Film Daily Debrief: #emmyssolame, ‘120BPM’, ‘I Love Dick’
Emmys limp to same (dire) viewing figures as last year
While the Emmys’ 2017 edition failed to persuade anyone to switch the on the gogglebox, it did manage to lure some professional envelope-opening attendants to drive down the 101 to the armpit of LA (downtown) on Sunday night. Surprising exactly no one (sane, not in control of a production studio, or under the age of 55), the televised event didn’t exactly set TV ratings on fire with around 11.4 million viewers – within the margin of error of last year’s all-time low of 11.3 million. It’s pretty embarrassing for the Television Academy, whose remit is to promote televisual arts, while it can’t even promote its half-baked awards show.
In this age of information secrets, the Hollywood industry is revealed on a daily basis. We know the Emmys are voted on by members of the motion-picture community who do have vested interests; we know downtown LA is a urine-soaked pit redolent with the finest selection of tweekers on earth; and we know the Emmys don’t actually serve viewers – they only go to increase the cachet of winners, which indirectly might actually increase our subscription fees. (Somebody’s gotta pay them fat salaries!) The only awards actually relevant in 2017 are those voted by the viewing public.
France selects LGBTQI feature 120 Beats per Minute for Oscar nom
120 Beats per Minute, which won the Grand Prize at this year’s Cannes film festival, has been honored again in its selection as France’s submission for Best Foreign-Language Film at the Oscars. The LGBTQI movie holds activism at its core, following the journey of AIDS protesters in 90s Paris. Although we find #oscarssolame, we wish this plucky movie the best.
I Love Dick hit with hefty fine
Old news, but too salacious not to print: streaming giant Amazon and serial showrunner Jill Soloway have been hit with a hefty fine by The Directors Guild of America for their I Love Dick series. Starring the exceptional Kathryn Hahn (Transparent) and Kevin Bacon (Apollo 13) looking amazing for his age, the show was based on the eponymous cult memoir by Chris Kraus. Directors on the indulgently artsy show claimed they were improperly credited for scenes they shot, and that Soloway’s on-set behaviour interfered with their work: guild rules state that notes to cast & crew must come from the director (only), rather than from those pesky showrunners getting in everyone’s way by negotiating jobs for creatives and making shows into hits. Soloway has to make like a schoolgirl and report to the DGA’s headquarters, presumably for a spell in the naughty corner.
When these various guilds, unions, and other organizations were formed, movie & TV production were very different. The current guidelines were put in place ostensibly to protect creatives, but they haven’t exactly moved with the times – recognizing the necessary influence of the showrunner on set, for example. I Love Dick was a gamble for Amazon, which they probably knew would never make much money, but might buy them some clout in feminist subculture. The fine in question, estimated to stand in the low $millions, could muddy the water for a second season of the iconoclastic dramedy – a shame as far as we’re concerned, since there wasn’t anything like it on TV before.