Netflix is becoming the standard for entertainment and the days of owning physical media are quickly becoming a thing of the past. There are those who are not too thrilled with the current state of streaming and some of them are your favorite directors.
I Lost It At The Video Store is a new book written by Tom Roston which pays homage to the days of the video rental store. Roston harkens back to his days of peddling VHS and also seeks out insight from Quentin Tarantino and Kevin Smith, both of which worked at video stores before becoming famous directors. The two discussed how having that job helped shaped them into the directors they are now and how the experience rivaled any education they could have received at film school.
IndieWire released new excerpts from the book, from many different directors, but one of the most controversial POVs was from Quentin, who talks about his love for VHS/DVD and his thoughts on Netflix:
“I am not excited about streaming at all. I like something hard and tangible in my hand. And I can’t watch a movie on a laptop. I don’t use Netflix at all. I don’t have any sort of delivery system. I have the videos from Video Archives. They went out of business, and I bought their inventory. Probably close to eight thousand tapes and DVDs. I have a bunch of DVDs and a bunch of videos, and I still tape movies off of television on video so I can keep my collection going.”
Kevin Smith complimented Tarantino’s position, “That’s kind of genius. He’s such a sentimental dude.” But later, however, he seemed to be singing a different tune:
You’d think I’m like, “Fuck streaming. Because in our day . . .” But I’m a filmmaker who is happy to watch a film on an iPhone. I just want to get it in me. I’m a movie lover at heart, so the quickest, easiest way you can get it to me is A-okay in my book. It doesn’t have to be on an IMAX screen. That’s great, sometimes. But I need it in me. I just need the movie in me. Any way that that can be administered, even if it’s on a tiny iPhone screen. I like streaming.
Darren Aronofsky seems to be on the same train of embracing technology and the different ways we consume media now:
“Most people are going to watch my films on an iPhone. ‘Look,’ I said, ‘there’s a real audience there, and you have to be conscious of that. You can’t control it.’ I am a storyteller, and I want my story to be watched and listened to in any possible form. I can’t be snobbish about it. I would like people to see it in the theater, but I recognize that people see them in all sorts of ways and I try to make that experience as good as I can.”
Tarantino’s response was blunt, “That’s the most depressing thing I’ve ever heard in my life.” While he seems set in his ways, audience will probably laugh him off as some technophobe and continue their dependance on streaming services.
Being someone who has a blu-ray collection that’s coming up on the 1K mark, I completely understand QT’s love for something tangible. I also hate the licensing crap streaming services deal with. I want to be able to watch whatever I want, when I want, not when Sony tells Netflix it’s ok to stream it. But I’m no fool, I love Netflix as much as the next guy and their original programming is worth the price of admission alone. So I say, “Why not both?”
Check out the trailer for I Lost It At The Video Store: