Kim Novak vs 'The Artist', Film Industry & Technology Progress, Optimization

Still of Bérénice Bejo and Jean Dujardin in "The Artist" (2011) directed by Michel Hazanavicius

"Kim Novak has gone public, with a press release and a trade ad, to express her ire over The Artist‘s use of Bernard Hermann’s music from 'Vertigo' as backdrop for the silent film. I just spoke with Novak’s longtime manager Sue Cameron, and she told me that the actress is an Oscar voter.

“She was sitting in her living room, she put the DVD in, and then went into an absolute state of shock and devastation,” Cameron said. “When you sit in a theater and familiar music comes on that engenders ready made emotion from a past film, and they use that music to evoke those same emotions, it’s quite hurtful. We know that they had the legal right to use the music, but it’s the music that was the backdrop for classic scenes, like Kim and Jimmy Stewart kissing by the tree, driving along the coast in the car. She is very, very upset.”

Kim Novak in "Vertigo" (1958) directed by Alfred Hitchcock

One looming question is whether Novak has jeopardized her status as a voter, and violated the rules by publicly maligning a movie that is a frontrunner for Best Picture. I will provide updates as I get some clarity, and reaction from The Weinstein Company, which released The Artist. Here is Novak’s reaction, in her own words: “I want to report a rape,” said Kim Novak, the legendary star of “Vertigo,” “Picnic,” and many other revered classics. “My body of work has been violated by ‘The Artist.’

This film took the Love Theme music from “Vertigo” and used the emotions it engenders as its own. Alfred Hitchcock and Jimmy Stewart can’t speak for themselves, but I can. It was our work that unconsciously or consciously evoked the memories and feelings to the audience that were used for the climax of ‘The Artist.’”

Novak went on to say that “The Artist” could and should have been able to stand on its own. “There was no reason for them to depend on Bernard Herrmann’s score from ‘Vertigo’ to provide more drama. ‘Vertigo’s’ music was written during the filming.

Hitchcock wanted the theme woven musically in the puzzle pieces of the storyline. Even though they did given Bernard Herrmann a small credit at the end, I believe this kind of filmmaking trick to be cheating. Shame on them!” Source:

The Movie Industry and Technology Progress:

The music and movie business has been consistently wrong in its claims that new platforms and channels would be the end of its businesses. In each case, the new technology produced a new market far larger than the impact it had on the existing market.

1920’s – the record business complained about radio. The argument was because radio is free, you can’t compete with free. No one was ever going to buy music again.

1940’s – movie studios had to divest their distribution channel – they owned over 50% of the movie theaters in the U.S. “It’s all over,” complained the studios. In fact, the number of screens went from 17,000 in 1948 to 38,000 today.

1950’s – broadcast television was free; the threat was cable television. Studios argued that their free TV content couldn’t compete with paid.

1970’s – Video Cassette Recorders (VCR’s) were going to be the end of the movie business. The movie businesses and its lobbying arm MPAA fought it with “end of the world” hyperbole. The reality? After the VCR was introduced, studio revenues took off like a rocket. With a new channel of distribution, home movie rentals surpassed movie theater tickets.

1998 – the MPAA got congress to pass the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), making it illegal for you to make a digital copy of a DVD that you actually purchased.

2000 – Digital Video Recorders (DVR) like TiVo allowing consumer to skip commercials was going to be the end of the TV business. DVR’s reignite interest in TV.

2006 - broadcasters sued Cablevision (and lost) to prevent the launch of a cloud-based DVR to its customers.

Today it’s the Internet that’s going to put the studios out of business. Sound familiar? Source:

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