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Why ‘Zola’ is a must-see movie this summer

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Why 'Zola' is a must-see movie this summer


There are many ways to describe the scandalous mad dog erotic underworld drama “Zola” with a title that doesn’t tell you much about it. It is a true story that makes you feel as if it were made up. It is a small volcano of sex and violence, danger and deception. It is a close-up portrait of women working in the sex industry. It’s a real youth earthquake like “American Honey”. It is a brave piece of pure filmmaking.

The first movie that premiered at Sundance in 2020 (yes, a year and a half ago), the reason it’s only released now is because it’s one of the rare independent films handled by the distributor. , A24 — the big-screen gems like “No Time to Die” or “West Side Story”, you’ll have to wait for release until you can see the post-pandemic theater scene. (Another 2020 Sundance sensation, “Promising Young Woman” and “Minari” was released to streaming platforms in time for last year’s Oscar race.) “Zola” opened in theaters on June 30, and the moment it saw it was ‘7 of the Year’. You can see why the 4th of the month is a wildcard. This movie is as American smashing entertainment as Apple Pie in a unique and original way. But unlike ‘F9’, ‘Final Purge’, and ‘The Boss Baby: Family Business’, it’s a holiday movie that takes you to a place you’ve never been before. This is why I urge you to find it.

1. Walking through wild hypnosis. Much of the movie’s promotion has focused on the fact that it’s based on a tweet storm. A chain of 148 messages posted on Twitter by A’Ziah “Zola” Wells (now King) on ​​October 27, 2015. King spoke. What was happening to her in an impulsive, sometimes all-capital frenzy of existential confessions, and her story went viral because it was a mind-bending psychodrama delivered in outbursts of desperate rage. What the film preserves from him is broad eyes, What will happen next? The crazy reality of everything King’s experience is sublimated into film noir by a sort of exotic dancer Odyssey. The tone of the film is by no means inferior to authenticity, but it takes you like a filthy roller coaster in the middle of the night. Zola, the film’s center of gravity, plays with the sharp wit of Taylor Paige, who wants to leave her boyfriend for just a few days and go down to Tampa to dance and make money. But as the plan unfolds so well, the audience becomes bound by fear, ingenuity and survival.

2. A star film director was born. The film’s director and co-writer, Janicza Bravo, has worked primarily on television, but she has made her previous feature films (the daring experimental Sundance film “Lemon”) and she brought “Zola” the kind of danger and excitement we associate with it. I did. Paul Thomas Anderson in vintage Scorsese or “Boogie Nights”. In the opening scene, Zola and Stefani (Riley Keough), the woman who lure her on a journey, put on makeup and stare into the panel mirror, but the only sound we hear is playful, pure harp music that creates a quaint, dreamy atmosphere. Inflate around them. Already the characters have a mysterious side. This is exactly what leaked out of our film. (Watching 25 of this year’s top-grossing films, you may not experience the mystery moment.) These qualities are what Bravo does for its customers, the way it does it for each other, and for those who threaten their lives. .

Their faces and bodies are on display, but their souls are hidden, and Bravo’s camera hovers around the surrounding space. She creates hypnotic sequences one after the other. A teasingly ambiguous rapid-fire encounter between Zola, a waitress at Hooter’s, and Stefani, trapped in a cute “love” atmosphere like a mock meeting. Journey to Florida in a Jeep Cherokee driven by arrogant X (Colman Domingo) begins rough but shrouded in ominous vibrations. In a hotel room where Stephanie is ordered to cheat, a brilliantly edited sequence and Zola (though she owns none) turn things upside down as she alone sees the value (and corruption) of what she sells. The gonzo showdown in the apartment isn’t as good as Dion (Jason Mitchell) thought, the scene blamed for the firecracker climax of “Boogie Nights.” Some ‘zola’ are scary and funny, but Bravo makes every moment come alive and makes the audience tingle.

