News in brief
02 April 2020 à 16:26
Press Roundup: March 2020
In the midst of a global pandemic, how is the film industry reacting? The international press regularly reports on it.
The shuttering of theaters was the first action taken by the major theater operating groups.
Variety reported on the American exhibitor Regal Cinemas. Its CEO stated that the company's " goal [is] to provide a safe and healthy environment for our employees and guests," while the article mentions that "last weekend, the exhibition industry remained in operation but ticket sales in North America hit their lowest levels in more than two decades, generating roughly $55.3 million between Friday  and Sunday [15 March]."
For The Hollywood Reporter, this crisis "is altering viewing tastes and tendencies, turning stories of constraint and restriction [...] into small screen comfort food." Such would be the case for Portrait of a Lady on Fire, "with its glance-based courtship and the house-boundness of its characters briefly transforming into a rare kind of freedom." The film is currently streaming on Hulu.
In the German Berliner Zeitung, Brotfabrik, a Berlin theater programmer, provides an in-depth analysis of the consequences of closing cinemas: "The cinematographic art cannot function without theaters." He also emphasizes that "theater operators cannot survive with extended streaming possibilities because they don't replace the experience of sharing a film [...]. With the closing of all movie theaters, the film industry is facing the greatest challenge of its history in 125 years of existence."
In Argentina, the daily Clarín announced the grouping together of several Argentine filmmakers' associations to ask the INCAA to "declare a state of emergency in the sector [...]. They ask for the formation of a crisis committee for films in the making and use of platforms to allow films to be released, and to be able to validate financial aid."
But there is also encouraging news. The Quebec daily Le Devoir announced a few days ago "the opening of more than 500 theaters in China […]. Exhibitors have preferred to start over with relatively recent successes [.... It should be noted that most of the reopened theatres are located in northwestern China, where no new cases of COVID-19 have been reported in a month."
The role of new technologies in this crisis
Screendaily offers on its site "a list of all current international initiatives launched to support the film industry worldwide," such as "free online consulting, distance learning courses, film conferences and festivals, creative opportunities, commercial offers, online film clubs and communities, fundraising and support for professionals, etc." This list is constantly updated:
In Italy, digital cultural events online and TV content are replacing what is usually offered in theaters, now closed.
Cinemagazineweb lists the many activities promoted by Casa del Cinema and other cultural institutions in Rome, available online throughout the country.
The Rai promised to program more culture than talk shows:
In La Stampa we can read a letter signed by 150 artists "asking that public television – one of the most effective communication tools in the hands of the State – be used in a more appropriate way in order to make its closeness to the citizens felt."
In Belgium, the daily Le Soir reports on the opening of the ONF - Office National du Film du Canada collection.This represents more than 4,000 titles accessible in French and English, gems and curiosities at the click of a mouse:
And from Quebec, the daily La Presse proposes "a small overview of interesting and less well-known offers and platforms accessible in Quebec, to which moviegoers will be able to turn, following the closure of movie theaters until further notice":
To finish, the announcement of a film that comes at just the right time:
In a slightly more relaxed tone, the daily Clarín announces the release of the first film on the pandemic: Corona Zombies. This B-series terror satire, produced by Full Moon Pictures and currently in post-production, will arrive on US platforms on April 10.
Latest update : 03 April 2020 à 16:26 CEST