Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 35 n°79

The technological revolution turning Hollywood upside down

Posted by fidest press agency su lunedì, 23 gennaio 2023

Disney characters constantly reinvent themselves. Aladdin and Cinderella swap their rags for posh clothes to woo royalty. The Little Mermaid trades her silvery voice for a pair of legs, also to pursue a prince. Anakin Skywalker flips from good to evil and back again, destroying at least one planet along the way. Disney, the company, has spent 100 years reinventing itself, too. It still peps up old stories for a modern audience. (Of the characters above, only Darth Vader was created in the past century.) It still dominates the global box office. What has changed is that it now faces competitors with much deeper pockets: the tech titans. For Apple and Amazon, streamable films and television shows are an add-on to make their other offerings more enticing. They can spend fortunes on them, and take creative risks, without needing to turn a profit. And technology is disrupting the entertainment industry in other ways, too, with more movies based on video games, better software to create virtual sets and artificial intelligence that can already make rudimentary video. Small wonder Disney’s share price bucks and plunges like the Big Thunder Mountain rollercoaster. One of our cover stories looks at how the wonderful world of entertainment might change as Disney embarks on its second century.Our cover story in Europe tackles a grimmer topic: Turkey’s slide towards dictatorship. When Recep Tayyip Erdogan was first elected two decades ago, he brought welcome stability. For a while, Turkey was a serious candidate to join the European Union. But the longer he has been in charge, the more autocratic he has grown. Critics are stifled, courts harass dissidents, the internet is in effect censored. Mr Erdogan sits in a vast palace snapping orders at courtiers too frightened to tell him he is wrong. So his increasingly eccentric beliefs swiftly become public policy. His theory that high interest rates cause inflation is frankly bonkers, but Turkey’s previously independent central bank must act as if it were true. Hence Turkey’s galloping inflation and shrivelling living standards. Mr Erdogan suggested this week that presidential and parliamentary elections will be held on May 14th. If the opposition unite around their best candidate and the vote is more or less free and fair, there is a good chance that Mr Erdogan will lose. Unfortunately, he seems determined to tilt the playing field even more in his favour than it already is. His government is trying to shut down one of the main opposition parties, and one of Mr Erdogan’s most plausible rivals has been banned from politics for calling an official an “idiot”. The West must speak up. Turkey is an essential, if troublesome, ally, located in one of the most strategically sensitive places in the world. It would be a disaster if Mr Erdogan were to join the dictators’ club.Zanny Minton Beddoes Editor-in-chief The Economist


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