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The Reeler Blog

The News: Strike News Now Predicted 5 Days in Advance

Terry George fights for his straight-to-iTunes future (Photo: Deadline Hollywood Daily)

By S.T. VanAirsdale

Some of today's movie news of note from around New York:

--For better or worse, Nikkie Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily has been the blog of record for all news (and non-news) emerging from the ongoing Writers Guild strike. Recently, however, she went on deep background for a story that could dramatically change the trajectory of the negotiations: It's cold in New York. "[I]t's easy to forget the hardship of frigid weather that WGAE strikers are enduring back in NYC," Finke writes. "For instance, the WGAE last week picketed in intermitten snow squalls and wind chill that made temps of 31 to 33 feel like the high teens. Yet the picketers still turned out in Rockefeller Plaza last Wednesday and in front of News Corp last Tuesday. ... The NYC picketers walk the line bundled up against the cold in layers of clothes, including two pairs of gloves." Now that's a cause you can get behind -- until you see Reservation Road butcher Terry George wielding a bullhorn.

--Variety's Mike Jones contributed a nifty piece from last week's International Film Festival Summit about the glut of festivals upsetting the balance of not just indie markets, but exhibition as well. Of course Tribeca takes its lumps (" 'We lose out annually to Tribeca,' says Sarasota's Tom Hall. 'They have a mandate for premieres, but we don't. Three to five films a year back out.' "), Sundance director Geoff Gilmore does stand-up comedy ("There's no formula. A festival should be a cultural event, not a business opportunity.") and -- gasp! -- we learn that prospective liquor sponsors don't return their phone calls, but the news here reveals how fests are adjusting to higher rental fees and sales agent commissions. (Check back to my August NYT feature for an idea of how these phenomena affect local fests.)

--It looks increasingly likely that China will be denied the visionary wasted New York of I Am Legend. American exports are damaging its film industry, and even Will Smith can't save the day on this one. There's probably an oversimplified reaction to made here about Christmas toys and -- oh, wait, I just made it.

--Pullquote features a pair of fast and loose awards-season musings, including one smashing up the NYC crime triptych of American Gangster, We Own the Night and Before the Devil Knows You're Dead. Oh, and we agree on the overall futility of year-end lists. Solidarity, sister! Just keep Terry George out of it.

Posted at December 11, 2007 9:41 AM

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