Since Forbes contributor Kelly Richmond Pope says she uses film to teach accounting to her students because, she writes, “numbers tell the best stories,” she has come to discover while composing this year’s syllabus that film could also teach entrepreneurs about fraud schemes. Companies lose five percent of their annual revenues to payroll fraud, cash theft, as well as expense fraud, and entrepreneurs are especially vulnerable because so little of their time or resources are invested in internal controls. The five films Pope recommends for entrepreneurs are: Steve James’s Abacus: Small Enough to Jail (2016); Netflix’s Ozark (2017-); Pope’s own All the Queen’s Horses (2017); Frank Darabont’s The Shawshank Redemption (1994); and AMC’s Breaking Bad (2008-2013).
New leadership announcements from MGM
MGM Motion Picture Group president Jonathan Glickman is stepping down to be a producer for the studio after chairman and CEO Gary Barber was fired in 2018, according to Deadline. Meanwhile, former New Line-DreamWorks-Sony executive as well as Fifty Shades of Grey producer Michael De Luca will become chairman of the MGM Film Group as late as March, making him the equivalent to MGM Worldwide Television Group chairman Mark Burnett. De Luca previously declined the opportunity to run Paramount for Jim Gianopulos, and Glickman has been working with MGM since 2011, outlasting both Barber and Roger Birnbaum from Spyglass Entertainment, who arrived with him.
With more women directing, BBC heralds new golden age of cinema
When BBC Culture polled the greatest films directed by women, only nine of the top twenty-five were released before 1990, and a fifth of the top one hundred are dated 1999, 2008, 2014, or 2017, which seems to be symptomatic of a new filmmaking golden age, according to BBC News. Australian critic and Hollywood-based presenter Alicia Malone says the rise of independent film in the 1990s democratized moviemaking, as newer, smaller studios allocated more risk-averse budgets and high-definition consumer video cameras to previously unheard of artists. Tricia Tuttle, the artistic director of the BFI London Film Festival, says it’s still too soon to know whether we’re in a golden age or not, but with four out of the five female nominees for the Best Director Academy Award being nominated after 1990, change is here.
“Sight & Sound” calls Joanna Hogg’s “The Souvenir” (2019) the top release of the year
Sight & Sound named Joanna Hogg’s semiautobiographical The Souvenir (2019), introducing Honor Swinton Byrne as a promising young filmmaker who falls for a charismatic (if self-indulgent) heroin addict, as the greatest film of the year, according to IndieWire. The BBC also listed it in the hundred best movies directed by women; in addition, Sight & Sound included Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite (2019), Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (2019), Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman (2019), and Jordan Peele’s Us (2019) in its top twenty. Neither Sight & Sound, nor Time with its top ten, recognized Todd Phillips’s Joker (2019), but both did Noah Baumbach’s Marriage Story (2019).
US Justice Department strikes down landmark “Paramount Decree” after seventy years
As part of his review of legacy antitrust decisions (up next is a 1941 music royalties decree) since his appointment in 2017, Makan Delrahim, the chief of the United States Department of Justice’s antitrust division, struck down the Paramount Decree, according to the Financial Times. The 1948 competition case began as a 1938 price-fixing and monopolization lawsuit against eight Hollywood film companies; the outcome regulated the divestiture between distribution and theater ownership, as well as the practice of studios dictating minimum ticket prices. Delrahim told an American Bar Association antitrust conference in Washington online streaming services have changed exhibition over the last eighty years, but the Independent Cinema Alliance says this move will hurt smaller theater chains.
Composer discusses film scoring
On Wednesday, Branford College hosted a Residential College Tea with composer Howard Shore, who shared with conductor John Mauceri the technical method as well as the emotional artistry behind cinematic scoring, according to the Yale Daily News. Shore, who scored the likes of Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, says one must be disciplined enough to write music bar by bar and page by page, while, at the same time, composing from the heart, rather than analytically or intellectually (which all comes later). Shore’s next project will be featured in François Girard’s The Song of Names (2019), with a Christmas Day release date.
Film and native language preservation
One hundred sixty-five indigenous languages remain out of the three hundred spoken in North America before colonization, and tribal elders, humanitarians, as well as linguists are tapping into the power of film to preserve these dying tongues, according to The New Yorker. Following the release of Zacharias Kunuk’s Atanarjuat (The Fast Runner) (2001), the first feature to be written, directed, and acted in the eastern Inuit dialect of Inuktitut, the likes of the Star Wars saga and Andrew Stanton’s Finding Nemo (2003) have been translated into Navajo. Iñupiaq filmmaker Andrew Okpeaha MacLean says, “In the academic space, the language survives; in the cultural space, the language lives.”
“Harriet” consultant says movie is historically accurate
Kasi Lemmons’s Harriet (2019) was released Friday, and Kate Larson, the expert consulted for the film, says the fictionalized Harriet Tubman biopic is still a faithful retelling of the Maryland-born historical figure’s life, according to WBALTV. Larson, who has studied Tubman for the last twenty-five years, says she grew up a slave separated from much of her family, until running for freedom on the Underground Railroad with her brothers September 17, 1849, before they could be sold into the Deep South. Larson says she hopes the film will inspire audiences to visit the communities where Tubman became an American hero.
Jane Fonda accepts award during arrest in D.C. protest
As Jane Fonda was being handcuffed Friday in Washington for the third time in fourteen days as part of her demonstration of civil disobedience against climate change by getting arrested every week, she gave an acceptance speech to a nearby camera, according to the New York Daily News. She was due to receive the honorary Stanley Kubrick Britannia Award for Excellence in Film from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts in Los Angeles later that night, the fifth actor to win it after Meryl Streep, Jodie Foster, Matt Damon, as well as Cate Blanchett. Fonda is a two-time BAFTA Best Actress, for Fred Zimmerman’s Julia (1977) and James Bridges’s The China Syndrome (1979), in addition to a two-time Academy-Award honoree (out of seven nominations), for Alan J. Pakula’s Klute (1971) and Hal Ashby’s Coming Home (1978).
The fight to make the film industry more green
Emile O’Brien, who founded the environmentalist film and television consultancy service Earth Angel, was inspired to do so after studying production at New York University and seeing how much waste there was on sets, according to Vice. As an example, BAFTA says a single hour of fiction or nonfiction television produced in the UK generates thirteen metric tons of carbon dioxide, which is almost as much CO2 as an American produces on average in a year. To encourage a business which prides itself on its progressivism to put its money where its mouth is environmentally, O’Brien suggests that crews departmentalize “Eco Production Assistants,” and that activist groups host awards ceremonies for sustainability.