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NEWS: Netflix Responds to Spielberg's Oscar Comments

gadget man

Established Member
A film is a film no matter what platform it's shown on, most people have large TV's,projectors and sound systems now, the times have changed. Only marvel movies/remakes and sequels make any kind of money at the cinema, Hollywood do not want to take risks.

Martin Scorsese The Irishman is a good example originally a paramount production but pulled the plug too risky so Spielberg who is friends and co owns Amblin Entertainment could he have not helped him out? no so Netflix came along and gave him £125 million his largest budget.

What was Spielberg's first movie? Duel a TV movie, a limited run in Europe at the cinema. Would he be upset back then if Duel was up for Oscars.
 

iainl7

Prominent Member
I'd believe Netflix's claims about their love of cinema rather more if they actually had a decent catalogue of classics, rather than subsisting almost entirely on in-house material and films from the last 20 years.
 

MikeTheBike2010

Established Member
A film is a film no matter what platform it's shown on, most people have large TV's,projectors and sound systems now, the times have changed. Only marvel movies/remakes and sequels make any kind of money at the cinema, Hollywood do not want to take risks.

Martin Scorsese The Irishman is a good example originally a paramount production but pulled the plug too risky so Spielberg who is friends and co owns Amblin Entertainment could he have not helped him out? no so Netflix came along and gave him £125 million his largest budget.

What was Spielberg's first movie? Duel a TV movie, a limited run in Europe at the cinema. Would he be upset back then if Duel was up for Oscars.


You have posted exactly what I was going to except more eloquently and with details I had forgotten (Duel for example). For us as AV Forums members watching (and listening - the sound design on Roma was superb) on decent set ups or even PJ screens as big as the smallest multiplexes!

This was brought home to me when on holiday in a rented house with friends recently - we all sat down to watch (ironically another Spielberg) Close Encounters on DVD on a 32" LCD TV. Picture was fine but the sound?!? My comment was " do people really watch films like this?" we could barely hear at 100% and then it distorted, just awful and felt like half the film was missing.
Guess what - no one else seemed to notice!
So I can see where Mr S is coming from for the vast majority of viewers cinema can be best?
 

Fillumgeek

Prominent Member
It's a battle that will rage on for years and years regardless.

Streaming services have taken over entertainment but there is something to be said for protecting the magic of cinema. In the US, they call them movie theatres. For good reason, its a communal experience you have in a public venue. It's worth preserving that and also having great home cinema obviously!
 

simonblue

Distinguished Member
Both have got good point of view,me i don't stream very much,its either the cinema or blu ray/4K

Roma,not sure how that won an oscar :confused:,should be renamed.

Middle Class Woman on the edge of a Nervous Breakdown,employ Maid to look after Kids and pick up Dog poo,when she not staring into space
 

bellsy1946

Established Member
  • Roma was originally made for cinema and then sold to Netflix, it was not a Netflix production. Had it been released only in cinemas it is unlikely it would have been seen by as many people. In the UK (and possibly the US) the major cinema chains also refused to book it, so for many of us the only way to see it was on Netflix. Perhaps if cinema chains were more supportive Netflix would have been able to get a wider cinema distribution (and it wouldn't have lost Best Picture to Driving Miss Daisy Part 2).
  • Similarly when it comes to the awards season some potential contenders are only given limited releases in order to qualify for awards consideration.
  • Recently it has become the norm for smaller independent films to have an extremely limited release (sometimes as little as one or two screens) so that they can get reviewed by national critics before going to DVD/Blu-Ray a week or two later.
  • Sky are also buying films and releasing them both on cinema screens and on Sky (Serenity, anyone?).
  • Spielberg's argument seems to be that if you don't get a wide release the way his films do, then it's not really a film. I have an enormous amount of respect for him but on this occasion he's wrong.
 

dante01

Distinguished Member
A film should be judged upon its merits as a film and not upon its manner of distribution or how many people have seen it. A film is actually as niche to those not frequenting cinemas as Netflix content is to those not subscribing to Netflix. Both have to pay in order to view the material. Why is what is distributed for appraisal via cinemas of more importance than what is made available elsewhere? Surely the criteria upon how it is judged by those judging it is no different?

