News Reel & Blog

Written by James Cheetham on 27th May 2015

                                                      RTS Legends Lunch Jeremy Paxman

As May comes to a close and we all get to grips with the election results, Jeremy Paxman, far from the shy and retiring type, made his thoughts perfectly clear at The Royal Television Society’s Legends Lunch on the 19th May, which we were lucky enough to attend.

Paxman was joined by Alastair Stewart with the two discussing Did Television Come To The Aid of the Party? Media Show presenter Steve Hewlett had the lucky job of trying his best to placate the two as they often bumped heads, in what was an incredibly interesting debate.

Paxman jumped in claiming opinion polls “were for idiots” while Stewart said the opinion polls still made a difference with "the truth of the matter was that there was no other narrative in town so we fell foul of what turned out to be a wrong narrative.”

Paxman pointed out that such a heavy focus was put upon opinion polls by networks due to 2015’s election being “monumentally dull,” going onto say that "there was not really a great narrative, even about the narrative of the economy." Something that Stewart vehemently disagreed with.

Paxman also called out the TV debates, saying they had no impact and simply confirmed prejudices "I think the broadcasters behaved ludicrously about the debates."

And when quizzed about the license fee which they initially tried to skit around, Paxman eventually said that he doesn’t think the current BBC license fee model can last much longer and is becoming harder to justify. Get those Netflix subscriptions at the ready…

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Written by James Cheetham on 14th May 2015

                                                                   

Heart eating royals, rebellious teenagers, punk rockers VS Nazis and stop motion Princes - this is what you should be looking out for from Cannes.

Unfortunately us mere mortals cannot be at Cannes in person, but we can still keep our eyes peeled for some of cinema's next big hits, so we've put together some of the films we're most excited about from Cannes so you can get that Must Watch list together easier

Solidly opening the 68th Cannes was Emmanuelle Bercot's La Tete Haute, the first female directed film to open the Film Festival since Diane Kurys' A Man in Love in 1987. La Tete Haute returned Cannes to its French roots with Catherine Deneuve in a supporting role to newcomer Rod Paradot, playing the lead role of a turbulent teenager trying to overcome his violent and crime ridden past.  

                                                   

Cannes veterans such as Woody Allen and Gus Van Sant are back this year, Allen working with Emma Stone once again on Irrational Man and Gus Van Sant jumping on the Matthew McConaughey band wagon with The Sea of Trees. 

On the animation front, Pixar are screening their latest offering with Inside Out, their first original release since 2012’s Brave and it promises the usual originality and heart felt messages of their previous madcap creations. Also hotly tipped is The Little Prince, which combines beautifully realised stop motion & computer generated animation with a star studded voice over cast.

Already being called a Cannes stand-out (and swiftly added to Searchlight’s must watch list) is Matteo Garrone’sTale of Tales, with a superb cast including Salma Hayek, Toby Jones and Vincent Cassel, the Renaissance fairy tale film boasts some of the festivals most eye catching and gorgeous visuals. I mean...just look...

                                     

The Oscar tipped performances are abound with Cate Blanchett’s lesbian love story Carol and Michael Fassbender and Marion Cotillard starring in the latest Macbeth adaptation.

 Not forgetting the oddball additions to the film line up such as The Lobster, Love and Green Room, all three films straying from your standard cinema fare. The Lobster tells of a world where people turn into animals and are released into the woods if they don’t find true love in 45 days, Love a sexually charged drama which is making a name for itself on its film poster campaign alone and Green Room which follows a punk rock band fighting for survival against a group of skinhead Nazis.

And that’s just skimming the surface, suffice to say, there should be something for everyone…put us down for The Little Prince and Tale of Tales please.

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Written by James Cheetham on 1st May 2015

                                                                                  

While the big discussion of recent years has been that of On-Demand services such as Netflix tackling the Home Entertainment market, the digital streaming of music and its effects on the music industry are now overtaking the blogs and twitter feeds of the net.

Spotify has been the big name when discussing the digital streaming of music, and it has been highlighted many times by aspiring (and already aspired) musicians, that the current revenue sharing system is not in the artists favour.

Portishead’s Geoff Barrow recently caused a twitter furor when he tweeted the (approximate) little amount he’d made off of 34,000,000 streams of Portishead's music, placing the blame on Spotify, Apple and YouTube. (He says £1700.)

Enter Jay Z and his TIDAL music streaming service (originally built by Scandinavian company Aspiro) which is allegedly here to save artists and claim their money back.

However, the current approach TIDAL have taken to ruling the music streaming industry haven’t been too successful, at least taking the backlash on the internet into account.

Complaints about Jay-Z’s launch event say it came across as a stage filled with millionaire mainstream chart toppers moaning about not making enough money.

Surely he should have filled the event with new artists and broached the fact that new artists will benefit from us forking out a little extra for TIDAL, which in the UK is more expensive than the premium Spotify subscription. (TIDAL is twice as much coming in at £19.99 in the UK.)

There was also the announcement that TIDAL’s CEO has left after two weeks of the re-launch and rumours that there are redundancies, although they have said this is not accurate by releasing a statement to Business Insider: “We’re streamlining the company and refocusing our resources to ensure the platform continues to grow, and listeners can make a connection to their favorite artists. No one else is doing this.” Sounds like redundancies to us…

Further news released this week has seen the TIDAL app drop from being in the Top 20 app chart to being outside of the Top 700...so as things look, Spotify will stay on top.

But with complaints about the payment of royalties hitting Spotify across the board, we're starting to see a call to arms to rectify the situation as Digital starts to overtake consumers listening and purchasing habits.

What do you think? Are we jumping on the TIDAL bashing bandwagon and ignoring its real benefits? Or will you be keeping your Spotify account for those Friday office playlists?

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