Tuesday, November 20, 2018

I agree with Steven Spielberg

And not just because I want him to direct one of my movies... or even say hello to me.

Got a missive from reader "Laura" who asked:

Ken, can you please give your opinion on what Steven Spielberg said regarding Netflix movies, that they don't deserve Oscars.


Here's the article.

The key point Steven makes is that Netflix movies are TV movies (or iPhone movies).  They're not theatrical films.  The Academy has some rule where a movie has to play in a theater for one week in Los Angeles and New York to be eligible for Oscars.  So what studios do is run them for one week the end of the year, often times in only one theater.  That way they're eligible for the next ceremony and the studios can then release the pictures wide a few months later.

But streaming services like Netflix and Amazon are doing the same thing.  Except they have no plans to release their films theatrically after the one week window for eligibility purposes.

And like Steven said (notice I call him by his first name as if we're close?), if they're great movies they should win Emmys.   But it's distorting the intent of the Motion Picture Academy.

The fate of the Oscars is up for grabs as new delivery systems pop up.   Same goes for the Emmys -- worse for the Emmys because there's some question as to whether streaming services should even be considered "television."   Personally, I feel if a show is meant to be seen on your television screen then it's a television show.  So what if it's from Netflix or Facebook or Apple? 

But that's a different experience than seeing a movie at a theater.  Forget that it's often better.  It's different.  And if idiots aren't texting next to you or talking or bringing their newborns it can be a thrilling experience depending on the film.   You just don't get the scope of the AVENGERS on your smart phone.  (Maybe ANT MAN works on the small screen but other superhero movies need a larger canvass).

Also, if you don't subscribe to Neflix you can't see their movies.  Films distributed in theaters presumably are available throughout the country (although certain art films are hard to find in Panama City).    The Oscars are crying about their hemorrhaging audience numbers.   It's bad enough most people don't see the nominated films, when most people CAN'T see the nominated films then ratings are going to sink to MURPHY BROWN levels.

Listen to Steven Spielberg.  Uphold the integrity of your awards.  Don't let films made for YouTube qualify for Academy Awards.    Don't even make eligible the Netflix documentary ON Steven Spielberg.

And Stevie, my brother, if you're reading this, sure I'd like to go out to lunch with you.  


Pat Reeder said...

I'm with you and Spielberg on not considering Netflix to be a source of actual movies, new or old. I finally subscribed for the first time a couple of months ago and am already considering canceling. I thought it would provide access to thousands of movies going back decades, the way Premiere Video in Dallas used to in the bygone days of VHS/DVD rental stores. Instead, it seems to be mostly old TV series and Netflix originals and a few recent movies I don't have much interest in.

Examples: I search for Woody Allen, who's made over 50 movies, and get just two recent mediocre Allen films and a bunch of unrelated titles ranging from "Friends" to Woody Woodpecker. A search for "Movies from the 1940s" turns up nothing but two Orson Welles movies and a few recent documentaries on World War II. A search for Humphrey Bogart returned nothing at all. That is epic uselessness.

If anyone knows of a subscription service for people who want to watch movies from the '20s through the '60s, and maybe more recent films about human beings rather than comic book characters, please clue me in. I checked out TCM only to find that they had a subscription service and were ending it at the precise moment I discovered it existed.

Jim said...

"And if idiots aren't texting next to you or talking"

People talk nowadays as if there was some golden age in the past where the entire audience would sit sit through a film in a cinema in silence. I doubt if that's ever been true, and it's the audience reaction that makes watching a film a communbal experience. If some of those people are bored, then maybe, just maybe, it's a reaction to the pap being pushed out.

I read a quote somewhere a couple of years back where someone said that their grandmother had hated the introduction of the talkies as it meant that you had to shut up to be able to hear the dialogue, and it wasn't as much fun. Look at any of the Keystone Chaplins that are set in a cinema and be grateful that your local is nowhere near the half as chaotic as things were then.

And if you're ever in the UK over Christmas, borrow a child and take them to the pantomime to get an idea od what real audience participation is like.

Total said...

I'm not sure I see the difference between running a movie for one week in a random theater in LA to get Oscar eligibility and just having it on Netflix.

Tim B. said...

Pat Reeder...

The DVD mailing option of Netflix has a much deeper catalog than streaming; that might be something to take a look at. However, it's not totally comprehensive, even for the past few decades. Last I looked, for example, it only had certain MASH seasons on DVD, and only the first season of Newhart.

The Bumble Bee Pendant said...

Ever since Speilberg decided to make another version of "West Side Story", I've decided his has lost his marbles.
Don't redo "West Side Story"

Janet Ybarra said...

The issues are somewhat different, I think, between Netflix movies vis a vis Oscars and their programming vis a vis Emmy's.

The difference is that you can make a very credible argument that movies are originally intended to be seen on big movie screens, with accompanying sound.

But Netflix programming--be they termed a "movie," series or something else--is intended to be seen on a television screen.

I'm aware that Netflix can be seen on a phone--but by that same token, ABC, CBS and NBC content can today be seen via phone--but for us here, and I suspect many people television is a primary Netflix delivery device.

So, I suppose I would agree with you and Steven (he and I are close as well ;)) that some "purity" or whatnot be upheld as it relates to Oscars but that the Emmy's are much more a gray area.

The only solutions that come top of mind is for the television academy to either start creating separate streaming categories, or to ban all streaming material outright and force the streaming industry to create their own streaming awards (granted they would not have the same prestige).

But even if the television academy wanted to ban all streaming content, what would they do, say, with consideration of a series like STAR TREK DISCOVERY?

That series is stream only but produced and streamed by network CBS.

Peter said...

I remember you saying in a Friday Question answer that you were once introduced to Spielberg by James L Brooks at an industry event and he said he was a fan of Cheers. He did cast Ted Danson in a role in Saving Private Ryan.

Barry Traylor said...

"People talk nowadays as if there was some golden age in the past where the entire audience would sit sit through a film in a cinema in silence. I doubt if that's ever been true, and it's the audience reaction that makes watching a film a communbal experience. If some of those people are bored, then maybe, just maybe, it's a reaction to the pap being pushed out.'

I am so old that I di remember a time when people did not talk during a movie and the reason I know is that when I was in Jr. High I had a part time job as an usher and more than once I would be told to order a patron to be quiet or leave. I can't really afford all these streaming services so do not get to see the streamed movies.

JR said...

Understood that this is an old guy rant, but I stopped watching the Oscars when THE SOCIAL NETWORK lost to THE KING'S SPEECH. The ridiculous choice to award a flaccid English accent drama over a movie that was truly written, directed and scored was the straw that broke this camel's back. I haven't looked back.

Terrence Moss said...

qualifying runs are a joke.

Joseph Scarbrough said...

Netflix movies aren't even TV movies, nor are Netflix series TV series; they're web movies and web series. And the internet is an entirely different medium than television, or cinema. No, they're not Oscar or Emmy-worthy. I'm fairly certain there's an award ceremony for web content.

McAlvie said...

I agree with you and Spielberg. Seems logical to me. Otherwise, any made for tv movie would qualify, whether it was broadcast or streamed. I don't think the rules should be different for Netflix or Amazon.

@PatReeder - I'd love to be able to do that, myself. I'd watch a whole lot more tv if I could. Considering the vast wealth of old movies, it would seem like a great hook, so I have to assume there are issues with rights or something if they aren't doing it. Netflix or Amazon Prime are the only streaming services I have, as I prefer to minimize the number of things I need log in/password info for; but if something like TCM was available, I'd give up Netflix in a heartbeat.

E. Yarber said...

A few years ago a producer thought it was terrible that I inevitably spend the holidays alone, so she had me stay at her home for four days around Christmas and ignored me the entire time, an experience that ranks in my memory with the time a drug dealer I was working for waved a knife at my throat. (BETTER CALL SAUL sure brings back a lot of memories).

Trapped in her empty house, I wound up scrolling endlessly through the thousands of movies she had available for streaming and wound up watching DVDs on my laptop in the bedroom. Since then, I've honestly had trouble understanding why people talk so reverently about Netflix and such. To them, these platforms are a cornocopia but I found more of a trough. It felt like an overstock warehouse where nothing is exactly what you want, but there's plenty of stuff to poke through at cheap prices. While I try not to be a snob, I can't just slap something on the screen because it' s there and convenient to see. Folks tell me how liberating it is to have eight million songs on tap through one service and ten thousand movies on another, but to me it all blurs into a pudding, the way I used to channel-surf at 2 am when I had finally quit work and was too tired to watch anything seriously.

Unless you have contempt for the very concept of awards, as many do, watching a winning entry should be an event, not an option to click. The whole point of the Oscars, even diminished as they are, is to at least pretend that there are works worth making an effort to see in a theatrical setting with an attentive audience sharing the experience with you. God knows there are plenty of other trophies to be handed out for other types of programming. I'm not discounting that good stuff is coming out of the streaming services, but I wouldn't give a Grammy to a William Faulkner novel.

blinky said...

