|THE CONTENDERDARK WATERSSPOTLIGHT|
The door slams shut today on applications for one of the biggest jobs in global broadcasting: running the BBC. Resumes have been dusted off and the BBC’s headhunters have been courting interest as the corporation seeks to replace Tony Hall as director general after he announced his departure in January.
It’s not been the most electrifying of races to date, with a number of industry insiders observing that the recruitment process has been quiet. There have been no shock candidates, no big pitches for the job. But that could all change in an instant as the BBC chairman Sir David Clementi edges closer to a decision.
Hall’s successor faces a gargantuan task. The to-do list includes, but is not limited to: Grappling with a government that seems determined to undermine the BBC’s funding, slashing costs, securing the success of commercial arm BBC Studios, cleaning up a rumbling equal pay dispute, closing the diversity gap, and bringing a new generation of young audiences to the BBC’s output. All of this, while there are unprecedented threats from U.S. media giants like Netflix, Amazon and Apple.
Below is a run-down of how things are shaping up in the battle to become the BBC’s next director general. It is by no means an exhaustive list of candidates as there may be other names yet to emerge. We will keep this post updated as things develop, so check back for updates.
POTENTIALLY IN PLAY
Tim Davie: Sources have told Deadline that the BBC Studios CEO is sweet on the idea of succeeding Tony Hall having done the job on an interim basis in 2012. He has so far declined to comment on the process. Bizarrely, he would probably have to take a salary cut to step up: His total pay was £642,000 $826,000 last year, while Hall took home £450,000.
Charlotte Moore: The BBC’s director of content remains a much-fancied internal candidate, but according to BBC insiders, she is keeping her cards close to her chest about whether she is gunning for the top job. Many have pointed to her content credentials, but others have questioned whether she has the political and strategic nous to handle a hostile government.
Jay Hunt: Apple’s creative director of worldwide video has a healthy level of support from certain BBC insiders, with her ability to make tough decisions seen as an advantage. Sources have suggested that she will only commit to the recruitment process if asked. Hunt declined to comment when approached by Deadline.
Alex Mahon: Channel 4’s CEO has joined a long line of predecessors in being linked with a move to the BBC. A source said she is “fully committed” to Channel 4, but did not gone as far as ruling her out of the running.
Jane Turton: All3Media’s chief executive has been contacted by headhunters for the BBC....
The world is…interesting right now, to say the least. And there’s a fairly good chance that you’re suddenly stuck inside your house right now, or at least hesitant to go out. Not to worry: You can stay in and watch some Blu-rays. You don’t even have to leave the house to get them – order them online and have them show up on your doorstep. And if you need some help regarding what to pick up, these are the new Blu-ray releases you should check out this week.Uncut Gems
It’s the movie everyone can’t stop talking about – the movie that many thought would ensure Adam “The Sandman” Sandler an Oscar nomination. It’s Uncut Gems, the Safdie Brothers‘ anxiety-inducing saga of gambling addict Howard Ratner Sandler, a jeweler who thinks he has a sure thing in the form of a rare black opal. But nothing goes according to Howard’s plans – he ends up handing the opal off to Kevin Garnett playing himself, and then his life proceeds to spiral completely out of control. His gambling debts put him in potential danger, and to make matters worse, every time he has a chance to climb out of the hole, his poor decisions put him right back in there. It’s perhaps a reflection of our troubled, turbulent times that so many people took to this movie, which is 135 minutes of screaming, tension, and jaw-dropping horror it’s pretty funny, too. While I didn’t love Uncut Gems as much as some I prefer the Safdie’s previous film, Good Time, I can’t deny the skill at work here. And Sandler is just as good as everyone says. Hell, he’s better.
Why It’s Worth Owning on Blu-ray:
I sure wish this release came with more special features – there’s only one, a making-of. A commentary would’ve been ideal – especially if they had managed to talk Sandler into doing it. Alas, it was not to be. But Uncut Gems is worth picking up anyway. But be sure to hold onto it tight – and whatever you do, don’t lend it to Kevin Garnett.
Special Features Include:“Money on the Street: The Making of Uncut Gems” Featurette Charlie’s Angels
Charlie’s Angels, the latest attempt to reboot the TV series of the same name, has a lot going for it. The leads – Kristen Stewart, Naomi Scott, and Ella Balinska – are incredibly likable, and they all have a fun, easy-going chemistry with one another. There’s also a handful of funny moments – mostly from Kristen Stewart, who shows a real knack for comedy here. But the film ultimately suffers from a rather blah script, and some uninspired direction. Elizabeth Banks directs, as well as co-stars. And while I think Banks is a genuinely good performer, she’s yet to hit her stride and find her voice when...
From its outset, HBO’s “The Plot Against America” follows a family living through an unthinkable time. The Levins, from parents Herman Morgan Spector and Bess Zoe Kazan, to their sons and nephew, witness the consequences of Charles Lindbergh’s fictional presidency. As the vaunted aviator hero’s attitudes toward the Hitler regime in Germany forestall the United States’ involvement in a war in Europe, Lindbergh gains political allies from unlikely sources.
One such man is Rabbi Lionel Bengelsdorf John Turturro, who first really makes his presence known at the end of the HBO series’ Episode 2. Appearing at a Lindbergh rally, Bengelsdorf delivers an impassioned argument for electing Lindbergh president and remaining out of the brewing conflict across the Atlantic. It’s one of the memorable sequences from the series’ early third and, even for a veteran performer of stage and screen like Turturro, it didn’t happen without a little bit of help.
“It’s weird when you making a big speech like that. You can see people’s reactions, but you don’t really have a huge audience there. So I did ask Minkie [Spiro] the director to have people maybe applaud at different lines. I’ve done a lot of live theater, but it’s very different recreating the atmosphere of a big room in a big room that wasn’t wasn’t filled,” Turturro told IndieWire. “Just getting a little feedback helps. When I’ve done speeches, you hear a big laugh and all of a sudden your body just releases these endorphins and you’re off and running. It can become addictive, obviously with some people and politicians.”
Three decades ago, Turturro starred in an off-Broadway production of “The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui,” a play written by Bertolt Brecht in 1941, not long after the events of “The Plot Against America” take place. As fashioned by Brecht, Ui is a thinly-veiled stand-in for Hitler. In studying for that title role, Turturro studied the dictator’s speeches as a way to better grapple with that mindset. Though he didn’t play Ui or Bengelsdorf as direct Hitler analogues, some of that lingering research allowed Turturro to better understand the atmosphere that could have fostered their popularity.
Michele K. Short/HBO
“There were so many people who were isolationists at that time and didn’t want to disturb their position. They wanted to solidify their position and went along with being a pacifist, especially after World War I,” Turturro said. “I think all of us would like to imagine that we would be the person who would stand up, but usually the person who does do that, they’re the...