For anyone under the age of 25, the idea of a video-store seems utterly alien.
The experience, however, of browsing for ages and trying to find something to watch has been replicated to a certain degree on the likes of Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Prime and other VOD / streaming platforms. In that sense, the video store lives on. Quentin Tarantino, Darren Aranofsky and David O. Russell were recently interviewed for a new book titled I Lost It At The Video Store: A Filmmaker's Oral History of a Vanished Era and discussed their opinions on Netflix.
Simply put, they're not fans. At all. Russell, who directed American Hustle and the upcoming Jennifer Lawrence-starring Joy, said that Netflix was "a bunch of dreck" whilst Tarantino had much more to say on the topic.
"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."
Tarantino raises an interesting point about Netflix and the difference between a tangible copy of a film. Before Netflix and the advent of storing films on a laptop or computer, you'd have to keep a pretty huge collection of DVDs, videos, whatever in your house. If you've got an endless supply of space in your house or apartment, that's fine. You can build cases and cupboards to your heart's content. The reality for most people nowadays is that if they want to have the variety that we enjoy, we can't simply buy and keep DVDs for storage.
Don't get us wrong - we loved owning and keeping DVDs. We had collections that spanned entire walls until it became, quite frankly, unwieldy. But, thanks to VOD, all that's changed. We have crystal clear copies of our favourite films in HD at the touch of a mouse or button. What's so wrong with that? You can even watch a film on your iPhone if you fancy.
For Tarantino, however, it's not the same. During the discussion, Darren Aranofsky, director of Black Swan, Noah and Requiem For A Dream, discussed how he changed the ratio on his films and made a specific sound mix for iPhones and iPads. "Sound is a big part of filmmaking, and even with your Beats headphones, you're missing the whole surround-sound feeling. In the end, 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 theatre, but I recognise that people see them in all sorts of ways and I try to make that experience as good as I can."
Tarantino's response? "That's the most depressing thing I've ever heard."
We get it, man. Seeing a film in a theatre is the optimal experience - but the truth of it is that going to a cinema is becoming an increasingly expensive proposition and when faced between paying a far-lesser amount for the same thing a year or so later, in the comfort of your own home is more attractive for people than it has ever been.
What do you think? Is streaming films the future or is the cinema the only way to experience films? Let us know in the comments!