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Posts Tagged ‘Betsy Sharkey’

Golden Globes Power LAT’s The Envelope to Best Traffic Day Ever

The remarkable and fascinating speech given at the 70th Golden Globes by 50-year-old Lifetime recipient Jodie Foster was equally golden for latimes.com. A rep for the paper tells FishbowlLA that the rush of clicks to their Foster coverage helped power The Envelope to its best day in history Monday with 12.5 million Web-based page views and another 2.3 million mobile user clicks. For a whopping total of 14.8 million page views.

Mark Olsen cranked out the quick first report about Foster’s six minutes and 40 seconds, including her backstage clarification that the speech was not a retirement announcement. Then, Monday morning, came Betsy Sharkey‘s impassioned op ed, which concluded with:

Though the specifics of what Foster actually did say, what she meant, why she chose this forum and whether she even had the right to go public in such a public, yet unconventional way, will be debated in the days, weeks and years to come. What I know is that this was one from the heart. And it was unforgettable.

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Stephanie Zacharek Dismissal a Sad, Familiar Plotline

How perilous have things become for journalists paid handsomely to review movies?

Put it this way. The ongoing dismissal of full-time film critics, to which the name of Movieline’s Stephanie Zacharek can be officially added July 13, grew into such a somber death march that Movie City News’ David Poland stopped formally tracking the print side of the trend a year and a half ago. “It was so depressing,” he tells FishbowlLA, “but my guess is that we’re down to around 80 full-time print film critics in the U.S.”

Indiewire’s Matt Singer first broke the news of Zacharek’s tweeted dismissal, eliciting comments of condolence from such notables as Roger Ebert and David Edelstein. Poland says people typically skip over a critical big picture element when discussing the dumping of marquee critics. Namely, that daily newspapers never took them that seriously in the first place.

“I think the most overlooked element in all these conversations is how abusive print was to criticism,” Poland says. “That the attitude about film criticism from traditional media – for decades – was that they could move someone from the city or obits desk, anywhere, and make them a film critic.”

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LA Film Critics Head to Missouri

The three-day conference “Based on a True Story: The Intersections of Documentary Film and Journalism” kicks off tonight at the University of Missouri School of Journalism with a special screening of The Waiting Room. But the real meat-and-potatoes discussions will take place Thursday by means of four different panels.

LA Weekly film critic Karina Longworth will be among those examining how transparent filmmakers should be about any manipulated aspects of their non-fiction, while LA Times film reviewer Betsy Sharkey will follow later in the afternoon for a discussion entitled “Documentary Entertainment and Its Audience:”

To what extent do new forms of documentary filmmaking overlap with entertainment? Has the recent success and expansion of documentary filmmaking altered audience expectations, and does that success promote or discourage filmmakers from telling the brutal truth? Are audiences expecting slices of life, melodrama, or groundbreaking journalism when they see a non-fiction film, and how have these varied expectations changed the task, the self-representation, and the films of documentary filmmakers?

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Another Free Weekly Collapses on Film Critic Andy Klein

The final print review assignment for Brand X film critic Andy Klein this week is the new Tom Hanks-Julia Roberts flick Larry Crowne. An apt narrative echo of the LA Film Critics Association member’s latest experience with the world of free weekly LA newspapers.

Klein was formerly the film editor and lead critic for Los Angeles City Beat, until he was laid off at the beginning of 2009, ahead of the publication’s shuttering in March of that same year. Now, via LAObserved, comes the news that the LA Times is ending its bizarre weekly Brand X experiment, and with it, the regular print slot for Klein.

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