Despite the apparently small scale story and release through Netflix, Alfonso Cuaron’s new film “Roma” is a work on a grand canvas that demands a big screen. It’s an incredibly cinematic effort, as much as his previous films like “Gravity” and “Harry Potter and The Prisoner of Azkaban”.
Cuaron is very much wedded to the medium of cinema and has no plans to make the jump to directing television like so many other filmmakers are doing lately. In a recent interview with Indiewire discussed why, saying TV’s benefits are in storytelling as opposed to presentation:
“There are amazing expressions of narrative and character, but not that many cinematic experiences in the medium. At this point, the examples of those miniseries that I deeply admire more for narrative than filmmaking… With many of them, I get confused which is which. I’m addicted when I watch them, but when I’m finished, I forget if it was the Danish detective one or the American gothic one.”
One show he found a big counterpoint to that argument of a lack of cinematic experience? David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks” revival which aired on Showtime last year:
“I loved ‘Twin Peaks’. I wish more shows were as bold as that. You have this filmmaker who’s not constraining his narrative. He’s just creating his world, and that world is not only story – it’s also his atmosphere, his cinematic approach. I love it. I love the ambiguity of it, the spookiness of it. I think it’s like wading through the subconsciousness of a very, very wacky mind.”
While Cuaron may have an issue with the lack of cinematic experience on the small screen, and is reticent about dabbling in the medium after briefly doing so before, he does say television has some big advantages over film these days – tackling the subject matter studios don’t care about anymore:
“Television offers an amazing opportunity for narratives, and character. Studios are completely afraid of those things. They’re somehow afraid they’re going to scare people away from the theaters or distract people from the visual effects. There are some amazing writers and directors gravitating [towards] television, if we can still call it that.“It’s exciting. We’ll see how everything evolves.”
Cuaron’s “Roma” begins a platform rollout from November 21st ahead of a global release on Netflix on December 14th.