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Tuesday News: Netflix, 3D imaging, Bonnie & Clyde, Facebook, and Penguin...

“Trying to find a movie with a predominantly black cast on Netflix Instant was a struggle—and I didn’t have much luck with TV shows, either. No Living Single, In Living Color, or even Family Matters. No Urkel on demand. What gives, Netflix? Is it because these titles are too “race-themed”? Netflix couldn’t possibly license every single show or movie that I personally enjoy. But it’s striking that I was unable to find casts that are, you know, not a bunch of white dudes. It’s a pretty short list. “ The Daily Dot

“Developed as both a way to protect and a marketplace, it will offer users the chance to “stream” objects to a printer rather than own the plans outright, lowering the chance the design might get shared.

Specifically “not” – which they write in bold – a digital rights management service (DRM) that film and music industries have now disregarded for the most part, it tries to remove the possibility of reverse engineering to create an exact copy.” BBC News

“‘My favorite movie was Amadeus,” adds co-writer John Rice. “And it exposed me to Mozart by making a drama where there’s a lot of truth and there’s a lot of conceit that probably isn’t true in any way at all. But, it worked as a movie and made us aware of this man’s life. We like to say there are 57 truths in Bonnie & Clyde that people don’t know anything about. Other movies didn’t get four hours of screen time to tell all the truths. Our conceit is based on truth for both of the characters, that everything is 100 percent true is probably not true… There’s so much that we get to tell by shaping it as a drama that adheres first to a story that people want to watch as opposed to a historical retelling in a chronological order.’” E! Online

“At the time, Facebook contended that algorithmic changes had been made to weed out spammy, non-engaging content, but that the median reach of pages hadn’t budged. It particularly objected to the inference that the changes had been made to spur marketers to spend more on ads to make up for lost reach.

But now Facebook is making the case for marketers to do just that. In the document, titled “Generating business results on Facebook,” the paragraph in which the impending drop-off in organic reach is revealed concludes with an ad pitch; marketers are told they should consider paid distribution ‘to maximize delivery of your message in news feed.’” Nuzzel

“Attitudes to women CEOs were fairly Neanderthal. One publication described me as a Barbie doll who crunched diamonds between her teeth. Women were seen as either compliant or some kind of monster. Attitudes have changed a lot, but not completely. I don’t agree with quotas but the threat of them is a good thing, because it keeps executives’ eyes on the pipeline.” Management Today

isn't sure if she's an average Romance reader, or even an average reader, but a reader she is, enjoying everything from literary fiction to philosophy to history to poetry. Historical Romance was her first love within the genre, but she's fickle and easily seduced by the promise of a good read. She approaches every book with the same hope: that she will be filled from the inside out with something awesome that she didnʼt know, didnʼt think about, or didnʼt feel until that moment. And she's always looking for the next mind-blowing read, so feel free to share any suggestions!

11 Comments

  1. DB Cooper
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 08:01:09

    Oh, that netflix thing has a very interesting point. I am a netflix user, and honestly, I haven’t really given that situation much thought. I suppose its rather telling since I also consider myself a minorty with an oftentimes whitewashed point of view.

    On the other hand, my wonderful spouse, who is white, has taken to watching interesting bits of Asian cinema, of which there are quite a few titles available through netflix. (Foreign cinema, of course, possibly falling under the category of “Things White People like”).

    Speaking of foreign, diversity, and demographics, I found this article yesterday on the BBC website. It’s about why French books don’t sell well abroad, and while I don’t think it’s directly up “romance street” I wonder if anyone else finds its assertions interesting? I know when I read it, I immediately thought of this site and having learned about Harlequin’s efforts to diversify with India-set stories.

    Of course, that is an Anglo-familiar setting being pitched towards an Anglophone market, so the article’s point still holds. :D

  2. Amelie S
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 09:07:39

    @DB Cooper:

    Hi DB

    I’m French and I think that this article says some interesting things and some of which I don’t entirely agree with:

    It’s true that in France we have a lot of curiosity for other countries literature and thus translate a lot of books, from US and UK but also from lots of other countries. As they say, translation are expensive and not all of those we have are of high quality. For example, I never read Romance translated in French, the translators manage to put even more cliches in the writing that there were initially… Literary translation are often of better quality than those of genre fiction, with an effort to keep the author style.

    “The books on offer here are very different from in the UK. French books are precious, intellectual – elitist. And too often bookshops are intimidating. Ordinary people are scared of the whole book culture,” he says.”
    It’s not something that I agree with; it all depends of the genre. Of course some writers can be just such stereotypes, but so can US and UK ones.

    “The books themselves are not made to look appealing. New novels have the same cream cover, with a standardised photo of the author. Design does not seem to be at a premium.”
    That obviously depends on the publisher and on the market targeted. Some books have similar cover than in the US and UK. A big difference is that we don’t have men’s chest on Romance cover (at least I have never seen them).

