Brie Larson saves the day in the First Trailer for "Captain Marvel"                The Toronto International Film Festival boosts "Green Book" with its Top Prize                Updated Academy Award predictions for early September                "White Boy Rick" is a compelling character study and period piece                Taking a look at potential Best Supporting Actress contenders                Shane Black gives "The Predator" his signature clever spin                Venice Film Festival award winners include "The Favourite" and "Roma"                Taking a look at potential Best Supporting Actor contenders                Watch out for Ben Foster in Best Supporting Actor for "Leave No Trace"                "The Favourite" releases a new Trailer to build off of its positive festival buzz                "All About Nina" and "Fahrenheit 11/9": Films to look forward to in September                Trailer for "The Front Runner" and Buzz from Telluride suggest another Oscar player for Jason Reitman                Taking a look at potential Best Actress contenders                "First Man" launches a New Trailer after a soaring debut at the Venice Film Festival                A late August update to Academy Award predictions        

“Do NOT write for Arianna Huffington or AOL!”

By Sean O’Connell Cinematical deserves an Irish wake, the kind of rowdy, drunken, affectionate affair held on “The Wire” when one of Baltimore’s finest fell. The deceased would be laid out on the pool table of a dive bar while surviving officers drank, sang along to The Pogues, and solemnly honored the passing of a departed colleague.

Such a “celebration” won’t happen. Partially because the people who would gather to mourn the movie Web site’s passing are scattered around the globe, so meeting in one watering hole would be logistically impossible. (Is there an app for this?)

And then there’s the fact that Cinematical isn’t dead, technically speaking. The site, once an independent source of movie news and analysis, still operates under AOL and Moviefone’s umbrella. But anyone who has followed the not-so-behind-the-scenes developments at the once-respected site know that Cinematical’s brain trust has left the building, and they took the site’s soul with them.

“I don’t have any bad blood,” Weinberg said. “I don’t wish anyone any harm. Everybody is healthy, and will move on to better things. I’m just a little sad that we had a really cool thing for a little while, but like all things, things change.”

And good ideas have a tendency to resurface.

Former Cinematical writer Kim Voynar, who has covered the site’s downfall, writes, “If Jason Calacanis put the money into starting a new version of Cinematical tomorrow (he’d have to call it something else, because those assholes at AOL would likely not give him the name back even when they kill the brand off entirely), I suspect many of the Cinematical editors who’ve resigned recently and writers who just got canned would join him in a heartbeat to bring back the site its many loyal readers once loved.”

Davis echoes the sentiment, telling me, “My insane brain is overflowing with ideas. So, soon enough I’ll land somewhere else (hopefully with most or all of my Cinematical writers) and we’ll do some damage. Until then …”

Well, until then, Voynar pleads for Internet writers (and readers) to send a message to Huffington that she cannot continue to exploit her content providers.

“Writers, I implore you, do NOT write for Arianna Huffington or AOL, whether you are paid or not,” she writes. “AOL is a destroyer. Its MO is to buy the competition and, ultimately, obliterate it. The sole focus of the higher ups is traffic, and when you aim for a wide scattershot with a web site, your writing inevitably dilutes accordingly to meet a lower watermark.

“Readers, I implore you, boycott AOL/HuffPo,” Voynar continues. “Don’t give them traffic by reading their content. Don’t give them traffic by linking to their content. BOYCOTT, BOYCOTT, BOYCOTT.”

To read part one, the beginning of the end of Cinematical, click here.

To read part two, detailing what went wrong at Cinematical, click here.

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One Comment

  • April 7, 2011 | Permalink |

    Join forces with the Newspaper Guild’s electronic picket line of HuffPo and the Facebook effort “Hey Arianna, Can You Spare A Dime.”

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