Google joins the drones game, critics give their Tribeca Film Festival recommendations, Wes Anderson’s “The Grand Budapest Hotel” breaks records, Hulu renews Criterion Collection contract, and Indiewire and Apple announce “Meet the Filmmakers Tribeca Talks Series.” Read on for details and links to source articles.
1. Google Joins the Drones Game: Google has purchased the solar-power drone manufacturer Titan Aerospace for an undisclosed sum. The ubiquitous media conglomerate is following in the footsteps of Amazon, which inspired endless thought pieces last year with its delivery drone ambitions. Facebook, too, which had been in talks for purchasing Titan, just recently bought Ascenta, a similar drone producer, for $20 million. For Google, this potentially means faster mapping updates and extending its reach even further throughout the world. The Wall Street Journal broke the news last night. To make light of the situation, The New Yorker’s Andy Borowitz today published a satire of the media drones wars.
2. Critics Give Their Tribeca Film Festival Recommendations: The Tribeca Film Festival starts this Wednesday (tomorrow!), and critics are gearing up to offer their readers with reviews, interviews, and thought pieces. Until then, several have listed their starting recommendations for what to see. Indiewire editors provided their list, as did Vulture earlier today. Choices for the “best” of the festival were also today published by The Huffington Post and The Playlist, with its 20 most anticipated films. Recurring films on these lists incluude “Gabriel,” “Balet 422,” “Dior and I,” “Summer of Blood,” and “Mala Mala.”
3. Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel Breaks Records: Indiewire has been keeping you abreast of the top grossing indie films of 2014. “The Grand Budapest Hotel” has been dominating the list, and now Variety reports that it’s become Wes Anderson’s personal highest-grossing film ever. With $103.8 million worldwide, it has superseded the $71 million intake of “The Royal Tennenbaums.” It has broken the record previously set by “The Master” for highest-grossing limited live action debut, with $800,000 in its opening weekend.
4. Hulu Plus Renews Criterion Collection Contract: Hulu Plus subscribers will be happy to know that Hulu has renewed its licensing agreement with The Criterion Collection. In addition, the recent Academy Award winner, Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Great Beauty,” will also now be available. At $7.99 a month, the subscription allows access to more than 800 films from classic directors Kurosawa, Antonioni, and Fellini — whose “8 1/2” was just chosen to grace the poster for the 2014 Cannes Film Festival — to more modern fare from contemporary masters Kiarostami and the Dardennes brothers. Read more in Variety.
5. Indiewire and Apple Announce “Meet the Filmmakers Tribeca Talks Series”: Indiewire and Apple have announced their annual “Meet the Filmmaker Tribeca Talks Series” in partnership with the upcoming festival. The series offers panels with acclaimed directors, producers, writers, and actors, from such films as Gia Coppola’s debut “Palo Alto,” Jon Favreau’s latest “Chef,” and Marshall Curry’s “Point and Shoot.” Read more at Indiewire.