Amazon Getting Into the Movie Business
And it's helping to lead a 'golden age' of television: Michael Wolff
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2015 1:42 PM CST
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos last year in Seattle.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(Newser) – First Amazon's Transparent won big at the Golden Globes, then the company scored a Woody Allen television series; the trifecta comes as the behemoth announces the rollout of Amazon Original Movies—a series of up to a dozen full-length flicks a year that "focus on unique stories, voices, and characters from top and up-and-coming creators." As the Verge reports, Amazon will acquire and produce the films, put them in wide release, and then make them available to its Prime members after only four to eight weeks in theaters. Original Movies is set to roll out later this year.

Maybe Amazon can help shake up the silver screen in the way that it's helped shake up the small screen, which Michael Wolff, writing at USA Today, says is now crammed with "competition to make new golden-age TV," which he calls "the true medium for actors and writers," even as Hollywood's film scene now seems "like a ho-hum commercial backwater of predictable sequels and franchises." Rather than descending into a "wasteland of cheap reality programming," the likes of Amazon, HBO, and Netflix have transformed the industry into one with "an insatiable appetite for a level of original, intelligent, and culture-shaping projects." He concludes: "The future is back to television." Click for Wolff's full column.