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Scandi media conglom Modern Times Group (Mtg) is set to axe 300 jobs — 7% of its workforce — across Sweden, Norway, Denmark and the U.K. as part of a major restructure to spur its digital growth.
Unveiled today by Jorgen Madsen Lindemann, Mtg CEO, the job cuts will cost the company 700 million kronor ($84 million), while the restructure will allow the firm to save about 600 million kronor ($72 million) every year beginning in 2017.
“The new structure will realign a wide range of functions, increase efficiency levels across the business, yield savings to offset the significant adverse currency effects the group faces and enable reinvestment in the group’s core business and continued digital expansion,” said Lindemann.
As it aims to compete with global players like Netflix, Mtg has recently ramped up its investment in digital media with the acquisition of Turtle Entertainment, the online gaming and electronic sports company which operates Esl. Mtg also upped its shares in Splay, »
- Elsa Keslassy
BBC Culture has this week unveiled a new list of the top 100 American films, as voted for by a pool of international film critics from across the globe. The format of the poll was that any film that would make the list had to have recieved funding from a Us source, and the directors of the films did not need to be from the USA, nor did the films voted for need to be filmed in the Us.
Critics were asked to submit their top 10 lists, which would try to find the top 100 American films that while “not necessarily the most important, but the greatest on an emotional level”. The list, as you may have guessed, is very different to the lists curated by say the BFI or AFI over the years, so there are certainly a few surprises on here, with Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave (2013), Terrence Malick »
- Scott J. Davis
First off, let's make one thing clear. We're not scratching our heads at Spike Lee's "Do The Right Thing" making the BBC's 100 greatest American films. That movie, of which an image accompanies this post, not only made the list, but ranked appropriately at no. 25. It's the rest of the selections that have us scratching and, yes, shaking our heads in disbelief. A wonderful page view driver, these sorts of lists make great fodder for passionate movie fans no matter what their age or part of the world they hail from. There is nothing more entertaining than watching two critics from opposite ends of the globe try to debate whether "The Dark Knight" should have been nominated for best picture or make a list like this. Even in this age of short form content where Vines, Shapchats and Instagram videos have captured viewers attention, movies will continue to inspire because »
- Gregory Ellwood
Leave it to the Brits to compile a list of the best American films of all-time. BBC Culture has published a list of what it calls "The 100 Greatest American Films", as selected by 62 international film critics in order to "get a global perspective on American film." As BBC Culture notes, the critics polled represent a combination of broadcasters, book authors and reviewers at various newspapers and magazines across the world. As for what makes an American filmc "Any movie that received funding from a U.S. source," BBC Culture's publication states, which is to say the terminology was quite loose, but the list contains a majority of the staples you'd expect to see. Citizen Kane -- what elsec -- comes in at #1, and in typical fashion The Godfather follows at #2. Vertigo, which in 2012 topped Sight & Sound's list of the greatest films of all-time, comes in at #3 on BBC Culture's list. »
- Jordan Benesh
Every now and then a major publication or news organisation comes up with a top fifty or one hundred films of all time list - a list which always stirs up debate, discussion and often interesting arguments about the justifications of the list's inclusions, ordering and notable exclusions.
Today it's the turn of BBC Culture who consulted sixty-two international film critics including print reviews, bloggers, broadcasters and film academics to come up with what they consider the one-hundred greatest American films of all time. To qualify, the film had to be made by a U.S. studio or mostly funded by American money.
Usually when a list of this type is done it is by institutes or publications within the United States asking American critics their favourites. This time it's non-American critics born outside the culture what they think are the best representations of that culture. Specifically they were asked »
- Garth Franklin
UK TV ratings roundup - data supplied by Barb
Long Lost Family's return proved to be a ratings hit for ITV on Wednesday (June 3), according to overnight figures.
The Davina McCall-fronted series brought in 4.21m (21.5%) at 9pm, while a further 235,000 (1.5%) watched on ITV+1. Earlier, The Cube thrilled 3.07m (16.8%) at 8pm (234k/1.2% on +1).
