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Against the Future of Filmgoing

Against the Future of Filmgoing

Call me a Luddite, a snob or an old-fashioned guy, but I’m not really a proponent of this revolutionary change in film-watching. After writing this indieWIRE article, Webolution or Wild Unknown, about the not-so-distant future of digital rights and Internet-based distribution, it got me thinking how close we really are to Godfrey Cheshire’s prophetic 1999 article, “The Death of Film/The Decay of Cinema” (a must-read to see how prophetic he was).

For FilmCatcher, I’ve written up a little op-ed, “Against the Future of Cinema: There is No Such Thing as Small Movies,” which is definitely more opinion than journalism, and certainly ignores the realities of the marketplace for an idealistic call to action: Throw away your iPods, dump your Netflix subscription, stop saving for that AppleTV and get thee to a Movie Theater. Because, as I say in the article:

“The intimate environs of your living room are not sufficient for films that excavate human intimacy; on the contrary, intimacy is more profoundly felt in a large theater, where viewers can absorb the actors’ every glance and grimace. “We can wait for that on DVD,” say filmgoers. No, not really. Waiting to see a film in your living room is hurting that film, insulting it; it’s like saying to a good friend, “You’re not good enough to meet me for dinner; how about we just catch up on the phone, or via computer screen, instead?… Of course, there are plenty of films that should be relegated to such a space. Just not the good ones.”

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