As it slowly dwindles on the vine, the theatrical experience is becoming increasingly like that quirky but needy friend who demands the constant validation of others in order to feel like they’re still as relevant as they once were.
One of exhibition’s oldest friends is Martin Scorsese who was recently awarded the Robert Osborne Award at the TCM Film Festival. The honor is given to those “whose work has helped keep the cultural heritage of classic films alive and thriving for generations to come.”
So it comes as little surprise that the filmmaker, who is currently ‘cheating’ with the streaming mistress that is Netflix for his next film “The Irishman,” offered his thoughts on the modern film industry and is not a fan of the way the “magic of cinema” has disappeared and how the segregation between art forms is falling by the wayside:
“It can all be summed up in the word that’s being used now: content. All movie images are lumped together. You’ve got a picture, you’ve got a TV episode, a new trailer, you’ve got a how-to video on a coffee-maker, you’ve got a Super Bowl commercial, you’ve got ‘Lawrence of Arabia,’ it’s all the same. They can also turn a picture off and go straight to the next piece of content. If there’s no sense of value tied to a given movie, of course, it can be sampled in bits and pieces and just forgotten.”
He also says a big culprit for this are the likes of both critical review aggregation sites like Rotten Tomatoes, and audience scoring services like CinemaScore:
“The horrible idea they reinforce that every picture, every image is there to be instantly judged and dismissed without giving audiences time to see it. Time to see it, maybe ruminate and maybe make a decision for themselves. So the great 20th-century art form, the American art form, is reduced to content. You know the difference between a YouTube video and the great American art form. You react against the devaluation of cinema and movies by showing up.”
He ended the speech though thanking people who still value the art form by going out to things like film festivals and seeing the movies. Scorsese’s “The Irishman” will be released worldwide on Netflix’s streaming service in 2019.