The 22nd annual Miami Jewish Film Festival kicked off this past Thursday boasting a diverse lineup of eighty pictures from twenty-five different countries to make this year’s festival the biggest yet. This includes twelve world premieres, ten unique, film-related events, and a whopping twenty-five films by women filmmakers. Screenings will be taking place in fifteen venues across Miami including Coral Gables Art Cinema and the Miami Beach Cinematheque.
This is the second in a two-part exploration of the Disney-Fox deal. You can read part one here.
Though the Disney Company’s $71.3 billion bid to acquire 21st Century Fox has been met by pop-culture fans with rapturous glee, the threat of Disney establishing a modern monopoly on the entertainment industry may become a reality in this deal. There’s a logic to Disney purchasing the company that owns major stock in the streaming market plus intellectual properties closely tied to them, such as James Cameron’s Avatar (2009). The deal, however, will lead to Disney owning an estimated 30% of the film industry. Many may not mind a company like Disney owning so much stake in one industry, but there’s major concern when one considers the mediocre quality of the art Disney has produced in the last decade.
This is the first in a two-part exploration of the Disney-Fox deal. Part two can be found here.
In July of 2018, the Walt Disney Company acquired 21st Century Fox, as well as its many assets in film, television, and streaming services, for a reported $71.3 billion. This should be no surprise, as Disney has been a face for cold American corporatism for decades. The squeaky clean façade Disney desperately upholds in the face of their relentless pursuit of capital has made them an easy target for both harmless lampooning and legitimate criticism. Unfortunately, conversations about media are swamped by a nostalgia-fueled pop-culture, further amplified by social media echo chambers. Whereas many fans will worship Disney’s purchase in hopes of the Fox-owned X-Men getting name dropped in Avengers 7: The Quest for More Money (2026), this acquisition should instead be met with grave concern about the effect a modern monopoly may have on the quality of future art across the entertainment industry.
If you have never seen a noir film, now’s the perfect chance. The Miami Jewish Film Festival and Miami Beach Cinematheque are celebrating film noir with the screening of three classics in November, beginning with Mildred Pierce on November 7th.
Why Film Noir?
Dr. Michael Gillespie of FIU’s English department, who is currently teaching a film noir course, describes it as a genre “that gives examples of individuals who succeed in resisting dominant authority and provides viewers with an example of someone who sustains his or her integrity.” In other words they are movies about rebels. Selfish, sexy people working for their own gain, these are slick talking, criminally clever characters who never fail to impress.
For its 20th anniversary, superb animator Satoshi Kon’s Perfect Blue is getting a nationwide theatre release. Luckily for fans of Kon’s chilling psychological thriller, the Coral Gables Art Cinema will be hosting a screening of the film as part of their After Hours program this Saturday, October 6th, at 11:30pm. Kon’s directorial debut showcases his skillful animation style and penchant for stories with dreamlike qualities, and in Perfect Blue’s case, we get a nightmarish glimpse into a woman stripped of her personhood.
On April 3, 1968, the enduring classic 2001: A Space Odyssey was released and now, fifty years later, film enthusiasts will have an extraordinary opportunity to see the picture in all of its brilliance.
Almost a year ago, filmmaker Christopher Nolan (Memento, Inception, Interstellar) released his war drama Dunkirk in 70mm around the country to critical acclaim and commercial success. It was around this time that he learned of a film reel of 2001 that had been made from the original camera negative but couldn’t be reprinted due to lack of funding. Nolan, empowered by the success of his 70mm screenings, went to Warner Bros. with his idea of making new prints of A Space Odyssey and releasing them, in the same way that Dunkirk was exhibited. This year at Cannes, Nolan debuted the new print of the film, which he makes clear is not a restoration — no digital work has been done — but rather a reprint created through an entirely photochemical process from reels that Warner Bros. developed in the late 90s.
Have you ever thought about how a film gets projected onto the screen at your favorite theaters? Meet Pablo Blanco, film projectionist for the Coral Gables Art Cinema, who shares with us the love of film stock from boyhood in Cuba working in his father’s theater and the modern film technology he works with now.