BBC Two's Antiques Road Trip averaged 940k (5.5%) at 7pm, before Springwatch interested 1.94m (10.7%) at 8pm, and Modern Times continued with 680k (3.7%) at 9.30pm. Newsnight followed with 650k (5.1%) at 10.30pm.
On Channel 4, The Auction House aired to 990k (5.4%) at 8pm (271k/1.4%), while 24 Hours in A&E fascinated 1.75m (9.0%) at 9pm (329k/2.1%). The Job Centre was watched by 650k (4.1%) at 10pm (76k/1.0%).
Channel 5's Caught on Camera entertained 818k (4.2%) at 9pm (57k »
A remarkably sincere exploration of the kinds of ordinary crises that drive men to haul themselves through mud and fire, to climb walls and swim through ice cubes in search of redemption
Modern Times: Weekend Warriors (BBC2) followed a collection of blokes who had signed up for Tough Mudder, one of those extreme, military-style obstacle courses aimed at middle-aged men who have a bone to pick with life. It sounds a great idea for a programme, if not for a weekend.
I once put my name down for one of these things in a spirit of journalistic inquiry, but after reading about an obstacle involving a long crawl through a choice of narrow pipes, not all of which were open at the far end, I threw my wristband in the bin. It sounded like a metaphorical recreation of a midlife crisis, not a cure.
Continue reading »
- Tim Dowling
London-headquartered television distribution company Drg, which is led by Jeremy Fox, is expanding its global reach with the launch of a Los Angeles office, which will work with U.S. broadcasters and producers to add high-end factual and scripted shows to the Drg slate.
Joining the U.S. team will be the newly appointed senior VP of North America, Scott Kirkpatrick, previously with Marvista Entertainment. Kirkpatrick will be responsible for all finished program sales, and will work closely with Drg’s two West Coast-based consultants: Crispin Leyser, who manages the development of the scripted format side of the business, and Hayley Babcock, who is responsible for non-scripted format sales and the acquisition of factual programming in the region.
Fox, CEO of Drg, said: “The U.S. is an important destination for our clients and for TV distribution in general, and this new initiative will allow us to both acquire the best U. »
- Leo Barraclough
UK TV ratings roundup - data supplied by Barb
Britain's Got Talent was a ratings winner for ITV once again on Wednesday (May 27), according to overnight figures.
The show was up 400,000 viewers night-on-night with 8.2m (38.8%) for its third live semi-final between 7.30pm and 9pm, while a further 269,000 (1.2%) tuned in on ITV+1.
BBC Two's A Cook Abroad interested 740k (4.0%) at 7pm, before Springwatch gathered 1.75m (8.1%) at 8pm, and Modern Times brought in 740k (3.8%) at 9.30pm. Newsnight followed with 630k (4.9%) at 10.30pm.
The Supervet averaged 620k (2.8%) for Channel 4 at 8pm (146k/0.7%), while 24 Hours in A&E intrigued 1.66m (7.5%) at 9pm (361k/2.3%).
Channel 5's Benefits Britain: Me and My »
The fascinating accord between cleaner and employer is comical, riddled with middle-class anxiety, and tells a bigger story – that of present-day migration
Best thing on the television last night? Easy – Modern Times: The Secret Life of Cleaners (BBC2), by a mile. A few reasons why ...
1. The Irish lady with the interesting hair, interesting outlook and a nice way with words. “I prefer cleaning when people aren’t at home because I can quietly ruminate on their personal possessions and make judgments on their humanity.” That one. “I wondered why she felt the need to keep her sex toy and her teddy bear together,” she adds about one of her employers. (Is she watching, I wonder?) “The soft toy is more offensive than the sex toy in some ways. Why do you need the teddy bear? I can understand the other one.”
