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Motion Pictures for Theaters are Dying

February 10, 2020

The entertainment industry on display at last night’s 92nd Oscar ceremonies unlike higher education, and even more than some other forms of business, is very entrepreneurial. The two words “struggling actor” go together and “independent producers” are entrepreneurship personified. Now that “streaming media”–feature films produced for Internet dissemination (Netflix, Acorn, WarnerMedia) compete for “eyeballs” of movies released in theaters–the film industry is in turmoil.

Either produce for theatrical release or you’re dead meat says the film industry

Netflix spent a fortune producing “Irishman” but couldn’t crack theater industry barriers. Well, “Irishman” did star two actors of Italian descent. If that isn’t odd, I don’t know what is.

At last night’s ceremonies, however, you could sense that the film industry is dying in events on the “Red Carpet” preceding the ceremony and during the 92nd Oscars event itself. Forced smiles, “I love you” and “what are you working on now” revealed that making movies for theaters is a business first and an art form second.

We learned, for example, that Maya Rudolph has started a new production company; Regina King is director of a new film, “One night in Miami” and Penelope Cruz is playing a character inspired by her director’s mother.

The music industry has its share of bizarre personalities and they were also on display last night. Mr. Billie Porter wore a gown and Ms. Billie Eillish sported bizarre green hair. Elton John’s performance was “old hat,” though Sir Elton won an Oscar for “(I’m Gonna) Love Me Again” from “Rocketman.”

The British monarchy is good for something after all.

The women at the Oscars were gorgeous and resplendent in expensive gowns (Rebel Wilson wore a gown designed by Jason Wu) and the men wore black tie outfits suitable for formal events. Even the men’s hair styles were “normal” though Brad Pitt’s hairstyle was reminiscent of the 1950s.

But, was it necessary for the 92nd Oscars to take up so much air time? That’s the result of the business side of motion pictures that has more entrepreneurs than there are theaters. Each required their one minute under the spotlight.

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