Film distribution in Canada is in trouble, at least if you believe the Globe. Seems Canada is one of the top pirating countries in the world. Hollywood execs are threatening to delay — or even halt — distribution of their films here.
So there’s a chance that future
hits like The Hills Have Eyes 2 and Ghost Rider might not come to Canada? Maybe I should take my Digital8 to the theatre.
Imagine it though: Summer 2007 and no Spidermans, Mission Impossibles, or Pirates of The Caribbean. A bleak vision to some — but for me? A world of possibilities.
What if, in an attempt to to survive the loss of Hollywood blockbusters, Canada’s national theatre chains were to start showing Canadian films? Canadian films on Canadian screens; what a concept. Even better: what if Canadians enjoyed same films?
Okay, maybe not.
But losing summer blockbusters still wouldn’t be a huge deal — we’d just end up downloading them from LimeWire. What does matter, though, is how we’re going to watch movies in the future.
David Denby looks at Hollywood’s — and consequently Canada’s — future in a recent issue of The New Yorker. Denby is basically spooked by the arrival of iPods and other new means of movie distribution, and makes a case for the survival of the multiplex. Interesting ideas, but honestly a little off the mark.
Last night, instead of hitting up the local multiplex, I headed to a local coffee shop and saw a great, small movie in an intimate setting with people who weren’t friends but could have been. It was simply one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Loud, uncontrolled laughter, honest joy — the collective experience Denby fears is disappearing. The audience I shared the film with created that experience.
That’s what I want from film culture — a chance to watch beautiful films with an open and responsive audience. I don’t get that at the multiplex, and I almost never get that from Hollywood. So let the big studios pull their films, and let the movie marts die. Maybe then we’ll start to see better films in better venues, and with better audiences. Now that would be huge.