Market Deeper

18 Jul 19
Dandelion Salad

by William Bowles Writer, Dandelion Salad Investigating Imperialism London, England July 18, 2019 I am nothing if not an optimist, a trait that most on the Left seem to share. A belief in the future, that there is one that includes us. That things, eventually, get better, if we fight for it. ‘Unrealistic’, I hear […]

18 Jul 19
When Left Meets Right

What I learned from my month at a conservative think tank

Part 1b.

Could we unite all Americans if we were all a little more empathetic? I used to think so, but there seems to be something deeper to our differences than simply a lack of empathy on the other side. In this post I’ll describe the moments that forced me to understand better those who I used to despise.

18 Jul 19
The Narrow Path

I’m not a Politician  I’ve been cautioned in my own spirit as a given rule not to write about anything political in nature. My reasons are manifold.  One has to do with the fact that I am not a political pundit, nor do I have a degree in political science, and neither do I sit around […]

18 Jul 19
Damon Sand - Blog

It’s safe to say June was exciting for all of us in crypto, regardless of which tokens, networks, and assets you watch most closely. For this month’s update, we recap an eventful few weeks and share some Blockchain news, including a product roll-out, milestone and published research. ICYMI – Crypto Investment Thesis, Full USD PAX […]

18 Jul 19
the needlefish

Trump had his mob screaming send her back! at his rally in North Carolina last night. This is now, I think, out of control, and even Donald may soon be surprised at what he’s unleashed. Perhaps, now, the myth of white working class economic anxiety and social dislocation can finally be discarded, and the press […]

18 Jul 19
EPIS Worldwide Blog

In order to explore the meaning and value of authentic human being-ness—who we are and what we are seeking ontologically and existentially—we must address questions relating to an interpretation of being that prioritizes having and its relationship to the dialectic between being alone and being with Others. This starting point would be useful in helping […]

18 Jul 19
Updates & Observations

Wednesday, July 10th Crossed over the border around 12:00 and drove to Arusha to be dropped off. Took a cab to the Arusha Hotel (now called Four Points by Sheraton), and had some lunch. Texted a family friend, Mimi, who lives in Tanzania, that I had arrived and she put me in touch with her […]

18 Jul 19
WWD

The designer’s company will discontinue the luxury Collection launched in 2003 to focus on Derek Lam 10 Crosby.

18 Jul 19
synaesthesia /ˌsɪnɪsˈθiːzɪə/

Lastly, it is implausible for there to be a concrete winner in this contest. As the age-old phrase goes, you win some, you lose some

18 Jul 19
Clio's Musings

Purpose To assess the potential of the historic practice of naval blockade in the current era. The departure point is recognition that the US and its allies possess global command of the sea. Students of sea power have long known that command of the sea cannot be an end in itself but can only take […]

18 Jul 19
If, Then... Market Timing

Avoiding a deeper detour? Rallying this morning to 2990.00 stopped short of the 2993.50 objective, so it becomes “unfinished business” that requires eventual testing. Meanwhile, back under 2985.25 signaled a detour, first. But its potential to 2973.00 stopped 3 points short before bouncing sharply again. Now this afternoon’s bias-up signal has triggered, targeting 2988.00. And […]

18 Jul 19
Updates & Observations

Tuesday, July 2nd Landed in Kenya around 8pm, but it took roughly an hour to get through immigration. In addition to the typical bureaucracy of making your way through customs, Kenya is very strict about health and many you fill out 3 different health forms, present a yellow fever immunization form and even pass through […]

18 Jul 19
Eritas Daily

If you like to make fun of millennials for liking things, you might want to look away, because we’re about to talk about milk for a bit. You see, earlier this week I was contemplating milk and, more specifically, the amount of different milks we have to choose from in this day and age. Unfortunately, unless you have the time to try out all of the different options, you will never be able to achieve optimum latte potential. That’s where we come in. I personally have tried all of the different milk genres and varieties out there and am now going to rank them here for you. Prepare to never have to think about milk again. 

18 Jul 19
IndieWire
Lulu Wang’s “The Farewell” is the most exciting hit movie of the summer, but its success wasn’t preordained. A24 acquired the movie out of Sundance, following raves for the complex look at an Asian American experience through the lens of a woman grappling with dueling cultural identities. When it opened in limited release July 12, it beat out “Avengers: Endgame” for the year’s biggest per-theater average. And it almost didn’t happen. For Wang, the fragmented experience facing her movie’s central character mirrored the filmmaker’s multi-year experience attempting to make “The Farewell,” and it only came together once she had all but given up on it. There were many disheartening encounters with American financiers as she pitched the premise: a young woman’s family visits her ailing Chinese grandmother while keeping the matriarch in the dark about her illness. Many suggested that Wang introduce a prominent white character into the narrative, and punch up the nuanced drama to turn it into a broad comedy. But Wang felt her story didn’t need the token white character; it already had Billie, the young protagonist, whose experience in a large immigrant family was specific to the Asian American experience. However, the biggest disappointment was yet to come. Fed up with the disconnect, Wang met with a Chinese financier. “I thought, if I wanted authentically in Chinese, maybe it is a foreign-language movie, and not an American movie,” she said in a recent interview at the Bowery Hotel in New York. “Maybe I’m delusional in even thinking that I’m American, and that this is an American story.” The new meeting went nowhere fast. “This Chinese producer was like, ‘You need a white guy in your movie,’” Wang said. “They’re so influenced by Hollywood.” “The Farewell” So she tried another route, crafting an episode of “This American Life” around her family’s experience staging a faux wedding for her cousin in China, as an excuse for her relatives to see their ailing nai nai (Mandarin for grandmother) one last time. The episode caught the attention of producer Chris Weitz, who helped secure financing for the movie in the form that Wang envisioned it — 70 percent in Mandarin, with a tone that hewed closer to what Wang experienced herself. “The Farewell,” which won raves for Awkwafina’s dramatic turn and Wang’s direction, scored a $6 million distribution deal with A24 at the festival. It opened in limited release exactly a year after production began in China; Wang’s next project, an ambitious sci-fi story, is in advanced pre-production, and murmurs of an awards campaign for “The Farewell” are well underway. The movie’s success exists on a continuum with last year’s commercial smash “Crazy Rich Asians,” providing the latest evidence of a robust underserved market for Asian American storytellers. However, the challenges Wang faced provide a microcosm of just how difficult it is to get these movies made. “In making ‘The Farewell,’ I learned the power of saying ‘no,’” Wang said. “I said no to a lot of opportunities to make the film because we didn’t share the same vision.” A Boston College grad who learned filmmaking through work-for-hire gigs after graduation, Wang made her feature-length debut with 2014’s “Posthumous,” an endearing romcom starring Jack Huston and Brit Marling that satirized the high-art world. The movie garnered solid reactions in its festival screenings, but it suggested a career path she didn’t want. “I had the chance to make [“The Farewell”] as a much broader comedy, and I’d just done that,” she said. “I wanted to break out of that box.” She found her first answer in “Touch,” a 12-minute short produced with a fellowship from Film Independent. While “Posthumous” proved she could put a movie together, “Touch” clarifies her creative vision. Wang’s story revolves around the experiences of a middle-aged Chinese immigrant who finds himself accused of sexual abuse after an innocent exchange with a minor. Blending English and Mandarin in a complex snapshot of intergenerational family dynamics and covert racism, “Touch” provided Wang with a new storytelling ethos. “It was of a way of going back to my roots, with a limited budget and more complicated tone,” she said. The short caught the attention of journalist and filmmaker Neil Drumming, a producer at “This American Life.” He initially expressed interest in developing an episode of the series, but Wang suggested her experiences with her grandmother’s illness would be a better approach. “I thought if I can’t make the film the way I want to make it, I’m not going to make it at all,” she said. She wrote up a short-story version and sent it to Drumming, and developed the episode from there. The half-hour “What You Don’t Know” aired in April 2016. Within the first 24 hours, Weitz reached out  from every possible direction. “He tweeted at me, we DM’ed, I got an email from him, and his agent,” Wang said. The pair had lunch and Wang recounted her challenges financing “The Farewell.” “He said he could protect me against a studio or financing partner who might bring their own ideas to the table and potentially dilute the project,” she said. Weitz brought the project to Big Beach, the production company best known for “Little Miss Sunshine.” By then, Wang had certain demands. “I said I wouldn’t compromise on the way it was cast,” she said. “And I was not going to compromise on the language. It was going to be primarily Mandarin. It will not make any sense for grandma and the family to speak English.” Big Beach producer Dani Melia recalled hearing Wang’s horror stories from other meetings. “Honestly, the initial feedback she got is indicative of Hollywood, since people envisioned it as this broader studio film,” Melia said. “When we listened to the podcast, it was indicative of her strong storytelling sensibilities and these rich characters she knew so well. There was never a question in my mind about making this authentic or not.” Big Beach signed on within a week, joining Weitz’s Depth of Field. Although she now had the resources, Wang wasn’t interested in chasing name actors; the industry didn’t give her many options for actors who spoke Mandarin and still fit the part. “I needed somebody that really felt American,” Wang said. “The majority of them are not really well known, so I was excited to find somebody else and discover new talent.” Then Awkwafina, the rapper-turned-comedic actor who was about to steal the show in “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Ocean’s 8,” related so much to the story as a reflection of her own Chinese family that she pursued Wang and sent her an audition tape. Awkwafina knew she brought some baggage to the project. “When I was first kind of placed before her, she was quizzical because she only knew me from ‘My Vag,’” she said, referring to one of her more infamous tracks. “I felt like when Lulu hired me, it was out of a sea of girls that she was seeing. I went in knowing that, even if my Chinese sucked and my drama sucks, Lulu saw something there.” Wang said she was sold on the tape. “All of the emotion was on her face and her eyes,” she said. “I needed an actress who could carry the scenes even without speaking.” And so began the unique alchemy of “The Farewell,” a movie that teeters on the edge of a cringe-comedy even as it mines for deeper moments. As she wrestles with her family’s traditionalist approach to sheltering nai nai from the reality of her condition, Billie’s journey became a template for exploring the unspoken frustrations of a first-generation American tethered to old-world family values. “It was really cool just to be directed by someone who is kind of like you,” Awkwafina said, “an Asian American kid, growing up and chasing this dream, and going against the grain.” “The Farewell” Wang said she never related to the Asian arthouse auteurs her parents watched while she was growing up. “I didn’t see myself in Jia Jhangke or Wong Kar-Wai films,” she said. “Those are Asian filmmakers, and I very much am an American filmmaker.” She cited “Secretary,” “The Piano,” and Woody Allen movies as her first exposure to the kind of filmmaking that she wanted to make, but also led to more existential questions. “It’s something I’ve had to navigate my whole life — am I American or Chinese?” she said. “I think I was lost quite a while in terms of what my voice is.” Though the movie’s understated narrative approach may remind some viewers of Japanese master Yasujiro Ozu, Wang said she viewed British auteur Mike Leigh’s working-class dramas as a major reference point, and also looked to horror movies as a means of exploring Billie’s encroaching dread over her grandmother’s terminal condition. “People hear ‘Chinese family comedy’ and they immediately form expectations around it,” Wang said. “People were always asking what the film’s genre was. But, like, what genre is your life?” Melia watched as Wang navigated the cross-cultural production. “I didn’t even hear Lulu speak Chinese through our entire development process,” Melia said. “So it was really interesting during the table read watching the actors speaking Chinese. But that’s what America is — this woman moved to the U.S. at six, grew up in Boston, and they speak Mandarin at home.” “The Farewell” neared completion just as Sundance’s new director of programming, Kim Yutani, settled into her new gig. Melia brought the project to Yutani, who started her programming career years ago working for the Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Archive. Yutani made the call to slot “The Farewell” in the festival’s U.S. Dramatic Competition. “We didn’t have any conversations about that at all,” Yutani said. “It was a U.S. Dramatic Competition film from the start. As an Asian American, it was really important for me to see a film like this succeed and connect.” By the time “The Farewell” landed in Park City, “Crazy Rich Asians” was the decade’s the highest-grossing romantic comedy, kickstarting conversations about the market for Asian American storytelling. A24 landed the movie after a fierce bidding war that also included a strong bid from Netflix. However, Wang expressed some trepidation about the long-term prospects that the success of her movie and “Crazy Rich Asians” represent. “It’s great when people can see something as specific as the Asian American experience can also be universal and see box office success, and I hope ‘The Farewell’ is a part of that momentum,” she said. “ At the same time … with the success of ‘Twilight,’ everybody wanted to make vampire movies, and then they were making a lot of bad vampire movies, and it was like, well, guess nobody wants to see vampire movies. Next!” [jwplayer VFKdRQi6] She laughed. “It’s important to see it not