Apocalypse not now?

apocalypse now david denby
Photo by Miramax – © 1979 – United Artists
David Denby’s Do the Movies Have a Future? worries about a vanishing sense of “specific time and place” in major studio films. 0ne unforgettable scene he thinks would never be produced today: Robert Duval strutting on a smoldering beach in Francis Coppola’s Apocalypse Now (1979) as helicopters scorch the earth to the sound of Wagner’s “Ride of the Walkyries.”

You can read highlights from his interview on NPR or listen here.

Broadcast TV’s leaky basement

Recent court rulings have upheld the rights of Hopper (Dish Network’s ad skipping tool) and Aereo (feeding broadcast TV channels to your home via internet) to continue their digital challenges to the broadcast TV business model, as recounted by David Carr in his July 29 Media Equation column. aereo_antenna_array1a These upstart services threaten TV advertising and retransmission license fees, respectively, representing worrisome leaks in the basement of the broadcast TV business model. Studies on ad-skipping have shown its appeal. Time-Warner Cable exploited Aereo threat as a bargaining chip in its contentious carriage negotiation with CBS this summer. Though largely unknown to the public, you have to wonder how quickly these digital disruptions could catch on once consumers take notice.