Academy Awards: Rich white men telling me what the best movie is this year. If they are so smart, why can't they figure out a way to get an awards broadcast done in under 3 hours.

Damian T. Lloyd, Esq. said...

I disagree with Steven and Ken about this. They see the most significant criterion of a "movie" as being the exhibition in a theatre. It's the same argument to say that the most significant criterion of a "book" is that it's printed and bound on paper, and that if you read it on a screen it's not a book. Most movies are seen by most people on their home screens.

-- Damian

Jeff Boice said...

This is all due to ROMA, which is getting serious Best Picture buzz (and was shot in 65mm). Netflix is bending their rules for ROMA- it will play in selected cities in the US and Mexico for 3 weeks before they put it on streaming. Whether 3 weeks exclusivity in theaters is long enough to satisfy the industry remains to be seen.

Unknown said...

well, isn't the onus on the distributor? way back when I worked in movie theatres movies would show in the theatre with the dowswer down if not enough people bought tickets. some of those movies went on to win awards and some didn't maybe the promise of making more money at the box office meant something then that it doesn't now.

I just watched "the other side of the wind" on Netflix. while I'm not qualified to say if it deserves awards or not I can say it's very unlikely that I would have driven out to an Arc Light theatre to see it.

Maybe Ken & Steve (can I call you Ken & Steve?) maybe they can still drive and park and marvel at small movies on the big screen but it's becoming a luxury and not a lot of people have that luxury. should it reflect on the films that nobody thinks they can make money keeping them on screens? I don't think so.

Mike Bloodworth said...

I can just imagine the "Streamy" awards. Their statuette could be a little boy (or girl) peeing. Of course it would have to be 'golden.'

Myles said...

"Also, if you don't subscribe to Neflix you can't see their movies. Films distributed in theaters presumably are available throughout the country (although certain art films are hard to find in Panama City). The Oscars are crying about their hemorrhaging audience numbers. It's bad enough most people don't see the nominated films, when most people CAN'T see the nominated films then ratings are going to sink to MURPHY BROWN levels."

As someone who grew up in a small midwest town I can safely say a lot more people have access to Netflix than those smaller theater count/short release Oscar movies. Netflix has 125 million subscribers that pay for a whole month of access to countless films/shows what it costs to see one movie. If access for the AVERAGE American viewer is a concern this is the right way to go. If you don't live on the coasts a lot of these Oscar noms don't even make it to your town which makes it hard to care about who wins... Also, with screens being more clear and bigger than ever in people's homes the only thing really different is the fact that you may be watching it alone. Facebook now has "Watch Parties" to try to solve that too.

James Van Hise said...

Spielberg has made some odd choices for films to make in recent years, and I too don't get a remake of West Side Story (which was controversial even when released, showing street gangs dancing down the street, resulting in some people to walk out of the theater). The Terminal is a minor film at best and is something one would expect to see on the Hallmark Channel. BFG was an idea which might have worked but was a prolonged bore, although it could have been helped with better editing as some scenes just went on way too long. Even over the years he's made films which needed serious rewriting, like Hook which even Spielberg said he hasn't been able to bring himself to watch in years (Robin Williams plays a character who is passive for the first 3/4 of the film and even when his children are kidnapped at the beginning of the movie the word HOOK scrawled on the wall of his house doesn't jog his memory one bit!). I did like Lincoln a lot, though, and I liked the idea that rather than show his assassination yet again, they showed the reaction of his young son getting the news of his father's death.

Irving Thalidomide said...

Is this the same Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences that just tried to shoehorn a participation Oscar for "Black Panther" into its official categories? O, who will defend the sanctity of the Oscars?

jcs said...


I understand your reasoning but I would like to use Tamara Jenkins's films to make the argument that quality and type of film, not the platform, should matter most.

I very much enjoyed SLUMS OF BEVERLY HILLS. It's an autobiographical story with a great cast and lots of hilarious scenes. Most importantly, it's a film that almost immediately makes you care about a family of underachievers that's in trouble. Based on the box office numbers very few people watched this film when it first came out. PRIVATE LIFE, another film by Jenkins with a strong autobiographical topic, recently came out on Netflix. Again, a powerful plot and great actors that portray people you suddenly start caring about.

Both films are similar in tone and offer a closer look at family life, that often is painfully realistic. If you knew nothing about these two works, you'd never guess that one was shown in cinemas and the other on Netflix.

