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Self-Publishing News: Cinema Cancels Screening Of AI-Written Film

Self-Publishing News: Cinema Cancels Screening of AI-Written Film

ALLi News Editor, Dan Holloway

Cancel culture on the rise or institutions standing up for creatives? That’s the question that came to my mind as I read through the main story for today’s news about an AI-written film. We know many creatives feel an angst bordering on the existential about the use of AI. And nothing is as certain to raise hackles as moves that seem to endorse the artistic merit of entirely AI-generated works, especially when the AI is not really the point but just an everyday tool for production.

This week, the tension felt palpable as the Prince Charles Cinema, one of the UK’s leading movie venues, decided to drop a film that had been written by AI. “The Last Screenwriter was due to premiere there on Sunday. Its somewhat “meta” (small “m”) plot features a fictional screenwriter trying to pit his wits against a screenwriting algorithm. Its “creator” is Peter Luisi. I can’t help but feel the whole thing seems somewhat like the endless column inches dedicated over the years to novelists writing about the death of the novel.

The cinema claims to have dropped the screening after listening to the concerns of angry creators. I can’t help wondering, as I often do in such circumstances, why, if they are going to drop the film when people protest, they scheduled it in the first place. It sometimes feels as though these people live on Mars, they are so far removed from their apparent community’s zeitgeist.

I will append that somewhat gloomy news with a brief mention that the print industry had a better time of it last month, with the United States seeing 3 million more sales than in 2023. If I had an observation on the rollercoaster of US print sales that seem to be either up or down, it’s that the rationale given for one month or another’s performance in either direction seems to lean heavily on the timing of holidays and special days. Which in itself feels worthy of report.

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Author: Dan Holloway

Dan Holloway is a novelist, poet and spoken word artist. He is the MC of the performance arts show The New Libertines, which has appeared at festivals and fringes from Manchester to Stoke Newington. In 2010 he was the winner of the 100th episode of the international spoken prose event Literary Death Match, and earlier this year he competed at the National Poetry Slam final at the Royal Albert Hall. His latest collection, The Transparency of Sutures, is available for Kindle at http://www.amazon.co.uk/Transparency-Sutures-Dan-Holloway-ebook/dp/B01A6YAA40


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