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Christopher Nolan On The ‘Netflix Business Model’ & Approach To Film

One of the big stories to come out of Cannes this year was Netflix. In fact, it was the thing not far from anyone’s lips in the bars and restaurants off the Croissette all week. It reached an all-time high with the very first press screening of Okja, the first film to compete in-competition at the festival from the streaming giant. That press screening was a bit of a disaster, with the film being projected in the wrong aspect ratio for around six minutes, leading to boos and jeers from the far-from-retiring critics inside the Palais Des Festivals. Of course, Okja went on to get great reviews, but the business model for Netflix’s release strategy continued to dominate conversation, and with French releasing policy potentially stopping Netflix from competing in-competition at Cannes in the future, the debate rages on. One such person to get in on the action is Christopher Nolan, a self-confessed film traditionalist whose new film Dunkirk debuts in cinemas this week. More on the Christopher Nolan Netflix comments below.

Christopher Nolan Netflix

Christopher Nolan Netflix comments: The British filmmaker doesn’t agree with the streamer’s business model at all.

While out and about on the promotional trail for Dunkirk, which rolls out in multiple territories this weekend, Nolan expressed concern at Netflix’s approach to releasing films exclusively on their platform. He spoke with Indiewire.

“Netflix has a bizarre aversion to supporting theatrical films. They have this mindless policy of everything having to be simultaneously streamed and released, which is obviously an untenable model for theatrical presentation. So they’re not even getting in the game, and I think they’re missing a huge opportunity.”

The filmmaker continued.

“I think the investment that Netflix is putting into interesting filmmakers and interesting projects would be more admirable if it weren’t being used as some kind of bizarre leverage against shutting down theaters. It’s so pointless. I don’t really get it.”

Netflix, meanwhile, have posted another successful quarter by signing up another 5 million plus subscribers – adding to the 100 million or so they already boast. I kind of agree with the Christopher Nolan comment – let’s face it, his films are absolutely suited to cinemas, especially Dunkirk, but surely Netflix are allowing more filmmakers to make movies and potentially giving them more money and indeed creativity in the process?

The debate will, of course, rage on. More at the end of the link above. Dunkirk is released in cinemas from July 21st, 2017.


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