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Could streaming democratise world cinema?

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    Could streaming democratise world cinema?

    In many aspects, the only surprise about Roma appearing on Netflix to general acclaim is that some enterprising studio hadn't attempted such a move before. Just as Penguin revolutionised the publishing world by providing a mass audience with affordable editions of classic literature, and Channel Four increased access to foreign-language drama through Walter Presents, so world cinema has been rather pigeonholed as "niche" due to restricted releases in arthouse cinemas in a small number of large cities, and expanding reach and viewership through streaming services has the potential to generate a mass audience , while simultaneously providing a reliable revenue stream. So, will Cuarón's move prove a once-off, or the start of a true paradigm shift?

    #2
    Originally posted by Diable Rouge View Post
    In many aspects, the only surprise about Roma appearing on Netflix to general acclaim is that some enterprising studio hadn't attempted such a move before.
    Sorry, but 'hadn't attempted such a move' as what before?

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      #3
      Manchester by the Sea was funded by Amazon.

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        #4
        And their original and foreign language films have been produced since 2015.

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          #5
          I think it's more important for TV than movies, but sure.

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            #6
            Originally posted by WOM View Post

            Sorry, but 'hadn't attempted such a move' as what before?
            Released a film in Netflix to gain wider exposure.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Diable Rouge View Post

              Released a film in Netflix to gain wider exposure.
              I know one of Paul Greengrass's recent films was released on Netflix, because he wanted young people to see the film who may not have gone to the cinema.

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                #8
                The Coen Bros' Ballad of Buster Scruggs was also released on Netflix. Unlike Roma it has not had a theatrical release.

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Diable Rouge View Post
                  Released a film in Netflix to gain wider exposure.
                  It wasn't released on Netflix to get wider exposure. Netflix paid for it. I'd also argue that while Roma on the face of it doesn't have mass-market potential in Anglophone markets, Cuaron is not exactly an unknown quantity.It was always going to get a lot of exposure.
                  Last edited by Ginger Yellow; 11-02-2019, 12:56.

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                    #10
                    And to echo Aitch, it's not really a start of anything. There have been Netflix and Amazon-only (or like Roma very limited cinema distribution) films, some of them foreign language, for years.

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                      #11
                      Perhaps Mubi is a better step towards democratisation. A bit like Spotify but you don't get to choose the titles.
                      Watch truly great cinema. Right now. Wherever you are. With no ads. Ever. Cult, classic, and independent films. A new film every day. 30 hand-picked, award-winning films every month. Stream Now. Watch Offline. Start your free 7 day trial, now.

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                        #12
                        I think one important thing about this debate is this current era of Netflix is probably an exception. They're spending huge amounts of money to attract people to subscriptions. This includes getting a former Harry Potter director to make a film about his beloved housekeeper from his childhood. That era can't last in its current form. That's not to say it won't increase exposure. But personally I would worry that the quasi monopoly of Netflix will if anything Americanise our watching habits even more.

                        I really like Mubi, it's great, though with only 30 selected films at any one time, it's more like a mixtape you can check out than a library you can access.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Aitch View Post
                          Perhaps Mubi is a better step towards democratisation. A bit like Spotify but you don't get to choose the titles.
                          It looks really interesting, thanks for the heads up.

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                            #14
                            It's never less than interesting, which is something that can't be said for films on terrestrial TV anymore.

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