Ringing out the in year

What better way to start the new year off–late–than by looking at the old one? Hey, they did it at the Golden Globes.

Naturally, there was a lot of buzz around and after the proceedings. I was particularly interested by one story that came out of this year’s Golden Globes. Not Michael Keaton’s award for his performance in “Birdman”–although Alejandro Inarritu’s New York vs. Hollywood vs. Youtube meditation on meaning was probably my favorite film of last year, thanks in no small part to Keaton’s savagely honest performance.

So if I’m not talking about Michael Keaton, then I must be talking about traditional TV vs. streaming, an argument that’s long been in industry journalism (just plug “death of cable” into your favorite search engine), but has gained new talking points in Amazon.com’s wins for “Transparent”–the first time a streaming program has beat out its tradition competition for best television series. I have been interested in the evolution of distribution for a while now, but I am much more in line with Linda Holmes’ sober analysis of the situation on NPR.

Besides, we all know what signals the death of traditional TV: Woody Allen is going to Amazon.com to make a show. Haw. In truth, I’m pretty happy about that because, while Woody has made fine films and funny films, he’s never made a truly cinematic film. Movies are, first and foremost, a visual medium, and Allen doesn’t have that all important cinematic eye. If you need a refresher on that, just go back and watch last year’s “Magic in the Moonlight.” Great performances, a witty script (more in line with his philosophically probing early fiction), but with none of the visual magic the French countryside deserves. Aside from a few bisecting shots and some pans to create depth, “Magic” could have just as easily been a play (and wasn’t one of the arguments against the fine little film that it was stagey?).

As such, I think Woody will be much more comfortable on smaller screens, where viewers can focus more fully on actors and dialogue. I am definitely looking forward to the (as yet untitled) show for just that reason–and not at all because my mom has an Amazon Prime account I can leach off of.

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