News Column

Christopher Nolan: big screen cinema must resist 'bleak future'

July 9, 2014

Catherine Shoard, theguardian.com



The director Christopher Nolan, whose last three films have all taken around $1bn at the global box office, has cautioned against a decline in traditional cinema showings for most movies. Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Nolan urges greater innovation amongst film-makers and greater courage from studios to back theatrical runs for movies which aren't blockbusters.

In a lengthy piece, Nolan, 43, addresses the way in which changing technology and business models have impacted a range of creative industries. "The theatrical window is to the movie business what live concerts are to the music business," he writes, "and no one goes to a concert to be played an MP3 on a bare stage."

Imagining a "bleak future" for the medium, Nolan suggests that studios shouldn't fall into a trap of treating cinema as they would other products. "'Content' can be ported across phones, watches, gas-station pumps or any other screen, and the idea would be that movie theatres should acknowledge their place as just another of these 'platforms,' albeit with bigger screens and cupholders."

Nolan looks to a time when only the most immediately popular movies will be able to secure public screening, in what might appear to be democratic but will, he suggests, ultimately undermine choice and originality. "Instant reactivity always favours the familiar. New approaches need time to gather support from audiences. Smaller, more unusual films would be shut out. Innovation would shift entirely to home-based entertainment, with the remaining theatres serving exclusively as gathering places for fan-based or branded-event titles."

The future, he suggests, lies in cinemas investing in genuinely innovative technology which gives them the edge over ever-improving home entertainment, directors emerging with fresh ideas, and audiences voting with the feet when it comes to backing smaller fare.

Both Nolan's final two Batman movies – The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises – as well as the experimental Inception, managed enormously successful theatrical runs as well as healthy DVD and Blu-ray sales. His new film, Interstellar, which stars Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway, is released in November 2014.


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Source: Guardian Web


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