Oscar-winner Guillermo del Toro is at Cannes, where he sat down for a panel with Michel Hazanavicius, Paolo Sorrentino, Robin Campillo, Gaspar Noe, and more. The legendary group of filmmakers spoke about various topics, but the idea of streaming and what it means for the future of movies was heavy on everyone’s minds.
Del Toro is no stranger to these conversations, and he brought his usual excellent take to this subject. IndieWire reports that the filmmaker is happy with the number of movies and shows in production; he fears where they’ll end up later down the line.
“There are many answers to what the future is. The one I know is not what we have right now. It is not sustainable. In so many ways, what we have belongs to an older structure. That’s how profound the change is. We are finding that it is more than the delivery system that is changing. It’s the relationship to the audience that is shifting. Do we hold it, or do we seek and be adventurous? We are in the present losing more movies from the past faster than ever before. It seems like we aren’t, but the mere disappearance of physical media is already having corporations curating what we watch faster for us.
“The future doesn’t belong to us, so our duty is not to ourselves, but to the future, for the people who come after. Things are getting done, but are they being seen?. This begs the question of what a ‘movie’ is. We have to question ourselves. Are we arguing about the size of the screen or the size of the ideas? Are we arguing that cinema can only exist as certain footage, or is it something that holds us with visuals and music and sounds and transports us to a place no other art can?”
When asked about words like pipeline and content, terms streaming services like Netflix regularly use, the filmmaker seemed not to like their use in the world of cinema:
“These describe oil, water, or sewage. Whatever they describe, they don’t describe art. They don’t describe cinema because they talk about impermanence, something we’ve just got to flush through. It has to keep moving. In my mind, a beautiful work of audiovisual storytelling should hold its place next to a novel, a painting. We don’t talk about paintings. We only talk about paintings when we’re in front of it. A painting is always new. Where we are as cinema, and the state we find ourselves in is the responsibility of distributors, exhibitors, filmmakers, and creators. We have to question where the communication is broken, where we can patch it.”
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