As one very avid cinephile, my recent viewing habits have been well documented in my Twitterverse account these last two years. I am now a fully fledged hands on parent with a two and half year old who is full of wonderful energy which I try to keep up with. My Cinema trips have become a once or twice a month visit. with a trip to the London Film Festival, a piece of Raindance and a slice of Frightfest thrown in. My viewing habits have obviously changed in the light of my family dynamics. With every new release in the UK cinema I have noted what I want to watch, looking at wether I can get to a Cinema, download the film or buying it on DVD/BluRay.
I still manage to get a good quota of current releases under my viewing belt but I still wish I could see more at the Cinema. but circumstance calls for new avenues to watch films and I am fortunate that technology can help with this scenario in many ways. I have yet to explore a subscription service like Netflix or Amazon Prime, though this may happen soon as these suppliers move into film distribution on a larger scale. Quality directors and actors are moving down Linking with these modern distributors as Cinema may not be the only place to watch movies.
Cinema chains like Curzon have been streaming their films both archived and recent cinema releases for a fee, for several years and this has been one distributor that I have enjoyed watching movies from. The BFI also have a similar library set up as well. What is more interesting, but something I have not as of yet investigated fully, is the Netflix and Amazon Prime suppliers streaming newly made film productions straight their client base, by-passing the Cinema distribution all together, though this has caused a lot of upset in the global film world, it does have it’s plus points, with the march of technology being relentless, this is yet another avenue that the public get to watch films prior to home video release.
With the trusted DVD/BluRay releases having their distribution window slowly being cut down, a mid to low budget film or a non English language movie would see its release window cut down to three months from initial cinema release to hitting the retail shelves with some films being simitaously released on all formats on the same day!
Have a look at the stats of a mini Twitter poll I conducted a while back asking the question: Where would you prefer to watch a Movie? bad spelling aside, the general consensus is the Cinema. Though a snap shot, this does speak volumes about general viewing habits.
Do not get me wrong but any film, if made for the cinema, should be seen at the Cinema.
In conclusion, for me I think my film viewing habits are not so unique to myself, but are a good benchmark for film watching in general. Generationally, depending on age, Cinema does offer that escapism which is found in a darkened auditorium and the shared experience of the audience connecting with the screen, but watching films is an experience which can be both a solo exercise and a group thing, but with no detractions or singling out as a lonesome experience. All I can add is that I will return to regular Cinema trips and as time goes by, I might even get my son involved, if he has a taste for Cinema, as my father did with me, who knows what treasures this might yield.
For the love of Cinema…