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- Sam Wollaston
Though he would actually direct other features, including the ill received 1967 A Countess From Hong Kong, wherein Marlon Brando decided to be a mean girl to co-star Sophia Loren, and the neglected A King in New York (1957), many read the 1952 Limelight as Charles Chaplin’s ‘enduring’ final film. An appropriate approximation of his immortal Tramp character after fame has fallen away, the bittersweet tragicomedy wasn’t well-received at the time (though Bosley Crowther raved in The New York Times, hailing the film as “eloquent, tearful, and beguiling with supreme virtuosity”). McCarthyism succeeded in thwarting the film’s distribution, limiting the release to New York City and those labeling Chaplin a Communist picketed screenings where it did play. In the UK, the film’s release was less harried, with newcomer Claire Bloom securing a BAFTA win for Most Promising Newcomer. The film would receive a theatrical release for the first in Los Angeles twenty years later, »
- Nicholas Bell
About midway through watching Charlie Chaplin's Limelight for the first time I got to thinking about what makes a great filmmaker. It seems easy enough to spot a great film, while you're watching it as you get that "You'll know it when you see it" vibe, but I started to focus on what exactly it was about the films of great filmmakers that make them stand out from the rest. Films from great filmmakers stand alone, they can't be duplicated and in this age of remakes and reboots no one would dare attempt try and remake their work. In terms of Chaplin, could you imagine a remake of Modern Times, The Great Dictator, City Lights or The Gold Rushc Forget the fact they are silent films and the business of it all. Just focus on the artistry and what makes those films great. What makes those films classicsc I'll answer for you. »
- Brad Brevet
Ah, the 1990s. The decade that brought us The Lion King. Titanic. Quentin Tarantino. That wordless bathroom scene in Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet. Angelo Badalamenti's Twin Peaks. Duel of the Fates from Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. In the Mood for Love.
It was a good 10 years for film music, no doubt.
But scratch the surface of 1991 through 1999 and there are tons of good scores ready to spring a surprise on your ears. Some were attached to sorely underrated movies, others were overshadowed by wildly successful ones, and some have simply been forgotten in the passage of time.
Here, in no particular order, are the top 25 underappreciated film soundtracks from the 1990s.
Above: 1936 alternative one sheet for Modern Times (Charlie Chaplin, USA, 1936), designer unknown, and Us one sheet for The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, USA, 1980), designer: Saul Bass (1920-1996).As serendipity would have it, the two most popular posters of the past three months of Movie Poster of the Day were these two black and yellow faces, one a little-known 1930s poster by a journeyman designer at a budget print house, the other a very well known 1980s poster by the most recognizable name in movie poster design. Modern Times and Modern Horror. I’m hoping the love they received (over 500 likes and reblogs for each) were just as much about the items they were promoting: one my article on Leader Press, the other the Poster Boys podcast on Saul Bass by fellow movie poster aficionados (and ace designers) Sam Smith and Brandon Schaefer. Another Poster Boys related poster—Drew Struzan’s The Thing—also made the list. »
- Adrian Curry
Death in Paradise stayed top of the ratings on Thursday (February 12), according to overnight figures.
The BBC One drama stayed around level with last week's episode at 6.66m (30.2%) at 9pm. Earlier, Eat Well For Less? appealed to 4.72m (21.2%) at 8pm, while Question Time was watched by 2.41m (24.3%) at 10.45pm.
ITV's The Kyle Files interested 2.48m (11.8%) at 7.30pm (115k/0.5% on +1), while the latest series of Birds of a Feather concluded with 3.87m (17.3%) at 8.30pm (116k/0.5%). Car Crash Britain brought in 3.02m (13.7%) at 9pm (235k/1.5%).
Over on Channel 4, Location, Location, Location gathered 1.41m (6.4%) at 8pm (272k/1.2%). Cucumber rose slightly to 560k (2.5%) at 9pm (94k/0.6%), while My Tattoo Addiction interested 750k (4.9%) at 10pm (41k/0.5%).
