Vive Le Cinéma!
During the days of prolong confinement of recent pandemic, cinema, in its multiple avatars, provided solace to our lonely hearts and helped us to bounce back to life. The ongoing debate of sudden proliferation and acceleration of OTT platforms compels us to believe that cinema is no more a distant dream, but have been quite accessible and individualized and customized affair. Whether the OTT platforms have been a bliss for Independent Filmmakers or a curse calls for a discourse! Moreover, the individualized consumption of cinema reconfigured the territory of cine-watchers. Cinema watching had been a special event amidst the daily drudgery of people, that transmitted them into the world of fantasy and at times, pushed them to think harder about their existence. Over the years, cinema has challenged, motivated, entertained its audience. The shift from single screen theatres to multiplexes have cornered one section of society with its humongously expensive entry fee. Thus, television industry readily received more than half of the population. Similarly, the OTT industry catered to a specific class of people with their extremely expensive subscription rates. The less expensive ones have hideous content that in turn, gives birth to a despicable public culture. Martin Scorsese expressed his doubt about the streaming system as well as kind of predicted on the possibility of cinema being extinct sometime soon. His apprehension may not be absolutely inapt. The animated discussions followed after watching Fassbinder’s “Ali: Fear Eats the Soul”, Cristian Mungiu’s 4 Months,3 Weeks and 2 Days, or Chantal Akerman’s any creation is severely missing as cinema as an art form influences the society to a great extent. I totally agree with the auteur when he termed marvel films as a theme park ride rather than cinematic. The newer forms may be more dynamic in nature, but he proudly said “that may be but that’s not for me”. A film, is an art form, that has a much larger and deeper purpose in terms of society, its cannot be a mere replica of an amusement park!
Hope we will all agree or disagree on this. Nevertheless, the tête-à-tête must go on.