Ms. Jenkins are you out there? How about you discussing this matter with Ken on his podcast?

Unknown said...

I have a Friday question for your podcast. Can I ask many Friday questions? Folloswup question, What can you recall from the Cheers episode entitled, Where Have all the Floorboards Gone and how was Kevin McHale as an actor? Sincerely, Rick from Minnesota

Tony.T said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Andrew said...

@Pat Reeder,
"If anyone knows of a subscription service for people who want to watch movies from the '20s through the '60s, and maybe more recent films about human beings rather than comic book characters, please clue me in."

I don't mean to sound obvious, but have you tried your local public library? Not a subscription service, obviously, but the next best thing. If you know the movie beforehand, most likely you can get it for free on DVD thru interlibrary loan.

"He did cast Ted Danson in a role in Saving Private Ryan."

I thought that was a mistake. Great as Danson is, it still took me out of the movie knowing it was him. Sam Malone in the middle of WWII. Spielberg should have gone with an unknown character actor. I also remember the dialogue between Danson and Hanks to be contrived. "You have to take ___ to take ___," ad infinitum. I think Saving Private Ryan, while having great moments, is very overrated.

"The ridiculous choice to award a flaccid English accent drama over ..."

Wow. I loved The King's Speech. I just thought it perfect in virtually every way. Where I saw it in the theater, the audience clapped as the credits rolled.

@James Van Hose,
"The Terminal is a minor film at best and is something one would expect to see on the Hallmark Channel."

On a visit to my parents, they forced me to watch that movie. I hated it from start to finish.

Tony Tea said...

Should Netfix movies win Raspberries? I recently watched The Ballad of Buster Scruggs and while I don't thing it should win either a Raspberry or an Oscar, I did find myself wondering "What is the point of this 'movie'?"

Roman J. Israel, Esq. said...

The real problem for Steven and the Academy is that in recent years, the 20th-best TV production has regularly been better than the 4th-best film. When do you hear anyone saying they simply don't have enough time to watch all the good movies these days?

Also, the industry is so thoroughly Minion'd and Iron Man'd up that A-list creators like Alfonso Cuarón can get better deals from Netflix and HBO than they see from Paramount and Warner.

Unknown said...

Very well said, Pat!

Unknown said...

Ken, you are so right!

Buttermilk Sky said...

I think it's too late to assert that Real Movies must be seen in Real Theaters. Most people watch at home, on TV or computer screens (I assume the last drive-in has closed). The Academy itself acknowledges this by mailing screeners to voting members to make sure they see all the contenders -- requiring them to watch in a theater just wouldn't work (though it might be a better place to judge sound or special effects). Most of them don't have home movie theaters as well-appointed as Mr. Spielberg's, I'm sure. They're having the same living-room HBO experience as the rest of us.

Saburo said...

Agreed. That's how ESPN was able to get its OJ Simpson "Made in America" Academy Award consideration: screen an EIGHT-hour program in some theater in town.

Yes, it was an outstanding artistic piece that really wasn't meant to be screened in regular movie theaters.

Wendy M. Grossman said...

IME Netflix also releases its titles on DVD...which again adds to their accessibility. I'm with Myles Warden that it should be the quality that counts. Also, many movie theaters really suck these days. I'm fortunate in living near one that doesn't.

My local film society shows really interesting movies...but they show them by running a DVD through VLC (with a public license, of course).


JED said...

I don't understand why Netflix hasn't explored the idea of streaming their movies to theaters, too. How does Fathom Events handle their special shows (operas, TCM movies, sporting events)? I think Netflix subscribers would pay an extra fee to see their original movies and series in a big theater. They could even treat it like a special members-only showing to give a certain cachet to the event then open them up to the general public after an initial members-only run.

Then, maybe, the Oscars, you and Mr. Spielberg would be OK with their inclusion in the Academy Awards.

Andy Rose said...

@Pat Reeder: Supposedly most of the content that was in Filmstruck (including the Criterion Collection) will be available some time next year in a different subscription streaming service, precise details TBD.

In the meantime, just about every reasonably well-known film out there is available for streaming for around $3 on YouTube or Amazon or Google or iTunes or sometimes all four. That's not as good as a subscription service, of course, but a lot of people I've talked to seem to think that if you can't find it on Netflix or Hulu, there's no way to see it at all. You can watch just about any classic movie you want to see at any time for the same price as some crap from Starbucks. Not a bad deal until the studios get their act together.

flurb said...