    One thing that is not said in the article is the part that the publishers play in the ratio of published translated authors/ French authors: in some publishing house, they don’t accept submission, they only translate US books. I am not sure but I don’t think that I have ever seen a French author published by Harlequin. Same goes with Milady which specializes in “bitlit”, ie it’s what our publishers call paranormal romance and some urban fantasy, those with vampires, werewolves, etc. In this genre, only one French author and one Swiss one have been published by all publishers as of now. Other French writers have to be published in more general Fantasy and Science Fiction.

    To come back to the lack of translated books in the US and UK, I find it’s a shame and a bit surprising, as French heroes or Paris are very popular in Romance for example. But we have a different mindset because of our culture, so maybe the publishers are afraid that it would be unappealing to their market and prefer to publish something that is more familiar to them. For example almost all of the French characters I have read in English books don’t seem French at all to me, they think and act like American. It may be surprising that there would be so much difference while we are both occidental cultures, but they still exist.

  3. DB Cooper
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 09:43:51

    @Amelie S: thanks for your reply and input!

    When I read the article, I wondered how much of that barrier was due to publishers making big decisions (the way Hollywood also likes to tell US audiences what they will like and won’t like) , how much of it is due to a lack of open mindedness, and how much due to just our own misconceptions of the French and perceptions of French attitudes.

    Certainly on that last point, I agree in the US its very easy to take the worst and best stereotypes and write a fantasy around those bits. Its one reason why (I think) we have so many regency novels filled with English dukes and secret heirs that are neither properly English nor regency (I think people really just like the costumes! :D). It doest surprise me any that we should do the same to “things we think are French”.

  4. Amanda
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 10:37:51

    I haven’t watched Bonnie and Clyde but I worried when
    I saw the previews that it would have little truth in it. These were real people who who killed other real people in robbery attempts. The truth really isn’t all that romantic and while I would love to see a accurate portrayal Hollywood seems to think that the wider viewing audience wants fictionalized glamor.

  5. Evangeline
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 11:00:05

    Shadow and Act, a blog about cinema from the African Diaspora, posts weekly–if not daily–updates about black films available on Netflix: http://blogs.indiewire.com/shadowandact/

  6. Darlynne
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 13:24:58

    I’m a Netflix DVD subscriber (No, AT&T, I can’t stream videos, thank you very much) and have been pleasantly surprised at the range of movies offered for a wide-ranging audience. My experience has been that many TV shows are not available for streaming even though they’re on DVD (and vice versa), or, in the case of my beloved and much lamented Frank’s Place, not even on DVD.

    So after reading the article, I checked Amazon Instant; In Living Color and Living Single are only on DVD there, and Family Matters is available in both Instant and DVD. Like the tree falling in the forest: If Amazon doesn’t have it, does it exist?

    I think the issue, at least in my own search for the shows I want to watch, comes down to licensing and who owns the rights to the show. In the case of Frank’s Place, I learned that no one can agree on how to handle the theme song or score rights, so this fabulous one-season series appears exactly nowhere.

  7. Tamara
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 13:58:55

    John Rice cheats viewers and then tries to justify it with the lame excuse that we might not be aware of a historical figure’s life if Rice didn’t haphazardly throw some romanticized semblance of true history onto the screen for us? He’s basically labeling us as lazy as he is.

    I think I will pass on any future productions from Mr. Rice.

  8. Lada
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 14:14:19

    @Amanda: “These were real people who who killed other real people in robbery attempts. The truth really isn’t all that romantic…

    I don’t get this country’s preoccupation with romanticizing historical figures who were in no way romantic. It feels like lately the anti-hero reigns supreme and we’re getting desensitized to so much bad behavior. I guess I need to hold out for the Mandela bio but I think it’s only being released in a very limited number of theaters. Of course.

  9. Jenny
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 15:53:14

    Just because I like being the odd one out, I will say that I have Bonnie and Clyde on my DVR and look forward to watching it regardless of it’s historical accuracy. I don’t necessarily need historical accuracy to enjoy a movie, book or TV show. I just need to be entertained.

  10. library addict
    Dec 10, 2013 @ 18:35:19

    I have no issue with telling Bonnie & Clyde as a fictionalized story so long as that is made clear up front. I do have a problem with the History Channel airing it if they want to continue to be taken seriously as a sourse of, you know, actual history. Then again, given all the so-called reality shows that air now, I think they gave up that claim in favor of ratings some time ago.

  11. Sarah Henson
    Dec 11, 2013 @ 07:24:56

    I’ve been looking forward to Bonnie and Clyde. I figure it’s not 100% historically accurate going in but I’d hoped it would stick closer to the truth – airing on the History Channel and all. I have it recorded and haven’t had time to watch yet, so I’ll withhold judgment until I do

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