Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Thinking about films...

While I was driving home from my Great Uncle's funeral yesterday, I was listening to "Fresh Air" on NPR. Terry Gross was interviewing Steven Soderbergh, who I really like ever since he directed 'Sex, Lies, and Videotape', which is one of those films I can watch over and over again. I haven't liked EVERYTHING he puts out, but I do have a lot of respect for him. So he has a new movie coming out that is very interesting for two reasons. The film is called 'Bubble', and it's about a strange love triangle "born in a doll factory" in a small midwestern town.

The first interesting thing about this movie is that he used non-actors for the main rolls in this film. So there's a murder, and a detective, and while no one REALLY died making the film, the guy playing the detective is a real detective, and he's basically doing his real job for the camera. The woman who works in the doll factory who is being questioned? Also not an actor. I'm not sure what her real job is. But he was talking about how authentic and 'non-charismatic' these people were in their rolls...he said it was some of the best acting he's ever seen in his life, because they weren't acting...they were behaving as they truly would in this situation. Interesting.

The second really interesting thing about this movie is that it is being released simultaneously in the theater, on DVD, and on TV, on HDNet channel. How can they do this? Well, the company that is distributing the film owns Landmark Theaters, HDNet channel, and now a DVD production company. So they make money no matter what. Why are they doing this? Well, Soderbergh thought about the bootleg copies that come out nowadays, and how they often come out the same day or sometimes even before the film is released, and this would be a way to stem that somewhat. More importantly, he realizes that a lot of people don't enjoy going to the movies anymore, ($$$$$$), and home theaters have gotten so much better in the last 10 years or so, so this is a way to get his film to a larger audience. The implications are interesting...if you still want to see a movie in the theater, you can. If you want to watch it on TV, you can. If you want to NetFlix it, you can. So even if you don't have a Landmark theater near you, or HDNet on your cable line up, you can still see this film while it's new in the theater. Very interesting. I'm curious to see how it works out, and if it's the wave of the future, or just a silly little experiment that will fall by the wayside.

I'm not a film geek, so I don't know all of the implications here, but I thought it was pretty interesting, and I think I'll NetFlix 'Bubble' and check it out for myself. :)

1 comment:

J said...

So "Bubble" is either a failure or a success, depending on who you believe. Or maybe it's both.