Go

Filmism.net Dispatch December 2, 2013

  • Share
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  

A few weeks ago I talked about edgy entertainment, how cable TV shows are the ones pushing the envelope and movies are getting more homogenised.

I still think it's the case, but I missed a very important point. For a long time now I've been lamenting the number of movies that aren't made for a movie screen. You know the kind of thing I mean - movies like Jurassic Park, Cloud Atlas, Rush, Gravity and Pacific Rim. Not just ones with big splashy effects, but films whose directors have been uniquely conscious of the effect of their images on a forty-foot high sheet of canvas.

The point I missed snuck up on me. Movies don't necessarily have to be made for movie screens any more because the institution 'the movies' doesn't necessarily mean 'cinema'.

For a film critic I'm very late to this party, but I'm watching a lot more films on my laptop lately thanks to streaming links provided by distributors. It was only two months ago I hired my first movie from iTunes (Lindsay Lohan and James Deen's magnum opus of heartbreak and passion, The Canyons).

But just like 'news' has stopped meaning newspapers and 6pm TV broadcasts, 'movies' doesn't have to mean a big chamber in front of a giant screen. It might now only be the place for the $100m-and-up epics that need the breathing space (yes, they're feeling more similar all the time, but that's an argument for another time; movies with real scope like those mentioned above still find their way to your multiplex).

Now that video on demand is not only mature but a legitimate market in itself, it's allowing smaller-tier studios to make more movies than they ever could while the big end of town crowds them out of multiplexes with endless comic book pap. Like all movies, some of those second-tier films are dreadful, but some of them are great. And they can afford that elusive quality that's in such short supply from their bigger cousins - edge.

Maybe it's time for sit-in-the-dark-with-a-roomful-of-strangers purists like me to move on. After all, at least we won't always be surrounded by kids texting their friends.

Some cases in point are the following movies I've seen in the last few weeks, all of them comfortably displayed on my 13' laptop screen;

And to more traditional movie viewing, I saw Kevin Macdonald's new trip How I Live Now, which wasn't badly done but kept reminding me of other movies and books all the ideas were transposed from. After watching the much-maligned The Internship I also tried to decouple the sour taste of overbearing product placement and ask whether the rest of the movie was actually any good (hint; nup).

© 2011-2016 Filmism.net. Site design and programming by psipublishinganddesign.com | adambraimbridge.com | humaan.com.au