Happy Friday, everybody. Here’s hoping this post find you safe and well, or on your way to getting there, in your part of the globe. The continued spread of COVID-19, wrestling name “Coronavirus,” is having an impact on economies, elections, communities and lives everywhere. But let’s take a moment to discuss how it impacts the most important part of life: movies.
Here’s a pandemic-themed roundup of articles for your edification and discussion. Please wash for the whole duration of “Happy Birthday” after clicking.
There’s a lot of lists of productions and release dates delayed or cancelled. This run-down from Alissa Wilkinson at Vox is one of the more comprehensive:
Consequences of the outbreak on these industries could range from lowered attendance at film festivals and disruptions in film distribution to delayed or canceled movie releases and concert dates to curtailed on-location film shoots. Financial ramifications will likely be felt by studios, filmmakers, theater owners, and more for months or even years.
One of the frustrations has been how measured or intense our response should be. Are we merely at Dustin Hoffman in a helicopter status? Or have we blown past into Soderbergh’s nightmare scenario? Aylin Woodward with Business Insider, the leading source for entertainment and scientific analysis, answers the latter question by explicitly comparing the current crisis to 2011’s Contagion. (Spoiler: We seem to be in better shape than those characters)
At the end of January, because of the current coronavirus outbreak, Google searches for “Contagion” skyrocketed, as did the number of Twitter users mentioning the movie. “Contagion” is currently one of the top thrillers on iTunes.
The only entities looking for an upswing in the immediate future, it seems, are streaming services. Wendy Lee and Ryan Faughnder at the LA Times looked into it.
Already, some Californians like Rohit Kulkarni are changing their routines. Recently the equity analyst decided to play video games with his kids indoors instead of playing outdoor sports such as soccer. If the coronavirus continues to spread, he will probably skip going to the movie theater with the kids and watch a documentary on Netflix instead, said Kulkarni, who lives in San Mateo.
But at some point this will all be over and we’ll need to prepare for the inevitable next step: hunting our fellow man for sport. This week’s release The Hunt – delayed previously for non-health reasons – inspired Winston Cook-Wilson to recall 1994 Ice-T vehicle Surviving the Game for The Ringer, a strange and heartfelt film with a stacked cast mostly lost to time.
If sociopolitical themes were relegated to the margins of the gun-fu ballet in Hard Target, the following year’s Ice-T star vehicle Surviving the Game made them the focal point. Outside of Woo’s film, it was the first major “Most Dangerous Game” adaptation up until that time to use Connell’s story to critique the mores of Western society rather than to implicitly uphold its virtuousness.
Post your articles – diseased and otherwise – for discussion below.