Thursday, August 4, 2011


 While in Hollywood last spring, I was informed that the lost revenues from piracy weren't the studios main fear-as they want us to think so they can break derive more surplus labor values from those working in the industry-but actually it was the fact Netflix and now Hulu were changing the media landscape once again by offering original programming.

The film industry was effected by television, but ultimately made major profits via cable operations, home video, etc., but it seems less able to deal with the advent of straight-to-internet productions. Such has already been occurring though for film, many filmmakers can make some coin by hashing out a deal with Netflix (or now possibly Hulu) to stream their films.

Film's collectivity has inherently dwindled since the pre-television age. Most of the cinema I have ever seen was due to Blockbuster (out of business), Westcoast Video (out of business), and TLA (a local Philadelphia movie rental operation that has shut down more than half of its stores). These stores though didn't have the capabilities to have the swath of cinema sites like Netflix and Facets (a must have online rental service for cinephiles) have. Yet, these sites even pail in comparassion to the access torrenting has brought cinematic militants, but one cannot always find the same quality cinema you can get even from a DVD with some titles. Yet, you can get films that Facets doesn't even have, but ultimately the interlacing found with most DVD's beats even the highest quality torrent.

After going to movies multiple days a week out in Hollywood, I found a major appreciation for the theater experience. Films shot on 35mm, obviously should be seen in that medium. Then bathing in the luminescence of the screen with fellow cinephiles, at excellent theaters like Tarantino's New Beverly, MOMA-LA, The Cinefamily, etc., was a much more rewarding experience than watching something alone in my mother's basement. Still, even at classic films, there wasn't a full crowd even in the global epicenter of cinema. Even there some outfit, like Shooting Wall, was needed to connect cinephiles and strengthen their cinephila. What I'm getting at though is we're in a new age, one where we must embrace the immense distributional options by the internet, but re-strategize our exhibition-collective methods to not let cinematic obsession die.


  1. Now that Hollywood has declared war on us and is desperately trying to save itself from its inevitable destruction, I feel like it's only going to get worse for cinephiles unless we speak out in protest.
    Hollywood's innate monopolistic lust for greed and fear of the internet will be their eventual demise. They are putting up a good fight though, manipulating the legal system for their advantage to put online streaming services out of business ( and legally incriminating P2P file sharing sites. In this current climate, when do we finally say enough is enough? Soon hopefully?

    Why are their not angry mobs with torches and pitchforks burning down MPAA offices and drawing and quartering their executives in the streets with their own $100,000.00 cars?

  2. Hello Anonymous,

    I do agree that Hollywood is trying to strangle the last life out of any cinematic cinema. For example, their corporate cohorts in the television wings of their studios are only making reality television. Why? They don't have to hire union labor.

    That said, there is a general neo-liberal downward pressure against the industry, to make them suffer for the lost revenues in piracy. When they are still making astronomical profits. Yet, Hollywood has always been more akin to the airline or restaurant industry than other arts, in the sense that it generally has always been high risk. Reality shows though that Hollwood has always been a monopoly and the way the capitalists running the show think they can combat the chaos of the market is by force feeding us their event-Blockbuster-film minority output every year.

    So, there is definite truth to what you're saying, but I think Big Hollywood can continue even if they destroy small indie cinema, if torrent sites persist, etc. What is the option then to displace it with good cinema? We need to re-group and re-strategize.

  3. I agree that Big Hollywood, being the parasite it is, can persist indefinitely as long as we agree to host it. However, as of now, they are putting their own foot in their mouth, so to speak. What we need is a cultural revolution. A major cinematic uprising against the tyrannical capitalist forces that control what people see and hear. The time is nigh for cinematic cinema to prevail.

    Nonetheless, I applaud your efforts wholeheartedly. Shooting Wall is a step forward.

    Btw, did you receive "The Mother and the Whore" yet?

  4. I know who you are! And yes, I just received "THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE" expect a some adulation thrown your way very soon.

    and I agree with all you're saying. A cultural revolution is in order. Yet, with film it seems to need cultivation, as those into cinema have been bombarded with nonsense films for so long, they have become desensitized, which only hurts them in the long run. As how many times can cinephiles hear something is 'weird' or 'slow'? When in actuality, those weird slow films constitute some of the most enriching viewing experiences. Lets work, tactically, through theory and action, to let cinematic cinema prevail. But yeah, general intellectual terroristic rage is pretty sweet too (ha).

    Thanks though for the kind words. Keep up the rage and keep commenting.