Netflix is shaking up the film industry at a time when it’s needed.
Steven Spielberg has indicated he doesn’t believe Netflix deserves any Oscar nods. Spielberg commented:
“I don’t believe films that are just given token qualifications in a couple of theatres for less than a week should qualify for the Academy Award nomination.”
However, the famed director has only proven that he’s quickly fallen out of relevancy. Perhaps Spielberg should focus on his own movies. His recent release, Ready Player One has deservedly drawn criticism for its outdated view of gaming, its condescending approach to gamers and for continuing with its casting of T. J. Miller who has been accused of sexual assault and transphobia. Spielberg has proven time and again that he’s still stuck in the 90s – at best. He doesn’t understand how to make intersectional and accessible films, his idea of universality boils down to making white cis boys and men the focal points of most of his stories and it means his material is often mundane. His latest criticism against Netflix just highlights that the world is moving too quickly for Spielberg to keep up.
If Netflix is going to make films then it deserves considerations for any awards who want to take a look at it. The Oscars are already elitist enough as it is without shutting out all competition. Spielberg firmly wants the power in the hands of the theatres and Netflix’s continued rise continues to irk many in Hollywood.
“If it Netflix is going to make films then it deserves considerations for any awards who want to take a look at it”
Netflix is an accessible platform. For one month of content, its about the same as paying the price of a cinema ticket (and that’s excluding travel). Netflix creates accessible content which particularly disabled people and people with low – or disposable – incomes can access. These are the kind of audiences that most people who are looking to make money hate.
The streaming service has helped spark a golden age of TV and it’s doing just as much for film. Netflix has produced some of the best films of recent years, particularly with its documentaries. Icarus, 13th and Mudbound are all deserving of the hype. Annihilation has been lauded by many critics as an absolute sci-fi masterpiece. Why shouldn’t films go straight to Netflix?
People can still enjoy the cinema experience. The overwhelming haul of films created each year go to theatres and cinemas first – not Netflix. To attack Netflix for the few films it gets first seems petty, mean-spirited and an attempt to cut out all competition. We don’t just need good films – and Netflix certainly produces that – we also need diversity with how films are delivered. Netflix though looks set to continue to create stunning content, and Spielberg’s comments will be like water off a duck’s back. All creators should embrace better diversity with distribution, as much as the audiences do.
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