The Record Volume 31, No. 7


Business & Economy
R. Glenn Hubbard
Bob Bontempo
Paul Glasserman

International Affairs
Lisa Anderson
Akeel Bilgrami
Victoria de Grazia
Michael Doyle

Mass Media
Samuel G. Freedman
Richard C. Wald
June Cross

Medicine, Health & Environment
Allan Rosenfield
Klaus Lackner

Andrew Marks

Politics, Law & Society
Jeffrey Fagan
Kathleen Knight
Randall Balmer
Dana R. Fisher
Jane Waldfogel
Jeanette Takamura

M. Dianne Murphy

Visual Arts, Theater
& Film

Jon Kessler
Arnold Aronson
Dan Kleinman








Acting Dean of the School of the Arts


On developments in the motion picture industry in 2005:

1) Fewer people going out to the movies. Attendance at movie theaters has been dropping for several years, and the trend seems to be accelerating.

2) The continuing rise of the Internet (especially broadband), high-definition TV, video games and specialized cable TV, all of which contribute to the decline in movie-going. We are in a period of fundamental change in viewing habits and leisure time pursuits, at the expense of the traditional movie theater—a trend as profound and irreversible as the rise of television in the decade after World War II.

3) Decreasing costs for making a first film. Thanks to digital video, young directors are having a much easier time getting a film produced. This year's Sundance Film Festival received over 1,000 American features, most of which will never be seen by more than a handful of people.

Taken together, these trends mean that getting a film made is becoming less difficult than getting it to an audience. 

What's ahead?

For next year's Oscars, I'm rooting for three of my former students whose films are likely to be in contention: Ang Lee for best director (Brokeback Mountain), Patricia Riggen for best short documentary (Family Portrait), and Ian Olds for best feature-length documentary (Occupation: Dreamland).

Source of Inspiration in 2005

I loved Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain and Jeff Daniels in The Squid and the Whale. I'm not sure why these two performances affected my thinking, except to realize that Ledger and Daniels are among the best actors around.