'American Hustle' wows N.Y. critics; silent movies fade away

After the coffee. Before digging out some sweaters.

The Skinny: You know you are getting old when you don't have the energy for cocktail parties anymore. Of course, the whole getting up at 5:30 a.m to do this may have something to do with my lack of evening energy. Anyway, before I fall and can't get up, here's your Morning Fix. Headlines include results of the New York Film Critics Awards. Also bad news for silent movie aficionados.

Daily Dose: According to Time Warner Cable's website, the pay-TV distributor's contract to carry Viacom's cable networks, including MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, is due to expire soon. While neither Time Warner Cable nor Viacom have started any negative campaigns, Viacom did have an ugly distribution spat with DirecTV last year that led to the channels being dropped from the satellite service for nine days. Also, Time Warner Cable may face a tough negotiation with the Yankees' sports channel YES. You can read more about that here.

If they can make it there. Director David O. Russell's "American Hustle" was named best film of the year by the New York Film Critics Circle while Steve McQueen won best director for "12 Years a Slave." Robert Redford received the nod for best actor for "All is Lost." It remains to be seen if the Gotham awards will be a good predictor of how the Oscars will go but if history is any guide, the answer is no. Last year, the New York crew said "Zero Dark Thirty" was the best film while "Argo" took that trophy home at the Oscars. A look at the winners and what it does or doesn't mean from the Los Angeles Times and Variety

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Fading away. Only 14% of movies from the silent era exist in their original format, according to a new study by the Library of Congress. That translates to 1,575 of roughly 11,000 films. "We have lost most of the creative record from the era that brought American movies to the pinnacle of world cinematic achievement in the 20th century,” said head librarian James Billington in a statement. Details on the study from the Hollywood Reporter and Los Angeles Times.

Less is more. A Nielsen study saying Americans are watching less television is sure to generate lots of headlines. But, like most studies, one must read the fine print. Americans are watching less live television and shows recorded on their digital video recorder. What needs to be remembered is that more content is now available via video on demand as well as online, which wasn't factored into the report. So don't throw away that script just yet. More on the study from the Wall Street Journal.

Will there be a snack bar? Two Los Angeles residents have bought the suburban Chicago childhood home of Walt Disney and want to turn it into a museum. They will have to raise a lot of money, get the city to play ball and hope that the Disney Co. doesn't try to shut it down or take it over. The New York Times on the effort.

Time for some new rules. Two prominent Republican lawmakers want to overhaul the Communications Act, which was last revised in 1996. Details are sketchy but it is safe to say that most media and telecommunications companies feel that the law is now out of date. But getting everyone to agree on what the new rules should be will be no small task. Coverage from Broadcasting & Cable and the Los Angeles Times.

Inside the Los Angeles Times: Robert Lloyd on TNT's new drama "Mob City." Betsy Sharkey on "Out of the Furnace."

Follow me on Twitter and give me away for Christmas. @JBFlint.


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