On this, I'm with you and Steverino, as I call him when we lunch at the Brown Derby together every third Thursday. Though we are probably swimming against the tide of what passes for progress in the 21st Century.

Have to chuckle at the commenters' outrage over remaking West Side Story, though. More than fifty years old, and it's too soon? We're remaking superhero movies every three years these days! I saw the original recently, and it's very good, but none of main cast does their own singing, and there are occasional bumps between lines and lyrics as a result. Rita Moreno is fantastic even where dubbed, and I have to praise Ned Glass, who doesn't sing a note but delivers large in his small role. But as much as I love Natalie Wood, however buttressed by the astounding voice of Marni Nixon, surely there is someone a bit more ethnically right for the role these days. And Richard Beymer is just not very good - I wished they'd just hired his dubber.

As far as folks walking out in 1962 because gangs were dancing? Too bad for them. It's not meant to be believable - it's in the language of dance. There's this thing called suspension of disbelief - if ya can't manage it, you're always going to have trouble with art.

One more nit to pick: it's always interesting when folks dis Spielberg by picking out three or four duds in his spectacular career. It's like judging Preston Sturges based on The Beautiful Blonde from Bashful Bend, or Hitchcock on Family Plot. All these folks screw up every once in awhile, but if you wander over to imdb and look at their resumés, you will have to admit they got some talent. And I think The BFG is underrated.

Janet Ybarra said...

Ken, I've got an FQ for you both as a producer of sitcoms and as a kid who grew up in California. Just wanted to see what you thought of the new series THE KIDS ARE ALRIGHT.


Dr Jones said...

I love Spielberg but 10 years on I'm still shocked that the guy who made the genius Raiders of the Lost Ark and Jaws made the truly appalling Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Time has not been kind. Far from it being ripe for reassessment, it's even more awful than when it was released.

That's why, as far as I'm concerned, there are only three Indiana Jones movies.

Janet Ybarra said...

Yeah, but WEST SIDE STORY is a classic...it doesn't need a remake, any more than THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL needed a remake.

THE POST was a great picture. Surely, our good mutual friend Steve has other places to go for material. How about the Reagans' fraught relationship with the AIDS crisis as seen through their turned backs to Rock Hudson. Make that movie. Anything other than another remake.

And Ken, another FQ for you to keep in mind. It's been a few years since he passed but Sidney Freedman has always been a favorite.

I was hoping you might reminisce a bit on the character and on Allan Arbus the actor, particularly since he came to acting as a bit of a second career.


Janet Ybarra said...

That's an interesting point, and another aspect where "flyover America" really has become culturally different than those of us who live on the coasts.

Instead of widening that gap, I'd want to look for ways to bring rural/flyover America closer to coastal culture.

Rural America used to care about education and culture and science and such. Think about Americans like Roy Rogers.

LBJ started out as a teacher out in the middle of Nowheresville, Texas.

If Netflix really is the link folks there have to a certain segment of the arts and science (ie documentaries), then maybe Netflix should think about that in terms of the content it offers.

MikeN said...

Friday Question: Are you submitting any material to General Mills?

If not, will you give us a sample here of what you might do?

Laura said...

An entire post!!!! Thanks a lot Ken :D

The reason I asked was, what if they are better than the movies that are nominated? Wouldn't people ask why is this movie left out?

Common man doesn't know (or care) for the rules. All he sees is good movies not being in this year's list.

Anyway, thanks again for the post.

I hope brother Stevie reads your funny post agreeing with him XD

Anonymous said...

My kneejerk response would be to agree with Ken and Steven and most of the posters above. However, a day or two ago, a somewhat noteworthy filmmaker (and I forgot who and can't find a link, apologies) pointed out the hypocrisy of the "never Netflix" crowd considering that a large number of Academy voters are casting their ballots based on DVD screeners of nominated films. If the Academy was truly serious about the purity of the cinema experience, they would ban screeners, pure and simple. Otherwise, they're just posturing. If a one week theatrical window is enough for one film to qualify, it should be enough for all films - even if subsequent weeks are streaming-only.

That's my two cents, anyway.

- Tony

Pete Sutcliffe said...

