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Number Crunching Shows Old Movies Are More Creative Than New Ones

The case of the missing Apple TV movies

Physicist Sameet Sreenivasan of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York conducted a detailed data analysis of novel and unique elements in movies throughout the 20th century. Sreenivasan analyzed keywords used on the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) to observe trends. A novelty score was given based on the number of times any given keyword was used to describe another film. Films that had higher novelty scores featured a word that was rarely used to describe it. While films with lower novelty scores had a keyword used to describe a variety of them. A range from zero to one was applied as the novelty score, with the least novel being zero. To depict the evolution of film culture over time, Sreenivasan then lined up the scores chronologically. “You always hear about how the period from 1929 to 1950 was known as the Golden Age of Hollywood,” Sreenivasan said to Wired. “There were big movies with big movie stars. But if you look at novelty at that time, you see a downward trend.” After studio systems fell in the 1950s, filmmakers burst with new ideas which enhanced the movies during the 1960s. Films like Bonnie and Clyde in 1967, Breathless in 1960, and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in 1966 were all very well received. In addition, plot lines, novel styles and film techniques helped create the increase in Sreenivasan’s analysis of that period. The films analyzed spanned a 70-year period and the study appears in Nature Scientific Reports . 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Newer Movies Are Less Creative

Itand other movies Ive rippedare gone! What happened to them? With the latest iTunes and Apple TV, Apple categorizes such movies (any variety of video that wasnt obtained from the iTunes Store) as home videos. When you select Computers on your Apple TV you will see an entry for Home Videos as the fourth item in the media list. If you select that item and then click the remotes Select button, all your ripped movies should appear. If, like me, you find it a bit silly to separate your Apple-purchased movies from those youve ripped (and yes, you should do this only with discs that you own), you can correct this behavior. To do so, youll need to change the media type for these movies from Home Video to Movies. There are a couple of ways to do this in iTunes. The first is to select Movies in iTunes, click the Home Videos heading in the main window, select everything in that window, press Command-I, click the Options tab, choose Movie from the Media Kind pop-up menu, and click OK. Changing the media type of multiple “home videos.” I find this method a little clumsy because there may be smaller moviesmovies of the family that youve created with iMovie, for examplethat really are home videos. Use the method I just described and that stuff gets mixed in with your Hollywood hits. What I would suggest instead is that you choose File > New > Smart Playlist and in the window that appears configure the one and only condition to read Media Kind Is Home Video and click OK. Youll be presented with a list of all the videos in your iTunes Library tagged as home videos. Now click the Time column heading twice so that the movies with the greatest length appear at the top.

BT will offer Sky Movies for a monthly subscription that customers can add to their existing BT TV package from October 26. The agreement means that BT will be able to offer its TV customers the option to bolt-on Sky Movies whether they are customers with the YouView box or the latest Vision + box. For Sky, the deal supports Sky’s growing wholesale content business. BT TV customers will be able to enjoy the latest movies across 11 Sky Movies channels, in standard definition, both as streamed live channels and on-demand for those with BT Infinity fibre broadband. For customers with regular BT broadband Sky Movies is only available on-demand. Sky Movies is the UK’s most popular subscription movies service giving access to over 700 different movies on demand including brand new exclusive premieres every week from major Hollywood studios such as Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, Warner Bros., and Universal. Sky Movies subscribers can choose from more of the latest and biggest movies first, at least 12 months before any online subscription service. Premieres in October include Argo, Django Unchained, Les Miserables and Gangster-Squad. Zero Dark Thirty and Life Of Pi will premiere in November. The agreement includes Sky Movies Premiere, Sky Movies Showcase, Sky Movies Greats, Sky Movies Disney, Sky Movies Family, Sky Movies Action & Adventure, Sky Movies Comedy, Sky Movies Crime & Thriller, Sky Movies Drama & Romance, Sky Movies Sci Fi & Horror and Sky Movies Select. Alex Green, director of BT TV, said: “We are delighted to have reached this agreement with Sky to enable our TV customers to enjoy Sky Movies and its superb offering of films for every taste, including the latest blockbusters.

After a documentary and several shorts, Godard made his first feature, "Breathless (A Bout de Souffle)" (1960), a brisk dark comedy starring Jean-Paul Belmondo as a petty thief and Jean Seberg as an American ex-pat.

Though theres probably no perfect way, the recent research mined keywords generated by users of the website the Internet Movie Database (IMDb), which contains descriptions of more than 2 million films. When summarizing plots, people on the site are prompted to use keywords that have been used to describe previous movies , yielding tags that characterize particular genres (cult-film), locations (manhattan-new-york), or story elements (tied-to-a-chair). Each keyword was given a score based on its rarity when compared to previous work. If some particular plot point like, say, beautiful-woman had appeared in many movies that preceded a particular film, it was given a low novelty value. But a new element perhaps martial-arts, which appeared infrequently in films before the 60s was given a high novelty score when it first showed up. The scores ranged from zero to one, with the least novel being zero. Lining up the scores chronologically showed the evolution of film culture and plots over time. The results appeared Sept. 26 in Nature Scientific Reports . The researcher behind the findings, physicist Sameet Sreenivasan of the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York, was at first somewhat surprised at some of his results. You always hear about how the period from 1929 to 1950 was known as the Golden Age of Hollywood, he said. There were big movies with big movie stars. But if you look at novelty at that time, you see a downward trend. This result is likely familiar to any student of film history, who knows that this golden age also corresponded to a time when nearly all movies were produced and released by a handful of studios. The Big Five in particular reigned supreme through the practice of block booking. Studios produced several A-movies with big stars and high production values.

Sky Movies comes to BT TV, hell braces itself for cold snap

Sky Movies comes to BT TV, hell braces itself for cold snap

If some particular plot point like, say, beautiful-woman had appeared in many movies that preceded a particular film, it was given a low novelty value. But a new element perhaps martial-arts, which appeared infrequently in films before the 60s was given a high novelty score when it first showed up. The scores ranged from zero to one, with the least novel being zero. Lining up the scores chronologically showed the evolution of film culture and plots over time. What they found was that the most creative time in film history was probably the 1960s, right after the huge studios crumbled. The 60s were a time of the American New Wave filmsthinkBonnie and Clydeand a new breed of action movie, when James Bond showed up on the silver screen in 1962. Of course, novelty doesnt necessarily translate into ticket sales. The researchers looked at how the novelty score corresponded with box-office revenue, and found that while people liked new things up to a point (about 0.8 on the novelty ranking), after that, revenue dropped. Its worth pointing out that IMDB suggests previously popular words to the users who are filling in keywords. And because IMDB was not around when the movies of the 30s and 40s came out, the people filling in the keywords are a different group than these movies original audiences. Mann explains : Modern day audiences might not notice certain subtleties or differences in movies from the 30s, 40s, and 50s, perhaps making them appear more uniform in the final result. As well, cultural events at the time when a particular tag became heavily used could skew the results. People tagging movies shortly after 9/11 might be more inclined to use the word terrorism, for instance. Plus, theres the question of whether IMDB keywords are a good indicator of how creative or new a movie actually is.

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