“At the Movies” on TV ends in August


That’s what you’ll find in the stories that rely on early facts, without noticing Roger Ebert’s words at his weblog.  So, after a generation Disney is convinced that “At the Movies” no longer works.  We, the audience, have been splintered across disparate demographics, niches, and media in that long time.  What’s the next phase?

Siskel and Ebert back "At the Movies"

These days the world is distracted by too many, often time wasting, digital, and web content.  I bet that people miss having conversations about movies – the kind that puts us in each other’s spaces, face-to-face.  But that valid and vital assertion belongs in a whole nother piece.

Just like the vital, but barely head question of why no brown, black, or beige film critics are nearly as well-known as either Roger Ebert, Anthony Scott, or their other peers.  Anyway fewer people are watching thoughtful film critics on TV.

With the slow deaths of TV broadcasted critics, fewer “authentic” spaces for this remain.  More and more who talk about movies – the good, the bad and those that make us scratch our heads – probably resort to web forums.  I’m a late, or never, adopter.  To me they are pale, flaccid imitations of real conversations.

I’ve also seen too many participants who are far less literate or intellectually engaged than the more seasoned film critics.  I’ll miss the opportunity to watch smart, eloquent adults discuss how or whether films met their hopes or expectations.  We’ll need another critical outlet after August.

But what if Disney’s story about “At the Movies'” demise isn’t the whole one?  When you read Roger Ebert’s last journal entry, he slows down the train headed for “At the Movies'” demise; he has other hopes.  He’s counting on the ideal that there are plenty of film lovers who want this.

“At the Movies” needs to distinguish itself by making it indelible and undeniable in web 2.0.  Make a way for people who desire a way to interact in a real, personal way and also for the 20-somethings to get their web-centric Facebook and Twitter fixes.

Ah, but how..?

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