Steven Spielberg’s made news last week with a proposal to ban Netflix films. Now Paul Schrader offers his thoughts on the growing controversy between Netflix and the Academy.
According to Schrader’s Facebook post, the issue with Netflix is not about quality, but visibility.
Schrader revealed that Netflix passed on “First Reformed,” the film in which he wrote and directed, and subsequently was nominated for Original Screenplay at this year’s Oscar ceremony. He eventually lost to “Green Book.”
He continues to share that “as did Amazon. As did Sony Classics and Focus. But A24 saw a commercial path for this austere aesthetic film,” according to the writer of such classics as “Taxi Driver” and “Raging Bull.”
A24 rolled out the film through festivals throughout 2017 and 2018, leading to its success and profitability. Schrader wonders if it would’ve found the same success had “Netflix and scooped it up (at say twice the price A24 paid) and dumped it into its larder?”
He continues, “Perhaps Bird Box and Kissing Booth can fight their way through the vast sea of Netflix product to find popular acceptance, but First Reformed? Unlikely. Relegated to film esoterica.”
Schrader’s solution is a proposal for club cinemas such as the Alamo Drafthouse, to form an alliance with Netflix, thus letting their films be shown in theaters.
“Distribution models are in flux,” says Schrader. “It’s not as simple as theatrical versus streaming.”
Sean Baker, director of “The Florida Project”, also echoed Schrader’s thoughts. On Twitter, Baker added that he would “spend an extra two dollars a month in order to see a film like “Roma” or “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs” on the big screen.”
“We need to find solutions like this in which everybody bends a bit in order to keep the film community (which includes theater owners, film festivals and competitive distributors) alive and kicking,” said Baker.
WHAT DO YOU THINK? WOULD YOU PAY MORE TO SEE NETFLIX MOVIES IN THEATERS? LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW!