The Downside of Feedback

Feedback is such an elemental ingredient of nearly any human activity — consider the importance of coaching and teaching in particular, but also think about the creative arts — and yet there is huge variance on how much feedback a given person may get, or choose to accept. The web is probably the grandest (or […]

Why Do Animated Films Use Such Famous Voices?

I took my four children to the movie Coraline this weekend. After the movie, I asked them how they liked it. Their four answers: “great,” “good,” “O.K.,” and “Thank God it is over.” Coming from my kids, who always say the latest movie is their favorite, those are not very positive reviews. I have never […]

Now Pinki Really Has a Reason to Smile

I blogged a while back about the remarkable documentary film Smile Pinki that follows two young children as they have cleft surgery. One of those children is named Pinki. Last night Smile Pinki won an Academy Award. Pinki was there, having flown in from India.

Freakonomics: A Lighthearted Romantic Comedy Starring Drew Barrymore

New York magazine, riffing on Drew Barrymore‘s starring role in the film adaptation of He’s Just Not That Into You, suggests 10 other self-help books that should be Barrymore vehicles, including Freakonomics: Drew Barrymore stars as a free-spirited Northwestern economics grad student who ventures into the Cabrini Green projects on the south side of Chicago […]

Freddie Mac and Cheese

It’s not an entire film (and it’s not in French), but two more readers, Talya and Pavle, have sent in a video of their song “Fannie Mae Eat Freddie Mac and Cheese,” which uses “freakonomics” as a sort of mantra. We like.

The Social Upheaval/Zombie Movie Index

Annalee Newitz, editor of the science-fiction blog i09, created a chart showing the number of zombie movies produced annually in the West (mostly the U.S. and Europe) since 1910: Chart design by Stephanie Fox. The chart shows several spikes in zombie-movie production that, according to Newitz, “always seem to happen eerily close to historical events […]

Survivor: Movie-Watching Edition

Say you were stranded in a glass box in Times Square, and the only thing you could bring with you is 120 hours worth of movies. Which films would you bring? The current world record for continuous movie watching is 120 hours and 23 minutes: roughly the equivalent of viewing 80 consecutive 90-minute feature films […]

Should Moviegoers Pay for the Good Seats?

We came across a European relic in Munich: a movie theater that still prices seats differently, with the seats in front cheaper than those in back. This used to be common in European movie theaters; today, as in the U.S., there is one price for all seats. In the U.S. system the good seats, near […]

Freakonomics: The Movie (But Not the One You Think)

As announced earlier, there are plans to make Freakonomics into a feature-length documentary. But if you can’t wait, or if you just want a good laugh, there’s a fictional adaptation (very fictional) called Les Incroyables Aventures de Steven D. Levitt et Stephen J. Dubner. Yes, it is a French film (with English subtitles), made by […]

Your Movie Industry Questions Answered

Dan Glickman We recently solicited your questions for Dan Glickman, C.E.O. of the Motion Picture Association of America. In his answers below, he discusses, among other topics, the source of his piracy figures and why the ratings board isn’t the “morality police.” He also tells us what he thinks of the documentary This Film Is […]