Today in Movie News: A doctor wants more celebrity videos, Edgar Wright has movie recommendations, Birds of Prey and The Way Back present a big test for video on demand, the Austin Film Festival has a great idea, and more. Also: We have a poll.
VOD’s Big Test: Today marks an interesting test for video on demand. As we all know, with theaters closed, films are being rushed to video on demand earlier than planned, at higher costs to consumers — and today marks the arrival of titles like The Way Back, Birds of Prey, Bloodshot, The Gentleman and Just Mercy. (Emma, The Invisible Man and The Hunt are among the new theatrical releases that jumped to VOD last week.) Hollywood is paying close attention to how these films do, because it could lead to a future where you can watch far more new releases at home. That would have far-reaching effect for theaters.
Austin Innovates: Austin Film Festival has announced AFF at Home, a new series about screenwriting and sparking your creativity during these less-than-perfect times. “Times of uncertainty and conflict often bring out the best stories,” Austin Film Festival executive director Barbara Morgan notes at the start of the first episode. Amen. You can learn more here.
What Are You Watching? Here at MovieMaker, your editor-in-chief and publisher (we’re married to each other and this publication is our weird gifted child) are watching a lot of comedy. What are you watching? Take our poll on Twitter, or email me at Tim.Molloy@MovieMaker.com.
What's everyone watching during these tricky times?
— MovieMaker Magazine (@moviemakermag) March 24, 2020
CineEurope Moves: CineEurope, a film exhibition event originally scheduled for June 22-25 in Barcelona, Spain, has been moved to August 3-6. Deadline has the details.
Edgar Wright Lists His Top 100 Comedies: Edgar Wright has a very Edgar Wright list, and shares it with IndieWire.
Doctor Seeks Hollywood Help: A doctor recommends celebrities make more videos promoting social distancing. In an essay for Variety, Dr. Mallika Mendu, medical director for quality and safety at Boston Brigham and Women’s Hospital, also asks people with influence to do anything they can to “work with partners in the fashion industry, alcohol beverage industry, and product development to think about how masks, gloves, gowns, sanitizer can be produced to protect providers.” And she asks them (or you, if you have the means) to donate. If you’re sitting on some masks or hand sanitizer, now’s the time to share with medical professionals who need it most.
Unconscionable Self-Promotion: If you watch Birds of Prey this week and want a deep dive on the company behind it, check out MovieMaker‘s recent cover story on Margot Robbie and LuckyChap Entertainment. We also have a look at some Birds of Prey influences not everyone will catch.
And now, a little section we like to call yesterday’s movie news…
Woody Allen Published: Woody Allen’s book, Apropos of Nothing, has been published with no warning by Arcade Publishing after his previous publisher dumped the book, The Associated Press reports. In the book, Allen again denies ever sexually abusing his estranged daughter, Dylan Farrow, when she was a child: “I never laid a finger on Dylan, never did anything to her that could be even misconstrued as abusing her; it was a total fabrication from start to finish,” he writes. Look, we’re just grateful for any movie news unrelated to coronavirus.
Isolation: Harvey Weinstein has tested positive for the COVID-19 virus, the Niagara Gazette reports. And if you’re thinking, “The Niagara whatnow?,” it’s the local paper near Wende Correctional Facility in Western New York, where the paper said Weinstein is being isolated. Variety spoke to Weinstein reps who could not confirm the report. Here’s hoping he can return to the general prison population as soon as possible.
Secrets of the Magic Castle: We wrote a little something about Hollywood’s majestic, mysterious Magic Castle, a sleight-of-hand haven and the subject of an excellent new documentary. Yes, what you see to your left is a woman levitating, and yes, it is caused by spirits.
Lumière 125th Anniversary: IndieWire has a terrific piece noting that today is the 125th anniversary of Auguste and Louis Lumière debuting Workers Leaving the Lumière Factory, “a short film widely regarded as the invention of movies for mass audiences.” It was held at a private screening for 10 people. Whoa, 10 people? Social distancing, Lumières! But seriously, rough as things are right now, popular cinema looks pretty great for a 125-year-old.
Chinese Theaters Reopen: More than 500 theater screens have reopened in China amid hopes that the coronavirus outbreak is receding, Variety reports.
Australian Theaters Close: When one theater door opens, another closes, TheWrap illustrates.
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