as a trend or the cool thing of the moment, but to be open to stories that are representative of the diaspora in America, that are actually reflective of what this country looks like,” she said. “That isn’t just diversity for the sake of diversity.” That said, she’s not interested in positioning herself as a flag bearer for the cause. “All I can do is make what I believe in,” she said. “The rest is out of my control.” Her phone rang. She was preparing to dart off to supervise new subtitles for the movie. The next night, “The Farewell” would make a big splash as the opening selection at BAMcinemaFest. At the same time, she was deep into preparation for her sci-fi followup, “Children of the New World,” an adaptation of a short story by Alexander Weinstein that Big Beach would produce. This time, Wang said, she secured final cut. In the meantime, her agents at UTA were sifting through a plethora of new offers. “I’m definitely seeing a wider array of projects — and luckily, they’re not all Asian family dramedies,” she said. But, she added, “there are definitely a few of those.” “The Farewell” is now playing in New York and Los Angeles. It expands to several cities on Friday. Additional reporting by Kate Erbland.
18 Jul 19
Your Phoenix CW | KASW
(CNN) – Netflix has passed the 150 million subscribers mark, but the streaming giant missed the forecast for new memberships. The company added 2.7 million new subscribers in the second quarter of 2019, according to its latest earnings report released Wednesday. That is just over half of 5 million new subscribers that analysts were expecting. Netflix now has 151.5 million subscribers globally. The service said it expects to add another 7 million subscribers in the next quarter. Profit in the second quarter of 2019 fell to $271 million from $384 million in the first quarter of last year. Revenue went up 26% to $4.9 billion. Netflix’s stock plunged 12% in after hours trading. “We don’t believe competition was a factor since there wasn’t a material change in the competitive landscape during Q2, and competitive intensity and our penetration is varied across regions,” Netflix said. “Rather, we think Q2’s content slate drove less growth in paid net adds than we anticipated.” Still, it’s hard to ignore the competition looming over Netflix. Big Tech and Big Media, with their deep pockets and even deeper libraries, are entering the market to topple Netflix from its spot on the streaming throne. And some are taking with them the licensed shows that are popular among Netflix subscribers. The biggest threat to Netflix’s reign may be Disney, which will debut Disney+ on November 12 in North America. The new service will be brimming with some of the company’s most popular content including multiple showsfrom Marvel Studios, the company’s superhero studio that has made more than $22 billion at the worldwide box office, and an original “Star Wars” series called “The Mandalorian.” Disney+’s most alluring aspect may not be its library, but rather its price. At $6.99 a month, it is half of what Netflix charges for its standard plan. Disney has estimated the service could bring in 60 million to 90 million subscribers by the end of fiscal year 2024. Apple, NBCUniversal and AT&T’s WarnerMedia, the parent company of CNN, are all set to premiere new services of their own in the next year. WarnerMedia announced earlier this month that its new streaming service HBO Max will likely hit the market with “10,000 hours of premium content.” That includes a library of TV shows and films from the likes of director and writer Greg Berlanti and Oscar-winning actress Reese Witherspoon, who will produce at least two films. HBO Max will also be the only place to stream “The Fresh Prince of Bel Air,” “Pretty Little Liars” and most notably “Friends.” There is no word yet on how much all that will cost subscribers. “Friends,” which will be added to the service next year, is owned by WarnerMedia’s TV studio and has been licensed to Netflix for years. Making “Friends” exclusive to HBO Max is a big deal because it’s one of the most watched shows in TV history and was one of the most beloved titles on Netflix in recent years. But Netflix subscribers aren’t just losing their “Friends,” they’re also losing their friends from “The Office.” NBCUniversal announced last month that it has secured the exclusive domestic streaming rights for all nine seasons of “The Office,” which means fans of Jim and Pam will have to sign up for NBC Universal’s streaming service next year to see if they end up together. The series, which debuted on NBC in 2005, was streamed for about 52 billion minutes in 2018, according to data referenced by NBC in its news release last month. Still, Netflix has an enviable head start with subscribers. It’s also home to many hit original shows and movies that will make it a must-have subscription for TV lovers. “Stranger Things,” which debuted its third season on the Fourth of July holiday weekend, attracted 26.4 million unique viewers in the first four days of its release in the US, according to Nielsen data. It was “the most watched Netflix original series we’ve ever analyzed,” according to the viewership data company. The streaming company added a record 9.6 million new subscribers in the first quarter of 2019. It has 148.8 million subscribers globally, 60.2 million of whom are from the United States.