3. Acting is murderous. The first actor to hit you is Stefani’s Riley Keough. His entire personality is putting hip-hop minstrel shows. For example, you might think you’ve seen a show like James Franco did on “Spring Breakers” before (in fact, Franco was going to direct this movie at one point). But it was a witty lark. With a devotion to the childish but grotesque “street” fantasies in her head, Keough’s Stefani is a lighter, mouth-watering gig at once. She carves every way that exists around an empty soul, turning Stefani into a dangerous dim light bulb. He has no self-knowledge because he knows very little about himself. Taylor Paige, who plays Zola, is Stefani’s opposite number, a cautious warrior who rarely uses her horses but uses them as weapons. She sees through while drawn to this white girl who will never be her sister. Pages act with an eye like a sense of morality. Nicholas Braun plays an exquisitely ignorant Dolt who ignores Stephanie’s boyfriend, while Colman Domingo plays “Street Smart. “

4. This is a rare film that thoroughly understands the sex industry. To what extent are all dramas dealing with the sex industry a work of exploitation? Not because the film is trying to exploit, but because when an exotic dancer or prostitute appears on the screen, she is almost always locked in an invisible box. Standard issues of how to judge her, recognition, justice, degradation, glory. “Zola” lacks luster, making movies like “Hustlers” look like “Nine to Five”, but when the luster disappears, the character’s utterly fragile humanity is visible. Sex industry labor: its power and insensitivity, its domination and anxiety that wound its nighttime experience; The damp air of barter draped every nook and cranny of the strip club; Crude grand fantasies that put selfies in the online sex swamp. At one point, Stephanie calls the photo she took “she” and that’s all. She’s selling a character that doesn’t exist.

5. Movies feed this transcendent level of bad behavior. For 100 years, people went to the movies to see both extreme virtues and extreme virtues. good deed… and bad behavior. The latter exists in everything from the gangster classics of the thirties to the femme fatales of the ’40s, all the great villains, anti-heroes of New Hollywood (“Bonnie and Clyde”, “Dog Day Afternoon”), and moral twists. From Oliver Stone’s Spectacle to Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction. However, it is not an exaggeration to say that virtue is the trend these days. ‘Zola’ reminds us of how cathartic a movie that enjoys the thoughts of characters whom no one considers a role model is.

6. There are themes that run through your head. After all, what is “zola” about? It is about the wages of sin and the dangers of sex work. It’s about friendship and betrayal, money and survival. But what resonates with this film is that it is a disarmed image of the world we all now share. A world dominated by social media technology and free-floating financial despair. It is a portrait of a newly fallen digital soul society where everything has been commoditized and role-playing has become the coin of the realm. No matter how far you think you are from this life, the film inevitably says it reflects your life. ‘Zola’, a poor knockout of Underground Odyssey, is also a vision of something. Call it Hall-of-Mirrors America.





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Comcast Q2 Commentary: NBCU Recovery Exaggerated

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Comcast Q2 Commentary: NBCU Recovery Exaggerated


Investors overall Q2 revenue results. NBCUniversal is oTotal sales, just under $6 billion in the previous year, rose to a maximum of $8 billion in the second quarter. NSut It was the core business of the company that did the hard work.

Second-quarter results did not help much to calm M&A speculation. Anyway, that speculation reinforced the argument that Comcast could probably be a better investment without a media business. AT&T’s decision Drop streaming with WarnerMedia and focus on wireless and 5G.

The fierce competition in the streaming war has given analysts an opportunity to ask Comcast executives about the possibility of an acquisition to further expand its streaming strategy with NBCU. But, as expected, management dismissed such M&A speculation.

When it comes to streaming service Peacock, NBCU CEO Jeff Shell responded that it can be successful without additional assets. He noted that Q2 is proof of that claim. But the numbers tell a different story and suggest that Shell’s division may be more shaky than investors realize.

Comcast has reported confusion. peacock user engagement again figures. CEO Brian Roberts announced in a revenue conference call that the streaming service had 54 million subscribers as of this week and more than 20 million monthly active accounts. He also said that Peacock is “the fastest growing streaming service.”

as we mentioned It’s important to remember that for quite some time a “subscription” is not the same as a subscriber. Comcast did not report how many users are paying for its services and how much money the company is earning from users.

However, despite the metrics provided by management, Peacock is still not doing so well. One thing to consider when analyzing the number 54 million is that the company has deliberately announced that it is the most recent number as of this week. summer game. This number may experience big fluctuations at the end of the Olympics.

And as of this week, the number of monthly active accounts (MAAs) is 20 million. That represents an increase of only 6 million since the last quarter when the company reported a 14 million MAA. Although Peacock has been on the market for well over a year now, it has yet to surpass Xumo, an AVOD service operated by Comcast Xfinity with 24 million monthly active users as of October 2020.

The figure contradicts management’s optimistic narrative, which should worry investors more than Thursday morning, when stocks rose nearly 3% shortly after the market opened.


According to GetWizer Consumer Insights conducted a new study on VIP+ of nearly 1,500 Americans, and while usage of the free version of Peacock is rather high, the subscription version of Peacock Premium is rarely loved.