There may come a day that the cinema is the outlet which has the limited overage and films may in fact get greater distribution via other outlets? I think it very short sighted of Spielberg to not realise this. Many directors now fund their cinamatic activities making content for TV. I'm guessing that Spielberg thinks this to be unworthy of their attention too?
 
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smackos

Prominent Member
I really don't get this whole argument around having to be shown in a cinema otherwise it isn't relevant to film. It's ridiculous. Ultimately even most mainstream blockbusters spend a month in the cinema, and then decades on TV in the home. There are entire generations of people walking around today that won't have even been alive when the likes of Jaws were in theatre, so for them, does that mean those films shouldn't be considered as classic cinema, because they've not been able to watch them on anything other than the small screen in their lifetimes. It's such a miopic view to have.

Also, as a quick aside. It's all well and good for the like of Spielberg espousing the virtue of the "movie experience". I wonder the last time he's sat with people talking through a movie, kicking the backs of chairs, phones out like little glow in the dark wands waving around the blinking place. I've even had a showing where the movie had to be stopped because a couple of drunken lads thought it a great crack to bring in what I think were a set of bike lights, and have them waving around the screen until they were eventually kicked out. But only after they refused to go and everything was stopped, lights brought up, and security brought in.
 

1080 jawbreaker

Prominent Member
who cares, the Oscars is just a smoke up the arse blowing contest.
 

domtheone

Distinguished Member
Often up to £16 (and beyond) at the Cineworld now to see a movie (IMAX/3D prices) at peak (thats cinema terms for normal) times.

Whilst the experience is unparalleled. £16 for 2 hours or £7.99 a month for Netflix.:censored:

The majority of the public aint that interested in top notch A/V.

On the times that i've been during the evenings when it's 2 4 1 etc, its mostly very busy so that nations thirst for a movie bargain is evident. Without meerkat 2 4 1 etc, i'd imagine cinema viewing numbers would be a fair bit lower.
 

gadget man

Established Member
Both have got good point of view,me i don't stream very much,its either the cinema or blu ray/4K

Roma,not sure how that won an oscar :confused:,should be renamed.

Middle Class Woman on the edge of a Nervous Breakdown,employ Maid to look after Kids and pick up Dog poo,when she not staring into space


Yea if i had paid money at the cinema to watch Roma i would have had a tantrum.10mins watching a guy park is car in his garage complete bore thank god for Netflix. Mr Spielberg i respect greatly made classic movies but on this occasion he needs to keep quiet.
 

richp007

Distinguished Member
Didn't see there was a thread discussing this. Apologies for my posts in the Oscar one!

Glad to see common sense prevailing in here anyway. I'll say what I said elsewhere - in this instance Spielberg is being an idiot, and I hope his requests are shot down accordingly.

And now I'm wanting a Netflix Best Picture winner for 2020!
 

1080 jawbreaker

Prominent Member
let me see, how many trips to the cinema did I make last year to watch a movie that ended up winning, or was nominated for an Oscar. Best FX, Best Sound? The Stuff that wins Oscars might as well be a TV movie because that were ill be watching. :)
 

invisiblekid

Distinguished Member
OH and BTW Steven, how ironic is it that the majority of films "for your consideration" are, and oh the irony, are watched by the judges at home either via a secure download, or a DVD (hence pirates and bit torrent) love Oscar time.

Come on Steven, stop trying stop the change, it's making you look like a old T*t
 

Sandyb01

Established Member
I think many are missing the point, citing arguments about the old guard and protectionism.

Watching on a small screen is a fundamentally different experience, even on a 55 inch screen at home. And bear in mind that a good part of Netflix viewing is not on 55 inch screens, but smaller.

The example of Roma is quite telling in this regard. Those who saw Roma in the theatre tended to really like the film, whereas those who watched at home were left puzzled or bored by it.

Technology always affects the art that is made - we've seen this in music with the transitions from LPs to CDs to MP3's and downloads, which has undermined the album as a creative concept.

