Culture&Arts

'CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER': Steven Spielberg says Netflix movies aren't Oscar worthy

'CLEAR AND PRESENT DANGER': Steven Spielberg says Netflix movies aren't Oscar worthy

Legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg thinks Netflix films are "TV movies", and shouldn't get Oscar consideration.

Do you agree, disagree, have exceptions? These things make up the tradition on which movie history is based.

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Spielberg compared the "challenge" of streaming content like Netflix to the same challenge television first posed on cinema in the 1950s. His comments are part of an industry-wide discussion about the way films are distributed since studios are focused on playing it safe with "branded, tentpole, guaranteed box office hits".

"The smaller films that studios used to make routinely are now going to Amazon, Hulu and Netflix", he said. "But it poses a clear and present danger to filmgoers". "More of them are going to let the SVOD [Subscription Video on Demand] businesses finance their films, maybe with the promise of a slight one week theatrical window to qualify them for awards as a movie".

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And just this year, the network managed to win a whopping eight Oscar nominations, four of them for drama Mudbound, which landed several key nominations, but none for director or best picture - which some speculated may have been due to the network's lacking marketing campaign or even just Academy voters' general animosity towards streaming. "You certainly, if it's a good show, deserve an Emmy, but not an Oscar", Spielberg said. He also added that he doesn't believe that films that are provided with only a week in the theaters should be qualified for a nomination for Academy Awards.

"I think the investment that Netflix is putting into interesting filmmakers and interesting projects would be more admirable if it weren't being used as some kind of freaky leverage against shutting down theatres". The Cannes Film Festival announced Friday that among other new regulations - including a red carpet selfie ban - Neflix Originals will not be considered for awards. "I was presumptuous, they refused", Cannes artistic director Theirry Fremaux told The Hollywood Reporter. Hopefully, Spielberg will see that narrative-driven films-whether theatrical or streaming releases-are worthy of whatever accolades they earn.

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