Martin Scorsese says streaming services are “devaluing” cinema in powerful essay

“We can’t depend on the movie business, such as it is, to take care of cinema"

Martin Scorsese has published an essay saying that streaming services are “devaluing” cinema.

The filmmaker wrote about Italian director Federico Fellini in a new essay for Harper’s Magazine and shared his thoughts on the impact of streaming services, such as Netflix and Apple TV, on the future of the film industry.

Regarding the way such streamers view movies, Scorsese said that “the art of cinema is being systematically devalued, sidelined, demeaned, and reduced to its lowest common denominator” when film is reduced to “content”.

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“As recently as 15 years ago, the term ‘content’ was heard only when people were discussing the cinema on a serious level, and it was contrasted with and measured against ‘form,’” he continued.

“Then, gradually, it was used more and more by the people who took over media companies, most of whom knew nothing about the history of the art form, or even cared enough to think that they should.”

Scorsese explained that now “all moving images” are judged equally: “A David Lean movie, a cat video, a Super Bowl commercial, a superhero sequel, a series episode.”

He added: “We can’t depend on the movie business, such as it is, to take care of cinema… Those of us who know the cinema and its history have to share our love and our knowledge with as many people as possible… They are among the greatest treasures of our culture, and they must be treated accordingly.”

In 2019 Martin Scorsese came under attack for his comments saying that Marvel movies were “not cinema”, comparing them to theme park rides.

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