Netflix has become a massive success in the streaming world, evolving from their DVD-by-mail service to become one of the premiere providers of streaming content and exclusive programming. They are now one of the leading services who are making a universe of movies available on the device of your choice, with many other players coming from behind and trying to catch up. But not everyone has been taken with the convenience and quality of the service.
Indiewire published an excerpt from the recently published book “I Lost it at The Video Store: A Filmmakers’ Oral History of a Vanished Era,” pertaining to the arrival of the streaming age. And not everyone has been swayed by the new technology, namely, Quentin Tarantino, who rather unbelievably, still tapes and watches movies on VHS.
“I am not excited about streaming at all. I like something hard and tangible in my hand. And I can’t watch a movie on a laptop. I don’t use Netflix at all. I don’t have any sort of delivery system. I have the videos from Video Archives. They went out of business, and I bought their inventory. Probably close to eight thousand tapes and DVDs,” he said. “I have a bunch of DVDs and a bunch of videos, and I still tape movies off of television on video so I can keep my collection going.”
It’s a bit of an odd stance from a filmmaker who seems to be very concerned about the format and presentation of films. It’s not for nothing that his upcoming, 70mm western “The Hateful Eight” is spending the first two weeks of its release screening in analog only on big screens. So, I would understand if Tarantino was opposed to watching movies on a laptop or iPhone, but I don’t quite get still using VHS, one of the worst formats around, unless its to maintain some kind of artificial nostalgia for those video store-era years.
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However, not every filmmaker is down on streaming. Darren Aronofsky shares an experience he had as a “newcomer” to Netflix. “I did hear about a Gael García Bernal film, ‘Even the Rain.’ It’s a film he made in Bolivia. It’s fantastic — and you can watch it on Netflix. The experience was very similar to how I would stumble on a film on videotape. It’s a small, beautiful foreign film. And I streamed it,” he said.
More crucially, Joe Swanberg points out that streaming has made accessibility to cinema much more open. “When I was fourteen, I wanted to be a filmmaker, and I started reading Filmmaker Magazine and I’d read about indie films I’d never see, not even at the video store,” he reflects. “These days, you can see them on VOD. If I was fourteen right now, still in the suburbs of Chicago, I could be really up-to-date with the independent film scene as much as anyone in L.A. or NYC. That’s exciting. The access is getting better.”
No matter what, streaming is here to stay, and making it easier for everyone, everywhere to find movies and television shows, whether they’re independent, mainstream, or more obscure. Should Tarantino get with it or what? Let us know below.