Ridley Scott says technology damaging cinema
While to a degree I agreed with Ridley Scott's recent comments about the state of science fiction in Hollywood, I certainly find it hard to agree with his view that technology is destroying the cinema experience, particularly as he claims it's the small screen technology that's doing it.
During the Venice Film Festival he said that mobile phones and computers are having a negative effect on the big screen experience of cinema:
"People sit there watching a movie on a tiny screen. You can't beat it, you've got to join it and deal with it and also get competitive with it. But we try to do films which are in support of cinema, in a large room with good sound and a big picture...
...I'm sure we're on a losing wicket, but we're fighting technology. While it has been wonderful in many aspects, it also has some big negative downsides."
What Ridley Scott fails to understand is that technology is making the cinema what it is today, and if the cinemas and Hollywood were quicker to embrace it and adapt, they could be profiting. However I don't believe we'll see the death of the cinema just yet, and in fact ever.
In the article over at The Scotsman, Mark Cousins discusses the same topic. Cousins is a former Edinburgh Film Festival Director, is a strong critic and voice in cinema today.
"We still go to big cinemas at weekends collectively, but we also watch movies individually at home with our big TVs and sound systems...There has been an increase in more specialist movie houses...
...There is a sense of something big about to happen when people go to a cinema. At home, it's not as exciting as submitting yourself to something else and taking a risk, which is why going to the movies is still so exciting."
I actually think he hits the nail on the head with the last comment. Going to the cinema is an experience more than anything else, and it's the experience that wins.
However it has to be said that it can be relatively cheap nowadays to buy a home cinema system that rivals the cinema experience, particularly in the area of sound, and that's something that Scott is missing when he drops sweeping statements about his audience.
Still Scott gets something right when he says that:
"...commerce is taking over art. Commerce has become the most important thing in the firm industry."
That, I wholeheartedly agree with.