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Declare independence! Don't let them do that to you!!

Thursday, December 09, 2004

An Overdue Movie Rant 


Oliver Stone Slams Dvd's
Although Oliver Stone's 19-year-old son Sean has shot the behind-the-scenes documentary for Alexander and while the video package is likely to include an examination of the actual life of the Greek conqueror and other informative material, Stone himself has indicated that he is not at all enthusiastic about the coming of age of DVDs. Video Store magazine quotes him as saying during a recent press event, "It's the end of movie-movies the way we know them. ... If you walk into a room with 5,000 DVDs, how are you going to respect movies? How do you know the good ones?," Stone asked. "It's going to the LCD -- the lowest common denominator. It's making movies into supermarket-shelf items, which is probably the best you can get at Wal-Mart. ... It's hopeless."
-Forgot the Source
What Stone doesnt grasp is that movies have always been a business, Sidney Lumet has called being a director the best job in the world, and he's right. It is a job, which is part of an industry. Which releases a product which you pay to experience. DVDs, distribute said product. The integrity of filmmaking is lost somewhere in between, but that's not the fault of a plastic disc! That people seem more and more interested in collecting movies, and building their own librarys of films, is not an indication of a declinational pattern in the quality of product being released, it's the symptom of a fucked system that gets people to want continuosly. Desire is mandatory.
But really that's besides the point, isn't it? DVD's are smaller, more manageable, cheaper to ship, easier to make, and longer lasting than the aged VHS standard. What does this REALLY mean? It means that smaller, independent projects suddenly have the ability to ship 'round the world. Entire productions can be planned, produced and printed from your Mac. Spread throughout the world, in ways that were IMPOSSIBLE 10 years ago. In a way, DVDs breathe new life into the movie industry because they allow for a level of competition not seen since porn went from film to video.
Some other considerations. DVD-extras offer a deeper understanding of the fundamental nature of a film production. These behind the scenes, and commentary tracks are windows for the trained and untrained alike to witness the decisions, the trials, the tribulations and the fun of making a film. I feel this is the most valuable aspect of the DVD phenomenon. There is also the possibility of resurrecting 'cult' films, that would have otherwised slipped into the abyss of forgotten screen gems. How many people, were turned on to the Big Lebowski, after it was released on DVD? Oh, then there is of course the issue of vastly superior sound and image quality.. but do I really even need to go there?
I feel as if DVDs allow for a greater appreciation of movies than ever before. Oliver Stone is an idiot. But he can make a mean film every now and then. So respect. Befuddlement....and respect.
Punk's just griping cause Alexander's subpar. Though, by his logic, won't that make it quite the success on DVD?
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