I have to strongly disagree with both of you, Kenny and Stevie. If you're going to say that movies made for Netflix are ineligible for Oscars simply because of the medium, then you're saying that Fast & Furious 17 is a more legitimate work of art than Mudbound, Private Life, and Beasts of No Nation. I agree that playing in a theater somewhere for some amount of time should be required for an Oscar, but also keep in mind that playing for a week in LA and going straight to video was the pre-internet version of Netflix, but worse, since the audience was so much more limited. Would you have said back then that any movie released on video tape should have been ineligible for Oscars? Keep in mind that many classic films found their audiences on video, such as Spinal Tap, My Beautiful Laundrette, and Room With A View. Netflix will give second life to such films, and first life to others simply because some studio marketing department doesn't know what to do with it. As cinemas are closing and multiplex fare is more often aimed at superhero bonanzas, streaming services are going to become home for quality films the way they have already become home to cinema-style TV shows. Maybe the quality fare you're used to actually plays in LA theaters, but in Dayton or Springfield (any one of them), it's all "blowed up real good!" action flicks. You need Netflix in most of America now to see any film not directed by Michael Bay.

Jason Roberts said...

I get Steven's point, to a degree. What he calls TV movies are not made differently for TV than they would be for theatrical release. This is an issue with his perception, not having lately been in the presence of making those kinds of films. To the point of not being eligible for oscars, I think the streaming services have adapted to the Academy's rules and been able to submit based on that line. Now Steven (and you) want to move that line.

In years past when the Academy was made up of a majority of older white males this ideology was standard operating procedure. The Academy has had a recent influx of new members that are not of that majority. I would imagine that they believe that streaming service movies are acceptable as long as they follow the Academy's guidelines. I would wager that most of the Academy members in any category would love to work on any prestigious project for a streaming service.

In my opinion, Spielberg's track record over the past dozen years has been about the same as Netflix's. Most of his movies are blah but every now and then he makes a great one.

Netflix spends an awful lot of money on content. Most of it ends up being well, awful. But every now and then there are some great films. Key word is that they are indeed films.

I myself have had the opportunity over the years to work with Steven on a couple of projects, most notably "Saving Private Ryan". I've also had the opportunity to work on a Netflix movie, "First They Killed My Father". I found no difference in the mechanics of making both of those movies. Each had their own unique production variables that all movies have. Maybe the only slight difference was that the Netflix executives were a bit more hands off during production. Although, I am not sure if the contributing factor to that was that we were shooting 8,000 miles away. The Netfilx movie was not a TV movie. TV movies don't shoot in Cambodia and have production value of that caliber. TV movies don't cost thirty million dollars. TV movies don't hire several Academy award winning filmmakers to bring the projects to life.

If you take examples from the original article, their other high calibre releases. Beast's of No Nation & Mudbound like FTKMF all had theatrical releases too.

Right or wrong it's time to live (and watch) what is in this digital age. People stream. It's the new normal. I would like to think the Academy has to adapt. Either they're in or they're in the way.

TimWarp said...

I second Janet Ybarra's request for Allan Arbus remembrances.

Myles said...

Round of applause to this well said comment!

Pat Reeder said...

To Andy Rose and all others who are looking for a source for classic films:

I should have mentioned that the TCM app on Amazon Firebox lets you watch several dozen films from the TCM vaults on demand at any one time. But each one is available for only a couple of weeks. You have to take what they're offering when they're offering it. You can always find some classics and good obscurities there, but it's not like having access to the entire library all the time. I'd pay a monthly fee for that.

Colin Stratton said...

Wow. I can't believe you missed the big picture on this one. Unless you are Steven Spielberg or somehow related to Marvel or DC comics, you can't get a picture made unless it's through other outlets! Mr. Spielberg is trying to lock out any competition for an Oscar nomination. His Meryl Streep approach is getting a little old. How about making a movie that is actually good,and not whoring yourself for an award that nobody gives a shit about?

Kaleberg said...

I watch most of my movies on my 15" laptop. Now and then there is something I want to see on a bigger screen, so I fire up my projector or go to the local theater or even drive into the big city and see it in IMAX and 3D. Movies are visual story telling. I don't see why a story should be disqualified because it didn't have a theatrical release. Can a work only be judged artistically if someone paid for a public presentation license? Is it about screen size or the viewing angle? Is it about production cost? Should we have separate awards for analog and digital presentation? All that should be beside the point. It puts the focus on the mechanics, not the story telling. It's like the old parody Warner Brothers music ad with the tag line, "It's the vinyl."

There's a reason the Academy Awards are increasingly irrelevant. It's all about the vinyl.

Mike Bloodworth said...

Better yet, the other way around. Bring the extreme left closer to the middle. (No pun intended.)

Unknown said...

A month of Netflix is less than the cost of a movie. Not sure the assessability arguement holds water.