Tales from the Cutting Room Floor: Guy Ducker: When is a Movie not a Movie?

To answer the question, “when is a movie not a move?” I would say, “when it’s not made.” The low or no budget films that might once have been picked up and distributed theatrically by a studio, just aren’t. The risk averse studios are obsessed with the franchise model. Who can blame them? The franchises has a much better chance of returning a profit than some unknown independent film that needs to build an audience. I think this is where Netflix has thrived. It’s given a home to independent cinema forgotten by the studios. The thing to realise is that the platform does not define the scope or the vision of the films it shows. It’s just how they are watched. Netflix is not the villain in this scenario. It gives a chance for the Spielberg’s of the future to make their Duel. It gives people like me a chance to see something beyond the very narrow trajectory offered by films that follow the theatrical model. Whatever Spielberg thinks of Roma it was as cinematic an experience as anything I saw in a theatre last year. I think Spielberg may have to come to terms with the fact that the filmic experience might not be exclusively theatrical. Especially if the theatres are full of films that are nothing more than a roll-a-coaster ride.

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