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Dan Barrett is an industry commentator & TV critic. He does radio - 4BC & ABC GC and co-hosts the Screen Watching podcast. He's a former Mediaweek deputy editor and content creator for SBS.
The late great Sean Connery
ALSO: The Goodies turn 50. AND: The Mandalorian returned.
Happy Monday. Always Be Watching is back for another week. I’m not sure what the rest of this week will deliver in terms of interesting screen-related news and information. I suspect the oxygen will be completely swallowed up by the US election and listicles related to The Mandalorian.
We begin this week with the passing of screen legend Sean Connery.
The late great Sean Connery
Sean Connery died at the age of 90 at his home in the Bahamas. Connery was one of my favourite screen actors. He’s in my all-time favourite movie The Untouchables, he’s far and away the best Bond, and did you see the way he presented the mankini to the world in Zardoz? Cinema. Royalty.
There’s some great Sean Connery articles and remembrances online.
To deal with Connery is to deal with changing conceptions of manhood, at its best and worst. Intemperate and combative from youth to old age, Connery never mellowed in the way that he theoretically should have, given the range of opportunities to evolve that were within grasp thanks to his fame and wealth.
Connery once described the part that has now made him immortal as “a cross, a privilege, a joke, a challenge. And as bloody intrusive as a nightmare.” But for those who cannot get enough beluga caviar or Walther PPKs, it remains a dream. Sean Connery as James Bond is forever.
This coming Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of the first episode of UK comedy The Goodies being broadcast. The first episode went out on the BBC on Sunday 8 November 1970 at 10pm.
Radio Times has a feature on the show which includes an interview with Graeme Garden:
Then again The Goodies was often like a live-action cartoon, and its cast were the original cosplayers. “Somewhere in the bottom of a trunk I have the one-piece trousers, shirt, tie and jacket that do up with a single zip,” says Graeme. “We did have a wide range of silly costumes. The costume we all hated was when we were bouncing around on space-hoppers dressed as tubes of toothpaste. It was very uncomfortable, in fact painful, and nobody could see it was really us in there. Bill rants about it to this day. I tease him by claiming it wasn’t actually me and Tim in the other two tubes.”
Richard Brody at The New Yorker looks at a year without movie buzz.
Just as the rustles and whispers (and popcorn-chomping and soda-slurping) in a movie-theatre audience is the sonic mark of moviegoing, so buzz conjures the rustlings behind the screen—buzz is the sound of people working on movies, whether on the set or the editing suite or the boardroom, in publicity offices and newsrooms and television stations, and even at the keyboards of critics. And although many people in the industry are, despite dire circumstances, devotedly and imaginatively bringing out and calling attention to wonderful new movies—and even online film festivals, special series, and great revivals—the thinning of theatrical releases has made this often heroic activity seem quiet, even confidential. Although viewing movies alone at home, often on a small laptop screen, has its aesthetic benefits (as I wrote earlier this year), its downside goes beyond the lack of revenue from ticket sales in a theatre-dependent industry; in the absence of a scene, of a sense of spectacle, it’s hard to even conceive of what’s happening behind the scenes.
Maybe elections are really just about money… Hmmmm…
Not only is the US election keeping media markets across the company flush with cash through campaign ads, election night itself will serve as a windfall for TV networks broadcasting coverage of the results. And great news for the networks: With so much mail-in and pre-poll voting taking place, a result might not be revealed for several days. That’s just more eyeballs watching for several glorious nights of prime-time.
Jeff Collins is a sales guy at Fox News:
This election offers one of the last few opportunities to reach a mass audience that is highly engaged at scale,” Mr. Collins said. “We know there’s incredible interest in this election, more so than potentially any other, and there’s also been a lack of original programming elsewhere.
But companies looking to advertise on certain news networks may want to tread carefully.
Gibbs Haljun handles investments at the media agency Mindshare:
Clients need to assess their risk tolerance — they may be attracted to the audiences the networks will deliver, but they also run the risk of whether the angle of the news coverage could tarnish their brand,” Mr. Haljun said. “This year, more than in years past, there’s more angst around the election, and it’s more polarizing.
Got questions about the season 2 return of The Mandalorian? Here’s a guide to answers and easter eggs. Read: TVLine
Like most people, I assumed that the character at the end of Mando’s return episode was ____ ____. But Polygon asks: What if it isn’t? Polygon also have a very reasonable suggestion as to who it actually is. Read: Polygon
Oh, and one last Mando thing. Cobb Vanth, the character played by Timothy Olymphant, isn’t a new character at all. He’s a deep dive character featured in the Star Wars book Aftermath from a couple of years ago. Source: CBR
Clive Barker is on board as an Executive Producer on the upcoming HBO Hellraiser TV series. Mark Verheiden is the Showrunner. Read: Deadline
Production has resumed on Michael Mann’s Tokyo Vice series. Read: Dark Horizons
Media execs plotting a path forward in a world without cable TV. Source: CNBC
Sony is in the final stages of buying anime streamer Crunchyroll from WarnerMedia for a cool $957 million. Read: The Streamable
Will Mank be able to do what Citizen Kane could not: Win the Academy Award for Best Picture? Read: NYT
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