The era of streaming gives audiences more choice than ever, but Willem Dafoe wonders if it doesn’t have a negative effect on more challenging, difficult movies.
While speaking with The Guardian, Willem Dafoe pondered the state of cinema, with more and more people choosing streaming over going to the theater. “Which is tragic, because the kind of attention that people give at home isn’t the same,” Dafoe said. “More difficult movies, more challenging movies can not do as well, when you don’t have an audience that’s really paying attention. That’s a big thing. I miss the social thing of where movies fit in the world. You go see a movie, you go out to dinner, you talk about it later, and that spreads out. People now go home, they say, ‘Hey, honey, let’s watch something stupid tonight,’ and they flip through and they watch five minutes of 10 movies, and they say, forget it, let’s go to bed. Where’s that discourse found?“
Dafoe added that studios have also changed the way they make movies, with more attention paid to launching billion-dollar franchises. “They aren’t making movies the same way they used to. They’re being financed by toy companies and other entities, and they become the vehicle to make the movies, because they know how to do that,” Dafoe said. “Streaming, they’re becoming like a monopoly, they have the means of production and distribution. And so it’s very complicated.“
Although Dafoe admitted that he’s a “crummy source” for anything related to the business side of movie, he’s noticed “that there’s been a proliferation of middlemen. There aren’t ballsy producers like there used to be. There are some savvy ones, but you don’t have the same kind of characters that you used to have, that would sell their house to make a movie, and do crazy things to get it done. They’re a little harder to find.“
Willem Dafoe will next be seen in Robert Eggers‘ upcoming remake of Nosferatu as Professor Albin Eberhart Von Franz. He recently teased that the film is “unlike anything I have seen.” I suppose we’ll find out for ourselves when it hits theaters on December 25th.