Friday, September 7, 2007

Is the Internet Destroying Cinema?

Ridley Scott seems to think so. In a recent interview Zero Paid is reporting that Ridley Scott believes that technology is killing off cinema with all of the different ways that people are able to view film.

From cellphones to computers, fans of film can now watch movies in many different ways, especially with Internet streaming. But is it really destroying cinema? I would say maybe. Directors when they make movies they make them for the big screen and not our homes. There might be a few straight to DVD movies that aren't, but for the most part films are made for theatres.

Some may argue that there is no difference between watching a movie at home and seeing it at the theatre, but I would disagree. For one the bigger picture and sound does make a difference as it comes to the overall enjoyment of a film. But also, when you go to a theatre there is a social aspect, as well as, various things that a director may put into a film to play on the audience, which you can't nessarially get at home. An example of this was in Jurassic Park 3. For those of you that haven't seen it, there was a running gag where a cell phone would start ringing. When it first went off during the film the sound came from the right side and about the centre of the theatre. So, everyone began to turn around and look since we all thought that it was someones cellphone going off in the theatre, but it was actually part of the movie. Someone at home would probably miss that and thus not have the same effect. Another example is the film Snakes on a Plane. I remember going to see it at the theatre opening night and having the best time I ever had in a theatre. The audience was right in the movie and it was a pretty fun time, even though it was probably the cheesiest movie that released last year.

So from the perspective of Ridley Scott, the Internet and other technologies are ruining the social aspect of film and is creating a poorer viewing experience. But from the perspective of a independent filmmaker technology has expanded his market. Without the Internet many filmmakers wouldn't have a place to showcase there work, but now with the Internet it is now ever easier to get your work out to your audience without substantial investment from a studio. And so cinema, because of the Internet, is in a state of growth as the theatre industry dies down. Then again that isn't true. Recently "The Movie Blog" reported that the film industry had a record summer at the box office.

So really I'm just not sure where these comments are coming from. Then again, at lest he didn't suggest that the Internet be shutdown for 5 years like Sir Elton John.

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