Only 8% of respondents aged 15-29 and 12% of respondents aged 30-44 watched Peacock Premium for at least 30 minutes in the past week. This compares to 9% of those aged 45-59 and 4% of those aged 60 and over.

While other sectors of the NBCU are making a comeback, it is important to keep in mind that year-over-year comparisons are not a perfect indicator of the current state of the business. In the second quarter of last year, the United States and most of the world closed, and the macroeconomic background was particularly difficult. A fairer comparison would be 2019.

With that in mind, consider NBCU’s theme park business, which recovered profitability for the first time since Q1 2020 and surpassed $1 billion in sales. This compares to $136 million in the same period last year and $1.46 billion in the second quarter of 2019. Roberts said Universal Studios Orlando sees strong domestic demand in both spending and attendance. And Hollywood Parks are seeing an increase in attendance every week.

For all intents and purposes, the NBCU is on the rise again, but all of this, up about 17% so far this year, is already reflected in the share price. What really matters and moves the stock is the success of Comcast’s core broadband and wireless business. In the second quarter, Comcast added 354,000 high-speed Internet customers, slightly exceeding Wall Street’s estimate of 270,000.

Similar to AT&T’s sale of WarnerMedia, another major benefit of the NBCUniversal spin-off is Comcast’s additional debt reduction. Comcast’s approximately $90 billion in debt isn’t as large as AT&T’s $168 billion, but paying off its debt will put more cash in Comcast’s pockets and strengthen its revenue-generating business.

Roberts is known to enjoy working in the content business, but the future for Comcast’s non-NBCU business is much brighter. And if AT&T’s recent decision with WarnerMedia is any indication, sometimes it’s better to focus on what works to be as competitive as possible rather than trying to offer too much and risking being mediocre in the out-of-the-ordinary streaming business. that.





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Survey: What International Consumers Want from Streaming Services

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Survey: What International Consumers Want from Streaming Services


competitor to collapse inputNS NS Top tier of streaming services War can stay Been in the US for a long time. That is why HBO Max launch begins internationally input June. It is also the reason Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Reports Recently Argument Potential Streaming Partnership Viacom CBS management Help us take Peacock internationally..

HoweverAlluding to duplicating American products for an overseas audience won’t be enough. to provide Some clues that might help SVODNS Succeed outside the US, YouGov International at the end of June PollNS attitude towards streaming service Instead of Variety intelligence platform, nEarly 19,000 people 18+ across 17 countries answer.

The following are the five implications of the survey. video streaming service should draw close international expand:

1. Growth of ASia-NSPacific (APAC) Regions should be prioritized.

According to the poll, 3 out of the top 5 countries (Indonesia, India and China), when ranked according to consumer interest in paying reasonably priced Video streaming services providing localized content were located in the APAC region. NSHe said the Chinese data point is harder to act, of course, according to the instructions of the Chinese governmentlike Know what you can see online (NS rag the great Wall).

Additionally, most of the countries YouGov surveyed respondents were APAC or EMEA based, Increases the likelihood that the country in your region will emerge as an attractive region to expand through: graphic below. NSuh APAC prioritization points are giveen India and Indonesia are currently the second and fourth most populous countries in the world. July 2021, Party NS you.NS. Census Bureau.

2. Must have a healthy balance of l.localized content And Us International version of the hit video streamer.

Streaming executives must curb the urge to overwhelm the international version of SVOD with localized content. In particular, consumers in Mexico, UAE and India see great value SVOD, which provides content from famous American actors. Most of the countries were three countries. Research the respondent said A streaming service that provides content from American stars “Very important” or “Somewhat important” to them.

this goes to show The value of a streamer like HBO Max with access to a large library of cLasix (Hollywood star appearance) it can be easy Advertising In ~ House International SVOD screen. Also, Prime Video Satisfying consumers in regions such as Mexico and UAE with MGM classics such as “Too Blonde” and “Too Blonde”.unstable If the MGM acquisition is approved.

three. notable non-English speaking Countries in Asia and Europe are still English content.

while speaking english territory Naturally, it tops the list of countries where most respondents say they watch. English movies and TV shows “very often” or “slightly often”, meaningful part Consumers in unexpected places Indonesia, India, UAE and Mexico indicate interest in English video content.

NS majority of Respondents from 4 countries where English is not their first language; They said they watched movies and TV shows. input English It is marked as “very often” or “somewhat often”, with Indonesia, India, UAE and Mexico In YouGov’s survey, most respondents said SVOD, which provides content with famous American actors, is important to them.

