The recent closure of Cineworld provided proof, not that it was needed, that the film industry is on its knees today. But it’s an ill wind that blows nobody good. Online companies have made a killing, as I said a fortnight ago in this page, due to the large numbers of people watching films from home rather than venturing out to the multiplexes to do so.
Criterion Films have released a Blu-Ray version of Cecil B. De Mille’s The Ten Commandments that enhances its epic credentials. It’s available on Amazon. People criticise De Mille for wanting to serve both God and Mammon. They have a point. He got away with murder with the censors by the ‘morals’ he tacked on to his often lurid works, but here he was at his best.
Having said that, I’ve never been ‘into’ Blu Ray. Whenever a technological development comes along we’re expected to jump up and down with excitement. When the dust settles we often wonder if the old system was just as good if not better. Remember when they told us we hadn’t lived until we bought a CD? So we threw out all our vinylss (I did anyway). Now vinyl is back…what was all the fuss about?
2019 was Hollywood’s most lucrative year in box office history. This year it’s lost over $20 billion – and counting. Cancellations, deferrals, re-schedulings, downsizing – these are all part of the famous ‘new normal’ we hear so much about. People do what they have to in order to survive. Often it’s not half a loaf or even a quarter. It’s frugality with a capital ‘F’.
Some film companies are playing brinkmanship with supply and demand. It’s often a case of ‘the hungry sheep looked up and are not fed.’ We’re expected to put up with it because we have no option. Who expects perfection at a time of such deprivation? Don’t give in to this.
Disney has rushed some of its films into production before the customary gestation period has elapsed. In recent months I’ve flagged releases on Netflix and other streaming platforms like The Faith Channel.
In the late 40s, the ‘eternal rectangle’ (i.e. television) threatened to spell the end of cinemas. They rose to the challenge by doing things television couldn’t, i.e. visual splendour. Megabucks blockbuster releases ensued. Now a new two-headed hydra has made its appearance: VOD (video on demand).
Remakes are another attempt to cater for a starved market. Rebecca is a modern day re-working of the Daphne Du Maurier classic. It has Lily James and, more interestingly, Kristin Scott Thomas as the eerie Mrs Danvers.
If you have access to the Irish Film Institute Player you can see The GAA Connection. This has a wide-ranging number of matches played from the 1940s to the 1970s.
Some of them were set in motion by Catholic archbishops, a wide-ranging practice of the time.