When Netflix Is Attacked at Cannes, Will Smith Steps Up

Will Smith defends entry of non-theatrical Netflix movies at Cannes.

(LOIC VENENACE)

Two of the films in competition at this year's prestigious Cannes Film Festival were produced by and for Netflix. It may be a watershed moment for films, given that the two movies — Okja and The Meyerowitz Stories — were produced for a TV streaming service, and not for a movie theater. At the festival's opening press conference on May 17, renowned Spanish filmmaker and Palme d'Or prize juror Pedro Almodovar read a pre-written statement that said in part, “I personally do not conceive, not only the Palme d'Or, any other prize being given to a film and not being able to see this film on a big screen."

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Culture & Religion

The Eyeball Economy: How Advertising Co-Opts Independent Thought

In what Tristan Harris calls a "race to the bottom of the brain stem," media companies and advertisers will do almost anything to keep your eyes locked where they want them.

Attention is a limited resource. There's just 24 hours per human per day, and every advertiser wants it. The attention economy has always existed—penny papers competed with each other the same way streaming services do now—but today we feel it so much more because our devices are no longer plugged into walls; we can take them with us, to have entertainment and knowledge wherever we go. But if only it were just those two things. Tristan Harris, a design thinker and former ethicist at Google, explains how advertising has become increasingly persuasive and tailored in the age of big data. Companies sell users' attention and personal information to the highest bidder, who uses it to manipulate thoughts and beliefs—be it about products or politics—with very little transparency. This critically undermines our free will and democracy. "So many of our institutions depend on us having sovereign minds and sovereign ideas," Harris says. It's time to start rigorously questioning advertising's business model, and reorganize the attention economy to align with public wellbeing. To find out more about Tristan Harris, head to tristanharris.com.

Videos

Digital Revolution: More and More People Are Paying For Content

"Shut up and take my money" isn't just a meme anymore, it's the way people are increasingly choosing to access art, news, and culture.

Photo: Vitaly, unsplash.com/@gooner

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Culture & Religion

Bill Nye Brings Beautiful, Evidence-Based Science to Netflix This April

Just as the collective ruckus of science deniers hits its peak, Netflix announces a date for 'Bill Nye Saves the World', a heroic new show that will answer the most pressing science questions of our era. 

Heroes don't wear capes, they wear coats. No lies, no hidden agenda – Bill Nye will set the record straight on science.

In August last year it was announced that Bill Nye was getting his own Netflix show. Bill is back alright (although he never really left us), and now we finally have a date – for the show to air. For a “date” date you’ll have to ask directly.

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Surprising Science

Netflix is saving kids’ brains, one non-commercial break at a time

Want five or six extra days every year? Easy – choose streaming over network TV. Adults are sacrificing 130 hours, and kids 150 hours, to ads annually when they watch commercial programming. 

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Culture & Religion