Benefits Britain: Life on the Dole was watched by 655k »
Sony Pictures Television (Spt) Networks has agreed to acquire Hungarian TV channels Viasat 3 and Viasat 6, which focus on viewers aged 18-49, from Sweden's Modern Times Group. Financial details weren't disclosed. Viasat 3 features blockbuster movies, such as the Harry Potter films, hit TV shows, such as The Blacklist, and original productions. Its core audience are women aged 18-39. Viasat 6 targets young males with movies and action, horror and comedy series, including Bates Motel and American Horror Story. Read more Sony Pictures Television Acquires Australia's Playmaker Media The two channels will expand the current portfolio of
- Georg Szalai
Death in Paradise remained on top of the Thursday ratings despite a drop, overnight data reveals.
The BBC One drama fell by around 400,000 viewers from last week to 6.64 million (29.3%) at 9pm. Earlier, Eat Well for Less interested 4.91m (21.8%) at 8pm, while Question Time brought in 2.58m (24.9%) at 10.35pm.
ITV's Kyle Files appealed to 2.34m (11.0%) at 7.30pm (183k/0.8% on +1), while Birds of a Feather amused 3.75m (16.5%) at 8.30pm (107k/0.5%). Car Crash Britain gathered 3.02m (13.4%) at 9pm (286k/1.9%).
On Channel 4, The Jump continued with 1.52m (6.8%) at 8pm (230k/1.0%). Cucumber fell to 510k (2.3%) at 9pm (113k/0.7%), followed by Married Behind Bars with 592k (3.8%) at 10pm.
Channel 5's Secrets of Rome's Colosseum fascinated 718k (3.2%) at 8pm, followed by the latest Celebrity Big Brother »
24 Hour Parcel People for Modern Times strand has to have big re-edit when Citylink goes into administration
Focusing on a single company is an accepted if slightly eyebrow-raising tactic in TV about business (think of Iceland Foods and The Call Centre), and it evidently seemed a good idea for BBC2’s resuscitated Modern Times strand to film the staff and clients of Citylink in order to shed light on the booming times enjoyed by a “UK parcel delivery industry worth almost £6bn”. A good idea, that is, until Christmas Eve when the company went into administration, apparently necessitating an almighty reverse ferret in which 24 Hour Parcel People (coming up on 12 February) was re-edited to accommodate this inconvenient development. If you run into anyone from BBC2 or BBC factual in the near future, try to sensitively avoid potentially offensive words such as “all” “eggs”, “one basket” and even “putting”.
Continue reading. »
Death in Paradise was the clear winner in the primetime ratings on Thursday (January 29), according to overnight figures.
The BBC One drama was watched by 7.01 million and attracted a 29.9% audience share at 9pm.
Earlier, documentary Eat Well for Less interested 4.77m (21.1%), while Question Time drew in 2.41m (22.7%) at 10.45pm.
ITV's The Kyle Files gathered 2.6m (12.1%) at 7.30pm (151k/0.7% on +1), while Birds of a Feather entertained 3.93m (17.2%) at 8.30pm (132k/0.6%). Bring Back Borstal continued with 1.7m (7.3%) at 9pm (178k/1.1%).
On Channel 4, Location, Location, Location interested 1.69m (7.5%) at 8pm (252k/1.1%), and The Mega Brothel fascinated 1.19m (7.4%) at 10pm (180k/2.1%).
Previously: 'Downton Abbey' Season 5, Episode 2 Gets Closer to Modern Times Upstairs We open on Mary's bed of sin: She and Gillingham have spent the week driving round Cheshire and exploring Liverpool's fine dining options. And presumably having a lot of sex, because there's no way all of that takes a week. He's desperate to get married, but Mary doesn't see the need to rush things. "Nothing is going to happen that isn't properly announced, organized and executed." Actually, having sex with Lady Mary is probably a lot like facing a firing squad. It's terrifying, no one smiles and occasionally you die. Back at Downton, Edith isn't buying Mary's "sketching trip" for a second, but she also doesn't care because she's spending every spare minute with Marigold. Mrs. Drewe is increasingly unhappy, at one point thinking that Edith has stolen Marigold in a moment that screams "foreshadowing alert!" And, »
- Kaite Welsh
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