In a recent interview the director was talking about the changing face of cinema, the coming of 4K and many other facets of filmmaking.

When asked about theatres in general James Mangold, the Walk The Line, Logan and Ford v Ferrari helmer did not hold back. He was speaking with Discussing Film recently. Talking about theatres he maintained that they were poorly serving their customers:

“To me, filmmaking is filmmaking. The reality is that the delivery of a movie to a smaller screen that sometimes now is not even necessarily that much of a smaller screen. The reality of theater projection has gotten so tragically bad in so many cases. The fight to put your movie in a theater that stinks and someone’s eating an enchilada next to you – half the screen is out of focus or too dim.

Theatrical has its own problems, which is that if it doesn’t make itself a sterling presentation that you cannot approximate at the home – then theatrical kills itself without any other delivery method even competing with it. When I talk to theater owners or theater chains, that’s the big thing…

…My point really is just that theatrical is a wasteland right now of a lot of s—ty delivery of movies to audiences who are paying a premium to see them on a big screen. That’s something that needs to be solved in the future.

I don’t think theatrical is dead. I’m sure there’s going to be casualties from all this and the theater chains, but I think that people wanting to go out and have a special experience on a big, big screen with great presentation of a movie that isn’t available anywhere else… is something that will continue. But I do think the kind of glory period that I came up during the 1990s, when there was really thriving independent cinema on screens in major cities, is already gone. It was gone before this virus arrived.”

He talks about how cinema was in a fight against enhanced home experiences even before COVID19. These points are something we have discussed in length several times here at the Outpost.

Doesn’t look like the debate is going away anytime soon, but theatres are going to have to up their game to lure a worried audience back in.