THE STONES STOPPED ROLLING
The longest living rock band has just lost its drummer. Charlie Watts's nonchalance has been the backbone of the band, allowing Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to unleash their own exuberance. The Stones were looking for a drummer late 1962, and when they heard Watts for the first time they thought he was overqualified. Despite having no formal drumming education and having studied jazz drumming patterns on his own, Watts managed to impress the band. Then there was the money issue, as Watts was earning a salary with his regular gigs in London clubs and was asking the Stones for 5 pounds a week which the debuting rock band could not afford. They worked it out and Watts joined the band in early 1963.
He has been since been the drummer on all the Stones albums and part of all their tours achieving 58 years of collaboration with strong personalities. Watts was not living the rock star life cliché. Married to the same woman since 1964, he was in his own words living a normal family life. While the rest of the band would party after concerts with alcohol and women, Watts would go back to his hotel room to rest. He successfully battled throat cancer in 2004 and resumed his life on the road. Not looking after fame, he willingly left public relation interviews to Jagger and Richards and even during concerts, Watts would not go into long drumming solos and would sustain rhythm for others to shine. Respected and appreciated by his peers, Charlie Watts was 80.
HULU (Streaming war suite)
For many years, the streaming service popularity known as HULU, was made through the streaming of licensed programs from the major networks. The shows you love but you are not home to watch are made available with internet streaming from HULU.
The Disney company which controls HULU is looking ahead with a different future for the streaming service. Indeed, the content made available to HULU licensed from the TV networks is unlikely to be available in the short term.
The agreement with NBCUniversal is coming to an end next year and there are good chances it may not be renewed, giving NBC’s own streaming service "Peacock" the exclusivity. The same may happen with Viacom CBS which is supporting its own streaming service "Paramount Plus". With HULU traditional content missing, the obvious solution is to invest in original content to compete. While Disney recognizes the urgency to adjust HULU’s business model, it has not invested for original content bringing extra competition to Disney Plus on top of Netflix, Amazon, etc. So rather than quantity of original content, HULU plans on quality and attracting a larger audience with shows such as "Only Murders in the Building", a comedy mystery series created and produced by Steve Martin and starring Steve Martin, Martin Short and Selena Gomez.
The Emmys will take place on September 19th. W. Kamau Bell is once again recognized for "Outstanding Hosted Nonfiction Series or Special". It is the show 8th nomination, and it has already won 5 Emmys.
His series "United Shades of America" has shined a light on the unequal treatment of minorities in the United States. Airing on CNN, his constructive approach helped opening our eyes to existing disparities and did highlight how individuals can make a substantial difference within their community.
Competing with W. Kamau Bell is David Letterman and his Netflix talk show "My Guest Needs No Introduction". After the Late Show on CBS, Letterman has found a gig he enjoys while spending more time with his family. Nominated in the same category is Stanley Tucci and his limited series "Searching for Italy". A series of travel across Italy’s regions discovering and enjoying food specialties and culture.
Then there is Oprah. Her interview with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle is also nominated in the same category. Critics appreciated Oprah’s talent and professionalism but considered her performance not quite equal to the other nominees. We will discover which show wins on September 19.
Former President of the Screen Actor Guild, Ed Asner has made his television playing the unforgettable Lou Grant on the "Mary Tyler Moore" show and its spinoff "Lou Grant". Ed Asner said goodbye to us on Sunday, August 29 at the age of 91. The Emmy ceremony will certainly pay a special tribute to Asner, one of the most rewarded TV actors with 7 wins.
Born in Kansa City, Asner began his career in theater like many of his generation. It is in 1960 that he played his first Broadway role in "Face of a Hero" alongside Jack Lemmon. Asner was not shy expressing his ideas and disagreements. Known for his liberal leaning, he has been associated with divers causes from the creation of a health plan with single payer program "California One Care" to the release of "Mumia Abu Jamal". TV viewers will remember the shows in which he appeared while Hollywood will remember the philanthropist involved in the defense of the less fortunate.
MY NAME IS BOND
The highly anticipated James Bond new adventure "No Time to Die" which release has been postponed multiple times due to the COVID-19 pandemic, will be part of the official selection of the Zurich Film Festival. It will be seen on September 28th, the same day it will premiere in London.
A Bond film presence in Zurich official selection is a first. The favorite spy movie franchise has never been part of any film competition before stated Christian Jungen, the ZFF Artistic Director, mentioning the long negotiations with "Universal" to acquire the rights to show the film and put it in the selection. It is with a certain pride that Jungen announced Bond's participation to the festival. It will be the last Bond film played by Daniel Craig and will be released in North America on October 8th under the "United Artist" banner. In "No Time to Die", Bond has left active service. His time off is short-lived when his old CIA pal Felix contact him asking for help, leading Bond onto the trail of a mysterious villain armed with dangerous new technology.
As we finalized this newsletter, we learned the passing of two giants of the entertainment industry.
Jean Paul Belmondo, French actor and icon of the 1960's "French New Wave" with films like Jean Luc Godard's "Breathless", had a long and prolific career. To his credit: "Consider all Risks, Swords of Blood, A Monkey in Winter, The Man from Rio, Greed in the Sun" and many others. Born in 1933, he played very diverse roles, from tough gangster to romantic renaissance man. Belmondo's career had slowed down after suffering a stroke in 2001. He passed away quietly in his Paris home on September 6th at
the age of 88.
Michael K. Williams, American actor born in NYC in 1966, Michael bloomed kind of late. While his career started in the mid 1990's, it is with the 2002 HBO series "The Wire" and "Boardwalk Empire" in 2010 that Michael got the recognition he deserved. Michael had a look and knew how to use it with attitude and conviction. On the big screen, his role in "The Red Sea Diving Resort" as an Ethiopian Jew working with the Israeli Mossad to evacuate Ethiopian Jews to Israel remains a staple performance of his career. Michael K. Williams died on September 6th from a drug overdose at the age of 54.
Every month with the newsletter, Music Partner highlights albums from its Composer partners showcasing various mood/genre for filmmaker needs.
For September, we are featuring two albums from Yvan Ackermann. Yvan was also featured in our newsletter of October 2020:
The first one "Timeless Elegance Vol.1" gathers sounds for contemplative sequences like the discovery of enchanted visuals or traveling through time. From Timeless Elegance, we specifically liked the title "Distance".
The second one: "Thoughtful Days Vol. 1" is centered around reflection, introspection, mysterious sequences, unknown places and mind games. We invite you to discover the music of Yvan Ackerman.