Comments 1 Michael Day, left, plays percussion as a 1920s German silent film is shown in film history class at the California Institute of the Arts. (Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times / October 3, 2013) Also By Susan King October 16, 2013, 5:00 a.m. A hot ticket every fall at California Institute of the Arts is Gary Mairs’ weekly silent movie screenings for his film history class. You read that right silent movie screenings. The Bijou Theater is not packed because students at the Valencia campus are crazy for silent movies necessarily, but because of the live music that accompanies these classics. Since 2004, Mairs has invited students, faculty and alumni at CalArts’ Herb Albert School of Music to accompany the films. Over the years, the music has run the gamut from an original string quartet for Carl Theodore Dryer’s 1928 “The Passion of Joan of Arc” to an improvised accompaniment for D.W. Griffith’s 1919 “Broken Blossoms,” which combined American folk with experimental/electronic music, to a free jazz score for 1929’s “Man With a Camera.” PHOTOS: The Roaring ’20s on-screen As a student at San Francisco State, Mairs found the more traditional scores for the silent films screened in class “off-putting. I started to actually really engage with silent films when I saw screenings out of school. The Castro would occasionally show silent films with an organist or occasionally live bands. It was a radically different experience.” Because “Cal Arts has a history of experimentation,” said Mairs, he decided to include live, nontraditional performances at the screenings. Since he knew a lot of musicians at Cal Arts, Mairs initially asked them to score and perform. “Very quickly people got interested,” said Mairs, who has been teaching at the School of Film/Video since 1997 and has been co-head of the Film Directing Program since 2005. Once Mairs plans his films for the fall, he sends the list to the musicians, faculty and graduates and asks them which ones they are interested in composing.
Many of the most-pirated movies aren’t available for legitimate online purchase
And proof that piracy is directly linked to weather people can find the movies or shows they want when they want to is very evident over at the new PiracyData.org website. The site mashes up data from TorrentFreak, the top 10 most pirated movies on BitTorrent, along with data from Can I Stream It. The end result is a chart of the top 10 most popular movies on BitTorrent and whether they are available online in any form, streaming, rental or purchase. Obviously, this data has been available for a while, but it’s only now been put into context like this. And the results speak for themselves. For the past three weeks, the time over which the data has been collected, none of the top 10 movies, not a single one has been available for streaming, on Netflix, Hulu and so on. Only one in five have been available for rental and a little over half of them could have been bought from the likes of iTunes and Amazon. This week, four of the top 10 movies can’t be bought, rented or streamed anywhere. Three are available for streaming and, for six, a digital copy can be purchased online. Obviously, people will and do pirate movies and shows even if they are available legally. In fact, some will grab it from BitTorrent even if it’s available somewhere for free, sometimes it’s just a matter of habits.
None of the Most Pirated Movies of the Week Is Available Legally
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.
The results are striking. In last week’s results, not a single film was available from streaming from services like Netflix or Amazon Prime. Only three of the top 10 films, The Lone Ranger, After Earth, and This is the End, were available for online rental. For example, several services offer After Earth for $4.99. And just six of the top 10 movies (Pacific Rim, The Internship, The Lone Ranger, Monsters university, After Earth, and This Is the End) were available for online purchase. Monsters University, for example, can be purchased from iTunes or the Google Play store for $19.99. The only way to get the other four movies online was through illegal downloading. Last week’s results were not an anomaly. The PiracyData team has been collecting data for three weeks, and during that period, not a single highly pirated film has been available to stream. And many highly-pirated movies have not been available for rental or download. Piracydata.org was created by two tech policy researchers at the Mercatus Center, a libertarian think tank, and by Matt Sherman, a software engineer based in New York. The team’s leader, Jerry Brito, says he got the idea for the site after a hearing in which major content holders criticized Google for failing to do enough to combat piracy.