The director of '1917' and two of Daniel Craig's James Bond movies has raised his voice about how the future of cinema can continue as the world very slowly begins to go back to normality.
With the closure of cinemas across the world for the past few months, many of us have taken to the only alternative we have for watching some of the latest movies - streaming services online. With the revenue of these on demand services benefiting from users being forced to stay at home on the rise, the cinema industry has undoubtedly been shaken for the worst. And Sam Mendes asks Netflix, Amazon Prime, and other services to help out the original (and the best) way of viewing the latest movies.
Writing a column for the Financial Times, Mendes wrote that the UK is facing the "biggest challenge to Britain’s cultural life since the outbreak of the Second World War".
He continues: "The country’s theatres and actors, musicians and music venues, dancers and dance spaces, concert halls and opera houses are all under threat. The theatre needs a plan, and I believe we have one."
While the "continuance of social distancing makes the prospect of reopening simply impossible" for cinemas to reopen, the director suggests that the UK government should create a short-term package that would help freelancers and self-employed artists through this tough time, as "an offer for the government to become partners in a successful business".
Sam Mendes asks Netflix and Amazon for help next, writing: "It would be deeply ironic if the streaming services – Netflix, Amazon Prime et al – should be making lockdown millions from our finest acting, producing, writing and directing talent, while the very arts culture that nurtured that talent pool is allowed to die.
"Is there anyone among those people willing to use a fraction of their COVID-19 windfall to help those who have been mortally wounded?"
He then concludes the piece by asking the streaming services help this "ecosystem", which needs their full support: "I hope you’re reading this, and that you are able to think of the arts landscape as more than just a "content provider", but instead as an ecosystem that supports us all."
Time will tell if Mendes' words fall on deaf ears. In Ireland, our cinemas are still due to open their doors on August 10 with social distancing measures remaining in place, although we could see them opening earlier if cases in the country continue to remain low.