Rio De Janeiro Dreams Of (being) Hollywood

What Hollywood can learn from the ending of ‘Breaking Bad’

There have been far too many series that have lost their way and kept milking the cash cow anyway. But Breaking Bad wasn’t one of them. It didn’t lost its way and knew just when to quit. And the show went out on top. Characters, not special effects laden set pieces, drive narrative UTA president Jeremy Zimmer says that the disappointing summer of CGI spectacles will teach Hollywood to invest in better stories and not expensive special effects ( http://bit.ly/19JTH5v ). Lets hope so. When the destruction of city streets is driving too many entertainments from Transformers to the new Man of Steel, its not only skyscrapers that are being toppled, story is too. In the best entertainments, character remains front and center. Breaking Bad was riveting television by keeping its focus on its complex characters. Just watching the contention between Walt and his wife Skyler (the quietly formidable Anna Gunn) was as exhilarating as any alien invasion on a 50 ft. screen.

Aging Out: Hollywood’s Problem With Women Over 40

New studio complexes are in the works, and cinemas are mushrooming across Brazil to keep pace with ever-growing numbers of movie-goers, many of them new members of the middle class who were pulled out of poverty by a decade of booming economic growth. “The big shift is that now many more people have disposable income,” said Adrien Muselet, chief operating officer of RioFilme, the city government’s film finance company. “Once you’ve covered your basic necessities, bought your fridge and your washing machine, what do you want next? Fun. And for many people, that means the movies.” The new viewers have helped push Brazil’s box office gross from $327 million in 2008 to $737 million last year, according to the trade publication Filme B. That puts Brazil among the top 10 movie consuming countries in the world, said Muselet, and the industry is taking note. With its population of 204 million, this South American giant is increasingly factoring into the major United States studios’ strategic calculations. “When you take an American blockbuster and you set it here in Brazil, even for just a couple of scenes, it just explodes in the box office here,” said Muselet, pointing to “Breaking Dawn,” part of the “Twilight” series of teen vampire movies, which was filmed partially on location in Rio and the coastal colonial city of Paraty. Brazilians flocked to the movie, and the country ended up being the film’s second biggest market. Other big Hollywood productions such as “Fast Five” of the “Fast and Furious” franchise and the Sylvester Stallone vehicle “The Expendables” were also partially shot here in recent years. “Billy Elliot” director Stephen Daldry’s “Trash” is currently rolling. Rio officials also hope movies made here will help burnish the image of a city mostly notorious for its grinding poverty and drug-fueled violence, particularly as Rio gears up to host next year’s soccer World Cup and the 2016 Olympics. In a bid to attract more foreign productions, Rio’s state government created an agency to walk teams through Brazil’s Byzantine bureaucracy, helping them get the dizzying number of permits and permissions needed to shoot.

We live longer, work out, eat well, and there’s plenty of Botox to go around. Our age doesn’t define us. Rather, it refines us! Actress Terry Walters says, “It’s a magnificent time, and I’m grateful to be aging and a woman. Negativity is imposed on me by the business, and I feel I have to keep my age a secret. I really hate that, because I don’t get to brag about how amazing I am at the age I’m at. And the shape I’m in! I feel like what’s hopeful is there’s gonna be a place for me again. Right now, I’m straddling two worlds.” “We must stop listening to the notion that life is over after 40 for actresses,” says Garcia. “If a window is closing, just prop it up! We must embrace the change that happens in our lives at 40 and realize that we’re so much more interesting, and our voices are so much more engaging and powerful than they were ever before. We must claim who we are so that we can be seen differently by the people who are writing.” Women writers and producers have a responsibility to create content by, for, and about women, and we, as audiences, need to get out and go see these films.