4. There is especially high demand new Chinese content.

The top two countries were Hong Kong and China when ranked by the percentage of respondents who said there were not enough new TV shows and movies for SVOD in their native language. Video streamers can extend directly to Hong Kong by: Netflix And prime video Both were released in Hong Kong in 2016. In China, companies can still enter Hong Kong by licensing certain content to major video streamers in the region like iQiyi.

Netflix license Some originals were provided to iQiyi in 2017, but that partnership ended in 2019. However, it may be easier for streamers with an overall family-friendly library like Disney+ to penetrate China directly. Tim Gong Yu, CEO of IQiyi in 2019 said THR that the streamer’s Netflix deal didn’t go as expected because many Netflix originals didn’t pass censorship in China.

5. the expectation of absorption of bsolve Overseas must tempered.

many The country is still catching up with the US in terms of SVOD. quantum: The United States was the country where the majority of survey respondents said they paid for it. 4 or more video streaming services per month. This helps explain why Digital TV Research is in June. prediction The US will be the largest SVOD market in the world by revenue in 2021.

However It is also the management new Bundles of video streaming services for specific international markets, such as: France, Singapore or Poland are especially good. Only 1% of survey respondents in that country said they pay for 4 or more SVODs per month. This suggests that bundles will not necessarily serve as a growth hack for streamers in specific international markets, even with localized pricing.





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Long-term questions about social media’s ad revenue boom

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Long-term questions about social media's ad revenue boom


The advertising recovery over the past year has been remarkable, but no one has benefited more than tech companies, especially social media platforms.

Businesses continue to pour cash into advertising on the platforms with the greatest reach, as this week’s Q2 financial results from social giants including Snap, Twitter, and Facebook show.

The total revenues of these three social enterprises, which come almost entirely from advertising, saw another divergence. Snap posted revenue growth of a whopping 116%, while Twitter’s revenue grew 74%, the highest growth since 2014.

On the other hand, Facebook’s sales growth rate was 56%, the highest since 2016, and there were advertisements to be grateful for, accounting for about 98% of total sales. The number of Facebook ads delivered increased 6%, and the social giant saw its average price per ad increase 47% over the second quarter.

This is not too surprising given the massive user engagement for these platforms. In Q2, Snap reported a total of 293 million daily active users (DAU), a 23% increase over last year, and Twitter’s monetizable daily active users (mDAU) or users viewing ads on the platform increased by 11% 2 reported 6 billion people.

And there is a giant called Facebook. It has 1.91 billion DAUs and 3.51 billion monthly users across its app suite, including Facebook’s main apps, Messenger, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

Facebook tops the older demographic for usage, according to a new study from GetWizer Consumer Insights of nearly 1,500 Americans of VIP+. The situation between the 15-29-year-olds, who more regularly and actively use various platforms, was even more interesting. They said last week they spent at least 30 minutes on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter.

Whatever these companies are doing now is definitely working, as advertising revenue is steadily growing at an alarming rate. However, there are concerns that the growth will not be sustained in the long term, and the recent Apple iOS 14.5 update is expected to act as a major threat to Big Tech’s advertising strategy.

Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Snap use targeted advertising to reach their audiences. Personalized experiences that have proven to be more effective at getting people to click and even buy through the ads they serve.

However, new Apple software updates give users more power and control by giving them the option to opt out of app tracking. Snap, Twitter, and Facebook are all doing their best to estimate how much impact software updates will have, but Facebook CFO David Wehner warns that if the advertising business is affected, it will be worse in Q3 than Q2.

As social giants explore the current advertising landscape, the biggest opportunities are in video and mixed reality (VR, AR, etc.). Video advertising is showing healthy growth, and Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said in its earnings call Wednesday that the company is seeing more than 2 billion in-stream ad-qualified videos every month. Facebook and Snap are both actively working to become leaders in VR and AR, respectively, and these moves could open new avenues to further drive ad revenue.

Facebook revealed in its earnings call that it plans to create a so-called metaverse. Zuckerberg said this will be a social and digital environment unlike anything else that exists. Building the metaverse doesn’t happen overnight, but the ultimate goal is to make money by selling virtual goods and advertising them internally.

Whether Zuckerberg’s metaverse ideas are as grandiose as he invented them, it’s true that social media companies will have to ponder and ponder for a long time to innovate and tap the next stage of growth in a rapidly evolving environment.

Advertising is the bread and butter of social, and new delivery methods will play an important role in determining who succeeds and who lags behind.





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