I took a class this semester by an art professor—one of the most stereotypical professors you can imagine. Exactly one minute before class would start, he would stroll into the lecture hall, carrying a leather satchel and wearing what seemed to be a beret. Just picture it.
He must have been someone pretty well known during the prime of his life, or maybe he just acts like it. Nonetheless, he name dropped like you wouldn’t believe, quicker than the girl-next-to-me’s jaw would drop when “Madonna” came out of his mouth and echoed through the microphone.
He planned for a guest speaker one Tuesday class. The speaker was late, and after five minutes of his powerpoint, I was ready to go. But in walks the extremely well-known producer in Hollywood, Mark Johnson.
“Ah, so glad you could make it.”
“My pleasure, George,” as he coolly walked to the front of the classroom, flipped a folding chair open onto the platform of the stage oh so smoothly and settling in, crossed his legs. Introducing himself, he quickly ran through a list of movies he had produced, counting each movie off on his long boney hands—just how I pictured a Hollywood producer to look like.
The producer began surveying the class, using this time as a consumer review session. “What do college kids like in film?” he asked
This question stumped me. How long had it actually been since I have gone to see a movie—in an actual movie theater? And even then what was the last movie I saw? I hardly ever go to the movies with my friends. Why not just watch them in the comfort of my own apartment? On Netflix that my parents still pay for, so where the showing is “free.”
And then let’s talk about all the other costs that accompany a trip to the movies. Gas, parking, popcorn, tickets (that are about $15 now with those nice, comfy chairs) and time. Lots and lots of time. I was never a huge fan of movies because of the time I have to take out of my day and devote to a movie. I seemed to always prefer TV shows more—less commitment and emotional investment. I get really, really emotionally attached to characters.
But the producer went on to speak about what the popularity of streaming is doing to the film industry as a whole. As expected, streaming online is extremely financially taxing on Hollywood. Audiences are more likely to stay home and watch a movie OnDemand, Netflix, Hulu, Prime, etc. and for the majority of people for the exact same reasons that I listed above.
Movies are seen as a source of entertainment to wind down. After a super long busy day, how about just curling up on the couch by the fire for a movie you can pause, rewind and stop whenever you want. You have your own snacks without having to smuggle them into the theater with that huge mom purse.
Going out the to the movies was a classic first date but not so much after “Netflix and Chill.” How much do you actually get to know someone watching a movie, when obnoxious people “shhh” you for asking questions?
Tragically, an excursion to the movies undeniably has so many cons. A bit shocking but I don’t think it’s a huge leap to predict the theater will become obsolete in the near future. As the producer said, Hollywood will take a major blow to their income.
Have you noticed an increase in “Netflix originals,” or shows exclusively accessed through an Amazon Prime subscription? That’s because Hollywood increasingly refusing to hand over the rights to these shows. #Resist.
So, online streaming platforms took matters into their own hands and made their own shows. Here’s the catch. They’re actually good! Stranger Things, Handmaid’s Tale, 13 Reasons Why. All nominated for Golden Globes (Handmaid’s Tale won the majority of them) and are shockingly popular.
But before you say “Screw Hollywood! I prefer the comfort of my own home,” or just “Netflix and chill, bro,” think about that last fantastic movie you saw in the theater that left chills on your arms from its genius or all the good times you had in the theater. For me, the school dance and Riverdale 10 was the epicenter of my middle school social life. It was the place where I could hang out with my middle school “boyfriend” with the approval of my mother—then snuck into R-rated movies.
Nonetheless, films are an incredibly moving kind of art and by only streaming, we as consumers are slowly chipping away at such a crucial sector of American culture—Hollywood. And who actually wants to wait until the movie comes out online?
In an effort to keep you going to the movies, here are my 4 top picks of movies out right now (and in no particular order because they are all just that good).
- The Post — How could I be a journalism/feminist without suggesting this movie?
- Call Me by your Name — a progressive, deeply touching love story. Must see. The cinematography is beautiful on this one
- All the Money in the World — Wow, what a thriller and true story. Such a roller coaster!
- Darkest Hour — Winston Churchill — love!!