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Christopher Nolan isn't a fan of Netflix's "mindless" distribution model

Christopher Nolan Netflix

Netflix has certainly come a long way over the past decade, with millions of subscribers choosing the streaming platform to view thousands of movies and TV shows, but it doesn't appear that Christopher Nolan (DUNKIRK) is a fan. The past few years has seen Netflix enter the feature-film game by developing their own original movies. Although they offer enormous creative freedom, when Netflix does release its films in theaters, it's usually only for a limited run in select cities and on the same day as its release on Netflix. This makes it somewhat difficult for most people to see movies like BEASTS OF NO NATION, OKJA, or DEATH NOTE in theaters, and Christopher Nolan told IndieWire that he isn't the biggest fan of Netflix's "mindless" distribution model.

Netflix has a bizarre aversion to supporting theatrical films. They have this mindless policy of everything having to be simultaneously streamed and released, which is obviously an untenable model for theatrical presentation. So they’re not even getting in the game, and I think they’re missing a huge opportunity.

Not all streaming services have drawn disapproval from Nolan, as the DUNKIRK director pointed out that Amazon isn't making the same mistake. Amazon typically gives their movies at least a 90-day window in theaters before putting them up on the streaming service. "It’s a perfectly usable model. It’s terrific," said Nolan. When it comes to the creative freedom which Netflix offers directors, Nolan isn't impressed. "I think the investment that Netflix is putting into interesting filmmakers and interesting projects would be more admirable if it weren’t being used as some kind of bizarre leverage against shutting down theaters,"  he said. "It’s so pointless. I don’t really get it." As for whether Christopher Nolan would ever make a film for Netflix, the director unsurprisingly said, "No. Well, why would you? If you make a theatrical film, it’s to be played in theaters."

I've got to agree with Christopher Nolan there, there's nothing quite like the theatrical experience, and given the choice between streaming a film on my laptop or TV or paying a few extra bucks to see it on the big-screen, I'd choose the theater every time. That said, not everyone is fortunate enough to live near theaters screening these movies, or to be able to afford to make more frequent trips to the theater.

I don't entirely understand why Netflix won't give their movies a larger theatrical release window; I suppose they don't want to make their subscribers wait if they would prefer to watch the film in their own home, but their distribution model has led to significant push-back from theater owners which has greatly reduced our opportunity to see these movies on the big-screen.

What do you folks think of Christopher Nolan's criticism of Netflix's distribution model? Would you like to see Netflix give their movies a larger theatrical presence even if it means they won't be available to stream right away?

Source: IndieWire

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