We also see this clearly in TV with the series dumps that some streaming services employ. While it's great for binge-ing, you've started to see some commentators push back against this model. The better programmes with more ambitious stories benefit from giving audiences some time to ponder the narrative, for the story to breathe. And a drip feed means they can be part of the broader cultural conversation for a couple of months, rather than 1 week.

So yes, there's a bunch of upside to new forms of distribution etc, but when it comes to films in this case, some creators are pushing back, and while it's easy to dismiss them as victims of an old mentality, the ones who are voicing concerns tend to be those whose films suffer by comparison on smaller screens.
 

ahsoka

Standard Member
Watching on a small screen is a fundamentally different experience, even on a 55 inch screen at home. And bear in mind that a good part of Netflix viewing is not on 55 inch screens, but smaller.

The example of Roma is quite telling in this regard. Those who saw Roma in the theatre tended to really like the film, whereas those who watched at home were left puzzled or bored by it.

I’m not sure that’s a great example to be fair. It’s hardly a surprise that the kind of people who would make the effort (and pay) to see a black & white, foreign and fairly slow film in the cinema are much more likely to enjoy that kind of film more than the ‘mass market’ who stick it on one evening because the director previously made films they enjoyed or they’ve heard the awards buzz.
 

Fillumgeek

Prominent Member
  • Roma was originally made for cinema and then sold to Netflix, it was not a Netflix production. Had it been released only in cinemas it is unlikely it would have been seen by as many people. In the UK (and possibly the US) the major cinema chains also refused to book it, so for many of us the only way to see it was on Netflix. Perhaps if cinema chains were more supportive Netflix would have been able to get a wider cinema distribution (and it wouldn't have lost Best Picture to Driving Miss Daisy Part 2).
  • Similarly when it comes to the awards season some potential contenders are only given limited releases in order to qualify for awards consideration.
  • Recently it has become the norm for smaller independent films to have an extremely limited release (sometimes as little as one or two screens) so that they can get reviewed by national critics before going to DVD/Blu-Ray a week or two later.
  • Sky are also buying films and releasing them both on cinema screens and on Sky (Serenity, anyone?).
  • Spielberg's argument seems to be that if you don't get a wide release the way his films do, then it's not really a film. I have an enormous amount of respect for him but on this occasion he's wrong.


These are very valid points. But I take a different view.

Cinema - in picture houses - does need protection and differentiation from everything else out there. There IS and will always be a difference between watching a film on your smartphone or even brilliant home theatre set-ups.

Yes, films are being sold to Netflix, when the producers take the view they are about to lose their money if they release the film theatrically. And Netflix allows them to cut their losses.

In the case of Roma, Netflix has allowed the film to be seen.

Anyway, I would hold back the rush for everything to be chucked in the content farms at Netflix and Amazon. Preserve cinema and also enjoy the home experience.
 

iainl7

Prominent Member
It's good that Netflix allows more people to see films. But encouraging them to follow the Roma route and allow releases a Cinematic outing for those that want to see it "properly", rather than sending them straight to the TV stream is a good thing. I had to really work in order to hunt down a showing of Annihilation last year in the cinema; no matter how good my TV is I can't do justice to the hypnotic volume that thing deserves.

Films deserve the cinema; otherwise they're one-off TV dramas. By all means give them a home release later.
 

WhyDoIBother

Established Member
Another disappointing example of the maverick's from yesterday becoming the old guard of today.

The Oscars should be irrelevant to anyone who doesn't work in the film industry, I don't see these comments as Spielberg protecting 'Cinema' as much as protecting the elite film making club he is a part of.

I suspect Netflix and the likes will go on to produce more new films and film making talent than what the old Hollywood model ever did or closer to the point - would allow.

It a big selective club and they don't want Netflix in it...
 

bash

Prominent Member
Old person making negative comments about something new shocker!
 

encaser

Distinguished Member
Perhaps someone should insist that all Oscar voters go to the cinema to see the films they vote for and not sit at home with screeners - assuming they bother at all.
 

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