A current controversial topic, Netflix and Cannes are once again batting heads, this time, with the added pressure of Studios and Steven Spielberg.
Personally, I don’t have a problem with Netflix entering the glamorous world of film festivals, nor do I have a problem with Cannes (as I am flying next week to the Cannes film festival!) I am honestly confused as to why this all kicked off in the first place.
For starters, Netflix are the producers of some amazing content. Stranger Things for example has continually since its release, been one of the main shows that people have streamed and downloaded. Likewise to Amazon, shows such as Jack Ryan and The Marvelous Mrs Maisel have been huge hits, in many cases, they have been the ‘main’ shows of the internet. Perhaps this is what Cannes see’s, Netflix and Amazon are amazing at producing TV shows, films are not so amazing.
Netflix is somewhat known for releasing films that ‘tick over’ the audience such as, The Kissing Booth, To all the boys I’ve loved before, The Princess switch and The Christmas Prince.
Get the idea? These films are hopelessly bad, they are the type of film you shove on when your lying on the sofa with a bad cold (been there, done that) So yes, I can see why Cannes is having a ‘oh my god what’ moment. However, let us not forget that the Best Picture winner of the 2019 Oscars was Roma, a Netflix film. While I was at the Venice film festival in 2018, I had the privilege of attending the Roma premiere, clearly Venice has embraced the portals of online streaming, so in what sense has Cannes not?
The reasoning for Cannes pulling Netflix out of the official selection in 2018 was their slight madness of telling Netflix that all their films had to have some sort of French cinema distribution. While cinema distribution is a must for many film festivals and certainly The Oscars, it seems extreme and a tactical pick for Cannes to make films have French distribution.
As far as I can see it, Netflix has modernized cinema viewing and made it more accessible to people at home and across the world. Cannes is an amazing old institution that I am so excited to play a part in, but it will need to change, in order to fit in with a new generation of filmmakers in a few years.
As for Steven Spielberg, I kinda see where he’s coming from. Netflix threatens the Hollywood system, a system that Spielberg has played a huge part in modernising. I am a massive Spielberg fan, but even I can see that I isn’t stopping Hollywood, Netflix has become its own constitution, soon behind us amazon and next up is Disney+ launching this winter.
Here’s hoping Netflix continues to make good content (in which they stay away from made up royal families and teenage love stories) and to Cannes, for them understanding the significance of online streaming moving into the forefront on cinema consumption.
I’m super excited to see the difference between Cannes and Venice! Cannes has a good line up as well, which will be discussed in further posts.
As always, thanks for reading my rambles!