Martin Scorsese laments the rise in ‘content’ and the lack of curation of streaming


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Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese took to streaming services Tuesday for devaluing cinema to mere “content” and said algorithms are ruining the discovery.

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“” The art of cinema is being systematically devalued, marginalized, degraded and reduced to its lowest common denominator, ‘content’ “” – Martin Scorsese

In a cover essay for Harper’s, Scorsese spoke about his love of film as an art form and described how Federico Fellini’s films helped inspire him, but also criticized the current film business model, which has put classic films in scene. subscription services that lack proper curation and prevent viewers from exploring movies outside of their own bubble.

“We cannot depend on the movie business, as it is, to care for movies,” he wrote. While he noted that streaming services have benefited some filmmakers, including himself, “it has created a situation where everything is presented to the viewer on equal terms, which sounds democratic but is not. If the algorithms “ suggest ” more visualization based on what you’ve already seen, and the suggestions are based only on the theme or genre, what does that do to the art of cinema? “Curatorship is neither undemocratic nor ‘elitist’, a term that is now used so frequently that it no longer makes sense. It is an act of generosity: you are sharing what you love and what has inspired you. (The best streaming platforms like Criterion Channel and MUBI and traditional media like TCM are based on curation, they are actually curated.) Algorithms, by definition, are based on calculations that treat the viewer as a consumer and nothing else. “Scorsese also chided studios that don’t even bother to distribute old movies, a point whereby Walt Disney Co. DIS, – 0.70% has been criticized, after skipping many classic Fox movies. “We have to make it very clear to the current legal owners of these movies that they represent much, much more than mere property to be exploited and then locked up. They are among the greatest treasures of our culture and should be treated accordingly, ”he wrote. Scorsese, who is also a prominent film scholar, has lamented the death of film as an art on numerous occasions in recent years, and received criticism in 2019 for saying that Marvel’s superhero blockbusters don’t count as true cinema. He has also praised the potential of streaming services to revolutionize cinema. His latest film, ” The Irishman, “aired exclusively on Netflix NFLX, + 0.14%, and his next movie,” Killers of the Flower Moon, “starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Robert De Niro, will air on Apple‘s AAPL, -1.61% TV +.