How the Internet Ate Movies? Really?

The Ringer has an article about how Hollywood has become “obsessed” with the internet and asks whether this has stifled the imaginations of movie makers:

“You know, desperately seeking escape is not nostalgia,” Spielberg told the L.A. Times while discussing Ready Player One. “It’s something we’re all familiar with. Escapism is something, especially today, that people are craving more than ever before just to get out of the desperately depressing news cycle. There have been desperately depressing news cycles in every decade from time to time, but it’s pretty profound now. And so I thought, ‘This is the right time for this.’”

The same could be said for Blackhat or The Social Network or Catfish or You’ve Got Mail. Movies about the consequences of the internet aren’t new, exactly. They’re just everywhere. And it has zapped movies of an inherent power—the ability to transport, to reinvent or recontextualize what’s possible in the world.

Hollywood matters insofar as they have a history of consistency and availability (the Hollywood crowd produces movies every year and they are distributed widely) and they’ve got the resources to keep doing this.

But…we have new producers and movie makers making and distributing their productions on YouTube, Twitch, Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms.

I think it would be more accurate to say this:

it has zapped [Hollywood] movies of an inherent power—the ability to transport, to reinvent or recontextualize what’s possible in the world

Many people are watching new shows and bite-sized content on multiple platforms. We’re no longer tied to one point of view that’s Hollywood-centric (though it is still dominant). We can choose never to watch Blackhat, The Social Network, Ready Player One, or other Hollywood movies and instead replace them with whatever good stuff we find on the Internet. We can find new stories told from unique perspectives without the Hollywood gatekeepers stopping us. The production costs of a movie and the fact that it’s produced outside of Hollywood do not prevent a movie from having the ability to transport, reinvent or recontextualize what’s possible in the world

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