Dame Helen Mirren gives Netflix short shrift at CinemaCon

Dame Helen Mirren gives Netflix short shrift at CinemaCon

Dame Helen Mirren has given streaming giant Netflix short shrift at an event for cinema exhibitors in Las Vegas.

“I love Netflix, but [expletive] Netflix,” she said, eliciting cheers and applause from her audience.

Mirren declared there was “nothing like sitting in the cinema” while appearing at the annual CinemaCon event.

Last year, the actress said the rise of watching films on streaming services at home was “devastating” for people who want to make films for the big screen.

Dame Helen – whose husband is US director Taylor Hackford – told Total Film the “communal” experience of going to the cinema was “beginning to disappear”.

Mirren says streaming is bad for cinema

While light-hearted, the actress’s comment on Tuesday spoke to a widely held concern among cinema owners over Netflix’s inroads into theatrical distribution.

The streaming giant combines theatrical exhibition with online streaming, a model that goes against the traditional 12-week “window” during which films can only be viewed in cinemas.

In a tweet last month, Netflix argued its business model gives access to people who don’t live near a cinema or can’t afford to go to one.

We love cinema. Here are some things we also love:
-Access for people who can’t always afford, or live in towns without, theaters
-Letting everyone, everywhere enjoy releases at the same time
-Giving filmmakers more ways to share art
These things are not mutually exclusive.

The streaming service has faced criticism since this year’s Oscars, which saw one of its titles – Alfonso Cuaron’s Roma – take home three awards.

The organisers of the Academy Awards are under pressure to introduce rules that would make films that premiere on streaming services and cinemas simultaneously ineligible for its prizes.

Last year Steven Spielberg told ITV News: “I don’t believe that films that are just given token qualifications in a couple of theatres for less than a week should qualify for the Academy Award nomination.”

It has emerged the US Department of Justice has been in contact with the Academy to warn them that any such rule changes may breach competition laws.

Source: BBC News

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