit of really good movies to see out there (for a change!). I’ve heard good buzz about The Shape of Water, one of my must-see’s, as well as Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri and Spielberg’s The Post.

Other films in contention for top awards include The Florida Project with Willem Dafoe, Lady Bird, directed by Greta Gerwig, and Phantom Thread starring Daniel Day Lewis.

The Many Elephants in the Room: These days, there are many ways to be “Politically Incorrect” when talking about film and the Hollywood Studio System. Harvey Weinstein was just the tip of the iceberg which has set off a real earthquake which is long overdue, not only in the famed Halls of Hollywood, but as a National Conversation for Americans to begin in the workplace. At Friday Flix and on the Six Degrees blog, we’ve talked for the past year about the ways in which women are slighted in Hollywood. Not only slighted in the directors’ chair, but in women’s pay, and of course, on the infamous ‘casting couch’ which has become, thanks to serial offenders such as Weinstein, an open secret. So the fact that we are talking about these things is a positive development as we move into 2018.

There’s still a long way to go. And the diversity issue, another well-known open secret in Hollywood, has also become an issue at the Oscars, with #OscarsSoWhite trending, as well as the many barriers which still need to be broken in terms of diversity and gender. For those who believe this is a recent phenomenon, cast your minds back (if you are just a child-use the Google Machine!) to the time that Marlon Brando refused his Best Actor Oscar in 1973 and sent a young Native American woman named Sacheen Littlefeather on stage in full Tribal dress to state the reasons why Brando didn’t want to accept his Academy Award. He was, to say the least, ahead of his time on this issue. And to bring this conversation full circle, there’s a good piece featured in 6 Degrees Magazine from The New Yorker this week that asks: Can Hollywood Change Its Ways?

Looking forward to: Hostiles, the Western with Christian Bale, which has gotten good advance reviews. For more films coming soon, we compiled a list of the 2018 releases that look promising. And Tom Hardy is starring in his own Comic book film, Venom, set to release in October of this year.

The Black Panther film opening next month has received lots of good advance press and has a big following as a long-anticipated comic offering. There’s a list of books set to become films in 2018 that are listed in an article from Bustle, if you feel so inclined to read the plots and compare. There’s a list of best 21st Century films out from Gizmodo. I can’t agree with many of the films listed, but Arrival and Ex Machina, and possibly Let the Right One In would probably make the cut on my list….

I’m working to compile some of the best films of the past two decades. That would be the films of the 21st Century. In my book, 6 Degrees of Film: The Future of Film in the Global Village, there’s an entire section that features the work of George Lucas and his Industrial Light & Magic Studio. The CGI concept of film-making has really revolutionized the industry. As someone said in the book, the ideas and concepts that were simply on paper or in someone’s head can now be conceptualized with the industry’s graphic and computer capability. The only limits now are bound in the limits of the director or filmmaker’s imagination.

My gift to all of the devoted film fans of 6 Degrees is a downloadable Chapter of 6 Degrees of Film: From Star Wars to Sin City. If you’d like a copy, please sign up here for the Friday Flix and the upcoming Oscar Newsletter, and you’ll get link to receive a copy of the chapter from my book. I’ve got other upcoming gifts for Film Fans in 2018, and hope to hear from all of you during the course of the year. Until then, See you at the movies!-ML

Next Week: A look at the new Movie Pass -the Good and bad points when using the service

Can Hollywood Change its Ways?

 

 

6 Degrees: Friday Flix

168816805 FOR 6 DEGREES COVER PHOTO SHOT

Happy New Year, Film Fans!
This week, here’s a look back at some of the things we’ve talked about in the past year. The changing business of movie making and changing habits of movie goers….

The “Woke” business of Hollywood: The #MeToo Movement and Harvey Weinstein scandal, as well as the #AllWhite Oscars issue is still dogging Hollywood. Diversity has been a problem since Marlon Brando sent a young Native American woman onstage at the Oscars to announce why he was not going to accept the Oscar for Best Actor for The Godfather in 1973.

In the year ahead, here’s what to expect: From the turn of the 21st Century, we expect what one of the more interesting articles of the week has pointed out: MOST of the biggest box office films of the past year were in one of four categories: 1) Superheroes; 2) Animation; 3) Live-action FROM animated original versions; and 4) …..Star Wars!

There is some good news with original films and screenplays. They are distributed more widely than ever before. The Sundance Film Festival has been a mainstream entity for the past two decades. And Indies are recognized for bringing diversity, original storylines and the introduction of new faces to inject new blood into the old Hollywood system.

So there’s good news and bad news with the year before us. We still have a long way to go in terms of diversity and gender equality as portrayed in most mainstream films. However, there is a new attitude and it’s a part of the collective consciousness sweeping the country that is dictating the terms for the future. And it bodes well for women and minorities.
In my book, 6 Degrees of Film: The Future of Film in the Global Village, I talk about the past as prologue for many of the problems facing Hollywood in the 21st Century. To some degree, they have never completely done away with the old Hollywood studio system, of corporate bigwigs and the casting couch syndrome dictating policy and making the final decisions as to who’s in and who’s out…This feels like a sea change has occurred, and a new vision and perhaps eventually, a new and improved Corporate mindset will take hold in Hollywood as well as throughout Corporate America.

 

Hollywood has always been about making money. Art was a secondary pursuit.
In this case, Life imitates Art to the point where Art may finally be on the winning side of history! Here’s a list of some of the articles in the past week edition of the online magazine: 6 Degrees of Film. Until next week, see you at the movies!
Featured in 6 Degrees of Film Magazine:
Movie Ticket Sales were the Lowest in 25 Years
How Songs Shaped Show Business on the Silver Screen
40 Most Beautiful Shots from Movies in 2017
Steven Spielberg at the Oscars
Movies to watch in 2018