This article in the New Yorker asks the question: what happened to all the variety in movies? Serious dramas? Gone. It argues that the six major studios have shrunk their repertoire to three kinds of movies: 1. blockbusters, 2. animated features for families, and 3. genre movies—thrillers, chick flicks, romantic comedies, weekend-debauch movies and horror movies. "Studios play for a series of small and medium-sized winners rather than constantly trying for the big killing; they could reduce costs by paying stars and directors minimal amounts up front and dividing all revenues at the back end by fixed percentages—that would bring the initial costs way down and allow them to greenlight more daring projects." Read it!
Thirty-seven photos show East Germany's remarkable transformation from a miserable anti-capitalist environment to an attractive free enterprise environment. Capitalism might not be perfect, but it's glossier.
How interesting that Ronald Reagen was supposed to play the lead in Casablanca instead of Humphrey Bogart, but was forced to turn it down as he had been called up for service in the American army. An article from The Atlantic, on the 70th anniversary of the film, discusses a story where "every character, it seems, could be the subject of a movie just as compelling as Casablanca".