As you all know, I write a lot about films. I have done A-Z challenges, recent reviews, and a retro series too. When I started this blog, I wrote numerous posts about World Cinema, featuring the films made in various countries. Since I began blogging in 2012, I have only been to the cinema on two occasions, but I have seen many films on DVD, TV showings, and recently via streaming too.
Cinemas no longer hold much appeal for me. They are too small, too bright, and many people who visit them are not real film fans, in the main. At least not ones I recognise, with their takeaway food, popcorn, slurpy drinks, and constant checking of mobile phones. The dark and quiet cinemas of my youth are but a memory.
Films have enjoyed something of a renaissance recently. Many of them are super-hero blockbusters and comic-book franchises of course, none of which interest me. But I can see their appeal for the younger generation of regular cinema-goers. There is still much to celebrate though, with great independent films being made in the UK and America, as well as the continuing excellence of World Cinema offerings from around the globe.
I have come late to streaming services, (I come late to most things…) but my recent experience with a streaming box has opened up new avenues of exploration. What has impressed me most over the last five years has been the real improvement in the quality of TV drama series, and those made specifically for companies like Netflix, or Amazon. In many cases, they have overtaken the popularity of both regular TV scheduling, and mainstream cinema. Television companies like the BBC and Film 4 in Britain are continuing to invest in new films that are shown on TV much sooner than they were in the past. The explosion in the market has raised the game of all the players, that’s for sure.
It has left me wondering if cinema as we understand it has a future. The same applies to conventional television broadcasting. Will the day come when everything is online, I wonder? Will we all pick and choose what to see, and when and where to see it? For many people, that time may have already arrived of course, using Tablets and mobile phones, instead of television and cinema screens. Let’s hope that this does not result in a lack of choice and reduction in quality, in years to come.
What do you think? Are you already one of the ‘streaming only’ generation? Or will you be sticking with the big-screen multiplex experience?